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Published December 9th, 2020
Feng Shui
Using fall themes help set a dining room table that reflects the harvest & abundance of fall we want to share with others. Photos provided

As we search for more tranquility and calm in our lives, Feng Shui can incorporate positive and uplifting energy into our homes. Even if environmental harmony is not part of your personal quest, we can create peace in our homes to counter the often chaotic world we live in. At the very least, creating calm at home with Feng Shui will allow your home life to welcome more health, wealth and happiness, and nowhere is that more important this time of year around the popular dining room table.
First, why are dining rooms important? In Feng Shui, dining rooms represent our ability to attract wealth, health, and relationship harmony into our lives. Dining rooms are more intimate and private compared to other rooms in our homes. For example, not everyone invited over is invited to stay for dinner. Dining rooms in Feng Shui function to remedy hunger, create happy family bonds, amplify sharing, and attract more of what we are harvesting in fall into our lives.
Feng Shui in the dining room also helps to create the intimacy that special occasions suggest, reflecting the intimacy you want to create. Dining rooms are more Yin (calm) than Yang (active) and the flow of Qi should ideally circulate as freely as any other area in your home, especially around the dining room table. Avoid crowding the room with superfluous furniture and avoid clutter by not making the table a "dumping ground." Clutter creates heaviness, stagnation, and obstacles for health, sharing and gathering. Dining rooms should also never face bathrooms. Try your best to designate one room to be the dining room in your home, keep it clutter-free, and keep the d├ęcor pleasantly muted.
Start with de-cluttering and cleaning the dining room from top to bottom including any overhead light fixtures, draperies, furniture and floors, so literally everything sparkles. Focus next on the actual dining room table. FengShui prefers round wood tables because they invite abundance without end, and if you also add a lazy susan to the tabletop, the food and abundance are further elevated. Rectangular, square, or oval dining tables are also good choices as they reflect the abundance of the food to feed the family, just do not push the table up against a wall, which blocks Qi flow.
The dining table must be inviting and welcoming to those you want to seat around it for festivities. Does the table fit all guests comfortably? Place a mirror on a wall that reflects and doubles the abundance and wealth the dining table represents, as well as functions like a window to bring in more light and nature. You may also want to leave out the expanding table leaf this year to make sure your dining table is scaled to support the number of diners, which will be much fewer in 2020.
It's also time to organize, sort and count the table linens including deciding to toss the tired or stained options. What is the current lighting configuration in your dining room? Throw out half-used table candles and refresh them with brand new candles that when lit will encourage family conversations well into the evening.
If possible keep the dining room as near as possible to the kitchen and both the dining room and kitchen should be on the same floor. Fresh flowers on the dining room table are always a wise choice and please make sure to discard once the blooms wane, along with any stinky water. Placing a bowl of fruit on the table is also great symbolism for abundance. Please avoid using dried flowers as they imply deterioration or "dead" chi.
Ask yourself, what is most important to you this holiday season? Creating an inviting and warm dining experience should include simplifying, de-stressing, and abandoning what overwhelms. This year we may also be called to help others in this time of great need: maybe we decide to volunteer at a food bank or help prepare meals for the homeless. Wherever your head is these days allow yourself to be open to the possibility that everything is as it should be, and at very least, in your own home.
Remember to include laughter, gratitude, acceptance, and reflection into your dining room experience this year and, if you do, it will be easier to appreciate your blessings, together with your loved ones, even in these stressful COVID times.

Using candles creates intimacy which is a key component of how we dine together, especially over the holidays. Photos provided
Michele Duffy, BTB M.F.S. is an Orinda resident who, since 1999, enjoys creating "Space as Medicine" Feng Shui one space at a time, as well as hiking in nature, cooking, and spending time with her family; Canyon Ranch Feng Shui Master, International Feng Shui Guild (IFSG) Red Ribbon Professional. To schedule a professional 2020 Feng Shui Consultation, contact Michele at (520) 647-4887 or send an email to spaceharmony@gmail.com.

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