Dressing with intention

I was recently introduced to something I never thought of before, called Fashion Feng Shui, through one of my meet up groups. I’m very interested in Feng Shui and this sounded like it would be fun, so I attended an event to learn more about this subject.

If you’ve never heard of the term Feng Shui, here is some basic info. According to the International Feng Shui Guild it is “the interplay between the seen (our surroundings) and the unseen (energy and intention)”. From a dictionary, we get the following: (in Chinese thought) a system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy (qi) and whose favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into account when siting or designing buildings.

Ok, so we work with the space we live and/or work in to bring the harmony that is needed between us, the space, the objects that occupy it and the energy that flows through it. I am not a certified Feng Shui consultant, at least not yet. But, I have used the information I’ve learned so far about it in my apartment and so far I’ve ¬†gotten good results. So, why not apply this to our own wardrobe?

At this event I attended the presenter gave everyone a copy of the book Fashion Feng Shui: The Power of Dressing with Intention, written by Evana Maggiore. The idea is that clothing is your body’s most intimate environment and, therefore, energetically influences your life in the same way that your home and business decors do. The author also concludes that there is a pattern of alignment between body coloring and shape, style personality, lifestyle, goals and clothing design with the colors, shapes, substances and energies of Feng Shui’s Five Elements. It is fascinating!

There are 5 elements of nature in Feng Shui. Those are Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal. Evana Maggiore then proposes 5 elemental archetypes: Water the philosopher; Wood the pioneer; Fire the pleasure seeker; Earth the peacemaker, and Metal the perfectionist. To learn more about these elemental archetypes and to take a quiz to find out which one are you, you can visit her website here. When I read the detailed descriptions of all these archetypes, I identified strongly with Water the philosopher. Highly sensitive, independent, creative, usually quiet and self-contained are some of the characteristics of this archetype. By learning more about this archetype which is my essence, I can make better decisions about what clothing to buy and wear, and I can use the knowledge of all the elemental archetypes to direct my intentions and energy into whatever purpose I need it for. This as opposed to being constantly frustrated with “not having anything to wear” despite having a closet full of clothing, or buying clothes without much purpose other than that I liked it when I saw it at the store or I think it’s cute or it’s what I should be wearing. That’s how one can accumulate many pieces of clothing that then one never wears.

To me knowing what my elemental archetype and essence is feels like opening my eyes to seeing a part of myself that I was neglecting. It’s like discovering a tool that you’ve always had and never used, taking off all the cobwebs and dust and realizing you had a powerful tool all along. :)

The first thing I did was empty out my closet completely and look at everything. I got rid of several items that, I had been keeping for various reasons that were totally wrong. For example a blouse that I bought because it was very pretty, even though I didn’t like the color much. It was also very uncomfortable to wear, so I had only worn it about 3 times in 2 years. No point in keeping that, so it goes to clothing donations.

On a day when I am wearing something that makes me feel comfortable, elegant, creative and beautiful, I feel unstoppable! On a day when I am wearing something that feels uncomfortable, and I am fuzzing with it all day long, feeling self-conscious and frustrated with it, this can ruin my entire day because I keep going back to the fact that I don’t feel comfortable with what I am wearing. It really makes a huge difference when I am dressed in harmony with who I am and with my energy. It also does make a huge difference in how people react to me.

Does this subject interest you? I find it fun and fascinating! And it also does make a difference. If you would like to learn more, I suggest the following sources:

Fashion Feng Shui: The Power of Dressing with Intention, written by Evana Maggiore (book)
Fashion Feng Shui (website)

Five Elements of Feng Shui

5 Elements image by Nigaya/Oscura

Discovering Feng Shui

Dictionary definition:
Feng Shui: The Chinese art or practice of positioning objects, especially graves, buildings, and furniture, based on a belief in patterns of yin and yang and the flow of chi that have positive and negative effects.

For years I have admired Feng Shui and felt it is such a fascinating practice, but it wasn’t until 2009 that I finally decided to read my first book on the art. I chose a book that had good reviews and seemed like a straightforward introduction that I could put to practice as soon as possible. I read the book pretty fast; it was so fascinating to me that I just couldn’t put it down. As soon as I finished reading it, I decided to start using the information I had just learned from it.

It was quite simple really, using objects I already had, plus a few extras that were easy to find, I began to apply Feng Shui to my apartment. Colors and materials representing the elements plus location relative to the flow of energy. That’s what it’s all about.

Energy is all around us and inside us. When the energy flow within our bodies gets stuck or “soiled”, we feel the effects. We may become tired and ill. Our thoughts may become clouded, and our ability to focus may be compromised. Everything depends on energy. It is life.

The same goes for spaces: living space, business space, worship space. The energy must flow properly, in harmony and balance so that our lives within these walls reflect that harmony and balance. Look around your home. Clutter, dirt, dead plants, broken objects, things that don’t work – all these are part of the major offenders in the energy flow. Once you create the right flow, not only will your space feel better, but you will feel better too, and it will all have a positive effect in your life. :)

The first time I started using Feng Shui in my home, I had been on a long job search that got me lots of good interviews but no job. Literally the next day after I balanced the energy flow of my apartment, specially the career area and the travel and helpful people area, I got a phone call and a job offer within days.

You don’t have to be a professional Feng Shui consultant to be able to take advantage of this ancient art and bring balance and harmony into your own space. You can start learning anytime! It’s a lot of fun and once you start feeling the positive effects, you will be so happy you decided to try it. :)

I recommend: Move your Stuff, Change your Life: How to Use Feng Shui to Get Love, Money, Respect and Happiness by Karen Rauch Carter
Move your Stuff Change your Life