Although feng shui has been around for over 5,000 years, it was only introduced here in the United States in the 1970s. Whenever I speak with people from California, Oregon, Arizona or other Western states they know what feng shui is. But here on the East coast I often hear, "Feng what?" when I answer peoples' questions about what I do or they think that feng shui is interior design. So, I thought I'd write an article to better explain what feng shui is all about.
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art that is focused on taking advantage of specific elements in nature to create a balanced, harmonious environment. Originally it was used to select the most auspicous location for burial sites then over time it was used by Chinese emporers and Euorpean kings for their palaces and more recently by Fortune 500 companies.
The Chinese believe that there are three types of luck:
Heaven Luck - which we would call destiny or fate
Human Luck - your talents, skills and what you do with them, the friends you choose, the people you work with
Earth Luck - your environment including the country you live in, the town, the neighborhood, your home and feng shui
They believe that Human Luck and Earth Luck are within our control. Since each of these types of luck make up 1/3 of our total luck that means we're in control of 2/3 or about 67% of our luck. In other words, if you create the right environment (Earth Luck) to support you in your personal efforts (Human Luck) then you have greater control over your destiny.
The way feng shui works is that there are 5 identifiable elements in nature: fire, earth, metal, water and wood. Each of these elements is associated with a specific direction. If the elements are located in the right direction then you have a positive flow of energy or what is known as a Productive Cycle of Elements. When these elements are in the wrong locations you have a negative flow of energy or what is called a Reductive or Destructive Cycle of Elements. The key is to get these five elements in the right location to get positive ch'i (pronounced chee or energy) flowing in your environment so that you can create a better life for yourself, your family and your co-workers.
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