A living tradition for more than three thousand years, feng shui is both the art and science of living.
As a millennia-old practice, feng shui’s ancient technology can contribute to modern lives. It orients us to empowerment by freeing our potential. It strengthens our stance, creates flexibility and eases movement through an organic process of integration with the living environment.
Minimize in Order to Maximize
As I believe that most of us have more than we need, I encourage the opposite of acquisition: reduce your collections to keep only favorites. Give away whatever you’ve lost interest
Give whatever you’ve lost interest in away to someone who can use it. Letting go of the old symbolically, psychologically, and literally makes room for the new. You must first free your hands of the past in order to reach out and grasp the future that you want.
You must first free your hands of the past in order to reach out and grasp the future that you want. Fortunes can literally become “stuck,” dammed by obstructing thoughts, just as over-furnished rooms or overgrown gardens can become difficult to navigate.
When we bring our old “baggage” with us, it keeps us in past consciousness. Feng shui helps to bring us current, empowering us to stay focused on present commitments and future dreams. One person’s discards are another’s treasures, and it is in giving away that we receive.
To become powerfully integrated with our surroundings, we envision ourselves cradled by the idyllic feng shui landscape. Mountains guard our back, hills shelter our sides and a river valley brings gentle currents, and gives us an expansive view of all that lies ahead. This is much like sitting in a comfortable armchair that supports our back, rests our arms, and commands a full view of the room. This easy posture both protects and cultivates longevity and prosperity naturally.
“Do not confuse the habitual with the natural,” said Gandhi; this is especially useful advice for modern lifestyles. Urban living may bring us closer together but tends to restrict our environments unnaturally. Putting the natural flow back into our spaces restores our lives to the path of least resistance.
It is not always appropriate to turn one’s home or office into a shrine of Chinese accessories like crystals, chimes, fountains, and mirrors; nor is it necessarily practical to remodel architectural trouble spots.
In my practice, I seldom recommend the purchase of even a single item or accessory. There is usually something subtle within the environment that can be moved to a better location. Spatial relationships can be maximized with imaginative and creative solutions.
In many offices, it is common to sit with one’s back to the door at a desk set against a wall or facing a window, either to maximize space or to hide wiring. However, a more successful practice is to sit facing the door but not directly in front of it, and as far away from it as possible.
A client of mine who has a penthouse office that overlooks Vancouver’s vistas was reluctant to let me turn his desk to face the entrance to his office, but doing so won him increased admiration and business from his clients. They perceived him as sitting on top of the world!
Another time, positioning a low-performing salesman’s desk with a view of the door gave him first sight of incoming customers. This brought him into the limelight and he garnered the lion’s share of sales.
In your office, sit at the back of the room in a high-backed solid chair with a large desk between you and your client, with a full view of the door. When someone enters, you will immediately have the advantage of seeing them without having to move or turn. This gives you time to size up approachers; interpret their posture, composure, and intentions; and effortlessly respond to them with the appropriate greeting.
When someone enters, you will immediately have the advantage of seeing them without having to move or turn. This gives you time to size up approachers; interpret their posture, composure, and intentions; and effortlessly respond to them with the appropriate greeting.
We don’t have eyes in the back of our head.
These examples are rooted in one of feng shui’s most important natural strategies arising from simple human physiology: we do not have eyes in the back of our head. We are vulnerable from behind and want our back to be protected. As walking animals with an upright stance we are tall with a relatively narrow moving base, so our strongest stance is to create a seat of power (also referred to as the executive posture) supported by a firm foundation with all potential challengers and resources in plain view.
The most insightful and effective innovations of our time are based in common sense and practical application. These practices have been with us for millennia and can help us to integrate modern technologies. Acting on the natural intelligence of beneficial wisdom enriches us all.