Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy based on the idea of harmonious space.

Lots of people practice feng shui at home and place furniture, plants and books in certain spots.

For those of us working to get in recovery, or stay sober, there’s sort of an emotional and spiritual feng shui we can practice.

Most people remember the day they decided to take charge of their life. Whether the challenge was trauma, illness, addiction or any other imbalanced state persons are going through right now — at this minute — we can decide to change.

That isn’t oversimplifying anything. Most people I know who have made major transformations in their lives — myself included — began by making a decision. Then action. Step-by-step. Here are some ideas of how feng shui may be leaned on as you get sober and get your life together.

Abraham Maslow was a psychotherapist who conducted research of healthy and successful persons who led stable lives and lived up to their potential. Maslow found there were steps these people took to gain solid achievement and eventually transcended dysfunction.

The steps work in order. Skip a step and fall apart.

  1. Get Healthy. Without being physically fit, success at latter steps won’t happen. Exercise. Eat right. Get treatment for your addiction. This is Step One and the foundation. If your foundation isn’t rock solid, you will just sabotage yourself later on.
  1. Safe Space. People and environments can both be ‘unsafe.’ If you try to get a new job, don’t share your progress with someone who is miserable and negative in their existence. Find someone supportive or at least keep some things to yourself.
  1. Financial/Legal Issues. Those taxes you didn’t file need to be faced. Don’t sweep things under the rug until you think you’re ‘ready’ to face them. Regardless of the difficulty in confronting issues, you must deal with them head on.
  1. Don’t Isolate. Once you start to feel stronger and more organized, don’t isolate. Socializing is important for your well-being. But make sure you don’t feel drained after spending time with someone. They may not be the healthiest people for you.
  1. Get Cool. Get cool with your family. Everyone has familial issues, that’s part of being alive. Accept, forgive and pick up responsibility for your actions. Don’t try to blame your terrible father or absent mother. You’re an adult now.
  1. Dream. Begin dreaming again. When we are knocked down, we have two choices. Lay there and let life circumstances steam roll us or we can begin to dream again. When we do, we find dreaming as a way to build self-esteem and boost energy levels.
  1. Support. Create a support system which is healthy for you. In AA you have a sponsor. In sports, you have a coach. In life, find a mentor, or even a group of advisors, who helps you stay on track. Being stable is understanding you aren’t in this life alone.

None of these steps are easy. They are simple. But not easy. Each one though can be rewarding.

Day by day. Step by step. You can reach the pinnacle of life the self-actualized steps give.