Thursday, January 4, 2007

Feng Shui, Why and What?

Feng Shui, the art of placement, has been practiced for over 3,000 years. The purpose of Feng Shui is to bring balance, harmony, and beneficial energy to the environment where we live and work. Today this art and science is practiced by millions of people worldwide and continues to grow in popularity as people experience its benefits.

Feng Shui became popular in the Western world only recently. We now understand the tremendous impact the environment has on the quality of our lives. When we surround ourselves with the things that we love, we are able to enhance our lives with living spaces that nourish and empower us. Our homes and work environments can enable us to be creative, healthy, happy individuals. And conversely, when we surround ourselves with chaos, unwanted clutter, and disorganization, we are easily overwhelmed, frustrated, and stressed.

In Feng Shui there are three basic principles that define Ch'i, the energy that animates, connects and moves everything through the cycles of life:

All things in the physical world are endowed with living energy known as Ch'i. This includes cars, computers, rocks, houses, people, land and even furniture. They are not only alive on a molecular level, but they are alive with our personal responses to them. Some objects give us a deep sense of comfort, while others seem to draw our energy down. When we surround ourselves with those things that make us feel good, and let go of those things that are associated with unhappy memories, our energy level is lifted, and we have a sense of well being.
Ch'i connects every physical thing. We live in an interconnected web, where everything is related to everything else, making all things in our lives important. When we change one thing, a series of events changes everything else. Like the ripples created from a pebble thrown into a pool of water, they spread out and out to affect all they touch. As we change our environment, our environment changes us.
The Ch'i in everything is constantly changing. Our mood, the seasons, our bodies, the community, everything is changing. This is a vital part of life. When our environment reflects who we are today, it nurtures and supports our growth through life. When our surroundings remain the same, year in and year out, we become stifled in our growth.
Working with these principles of Ch'i we see that everything is alive and speaking to us. The goal of Feng Shui is to create living environments that are comfortable, organized and in harmony with our inner being. As we make changes in our environment, these changes affect every part of our lives and we begin to see the world in a different light. As we become positive and clear, we attract good relationships and prosperity. The benefits of Feng Shui include increased energy, good health, awareness of synchronicity, and most of all a feeling of empowerment and increased self-esteem. When we improve our living environment, we improve all aspects of our lives.

Most of us already practice Feng Shui. We know intuitively when an environment feels balanced and harmonious. As humans, we are naturally drawn to places that feel "just right"; not too bright, not too dark, not too big and not too small, but just right. How do consciously we create this balance?

Here are a few suggestions:

Give yourself the gift of comfort; this is empowering. For example, make sure you have a comfortable chair in your office, and place it in a position where you can easily see the entrance door. Place your bed and major pieces of furniture with a view of the door as well.
Make sure your environment is safe for everyone. Adult-proof your surroundings and make sure there are no sharp corners pointing at you.
Express yourself. Create a home/work environment that expresses who you are today, not who you were 15 years ago.
Create a clutter-free environment to increase the flow of positive energy. Clear hallways and entrance areas of any clutter or blocking furniture. Organize your possessions.
Live with what you love and let go of things that have a negative meaning for you. This includes books, art, furniture and clothes that no longer support you.
Cover the TV when not in use. This allows you to choose how you spend your time and keeps the television from beckoning to you whenever you pass by.
Bring in positive healthy energy with plants, lights, wind chimes, water features and artwork that supports who you are or who you want to become.
Put things away when not in use. Since all things are alive, they all need "homes". By honoring our belongings, we honor ourselves.
By putting conscious intention into our environment, and letting go of things that no longer enhance our lives, we open the space to tremendous amounts of energy to flow through our physical