Feng shui (say “fung shway”), often called the art of
placement, could just as accurately be called “the art of
flow.” This ancient Chinese practice, literally translated
as “wind” and “water,” aims to maximize the beneficial
movement of chi–the universal life force present in all
things–through an environment.
Just as fresh air and clean water nourish our bodies, so
does fresh, clean chi nourish our homes and our lives.
When the flow of chi through our space is blocked, weak,
or misdirected, our relationships, cash flow, creativity,
health, and career can suffer. Chi wants to meander
gracefully through a space, like a gentle breeze or a
winding stream. When it flows too strongly, it becomes
like a hurricane or flood. We are likely to feel tossed
about by winds of change, unstable, prone to crises,
struggling to “keep our heads above water.” Where chi is
blocked it becomes stale and stagnant, like a pond choked
with algae and fallen leaves. We may feel tired, run down,
depressed, unable to focus, hampered in our efforts to
move forward in our lives.
In a corporate environment, poor feng shui can result in miscommunication between managers and employees, conflicts
among team members, and lack of support for key initiatives. Individuals may be overlooked for promotions or deserved
raises, suffer damage to their reputation in the company,
or even lose their job. The company may have difficulty
attracting or keeping key customers.
In a retail store, feng shui problems can block the flow
of customers into and through the store, contribute to
theft and staffing problems, and have a negative effect
on the amount and size of sales.
Feng shui provides tools and guidelines for analyzing
and correcting the flow of energy into and through our
space. It uses the arrangement of rooms and the placement
of furniture to create a smooth pathway for chi through a
home, office, or retail location. Blockages and other forms
of negative chi are removed or counteracted in order to
welcome in opportunities and encourage progress. Colors
and shapes associated with the five elements-wood, fire,
earth, metal, and water-are used to create movement,
balance, or protection, depending on the needs of the
client. Imagery and objects such as paintings, photographs,
statuary and other accessories are chosen and placed to
enhance and reinforce the client’s intention.
Feng Shui reminds us that everything is connected, and
that our physical surroundings have a significant impact
on our mind, body, and spirit. It teaches us to be mindful
caretakers of our environments, so that we may be mindful
caretakers of our lives.