Flower power

By on March 3, 2013

The world is a colourful, vibrant place – in nature, anyway. Home interiors run the risk of a restricted palette of colours and tones, and the energy as a result can stagnate. One of the best ways to bring some colour and life to your home is through plants and flowers.

The presence of greenery in your home can be important to your well-being. Plants and flowers freshen the air with oxygen and aromas (some smell better than others – choose wisely). In addition to these invisible but tangible benefits, they bring the presence of the Wood element – one of the Five Elements, which also include Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water – and can therefore help to keep a space balanced and alive. The colour of flowers can help to highlight other elements: reds bring in Fire, yellows Earth, blues Water, and whites Metal.

Flowers are particularly beneficial, being a traditional sign of romance. Every time I buy a bunch of flowers – even something simple like tulips – people smile at me on the street as I walk with the bouquet. (More than one grocery store clerk has seemed disappointed that I hadn’t bought them for her.) Your home and room will smile at their presence too – isn’t that the energy you want to bring into your space? Buying a fresh bouquet regularly (I get mine every week, or sooner if required) can be a lovely ritual of choosing to refresh your home and your own energy.

Plants can be wonderful ways to fill up empty space. Corners of rooms can be particularly challenging energetically – wherever dust accumulates, energy is stagnating. A plant can enliven the space wonderfully, circulating energy where it was once stuck. Cacti are not recommended – they send out the message of being untouchable – and spiky-leaved plants aren’t great for most spaces either (they seem aggressive). Soft-leaved plants are better, and they should be appropriately moist but not dripping. It is common sense not to place them too close to or on top of electronics or other water-sensitive materials (that said, common sense isn’t too common, and I’ve seen this many times). Jade plants are considered good Feng Shui because they require little water and maintain soft, moist, plump leaves, and are therefore considered symbolic of good wealth.

The size of a plant should match the room and not interfere with any practical activities in the space. I’ve often seen people living in what seems to be a jungle; this can create an overpowering atmosphere that is not a supportive state of affairs, and this usually points to oppressive family relationships.

It is important that plants and flowers be fresh. If you kill a plant, get rid of it and replace it – unless you’re going to kill the next one too, in which case consider an artificial one. (Imitation plants are fine as long as they look real and don’t gather dust.) Dried flowers are really a problem: they were once alive and are now dead, and they are but a shadow of what they once were. This can set up a nasty dynamic of holding onto a past that seems more interesting and alive than the present moment. I’ve seen clients deal with health conditions that leave them fragile or feeling emotionally brittle who have lots of dried flowers. (I’m not a fan of potpourri either – use aromatherapy oils intead.) Let go of them – particularly that wedding bouquet – and let yourself experience some freshness in your life!

May your home be filled with vibrant energy and life!

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: www.senseofspace.com and www.markainley.com.