A classic example would be the one of eliminating clutter and organising one’s space. When this is done in a conscious and focused manner with the aim of achieving a specific result, it will be a task undertaken with a positive frame of mind all the while holding positive visualisations in mind of what we want to achieve.
In Feng Shui the advice given to declutter and organize one’s space, is given with very specific intentions: get rid of the stuck, negative, obstructive energy in order to clear the space and open up the way for fresh and new energy to come in. It is insinuated that doing so will bring more positive energy and auspiciousness to the person living in that space.
In our western world when we are told to declutter our space, there is more of a negative judgment attached to it and a sense of pressure to do so. It is something that we feel we have to do because either we cannot stand the clutter ourselves as it prevents us from functioning efficiently and feeling good in our space or we feel too ashamed to have people visit our messy home. There is no carrot at the end of the stick. Apart from the immediate relief we may experience after decluttering our space there is nothing more attached to it to visualize and anticipate. All we know is that decluttering is a necessary chore we shall have to do once in a while if we want to be able to function effectively in our space without feeling overwhelmed.
In the Feng Shui tradition though, clutter is much more than a bunch of stuff thrown around the house. Clutter is perceived as an entity that constitutes an obstructive and negative energy which does not allow for positive, auspicious energy to enter and circulate freely in the house. As such it is considered to bring inauspiciousness in one’s space and affect its inhabitants negatively in more than one ways. From physical and mental health to general bad luck.
The person who undertakes the task to clear this clutter then is already programmed to perceive and conceptualize clutter in a much wider and more meaningful for them context, one directly related to their well being and good luck. They are much more likely to engage in positive visualizations and future projections where they can see in their mind’s eye themselves in a positive light, having reached the desired state they want to achieve. Plus the very belief that eliminating clutter and bringing in more harmony into one’s space will bring upon all the good things they are wishing for, acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy or at the very least puts the individual in a much more positive state of mind.
We can see two very different dynamics here. The Western one is one of: “I got to get rid of this stuff because it is getting ridiculous”. Whereas the Feng Shui one is one of: “Am going to clear out my space of the negative obstructive energy to make place for the auspicious one to come in that will bring me and my family the desired positive changes we are hoping for”. The first one starts off with a feeling of pressure and burden, ‘I got to do it’ and the second with one of delight and anticipation for the positive results.