There is an expression “where your attention goes, energy flows.” Take a moment to walk into a room in your home and track your eye movement—where does your attention go? What catches your gaze when you first walk in your front door? Similar to the idea that like attracts like and our intentions shape and create our reality—what you put your attention on in a room sets the mood and defines the purpose of the room, which in turn influences and shapes our daily interactions and feelings. Make sure where your attention goes is in alignment with your goals and supports the feelings you want to experience in your home and life.
For example, if you walk in the door and your attention goes to a favorite piece of artwork that makes you happy, your spirits will be lifted. On the other hand, if your attention is immediately drawn to something that’s in disrepair that you’ve been meaning to fix, that may make you feel badly. And what captures your attention may also be influencing your behavior. For instance, if you walk in the front door and your eye is instantly drawn to the kitchen, you may start thinking about eating as soon as you come home or if you’re looking at the TV you may want to turn it on right away—this may not be ideal if you’re trying to lose weight or encourage your kids to watch less TV.
When we walk into our homes we want our attention (and energy) to gently meander through the space. To create good flow in our homes, we don’t want our eye to move too quickly through the room and out the back door or window, nor do we want it be stopped before we even have a chance to get our foot in the door or stuck on one object. When our gaze lightly moves from one inspiring and beautiful object or point of interest to the next, we can think of this as grace touching all parts of our home and life.
Below are simple solutions for common “blocks” or challenges that may stop your gaze and energy from smoothly flowing through your home. By balancing and removing these obstacles you will see how your room, and life, transforms.
– Furniture blocking your path into a room: Walking into the back of a sofa is not welcoming. Would you ever greet someone with your backs toward him or her? Yet, this is how it feels when we walk into a room and are facing the back of a sofa. It is not inviting for people or energy. Instead place furniture so you have a view of the door or entrance into the room.
– Overpowering views: While views are beautiful, we want our attention and the energy to pause, take in and circulate in a room before rushing out towards the view. If the first thing people do when they enter your home, is walk to a window, then most likely the energy is doing the same thing. Placing a circular table with some favorite objects on it between the entry and the view will disperse the energy throughout the room and keep your eye from rushing through and out towards the view. Chandeliers or art will also “slow” down the energy by capturing our attention or in the case of a crystal chandelier, the light.
– Television as a focal point: If the purpose of the room is solely to watch TV this arrangement is suitable. However, if the room should serve other purposes such as “together” time with family or friends or relaxation you should not make the television a focal point, as TVs tend to monopolize our attention, even when they are turned off. Reorient furniture so it is not solely facing the television. Consider placing the TV in a cabinet or screen it off when not in use. At the very least place art above the television or a plant next to it, so there is an additional focal point.
– Too much stuff: If there is too much stuff in the room the energy is scattered and you will be overwhelmed. Your eye, and your mind, cannot rest. In this case there are too many things grabbing your attention you can’t focus on anything. Edit or at the very least group similar objects together in baskets or on shelves to cut down on the visual clutter.
– Column or sharp angle/corner: Walking into a room and being confronted by a sharp corner or column blocks the energy and makes us feel uncomfortable. Place a plant in front of the column or in a corner to soften the sharp angles. Bringing nature into a room is also harmonizing and relaxing.
– Nonworking fireplace: A non-working, empty fireplace tends to draw our attention and can suck some life out of the room. Placing a plant in front of the fireplace brings some life to this area, literally. You could also enhance the mantel with objects or place a tray of pillar candles in the fireplace.
In this room you and the energy are blocked by the back of a couch. And the focus of the room is on watching television.
With the couch in the new position you are free to step into the room unobstructed. This arrangement is more welcoming. A plant energizes the formerly “dead” space in the non-working fireplace. The artfully arranged mantel now takes center stage as a focal point. By orienting the furniture toward the fireplace rather than the TV, the purpose of the room is now shifted from watching TV to quality “together” time. The wedding pictures on the mantel further strengthen this intention.
– Wall too close: If you enter a room or your home and are immediately facing a wall, the energy doesn’t not flow and you feel blocked. In your life this can lead to a feeling of being blocked or always “facing a brick wall.” Place a large mirror on the wall to open up the space or choose artwork with a sense of perspective and depth.
– Long hall or narrow path: A long hallway makes your eye go immediately toward the end of the hall. You can be balance a long hallway and make it space of its own with a series of artwork, rugs or pendant lights. If there is room you could also place a bench in the hallway, which invites you and the energy to take a moment to stop. If a narrow path has been created from furniture try editing your furniture or open up the space by rearranging.
– A view that does not support your intentions: Using our previous example, if you’re trying to lose weight and you walk in your home and your view is the kitchen or your refrigerator, you may try placing a plant or object on the counter to move your gaze in another direction. Orchids are wonderful for gently directing our gaze in the direction the flowers point without feeling like an obstacle or block.
Once you have removed or balanced these blocks and directed the energy to smoothly flow throughout your home, you can then anchor a quality, feeling or intention of something you would like to bring more of into your life in the room. Choose an object, art , photograph or anything inspirational that visually represents your goals and make it a point of interest in the room.