Volume 1 No. 9          

with Feng Shui

by Toni Lefler

Relatedness. It not only includes our interactions with other human beings, animals, and plants, but also with the environments in which we live, work, shop, and play, and all the places where we go to do and be.

That's what Feng Shui (pronounced fung shway) is really about: our relationship with the places in which we surround ourselves, and how that affects our relationships with ourselves and others. It's our attraction to structural shapes, our interaction with the walls and floors and ceilings, the dance we weave with furniture arrangements, the emotions we express with colors, shapes, and textures — the reverence revealed by the care and condition of our homes and workspaces. These are the relationships that determine our physical and emotional experiences while enveloped by our surroundings.

Mandarin Ducks, Chinese symbol of loveThe choices we make of where to live and work have as much impact on our personal unfolding as the relationships we choose to have with living beings. In fact, the Feng Shui of a space can powerfully influence a relationship in both positive and negative ways. Whether we choose a space consciously or not, what we often miss is that we are drawn to our surroundings, much as we are attracted to a lover or a friend with whom there is a connection we share, an experience we seek, or a life lesson we need to learn.

Particularly through our relationship with home, we search to create a meaningful environment that gives comfort and safety to our souls. Our surroundings are environmental autobiographies, revealing who we are, what we believe, where we've come from, and how we are yet to unfold. They provide a nurturing environment for two souls to harmoniously cohabitate, while growing and expanding the relationship with objective vigilance and conscious action.

In my practice as a Feng Shui consultant, I've noticed that partners who are facing challenges, perhaps on the brink of divorce, will often choose a home that creates further separation and supports the break-up.

In Black Sect Tantric Buddhist Feng Shui, the relationship or partnership area is considered to be in the back right segment of a space. If a floor plan is L-shaped, where the back right segment is missing, it could create feelings of separateness between the partners and eventually lead to divorce (see Cures for an L-Shaped Partnership Space).

Chinese character for loveOn the other hand, if partners are ready to take their relationship to a deeper level, they may choose a home where the master bedroom is in an extension of the partnership area. An extension of a home goes beyond the basic square or rectangular shape of the main house. The protruding space offers additional benefits to the area in which it is located. A couple occupying a master suite in an extension of the partnership area would experience added strength and harmony in the relationship, because they are aligned with the natural energy of that extended space.

Assisting people with very personal challenges is a privilege, one not to be taken lightly. Clients share their deep desires, in hope that Feng Shui will turn the negative tides in their lives. Although Feng Shui is a powerful tool, capable of creating major shifts in peoples lives, it is not a panacea that solves all problems. It's important to include other complimentary work such as psychotherapy, healing assistance, and other modalities appropriate to the need.

The Feng Shui Process

Feng Shui literally means ''wind and water.'' Originally, Feng Shui developed out of humankind's relationship to the cycles of heaven and earth. Fertility of the land, accessibility of water, the amount of sunlight, and changing weather patterns all influenced our fate with the earth. It became crucial to our survival for us to work in harmony with the forces of ''wind and water,'' of feng shui. Although primarily recognized as a 4000-year-old eco-art practiced in China, it is a fact that other cultures — most notably in India, Japan, Hawaii, and the indigenous Americas — also honor the chi (also ch'i), or life energy of Mother Earth.

The purpose of Feng Shui is to adjust and enhance chi in a specific location in order to create a natural, more harmonious flow, thus achieving greater health, wealth, and happiness for the occupants. Feng Shui practitioners accomplish this by gathering information about the space, its occupants, and the experiences encountered there. Then cures and/or ceremonies are recommended to alter the space in a way that will accomplish the occupants' goals and desires.

Practitioners examine the physical space — how a building is positioned on the property, the effects of its architectural structure, furniture placement, colors, shapes, nearby streets, neighboring buildings, and much more. Occupants share experiences that have transpired while living or working there. Usually the focus is on areas of concern such as feeling physically ill, emotionally depressed, financially drained, blocked in career, unstable in relationships, or other challenges.

Ba-Gua by Toni LeflerTo determine where the negative influences may be represented in a place, an octagonally shaped template called a Ba-Gua is superimposed on the site and floor plans. There are nine life stations identified by the Ba-Gua, which reveal valuable insights about the occupants' careers, knowledge, family, wealth, fame, relationships, children, benefactors, and health. Once the seen and unseen influences have been identified in a place, specific solutions are applied to redirect the flow of chi and enhance the lives of those who live there.

bagua mirrorHow we relate to others, ourselves, our circumstances, and our surroundings is richly and sometimes comically revealed in our environment. For example, a female client wanted to apply Feng Shui principles in her home to attract a good, solid relationship with a man. As we toured her apartment, there were several clues that revealed her underlying feelings about relationships. Two appeared in her bedroom, which was in the partnership area of the home — a good location. However, she had strategically positioned a large armoire very near the door, which narrowed the ability to enter the room. In addition, the plants we found near her bed were cactuses! Not very conducive to having gentle, harmonious relationships.

Subconsciously, this woman was literally blocking the path for a partner to enter her space. And if he were able to get in, she'd exhibit ''prickly'' energy toward him. The third clue really made her laugh. A stove also has a Ba-Gua influence, and so the back right burner represents partnership in Feng Shui. When I asked if all the burners worked correctly, she revealed that the back right burner was either much too hot or not hot at all. And how did that symbolize her relationships with men? She immediately recognized the metaphor, and appreciated the humor. Truly, this woman's home fully revealed her feelings and experiences regarding relationships.

Attracting/Enhancing Partnership with Feng Shui

Red Peony, symbol of loveThe practice of Feng Shui is about being simultaneously in tune to both the physical and non-physical aspects of a space and how we relate to it. Although a home may be esthetically pleasing, the ''energy'' might not feel comfortable or inviting. Particularly when we've lived or worked in a space for many years, it could be difficult to recognize the signs that guide us back to ourselves. An objective and knowledgeable perspective helps us to see what we may be avoiding or missing. Although there are many aspects to take into account when evaluating a property from a Feng Shui perspective, it's always useful to apply some basic principles.

Part of attracting a partner is being open to receiving the love and romance coming your way. On one level that means opening your heart and healing hurts from past relationships. On the physical plane, it means ''building a romantic nest'' that supports the relationship and is easy to get to.

Here are some suggestions for good Feng Shui in your bedroom:

  • Position Bed Harmoniously — The rule of thumb for proper bed position is to place it on a solid wall, diagonal from the door, allowing full view of the room and its entry while lying in bed. Avoid placing the bed in line with a doorway, since this can cause feelings of vulnerability and defensiveness. Also avoid alignment with the bathroom door, as this can contribute to feeling drained, tired or having restless sleep patterns.
  • Position Other Furniture Harmoniously — Good furniture arrangements play a significant roll in Feng Shui. In addition to proper bed position, it's important to make the way clear to enter your bedroom, no matter what section of the house it's located in. Try to make sure that large furniture is not placed too near the doorway.
  • Add a Solid Headboard to Your Bed — A headboard represents support, and energetically brings both sides of the bed together, creating harmonious union for partners. If possible, avoid metal headboards since they can be conductive (particularly sensitive people have difficulty resting peacefully on metal-framed beds or near a metal headboard).
  • Clear up the Clutter — Having too much stuff piled in a bedroom (or any room for that matter) is a huge energetic distraction that subconsciously pulls us away from our focus — each other. The bedroom should be a space designed for rest, rejuvenation, romance, and relief from the outside world. So often I find computers, exercise equipment, tax records, kids' projects, and just plain clutter invading the space. Clean it up, clear it out, and find a new home for items you choose to keep. Just be careful not to clutter up another part of your home.
  • Display Romantic Artwork — No matter where the master bedroom is located in your home, surround yourselves with art that calls forth a feeling of love and romance with each other. Be careful of art that has a single man or single woman pictured in it, or one that has three or more people in it. Relationships are challenging enough between two people; bringing a third party into your bedroom, even in art, is just not supportive to a couple.
  • Activate the Energy — Hang wind chimes or a crystal in the center of the bedroom to enhance the energy in the space. If you use wind chimes, be sure they ring a gentle, pleasant sound for both of you.

  • Provide Two Nightstands — Even if you're sleeping alone now, set up a nightstand on both sides of your bed, to accommodate the needs of your future partner. Include a lamp (so that he or she can read romantic poetry to you at night!).
As human beings, we are ever changing — growing, expanding, and contracting — as we move through life. Individuals often consider Feng Shui when they are in the midst of change or perhaps desiring a change from old patterns.

One way to begin using Feng Shui in your own environment is to take note of your surroundings and how you feel about them. You may not like some of what you and other family members notice, but awareness is the first step to healing.

Our surroundings, in particular our homes, are a mirror-image of our personality, interests, experiences, and beliefs. Creating a space with harmony, beauty, and order is a way to powerfully direct our lives and honor our Selves. The process begins in our hearts and our homes. Perhaps by bringing peaceful harmony into our homes and work places, we can indeed bring peace to the world.

If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.
— Chinese Proverb

Feng Shui Cures

Here is a selection of basic Feng Shui remedies to alter, moderate, or raise chi, both inside and outside a building. These solutions can resolve imbalances, improve chi circulation, and enhance Ba-Gua areas and their corresponding life situation.

  • Cures for an L-shaped Partnership Space:

    If the overall design of a home is L-shaped, with the back right or "partnership" space missing, these cures will help to activate the energy in that area of your home and your life.

    1. Anchor the house corner outside — Go to the place outside your home and stand at the corner where the back wall and the side wall would meet if they were there.

    2. This is an excellent place to plant a big beautiful tree to complete the energy there. Be sure to plant one that emulates love and romance to you, perhaps one that flowers like an orchid tree, or one that bears fruit, particularly if you want to bring children into the relationship.

      If there isn't an appropriate place for a tree, use another sturdy symbol such as a rock garden, or a statue of a couple romantically entwined. The purpose is to energetically balance the weight of the home.

    3. Extend love outside — It's important to notice what's outside as well as what's inside your home. The property also has a ba-gua, which extends from the front of the property to the back, and from side to side. Again, the back right area symbolizes relationship.
    4. Create a garden — Arrange a beautiful outside garden here that becomes an invitation for romantic interludes, while appreciating Nature's wonder.

    5. Make a ''nest'' — Place two chairs, a bench, or a swing for two, nestled among a beautiful canopy of shade trees.
    6. Plant flowers — Flowers that bloom in shades of pink, red, and white, or that attract butterflies, are best for romantic Feng Shui.
    7. Hang wind chimes — Pleasant-sounding wind chimes may ''call forth'' your partner. Or, if you're already in a relationship, they will support gentle communication between you.
    8. Include animal statuary — These can be favorite garden animals that represent love to you. For example, swans mate for life and would therefore be a powerful symbol for a longstanding relationship. Mandarin ducks are the most common Chinese symbols of loving partnership. (And make sure not to use mallards; faithfulness is not a characteristic of this breed!)
  • Nine Basic Feng Shui Cures:

    1. Bright or Light-Refracting Objects:

      • Mirrors: Often called the ''aspirin of Feng Shui,'' mirrors are used to cure a host of interior and exterior imbalances in a variety of ways.
      • Crystal Balls: Light refractors that endow occupants with the gift of farsightedness and a good perspective, as well as other balancing solutions.
      • Lights: Symbolic of the sun, lights disseminate energy-enriching chi.
    2. Sound:

      Wind Chimes & Bells: These moderators of chi flow temper and redirect maligned energy, ''calling in'' a more beneficial and balanced atmosphere.
    3. Living Objects:

      • Plants: (Real or man-made, bonsai & flowers) A symbol of nature, life and growth, plants function to nourish chi and are subtle beacons bringing in clients and money.
      • Aquarium/Fishbowl: Microcosms of nature, they symbolize the life-giving ocean waters. Water is essential to the cultivation of rice, and symbolizes the flow of money in our lives.
    4. Moving Objects:

      • Mobile, Windmill, Whirligig: These objects stimulate chi circulation and deflect the overbearing force of roads and long corridors.
      • Fountains: Another symbol of money-producing water.
    5. Heavy Objects:

      Stones/Statues: to help stabilize an unsettling or elusive situation, heavy objects can help by grounding the energy.
    6. Electrically Powered Objects:

      Air conditioner, Stereo, TV, etc.: Machines help to stimulate surroundings.
    7. Bamboo Flutes:

      Historically, a bamboo flute was used to report peace and good news. By association, they bring peace, safety and stability to an environment.
    8. Colors:

      Pink corresponds to the life station of the Ba-Gua that symbolizes Relationships and Partnership, and can be used to enhance this aspect. For colors related to other life stations, see the enlarged Ba-Gua diagram.
    9. Items of Personal Importance:

      Use your imagination and treasure hunt throughout your home! Often, the very item that will best enhance an area is already in your home. When placed with the right intention, personal items can be just as powerful as any of the others.

Toni Lefler is a Feng Shui practitioner in South Florida. Business services include Feng Shui consultations, furniture placement, real estate staging, and relocation assistance for residential and business clients. For information on consultations and workshops, call 561-799-2737, or email tlplace@aol.com

Toni has been creating harmony, beauty, and order in home and business environments since 1992.

* There are several schools of Feng Shui, including PaKua and Flying Star, among others. The Black Sect is probably the most popular, at least in this country.

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