As feng shui has become more widely known, Sally Fretwell has noticed an increased rigidity in feng shui practice a change that has intimidated many people new to this timeless art. In her down-to-earth style, Fretwell presents a fun, commonsense approach to the principles of achieving balance and harmony in one's life. Covering homes room by room as well as gardens, offices, health-care facilities, and stores she discusses color, direction, and light as well as "nine star ki" or feng shui astrology. Readers learn how easy-to-implement changes in the ambience and atmosphere of rooms can improve one's sense of well-being.
|Publisher:||New World Library|
|Product dimensions:||8.60(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.60(d)|
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Feng Shui: Back to Balance
By SALLY FRETTWELL
New World LibraryCopyright © 2001 Sally Fretwell
All right reserved.
Applying Feng Shui to Your Life
Perhaps you've read or heard about Feng Shui and want to know how to apply it to your life. Or perhaps you already practice Feng Shui and are looking for a fresh perspective. Feng Shui: Back to Balance invites you to use all levels of your being and encourages you to view the practice of Feng Shui and your life in a holistic way-one in which your relationships, life experiences, home, and workspace are interconnected. This book also guides you to use your senses and intuition to discover the energetic dynamics of spaces.
What is intuition? It is your inner knowing. Take, for example, a time when you made a last-minute decision that had no apparent rational reason, yet ended up making your life easier. Whether it was an impulse to take another route while driving, thus avoiding an accident, or to sell a stock option just before its value plummeted-your intuition was at work. It sent you an insight, or a feeling, which some people call a "gut feeling." The more you pay attention to your inner knowing, the more you realize it is active all the time. Being in tune with your intuition allows you to gain clarity and self-assurance. It can be your best and most loyal friend.
Usually your first impressions are your intuition at work. Sometimesyour intellect or reasoning powers override your intuition by evaluating and critiquing. If you hear a struggle going on in your head, for example, the reasons why or why not to do something, a guilty or fearful feeling, then more than your intuition is at work. Trusting your inner knowing frees your mind to do what it does best-categorizing and computing information. So let your intuition lead your mind. In other words, if you get an intuitive "hit" on something, trust that it is valuable information.
To explain the concept of intuition and energetic sensitivity to clients, I use one of my favorite workshop exercises. I ask the audience to close their eyes, as I hand out five or six sheets of differently colored paper to a few individuals. Then I ask everyone who isn't holding a sheet of paper to open his or her eyes. One by one I ask those holding the paper with their eyes closed to explain their first impressions. One woman said the sheet of paper I gave her reminded her of sunshine-the page she held was a rich yellow. A man had an aquamarine piece of paper, which reminded him of sailing. The participants who trusted their first impressions usually guessed the correct color.
The exercise above illustrates one of the most basic principles of Feng Shui: Your body, spirit, and emotions respond to unarticulated impressions from your environment. In other words, every object holds a vibration with which you interact. Your body and energetic field register everything you come in contact with-whether you are conscious of it or not. The yellow sheet of paper my student held made an impression on her without her even seeing it. Add to that your hearing, sight, touch, taste, and smell-which pick up color, light, shadow, sound, sense of space or closure, air circulation, mood, old emotions, and texture- and your mind is active, labeling your impressions.
Although Feng Shui offers guidelines to assist in balancing yourself and your environment, it is up to you to trust your intuition and put the nonmental aspects of Feng Shui to practice. Feng Shui is about making you feel comfortable, supported, rejuvenated, and at peace.
Being in tune with your intuition allows you to gain clarity and self-assurance. It can be your best and most loyal friend.
Your intuition is at work all the time.
Your senses receive information about your environment-tasting, seeing, touching, hearing, and smelling.
Your mind computes facts and labels them for referencing.
The impressions you receive affect you both consciously and unconsciously.
Everything is filtered through your personal perspective.
A clear path in your home
As you begin your journey into the world of Feng Shui, you start to realize that your home and workspace reflect your inner condition. You see that these spaces are actually extensions of who you are and how you express yourself in the world. Every object, as well as your choice of color, lighting, and décor in your home or workspace reflects your life experiences and the choices you've made.
Working with Feng Shui principles shifts the outer patterns of your environment, and thus supports inner change. It helps you gain insight into how to move forward in a way that serves you best. Take, for example, how wonderful you feel when you do a spring cleaning. You find old, misplaced items and clear the piled-up clutter. You gain new clarity-a clearer path in the home, so to speak. Also, your subconscious feels lighter because it no longer reacts to the overwhelming number of objects, and no longer registers, "I couldn't let a bit more stuff into my life-I'm full!" This is a small example of how your inner and outer conditions mirror each other. Feng Shui is a means of accessing a deeper understanding, and brings light to the patterns in each of us.
Feng Shui is about making you feel comfortable, supported, rejuvenated, and at peace.
Subtle impressions of your environment
As we discussed, there are a number of factors that influence your perception of a space. On a physical level it's the color, the lighting, the kind of furniture and decorations. On a subtle level it is the energy of items interacting and registering on your subconscious. Keep in mind that all colors and structures have a vibration. Everything around you is alive and interacts with your energy. Physics says that every object is molecular-its density, quality, and structure are in constant movement. Because your blood contains metal, you are constantly adjusting to the magnetic fields around you. These fields are influenced by the items in the space and their elemental qualities.
Responding to your environment
Imagine how you feel when you walk into a new place. Countless bits of information impress your perception, stimulating your senses as you respond to the new environment. Let's say you walk into a restaurant and have the feeling in the pit of your stomach that says, "I don't want to be here." Your eyes may have focused on the pea-green curtains, which you don't like; but if you take the time to get a clear impression, you will receive a deeper understanding of the room. By attuning yourself to the more subtle impressions, such as whether the space is too dark, not open enough, full of sadness or feels hectic, you tap into your own intuition, and are able to use Feng Shui from an energetic perspective.
Everything around you is alive and interacts with your energy.
All of the martial arts are based on the ability to use the body as a vessel to direct energy. Athletes are usually very aware of their body, and many find that the following types of exercises help them take advantage of their total body power.
Your body/mind system
Your body is an amazing computer that records everything that happens to you. How memories are stored remains a mystery. Melancholic memories can surface for no apparent reason. Joy can bubble up at any given time. As you become aware of how your surroundings trigger thoughts and emotions, you realize how complex you really are. For example, imagine yourself walking down a street. Out of the blue you feel sad and have no explanation why. Two blocks before, you had passed a cocker spaniel similar to the one that ran away when you were young. Although you saw the dog, you didn't consciously register the memory of your lost pet because you were thinking about the dinner menu for your party that evening. Nevertheless the emotion still surfaced when you saw the dog. By becoming aware of yourself, your mental patterns, and the effect that the environment has on you, you allow a shift in consciousness.
Reflecting on your world
Watching how you interact with the world can be an exciting process of self-discovery. One woman I know became enthralled watching her patterns emerge, and took a few minutes in the morning to center herself, which heightened her ability to observe herself throughout the day. In the evening she took the time to process what she noticed, and saw patterns dissolving just by bringing awareness to them. This worked well for her because while she was in a peaceful state, her subconscious, cellular, emotional, and mental memories had a chance to surface into her consciousness.
Grounding exercises are helpful in achieving a peaceful state. Doing these kinds of exercises promotes a grounded, centered feeling. They also strengthen your ability to reflect on how you interact with the world and help you connect with your intuition.
Stand with your feet at shoulder length apart. Bend your knees slightly and let your hips relax. Place your attention on your feet and how they make contact with the floor. After you have connected with the floor, picture yourself as a tree with roots. See the roots moving from the bottom of your feet down past the floor, growing deep within the earth. Use a gentle breath to relax yourself. On every exhale, feel your roots growing deeper and deeper within the earth. You will start to feel your mind disengage. As you focus more and more on your feet and the ground, you may feel as if energy is moving upward from the earth.
Feeling the space around you
Once you have grounded yourself, you can extend your awareness to the space around you with the following exercise: Close your eyes. Allow yourself to relax and let go. Once you feel a strong connection and are relaxed, focus your attention on feeling the space around you. This could be your home, office, or anywhere you choose. Refrain from evaluating or judging your impressions. Notice where you feel these impressions in your body. Is it a mental, emotional, or physical response? If it is physical, go a bit further. Is it in your heart, or maybe a gut feeling?
A quick note
Some people are naturally grounded and automatically feel their connection with the ground. They access this energy naturally and appear as if they are solidly on the ground.
Then there are others, like myself, who respond to this exercise by thinking, "Oh, I have feet." To this day I have to remind myself not to just think about my feet but to really drop my full attention and feeling into my feet and to focus on my breath. If at first you experience difficulty connecting with the ground, stick with it. With a little practice this will feel very natural.
An objective look at your creation
Looking objectively at your own home can be more difficult than walking into a new place because of your familiarity with it. To look objectively requires disengaging the mind and seeing what surfaces. With this in mind, walk through your home and note the spaces that you and your family members gravitate to. Some parts of the house seem natural for a bedroom, restful and recharging. Some areas are more useful for settling in with a good book, others are great for exercising.
Some parts of the house seem natural for a bedroom, restful and recharging.
See where your children feel best doing their homework. Notice where your bedroom is and how well you sleep at night. See how much sun enters into each room and at what time of day. Notice how you feel in each area of your home and ask yourself:
What is the flow like from room to room?
Is there a place in your home where you like to read and relax?
Are there other places where you feel highly charged and able to focus on business and doing paperwork?
What you want to create in your space
Once you have looked at your home with a new set of eyes you can create what you want in your space and in your life. This boils down to defining what your intention is. Consider what kind of activities you perform in each room. What kind of feeling do you want each room to have? After you have clarified your intention, it will be easy to see what Feng Shui recommendations fit best and support you. The next few chapters offer a number of tools for evaluating your spaces and creating harmonious atmospheres in which to live and work.
Excerpted from Feng Shui: Back to Balance by SALLY FRETTWELL Copyright © 2001 by Sally Fretwell
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Table of Contents
|Chapter 1||Applying Feng Shui to Your Life||1|
|Chapter 2||The Five Elements and Nine Star Ki Astrology||7|
|Chapter 3||Color Your World||19|
|Chapter 4||Your Cherished Belongings||31|
|Chapter 5||Perky Pictures and Magic Mirrors||43|
|Chapter 6||Living in the Rhythm: The Compass Directions||51|
|Chapter 7||Happy House Shapes: Seeking Wholeness||61|
|Chapter 8||Enlivened Entryways||67|
|Chapter 9||Rejuvenating Bedrooms: Renewing Romance, Rest, and Relaxation||77|
|Chapter 10||Heartwarming Home Offices||91|
|Chapter 11||Supportive Kitchens, Gathering Great Rooms, and Lounging Living Rooms||97|
|Chapter 12||Healthcare: Health and Harmony||107|
|Chapter 13||Loving to Shop and Relaxing in Restaurants||115|
|Chapter 14||Outstanding Offices and Creative Companies||125|
|Chapter 15||Flowers, Plants, and the Great Outdoors||133|
|Appendix||Nine Star Ki--Personal and Celebrity Astrology Charts|
|Nine Star Ki Introduction||141|
|Nine Star Ki Personality Descriptions||148|
|One-Water: The Visionary||148|
|Two-Earth: The Friend||154|
|Three-Tree: The Initiator||159|
|Four-Tree: The Philosopher||164|
|Five-Earth: The Gatherer||169|
|Six-Metal: The Leader||175|
|Seven-Metal: The Problem Solver||180|
|Eight-Earth: The Contemplator||186|
|Nine-Fire: The Star||191|