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Feng Shui Decorating: More than Furniture Placement

Feng Shui Decorating:


More Than Furniture Placement

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Feng Shui Decorating: More than Furniture Placement

Feng Shui Decorating:

More than Furniture Placement

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION................................................................................ 4 HISTORY OF FENG SHUI................................................................. 4 ANCIENT TIMES ............................................................................ 4 MODERN TIMES ............................................................................ 5 FENG SHUI EXPLAINED................................................................... 7 BASIC PRINCIPLES ....................................................................... 7 FENG SHUI AS A SCIENCE......................................................... 10 TOOLS OF THE TRADE............................................................... 11 FENG SHUI FOR YOUR HOUSE .................................................... 13 BEDROOMS ................................................................................. 14 BEDROOMS FOR KIDS ............................................................... 16 LIVING ROOMS ............................................................................ 18 HOME OFFICES ........................................................................... 22 KITCHEN ...................................................................................... 24 BATHROOMS ............................................................................... 27 FENG SHUI FOR YOUR STUFF .................................................. 30 FENG SHUI OUTSIDE YOUR HOUSE............................................ 32 GARDENS .................................................................................... 32 YOUR WORKPLACE .................................................................... 36 YOUR CAR ................................................................................... 37 FENG SHUI EXTRAS ................................................................... 39 CRITICISMS OF FENG SHUI .......................................................... 40 ASTRONOMY & SORCERY ......................................................... 41 SILLY NONSENSE ....................................................................... 42 INFLUENCING YOUR ENVIRONMENT ....................................... 43

FENG SHUI PROFESSIONALS ...................................................... 45 CERTIFICATION........................................................................... 45


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Feng Shui Decorating: More than Furniture Placement

FIND A FENG SHUI SPECIALIST ................................................ 49 DO IT YOURSELF ........................................................................ 51 CONCLUSION ................................................................................. 52

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Feng Shui Decorating: More than Furniture Placement

INTRODUCTION
You have probably heard of Feng Shui in many different contexts. Most often, Feng Shui is mentioned as a way to move your furniture around in order to achieve a sort of harmonious balance within the home. Although the placement of your furniture is indeed a major aspect of making your home and other places more Feng Shui friendly, there is a lot more to this ancient practice. You may not have realized it, but Feng Shui is something that has been around for a very long time, and, although it is quite trendy nowadays, it has been in use by people for many, many years. As with many ancient practices, Feng Shui has experienced a rebirth within Western civilization as people continue to search for ways to strike a harmonious balance within their lives. Feng Shui is multifaceted and at times can be quite complex, but if you simply want to know the basics behind Feng Shui so that you can give it a try within your own home then it isnt too terribly difficult to start.

HISTORY OF FENG SHUI


The history of Feng Shui is actually quite fascinating. Similarly to many other traditions stemming from ancient Eastern philosophies, Feng Shui has experienced times during which it was considered obscure while also experiencing times during which it was considered quite vogue. You may be surprised to learn that not only has Feng Shui been around for a few years, but it has been around long before you, long before your parents, long before your parents' parents, and long before the people ahead of them. The fact that Feng Shui keeps reemerging makes it all the more fascinating.

ANCIENT TIMES
Feng Shui has been used for a very long time. Most Feng Shui historians claim that the practice has been around for thousands of yearsover three thousand years by most accounts. The fact that Feng Shui utilizes many complicated methods and theories is a high testament to the ancient Chinese culture that created Feng Shui. Since Feng Shui has been around for so long it is unlikely that the modern day Feng Shui is exactly as the original Feng Shui was, and in fact there are so many deviations from the original Feng Shui that several branches of Feng Shui exist. While one version of Feng Shui may claim that a certain color can accomplish certain goals, another version of Feng Shui may make a completely different claim. Whichever form of Feng Shui you decide to follow in your quest to have a more harmonious living space, you can rest assured that the principles you're following have been around much longer than you have, and have been tested by a wide variety of people long before you (or anyone you know) walked the Earth.

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Feng Shui Decorating: More than Furniture Placement

Who thinks up this stuff? Feng Shui is originally credited to the ancient Chinese, and more specifically is thought to be a derivative of Taoism. If you ever study Taoism you will notice that many of the principles defined within Taoism are familiar to Feng Shui. Taoists strive to achieve a closer understanding of nature while also attempting to understand the various energies flowing throughout nature. You do not have to embrace the ideals of Taoism in order to practice Feng Shui, just like you don't have to practice Feng Shui if you embrace Taoism ideals. The two schools of thought definitely compliment each other, however, and it is believed by many people that Feng Shui evolved from the ideas of Taoism. Some say Feng Shui has been proven by the test of time. One of the things about Feng Shui that proponents like to mention is that it has been around for so long and has been used by so many people over the years that there has to be something to it. Although many people might see this as a faulty line of thinking (after all, just because something has been around for a very long time does not necessarily prove its validity), the fact that Feng Shui is still utilized in modern times after so many years does give some critics pause. There is also something innately interesting about utilizing ideals that were utilized by people so long ago. It makes some people feel as though they are continuing a cycle that hasn't ever been broken. The best idea is to try Feng Shui for yourself and see if it gives you the results you are looking for. Instead of getting wrapped up in something like Feng Shui or anything else for that matter based simply on the fact that it has been around for a very long time you should give it a try and make the judgment call yourself. Sure, people have been using Feng Shui since ancient times, but unless it works for you personally then it isn't the most useful principle to follow.

MODERN TIMES
Feng Shui has experienced popularity in modern society. In the 1970's within the United States there was a surge of interest in ancient Chinese methods and thought, and one of the theories to get recognized and utilized was Feng Shui. Its popularity has grown throughout the years with a recent influx of interest in Feng Shui as the term becomes more popular and familiar within modern culture. Feng Shui has become so popular, as a matter of fact, that some Americans have essentially created their own forms of Feng Shui and turned it into either a religious idea or instead into a clever marketing ploy. Most people who utilize Feng Shui within the United States do not get too terribly indepth with the principles and instead simply use it as something they hope will

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enhance their lives, yet they don't put too much stock into it. There are plenty of other people, however, who get quite serious when it comes to their Feng Shui and they do complex calculations in order to figure out the best placement of everything within their home. Yes, it's vogue. People who have never dabbled in anything remotely exotic may still develop an interest in Feng Shui for a few reasons. It's a popular method for both interior decoration and an attempt at making living quarters more peaceful. There is also an abundance of information available about Feng Shui, so that makes it much easier for people to give it a try. Many people are also simply looking for a way to calm their lives, and are willing to try just about anything in order to accomplish that goal. Feng Shui appeals to so many people because, although it's still considered somewhat frivolous, it's not generally considered pagan. In other words, although some religious groups frown upon the fundamental idea of Feng Shui (that you can somehow influence your environment through the layout of your surroundings), it isn't necessarily likened to devious behavior. Consequently, many people who would never usually try something like Feng Shui jump right in and try it. With enough famous and influential people claiming that Feng Shui has been beneficial to their lives, it makes other people want to give it a try. Besides, if a person's favorite actor, writer, or other celebrity declares Feng Shui to be a valid way to calm surroundings, many people are more than willing to try it simply because it's trendy. Everyone is looking for a way to make their homes more peaceful. Modern times do not have the market cornered on hectic schedules and chaotic lives, but there is a true desire among many individuals to find creative ways to have a calmer environment. For many people, there is no way to actually lessen the busyness within their lives, so they instead turn to practices like Feng Shui, which are supposed to grant things like calm, harmony, and clarity without very much effort. Once you know the fundamentals of Feng Shui, it isn't too hard to put them into practice. Sometimes something as simple as moving some furniture around or changing the color scheme of a room can help achieve a desired result. Feng Shui offers a system that is relatively simple to follow and that claims to make a living space (or any other space for that matter) a nicer place to be. With claims like these, it's no wonder that people within modern society are flocking toward Feng Shui and giving it a try. Feng Shui is being used by people who come from families who have employed Feng Shui tactics every generation for many years, but also by families who have no ties to ancestors who ever would consider trying something like this. Some people are attracted to the simplistic nature behind some Feng Shui principles. People who can lose the clutter, take bulky electronics out of living areas, and simplify their homes often find great relief from the process. If you are looking for something to make your home more peaceful then Feng Shui might be worth a try. You never know if you may get a fantastic result.

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Feng Shui has a rich history, and is experiencing a large rebirth within modern society. You can use Feng Shui in an attempt to make your living area more peaceful, and you can also use Feng Shui when you have a specific desire, such as more money, a new romantic interest, or some other want that you can't seem to obtain through other means. Many people find Feng Shui appealing because it's unlike anything they have ever done before, and many folks claim to have derived great benefits from using Feng Shui. You'll never know until you give it a try.

FENG SHUI EXPLAINED


Feng Shui can be awfully complicated, but it can also be relatively simple. It all depends on how complicated you are willing to get with respect to transforming your home or other space into a Feng Shui friendly area. You can do something as simple as move a little bit of your furniture around and add a wind chime, or you can get really intricate and use all sorts of different tools and ancient gizmos in an attempt to get the "Chi" flowing in a positive way throughout your home or other space.

BASIC PRINCIPLES
What the heck is "Chi?" You'll hear this term often within Feng Shui, and maybe even see it spelled different ways and pronounced in different ways too. "Chi" basically refers to the energy that occurs naturally within nature. Ancient Chinese renditions of Feng Shui and some modern Feng Shui renditions are an attempt to harness the naturally occurring "Chi" and manipulate it into something beneficial. You may have heard someone claim that something or someone has "Bad Chi" or "Good Chi," and this is a principle that is utilized in Feng Shui. A good energy flow within a home will result in "Good Chi" and will result in the residents generally being happier and living together more harmoniously. The trick behind Feng Shui is trying to figure out exactly how to manipulate the "Chi" in order to achieve maximum results. There is more than one style of Feng Shui. The term Feng Shui encompasses many different forms and styles of what was once practiced in ancient times. You may find that some Feng Shui specialists and professionals actually have a bone to pick with other forms of Feng Shui, and this can be a little confusing for someone who doesn't know much about the principles beyond the fact that sometimes furniture gets moved around to let energy flow better within the house. Depending on the books you read and the people you talk to, you may find claims that Feng Shui can accomplish a variety of goals: You can find a suitable romantic interest. You can enhance the lives of the residents within your home to include children and pets. You can improve your health.

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Feng Shui Decorating: More than Furniture Placement

You can attract wealth and success. You can transform an unhappy family into a cohesive unit. You can achieve a higher status among your peers. Perhaps these claims are more than you bargained for, or perhaps as you read these you're thinking, "Wow, great, where do I begin?" Just be aware that different schools of Feng Shui claim to do different things, so don't be surprised if one Feng Shui book contradicts another Feng Shui book when it comes to the steps you are supposed to take or the results you can expect. You can think of it as similar to a religion by comparing it to something like Christianity: Denominations all fall under the category of Christianity, but the various denominations can have some very different ideas. Just to be clear, this does not mean that Feng Shui is considered a religion; it's merely to clarify how you will find varying opinions among the many different schools of Feng Shui ideals and practices. Different schools of Feng Shui utilize different methods. Although there are more schools of thought when it comes to Feng Shui, the major players within the field can be categorized into three different schools of thought. Traditional Feng Shui concentrates mainly on the power of symbols and the shape of the items within the environment. The direction (north, south, east, west) or items within the Traditional Feng Shui school of thought may or may not be a decisive factor when considering recommendations for a more harmonious home. Black Hat Sect Tantric Buddhist Feng Shui incorporates the ideas of Traditional Feng Shui along with elements borrowed from Buddhism and Taoism. This form of Feng Shui was actually created by a Feng Shui practitioner in modern times and is a popular version that involves several different methods all rolled into one. Intuitive Feng Shui takes Traditional Feng Shui and then molds it into something that is more easily swallowed by Western society. There is less of the Chinese mysticism and symbols within Intuitive Feng Shui and more of a regard for the decorative and architectural preferences of people living within modern Western society. The three major branches of Feng Shui all stem from Traditional Feng Shui, but the differences can be both minor and major. Since all three forms of Feng Shui are relatively common and there are still more forms as well there is no limit to the contradictory information you can stumble upon when researching Feng Shui principles for use within your own life. The advantage to the variety among the branches of Feng Shui, however, is that if one particular school of thought does

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not appeal to you then you can try a different one. For example, if having Chinese symbols throughout your home is not appealing to you then you might instead implement the principles of Intuitive Feng Shui, which is largely a Western creation and is basically devoid of the symbols you will find all throughout Traditional Feng Shui. Feng Shui utilizes the five elements. When you are reading about Feng Shui you will probably come across these terms quite often: fire, earth, wood, water, and metal. Feng Shui principles state that each of these elements not only has a distinct effect on the surrounding environment, but also that you can utilize an appropriate element in order to get your desired results. Some elements are considered more "Chi-conducive" than others. Here is a brief explanation of what each element is used for within Feng Shui: Fire is utilized when you want to have more passion and energy. You aren't supposed to overuse this element, however, because it can overtake everything around it if used too much. In Chinese, fire is referred to as Huo. Earth is utilized when you want to be more relaxed and have more patience. In Chinese, earth is referred to as Tu. Wood is utilized when you want to be more creative and allow your mind to work innovatively. It is also used when you want to become more popular and make more friends. In Chinese, wood is referred to as Mu. Water is utilized when you want to be clearer in your efforts to get your points across, either through written communications or verbal communications. In Chinese, water is referred to as Shui. Metal is utilized when you want to be more successful in your career, such as when the time comes to ask for a raise or promotion. In Chinese, metal is referred to as Jin. Each element has a corresponding color or colors and also represents various stages within a human life. You may find that, depending on the Feng Shui school of thought that you follow, each element can mean something completely different and may have different corresponding colors and life stages. Remember that there are many different forms of Feng Shui, so you should not be confused if you run across more than one explanation for the same thing. The best thing to do is to find the type of Feng Shui that works best for you and then stick with its principles. Feng Shui utilizes animal symbols, among other things. Some forms of Feng Shui use what are called the Feng Shui Guardians, which are four different animals which represent and promote different things. Each animal is representative of a certain direction. The Black Tortoise represents the North. The Red Phoenix represents the South. The White Tiger represents the West. The Green Dragon represents the East.

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Although some branches of Feng Shui do not define specific placements of these symbols within your home, it is generally advised that you have at least one of each symbol within the house and that you treat the symbols reverently. This means that you don't allow the symbols to get dusty and you certainly don't toss them around in play. You may hear these animal symbols referred to as "cures" within Feng Shui, because they are prescribed in certain situations as a way to either protect the people within the home or to remedy a situation. Some people start to get uncomfortable when they are asked to place symbols such as these throughout their home, but these are generally a mainstay within most of the forms of Feng Shui.

FENG SHUI AS A SCIENCE


Some Feng Shui practitioners consider it a science. If your understanding of Feng Shui basically involves the idea that you need to move some furniture around and paint the walls a certain color for luck then you may be amazed at all the equations and studying that goes into Feng Shui. Feng Shui can involve many different types of scientific principles, although this science is not necessarily the same kind that you would study in a Western school. Ancient Chinese sciences utilize many different principles that are considered scientific because they follow a similar pattern to other sciences: 1. A theory is created. 2. The theory is tested. 3. The theory is either endorsed or disregarded depending upon the outcome of the various tests. 4. Continual revisions are applied to theories over time as needed. Feng Shui is not a practice that involves people sitting around and arbitrarily thinking up new theories to follow. These ideas have been around for thousands of years and have been tested and retested during this time. This is not to say, of course, that every aspect of Feng Shui should be considered as having scientific merit and that utilizing Feng Shui within your home will flawlessly deliver the outcome you are looking for. You should realize, however, that there is much more to Feng Shui than wandering into a room and "feeling" where the furniture should be placed. Math, charts, and the stars must align. Not every branch of Feng Shui utilizes all the tools from within the trade, but some schools of thought regularly incorporate elements of mathematics, astronomy, astrology, and various other disciplines in order to create a harmonious living environment. Do you know that some Feng Shui practitioners will not only need to see your home before they can offer advice, but they will also want to know what direction the home faces, what year the home was built, and the birthdates and times of everyone living within the home? They take all this various information in addition to other pieces of information and fashion together a suitable recommendation. This means that if you have someone over to your house to offer you some advice with regard to making the energy within your home flow in a more harmonious

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manner then you shouldn't be surprised if the person spreads out a stack of charts, graphs, magnets, counting apparatuses, compasses, and other tools before you are offered any advice. Obviously, there is a lot more to Feng Shui than plopping a dragon statue above your fireplace. Feng Shui practitioners (depending on the school of thought they endorse) may also be able to reveal to you the ideal days for you to do certain major things such as getting married, moving, buying a home, making business deals, and other important events. Feng Shui can assist you in more areas of your life than just in how you should decorate your home. Intricate Feng Shui practices involve a lot of information. You can choose how complicated you would like for your Feng Shui involvement to be. Some people are more than happy to just dabble in Feng Shui when they are attempting to find a new look for their home and allow the energy to flow a little better, but there are actually some people who will not make a major decision in their lives without first consulting the principles of Feng Shui. Some people surround themselves with Feng Shui articles no matter where they go, and many people claim that everything good in their lives (romance, prosperity, happiness) is a direct result of the use of Feng Shui. Of course, there are some people who would argue that it isn't healthy to attribute everything good or bad within your life to ancient Chinese principles, and that people need to understand that they are makers of their own destiny and the year you are born does not necessarily carve into stone the path your life will take. You decide your level of involvement with Feng Shui, and you should take care not to adopt an attitude of predestination, as though nothing you do in life matters because it's all laid out for you beforehand. That is, of course, unless you have always endorsed this idea and it is something from which you derive comfort. It is up to you how many different aspects of Feng Shui you want to incorporate into your life.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE


Most Feng Shui experts suggest the use of the I Ching. The I Ching is an ancient Chinese method used to predict events. The I Ching can supposedly find an order within apparent chaos, and it is represented using a series of symbols. In Feng Shui, the I Ching is used in the form of the Pa Kua (also called a Ba-Gua), which is a map that features all the I Ching symbols. You use a Pa Kua when you are attempting to figure out where the "Bad Chi" within your home is. Using the Pa Kua, you are supposed to be able to figure out why certain things are happening to you. For example, if the Pa Kua reveals that area of your home that contains the bedrooms doesn't fall within the category of good relationships and marriage blessings then it may

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explain why there are marital problems or intimacy issues within your home. If this is indeed the case then the remedy wouldn't necessarily be to move your bedroom to another area of the house, but instead might be to place some symbols and other items within the bedroom, which would counteract the "Bad Chi" and create some harmonious energy and consequently improve marital relations. Symbols, mirrors, and wind chimes are only the beginning. Once you delve into Feng Shui you will probably start to realize that there are many different symbols and items used for various purposes. You might read somewhere that you should place wind chimes in a certain part of your home to counteract other noise, or you may be told to place a certain symbol of a particular color near your bed if you are attempting to get pregnant. Feng Shui utilizes focal points and other things, which are supposed to act not only as reminders of your goals, but are also designed to harness positive energy and deflect negative energy. So don't be surprised if a friend who is active in Feng Shui principles brings you an item and tells you to put it in a very specific place, and to treat the item a certain way. Many Feng Shui veterans not only place items within their homes in an attempt to attract positive energy, but they also treat the items reverently because they feel as though treating the item poorly will result in negative energy. For example, a statue designed to bring you wealth might feature a tortoise sitting atop a pile of Feng Shui coins. If you ignore the statue or allow it to get dirty then you are essentially ignoring your goal of acquiring more wealth. For this reason, you shouldnt think that you can merely purchase a Feng Shui symbol and then things will miraculously start happening even though you don't put forth any further effort. Feng Shui isn't a passive method, just as the constant flow of energy throughout your home isn't necessarily passive. On the same note, you should know that you don't necessarily need to load up your home with Feng Shui symbols and litter the entire house with them. Choose specific Feng Shui items with specific goals in mind, otherwise your house will become cluttered, chaotic, and generally incongruous to the principles set forth by Feng Shui. Compasses are big in Feng Shui. Many of the principles behind Feng Shui rely on the direction in which the location is facing. That means that the "Chi" of a certain location may be different depending on whether it faces north, south, east, or west. For this reason, you should not be surprised if a Feng Shui consultant arrives at your home in order to get an accurate directional reading on your home prior to offering any advice. If you hope to accurately utilize Feng Shui then you will need to figure out exactly what direction your home (or whatever location you are interested in) faces. The industry standard in Feng Shui when it comes to compasses is the Lo Pan Chinese Compass, but any compass is suitable as long as it is accurate. You also need to know the directions within your home, because in some versions of Feng Shui, you are expected to place certain items in certain directions in order to achieve certain results. It's important that you take accurate measurements when you are using

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a compass to figure out which direction your home faces and also which direction various other rooms, windows, and items face within your home. If you don't know the accurate directions then your Feng Shui renovations may be incorrect. Don't trust your own sense of direction, no matter how trustworthy it has been in the past. Purchase a reliable compass and make note of the direction your home faces before you hop in and start changing things within your home based on the direction the house faces. Certain Feng Shui symbols are supposed to offer protection. Good luck and protection are supposed to be achievable through the use of various Feng Shui symbols. Each symbol brings with it a specific protection, so the symbol you choose will be dependent upon what it is you are trying to get protection from. Some Feng Shui practitioners claim that there is a wide variety of negative energies that actually attempt to attack people, so instead of simply being something that people need to work at avoiding, the negative energy is something from which people require protection. Some symbols are not necessarily designed to protect from negative energies, but are designed to attract positive energies and bring about good luck within the home. The placement of the symbols depends on the layout of the home and the protection being sought, but in many cases the symbols do not necessarily have to be prominent figures within your home. This means that the Buddha statue you bought to provide protection does not need to engulf your living room. You may even be able to place the symbol away somewhere and still receive the same amount of protection. It's difficult to summarize the ideas behind Feng Shui because there is a lot to it. There are also so many different forms of Feng Shui that one may contradict the other, so this can add to the confusion. Some people may decide to pick and choose the style of Feng Shui that they would like to use within their homes, although many Feng Shui professionals suggest that it is best to stick to one style of Feng Shui or another since each particular style is designed to work with the ideals set forth by that particular school of thought. If all this is making your head spin, then don't worrythere are some general Feng Shui tips for each room of your house that can be followed quite easily in order for you to receive results. If you really like the results you get then that's when you can begin to work toward finding out which specific Feng Shui style works for you. Just don't begin to panic quite yet.

FENG SHUI FOR YOUR HOUSE


Feng Shui is commonly used within living quarters, although it can also be used within various other contexts. If you have heard of Feng Shui before then it is quite likely that you heard of it in regard to making a home more peaceful and allowing harmonious energy to flow throughout the home. There is so much more to Feng Shui than the little blurbs you have undoubtedly heard (place your bed a certain way to sleep better, keep paint colors relatively calm, et cetera),

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but luckily it isn't too difficult to begin using Feng Shui within your home. Once you know the basics you can then decide if you want to continue on and get a little more intricate and complex with your Feng Shui tactics within your home and elsewhere.

BEDROOMS
Here are the basic principles of making your bedroom Feng Shui friendly. There are specific guidelines that Feng Shui experts suggest when it comes to making sure your bedroom is as harmonious as possible: Your bed needs specific placement within the room. For most people, their bed is the centerpiece of the bedroom. According to Feng Shui principles, the bed should be accessible from both sides. That means that you shouldn't place your bed next to a wall, making it approachable only from one angle. You should also have two bedside tables, with one table on each side of the bed. This helps your energy flow as well as gives you a practical place to set things near your bed. You aren't supposed to have your bed directly in line with the bedroom door, according to Feng Shui, and you also need to concentrate on making your bed a welcome fixture beyond where it is placed within the room. Feng Shui experts stress the importance of having a comfortable bed and sheets that are luxurious and devoid of uncomfortable fibers and other materials. The air in your bedroom should be as clean and fresh as possible. Opening your windows is one thing, but getting an air filter in your room opens up a whole new can of Feng Shui worms. The placement of an air filter in your room can disturb the energy flow within the room, and there is even some debate as to whether air filters are even beneficial. For example, HEPA filters can collect mold and disburse it back into your room, and ionic air filters have been criticized for the ions sent out into the air to collect harmful particles. The best thing you can do is to open up the windows in your bedroom and let lots of nice, fresh air into your room as often as possible. If you really feel as though you need an air filter, try to place it somewhere in the room where it will be effective, yet unobtrusive to the flow of the room. Look for an air filter that is not noisy or exceedingly large. Get rid of bulky and distracting devices. Plenty of people love to end their evenings by watching some television while in bed, but having a television in your bedroom is a big Feng Shui no-no. Not only do Feng Shui gurus urge people to get televisions out of the bedroom; other experts also suggest that items like this are best left out of the bedroom to ensure a better night's sleep. You'll be much less likely to miss out on sleep due to sitting in front of the TV late at night if you don't have such ready access to one, and you give your body a better chance of winding down when you aren't staring at a television. Many experts suggest you use your bed for two things - sleeping, and having sex - and avoiding PAGE 14

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activities such as reading or watching TV. Televisions aren't the only offending items you can have in your bedroom. Exercise bikes and other equipment should be considered banned from the bedroom if you are attempting to make your bedroom as Feng Shui friendly as you possibly can. Use candles. Use common sense when you decide to add candles to your room's dcor. No matter how spiritual or balanced the glow of a candle makes you feel, you need to make sure that you're not placing candles right next to drapes or other flammable items. You should also make sure that the candles you use aren't incredibly scented to where they overwhelm the room, and you certainly don't want to invest in some candles that emit chemicals that are bad for your respiratory system. This means you should skip on the extremely cheap candles, which release some odd smoke and tacky smells. The flames may look nice and relaxing, but once you get a whiff of the smoke your coughing fit won't really help your quest to find peace and harmony in your bedroom. It's hard to feel at peace when you can't really breathe. Close the doors when you sleep. Nervous parents may find this a particularly difficult Feng Shui principle to follow because sometimes parents just want to be able to hear the kids breathing deeply in their sleep. Nonetheless, Feng Shui dictates that you close your bedroom door when you are sleeping, and also that you close any other doors that you may have in your bedroom. Close the door to your bathroom, close your closet doors, and close the door leading out to your adjoining balcony, if you have one. You also want to avoid sleeping with your head facing any of these doors, although this can be a tough tip to follow if you have doors throughout your bedroom. Just make sure that if you actually have to sleep with your head facing a door that the door remains closed throughout the night.

If you're only doing one room, make it your bedroom. Since Feng Shui is all about finding a harmonious balance with your living environment, you should consider making your bedroom the most important room to achieve this balance. Even if your bedroom is used solely for sleeping in other words, you dont really spend that much time at all in your bedroom other than the time you spend snoozing away on your bed getting a good night's sleep is one of the most important aspects to keeping the rest of the balance in your life. Unless you are one of the lucky few people who really don't need that much sleep at all in order to thrive and function well on a daily basis, most people will agree that if there is going to be one peaceful and balanced room in a house it should be the bedroom. So when you first start out with your Feng Shui exploration you may want to consider starting with the bedroom. Some people rearrange their bedrooms into a Feng Shui configuration with no intention of ever moving on to doing other rooms, but then afterward they have such a great experience with the new vibe in their bedroom that they move on to rearrange other rooms.

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Really, you can Feng Shui your entire house if you get motivated enough. Start with the bedroom and see where it goes from there. Be careful of what you decorate your bedroom with. You spend an awful lot of time in your bedroom, and even though a good portion of that time may be spent sleeping you still need to be mindful of what is adorning your bedroom walls. With regard to Feng Shui, you should make sure that your room is painted a color that you find relaxing yet enticing. Some Feng Shui experts suggest only using color tones in the bedroom that naturally occur on human skin, although you don't necessarily have to go out and try to find paint that matches your flesh tones exactly. As far as any paintings or other artwork that you choose to hang on your bedroom walls, you should make sure that the art reflects where you want to go in life. In other words, an oil painting of a sad clown hanging above your bed is probably not the best choice for your Feng Shui-friendly bedroom, unless for some reason your goal in life is to be a sullen clown, of course.

BEDROOMS FOR KIDS


Now here is a room where you want harmonious energy. If there is one room within your house that you will find yourself wishing was as harmonious as possible, it's a child's bedroom. When a child doesn't sleep well or wakes up in a cranky mood, it affects everyone else within the home. Here are a few tips to make your child's room as harmonious as possible while also allowing the room to be nice and playful for your kid: Pay attention to loud toys. You don't want to have a room for your child that is overrun by loud and flashy toys that command a lot of attention. The same goes for all the various gadgets and devices that you might place in the room without even really thinking about all the electricity they pump into the room: baby monitors, stereo systems, baby wipe warmers, and any number of items that you place within the room in an attempt to make your job as a parent easier might actually interfere with the flow of positive energy within the room. Any time a room within the house is having a hard time allowing energy to flow, it affects the energy flow within the entire house. Where is the crib or bed? When you plan where the crib or bed is placed within your child's room you should take the same things into consideration that you take into consideration when placing your own bed in your bedroom. Don't place the crib or bed right next to the door for two reasons: it creates a bad sleeping energy for your child while also

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allowing your baby to be disturbed by anyone walking through the hallway outside the room. Close all the doors within the room when your child is sleeping, including closet and bathroom doors. Kids have a hard enough time sleeping sometimes, so you should try your best to give your child an environment conducive to a good night's sleep. Seasoned parents will laugh at this one: Keep the clutter to a minimum. It is pretty much inevitable that your child's room will become cluttered unless you are a whiz at organization (in which case you may want to start an organization business and specialize in children's rooms because you'll make a fortune). Try not to allow the room to get overrun with toys and other trinkets, and teach your child at an early age that things should not be left strewn around the bedroom. It's difficult for positive energy to flow through a room that is chaotic and messy. Additionally, you will probably feel more at ease if you know that there aren't piles of toys, clothes, and other items overtaking your child's bedroom. Where are all the toys? Babies and children have an uncanny knack for spreading their belongings throughout the entire house. Toys that start out in the child's bedroom start to creep their way out into the other rooms of the house until all of a sudden you look around and realize that every room in the house kitchen, bathrooms, and even your bedroom looks pretty much identical to your child's room because of all the toys around. For maximum energy flow within the house, and for your own sanity and comfort, you should do your best to keep the toys and other childrens items in the child's bedroom. If this isn't an option, then try to designate a small area within the other rooms where you can place some toys where they will not be in the way and preferably will not be the first thing seen by visitors. What is the bedroom next to? Since all rooms within your home have an overall effect on the energy flow within the home, you need to take into consideration what rooms are right next to - and directly across from your child's bedroom. Bathrooms, for example, are notorious as being rooms within a house that can harbor negative energy, so if your child's room is right next to the bathroom you should take the appropriate steps to deflect the negative energy away from the child's bedroom. Having your child's bedroom right next to a loud or productive room, such as a home office or an entertainment room, is not ideal for a couple of reasons. First of all, the loud noises will not be good for your child's sleeping patterns. Secondly, the electricity seeping out of the other room will certainly interrupt the energy flow within the adjacent rooms, including the child's room. A child's room should be a happy yet relaxing place where your child feels comfortable and also feels as though he or she has some ownership in the room. Although you may be taking great efforts to make your entire home Feng Shui compatible, don't place items within the room that may make your child uncomfortable or that they simply don't like. Try to remember back to when you

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were a child, and recall how you would have felt if your parent had marched into your bedroom and hung a weird symbol on the wall. Try to respect your child's wishes while also utilizing Feng Shui in an attempt to make a more harmonious living space for the entire family. You'll spend more time in here than you thought you would. If you are bringing home a new baby and this is your first experience dealing with a newborn you are going to be surprised at how much time you spend in the baby's room. From stumbling into the room for midnight feedings to changing what will seem like a million dirty diapers a day, the time you spend in your baby's room is something you will look back on fondlyeventually. For now, you should create an environment within the room that will be appealing to both you and your baby. Don't get carried away with your own preferences and decorate the room with dragons and other symbols that may be seen as a little scary by a young child, but if you detest the whole cute and cuddly teddy bear motif then dont get talked into filling the room with the very things you don't like. Make a room that is appealing to the child, appealing to you, and that allows positive energy to flow throughout the entire room. You want to create a peaceful place for your child to sleep. Safety trumps Feng Shui energy flow. Sure, you want your child's bedroom to flow well with the rest of the house, and you probably want your kids to benefit from the same harmony you enjoy in your own bedroom. Remember, however, that every decorating decision you make in your child's room needs to be tempered with the best safety practices. For example, live plants can be a welcome addition to most Feng Shui rooms and have a way of allowing energy to flow more efficiently throughout a room. You simply can't place a live (and possibly poisonous plant) in the middle of your toddler's room and assume that your child will not at some point grab the plant and either start munching on it or instead flailing the soil throughout the room. You don't want to place wind chimes in a kid's room if the child has any possible way of being able to rip the chimes down from the ceiling, which could become a huge choking hazard. Remember that kids have very little impulse control, so even if you repeatedly explain to your child that the large statue in the room is beneficial to his or her "Chi" and should be left alone, that unfortunate statue is more than likely going to encounter one or two tumbling instances, if not wind up shattered into pieces. Think of it this way: Safety first, then worry about how the energy within the room flows.

LIVING ROOMS
Here are the basic fundamentals for making your living room Feng Shui friendly. There are specific guidelines that Feng Shui experts suggest when it comes to making sure your living room is as harmonious as possible:

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Your ceiling matters. Although many people enjoy the looks of cathedral ceilings and other nontraditional slopes, Feng Shui calls for flat ceilings because it is supposed to make it easier for the energy to flow throughout the room. If you don't have flat ceilings in the living room then one proposed remedy is to hang things from the ceiling to even things out. What you hang from the ceiling is largely up to you, although items conducive to Feng Shui would include wind chimes or pieces of bamboo. You need to decide if having wind chimes hanging up in your living room is just a bit too weird, however, because it certainly can take some getting used to. For this reason, even if Feng Shui states that you shouldn't allow sloped ceilings to remain exposed but you feel weird about things dangling from your ceiling in the living room then you may want to skip on this tip. No matter how Feng Shui friendly something is, if you feel weird about it then it's probably best that you don't do it after all. Close the adjacent doors. Living rooms often open up into other rooms such as kitchens or bathrooms. If there are doors in between the rooms then you are supposed to leave them closed when the other rooms are not in use in conjunction with the living room. If your living room is adjacent to your kitchen and you are going back and forth during a party then you may want to leave the door open for convenience's sake, but when the other room is not currently in use the doors should remain closed. This is especially true for bathrooms, which are considered within Feng Shui to be major culprits in removing positive energy from another room. If you close the door to the adjacent bathroom you may be able to keep the positive energy within the living room. Count the chairs. Not only should you strive to have an even number of chairs or seats within the living room, but you also shouldn't push your sofa right up against a wall. You are supposed to leave a bit of space if possible because this is supposed to help with the energy flow within the room. Your energy flow is supposed to go better if the living room seating is broken up to where there are no direct pathways within the room. That means that the chairs should not be set up to where you can stand up from one and walk directly into another room of the house. Feng Shui states that there should be no direct pathways formed by the furniture in the living room because this messes with the flow of energy and makes it less harmonious and welcomingand you certainly want a harmonious and welcoming living room, right? Don't hog the best spots. If you have one chair in the living room that is particularly comfortable then you are supposed to leave it alone and only let guests sit in it. This gives guests a sense of importance within the home, and more importantly makes them feel as though they are welcome. You are not necessarily supposed to make a big deal about this fantastic chair either, meaning that when your guest comes over you simply offer him or her the chair instead of making a big production

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out of it. Think about it: wouldn't you feel a little weird if you went over to a friend's house and your friend loudly proclaimed that you would sit in the special chair that was reserved for guests and never sat in by the people living in the home? Just keep the best chair for guests and don't get melodramatic about it. Less is more. You should not allow your living room to get overrun with clutter, no matter how much you enjoy displaying the various trinkets you have collected over the years. This includes pieces of furniture as wellif you don't use a chair or other pieces of furniture often then get rid of them. Too much stuff in the living room interrupts the energy flow within the room. Your furniture shouldn't be too large either, so lose any overstuffed items from the room. Instead of purchasing the huge wraparound couch, you may want to consider buying a few small pieces that compliment each other and that will also assist you in breaking up the room a little. Don't allow your living room to become overrun with large furniture. Use plants. The living room is an ideal area within the house to place potted plants as long as you don't allow the room to turn into a jungle of sorts with all the potted plants. You might also want to consider putting a fish tank in your living room if it will be unobtrusive and allow for a sense of relaxation. If you discover through a Feng Shui consultant that there are certain areas within your living room that are considered "dead spots" or full of negative energy, these are the perfect places for potted plants. Do make an effort to keep every plant in your living room (and every other room within the house, for that matter) healthy and thriving. Walking into a living room filled with half-dead plants is certainly not the most welcoming sight, and it certainly won't help the energy flow within your living room to have an abundance of limp, sad plants throughout the room. Does it feel welcoming to you? The living room should be a place where both residents and guests can sit down and feel at ease and welcome. When deciding on the dcor for the room, keep in mind what makes you feel at ease and try to incorporate those types of factors into the living room. You shouldn't only concern yourself with the things that will make your guests feel more comfortable and at ease in your living roomthink about what makes you more comfortable and at ease. After all, if you aren't relaxed in your home then it is not likely that your guests will be either. You're the one who has to live in your home, and if your living room doesn't appeal to you personally then you're not going to be happy. Even if your guests consistently compliment you on the fabulous living room you have, it's just not the same as having a living room where you can sit down and truly feel as though you are at ease and relaxed.

Some living rooms are adjacent to the main entryway. A living room that is adjacent to the main entryway needs special consideration because the room

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then becomes an extension of the entrance instead of simply a living room. You need to consider both rooms and figure out the best way to ensure that there is a welcoming and harmonious energy flowing freely from the front door all the way into the living room. For this reason, you do not want a very dramatic change from the entryway into the living room. For example, you don't want to have loud wallpaper lining your entryway and then suddenly have very subdued and quiet colors lining the walls of the living room. Think of the two rooms as one big room instead of two separate entities. You also have a distinct advantage because you can utilize the natural light from the main entryway when you are planning your Feng Shui placements within the living room. A bright entryway without any art or other decorations that assault the senses welcomes guests into your home, but a living room that compliments the entryway makes a home feel even more welcoming. To figure out how best to integrate the two rooms together, try sitting in one area and looking toward the other and figuring out if there is anything in either room that seems incongruous. Try walking through both areas while pretending to see everything for the first time. What catches your eye first? Is there anything that seems out of place or doesn't seem to make sense when combined with the other room? If you can look at things through a guest's eyes then you'll have a much better chance of figuring out if there are major changes that need to be made in order to allow the energy to flow throughout the two rooms effortlessly. Fresh air, open windows, and less clutter is the key. Your living room should be a welcoming area in the home. It should be the type of room that encourages people to relax and congregate without feeling as though they are squished or crowded, or worse, as though they can't breathe. If you have windows within the room which is certainly preferable to most rooms unless you have privacy issues you should leave the windows open whenever possible. Hopefully the windows open to a nice view, such as a beautiful landscape as opposed to a decrepit brick wall or flashing neon sign. If you don't have an abundance of windows within your living room to open for fresh air, or if the air within the city or town you live in isn't necessarily the purest to breathe, then consider bringing in an air filter. Find an air filter that isn't noisy and can be put somewhere that will make it unobtrusive to the rest of the room. Although fresh, clean air is a fundamental aspect to Feng Shui, you don't want to clutter your living room with a huge air filter that will consume the room and draw the attention of anyone who enters. You want your guests to feel welcomed when they come into your living roomyou don't want them to feel as though your home is so polluted that it merits a big, clunky machine in the center of the home in order to make the air breathable.

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Examine the noise pollution in this area of the house. Living rooms can be a noisy place. Although many people absolutely adore the idea of a loud and bustling living room, the principles behind Feng Shui encourage a quieter environment. Don't make a huge television the focal point of your living room, neither should you make a stereo system the main focus of your room or a computer system or some other piece of loud electronic equipment. It is difficult to make a room calming and welcoming when there is a constant hum of electrical equipment permeating the air. Clocks that loudly proclaim every new hour should be left out of the living room too, because these constant reminders of time passing are contrary to the pursuit of a calming environment. If you happen to live in a noisy neighborhood, such as near a main highway or close to a fire station, you should take steps to filter out the noise as best you can. Certain windows can filter out loud noises better than others, but if you don't have the money or the inclination to do an expensive window renovation then you may want to look into alternative ways of cutting down on the noise. You want your environment to be as devoid of distractions as possible, especially since things like shrieking ambulances or boisterous pedestrians can shatter a peaceful and reflective moment quite efficiently. You may want to look into playing soft music or adding some type of white noise to the room in an attempt to filter out the loud noises from outside. Additionally, if you have loud noises from within the house that you can hear in the living room, such as a clunking dishwasher, a teenager's stereo, or the hum of various electronic equipment, you should take steps to make these noises less intrusive within the living room area. You may be surprised at how much calmer your living room feels when you don't have a barrage of various noises coming into the room constantly. Sometimes it's just easier to sit down and enjoy company if there aren't a bunch of outside noises filtering in.

HOME OFFICES
If you have a choice, keep your home office out of the bedroom. Not everyone has this option, because for some people the only extra space they have in their house happens to be in the bedroom. The reasoning behind this is simple: Work may not be relaxing. You want everything in your bedroom to lean toward relaxation, and it's harder to rest if you're staring at your computer screen while in bed. You may conversely find it difficult to concentrate on your work if you're sitting in a room that is designed to help you rest and sleep. Computers in the bedroom are contrary to Feng Shui. You shouldn't have bulky electronic devices in your bedroom, and this includes a computer and any other electronic devices you need to work. Fax machines, answering machines, and large calculators just don't necessarily promote relaxation. You also need to consider the need to avoid electrical overloads in the room that you spend the most time in throughout the night.

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Work and rest should be separate. If you work from home you may have already discovered the fact that sometimes you feel as though you can never get away from your work. You certainly don't want to have a rough day with your work and then have to get into a bed that nestles up next to the very desk you were resenting hours before. You also don't want to sit at your desk and have a full view of your bed because that might be a tempting prospect.

Your desk placement within your home office is critical. The old western cowboy adage that you shouldn't position yourself with your back to the door is also an ideal within Feng Shui principles. So that means that even if you have to place your desk in a location of your home office that does not necessarily seem like the most aesthetically pleasing spot for your desk, you should still make sure that you aren't sitting with your back to the door. Remember that Feng Shui is not so much about the dcor in your home being visually nice, but instead it's supposed to allow energy to flow throughout the rooms. Of course you want your dcor and furniture placement within your home to look good when you look at it, but you also need to take into consideration the principles set forth by Feng Shui. Even if it seems more natural to have your desk propped up against the wall with your back to the door, you also need to set up your home office to make it a place where your creativity can flow and your mind can work clearly. Your desk is probably the centerpiece of your home office, so it's very important that you carefully consider where you place it within the room. If you spend a lot of time sitting at your desk you also need to take into consideration that you should have plenty of adequate light preferably natural light from a window or skylight - and avoid harsh artificial lighting that will make you feel run down. Make sure that your home office is located in an area within the house that is as free from distraction as possible. You can't hope to be productive if your home office is nothing more than a scattering of paperwork and a laptop computer spread out on your dining room table. Decorate, but don't clutter. You can find a vast array of items available for purchase that claim to be Feng Shui items: fountains, pictures, crystals, and other items are all sold to people who are looking to accentuate their areas with various decorations but who want everything to remain Feng Shui friendly. You can get quite carried away with buying these types of items, so you need to remember one of the basic principles of Feng Shui and that is to avoid allowing your space to become filled with clutter. With an abundance of items cluttering your workspace whether or not these items are designed with Feng Shui in mind your creative process cannot flow nearly as well as it would if you didn't have an abundance of trinkets throughout the room. So while you are decorating your home office you need to keep in mind that it isn't only workrelated items that can clutter things up. Yes, folders and equipment and other items can make a room messier, but when you add decorative items you're leaning toward filling your workspace with too much stuff. While you are

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attempting to keep your work related items under control you should also concentrate on only putting decorations up that help you focus and help you to feel more creative. Don't put up a poster of a Feng Shui symbol that is designed to make you more efficient if it doesn't truly appeal to you. It is unlikely that the symbol will do you any good at all with regard to your work if you don't personally find it aesthetically pleasing. In other words, don't fill your home office with Feng Shui decorations and other items if it hinders your work performance and your ability to concentrate on the task at hand.

KITCHEN
Here are the basic fundamentals for making your kitchen Feng Shui friendly. There are specific guidelines that Feng Shui experts suggest when it comes to making sure your kitchen is as harmonious as possible: The food matters. The food that you load into your cabinets and refrigerator is as important as the decorations you painstakingly select for your kitchen area. This is because food is supposed to carry with it an energy of its own, so if you stock your kitchen with natural foods devoid of preservatives and other chemicals then the energy will flow much easier than if the kitchen is filled to the brim with processed foods and convenience items. Keep an abundance of fresh foods on hand, such as fruits and vegetables, and if possible, you should do your best to buy organic items because these will not bring harmful pesticides and other unpleasant energies into your home. Aside from Feng Shui, stocking your kitchen with healthy foods will undoubtedly help you and your family have better energy and therefore probably positively affect the harmonious flow of energy within the entire home. Don't overdo it on convenience items. There are plenty of kitchen gadgets available that are designed to make your life easier. You may have a blender, a juicer, a mixer, a coffee maker, a crock pot, a microwave, a toaster, and who knows what else lurking on your kitchen counter. Although these items do make your food and drink preparation easier, in theory they can certainly interrupt the positive flow of energy within the room, especially if the items are constantly plugged into the wall and humming with electricity. Your first step should be to get rid of any gadgets or appliances that you really don't need or use; give them away to friends or send them off to a charitable cause. Remember that in general, clutter is frowned upon in Feng Shui, and even though the

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kitchen may be the most functional room in your house you still don't want it all cluttered up. After you have purged your kitchen of unneeded items you should find places for all the other appliances you want to keep. Utilize the spaces provided within your cabinets in order to get the appliances off your counters and into a nice space where they can stay until the time comes to actually use them. Think of how much more spacious your kitchen will appear once you get all of the items off the counters and into another area. This will probably make cooking much more fun and easy too since you won't have to constantly move things around in order to make room for food preparation. Keep the kitchen bright. There is something innately welcoming about a bright and well-aired kitchen areait beckons people in and urges them to linger and enjoy the space. You don't want to decorate your kitchen with dark or dreary colors because this will inevitably influence the energy flow of the room and the mood of the people who enter the room. You want your kitchen to be as bright as possible, not only in the color scheme you choose but also in the amount of light that is allowed into the room. Natural light is best, so if you have windows in your kitchen you should do your best to harness the natural light and allow it to soak into the room. You can also illuminate the room quite effectively using artificial light, but try to stay away from harsh fluorescent lighting and instead utilize many different soft lights throughout the room. This means that you don't really want one huge, harsh light as the illumination source, but instead you should try to place various soft light sources throughout the kitchen in an attempt to make it a bright and cheery room. Don't forget to open the windows within your kitchen for some fresh air when you are taking advantage of the natural lightkitchens especially need plenty of fresh air running through them. Kitchens need living things. As long as you don't allow the kitchen to get too cluttered, it's a great idea to put a potted plant, some flowers, or even a bowl of fresh fruit for people to snack on in the room. Living things such as these really assist the room to feel more harmonious and in touch with the flowing energy. As with the other rooms throughout the house, the use of living plants should only be used when you have the time and inclination to take care of them properly. Imagine how unwelcoming a big bowl of moldy fruit would be in a kitchenwould that be a room that you would want to linger in? Not to mention the fact that a rotting bowl of fruit or an ignored plant desperate for water and sunlight have the potential to wreck the positive energy within a room. You just can't hope to have a nice energy flow within your kitchen if you allow the living things that you place within the room to go uncared for. Keep it clean. If you are concerned about how the rooms within your house are perceived by other people then you probably already take steps to make sure that everything is clean and presentable. If you allow the kitchen to slide when it comes to housecleaning, however, you're making a mistake. Your kitchen should remain as clean as possible, and

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you should empty the trash out of the room frequently while also making sure that no food sits in the room beyond its expiration date. If you painstakingly design your kitchen to be as Feng Shui friendly as possible but then allow the food within the pantry to spill all over while becoming overrun by ants or other insects in search of food then you're wrecking the positive energy flow within the room. Remember that in many houses it's the kitchen not the living room that is the center of activity within the home. Many families congregate in the kitchen more than any other room of the house and enjoy cooking, eating, and having great conversation within the kitchen. You want the kitchen to be as clean as possible so that everyone feels welcome and the energy flows freely throughout the room. It's a tough task to feel at ease in a room that isn't very clean, no matter what Feng Shui symbols and trinkets are prominent within the room. If the chef isn't happy, nobody's happy. While you need to consider the principles of Feng Shui along with the decorative preferences of the entire family living within the home and using the kitchen, it should ultimately be left up to the main chef within the home as to what decorations are used and what colors are utilized. That means that if Mom is the person in the family who does the vast majority of the cooking then the room should be designed with her tastes in mind. Likewise, if Dad is the main cook within the home then it's his interior design preferences that should be taken into consideration. This doesn't mean that Mom should insist upon vulgar colors or Dad should be allowed to decorate the entire room with the logo of his favorite sports team. Instead, it simply means that the room should take Feng Shui principles into consideration while also pleasing the person who spends the most time in the kitchen. After all, everyone within the home benefits from a happy chef because the meals are even more scrumptious when prepared by someone who can make the food in a room designed to his or her liking.

You need to consider function as well as form. You do want your kitchen to be a warm and welcoming place, but you also need to make sure that your kitchen is not designed to be such a social area that it hinders your ability to do what the room is actually designed for: cooking. Unless you are the type of person who really doesnt spend any time cooking whatsoever (such as some people who simply prefer to consistently order in food instead of taking the time to cook it themselves) then your Feng Shui adjustments to the kitchen will have to be conducive to a functional room. This can be relatively difficult when compared to other rooms in the house. For example, the living room functions as a social spot within the house, but rarely is there some other main function for the room that needs to be worked around when considering a decorative scheme. No matter how badly you want to have the perfectly decorated Feng Shui kitchen that allows energy to flow beautifully throughout the room, you always need to consider the functional aspect of a kitchen. Don't think that you

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can get away with a smaller refrigerator in an attempt to minimize the use of obtrusive electronics within your home if you have a large familyyou'll run out of room in the fridge for all the food you need to keep the family going and this will result in one of two things: you'll either need to make more trips to the grocery store or your family will revolt and insist upon a bigger fridge. These are the types of things you need to take into consideration when you are planning on making your kitchen as Feng Shui friendly as possible. Don't let your zest for this decorating style turn into something that wrecks the productive aspects of the rooms within your house. Is your kitchen attached to another room? Some homes and apartments have kitchens that also feature rooms that are attached directly to the kitchen. Commonly, the other room may be a dining area or perhaps the entryway into the home. When you consider the Feng Shui within your kitchen area you should take a look at the attached rooms to make sure that everything flows nicely. Your kitchen may have a superb energy flow and harmony to it, but if an attached dining room is ignored with regard to Feng Shui then the bountiful energy in the kitchen might become stifled by the lack of energy flow in the dining room. You should always consider the flow of energy throughout the entire home, but this is especially true when one room is attached to another room. You may do well to consider the two attached rooms as one single room while configuring your furniture placement and decorations. You might find that the energy flow between the two rooms when flowing as one room is much more appealing than it would have been otherwise.

BATHROOMS
Here are the basic fundamentals for making your bathroom Feng Shui friendly. There are specific guidelines that Feng Shui experts suggest when it comes to making sure your bathroom is as harmonious as possible: Keep your bathroom as clean as possible. This not only helps you to have a more sanitary home, but in Feng Shui it is believed that bathrooms will be more cleansing if the bathroom itself is clean. This means that the bathrooms can't get too dirty, because the theory is that it's hard to cleanse yourself in a room that isn't clean to begin with. Much like kitchens, bathrooms need to be kept as clean as possible and special attention should be paid to this room because it is so easy to allow the room to get dirty. It's sometimes difficult to keep up with a bathroom that is constantly in use by various members of the family, but a concerted effort must be made to keep the bathrooms as clean as can be. This doesn't mean that you should scrub the bathroom every day with a toothbrush, and it certainly doesnt mean that you should use harsh chemical cleaners with reckless abandon in an attempt to keep the bathrooms immaculate. Instead, it simply means that the cleaner the bathrooms are within your home, the more welcoming they will be to both the people within the home and any guests that you may entertain.

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Honestly, not many people enjoy using a dirty bathroom when visiting a friend, and not many folks can claim not to mind a filthy bathroom within the home in which they reside. Make an effort to keep the bathrooms clean and you will probably notice a much more pleasant atmosphere in this area of the home. Try some candles and music. It may never have occurred to you to place things like candles and music in your bathroom, especially if you don't necessarily like to linger while utilizing this room. The trick is to try to make the bathroom just as appealing and relaxing as possible, so try adding some nice touches while taking care to avoid cluttering up the room too much. You don't want your bathrooms to be so overrun with candles that they rival a candle shop. Remember that candles often come with scents, some of which can be quite powerful and obtrusive. While there is nothing wrong with adding pleasant scents to areas of your home especially the bathroom as it can often smell less than pleasant you don't want the scents to become overpowering and artificial. If you do add some music to your bathroom then try to find a small stereo that does not clutter up your bathroom counters. When adding touches like these you also want to make sure that you keep safety in mind. Don't place a gaggle of lit candles right next to your towels and don't allow a stereo to hang perilously close to the edge of your filled bathtub. How harmonious can a room possibly be if it bursts into flames or is surging with electrified water? Close your drainage sources. Some Feng Shui experts claim that the bathroom is a powerful place that literally drains all the good energy out of your home, thereby making the entire house much less harmonious and pleasant. For this reason, you are supposed to make sure that if a drain isnt in use within the bathroom that the drain remains closed. It is also suggested that the toilet lid remains closed when not in use so that the energy within the house does not escape using that route. If you are wondering why bathrooms get such a bad reputation but kitchens don't (even though kitchens feature drains) then take into consideration the fact that back in ancient times when the Chinese were forming the ideas behind Feng Shui there was really no such thing as modern bathrooms. This means that bathrooms are something that have been dealt with in Feng Shui on an evolving basis. Some Feng Shui experts simply find bathrooms vulgar and try their best to suggest things that will hide the existence of bathrooms and deflect all energy away from this area of the house. Other Feng Shui experts treat bathrooms just as any other room within the housethey suggest that you keep the room free of clutter, clean, and pleasing to the eye. Get creative with mirrors. In Feng Shui, mirrors can be used to deflect energy. Since the bathroom is considered to be a means by which to deplete energy out of the house, you can place a large mirror on the outside of the bathroom door. This is supposed to stop the energy within the home from rushing to the bathroom and escaping out through one of

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the drains. Although it may seem a little odd to place a large mirror on the outside of your bathroom you can at least consider it a functional decoration: you can check your wardrobe and/or makeup in two different kinds of lighting (bathroom lighting and the lighting outside of the bathroom). Make sure that the mirror you place on the outside of the bathroom door is securely fastened to the door so that you don't have to deal with the fear of it coming loose and shattering into a million little pieces within the hallway. After all, a constant fear of shattered glass is pretty far from a harmonious flow of energy, don't you think? Make sure that the mirror stays clean too, because speckles of dust and other smudges can affect the mirror's ability to deflect energy away from the bathroom. You may be wondering how harmonious a place for waste can be. If you are the kind of person who sees a bathroom as nothing more than a place to get clean and to use the toilet then the thought of being concerned about the energy flow of a bathroom may seem like an idiotic idea. Not everyone feels this way, of course, and many people take great pains to make sure that their bathrooms are places of relaxation and solace. When you think about it, it does really make sense. Even if the bathroom is nothing more than somewhere you go to use the toilet and take a quick shower, you should still make sure that it is a place that will be as comfortable as possible for you and anyone else who may want to use it. After all, even necessary bodily functions should be done in as relaxing a place as possible. Your bathroom will probably be visited by people who come to your house to visit, so you want it to be an appealing section of your home. Many people have bathrooms attached directly to their bedrooms as well, so you don't want to have a stuffy room directly attached to the room where you sleep and relax. Whether or not the bathroom is attached to your bedroom, you should still make an attempt to make it a pleasant place to be. You do spend a good portion of your time at home in the bathroom, even if you are the kind of person who shoots through necessary hygienic tasks instead of lingering on them. Making your bathroom a place that you can be comfortable in should be a priority for you when you are in the process of making your home as Feng Shui friendly as possible. Think of the benefits of Feng Shui in the bathroom. Think about what the function of your bathroom is. Oftentimes people start their days in the bathroom, primping for the day ahead. You undoubtedly visit your bathroom several times throughout the day, and you may even conclude your evening in the bathroom right before heading off to bed. Wouldn't it be great to have a place where you can start and end your day in a comfortable environment that is

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designed to be relaxing? There are also some physical benefits to being relaxed in your bathroom. Many medical professionals suggest that using the toilet should be as relaxed as possible so you don't develop problems. Basically, you're not supposed to rush your toilet visits. You may be more likely to allow nature to take its course and not rush your visits to the restroom if your bathroom is a relaxing and comfortable environment. There is an obvious amount of merit behind making your bathroom a comfortable place.

FENG SHUI FOR YOUR STUFF


Storage is a part of your home, and thus a part of the energy within the home. Even if the storage space within your home is nestled away deep in the recesses of a basement or perched precariously in your attic among dust and various critters, it is still a part of your living space. Even if you never see your stored items they still have an effect on how the energy within your home flows. When you are trying to get the energy in your home to flow more harmoniously you need to remember the parts of your home that you can't see. If you have boxes upon boxes of unused items collecting dust and blocking vital flow areas for energy then no matter what changes you make to the places in your home that you can see you may not be able to achieve maximum results unless you take the time to go into your storage areas and work some Feng Shui into the areas. Consider your garage, if you have a garage that is attached to your home. Even if you don't consider your garage a part of your home in the sense that you only use it to park your car and store some boxes there, it is still an important part of your home because it is physically attached to the home and also offers a portal by which energy can either enter the home or leave it. Positive energy entering through your garage might get caught up in all the clutter of the area and never make it into your living spaces. Make sure that there is room for everything to flow nicely in every area of your homeeven the spots you don't necessarily live in. Is it time for a garage sale? Again and again you will hear that Feng Shui endorses a living arrangement that is free from an abundance of clutter. Perhaps you have a bunch of stuff that you havent looked at in years, but you don't want to part with either because of sentimental value or just because you don't want to take the time to sift through it all. When the time comes for you to try to make your home as harmonious as possible, then that means that it is time to tackle all the clutter within your home. It doesnt matter if you load up everything and host a huge garage sale or if you bag it up and send it off to charity. The point is to free your home of some space so that the energy can flow readily and uninhibited. Stacks of unused stuff is not the best idea when you are trying to make room for positive energy within your home. Aside from all the extra room these things take up, think about what they do to your thought process. Even if you can't see the boxes and other stored items, you know they are there and that you will eventually have to handle them some day. You may as well roll up your sleeves and get it over with. You will be able to let out a big

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sigh of relief when you don't have an abundance of dusty boxes taking up valuable space within your home. Make some room. Storage space in Feng Shui does not refer only to boxes and extra furniture stacked up in various areas of your home. Storage space also refers to the cabinets in your kitchen, the dresser drawers in your bedroom, and the hall closet, in addition to other storage spaces throughout your home. The trick is to avoid packing these areas so tightly that it becomes a chore to access the things you need. If you have to have a wrestling match with your linen closet every time you go to get a fresh towel, then this is certainly not conducive to a harmonious living situation. If your pantry within your kitchen is packed excessively then you are probably not making your way through all the food, and this means that the energy in your kitchen is tainted with the negative energy of expired foods. Clear some space within your storage areas. If necessary, find ways to utilize the space within your storage areas more efficiently without going so far as to have stacks and stacks of shelving and other storage methods peppered throughout your home. There is something to be said for efficient storage methods, but a harmonious Feng Shui home is not packed with items to the extent that the home is overrun with stuff. Seek alternative storage methods. Suppose you inherited the entire contents of your great-grandmother's living room. You may not necessarily want to use these items, yet you are reluctant to part with them because they fondly remind you of your beloved great-grandmother. Instead of stacking these items irreverently in the back of your garage and allowing them to collect dust you may want to find someone else within the family who has the ability to take the items and use them with the respect they deserve. If this isn't an option, you may want to consider renting a storage space outside of your home, at a different location. There are many storage companies that offer spacious, climatecontrolled storage spots at reasonable rental prices. Although a fundamental idea within Feng Shui is that you should not hold on to clutter, another ancient Chinese philosophy is that you should honor your ancestors. Placing all the beloved items into a safe spot until you can find someone to take them or moving to a home that can hold all the items is far preferable to tossing all the items into a chaotic pile somewhere in your house. A word about storage spots, however: don't think that you can hope to have harmonious energy within your home by grabbing all the junk you don't want to bother sifting through and tossing it into a storage spot. Even if the junk is away from your home, it's still on your mind as a huge chore that you havent yet tackled. Use storage spots for instances when you have things you simply can't part with, but you don't have room for within your house. You should think of your Feng Shui redecorating and rearranging as more than something that merely involves the favorite rooms within your home. Instead, it should be an ongoing process where you attempt to integrate every room into each otheryour entire home should be a type of system where every room

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compliments the other rooms within the home. Start with a room that you spend a lot of time in, and then move on to the next room and so on. It is quite likely that you will never be fully satisfied with the layout of your home and this may be an ongoing process where you are constantly trying to find the best energy flow for your house. Then again, if you find that you follow the Feng Shui principles and then notice a vast improvement in the energy flow of your home then you're fortunate that you found the correct system for adding more harmony to your home in the first attempt. Feng Shui can be an ongoing process that you never really "finish" per se.

FENG SHUI OUTSIDE YOUR HOUSE


Feng Shui can be utilized in places beyond your home. Feng Shui can be relatively portable and you can also attempt to employ Feng Shui ideas in the other places where you frequently spend time. Have you considered using Feng Shui in your office or place of employment? Or maybe you can try to bring a little more harmony to your car, which is a place that can generally use as much harmony as possible. You can even purchase Feng Shui jewelry to make it easy to remain focused on your goals, whether that's to get more balance in your life or to attract a romantic interest. If you find that Feng Shui in your home works well then you might as well bring it into other portions of your life.

GARDENS
Gardens are perfect for meditation and reflection. As you probably already know, being outdoors can be some of the most harmonious places to be because generally the air is cleaner and the lighting is perfect. Here are the basics when it comes to creating a perfect Feng Shui garden to enjoy while also using as a spot where you can reflect and refresh yourself: Have a welcoming entrance. Although you don't necessarily want to surround your garden with a fence, you should find a way to make the garden a spot where there is a definite entrancepreferably an entrance that appeals to the senses and beckons people to come inside. You can design your garden to where the plants form the entrance, such as by trimming bushes into a certain design so that it appears to be an indicator of where visitors should enter the garden. You can also use an arch as an entrance as long as the arch isn't attached to a prohibitive fence. You can purchase appropriate arches and other materials at just about any home improvement store or garden supplier, and in Feng Shui there is no stringent guidelines that dictate the design of the garden entrance or the color and materials that it should be made out of. Of course, you don't want to pick an absurd color that will detract from the beauty of the garden, and you want to make sure that the entryway remains clear so that the garden is consistently inviting. Don't allow the entryway into the

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garden to become something that actually makes people turn away instead of enter inside. Keep it clean. Gardening is a real joy to some people, while other people really don't like the upkeep necessary to maintain a garden. If you are the kind of person who truly does not like the idea of clearing weeds and watering plants and basically working toward the upkeep and beautification of a garden then you have two options: 1. Pay someone else to maintain your garden. 2. Don't start a garden to begin with. You just can't plant a garden and let it run wild. Imagine the type of energy that would flow through a chaotic garden that is left to its own devices. You certainly wouldn't be able to relax in a garden that is not well maintained, let alone use it as a place of reflection. While you are maintaining your garden you should do so in with a calm demeanor, caring for the plants with a glad attitude while being respectful of the living organisms you are caring for. If you grumble and complain about how difficult it is to keep up with all the gardening then no matter how pretty the garden appears to everyone there will not be a very appealing energy flow throughout. Clutter is of concern in the garden too. You don't just have to worry about clutter within the rooms of your home. Gardens can become overrun by too many plants and too many decorations quite easily. Think about it: how relaxing can an army of ceramic garden gnomes be? Even if you enjoy finding various outdoor decorations to enhance your garden, try to keep their inclusion into your landscape to a bare minimum. You don't want the various decorations to detract from the natural beauty of your garden. Likewise, you need to make sure that the array of plants you choose do not result in a cluttered feel throughout the garden. Don't arbitrarily plant flowers and other plants throughout the garden and allow them all to intermingle without any thought to the aesthetics behind the whole process. You don't want your garden to appear cluttered and chaotic, but overfilling it with a huge variety of flowers no matter how pretty they are can create a space that is simply too overwhelming to be enjoyable. Add some water to your garden. Gardens are a great place to add some water beyond what is pumped in to keep the plants growing. You should consider adding something like a beautiful fountain or perhaps a birdbath to your garden. If your space is limited you may still be able to find an appropriate water source to use within your garden, but if you are lucky enough to have the room and the funds necessary in order to place a gorgeous fountain or birdbath in the garden then you are quite fortunate. Imagine how relaxing and tranquil it would be to lounge among a variety of colorful flowers while also enjoying the trickling sound of running water from a fountain or the playful splash of small birds enjoying the birdbath. Adding water not only allows you to have a more decorative and appealing garden, but it also allows you to add another Feng Shui

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element (water) to your space, and that means the space is more balanced. Areas that have a nice balance allow for the energy to flow more freely, and make for spaces that people want to visit again and again. Have somewhere to sit. When planning a garden, many people forget to take into consideration the need to have somewhere to sit and reflect while enjoying the beauty of the garden. Plan a space where you can sit and have a clear visual of the entire garden if possible. You should take care to not make this a chaotic spot whatsoever. That means that the number of plants near the sitting spot should be minimum and any decorations within this area should be as subdued as possible. If you plan on including decorative art within your garden then this is the place for it because it will give you something to gaze upon and put your focus on while you relax. If you place a bench here then keep it as simple as possible, just as you should try to simplify the furniture within your home. That means that even if the furniture store features a gorgeously carved huge bench that appeals to your senses you may not want it as the resting spot within your garden. The area provided as a sitting spot should have a bench or other seating area that is as unobtrusive and uncluttered as possible. Besides, wouldn't you rather the visitors to your garden notice all the beautiful plants and flowers instead of noticing the bench? Light it up. Since you are attempting to incorporate the various Feng Shui elements within your garden you can find many different ways to bring the element of fire into your garden without burning the place down. Most home improvement stores offer gorgeous fire pits and outdoor chimneys for use within a garden, but you need to make sure that these are not the focal point of your garden. Delicate flowers and flames are a stark contrast to one another, and you certainly dont want your garden to convey a sense of contradiction. Fire can also be represented by other forms of light, such as with the small path illuminating lights that you can buy. However you decide to incorporate this element into your garden you need to keep safety in mind. Don't place a huge fire pit directly below a series of hanging branches. Don't line tiki torches along a row of trees. Fire can add a dazzling effect to gardens, but you don't want to risk a fire getting out of hand within your garden. Don't get direct. If you are able to include a walking path within your garden then your goal should be to make it as winding and twisty as you can. Just like with furniture placement within the home, you want to make sure that there are no direct paths that lead directly from the entrance to the exit. The idea is to make the thought of taking your time and lingering within the space just as appealing as possible. This also allows for the energy within the garden to flow as freely as possible. Gardens are brimming with positive energy, especially when they are designed with Feng Shui principles in mind. A winding path allows visitors to take their time and enjoy the process of visiting the garden.

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When visitors have a clear view of the exit upon their initial entrance, it detracts them from the task at hand: to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Your first thought upon entering a garden shouldn't be "Oh look, there is the exit." Instead, your first thought upon entering a garden should be something more along the lines of "Now here is a place I would like to stay for a while and clear my thoughts." Pay attention to the colors of your plants. Colors have special significance within Feng Shui, so depending upon what you want to accomplish with your garden, you need to pay close attention to what colors you surround yourself with. Surround yourself with an eclectic mixture of flowers in various shades of colors that are conducive to your goals. Fill your garden with dark colored flowers such as blue and other dark colors if you would like your Feng Shui garden to be a place where you can find some calm. This would also be an appropriate place to allow some flowing water, such as with a fountain. You can find a Feng Shui fountain quite easily at home decorating stores. Fill your garden with light colored flowers such as white or other pale colors if you would like your Feng Shui garden to be a place where you can clear your mind and search for clarity. Accessorize the garden with metal accoutrements. Fill your garden with vibrant colors such as red and other vibrant colors if you would like your Feng Shui garden to be a place where you can concentrate on your professional goals. Candles or a fire pit are appropriate for this type of garden. Don't fill your garden with specific Feng Shui colors and materials if they don't appeal to you personally. Don't stock your garden chock full of deep red roses if you don't really care for the color red or roses, even if your main goal is to have a garden that allows you to reflect on your professional goals. With such a wide variety of flowers available, you should be able to find something appropriate to your desired garden. Sometimes, just having a garden is good enough. In other words, if you adore light colored flowers but you're not necessarily looking for a place to search for clarity, you may still want to fill your garden with the flowers you love. After all, a beautiful outdoor spot where you can sit and relax can be a fantastic thing to have, whether or not the flowers are necessarily placed according to Feng Shui principles. Make your garden a beautiful place that you love to be in. Choose an appropriate focal point and direction. Most Feng Shui experts suggest that a garden is best placed facing the southern direction. This not only

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adheres to Feng Shui principles, but it also will let the plants within your garden soak up the maximum amount of natural sunlight unless the sun is blocked by your home or another structure. No matter how decorative a fence you have, you should avoid making a fence the main focus of your garden area. You should do your best to make sure that the garden is a welcoming area and that visitors do not feel inhibited in entering the garden. If your garden is surrounded by a fence no matter how small or decorative many people will not feel as though they can walk into the garden without first being granted permission. For this reason you should not begin your gardening process by picking out a fence, unless you live in the type of neighborhood where there is simply no getting around the need to block off your private property. If you are unable to let your garden face the south as well then you should try your best to plan the garden in a direction that allows the plants to receive some exposure to the sun at different times of the day. Even if you use plants that are designed to thrive with very little sunlight, Feng Shui principles employ the use of natural sunlight as a welcoming and soothing element. The plants may not necessarily need the sunlight, but you and the visitors to your garden do.

YOUR WORKPLACE
Check to make sure you're allowed to change things. You may have grand plans to create the perfect work environment that will allow your creative juices to flow within your office, cubicle, or some other form of work space. Before you start your project, however, you will want to make sure that you are actually allowed to make these types of changes at your work. Some managers and business owners frown upon major changes made within their workplace, and many actually put regulations in place that limit the number of decorations or furniture rearrangements made within the work area. In other words, before you plaster Feng Shui symbols all over your desk or start moving your cubicle so you can get some natural light filtering in, make sure that these are changes that you're actually allowed to make. Otherwise your newly renovated calm spot may have to revert right back to its previous non-calming environment, and this will probably be doubly frustrating for you. Be aware that although you spend an awful lot of time at your work, this doesn't necessarily mean that you can change things as you wish without consideration for your coworkers. Don't make your Feng Shui project at work something that will make things inconvenient for everyone else. For example, don't insist that you need to switch spots with someone else because you dont want to be right next to the huge communal printer that messes with your energy flow. Unless someone is willing to trade spots with you happily then don't force the issue. You may wind up with a more Feng Shui friendly work area, but if your coworkers are all upset with your rearranging then your energy is undoubtedly going to be interrupted by all the dirty looks you get. Sometimes it's hard to make a calming environment at work. Not everyone works at a desk all day. Some people work on assembly lines while others drive

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a truck all day. Unless your workplace is a private nook within a quiet office then you are probably not going to have the easiest time in transforming everything into your ideal work spot. You will have to look around your work area and get creative with what you do to make your working environment more conducive to Feng Shui ideals. You may only be able to get away with trying your best to get fresh air once in a while during your workday, or maybe doing some calming breathing exercises intermittently in order to stay positive. Even if the closest you can get to natural light is a mere glimpse, and if facing the door while working is an impossibility, you can still do your best to keep your energy harmonious with your surroundings. You have a right to insist upon certain changes within your work area, such as an air filter for horrendously polluted air or maybe a painting party to clean up the disgusting walls within your workplace. If you happen to work in a spot where it's simply impossible to utilize the vast majority of Feng Shui principles, however, then just do your best to remain calm and centered on the inside until you're able to get home to the house that you are able to decorate and rearrange as you please. Prepare yourself for some comments. If you work with a large group of people then your rearranging and decorating efforts will more than likely not go unnoticed. If you let everyone in on the intention to make your workspace more conducive to Feng Shui principles then you should realize that you are setting yourself up to become a bit of an office joke. Of course, this all depends on what kind of work environment you haveif you are a salesperson for a holistic company then something like this will probably not cause anyone to raise an eyebrow, but if you happen to work somewhere like an investment firm or maybe an industrial supplier then get ready for some curiosity as well as some humor at your expense. Depending upon the personality of the people in your office you may find yourself dubbed The Feng Shui Master or something equally ridiculous. Since you are familiar with how the people within your workplace react to things like this, only you know what the possible outcome will be. If you know that you are setting yourself up for some real teasing then you need to decide if maybe you should try to make your decorative changes quietly, or if maybe it's even worth it to try it at all.

YOUR CAR
You probably spend a lot of time in your car. If you have spent a considerable amount of time and effort in order to make your home and office Fen-Shui friendly but haven't taken the time to consider your car's energy, then it's time to start working on getting your car to a point where it has the best vibe

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possible. Just think about how much time you spend in your car. Even if you don't have a long commute to work you probably still hop in your car to head to the grocery store or to run the endless amount of errands you need to take care of throughout the week. You also probably use your car when you are heading off to a fun night, whether its a night out with friends or a solo evening somewhere nice. Don't you think you should attempt to make your car as harmonious as possible? Lose the clutter within your car and be mindful of what kind of music you allow to permeate the interior of your car. A drive to work that features angry music may result in you showing up an angry employee, but a drive to work featuring soothing music or sounds may set the stage for a peaceful day (even if your job isn't necessarily peaceful). Think of your car as your oasis from the outside worldalthough you may have a tough commute and maybe even head off to a difficult job, your car can be a place of solace for you. It makes a lot of sense to try to make your car as Feng Shui friendly as you can since you spend so much time in it. Don't use anything too terribly distracting. Feng Shui items can be quite decorative and many people claim to receive great benefits from using Feng Shui items, but if your Feng Shui items in your car are distracting you when it comes to driving then you certainly can't hope to achieve any level of harmony within your vehicle because you're putting your life in danger. No matter how calming you think a dangling crystal might be, if you allow it to hang from your rearview mirror you're asking for trouble. When you are trying to make the interior of your car Feng-Shui friendly just be sure to take into consideration your safety. Don't attach any decorations to your windows, even if they feature FengShui symbols that you find valuable in your quest for balance. You can't be balanced when driving if you can't see everything around you. There are plenty of things you can do to your car in order to make it more Feng-Shui friendly without making your environment distracting. For example, making sure that the air in your car is clean is one easy way to make it more Feng-Shui friendly. Some manufacturers sell air purifiers designed specifically for cars, so they are designed to be unobtrusive and quiet enough to use while trying to concentrate on the task of driving. You can certainly incorporate Feng-Shui symbols and other pieces into your car's interior without causing yourself problems. If you insist upon allowing dangly items in your car, consider a safe place to put them. Instead of hanging them from the rearview mirror, attach them to your dashboard in a place where the items will not get in your way. Although FengShui dictates where certain things should be placed in order to achieve maximum harmonious balance, you really need to consider your safety above all else when placing items in your car's interior. Some things can't be changed. If you have a ton of money to spend on making your vehicle more Feng Shui friendly then that's great; bring in an expert and start rearranging the inside of your car and make a custom-rebuilt Feng Shui extravaganza in your car. Most people, however, acknowledge that ripping out seats and adding additional windows simply isn't a feasible aspiration for

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their cars. Try not to labor over the idea that your car is not necessarily the most ideal Feng Shui setup. If you are looking for more peace and relaxation while you drive your car to and from work then you may want to start by learning how to keep calm while driving. Really, what would your Feng Shui consultant say if he or she knew that you drive aggressively and periodically scream at the people driving around you? Keep yourself calm with music or other soothing sounds, and when all else fails you can always count to tenthis can work wonders if you're trying to avoid getting a huge case of road rage.

FENG SHUI EXTRAS


Feng Shui jewelry makes it portable. Feng Shui employs several different types of colors, numbers, and shapes in order to offer protection as well as provide a calming presence. Depending on what it is you're trying to do get more energy, attract someone, put your mind at ease, or any number of things you'll want to use the appropriate color and shape when utilizing Feng Shui jewelry. You can easily find necklaces, bracelets, and even key chains featuring the shapes and colors designed to bring you your desired result. Here is a brief listing of the various colors utilized in Feng Shui: Light yellow is supposed to encourage steadiness in relationships while also shielding your relationships. These colors represent Earth within Feng Shui. Red and purple (in addition to a few other colors classified as "fire colors") are supposed to support your career development while also promoting the possibility of achieving recognition from the people higher up in your organization. White and gray are supposed to help you with keeping your mind sharp while also lending some clarity to your thought processes. These colors are considered metal colors within Feng Shui. Blue and black are supposed to be calming colors within Feng Shui while also being used as a curing color. These colors are considered water colors within Feng Shui. Brown and green are used in Feng Shui as a means to promote wealth and abundance. These "wood" colors are also supposed to help people to promote good health and development. Crystal jewelry is also used in Feng Shui. Crystals aren't always used in Feng Shui jewelry, and sometimes are used as decorative elements within a home. When crystals are utilized in Feng Shui jewelry they can mean different things depending on the color and shape of the crystals. Some crystals are used to attract other people while others are supposed to protect people from the various negative forces within the world. When you purchase a new piece of Feng Shui jewelry containing crystals or when you are given a new piece of crystal Feng Shui jewelry you are supposed to wash it before you actually wear it. Since crystals are assumed to hold certain energies, it's important that you release any residual energies held by the crystals prior to using them for PAGE 39

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your own purposes. You are also supposed to clean your Feng Shui crystals on a regular basis in order to keep them useable. There is no specific ritual to cleansing your Feng Shui crystal jewelry, but you are supposed to do it in a calming manner each time you do it. Feng Shui cell phone accessories are available too. Whether you cheer the potential to accessorize your cellular phone with Feng Shui symbols and accoutrements or if it seems as though it's just taking everything a bit too far, these accessories exist nonetheless. The idea is to allow people to have a portable Feng Shui presence on an item that they use constantly throughout the day. The symbols are supposed to provide valuable energy while also serving as a reminder to remain calm and centered. The clanking of Feng Shui amulets while you attempt to make a phone call may not be the most relaxing accessory you can place on your phone, and if you work in a professional capacity you may get a couple of annoyed looks from business associates because your phone has dangling jewelry hanging from it. If you truly feel as though your life will be enhanced by attaching Feng Shui symbols to your cell phone then go ahead and give it a try. It's not hard to find these attachments in stores where other Feng Shui merchandise is sold, or you may actually be able to find these types of attachments in a store that sells cell phone accessories. You may find, however, that while Feng Shui is useful for you in your home and other surroundings, adding dangly symbols and threads to your cell phone may be beyond what you need to keep your energy aligned. In fact, it may instead border on an annoyance. One of the great things about Feng Shui is that you can utilize the principles just about anywhere. For example, knowing that natural light and fresh air is quite complimentary to your energy you might choose to take a seat near a window on a bus as opposed to corralling yourself near the front exit for a quick exit when the time comes. You might also find yourself making mental notes while apartment shopping because you want to make sure that your next residence allows for Feng Shui principles to be put into place. Don't limit yourself to only utilizing Feng Shui within your home. Take a look at the other places you frequent such as your place of employment or your car and see if there are ways that you can enhance the flow of energy and harmoniousness within those areas too.

CRITICISMS OF FENG SHUI


Feng Shui may be something that many people consider a harmless fad (although it has ancient roots), but some people see Feng Shui as a dangerous trend that is merely a small part of a society that allows more and more mystical aspects into everyday life without questioning the validity and potential danger of getting involved in something that attempts to control things that are considered by some people to be uncontrollable (such as attracting a suitable mate without putting forth an effort or getting a raise at work without doing all the things

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people usually do in order to get raises). It all depends on your own personal beliefs with regard to practices that claim to have power in things other than a faith-based ideal. You may have never considered that some people abhor something as seemingly harmless as Feng Shui, but there is a true dislike for it among certain groups of people.

ASTRONOMY & SORCERY


Feng Shui isn't just about decorating. As mentioned before, a big aspect of Feng Shui is an attempt to control surroundings based on the placement of certain images, lights, and sounds. It's one thing to try to make a room more aesthetically pleasing using Feng Shui principles, but it's another thing to attempt to actually sway the so-called "energy" within a room and have an effect on the feelings of the people who enter. When you wear a rose colored crystal in an attempt to attract a romantic interest you're not only employing Feng Shui principles, but you're also trying to make something happen in a non-traditional way. Instead of cultivating a friendship and flirting with the person, you're hoping that a certain color of a certain stone combined with particular placements as dictated by Feng Shui will lure in your beloved. Obviously, there is much more to Feng Shui than simply where you put your couch or how much light you let into your bedroom. It is an attempt to influence the world around you, and perhaps even to influence certain people in your life as well. You should understand this before you hop in and allow Feng Shui into your life. Some religious leaders denounce Feng Shui. Some religious leaders go so far as to denounce Feng Shui as a form of witchcraft. Other religious leaders consider Feng Shui a gateway to more serious practices. For example, they may have no problem per se with you using Feng Shui in an attempt to make your home more aesthetically pleasing, but the worry is that you will be pleased with the results you derive from your initial attempt at Feng Shui and will then move on to other forms that border on pagan. Donning crystals or using magnets is considered forms of mysticism that simply aren't accepted among many religious leaders. Religious leaders also generally frown upon the use of symbols (other than the symbols used within their particular faith) as a means by which to obtain things, whether it's material things you hope for or certain feelings. The reason why it's important for you to know this is because even if you think Feng Shui is nothing more than a harmless method by which to decide on decorations and furniture placement for your home, the leaders of whatever place of worship you may attend might feel contrary to that. If you are highly involved within a church or other worshipping institution then you will want to take this into consideration. Of course, if you have no religious affiliation and couldn't care less or if you worship at a place where the leaders within the religious organization fully endorse the principles of Feng Shui then this isn't really a concern to you. You just need to know that not everyone is enamored with the principles of Feng Shui, and in fact there are plenty of people who find it quite distasteful.

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It's similar to astronomy. Feng Shui utilizes some of the same principles of astronomy in the sense that the positions of the planets at any given time are supposed to have a dramatic impact on things. The reason why you need to know this is because if you are one of the many people who balk at the ideas of astronomy and especially if you are the type of person who openly criticizes anyone who puts stock in the ideas of astronomy then by using Feng Shui you are using similar ideas. Consequently, if you are rather vocal about your distaste for astronomy and then in the next breath mention how you are excited about your new Feng Shui renovations within your house, you are opening yourself up to some ridicule from anyone who is familiar with both Feng Shui and astronomy. It's a good idea in anything you do (Feng Shui included) that you take the time to understand fully the principles behind the process before you embrace them, otherwise you are setting yourself up for some embarrassing moments.

SILLY NONSENSE
Some people think Feng Shui is just plain silly. Many people balk at the idea of there truly being any significance of where your head is in relation to your bathroom door when you're sleeping, or whether or not there is a computer in the living room, or what corner of the kitchen has the most sunlight coming in. A lot of people figure that the way a home is set up is simply a product of how the residents feel most comfortable, and moving things around in an attempt to follow some sort of ancient tradition is simply silly. The principles behind Feng Shui do sound a little fishy when examined in a simplistic sensewhy should it matter which direction your bed faces? Feng Shui involves ancient methods that have been tested repeatedly over the years, but for many people this does not make the theories any easier to accept. Many people who criticize Feng Shui as just a bunch of silly nonsense may not have a full understanding of the historical significance behind the practices, and certainly most critics have not delved deeply into researching the intricacies of Feng Shui. This is one topic that falls into the ranks of "Highly Misunderstood" when discussed among people who really don't have much of an idea of what Feng Shui is all about. If someone tells you they are of the opinion that Feng Shui is nothing more than a bunch of hooey then ask them what their true experience with Feng Shui is. Have they ever tried it? Have they done any research regarding Feng Shui? The likely reply will be that they have formed their opinions solely on what they have gathered from listening to what other people have said about it, and probably don't have any first hand knowledge about Feng Shui whatsoever, and theres a

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pretty good chance that they don't have the correct information regarding Feng Shui. If it works, does it matter how silly is seems? Okay, so maybe the principles regarding Feng Shui may have an element of silliness to them when compared to Western ideals. Does it really matter whether or not the people around you think Feng Shui is silly if you find that it works for you? Feng Shui can be proclaimed as being nothing more than a silly fad after you have taken the time to actually research the principles behind it and attempted to employ the principles into your life. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that after switching around some furniture and changing some colors on your walls you suddenly do actually feel as though you have achieved a little more balance within your life, and you may find that you become a Feng Shui advocate. If you can find something that makes your life just a little bit better then it really shouldn't matter whether the people around you feel as though you are engaged in something silly. Most people are of the opinion that Feng Shui isn't necessarily harmful to anyone, but there are also plenty of folks who thing it's all a bunch of silly nonsense. You shouldn't concern yourself with those opinions as long as you find that Feng Shui gives you the results you are looking for. Does the color of your wall truly influence your mood? Nobody knows for sure, but if it works for you then go with it. Maybe if you think it works, then it does. The "placebo effect" refers to receiving expected results from something just because you truly believe those are the results you are going to get, even if the supposed cause of the result isn't actually the thing causing the desired outcome. For example, if you give a sugar pill to someone who has a headache and tell them that it's a great new headache remedy they may actually later report that their headache disappeared after taking the miraculous pill. You know it wasn't the pill that caused the headache to go away, however, because you know that the pill didn't actually have any medicinal value whatsoever. It was the power of the person thinking that the pill would make the headache vanish that made the headache vanish. If you feel as though Feng Shui is just a bunch of silly nonsense then it's probably not going to work for you, no matter how hard you try to follow the principles because you will always have the lingering thought in your mind that it isn't going to work. On the other hand, if you truly believe that Feng Shui will bring more peace and harmony to your life then that may be the result you get. Even if it isnt the ancient Feng Shui principles that are making things run more smoothly, perhaps following the principles is the kind of catalyst you need in order to achieve the desired result. Whether or not it's the Feng Shui that makes everything more harmonious doesnt really matter as long as things are really more harmonious, don't you think?

INFLUENCING YOUR ENVIRONMENT

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This is a big no-no in many cultures. It sure sounds like a great idea to be able to influence your surroundings by moving some furniture around or painting your walls a certain color, but a large amount of cultures would dub this type of thing witchcraft. Even if you just want to utilize Feng Shui to make your home a little more aesthetically pleasing, a grandmother, uncle, or any other member of your family or group of friends may react strongly to what you're doing since it has roots in Eastern mysticism. Don't be surprised if your highly traditional relatives and friends criticize your efforts, or maybe even refuse to come over to your house. If you have an inkling that this situation is possible with the people you are close to then you may not want to mention that the redecorating in your home is with the distinct purpose of sharpening the clarity of your thoughts or bringing more harmony to your family within the home. Of course, if your home becomes laden with Feng Shui symbols then you may not be able to hide the fact. Just be ready to defend your decisions and if all else fails you may lose a few visitors as a result of your efforts. Is it cheating? Let's suppose that you actually can attract a suitable romantic partner from wearing a certain colored crystal, or you can make houseguests more at ease depending on where you place the bed in the guest room. The question is whether or not these things are actually the sorts of things that you should be attempting to influence. It may seem like a ridiculous argument to you, but you can think of it in these terms: if you started dating someone and after a while in the relationship he or she intimated to you that he or she used mystical means by which to attract you, would you find this amusing, bizarre, or perhaps even a bit upsetting? This is one criticism of Feng Shuithat people just shouldn't be able to influence their environment like this. Feng Shui does not claim to force someone to fall in love with you, of course, but there are some Feng Shui principles that are supposed to attract new relationships. If these elements of Feng Shui do not seem right to you, or if they simply make you uncomfortable, you may want to stick with moving your furniture around and not concern yourself with the various amulets and symbols available through Feng Shui. Feng Shui can get expensive. Any hobby has the potential to get expensive, and home decorating can certainly be an expensive venture as well. Add to this the fact that Feng Shui is quite trendy and there is an abundance of expensive Feng Shui items available for purchase, and you may be looking at spending quite a bit of money. If you decide that your intention is to have a fully Feng Shui friendly environment in your home you're not only looking at buying all the appropriate items but maybe even doing major renovations while also hiring a Feng Shui consultant to make sure that you're doing it all correctly. What an expensive proposition! The Feng Shui experts of years past would probably gasp at the sheer amount of money that is spent by some people in order to make their homes more harmonious. Going into massive debt in an attempt to make a home's energy flow more efficiently just doesnt seem to make much sense at all. Your home might have great energy flow, but if you're kept awake

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at night worrying about how to pay for all the renovations you financed with a loan or credit card then all the Feng Shui in the world probably isn't going to help you feel better about your financial situation. Feng Shui can be done within your home and other environments without breaking the bank. It's important not to get carried away when you start making the changes in your home. Remember that home renovations and redecorating can be stressful, so don't think that a rapid change within your home will yield a sudden realization of harmony and flowing energy. You should also remember that just because something is labeled "Feng Shui" in a store it may not necessarily be something that you need. Lastly, keep in mind that expensive is not necessarily better when it comes to buying Feng Shui products. The realization that Feng Shui is considered a product of the occult comes as a great surprise to many people who want nothing more that to try out the very trendy method by which to position furniture and create harmonious living spaces. The fact of the matter is that just about any method used in an attempt to influence the world around you using symbols, colors, and other methods is going to be considered pagan by many people. On the other hand, many interior decorators who utilize the fundamentals of Feng Shui in their everyday work would ardently disagree with the idea of Feng Shui being anything other than a great way to make a living space more pleasant. You need to decide for yourself what your stance is, and go into it with an informed mind. Perhaps after considering all the viewpoints you may decide to go ahead and give Feng Shui a tryor maybe you will decide that the ideas of Feng Shui are more than you bargained for and you'll decide not to utilize it within your home. The choice is yours, of course, but it's always best to make every decision an educated decision.

FENG SHUI PROFESSIONALS


It never failssomething becomes popular within society and suddenly there is an abundance of "professionals" who claim to be experts in whatever field has risen in popularity. You can use a Feng Shui professional to completely revamp your entire home in an attempt to allow the energy to flow more freely, or you can instead employ a Feng Shui professional to simply steer you in the right direction so you can do it yourself. Whatever your needs, be sure that you aren't just hiring someone who once read a Feng Shui book and now claims to be some sort of expert. You should still ask for references and learn about the work experience of someone before you decide to pay your hard earned money to someone.

CERTIFICATION
Yep, there are certifications for Feng Shui professionals. Authentic schools for Feng Shui professionals generally involve a year or more of coursework and

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usually result in a certification created by the school. Some schools bestow upon their students diplomas while other schools grant a professional title to graduating students such as something akin to "Professional Feng Shui Practitioner Consultant." There is not one certification or title that makes one Feng Shui professional better than another. You may not want to put an enormous amount of stock into a Feng Shui's schooling certification unless you are personally aware of the school that was attended and know that it is a viable and authentic Feng Shui school. So many schools designed to certify people as Feng Shui professionals are nothing more than correspondence courses where no practical experience is taught. Book knowledge is great, but if students receive a certification without ever having had any field experience then they probably aren't ready to leap into a successful consulting career. When discussing a certification with a potential Feng Shui professional that you may hire, find out more about the school he or she attended. You should ask the following questions: 1. Did you graduate? 2. How hands-on was the coursework? 3. What experience level did the teaching staff have? 4. How long did you have to attend before graduating? You want to ask these questions because there is a huge difference between someone who spent two years studying Feng Shui principles and serving an apprenticeship from a highly-regarded Feng Shui Master and someone who took a correspondence course for two months. Both people are considered Feng Shui professionals, but one is obviously more qualified and well-versed in the principles and ideals of Feng Shui than the other. Certifications are great, but there is something to be said about experience. You can certainly find Feng Shui professionals who have no certifications whatsoever. People like this practice Feng Shui based on their own experiences and study of the craft. There are plenty of people who have practiced Feng Shui since it became popular within the United States many years ago and are very good at what they do, but they just never bothered to receive any formal education in Feng Shui. Some of these people may actually frown upon any type of formal instruction of Feng Shui because they say that a good amount of Feng Shui is instinctual. If you talk to someone about possibly giving you a Feng Shui consultation and he or she has an impressive amount of experience but not much in the way of certifications, there is a good chance that this specialist is quite competent even without any formal training resulting in a certification. You should realize that most certified Feng Shui professionals would certainly disagree with the assertion that a person doesn't necessarily need a certification in order to effectively practice Feng Shui. They may argue that you certainly wouldn't visit an amateur doctor who lacked a medical degree but who has plenty of experience, so why employ a Feng Shui professional who lacks any sort of certification? You need to decide for yourself whether or not you prefer someone who has taken the time to go through a formal Feng Shui learning program, or if you are comfortable with someone who simply uses their

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own experiences with Feng Shui. You may be pleasantly surprised at how knowledgeable a Feng Shui consultant is who has never stepped foot in any classroom that formally teaches Feng Shui. Not everyone who knows about Feng Shui is necessarily a specialist. Some people joke that the practice of Feng Shui can become rather addictive because there are always more changes and renovations you can make in order to let the energy flow more efficiently throughout your home. Since there is always more to learn about Feng Shui, many people who have been practicing the art for many years may have just as much knowledge as someone who makes a living as a Feng Shui specialist. If you have a friend or family member who has a particularly harmonious home you may want to ask him or her if a professional was brought in for a consultation, or if your friend or family member did everything alone based on research and trial and error. You might be lucky enough to have someone who is willing to guide you along to getting your home to be a place where energy can flow efficiently without ever having to hire a professional. You don't necessarily need to pay someone to help you, especially if you know someone who is willing to help you as a favor and who also happens to know a thing or two about Feng Shui. So your so-called Feng Shui "specialist" may actually be someone who has a completely different day job: teacher, waiter, stay-at-home parent, or any other occupation. Are there Feng Shui schools in your area? There aren't a lot of Feng Shui schools scattered throughout the entire country, but you may want to do some research to see if you can find a local school because you may be able to find a student who has not yet graduated but who has the book knowledge in order to help you. Some Feng Shui schools require students to volunteer a certain number of hours practicing Feng Shui consultation prior to graduating, so you may be able to find a student who is willing to give you a free consultation. The drawback, of course, is that although many Feng Shui students are well versed in the principles behind Feng Shui, they haven't had many chances to put it all into practice. While some students may rely heavily on measurements and charts, seasoned Feng Shui professionals may be able to rely on their intuition and experience. Then again, this can work to your advantage since sometimes even the most experienced Feng Shui professionals should probably rely less on intuition and spend more time taking measurements in order to get an accurate feel for the house. If nothing else, a local Feng Shui school will probably provide interested people with a listing of both recent graduates and members on staff who are willing to do consultations.

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You're very fortunate if you do indeed have a Feng Shui school within your area, because you have your pick of a wide variety of Feng Shui professionals. Feng Shui specialists generally abhor Feng Shui books for laypeople. There have been so many different variations of Feng Shui that have developed over the years that it's only natural that there are plenty of Feng Shui books that contradict each other. Some of the differences are minor, while others can be stark differences that can be rather confusing to someone who is in the early stages of learning about Feng Shui. Some Feng Shui specialists are also frustrated by books that claim to be completely thorough guides when in fact they are nothing more than generalizations. Since many Feng Shui practitioners utilize various tools and sometimes also take other factors into consideration such as the birth date of the people living within the home or working within the office it's difficult (if not impossible) for any book to offer a thorough Feng Shui analysis. Books can offer generalized information and offer tips that can be somewhat specific with regard to the direction the home faces or the position of the rooms within the home. If you truly want an authentic and thorough Feng Shui consultation then you should go ahead and consider bringing someone in to take a look at your house. You should employ a specialist who is in line with the kind of changes you are looking to make. You may have the inclination to make major changes in your home, and if so, you won't mind if the Feng Shui specialist tells you that you need to do huge and expensive renovations within your house in order to allow the energy to flow more easily. Perhaps you would rather just like to move some furniture around and maybe purchase some trinkets in order to assist the energy flow throughout the home. Be sure that the particular form of Feng Shui that your consultant is certified in is conducive to your wants. You don't want to pay someone to come in and tell you that your kitchen needs to be moved to the other side of the house if it's nothing you would ever consider doing. When you interview the potential Feng Shui consultants you should review their certifications while also making sure they arent going to go overboard with their recommendations. Consider using a Feng Shui instructional book before hiring a professional, but be prepared to hear some gripes from the professional you do hire when he or she realizes that you put stock into a do-it-yourself book. Not all Feng Shui specialists exclusively practice Feng Shui. There are some professionals who are in corresponding fields who seek out a Feng Shui certification in order to become more marketable or out of a personal interest in integrating Feng Shui into their current career. Some Feng Shui schools offer certification programs that are specifically designed for professionals working within certain fields. You can find programs for real estate professionals and interior designers, for example. If you have a true interest in Feng Shui then this can come as great news to you because the idea of being able to hire one person to essentially cover two jobs may save you a lot of time and effort. For example, hiring a real estate agent who is also well versed in the principles of Feng Shui means that you don't have to hire two people: one to find you a

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house and another to make sure the home is compatible to Feng Shui ideals. Take care when hiring a professional like this. While some seek out certification because they have a true love for Feng Shui and want to integrate it into their other job, others seek out certification solely out of a desire to be more marketable. You want a Feng Shui specialist who is involved in the craft because they love it and they are good at it, not because it's lining their pockets to do so.

FIND A FENG SHUI SPECIALIST


Word of mouth is the best way to find someone. If you live in a cosmopolitan city then you can probably open up your local phone book and find an array of Feng Shui specialists. Arbitrarily picking a Feng Shui specialist based on an ad in the phone book, however, probably isn't the best way to go about it. With any service you purchase, it is always best to find a suitable person based on an outstanding recommendation from someone else. Ideally this recommendation comes from someone who you not only trust, but preferably from someone whose home you have been to and felt as though the energy in the house was similar to what you are looking for. If a person in your workplace fully endorses a particular Feng Shui specialist then the best thing you can do is to go over to your coworker's house and get a feel for how everything is laid out. Does the energy in the home flow nicely? Do you feel welcome in the home? Is everything visually appealing? If everything is up to par with what you're looking for then you should schedule an interview with the specialist. Before employing anyone you should certainly take the time to ask a few questions about pricing, timelines, and the general Feng-Shui principles employed by the specialist. If you can't find anyone who can offer you a reliable recommendation then be sure to do an Internet search before hiring someone. There is such a wealth of information available online that it's relatively difficult for any professional Feng Shui specialists included to do a horrible job for someone and then not have some derogatory information show up somewhere online. The Better Business Bureau is also a great place to double check prior to signing a contract with a Feng Shui specialist. This specialization isn't necessarily inexpensive to employ. Although it depends largely on the experience level of a Feng Shui professional, the price you will pay for someone can be influenced by other factors. Perhaps a particular Feng Shui consultant is considered to be the best in town, and maybe even utilized by celebrities. This consultant will probably be much more expensive to obtain than an obscure consultant without all the raving recommendations, whether or not both consultants are completely capable. You may also have to pay more or less depending on your location. Living in an area where Feng Shui consultants aren't necessarily hot commodities (such as a rural town or small city) can result in varying circumstances. You may wind up paying less since the consultant doesn't get that much business close to home, or you may actually wind up paying more because it's considered a highly

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specialized field so the specialist feels justified in jacking the prices up. Some Feng Shui professionals are designers who just happen to be versed in the principles of Feng Shui, and if you hire someone like this then you're more than likely going to wind up paying what you would pay a designer plus a little extra for the Feng Shui specialization. You may be lucky enough to find someone who is just starting up a business and is hungry to get some references (and thus willing to do the job for a lot less money), but in these cases you simply aren't getting the experience level you would with someone who has been doing it for years. It's up to you to decide how much you are willing to spend in order to hire a Feng Shui specialist, but remember the old adage, which applies to not only Feng Shui, but to just about anything else in life that you are willing to spend money on: you get what you pay for. Decide whether you want a professional or if you want someone who knows a thing or two about Feng Shui. There are a lot of amazing people in this world who embrace certain hobbies and then wind up getting better at the hobbies than the people who are actually paid to do them professionally. Feng Shui is one of these instances. There are people who are not interested in a job as a Feng Shui consultant, but who know more about Feng Shui than many people who claim to be professional Feng Shui specialists. If you are fortunate enough to know someone like this you may be able to get knowledgeable help without having to pay for it. People who immensely enjoy Feng Shui are often eager to help other people because they enjoy watching a home transform into a calmer and more peaceful place. You can offer to pay for your friend's assistance, of course, but you will probably find that your money is refused. Just be sure that the friend who wants to help you is someone who actually knows a thing or two about Feng Shui. A friend who simply moves furniture around based on how they feel the energy should flow isn't a Feng Shui specialistthis person is simply an amateur interior decorator. There is a huge difference between interior decoration and Feng Shui principles. Luckily, Feng Shui is becoming more mainstream. If you were trying to find a competent Feng Shui professional a few decades ago it would probably have been much more difficult than it is today. You can use any number of websites that are designed to help you find a specialist, and some of these websites are simply referral websites that are designed to help you find a wide variety of contractors, from Feng Shui specialists to roofers to plumbers. Several years ago Feng Shui consultants would not have been lumped in with this group of people. You can either use a standard search engine on the Internet, or you can go to one of the websites that claims to prescreen contractors before endorsing them as professionals (try something like ServiceMagic.com). Don't put too much stock into the offering of a pre-screened contractor unless you are finding information for a Feng Shui consultant through a website specifically designed for professionals within this field. Contractor websites, which include a wide variety of specialties, may have to do nothing more than have a clear Better Business Bureau record in order to be considered pre-screened, and in

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fact, there are some contractor websites that claim contractors are prescreened when there is actually no prescreening process other than the contractor paying a fee to appear on the website. At the very least, these types of websites make it much easier to find someone to help you make your home and life more Feng Shui friendly.

DO IT YOURSELF
Just buy a book. There is certainly no shortage of Feng Shui books on the market. Just take a trip to your local bookstore or library and you can find an abundance of very specific books that will tell you precisely what you need to know when it comes time to employ Feng Shui into a particular living space. Perhaps you have begun the process of making your home more Feng Shui friendly but you need more specific information with regard to how you should go about arranging the furniture in a particular room for a specific purpose. Even if your goal is something like picking the color of your ceiling in the guest room in order to make your guests feel more welcome, you can find a book that will give you a bunch of different options. The advantage of simply following the advice of a book is that you can work at your own pace while not having to pay someone an enormous amount of money to do it for you while also risking the chance that you may hate what the professional Feng Shui consultant does. When you do it yourself, the only person you may wind up offending is yourself, and that's something that can be easily remedied. It's only as complicated as you make it. Having a Feng Shui friendly house can be a matter of rearranging some furniture and making sure certain windows are open and doors are shut, or it can be as complicated as designing and building an entirely new structure with Feng Shui principles in mind throughout the entire process. You can start small and then work toward more complicated Feng Shui goals as time progresses. You may even find that using some of the more simplistic Feng Shui principles such as something you heard mentioned briefly on a television program about Feng Shui or maybe something a friend told you about may actually be enough to achieve the goal you're trying to achieve. For example, in your quest for a better night's sleep perhaps you close the closet door and also move the position of your bed. If that's all you were looking to get (the better night's sleep) and the few changes actually made a difference, then your goal has been achieved and you didn't even have to get too complicated with renovations or purchases. Feng Shui can be relatively uncomplicated depending upon what you want to get from it. Of course, if you are looking for a complete overhaul of your home and other surroundings then you can expect a rather complicated process because not only will you have to research your options but you will probably spend a good amount of time implementing them. How intricate do you want to get? One of the great things about Feng Shui is that a good portion of the principles are not too complex. For example, certain

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colors attract certain things, and so you choose your colors accordingly based on your goals. There are other principles within Feng Shui that are quite intricate, however, and many people who use Feng Shui in their home never delve deep enough into the entire process to reach this level of intricacy. Save the intricate Feng Shui principles until you have spent some time implementing some of the less complex principles and then go from there. You shouldn't purchase a huge and complex Feng Shui book that is hard for a layperson to follow if it is your first experience with Feng Shui. Start simple and see if you can embrace the general principles before you jump in full speed ahead with the more intricate principles of Feng Shui. You can hire someone to do just about anything: walk your dog, run your errands, or figure out how to make your home Feng Shui compatible. Whether you hire someone to help you with Feng Shui, or hire someone to take care of absolutely all your Feng Shui decorating, or even if you simply decide to do it all yourself, you need to make sure that you are comfortable with the changes being made. Feng Shui principles might dictate that your sofa faces a specific direction in the living room, but if you simply don't like the sofa facing that way then don't give in if it's going to make you miserable. It's hard to have a harmonious living environment if you can't stand where everything in the house is placed.

CONCLUSION
Feng Shui can be extremely complicated, or it can be delightfully simple. It all depends on how serious you want to be in your quest for positive "Chi" flow within your home. There are some people who spend countless hours and countless dollars in their quest to have a home that features the best energy flow as possible. On the other hand, there are other people who plop a Feng Shui fountain on their coffee table and never go any further. Your level of involvement is probably dependent upon the success you derive from your efforts and also the level of effort you have to put forth in order to achieve success. While some people are more than willing to work hard and do the research necessary in order to get results, there are also many people who don't want to do anything that might not garner immediate results. So how long will it take you before you can start noticing results from your Feng Shui efforts? Some changes you make might result in almost immediate results. Moving some things around within your bedroom, for example, might open up the energy flow and result in a much better night's sleep that very same night. Or it may just feel as though the whole house is a little more welcoming than it was before. Other changes may not be noticed for some time; if you try to use Feng Shui to boost your recognition within your work, you're still probably not going to stroll into work the next day and find a promotion and a raise waiting for you. Feng Shui isn't magic. If you do derive results from your use of Feng Shui then you can start to use it in different aspects of your life. If you don't derive PAGE 52

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any results from Feng Shui then you may want to try a different version of Feng Shui or simply decide that it's not your cup of tea. Either way, at least you can say you're trendy.

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