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Real Life, Real Feng Shui
Thu Dec 22 2016 |
These days, it seems like there are as many approaches to Feng Shui as there are to interior design or architecture. And that makes me think about why I call my Feng Shui approach Feng Shui For Real Life. The “real life” part is the most important, because when I started practicing almost 19 years ago it was clear I wanted to help clients work Feng Shui into their real lives, rather than the other way around.
Bathrooms are one good example. Feng Shui-wise, there’s no ideal place in a house for a bathroom because this room is associated with waste. Indoor plumbing hadn’t been invented when Feng Shui was developed, so the ancients didn’t have any problem figuring out where to locate their bathrooms - outside. I’m not about to give up my indoor bathrooms, and I haven’t yet worked with a client who is ready to part with theirs, so the contemporary Feng Shui approach is to decorate the bathroom in a way that balances any negative aspects related its location in the home. That’s real life.
When I started to study Feng Shui and learned that you divide a house into nine areas of the bagua that relate to critical aspects of life like wealth, love, health, for some reason I became fixated on trash cans. Where in the world are you supposed to put the trash? You wouldn’t want to keep trash in the Wealth Area or the Love Area, and the Health Area was definitely out. When I finally got around to asking my teacher this burning question, his answer was simple: “Choose a trash can that is as small as you can live with, and empty it frequently.” Simple, rational, real life.
My client Katie had a Feng Shui challenge that is a good example of how important “for real life” can be. When I arrived at her house, the first thing she told me was that her husband wanted to eat all their meals in front of the TV, and she was tired of that. She took me into the family room where their mega-size TV was located, and the first thing I noticed was the coffee table. I had never seen anything like it before. It was cantilevered so it could be pulled up from its coffee table position into eating table height. Yikes, talk about enabling! Her husband never had to leave the sofa.
Katie wasn’t opposed to eating some meals in the family room. As far as she was concerned, beer, munchies, and football belonged in the family room, but there were some meals, on some nights, that she wanted to eat at a table with her husband. The real life Feng Shui solution was to replace that coffee table. Are they still eating some meals in the family room? Yes, and that’s OK with Katie, because they are also having most meals around the kitchen table - and she’s working on getting her husband into the dining room on a non-holiday night.
Real life, real Feng Shui means finding a solution to a problem that fits with the way you want to live in your home or work in your office. It’s making Feng Shui work for you.
How are you working Feng Shui into your real life? Email me with your thoughts.