Thanksgiving – the feng shui way

By on November 2, 2011

Thanksgiving is certainly about more than turkey and getting together with your family.

The Thanksgiving season is traditionally a time to express gratitude for the harvest and plenty in your life. One needn’t wait until the holiday season to feel grateful – ideally it should be part of our daily life.

With Feng Shui, one can use the home environment to express thanks for fortunate blessings.

As gratitude is having thanks for what you have in your life, surrounding yourself with your favourite things is a great way to remind yourself of what you have and appreciate. Having your space occupied by what truly resonates with you and makes your heart sing supports a more thankful experience of life. Every time you look at something that you like, you get positive feedback. Your environment should be complimenting you (and complementing you) like this.

In our materialistic society, however, clutter has become an unfortunate reality. We tend to accumulate more products without releasing old ones. After all, they’re still good, we still like them, and one of these days we’ll be able to fit into that outfit again. What happens when our space is filled with what we no longer use or what is not current? We feel out of sync with present time because past items don’t gel with our actual reality; we lose our velocity as we and our surroundings no longer align; and then we stagnate because things are not changing in conjunction with the constant change of life circumstances.

Clutter is stagnant energy. It reflects something that once had life and meaning, yet which no longer serves us or its own truest purpose. Clothes want to be worn, seen, and felt, and when they are not, they sit unfilled and unfulfilled. Books want to be read, and when they are not, they cannot illuminate or bring insight to the consciousness of a reader.

Everything in your space wants to express itself fully, just as we do. Being surrounded by objects that cannot express their full potential makes it more difficult for us to express our own. The stagnation emanating from our environment sets the parameters for our own self-expression.

Another perspective: the more things you have in your space that you don’t need or want, the more in your life you will experience what you don’t need or want. And if your space is full of stuff you don’t need, you are sending yourself a message that you are willing to tolerate what you don’t need. So what will you get more of in your life? (All together, now…) “More of what you don’t need.” Until you say no. Until you make the choice to let go of what no longer serves you. Until you make space for what you truly want to occupy your space and your life. When your space has stagnant energy in the form of clutter, you are continually reminded of your complacency and unwillingness to flow with the tides of change. (Clutter is a different kind of stuffing than you find in the turkey.) When your space is filled with your favourite things, however, you can experience more of the pleasure that they can bring you.

Arranging your favourites so that you can use and appreciate them helps to maximize your potential enjoyment of them. There is no point having a wonderful collection of things on display if you don’t ever use them. Have your books, music, art, and objets visible and well-lit – and accessible. Make a point of enjoying them by using them in the way they were designed to be used: read, listen, look, sense, and feel the richness that they bring. (This is why we have what we call a Living Room: these things remind you of what living is about.)

And keep in mind of course that it’s not really your things that give you pleasure in your life – it’s the meaning you give them, and the feeling that you get when you enjoy them. You can have that feeling any time you choose.

May you and yours be fulfilled by the blessings in your life, both felt and unfelt, seen and unseen.

About Mark Ainley

Mark Ainley is a Contemporary Feng Shui Consultant and Emotional Stress Consultant living in Vancouver. A former 5-year resident of Tokyo, Mark consults with clients internationally to help them design living and work spaces in alignment with their goals. He also provides consulting in emotional stress management, as well as in the connection between facial structure and innate behavioural and communication patterns. He can be reached through his website: and