As New Orleanians flock back into town from summer travels both near and far, a cold hard reality begins to set in. It’s hurricane season! And along with that comes a lot of anxiety inducing questions. Will there be a big one this year? Will we lose power? Will we be stuck inside with the kids for hours on end? Yikes! It seems like no matter how many times we go through this, we freeze up, eyes glued to the weather channel like a deer in headlights. Aside from the obligatory purchase of batteries, flashlights and sandbags, perhaps there is more we can do on a spiritual/energetic level to prepare our psyches in advance?
I recently stumbled across an article on Feng Shui, the ancient practice of arranging one’s living space to create balance with the natural world. This got me thinking, can we Feng Shui our homes in hurricane prep? I can’t think of a more important time/place than here and now to make peace with the “natural world.” We are nothing if not constantly battling Mother Nature’s bag of tricks in this tropical city. Feng Shui is a complex field which takes years of study to fully understand, but perhaps we can pick off a few ideas from the basic principles to procure a more serene environment- even if it’s mayhem outside.
Here are a few ways to Feng Shui:
According to Feng Shui, clutter blocks the natural flow of energy. Lafayette based Feng Shui consultant, Cheryl Taylor Bowie suggests incorporating organization into your hurricane prep; paying specific attention to the back left corner of your home. In Feng Shui, the back left corner (if you are facing your property) represents prosperity. If you stash your garbage can or broken pots in that area (like I do), you may want to move them elsewhere. Also, mind your floors. Clearing the hallways and floors of your home ahead of a storm will not only keep you from potentially tripping over them (if the electricity goes out) but in feng shui from spiritually weighing you down.
Choose the Right Colors:
The Bagua Map is an essential component in Feng Shui. Put in oversimplified terms, it is a map (used in collaboration with your floor plan) to lay out eight areas that relate to your life such as family, wealth, career, health etc. The blue and green colors on the map are associated with health and family. So, let’s honor those colors while we huddle up for our hurricane gatherings. You can add color in so many natural ways. Waysides floral garage offers dried arrangements in soft blues and greens. It’s zero maintenance and will bring a bit of the natural world inside (also a feng shui principle). Also, while you’re at it grab yourself a green Orisha Spirit bracelet from voodoo priestess Marian for a little extra bump in juju. The priestess has countless other remedies and offerings you might want to try too!
Some Feng Shui experts believe that aroma can help manipulate the energy in your home and stimulate various emotional responses. The Vibrant Market folks recommend tending to your vagus nerve by spraying your pillow and blankets with the Vagus Nerve Spray by Osea. The calming scent is said to activate your body’s relaxation response. Also on their list is the Palo Santo by Anima Mundi. You can burn it sporadically to clear bad energy and spirits that stagnate within spaces. It’s also commonly thought to assuage stress headaches, anxiety, depression, inflammation, emotional pain.
Bring the outside in:
Adorning your home with air purifying plants is a must. Living plants represent the wood element in Feng Shui, which is said to encourage flexibility, healing and growth. This Hurricane Fern (oh the irony) sold at FAIT Nola will purify the air from common allergens and at the very least be entertaining to look at. Also, the Snake Plant, is said to be essential in Feng Shui as it promotes the flow of oxygen, encouraging prosperity, intelligence and strength! The orchid flower in Feng Shui often represents love and partnership. What better time to nurture your relationship than during a natural disaster? Wink! Head to Mitch’s for jaw dropping varieties that will nurture a strong romantic bond.
Mind the Door:
The entrance to your home is of utmost importance when it comes to the Feng Shui protective energy. You can opt to paint your front door red (you do you) or for less committed folks, scribble down your own (or buy) protective mantra flag to hang outside your door. I don’t know about your mantra, but mine will quote the ancient wisdom; “rain, rain go away.”
Extra Credit Reading: