Does Feng Shui Work? Definitely, and… (1)

Decide where to start.  Once you’ve decided to include the principles of feng shui in your life, you need to decide a couple of things up front.  First off, feng shui is not a quick fix.  In fact, other than a band-aid, I don’t know anything in life that is.  If you are prepared to embark on a potentially life changing journey toward achieving your goal, and you’re willing to work through the trail it takes you on, then you need to know where to start.
Hiring a consultant versus reading a book, or both.  Most people who are familiar with feng shui have their favorite authors (i.e. Lillian Too, Stephanie Roberts, etc).  Personally, I enjoy The Western Guide to Feng Shui series by Terah Kathryn Collins.  I have been working with it since 1996.  I have contacted the author and received a prompt and polite, not to mention helfpul, response.  It would be worth a trip to your local library or a bookstore to flip through a few tomes and see if any of them resonate with you.  Heck, get a few.  I’ve actually got several different feng shui books by different authors, that highlight different systems (i.e., compass vs. black hat).

After seven years of successfully working with feng shui, I found myself challenged by a series of events.  We were living in a loft that, thanks to the building HOA, didn’t allow for much in the way of decorating or enhancements.  To make matters worse, the travel/helpful people area was outside, in a common stairwell that faced a back alley and several abandoned warehouses.  I knew I needed help.

I contacted Terah’s organization.  They pointed me to a local practitioner and I promptly made an appointment.  It wasn’t easy hearing her assessment (I really did love that print and I didn’t see a problem having a pool table in our dining room.  It was a loft, after all).  Still, it was money and time well spent and I will always be grateful to Nancy.  Every bit the professional, she was empathetic and kind and made excellent suggestions that really did make a positive difference.

If you decide to find a practitioner, try and find one through an organization or, if you’re lucky, by reference.  Make sure you understand the fee schedule up front, as well as what the expectations are, including what you will be left with once the consultation is completed.

(You should have homework.  At the very least, you should have a To-Do list and at a minimum, a way to contact the practitioner for clarification or additional help).

If you decide to go it by book alone, give yourself a lot of time to become familiar with the principles and learn along the way.  Make it fun, and don’t have unrealistic expectations going in.

It just occured to me as I was writing this.  There are some free videos online that demonstrate the basic principles of certain cures and/or enhancements used in feng shui.  They may utilize the compass method, which is more complicated than black hat, but are still helpful.

Feel free to disagree with anything you read or hear or see.  Principles are guidelines, a starting point for how to draw harmony into your environment and your life.  They are not unbendable rules that you have to follow absolutely or else you will see no success.  No one knows your life the way you do.  No one knows better than you what you are able to change or act upon at any one moment.  Work within your abilities and most importantly, within your comfort zone.  Change can be scary and you owe it to yourself to go at a pace you can work with, not with what someone else thinks you should do.

Feng shui doesn’t have to mean $$$.  Aside from buying a book or two, or paying a practitioner, feng shui activities do not have to cost a lot of money.  If anything, this is when sweat equity can give you an incredible return on investment.  Simply moving the furniture around or swapping a picture from one part of the home to another can result in dramatic (and positive) results.  Rolling on a new coat of paint (even on one wall as an accent wall) can lead to huge changes.  Investing in a set of inexpensive sheets of a different color, or adding a couple of elegant throw pillows can make your bedroom feel rich and luxurious.  It doesn’t take a lot to produce big results.  After you’ve decided where to start…take action…