Did you know that the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui emphasizes the practical importance of safety and comfort in a house? You should never hang a framed picture over a bed because of the real and subconsciously perceived vulnerability of an object falling on you in your sleep. When decorating your home, look for furniture in round or oval configurations to prevent nasty scrapesÃ¢â‚¬¦Did you know that the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui emphasizes the practical importance of safety and comfort in a house? You should never hang a framed picture over a bed because of the real and subconsciously perceived vulnerability of an object falling on you in your sleep. When decorating your home, look for furniture in round or oval configurations to prevent nasty scrapes and bruises. Include artwork on your walls that depicts positive and affirming images of what you want in your life. Clutter blocks the flow of energy, so organize and remove as much clutter as possible. My Feng Shui instructors used the phrase “Live with what you love,” to indicate that if you don’t either cherish something or use it on a regular basis, get rid of it. These are just a few of the things a Feng Shui practitioner examines in a house or business to help bring balance. An energetically balanced environment cultivates happiness and harmony.
My Feng Shui instructors used the phrase “Live with what you love,” to indicate that if you don”t either cherish something or use it on a regular basis, get rid of it.
People emit energy. Ever been around someone that’s trying to hide his anger? The face and tone of voice might be disguised but you can still feel the venom radiating out of him. There is also energy in a home and Feng Shui is about channeling what the Chinese call life energy or “chi” to promote well-being.
I signed up for the Feng Shui class because my job brought me a daily dose of stagnation and I needed a change in my life. Though Chinese, I knew little about Feng Shui except that it could somehow improve one’s fortunes by rearranging things in a house. So I picked up the yellow pages and found two listings for Feng Shui in San Diego. One of the people I called gave me the name of a school in the North County called the Western School of Feng Shui.
The training consisted of two four-day seminars with a month in between to practice the techniques. They told me about two main styles of Feng Shui; Form and Compass. This school focused on Form, which originated when the ancient Chinese looked to the shape of the earth to guide them in making changes to their environment.
The term Feng Shui means wind and water, two powerful forces of nature, only one of which is visible to the eye. However, even though we can’t see the wind’s currents, like energy, we can experience its effects. The ancient Chinese saw that if you erected a home at the top of a mountain, harsh winds plagued your family. They knew that if you built your house in a valley, heavy rains could cause flooding. Thus, they found the ideal placement to be with the mountains; behind to protect your home from the winds and you had the water below which was accessible, but didn’t threaten to flood your home.
The Chinese established a number of ways to balance one’s environment. I learned about the five elements of water, earth, metal, wood, and fire – ” the shapes, colors and real-world representations essential to developing balance in a space. Feng Shui aims to bring in a healthy blend of all five elements into every room of a building.
My training also focused on Baguas, areas of a house that correspond to qualities of life. The simplest way to describe baguas is if you put a tic tac toe board on a schematic drawing of your home, you would have 9 evenly divided spaces. Starting clockwise from the lower left, you would see knowledge and self-cultivation, health and family, wealth and prosperity, fame and reputation, love and marriage, children and creativity, helpful people and travel, career, and the center. In Feng Shui, each bagua needs to be balanced to enhance that quality in your life.
So how did I bring balance into my home? Since work represented a major thorn in my existence, I focused on the career and the helpful people baguas first. I put up a wind chime in the career area outside to create heavenly music in my career. Since I didn’t have a river or lake at the front of our house, I purchased a water feature – ” a nourishing birdbath near our front porch to provide sustenance to my job.
I organized my garage in the helpful people bagua to free up the energy flow and attract people that could assist my career, both in my job and writing. I hung an energy circulating crystal in the corner of the garage and also a zoo animal picture on the wall in the career section to inject fun into my work.
I rearranged my living room in the knowledge and self-cultivation bagua by turning the chairs to face the windows to give people a sense of comfort and security because they could see the entrance. I bought an oval coffee table and moved the end tables to round off the sharp corners of the living room.
Since I’ve completed the course and implemented Feng Shui in my house, my life has been enriched to an almost unimaginable degree.
In our dining room – ” the health and family bagua – ” I added a mirror to expand the wall because this area was more recessed than the others in the house and I didn’t want the “missing” section to affect my family’s health.
In the overlapping health and family section of the kitchen, I put up pictures on the refrigerator that symbolized good health for our family. I also attached foam pockets to the corners of our kitchen counter so that my children would only bump into soft edges.
Since white walls dominated most of our house, I introduced the balancing element of fire by including touches of red in tablecloths, drapes and plants. I also stressed these colors in the frames and backgrounds of artwork and enhanced the element with depictions of wildlife and people in our art and pictures.
So how did all these changes work out? I have seen a transformation in my life. We have a beautiful, vibrant and healthy two-year-old daughter and a son that fills our lives with joy. They are absolute blessings.
My work, which had been a source of frustration and antipathy, has shifted radically. I split my time counseling athletes and general students at a community college and the variety has added spice to my routine. In our counseling center, we are learning how to deal with conflict in a constructive manner and we are in the process of instituting fundamental changes in the way we conduct business that is making the job more rewarding.
I’ve been getting up at 5:30 every morning to write because it’s the quietest time for me to concentrate and my wife has been a pillar of support.
I am actively marketing my work and feel a renewed attitude toward this business aspect that used to intimidate me. Now when I send an article, I expect that it’s going to be accepted rather than dreading a rejection letter. It’s actually been a kick to research appropriate markets for my writing.
I published an opinion editorial about China in the “San Diego Union” in August 2005 and I’m writing a family column for a San Diego newspaper called “Asia” that deals with news and culture of Asians and Pacific Islanders. I have a Christmas story scheduled for publication in an anthology by Adams Media in Fall 2006 and I’m currently submitting an Asian American novel to literary agents.
I’ve gone through a major argument with my mother, which left a bitter aftertaste of resentment. At the same time, it has helped me to grow as a person, both in terms of accepting her for who she is and for releasing her from responsibility for my life.
Did these changes result from Feng Shui? Honestly, I don’t know. Skeptics might contend that the changes would have occurred anyway. All I can say is that since I’ve completed the course and implemented Feng Shui in my house, my life has been enriched to an almost unimaginable degree.
Ray Wong is a husband, father of two and a freelance writer in San Diego. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.