What is Feng Shui?
Feng Shui (pronounced foong shway or fung shway) means “wind and water” in Chinese. Although it does incorporate these natural elements, Feng Shui is much more than that. Feng Shui is everything, according to the masters, in the sense that all objects around you - from the picture hanging on your wall to the color of your rug - impact you and others on a subconscious, psychological level.
One definition of Feng Shui is “the Chinese art of designing and positioning objects to create balance and harmony through the flow of chi (energy).”
Do you know how when you walk into certain rooms, you immediately feel relaxed and confident? And when standing in other places, you get a creepy vibe and feel uncomfortable for no apparent reason? Your personal chi (determined by your birth) may be in conflict with the chi of these latter rooms. Feng Shui offers an explanation for these feelings based on three theories:
- Yin/yang theory (balance)
- Bagua (directions and natural elements)
- Kua number (your birthday)
Overall, Feng Shui is based on the belief that all areas, large and small, have a distinctive energy that can be changed and guided by rearranging objects. Feng Shui consultants explain that this arranging is not in the western sense of visual symmetry or aesthetics, but as a means of attaining a cosmic equilibrium. Architects, civil engineers and philosophers use Feng Shui in designing and positioning towns, buildings, graves, rooms and furniture. When you apply Feng Shui to your space, you will diminish clutter, brighten up dark corners, avoid gloomy colors, enhance low ceilings, and completely do away with sharp, pointed objects.
Who Needs Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is not for everyone. Supposedly, people with “unlucky” birthdays benefit the most because these people don’t tend to pick harmonious designs for their work and home spaces. People with “lucky” birthdays, on the other hand, automatically make harmonious decisions and don’t need to learn Feng Shui because they already “know” it. Usually you can tell whether or not you need Feng Shui by your overall life success; however, you’ll need to ask a master to determine the luckiness of your birthday to know for sure. (Masters are those who dedicate their lives to the study and teaching of Feng Shui. You may - or may not - be surprised to learn that Feng Shui masters perform research at a number of well-known universities, even in the U.S. (e.g. University of California and Jacksonville University).
Some skeptics view Feng Shui as a ploy that unscrupulous individuals use to prey on vulnerable people who are down on their luck. By pointing either to “ancient, scientific proof” of Feng Shui or to “modern, cutting edge methods,” Feng Shui consultants are accused of seeking out naïve consumers in much the same way that proponents of alternative medicine peddle their superstitions. One common question consultants ask individuals when determining if they need Feng Shui is if they try hard in life and in everything they do, but still aren’t successful. Although Feng Shui claims to be a science by using formulas, charts and calculations, no evidence exists that utilizing Feng Shui causes any more happiness for inhabitants. Consider this your disclaimer.