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written by shelley sparks

Feng Shui For Love & Romance

What does your home have to do with whether you have love or don’t? What can your home show you about whether you can attract a loving person? Can houses show who will get along and who won’t? Why do some people move into a house and immediately split up or remodel a house and divorce in the middle of the process?

Feng Shui, the ancient art of placement, has many of the answers to these questions. Our houses, apartments and condos both support us in our aims and ambitions and mirror who we are. Often when I am consulting with a client I can see their conflict and cross purpose expressed in the house or condo they selected, the objects that they have around them and the placement of the various objects in their rooms. In the scope of the consultation, the source of their conflict often arises and we have the opportunity to work out the issues involved.

There are many good books and wonderful classes about Feng Shui that describe how a property, home and room may be divided to determine what areas lead the potential for relationships, children, benefactors, career, knowledge, family money, health, fame. When you see where the relationship areas of our houses are then you can also determine what is happening to that area of life. For instance, one of my clients had a lot of clutter in the relationship area of her home. Clutter is one way of stopping energy and preventing its free flow. When I told her that cleaning up this area of the house would open her up to a new relationship, she said that she had a feeling that as soon as the mess was cleared up she would meet a person. Of course that is exactly what happened.

Sometimes I find that the symbols that single people have collected around themselves are strong indicators of what they are attracting into their lives. One of my early single clients had an eight-foot by six-foot picture of herself in a very prominent place in the house. All of the pictures in the house were of her alone. All of the art in the house was of single unhappy women. The relationship areas of the house and her bedroom were empty. The symbolic picture that she is projecting and supporting in her life is of a single woman who is lonely and empty. Changing her décor and adding pictures of couples and groups enlivened her social calendar and love life.

It seems strange that simple ideas such as this can make radical changes to your life but I have had the great honor to see Feng Shui work for my students and clients. Feng Shui has many benefits. It can give you a new awareness of who you are and how you express yourself in your own space, it can help to support you in finding harmony and balance in your life and it can help you find and sustain love in your life.  

A Change Of Luck

A Change of Luck Feng what?

Sounds like a dirty word!  

That is what I first thought when I won a free beginning class in Feng Shui. Since it purported to help me understand how to bring my environment into balance I decided to check it out. The history of this art is interesting. It dates back 3000 years to rural China where people observed the fluxes of the land and nature and knew about the fortunes and misfortunes of their neighbors.

Out of this were born observations about siting a house, the way it is built, and how furniture and objects are placed in it. These form some of the basic tenants of what is known as the Chinese Art of Placement. Feng Shui which literally means wind and water is said to be the key to understanding the silent dialogue between man and nature, whispered through the cosmic breath which is known as ch'i.

This ch'i expresses itself as the energies yin and yang. Both of these energies need to remain in balance for there to be harmony in a home and in a person. These principles are the very same ones that govern Acupuncture, Chinese medicine and the physical disciplines of Tai Chi and Kung Fu.  

All of this fascinated me and I set out to explore whether I could gain any empirical evidence for this art. I started with a traditional method of Feng Shui which involved exacting calculations with a special compass and utterly depressed me. The entrance to my house was in the wrong place and solutions were to build another door or move. Furthermore with types of people both my husband and I were–we couldn't live in the same house let alone share the same bedroom. That was really disturbing and I couldn't find enough evidence in my own life that supported the theories even though that might have explained why it was so difficult for my hero and I to find a house that we both liked. Well, I decided to table the idea of Feng Shui unless I had a different experience. (Note: Since this time I have observed practitioners in the traditional methods that get very good results so I must chalk this antidote up to my inexperience.)   A few months later one of my clients told me about the money that came to her as a result of Feng Shui changes. Always one to be fascinated with the lure of wealth and fame, I decided to read more and then study under her teacher.

I learned that there are different methods of Feng Shui and some of them apply modern techniques to the practice–actually doing away with the compass and using more intuitive methods. I learned that Feng Shui uses proscribed ideas to place furniture and objects that give a natural order and balanced energy to a home and business.   This was something I could test. I made changes to my office and my business increased. I made changes to some other areas and found people going out of their way to help me. I decided if some is good, more is better so I took an intensive workshop to see what else was in store for me.

When I returned from the workshop I made sweeping changes to my space. I cleaned out everything that I had been hanging onto for a rainy day and made other adjustments to our apartment with the intention of moving. We had been in the market to buy a house and had been searching twice a week for six months. Within one week, we were in escrow. As if that wasn't good enough, we received triple the amount of expected relocation money! Armed with this confirmation I proceeded to help other people in making adjustments to their environments. One of my clients has met her own true love–finally one of the marrying sort.  Many of my clients have great stories to tell about the major change in their businesses including my husband even though it is hard for him to believe anything until it is tested many many times. I have heard many amazing stories such as the woman whose rental property leased immediately after our appointment. All of the wonderful and tangible results of practicing Feng Shui are terrific however they are just the tip of the iceberg as far as I am concerned.

This art has taught me how to live in a sacred manner and enjoy it on a daily basis. For instance, in the past cleaning the stove would have been an onerous task for me. With a Feng Shui framework, I know that a clean stove fosters prosperity so my work is always mixed with the pleasure of enjoying a clean stove and the delight in knowing that this act is contributing to my financial well being. Everywhere I go in my house there are happy reminders about the positive things that are happening in my life. The plants in my bedroom remind me daily of my growing love relationship. Every time I water and clean them I know that I am contributing to the growth and good health of the relationship I cherish.

Feng Shui has helped release me from my negative fears of financial insecurity and worries about relationships. The beauty and reason that Feng Shui deals with helping to relieve people from their problems is to release their energy to pursue a more spiritual path. This is the magic that I have been given. Feng Shui is gaining more and more public recognition. Donald Trump has revealed that he is integrating it into his buildings. Virgin Airlines and InterContinental Hotels employ Feng Shui practitioners to increase their businesses. But what other people are experiencing isn't what will help you think about this discipline seriously.

This is something that must be experienced to be believed. There are many good books on the subject and many good classes. I invite you to read up on the subject and try some of the solutions out. You may be surprised—pleasantly surprised.

Reprinted from
Golden Thread Magazine, 1996


Eight Tips to Boost Business

Is business booming for you?  If you can’t answer yes, then perhaps some Feng Shui assessment is in order.  Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of placement that helps people to arrange their environments to bring them good luck, good relationships and prosperity.  The principles of Feng Shui work for people’s homes, businesses and gardens.  Sir Winston Churchill described the basic idea behind Feng Shui “We shape our environment and thereafter our environment shapes us”.  As we change the space, our luck shifts.

1.  I always begin with the entry to the store.  What is the first impression that your business makes?  Does your signage make it clear what business you are in?  Some businesses have a simple logo and nothing that describes their services.  Others have a front that not only describes the business but duplicates or triplicates the description.  An approach that takes the middle ground – describing your services simply is best.

2.  Is your entry cluttered with product?  I have seen some businesses that have so much at the entry that there is little room for the customer to enter and see what there is.

3.  Use your artistic eye to arrange the colors and shapes of your displays so that it is exciting to look at and peaks your curiosity and sense of delight.  Place your biggest money makers more prominently or use red backing to draw attention ( and money) to them.

4.  Running water is a very important aspect in Feng Shui.  There are many small fountains that will greatly enhance your business.  The best locations for fountains are near the entry.  If when you are facing the wall of the entry, you divide it into three equal parts, the middle section is the best location for a fountain.  This area represents your career and is very good for enhancing business.

5.  Another other great location for a fountain is near the left rear corner of the space.  This is what is known as the wealth corner and adding a fountain (which represents flowing money) will greatly enhance your business.

6.  A third good location is the right front third of the entry wall.  This is known as the helpful people area and governs all the incoming clients and referrals to you.

7.  Your client’s first impression is the receptionist.  Many stores place the receptionist right in line with the front door.  This is a weak and depleting place for them.  They will be happier, stronger and treat your clients better if they are located off to one side.

8.  In general exterior colors that best enhance a beauty-related business are white and blue.  If you can integrate any of those colors into your building, it will help to boost business.

In Chinese lore, eight is a number that governs prosperity.  Here’s hoping these eight tips will boost your business and your bottom line.



Landscape Design and Feng Shui

In most Western Gardens attention is paid to the forms shapes and materials but nothing is given to the concepts that move our gardens from beautiful spaces to places that help us contemplate our connection to the earth and the spirit that imbibes us. It is this lifting of the significance of the garden that enchants us when we see what the Chinese and Japanese have created in their gardens. These gardens are not constructed to recreate nature but to capture the essence of nature in forms, shapes and materials for the purpose of lifting the human spirit.

We don't have to clone these genera to create gardens that are meaningful. We can create beautiful, restorative, healthy spaces using designs, plants and materials that are in concert with our houses, land and aesthetic sensibilities. What can be learned from these gardens and is of great importance in a Feng Shui garden is to design using natural shapes, including the five senses and introducing elements such as water features found in the natural environments.

There are many layers in the design process. There is the layer of designing a garden that is beautiful and does not violate any Feng Shui principles. There is the level where natural elements, shapes and the senses are included in the landscape design. Then there is the garden that reaches for much more by including plants, rocks and other elements that hold an innate or cultural significance to give the composition a richer intent. In many cultures, plants are revered for their healing powers. Deeper meanings are attached to their existence in a garden. Using plants that have meaning helps to lift the spirit every time one sees that plant. For instance, in Chinese culture, the pine is associated with longevity. Every time this tree is encountered in the garden, the owner is reminded of the potential for that aspect in their life and the energy that provides that life force.

The study of Feng Shui is a lifelong endeavor under which nuances are discovered and learned constantly. A landscape architect who wishes to use Feng Shui principles can begin with the dictum "Do No Harm".

Here are a few of the principles that can be followed to insure good energy flow in the garden:

Design the front walkway using curves to soften the entry. Nature abhors a straight line and a straight line path to the front door from the street is a jarring force for the occupants of the house.

Entrances should convey an open, spacious, grand feeling. The entry should truly welcome the occupant. Narrow constricted paths feel limiting and can adversely affect a person's fortunes.

Healthy plants especially trees are a sign of good energy on a property. Plants need to be cared for and well maintained. It is important that trees and large shrubs do not block the front entry or walkway.

Trees should be selected and located to be in scale with the house. Large trees located close to the house will overwhelm and overshadow its occupants.


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