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 Feng Shui

Feng Shui is more than just hanging up a wind chime, or even moving the furniture. Feng Shui is about living in harmony with your place in the world, and attracting good energy into your life and home.

The art of harmonious living, or Feng Shui, is a Chinese tradition dating back 5000 years. It is still used today even in busy metropolitan centers like Hong Kong, where a hotel building sports an open space in the architecture to encourage the flow of good chi.

You must understand the principle of Chi if you want to use the power of Feng Shui in your home. Feng Shui means `wind and water' and Chi is the energy that flows through all things in nature. We in the west unwittingly block good chi in the way we designs our homes and gardens. Feng Shui can help us unblock those areas.

Suburban living often does not encourage good chi. Houses built at the end of cul-de-sacs or junctions, facing the oncoming road, straight paths leading to the front door, lavatories inside the house, and built-ins in areas that should be kept open and uncluttered, work against us when we try to create harmony in our homes.

New home buyers would be wise to avoid homes that break too many Feng Shui rules. It is far easier to work in harmony with a compatible house, than it is to correct difficult defects. But there ways to harmonize your home, without actually having to put it on the market and move somewhere else.

First of all, you must declutter. Many homes have `ugly spots' which are never fixed up, just left to get more and more cluttered with time. If your 'ugly spot' is in a sensitive area, such as one that corresponds to your health, family or career, you may find its effects spilling over into your life. If things seem chaotic, and you simply can't make headway, or find the root problem, a cluttered space will be to blame.

To determine the different areas of your home and how to fix them, you need to stand at the door of your house, or one of the rooms, and find the different areas. If your door is on the left side of your house or room, your money area will be in the far left hand corner. In the center at the back, next to the money area will be your area of fame and renown. In the far right corner is the area of love and relationships.

In the center left of your room or house will be the family area, while dead center of your room or house is the health area, and next to that, center right, is your area of creativity.At the front of your room or house, the left corner is your area of knowledge and learning, the center is your career spot, and the right corner is your area for social life and friends.

You can see at a glance where things might be going wrong. Always short of money? It just seems to dribble away? Check that leaking tap, or close the lid of the toilet in your bathroom at the far right corner of the house.

Love life looking shabby? Get rid of that vase of dead or dried flowers in the relationships corner and buy some fresh roses. Creativity stunted? Open up the creativity area and let some light in. Career going nowhere, burdened with troubles? Clear up that drab closet in the career spot.

Once you have pin pointed the trouble spots and cleaned them up, you can start emphasizing these areas by adding some Feng Shui `cures'. Unblock the flow of money to your home by letting sweet fresh air and light into your bathroom and plugging the sink and bath drains so it doesn't flow right away again.

Place frogs and other money attracting features like fish tanks and miniature fountains in the money corners of your room. Fountains and fish tanks work where bathroom basins don't because they contain the water or recycle it. Make an origami box out of gold paper and save gold coins in it, to encourage your savings to grow. If your money areas are bare and shabby, so will be your bank account.

Beauty and light is needed in the relationship areas. If you want to create harmony in existing relationships, place photos of happy times in this area. If you are looking for romance, place `pair cures' here - matching china figures or turtle doves, double photo frames, two perfect flowers in a vase and so on.

Family corners should contain photos of happy excursions, family mementoes and an `ancestor's shrine'. Place a treasured family photo or memento here, with joss sticks and fresh flowers to keep the memories sweet, and the ancestors working in your favor.

The knowledge corner should have a place for school merit awards and certificates, a bookshelf and regularly cleaned glass or crystal ornaments to encourage clear thinking. There should plenty of light in this area, and definitely no clutter!

Try bright clear colors in the creativity area. Keeping this area interesting and eclectic is good for people who work in the creative arts and crafts, as it keeps you stimulated with ideas. If you work at home, position your desk so you are not sitting with your back to a door or window, and keep fresh flowers there. Crystals placed on your desk and computer also help encourage creativity.

As the health area is right in the centre of your home, this should be kept as clean and uncluttered as possible. The center of the home is also usually a main traffic artery and keeping the flow of chi unhindered through this area is vital to the health and well being of the whole house and family.

You may not want fame and notoriety, but there is a good case for keeping your fame areas in harmony with the rest of your home. You do want to have a good name among your friends and colleagues, don't you, and to have the effort you put into your work recognized? So open up the fame area, stop piling rubbish and clutter there, or your efforts will always be overlooked.

If you do have ambitions, this is the place to put your visualization into practice. Try a big poster or a `treasure map' to keep your goals in mind. This is also a good place to set up your home office if you can't use the career spot.

Feng Shui can be simply used as a way to harmonize your surroundings and give you a more pleasant environment in which to live. But once you try it, and the good effects start flowing over into every area of your life, you will soon see that it is much more than that.

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