A Bedtime Story
Creating the right space to rest and rejuvenate is as easy as changing your bed’s placement, or covering your mirrors before you turn in for the night
QUESTION OF THE WEEK: I am particularly interested in things I heard about the bedroom when I was growing up. Can you give me the “truth” about what I was told? For instance, “It is bad luck to point your feet at the door,” and other such beliefs. Are they true or are they just silly beliefs?
In my professional dealings for the past dozen or so years, when people find out that I practice, teach and consult on feng shui, they basically respond in one of the following two ways: “Oh my god! That is so awesome. You do feng shui? I totally believe in feng shui. I have a mirror by my door, a fountain in my wealth corner, etc.; or, “Oh, you’re into that touchy feely stuff…yeah, my wife/boss/friend is into all that superstition as well. You’d really get along with them.” In both instances, I just smile and go with the flow, but today I’d like to take the opportunity to address your question in more detail.
Feng shui is not a belief
In my understanding and practice, feng shui is not a belief, religious or otherwise. It is simply a way to manage the energy in an environment so that it better serves and supports the people living and working there. The practice of feng shui has spread to many countries and cultures over thousands of years, and each culture has its own interpretation of the core principles.
Is there truth to what is said?
Is it true that a wind chime will chase away evil spirits or that sleeping with your head pointed to the door will send you to your grave early, or that a mirror in the wrong place invites evil? These beliefs may have originated from a basic feng shui concept with a solid reason behind it, but not every interpretation is true feng shui wisdom.
Energy is everywhere
Feng shui is about living harmoniously by paying attention to the principles of nature and the energy in the environment. It doesn’t take a scientist to understand that energy is everywhere. It’s a life force in nature and all animate beings and inanimate objects. Do you remember learning in science class that when you break everything down, even a table, to its smallest component you will find molecules in motion? This means that everything in our world is energy, and just because you can’t see the energy, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
While some of the common beliefs about bedroom feng shui no-nos are true, they have little to do with potential bad luck.
Here are the top three beliefs about the bedroom and their explanations.
1. It’s bad luck to sleep with your feet pointed at the door
Due to Asian culture and influence, in Hawaii it is a common belief that sleeping with your feet toward the door is bad luck. However, this belief is a misinterpretation of the feng shui rule that you should not sleep in line with the door. Sleeping in the direct pathway of the door is unfavorable because the flow of energy into the room is strongest at the entrance and can measurably disrupt your sleep.
Optimally, you should place your bed far from the doorway or out of line with the door, but still facing it so that when you are lying down you can see anyone or anything entering without turning your head. The placement of the bed is all about protection. You want to have an expansive view of the room at all times.
2. It’s bad luck to sleep under a window
The theory behind not sleeping under the window is not about bad luck per se. Instead, it is that the window brings in an element of vulnerability. By sleeping under a window, you are not as “protected” as you would be with a solid wall above your head. However, it is much better to have your head under a window, than your bed in an unfavorable position.
If you sleep under a window, for protection close the curtains to symbolically create a “solid” wall or attach a head-board to your bed.
3. It’s bad luck to sleep facing a mirror
It is not necessarily bad luck to sleep across from a mirror, but mirrors reflect active energy into an environment that should be peaceful and relaxing. Many people I know sleep fine with mirrors in the bedroom; but if you are a person who has a difficult time getting to sleep, having mirrors directly across from your bed could add to the problem.
For those with mirrors facing the bed, prop a screen or hang some light curtains in front of the mirror at night. If you have mirrored closet doors, replace them with wood doors or doors made of some other non-reflective material.
There is no such thing as bad luck
The way I see it, bad luck doesn’t exist, and it is up to us to create our own luck. If for some reason you are unable to or do not feel the need to change some of the bedroom situations mentioned above, don’t be concerned, you can still have a lucky life. Don’t believe everything you hear!
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, as well as her award-winning books on feng shui, happiness and spiritual life wisdom. Visit www.aliceinspired.com to read her blog, sign up for her newsletters and download useful feng shui tips.