One of the most basic and powerful diagnostic tools in Feng Shui is called the Bagua Map. This map outlines the 9 areas (or guas) of life and how they correspond to your physical space. You place this map over a floorplan of your home (or over a room, or a desk, your property, etc).
When you are experiencing difficulty in any particular area of life (health concerns, relationships woes, lack of direction in career, trouble parenting, etc), you can look to the corresponding area of your home and make adjustments in order to add energy and align the area of life where you are suffering.
So how do you place this Bagua Map over a floorplan of your home?
This post is designed to walk you through Bagua placement and then expand on how to use this powerful tool in your life.
First you must have a floorplan. It doesn’t have to be anything special, it can be hand drawn or the plans your architect used to remodel your house years ago. It is helpful for the floorplan to be relatively to scale, but you can fudge a bit. Some homes are regular and easy to draw and imagine, some homes are quite irregular and difficult to pin down. If your home is particularly difficult you can lay the bagua map out on any room in your house, rather than over your entire home... and divide the room into these 9 areas--energizing whatever area of the room you wish to.
If your home is an apartment or part of a building, you can use the front door to your apartment as the entrance to your space.
If your front door is at an angle to the remainder of your home, you may place the map to align with the rest of your home, rather than the door itself (there area always exceptions--every space is different).
Second, in the style of Feng Shui that most westerners practice, myself included, you always place the bottom of the Bagua Map--where you find: Self Knowledge & Wisdom, Career & Journey and Helpful People, Travel & Community--along the front of your home. This means that the entrance to a room or to your house, will always fall in either the Career & Journey area (if it’s in the center of the facade), Self Knowledge & Wisdom (if it’s to the left of the facade) or Helpful People (if it’s to the right of the facade).
I'm including plenty of examples so you can see how different floorplans look with the Bagua overlaid. Some homes have missing areas, some homes have extra areas. It is often an art, not a science.
If your home has a front door that sits behind part of the home (or part of the home extends in front of the front door), then you will place the bagua map in line with the front door, with extra spaces existing in the areas that jut out from the house (see example below).
Once you have your Bagua Map laid on top of your floorplan, we get to the good stuff, the way in which the Bagua Map will reflect the problems you are having in your life. Say you are experiencing problems in your Career or Journey:
- You feel like your work life is stagnant and you’re looking to bring in some energy or uplift this area of your life, or...
- You aren't working right now and you’re trying to determine what the next steps are for you in your life.
In this case, you would look to the Career & Journey area of your home. For many people, this is the entrance to your home. The entrance is significant in many ways--primarily because your front door is the place where all energy enters your life. It is also the first impression you have of your home and thus determines how you feel when you arrive home every day (should you use your front door).
When you area experiencing stagnation in your Career or Journey, you would look for the things in that space that you have not touched or loved in some time, or the ways in which that space feels stagnant, dusty, weighed down.
- Do you have many items on the floor (drawing the energy down)?
- Do you use your front door with regularity (if this is indeed in your Career area)?
- Do you have too much going on in the space, making it difficult to focus on what is important?
Whatever you have in your space, is a reflection of what is happening in that area of your life.
If you want your next step to be clear, it can be incredibly helpful to clear the space of any unloved, unused items. When your space is full of unwanted items, that area of your life tends to be full of commitments you don't really want to keep, people you don't really want to spend time with. When your space has items that you've kept out of obligation, or keep because nothing better has come along, then your life tends to fill up with things you do out of obligation or because nothing better has presented itself.
The next step, before you touch your physical space, is to get crystal clear on what it is you WANT in that particular area of your life. Imagine your ideal situation, without worrying about how you will make your dreams into reality. Allow yourself to dream big, let go of the guilt and the shoulds and IMAGINE how you want that area of your life to feel. Without clarity around what you truly want, you cannot achieve it. Once you know what you want, it becomes easier to draw that reality towards you (like does attract like, after all), even without knowing the How.
Say you want to feel passionate about your job, like it is in total alignment with who you are and who you want to be.
The mental work is to notice all of the little ways in which you are already passionate about what you do (in your actual job or otherwise). Notice everyday the times when you are in alignment with who you are (feeling great, doing what you know you should be doing to feel good).
The physical work is to intentionally place only the items in your Career & Journey area that you absolutely love, that are in alignment with you. That could mean that if your Career & Journey area is near your front door and houses your coat closet, that you remove any of the coats that you don’t love (thank them and pass them along so that someone else can love them), leaving only the loved layers behind.
It sounds simple... because it is!
When you intentionally align your space with the life you want to live, you'll find more and more that you are already living the life you dream of (even though you still have goals that are not yet realized). We will always have goals to achieve, things that we want--that’s part of the human condition. But you have the choice to enjoy the process of achieving them, allowing those things into your life with ease, or resist the natural flow by focusing on what is happening in your life that you do not want, or pushing for things to be exactly the way you think they should be. Allowing that ease and flow into your life allows for incredible opportunities to come and find you.
This is a life’s work, eternal practice. I am constantly reminding myself to get back into the natural flow, to visualize with clarity what I want and how that feels, to notice all of the opportunities every day in which the way I want to feel, is exactly how I already feel in the present.
I have the unfortunate desire (as so many of us do) to want to control my life. The bad news is that life, as you know, has many things in store for you that you may never have consciously chosen (darn those lessons we have to learn). The good news, is that you do have control over your space and if it is aligned with your desires. When you align your space with the person you want to be, you are taking a giant step towards living your life intentionally. This intentional living allows you to attract more of what you want into your life with ease and grace.
You have the ability to shift your space, in order to transform your life.
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Looking forward to being with you on your transformational journey,