You might find that an equilibrium of male and female elements in your home is just the thing you need to bring peace and serenity to your living environment

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: I am constantly under stress because of the responsibilities I shoulder. I have my clutter under control and have positive images on my wall, and yet, I still feel out of balance. In addition, I don’t relax well in my home. Is there something more you suggest I do?

Yes! Check to see if your environment is in “gender balance.” If you’ve ever been inside a fun house, you know how it feels to walk through a visually, structurally and energetically unbalanced room. While I’m sure you don’t live in a fun house, if the male and female elements are unbalanced energetically, the home’s unseen energy can still contribute to your feelings of imbalance, anxiety and stress.

The Yin Yang principle


According to Eastern ideology, to create balance, male and female aspects must be present in all areas of life in equal amounts. This shows up as equal parts of black and white in the Yin Yang symbol, representing the fundamental principle of balance between male and female. Yin and yang also represent the universal principle of opposites (i.e., straight and curved, light and dark, square and round, hard and soft, male and female). These universal opposites are interdependent, so one should not dominate the other. Instead, balance is key.

In any environment, the principle of gender balance is important to consider. For the space to “feel” good, male and female elements should be present to create and experience balance.

Gender balance and imbalance affects us

Gender balance in your environment promotes relaxation and calmness. If the environment has predominantly male elements, the space will feel “like a box” — limiting, hard and overactive. Yet, if the environment has predominantly female elements, the space will feel “like a marshmallow” — without structure, substance or strength. Lethargy is a common side effect of a feminine-dominant home.

Interestingly, men living in a home that has predominantly feminine elements can feel smothered and trapped. On the other hand, women living in a home that has predominantly masculine elements tend to feel unsupported and alone. To determine if your environment reflects one principle more than another, look around your space to see what predominates, based on the following examples. If you find one dominant element, bring your home to a greater sense of gender balance by adding something from the complementary, opposite grouping.

Examples of male elements in your home:


• Straight lines
• Straight paths
• Boxy-shaped sofas
• Hard floors
• Square or rectangular tables
• Empty corners
• Florescent and bright lighting
• Symmetrical shapes
• “Cool” colors
• Vertical or horizontal blinds
• Furniture placed in alignment with the wall
• Textures that include smooth and shiny
• Lack of personal or sentimental items

Female elements in your home:

• Curvy lines
• Rounded paths
• Enveloping soft sofas
• Carpeted floors
• Round or oval tables for cooperation and conversation
• Filled corners
• Incandescent or warm lighting
• Asymmetrical-shaped furniture and artwork
• “Warm” colors
• Curtains and drapery
• Angled furniture
• Textures that include soft and silky
• Sentimental items

How does your home shape up? Is it mostly male or mostly female? Remember, both are important, so see where you can make changes to create balance.

Create balance to temper the extremes

Creating balance in your environment helps support you in living a more balanced path. We all know what it’s like to over-extend ourselves, or push past our limits, winding up sick in bed. Your body is always trying to bring you to balance, so take a few moments to use your environment to support that endeavor.


Alice Inoue is a life guide at Alice Inoue Life Guidance LLC, a company committed to assisting people in living empowered lives. Alice shares her wisdom as a professional speaker and personal consultant, and offers a series of instructional DVDs on feng shui, and her award-winning books on feng shui, happiness and spiritual life wisdom. Visit to read her blog, sign up for her newsletters and download useful feng shui tips.

How to Get Unstuck!
Can’t figure something out? Feel stuck in the muck? Move 27 things. Doing so will force you to get out of old habitual patterns, stimulating new neural pathways. Move your drinking glasses to a different cabinet or the phone to the other side of the counter. Get creative!