Thursday, February 08, 2007

Perhaps you’ve read about it in magazines or seen it mentioned on the TV. Without a doubt, Feng Shui has captured the public’s interest. So what exactly is Feng Shui, and why should you be interested in it?

Feng Shui (pronounced fung shway) examines how energy flows in our environment and how objects and their placement affect that energy flow. Feng Shui also examines how the environment affects our personal energy flow. In turn our personal energy flow affects how we feel, think, act, perform, and ultimately succeed. Furthermore, with Feng Shui we can influence the energy flow for specific benefits in our life and to achieve harmony and balance in our environment.

At this point it is important to say what Feng Shui is not. It is not a religion, nor magic, nor a superstitious belief system. Feng Shui is not a “New Age” phenomenon – it has been practiced in China for thousands of years.

As with any ancient practice, regional areas gave rise to different ways of understanding the interaction of the environment and humans and to different techniques to affect the chi – the life energy. The regional differences formalized into the different schools. In the western world Black Hat, also known as Black Sect Feng Shui, is the most commonly practiced school.

Black Hat stresses that the organization of objects and the orientation of the space affect us according to their proximity to us – our most immediate surroundings affect us the most. Other schools of Feng Shui rely on directional energies, horoscopes, and astrology. Black Hat uses the bagua, or Feng Shui Octagon, to analyze the energy of a room, the house and the lot. The bagua is always aligned with the space’s entrance rather than north. Black Hat’s use of intention to increase the affects of Feng Shui cures is another point of departure from other Feng Shui schools.

The bagua maps the life energies to different areas of life through relative positioning. Align the bottom of bagua below so that it is parallel to the space’s main entrance. Objects in the different areas of the space will affect the corresponding Life Area.

(The blogger edits do not allow proper formatting so pay attention to the position statements in the parenthesis. Imagine each Life Area occupying a cell in a 3X3 grid)

Wealth(upper, left corner) Reputation (upper, middle) Relationships (upper, right)

Family (middle, left) Health (center) Kids, Creativity (middle, right)

Knowledge (bottom, left) Career (bottom, middle) Helpful People (bottom, right)

One of the guiding principles of Feng Shui is to avoid clutter. Clutter stagnates energy. Clutter can be defined as anything that you do not like or do not use, more items than the space can accommodate, items that are disorganized, and unfinished or broken items. So if you have clutter in your Health Area, you may be experiencing ill health. In the case of clutter, the Feng Shui cure is simple: remove it!

It is often the case that my clients complain of feeling stuck when we first begin our work. After some healthy sessions of decluttering, aspects of their lives that were problematic seem to smooth out. Suddenly, they are more energized and enthusiastic about their lives. According to the principles of Feng Shui the clutter that once trapped the energy has been removed so the energy can flow freely now.

Try a little decluttering in an area of your home and watch how it affects the corresponding Life Aspect. If nothing else, you will be proud of your decluttering efforts. At best you will see improvements in your life.