QUESTION OF THE WEEK: I have my clutter under control and have meaningful images on my wall, and yet, I still feel out of balance. Is there something more I can do?

Yes! Check to see if your environment is in “gender balance.” 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


In any environment, for the space to “feel” good, male (yang) and female (yin) elements should be present to create and experience balance. 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.

To determine if your environment reflects one principle more than another, look around to see what predominates, based on the following examples. If you find one dominant element, bring your home to gender balance by adding something from the complementary, opposite grouping.

Male element examples:
Straight lines and paths
Boxy-shaped sofas
Hard floors
Square or rectangular tables
Empty corners
Florescent and bright lighting
“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 element examples:
Curvy lines
Rounded paths
Enveloping soft sofas
Carpeted floors
Round tables for cooperation, conversation
Filled corners
Incandescent or warm lighting
“Warm” colors
Curtains and drapery
Angled furniture
Textures that include soft and silky
Sentimental items

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 overextend ourselves, 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.


You can send questions to Alice Inoue owns Happiness U, a lifestyle studio located at SALT Kakaako where anyone can fi nd positive inspiration and high-level guidance to minimize stress and optimize modern day life! Visit