According to scientific research human beings are known to be most content when all of their senses are engaged. Being consciously aware of savory moments will enhance brain function and enrich life experiences. So let’s sharpen our feng shui tools and engage our five senses to their fullest capacities.
Since 70% of what we experience is perceived visually, sight is the most developed of our senses. The best way to improve on this incredibly powerful tool of experiencing our environment is by becoming consciously aware of our lines of sight. As we enter a space, where does our gaze land? Feng shui recommends legibility with clearly definable focal points. A cluttered, confusing disarray of stuff is the antithesis of what would enhance our sense of visual acuity. Looking at certain colors can elicit physical or emotional responses and thus influence our energy level. Art work should be uplifting and meaningful.
If you can, visualize the bagua with the eight trigrams and try to correlate each with your interior space. See if you can identify any feng shui features that symbolically represent your hidden desires and wishes. Remember, “energy flows where attention goes.” If you feel positive about your visual experience with a clear image in your mind, your onward path should be smooth and full of opportunities.
For a more intense auditory experience we need to close our eyes and listen to the sounds of the world around us. Auditory perception is our fastest sensation and a sudden noise can startle and put us in high alert mode. Feng shui suggests specific sounds to improve ambient settings, always tailored to individual needs. Nature sounds are powerful tao connectors to our most basic instincts. Music can set our mood with the touch of a button, and the tick tock of a clock can be a soothing signal of steady pace. To sharpen your sense of hearing, follow the directional flow of sounds from where they first appear to where they dissipate in the distance.
All environments and all creatures have aromas, but unfortunately our olfactory experience is the most neglected of all sensory input. Our limbic brain holds memories of fragrances and odors that go back to early impressions from childhood. These can be revived instantly if we’re exposed to the same smell. Human beings connect to each other via body odors but do not have the conscious awareness of this exposure. Feng shui recommendations point to a wide range of aromas and fragrances that can affect our health and emotions and thus increase our olfactory capacity. High quality essential oils give us many options for diffusing, ingesting or absorbing beneficial extracts from nature’s bounty.
A close cousin to our sense of smell is our well-documented gustatory experience. We are reluctant to be an adventurous gourmet and prefer to stick to the flavors of longtime eating habits. If we listen carefully, our palate will tell us what our body needs, and we should accept the fact that our palate can be retrained to accept unusual flavors and taste enhancers.
Feng shui always takes a close look at our tactile environment to make sure that yin and yang are properly balanced in providing stimulating versus calming surroundings. Stroking the soft silky coat of a pet can be a deeply soothing experience. Objects of support are powerful tools for feeling secure. A bench by our front entry is a sign of having arrived at a place of rest. Soft pillows on a contoured sofa offer relaxing comfort. Stepping on the deep pile of a bedroom rug sends a message of a soothing ambiance and a good night’s sleep.
For advanced techniques in sharpening our senses, we have our wide arsenal of the five elements and their many characteristics that can be combined with sensatory enhancements to give us optimal well-being in our space.