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Feng Shui Directs Change Inside And Out



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Feng Shui Directs Change Inside And Out

By Nancy K. Crevier

Deb Linley would like to clear up the misconception that feng shui (pronounced fung-shway) is merely the rearrangement of furniture, or that the 4,000-year-old art of interior and exterior balance of energy is a New Age occurrence. “Feng Shui is actually very broad,” said Ms Linley, a feng shui consultant for the past six years. “The more you learn about it the more you realize there is to learn.”

Her own involvement with the ancient practice came about almost by accident, she said. Downsized from a corporate job, she enrolled in a continuing education class as she cast about for a new career. “It turned out I couldn’t make that class, so the woman at Continuing Education suggested I try the feng shui class.” The class so piqued her interest that she enrolled in the New England School of Feng Shui at Leominster, Mass., and received her certification there.

Initially used by the elite Chinese as a way to determine auspicious burial and dwelling sites, feng shui has become widely used throughout the world, said Ms Linley, to create an environment that “nurtures, feels wonderful, and supports us in what we want to manifest in our lives.” This is achieved by working with the energy, or “chi” of a space to balance the environment. A feng shui consultant assesses the positive and negative qualities of a room’s or site’s energy, she explained, beyond shifting the position of furniture. “That’s just one aspect. We look at the exterior of the space, things like the roadways, where the space situated is on the lot, and the interior layout of the space. Where is the staircase? What are the hallways like and how are the rooms positioned?” she explained.

It is not just the interior of a space that must be assessed in the art of feng shui, though. “I always conduct an interview with the client and life issues are addressed to get an understanding of what they want to manifest in life. We are looking at what you want to create in your life by this change,” she said. “How we are on the inside is reflected on the outside.”

Knowing what the psychological blocks are, be it in relationships, business dealings, productivity, family, or finances, determines how the space is adjusted. As an example, she said, she will take note of things like, is the main entrance blocked? Are there physical barriers throughout the space? Is a person’s back to the entrance or do they face it when seated at a desk or chair? Is the room a reflection of the manifestation that person desires? “By conducting an interview, I help people crystallize their desires through feng shui and individualized attention.”

Once the client has focused on an area of their life in which they want change, she looks at the space with an eye to some of the basic adjustments in feng shui: lighting, movement, living energy, sound, color, water, and mirrors among them. “The most important factor in feng shui, whether it is the office, the bedroom, the living space, is the front door or ‘mouth’ of chi. You always want to face the door, which is how energy enters a space,” she said.

Facing the door is symbolic, said Ms Linley, of what is coming at a person in life. “Our front door is crucial and some people don’t even use the front door anymore. Keep the walkway to the door clean and well lit and inviting. Then you are calling energy in. Find a reason to go to the front door and open it up each day and encourage visitors to use it,” she stressed.

One mistake made by novice practitioners of feng shui, who may pick up information through one book or a magazine article, is to follow a “cookie cutter” approach to the art. “It is very individualized. You want to walk into your space and have your energy soar, and not all suggestions work for everyone,” said Ms Linley. “Feng shui has to feel good to a client. For instance, a person will read that red is a power color and decide to paint a room red, but do they like red? How does that color affect their health if they have high blood pressure?” Gold indicates prosperity and pink indicates romance in the language of feng shui, but if a client is not comfortable with those colors, they do not create the positive energy sought.

“We are always looking for balance and feng shui always depends on a person’s individual taste and what we want to create,” she emphasized. Because energy is always evolving and life is always changing, readjustments are necessary as a person changes, she added.

Feng shui can work in a multiperson household, even when only one is seeking to make changes. “Of course, we must consider the whole household and the whole person. But I find that when someone is doing their own internal work it gives others their space,” Ms Linley said. This can lead to positive changes for everyone involved.

Springtime is a perfect time to address change. It is a time of new growth and new beginnings and there are simple, common sense tenets of feng shui anyone can apply, Ms Linley said. Assessing the front door is essential, but next on the list she said, is cleaning. “The easiest way to reenergize a home is to clean it.” Clearing clutter follows closely. In feng shui, clutter is “stuck” energy. “Effectively, you are lightening your load, so you gain more energy and clarity. We are energetically tied to everything we own, so we can feel weighed down by ‘stuff’ we have let build up,” she said. Because decluttering can be a daunting task, she offered suggestions for getting underway.

Start with just five to ten minutes of decluttering a day, one drawer at a time. Ask yourself, “Do I love it? Do I need it? Have I used it in the past year? How do I feel about it?” Little by little, the space is cleared and energy is revitalized.

Another way to incorporate feng shui into daily living is to watch the messages in a person’s space, such as pictures on the wall. “Make sure it empowers you, whatever it is,” Ms Linley said. Single people seeking a relationship, for example, would not want pictures of lonely, single people dominating the décor.

Spring is also a good time to paint, as painting refreshes the physical space and the psyche.

“Use every room, so that you don’t have ‘dead’ space in your home. Go into all of the rooms every day,” suggested Ms Linley. This is where the element of movement in feng shui can help. By placing a living plant or a fish bowl in an underutilized room, it offers a reason to go into that space. A radio or music playing in an unused room enhances the space through the addition of sound, or a flowing indoor fountain uses water to increase positive energy.

Ms Linley cautioned that feng shui should not be looked at as a “magic bullet” in removing life’s obstacles. “Doing the cures and adjustments doesn’t excuse you from participating in what you want to create,” she said. “Put your own energy out, too. Feng shui is going to work in tandem with what you put into creating your life. It is one of the many tools available to us as a society to help us on our paths in life.”

Ms Linley is leading a class on the art of feng shui, May 7, through the Newtown Parks and Recreation Department. Call Parks and Recreation at 270-4340 for more information or to register. She is also available for private consultation through Feng Shui Missions at 270-8473, or visit fengshuimissions.com.

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