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Your home is your sanctuary — a haven to escape stress and anxiety, where you recharge, express yourself, and feel at peace. Keeping your apartment organized, meditating in the mornings, and even just decorating with fresh flowers are all awesome ideas, but if you’re looking to make your space more mellow, may we suggest flirting with the fine art of feng shui?

Sometimes called “the art of placement,” feng shui is an ancient Chinese healing practice that dates back six millennia, considering energy, nature, astrology, physics, philosophy, and more to optimize your health and well-being at home. Practitioners and devotees invite passionate love, good health, financial prosperity, and fulfilling careers (among other things!) into their lives by moving objects according to the guiding principles to balance and align their home’s energy. We chatted with Marianne Gordon — certified feng shui consultant and practitioner — to learn the benefits of feng shui, beginner’s tips for applying the practice to your place now, and why that mirror in your bedroom may be why you and bae are fighting.

How Feng Shui Enhances Your Life

A feng shui practitioner arranges a room

About the benefits of feng shui, Gordon says, “They’re endless! There’s a reconnection to the soul, the higher powers, and the self. Feng shui re-creates the harmony present in nature, but indoors.” Bringing in the calm, meditative vibes that exist outdoors means you’re creating a more hospitable, cozy, and safe place to grow, create, and love. “By seeing your home with ‘feng shui eyes,’ you relearn yourself, and you are able to see your life anew,” Gordon explains. “Problems that were muted, diffuse, and shapeless come to life in a tangible way, and addressing them is the key to success, both in the home and in the world. Our home is a reflection of who we are, a direct mirror. So, you change things in your home, and things will change in your life.” Okay, we’re listening!

Feng shui divides your physical home into nine equal sections, each influencing a different aspect of your life. Your career area (third row, middle column) is often at the front door, while your wealth sector sits at the top left, with children and creativity in the middle right. Check out Gordon’s visual guide on her blog to start mapping out your own pad. (Pro tip: She offers free 15-minute consultations.) Each sector has its own “language,” or specific guidelines to help you thrive in that area of life. For instance, love and marriage wants red, softness, and warmth. The wealth sector demands plants, as it’s nourished by the strong, sturdy element of wood. There are many facets to each sector, so we suggest exploring the internet to find out more!

5 Principles of Feng Shui

Sunlight fills an inviting living room

1. Keep it clean. “Decluttering is a must,” Gordon insists, so get your Marie Kondo on and simplify your space. A messy, unkempt home is a breeding ground for blocked, lethargic energy that has no room to move or motivate you. Think of it like this: If you’re looking for a fuller, richer life, but your apartment is cluttered and crammed with stuff, how can you tell what you really need?

2. Trust your intuition. “Look around your home and really ask yourself, ‘Do I love this? Is this object saying nice things to me? Is this armchair nagging me?'” Feel free to let those things go right now. It’s better to have two chairs you love in an open space full of flowing energy than four that throw you off. And it’s okay if there’s no solid reason for your feeling, other than that it is no longer serving you.

3. Toss damaged goods. On this point, Gordon is adamant: “Throw out broken items IMMEDIATELY, or repair them within the next two days.” It makes sense — why continue to keep dysfunctional or straight-up broken belongings laying around when you’re trying to create a whole, balanced life?

4. Spruce up the entry. “Create a nice entryway that’s tidy and inviting — add a nice doormat, a safe place to put your keys, and a mirror to adjust your accessories before leaving,” Gordon advises. A clean, thoughtfully decorated foyer sets the tone for your home and the energy inside it.

5. Find your center. “Find the very center of your home, and start beautifying it. Maybe buy some flowers, or make an altar, decorate with floor cushions, or add a plant,” suggests Gordon. This is obviously dependent on where the center of your home is, so proceed with what’s natural, but be sure to give the heart of your home some love!

2 Biggest Mistakes

A woman rests her feet on her desk as she talks on the phone

There are two major feng shui mistakes we all are probably making without even realizing it, and Gordon was kind enough to fill us in on what they are — and how to fix them, stat.

1. Mirrors in the Bedroom: “Mirrors in the bedroom can invite unwanted people into the relationship, or at least disturb sleep,” Gordon tells us, since they amplify and reflect energy. Instead, put a large, single-paned mirror in the career area of your home, where that power can really be put to productive use.

2. Cacti Inside the Home: That’s right: Your cute collection of Cereus, Echinocactus, and Rhipsalis has got to go. Those sharp edges and protective needles send all the wrong messages in a home that should be warm, welcoming, and relaxing. Try placing cacti around the outside of your home — either on the porch, around the perimeter, or in the backyard — as their prickly spines can help deter negative energy and potential guests with ill will.

Have you tried to feng shui your space? Tweet us @BritandCo about how it’s changed your life.

(Photos via Getty)