Good Vibes

"When you leave a beautiful place, you carry it with you wherever you go." ~ Alexandra Stoddard

Just as we might feel a creepy or bad vibe from certain places or objects (, we can sense good vibes from places and objects, as well. It is our responsibility — each one of us, in our own way and circumstances — to consciously recognize, appreciate, and gravitate to the good vibes. Wherever they are for us, that’s where we should be. We can feel the good vibes in people, animals, children, laughter, babies, oceans, lakes, rivers, mountains, plants, trees, silence, clouds, rain, snow, yoga, meditation, music, scents, thoughts, colors, textures, or images. Just like we know a bad vibe when we feel it, we know where the good vibes are for us, and it’s our job to go there, physically and figuratively.

Places in nature often give us that good vibes feeling. But it’s not the same for everyone. Some of us love the seashore, while others would hike in the woods to forest-bathe every day, if they could. Some of us feel drawn to the mountains, while other people’s idea of heaven is sitting in front of a roaring fireplace or bonfire. Some are never quite so happy as they are when digging in the dirt in a garden, while others swim with the dolphins or get up early just to witness the sun slowly inching over the horizon. We often save up these experiences for vacations or just spend our entire lives dreaming about them.

Some people are not even sure where the good vibes are for them, because they ignore clear signals about, and instead of following those signals, stay stuck where they think they have to — city or country, warm or cold climate, house or apartment, indoor or outdoor lifestyle. Some people sense that they are not in the right place for them, but they were born where they are and can't imagine that their true place might be somewhere else. Yes, money can have a lot to do with it, as well as family obligations, and many people choose life partners with completely different good vibes places, spending years in conflict over whose will take precedence. Few of us actually feel free to "follow our bliss." But the good vibes are out there for us, and we are responsible for finding them.

You might feel good vibes in a certain diner, coffee shop, art gallery, park, or even hair salon. You may feel drawn to a particular city or neighborhood. Paying attention to where you feel really, truly, healthfully, spiritually good and frequenting those places is about learning who you are and what your life's purpose might be. We only have to see that one person's heavenly environment is another person's idea of hell to know that good vibes are telling us something about us. We should listen.

If there is only one place in your daily life that is filled with good vibes, that is uplifting for you, it should be your home. Home should be your safe place, your sanctuary, your nest. You should love it and everything in it. Your home should look and feel beautiful to you. Feng Shui is about enhancing that beauty, that comfort, that feeling of safety and love. It's about filling your home with good vibes.

Once, when I was house-hunting, I saw many homes that I instantly knew were not for me. I tried to talk myself into wanting others, as they would have served our needs at the time, but they just didn't feel quite right to me. And then one day I walked into a house with my husband, and we barely got in the front door before we both said, “Yep. This is it. This is the one.” Without even seeing the rest of the house, we immediately knew it just felt right. We felt at home. We bought that house and lived in it happily for nine years.

We can bring joy into our everyday lives through places, experiences, and practices, but also through objects that remind us of those things. Artwork, recorded ocean sounds, and even items of clothing can carry this energy. They can reawaken memories and help us revisit good vibes. When decluttering, asking ourselves if we love the things we have accumulated, this is what is meant by objects that bring us joy. They please our eyes and minds for some reason, not always a conscious or obvious one. We make associations and give physical objects meaning. That meaning can bring the good vibes energy into the present moment.

People surround themselves with plants and animals to bring good vibes into their homes. Living things have energy that is always moving, always changing, always inflowing and outflowing. This can energize us or relax us, as needed. It can make us feel less alone, loved and loving. Even a fish tank — without any of the warm, soft, furry, cuddly, or energetic greetings at the door and playing on the floor we get from dogs and cats — still brings vital life energy into our homes.

Sounds can also create good vibes at home. Music can aid in healing, reduce pain, relieve stress and frustration, improve memory and concentration, and increase feelings of joy. Nature sounds can bring those far away good vibes into our homes through recordings of waterfalls, babbling brooks, ocean waves, rainfall, trees rustling in the breeze, crickets, birds, a crackling fire, or even a thunderstorm or blizzard. These, as well as recordings of "white noise," can mask more unpleasant sounds that may be present in our homes. Gregorian or Buddhist chanting, bells, chimes, and singing bowls can help us relax, sleep, or achieve a meditative state.

Scents are often overlooked as important vibes in our surroundings. Aromatherapy identifies specific good-vibes scents that help reduce tension and anxiety, stimulate physical or mental energy, improve memory, and aid in sleep. We all have associations with scents from various times in our lives: baking bread or frying tortillas, freshly-cut grass, our mother's (or an ex-lover's) perfume, flowers and herbs in our grandmother's garden, even musty scents and bus fumes can evoke positive memories and induce good feelings in us. While we probably don't want to replicate some of those particular scents in our home, we can bring in the more pleasant aromas using candles, diffusers, incense, sprays, and essential oils. Pine and gingerbread at the holidays, cocoa butter and pineapple in the summer, or autumn apple cider and pumpkin pie can all be experienced any time, anywhere. Fill your home with your favorites and if you need specific help in areas of energy, sleep, or stress, you can easily find out which ones work according to aromatherapy.

Joesph Campbell famously advised us to "Follow our bliss," to find our life's true meaning and purpose. I use the term "good vibes," but it's the same principle. When we take responsibility for following the good vibes wherever they lead us, and for surrounding ourselves with good vibes in people, animals, work, activities, ideas, objects, colors, scents, and sounds, energy can inflow and outflow more easily. We become healthier, happier, and more aligned with our life's true purpose.

Take the time to discover where the good vibes are for you, in the world and at home. Then, go there, do that, and bring it home.

• If you could go anywhere in the world for a long vacation, where would it be? Another country? A bustling city? Forest? Beach? Mountain? What would you spend your time doing? Soaking up culture or sunshine? Diving below the water's surface or sitting up in a tree or on a cliff? Riding the rapids, skiing down a mountainside, swimming in an ocean, hiking in a forest, or reading all those books you haven't been able to get to all year?

• Where are the places in your daily life where you feel the best? Begin noticing where you get that good vibes feeling. Notice the sounds and scents in these places.

• Think about how you can bring good vibes into your home. Choose objects, pictures, living things, sounds, and scents that make you feel the good vibes.

• Bloom where you are planted. In other words, if you love gardens, but you can't grow your own, make regular visits to a garden shop. If you live in a city, but love the country, put up pictures that remind you of pastoral settings. If you love the tropics, but live "up north," surround yourself with plants, hang tropical pictures (or even just a calendar) of palm trees and beaches, use fabrics (pillows, curtains, bedspreads, towels, clothing) covered with colorful leaves, flowers, and birds, and fill your home with the scents (coconut, pineapple, plumeria) and sounds (ocean waves, birds, waterfalls).

©2018 by This Feng Shui Life.