Country and Coastal Living

Country and Coastal Living

These days the pursuit of lifestyle has become an art. Combine this with a change in work structure, increased reliance on technology and a willingness to sacrifice accessible urban commodities for time commuting. People move to country or coastal locations because they're desirous of a peaceful, leisurely paced, relaxed life-there are walks, better air quality and outdoor space. The downside may include isolation and traveling distances, as well as natural disasters such as flooding or fires.

Evidently, energies in the countryside or by the sea are different from those in urban environments, but they are equally powerful. When we carefully position or choose a home within the natural features of the landscape, we can draw on the protection of those features to nourish us.

According to the traditional principles of Feng Shui, a sheltered position contained by trees, a hill or a mountain is ideal, particularly in remote areas, where protection from the elements is important. The perfect site is the classic Feng Shui arrangement of the four animals, but if it's flat where you live, large trees or buildings can serve as protectors.

Road access is important in rural areas, but as with urban living, it is considered inauspicious to live close to a major road. Beware of narrow country lanes, which funnel Qi swiftly and afford no relief for the driver. A property at the end of a narrow road is best remedied by tall over hanging trees, which assist with protection from the elements. Avoid planting high banks of hedges along a narrow road which leads to your home, as Qi will be fast-flowing. In the country, Qi is usually well balanced, but try to select a property that is not near areas where intensive farming methods are used (or planned).

Energy is good near water, particularly near slow-flowing rivers which meander through the countryside. Streams or ponds attract wildlife and accumulate good Qi. Living by the sea gives us a sense of well-being. But many peninsulas are difficult, because Qi dissipates in the winter when the environment is hammered by the elements.

Creating a private outdoor area where you can take "time out" - to relax, read or drink tea - is an important element of modern living. You don't necessarily have to reside in the country or by the coast to achieve this. This private retreat, for example, was created on the rear veranda of an urban home.

The perfect arrangement for a site or a home is one where the four mythical animals are present. These animals are represented by a sheltered position contained by trees, a hill,or a mountain or a body of water across the front of the home. If none of these elements are present and the area surrounding the home is flat, a Feng Shui trick is to apply substitute "protectors" such as large trees, hedges, plants, pots, buildings or stonewalls covered in creepers or fences.

Good gardening, like conscious, sensitive living, is auspicious Feng Shui. The general rule of thumb for gardening auspiciously is to ensure there's a gentle flow of energy, balance and healthy plants (which have broad, not spiky, leaves). Keep weeds at bay and remove any dead or diseased plants. Remember, by carefully positioning or choosing a home that is set within the natural features of the landscape, we can draw on its protection to nourish us. But if you live in an apartment or the heart of the city, it's up to you to create your own life-giving garden. Whether you live in the country or the city, there's no excuse not to have plants!