Feng Shui For Recuperation At Home

Dear Lynn,
I need back surgery that will require an extended recuperation time at home. Is there any feng shui advice you can give me to turn my bedroom into a more healing environment? I have a supportive husband at home, so that is a help. — SJ, Beverly, MA

Dear SJ,

Our backs. Oh the burdens they carry! Spinal surgery is an opportunity to free yourself from burdens that may not even be yours to carry, where your long-held stories — karmic stories — are given their opportunity to transform and do their actual job. You have an inner medical team directing the surgery; open yourself to those beings.

One of the best preparations for preparing your healing space is that which evolves from your anticipatory attitude. It will shape some of your indoor environmental choices so they will not just help to support you, but will carry you faster into the new part of your future. The word “journey” is used frequently these days as a life path description. Defined that way, undergoing surgery — especially spinal — would be a transitional corridor, a blending of enticing, mysterious and most definitely, of promise, in the passage.

This is an excellent time to re-invigorate the recognition of your home as a body. For example, windows = eyes; doors = mouths, birth canals; hearth = heart; and framework = your skeletal structure. Having a “house with good bones” is always advantageous and desirable — really it’s basic — and so is your back.

Your home’s structural aspects also provide “back-up” support in your life. In the time prior to your surgery and with the best possible use of your financial resources, assess your home’s condition with an eye towards strengthening what you have. Repair what you observe to be deteriorating, maybe something only beginning to show signs of rot, and continue with fortifying and buttressing whatever is called to your attention. Coupled with appreciative satisfaction in the doing, this reverberates through your own physical body. As a less “dis-jointed” patient, more healing is available to you.

Start on the immediate exterior (the body of your home) and work your way inward (your body). These structural inspections and upgrades where possible will support you; indeed, I believe they will provide you with access to specific diagnostic and remedial information about both your body and your home so you can get busy being the doctor! This will feel good whether or not it precedes surgery and may indeed prevent such future needs before drastic intervention must be employed.

You may have transition time in a rehabilitation facility whose environment you have little influence on. Knowing your home base is in good shape and optimally prepared to receive you will provide a certainty and stability that you have a strong, solid space to return to for your recovery.

Feng Shui For Recuperation At Home

Using a bird’s eye view to help you identify the feng shui sectors in your home, position the bagua over your house so the career sector aligns with your front door.

The next structure to secure? Your network of loved ones: friends, family, neighbors. Making people aware of your circumstances gives them an opportunity to discover ways that are most suitable for them to help you. It could be shopping or doing errands or sitting by you, answering the phone, cooking or cleaning. Get clear and activate these “helpful people” sectors in the front right quadrant of your house or room (see bagua diagram). This would be a good place to hang some chimes or create an altar — it must please you! — but leaving it open is also fine as long as it is neat and tended to.

Pay special attention to the love and marriage sector as well. This area also supports relationships beyond the one of formal marriage and includes the females in your life such as mother, sister, co-worker, neighbor, etc. It’s the essence of closeness and tenderness. Notice that this sector has three “open” lines on the bagua. While some call these “broken” I do not perceive them that way. The bagua is the I Ching applied to structure and three open lines is the symbol of feminine energy.

For your homecoming after the surgery, I recommend two places to recover, perhaps designating one as headquarters. In one space create a place of embrace; this can be simple. It is the ideal bedroom nest. Be sure that you’ll have access to much light in both recuperative areas that you can switch to easily when you’re unable to walk. As you pay attention to and bring greater health to your home, especially bedroom and living room, tend to them as you would like to be tended.

It may be too much of a stretch, but build a halo — yes, a halo —above each room and in your home in its entirety. Give it energy. You can’t buy it; that’s not what I’m talking about. Infuse this halo from the healthiest energy within you. Give it further development by transforming it at will to a rainbow. If you can envision it, it exists.

In this halo and in the recuperative areas of your home introduce colors you love the most even if they are already fully present in your decor. This exaggeration of your favorite color spectrum will add to the healing tone you are preparing. A pillow, candle set, flowers, blanket or throw rug will delight you and move that healing process right along. Comfort and beauty in prominent views from each of your favorite perches will all contribute to this healing zone.

Introduce sound — maybe just open a window and listen! Music, CDs of guided imagery, water sounds — a fountain (no feeble trickling and no gushing geysers). Stock up on foods and drink that you enjoy the taste of. Give each of your sensorial departments a present.

Where does the healing begin? On the outside? On the inside? They hold hands.

Dear Lynn,
I love the ideas and advice you print each month in your column! Do you have any ideas for indoor winter pick-me-ups? Although I love the starlight and crisp, clear air of winter nights, the reality of all those long, cold, dark months ahead is not too far away! — Winter Is On The Way.

Dear Winter,
Each of the elements have their own primary season and for water it is the deep, primordial interior of winter. We don’t have to get down and actually be primordial during the season, but you will want to be near a fire of any scale — candle to bonfire — when blanketed by the depths of winter.

The nature of water is to seek the lowest level, moving or not moving. While fire is comprised of energies that want to move upward — its nature is to burn bright and go higher — water wants to go deep. Think hibernation, yours or a bear’s. Combine this with a strong presence of white in the snow-covered New England winter landscape (white = metal, water’s mother), and you will understand why the water/metal dominance of winter’s elemental features need a good dose of balance in this season.

Pick-me-ups are the presto! of balance. For winter, more wood and more fire offset the seasonal imbalance that makes you need a pick-me-up in the first place. Since water puts out fire, balance needs to be well-supported and evident. Representative colors for these elements are black and deep blue for water, the red spectrum for fire and green for wood.

To add more “wood” to your interiors try plants, flowers, books, growing indoor bulbs (amaryllis, etc.). Consciously select green and blue hues to add to your rooms and anything column shaped. A didgeridoo is a column and the sound made when it’s held and used is like sparkling pebbles. Decorate tree-like floor plants with twinkling lights and strands of popcorn.

To add more fire to your home, try sparkling! Indoor and outdoor lighting and decorations are part and parcel of the holidays. Red taper candles are an excellent wood/fire expression, as well as any candles or fires you may wish to tend. Red pillows and accessories, throw rugs — Orientals even — seasonal red plants, poinsettias and roses. Maybe some pink slippers! Trying painting something red — one of your bathroom walls? Reward yourself by planting narcissus, hyacinth bulbs and others that “break ground” as we move into the next season.

The late Lynn Taylor was a senior feng shui practitioner, teaching and consulting in the United States and Mexico for both business and home environments.