Feng Shui (Fung Shway), meaning ”wind and water,” is a 3,000 to 5,000-year-old Chinese philosophy that is finding a welcome audience in the West. As proof, Donald Trump won’t start any business unless he has had his Feng Shui Master on the spot taking compass readings and measurements, according to Yvonne Phillips FSII, a Feng Shui Master based in Pittsburgh.
The Donald became interested in Feng Shui when he once lost a contract to Asian clients. They didn’t like the Feng Shui of the building and none of them would invest in his company.
Oprah, who has featured Feng Shui masters on her program, is also said to make use of the Eastern wisdom in her life.
Feng Shui explores the relationship of a person to the space and provides simple solutions to create comfortable areas for us to live or work in. “It’s all about how you feel in a space,” Yvonne says.
“The most important aspect of Feng Shui is chi (chee), an invisible energy that runs through all things. In order to live well, we need to encourage a healthy flow of this force around us, and prevent it from stagnating,” according to Jane Butler-Biggs in Feng Shui in 10 Simple Lessons.
Yvonne says chi is like a brook that flows around us. In a balanced home or office, chi flows unimpeded and we feel good. But in a lot of places, chi stagnates and needs to be freed either by moving items around, adding other items that attract energy like color and lighting or by ringing bells or lighting candles.
There are five types of chi “…(associated with the five elements) that are present in us and in our environments, in varying proportions,” according to Butler-Biggs. These five elements are water, wood, fire, earth and metal. Each element has colors and activities associated with it and a compass direction. For example, the color range for the element of water is blue, navy blue and black and the activities associated with it are contemplation, quiet, deep power and sexuality.
Yin and Yang
Also fundamental to Feng Shui are the concepts of Yin and Yang. The ages old symbol of these two perfect halves of a whole represents the circle of life. Yin is negative, the female counterpart, cold and small, more like our Autumn weather. Yang is positive, the male counterpart, warm and large, more like our Spring weather. If we want to lave optimum health and maintain a peaceful and calm environment, we must keep Yin and Yang in balance, according to Yvonne.
You have probably felt both the harmony and disharmony of Yin and Yang, but weren’t able to put a name to it. One day you visited a friend and felt completely at ease in the home. The surroundings and lighting felt right to you as you sat in a comfortable chair and felt at home. Yin and Yang were in harmony in that space. Visiting a doctor’s office recently, you may have felt out of sorts in the surroundings, and wanted to leave as soon as possible. That’s evidence of the disharmony of Yin and Yang. (Designers work on making waiting rooms and offices more comfortable for visitors, but have a ways to go. Those pale green and salmon waiting room chairs you see in many doctors’ offices are the result of someone doing a little research into Feng Shui.)
The Bagua (ba-gwaa)
The Bagua is the symbol of the map of Feng Shui that can help you increase the harmony of your home or office. Looking at the graphic, Yvonne says, you can see that the Bagua resembles a tic-tac-toe diagram of the nine areas of our lives:
Relationships (personal and business)
Family/Community (all people around you)
Health (everyone’s health in the home)
Children/Creativity (all who live in the home)
As you walk into a home or a room, the Bagua will show you where each of these aspects fits and what colors and elements need to be represented in those sections of the space for the chi to keep flowing in a positive way. (Keep in mind that the basic Bagua map is not compass driven.)
Before attempting to do Feng Shui in a space, be sure that you have cleared the clutter. (There are MANY books out there to help you with the decluttering project. Read through one before you begin.) However you choose to get rid of clutter, proceed quickly through the room and complete this task. Only then can you begin to look at the room with the concepts of Feng Shui in mind.
The Chinese believe that Feng Shui affects everything in life, including our families, jobs, careers and homes. It’s worth doing a little research on your own to learn more about this ancient philosophy. It shouldn’t be an overwhelming task, but a fun learning experience. And the rewards can be life-altering. Just ask Donald and Oprah.
For more information, contact Yvonne Phillips at YvonnePhillips1@aol.com or at 412-215-8247.