“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence, cannot be applied." ~ Herophilus
Health and Family are two of the most basic elements of human life. It’s hard to overstate their importance. If these areas of your life are troubled, all the other areas can be affected, as you will find it harder to give attention to any of those other aspects of your life. Ill health has a way of grabbing all the attention for itself, whether through pain, disability, or necessary medical treatments that can eat up your time, energy, happiness, and finances. Caring for a family member with health problems can be equally taxing on your life. At the same time, strained familial relationships, broken trust, and conflicts erode what should ideally be the most basic support system that helps you throughout your life. Both of these pillars — health and family — can crumble, bringing down your entire being. Conversely, good health and a harmonious, loving family can greatly improve your chances for success in all other areas and help you navigate life’s inevitable rough patches with strength and courage.
Feng Shui advises making sure everything in your home is in good repair and working properly, as intended. The goal is to clear away all the impediments to freely flowing energy and to magnify energy as needed. The same holds true for your body. When everything is good working order and free of blockages, energy flows smoothly to you and through you. Taking care of your health includes every aspect of it — physical, mental and emotional — using all the tools at your disposal — diet, exercise, sleep, cleanliness (including avoiding damaging chemicals and pollutants), stress relief, and professional medical attention. Today, with so many healthful options available, you can find what works for you, be it acupuncture, massage, supplements, yoga, paleo diet, vegan diet, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), chiropractic care, mainstream Western medicine, or most often, some combination of these. Maintaining good health is not a one- size-fits-all prescription. This means that you have to take responsibility for your own health and seek out, try out, and discover what is best for you.
Health problems of your family members may worry you or require your direct assistance, from occasionally driving someone to a doctor’s appointment to full-time care. This can cause stress on your time, energy, emotions, finances, and even affect your own health. Chronic health issues in your family, such as addiction, can strain familial relationships and cause lasting damage. So you’ll want to keep this area repaired, decluttered, and enhanced in order to maintain your own health and your family’s health.
Family is the other part of this most basic level of human needs. Belonging to a family, being able to trust their support and loyalty, is one of your earliest psychological steps in life. These are the people who start you off in life, and if all goes well, stick with you throughout your growing up and adulthood. You can count on them and they can count on you. You help each other in countless ways and offer the courage to venture out into the world, knowing there is always a safe place for you with them. When this part of your life is harmonious and the energy here is flowing freely, it can be the bedrock on which to build a successful, fulfilling life, giving you both your roots and your wings.
“Family” here also refers to your ancestors, who passed on your genetic and personality traits, cultural roots, history, and often, your talents and interests. They are part of who you are, for better and for worse. Knowing them or about them can help you better understand yourself and your place in the world. Obviously, “family” also includes any children you may have. All parents worry about doing a good job of raising their children, and clearing and enhancing this area, as well as the Creativity and Children area of your home, can help good parenting energy flow smoothly. One more aspect of what is meant by “family” here includes your close friends, your “inner circle,” your chosen support system. While not all such relationships last forever, they can provide you with the same kind of loyal assistance as family. These are the people who have your back. And you should have theirs, too.
When family relationships are strained or conflicted, this can suppress our happiness and enjoyment of life, just as ill health can. Familial relationships can go awry for any number of reasons. Instead of a strong support system, our family may include people who are not supportive of us, who have treated us abusively, or have seriously harmed us in some way. As a former self-help author, I do not agree with the notion that all family relations must be kept intact, no matter what. Sometimes the best thing is a clean break. You don’t have to bear anyone ill will or hold grudges, but you have every right to simply remove yourself from toxic situations, even if you happen to be related to those involved. As an adult, it is up to you to choose the people who are and are not in your life. On the other hand, some family rifts can be mended with honest communication and forgiveness, on all sides. When this is possible, it is worth building strong relationships with your family members.
The Health and Family zone also relates to your ability to keep yourself and your family afloat financially. It’s about paying your regular bills, not about luxuries or extravagances. It’s about being able to afford everything you need. Save the wishes for a mansion, a boat, or an amazing vacation for your Wealth area. This one’s for taking care of yourself and your family on a day-to-day basis. House payments or rent, food, clothing, health care, and all the essentials of life are included in the financial aspect of the Health and Family area. Enhancing this area can, therefore, help ease the flow of money to you and through you to provide for your family. The place where you sit down to budget and to write those monthly checks (or send them online) is ideally located in this part of your home.
Situated in the middle left-hand side of your home’s bagua (looking in from the middle of your front door wall), Wood is the element settled in the Health and Family area. Water nourishes Wood, so that element can also help you out here. This means that plenty of greens and browns, vertical features, like columns, floor lamps, vertically striped wallpaper, vertical rectangular wall art, and tall trees work best. Also, healthy plants of any size (or beautiful silk plants, if growing is difficult in this area), flowers and leaves in fabrics and wallpaper, images of plants, forests, and landscapes, or wood sculptures belong here. The Water element can be represented in the colors black and dark greens and blues, wavy, asymmetrical shapes, water images, and water features like fountains or fish tanks. Go easy on Metal and Fire elements here, as they are not helpful to Wood. Items that are meaningful to you because of family ties, like your grandmother’s clock or a family portrait, should also be here. Just remember that your home should be filled with things you love, so don’t use something you don’t like, just because it was inherited from a relative. You can add a wooden or green box of written affirmations expressing good wishes for health and family, gratitude messages, collages and vision boards depicting healing and harmony in your family.
Where is the Health and Family area of your home? Is everything in working order? Is there clutter you could organize or remove? Before enhancing this area, examine the Health and Family issues in your life.
How is your health? Are there any problems or issues you are dealing with right now? Are you doing everything you can to help yourself heal?
What about your family members? Are they facing any health issues? Are you feeling worried about them?
Write down all health-related problems facing you and your family right now. On the same piece of paper, write a message of gratitude for the healing you wish for yourself and other members of your family. Always write these in the present tense, as if it has already happened.
How are your relations with your family members? Are your familial relationships harmonious or strained? If you wish for healing of any of these relationships, find a picture of your family in its happiest times, reflecting what you desire.
If you feel it necessary to break off relations with a family member, or if this has already happened, and it is what you feel is best, write a note saying goodbye to this person, wishing them well and thanking them for whatever you have learned from the relationship, but making it clear that you are finished seeing them.
Regarding deceased relatives, do you still feel any unreleased negative energy — anger, disappointment, sorrow, or fear — toward them? Write a note telling them that you are letting go of them and your unresolved issues with them. Only keep photos of deceased relatives around if you had a loving, harmonious relationship with them and the picture is a happy one.
Place all the notes you have written or pictures you have found and place them in a wooden or green box in your Health and Family area. Feel your intention for healing and freely flowing energy through the areas of Health and Family in your home, and your life.
If the desk where you pay your bills is not in this area, move it here or perform the monthly bill-paying chore in this area in a chair or at a table.