I still love my daughter’s paintings from elementary school which were given to me as a gift.
The art in your home is always talking to you. What is it saying? This includes hanging artwork, photos, sculptures, ceramic pieces, or a vignette combining several items.
There is a reason why you chose what is on display in your home. If you have recently acquired a piece, or have had it for years, take another look and really see what it’s saying to and about you. You might discover that it may not be making that positive statement it once did. To find out, ask yourself these questions:
When I look at it, how does it make me feel? Does it lift my spirit, drag me down or not affect me at all?
How did I acquire it? If it was a gift, how do I feel about the person who gave it to me?
Does it conjure up any specific memories? If so, how do they make me feel now?
Does it represent or support a positive aspect of who I am or who I am striving to become?
If you answer any of these questions with a negative response, chances are it has outlived its benefit to you.
When I do feng shui consultations, I always ask about the significance of the art in my clients’ rooms. What surrounds you holds a strong clue into what may be triggering unhappiness, anxiety, sadness or an inability to move forward out of a stuck situation. Look at those items as outdated energy in your space and your life.
Don’t underestimate the power visual cues have on you. We have conditioned ourselves to adapt to almost any situation and numb ourselves to our emotion, but over time, it does have an affect on us. Every day you receive a hit of negative energy that drains you little by little. Are you holding on to something from your ex, even though you went through a nasty divorce several years ago? When you see it, does it still give you a pang of regret, sadness or even anger? Do you have an heirloom family portrait, or landscape painting done by Aunt Esther, that you didn’t want but felt obligated to take? Every time you walk past it, you may feel some resentment towards the person who gave it to you for invading your private space.
Negative feelings related to things in your home cause stagnant energy and an inability to move out of the past. It is especially important to understand this if you are currently going through a rough time, such as divorce or a major family conflict. I’m not saying that you should just chuck it all out of the house, but I do suggest that you remove what may be holding less than positive, happy feelings from your space and see if you notice a shift in your energy level. Here are a few guidelines to follow to help clear your space:
1. Pack it away for 6 months, away from your location, and see if you miss it in your space.
2. Can you return it to the person who gave it to you? Tell them it no longer works in your home. Who knows, they may want it back or suggest someone else who would love to have it.
3. If you truly don’t want the item, sell, donate or give it to a family member or friend who really does like it. This occurs frequently with family heirlooms that are handed down. The recipient may not like the piece, but another family member would love to have it. Holding onto something in your home out of guilt is one of the worst energies you can have around you. You have given your power away, in your own home, to someone else. This can hold you back from stepping fully into your present life.
My parents have both passed (my dad 6 years ago, my mom 2 years ago). They had collected a lot of unique pieces during our international travels as a military family. In the trust disbursement, my parents listed some things they thought each of us wanted. It ended up being different than what we wanted, so we re-negotiated with each other. In the end, we each received what meant the most to us, and it all worked out. We did draw straws when we divided up jewelry, but the rest was either sold to an auction dealer or donated. We received what we loved and honored as family mementos and would use or display in our homes. I feel our parents would have been proud of the way we honored the process of dividing their possessions.
Be conscious of where certain art pieces are displayed in your home. The dining room or kitchen (where people gather to share food and visit) may not be the best location to display that war mask you bought as a souvenir from your travels. The energy it represents could instigate arguments. A better place may be in a den or library, where it can ward off unwanted interruptions.
I’ve mentioned before that family photos and religious artwork or statues are best removed from the master bedroom, unless you like all of them watching while you are engaged in other activities in bed besides sleeping! If you are wanting a relationship, having artwork displaying lonely, single people in your personal space sends a contradictory message to the Universe. Pieces should reflect being in a pair, preferably an equal pair.
Make deliberate and conscious decisions when you buy artwork for your home. The feeling you get when you look at it is literally what it will be saying to you for a long time to come. Make sure you are having a wonderful conversation, but also revisit that relationship when changes occur in your life.