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Oct 5, 2007

Feng Shui Tips

Tips from a Feng Shui Expert: Feel Calm and in Control – Instantly!

Stressed out? Feel like your life is headed in the wrong direction? The art of Feng Shui, which originated 3,000 years ago in China, can help restore peace to crazy days. Whether you want to learn more or have always believed that this art is based on obscure Chinese superstitions, we’re here to help. Here is a one-on-one interview with Jayme Barrett, Feng Shui expert and best-selling author. She shares her knowledge of how Feng Shui principles can give you more energy, harmonize your life and bring you a new sense of purpose.

1. It’s all about you
Just like a bikini, Feng Shui decorating is definitely not one-size-fits-all. Each person has unique qualities, and Feng Shui emphasizes creating positive energy in the way that’s most meaningful to you.

Take a look at the decorations you have around your home, from posters to knick-knacks to family photos. “Each object anchors you to a memory,” Barrett says. “If it’s not supporting you, it shouldn’t be in your home.”

So toss out that figurine from your loser ex and put out objects that you associate with a positive experience. Did you have an amazing time with your girlfriend in Paris? Hang up a framed postcard of the Eiffel Tower.

Personalize your home to work for you, and you’ll be amazed at the change in your energy level. After all, Barrett tells us, “your home mirrors yourself.” When you’re trying to decide whether to keep an object, ask yourself these four questions:

1. Do I need it?
2. Do I use it?
3. Do I love it?
4. Does it make me happy and evoke a positive memory?

2. Live rich
You may have heard that Feng Shui can help you make more money, find love and land that promotion.

How can it do all this? It’s simple...

When you live in an environment that supports you, you’ll feel energized.

If you wake up to go to work and there are fresh flowers on the nightstand, your living room is decorated with seashells from an amazing beach vacation and your briefcase is organized and by the door, you’ll feel “balanced and in power even before you walk outside,” says Barrett.

This is one of Feng Shui’s greatest strengths; not only can revamping your home give you a more beautiful living space, but it can bring you peace. This sense of control and fulfillment will carry over to and improve every aspect of your life.

3. Clear that clutter
Clutter makes you “feel exhausted, anxious and overwhelmed,” Barrett tells us. Think of it in terms of practicality: If you need to balance your checkbook but your bank statement is buried under a mountain of old receipts, you’ll waste valuable time looking for what you need. Once you do find it, you’ll be tired and annoyed even before you begin the actual task.

To clear your clutter, eliminate everything but what’s absolutely necessary, like your stock portfolio and health insurance information. Chances are you don’t need the receipt from the deli three years ago.

And don’t display paperwork out in the open; keep it organized in a file folder that you can put out of sight and out of mind.

4. Follow “the way of wind and water”
This phrase is a literal translation of the term “Feng Shui.” To truly understand the art, you need to understand the meaning behind it. Barrett tells us to think of the wind and water that flow over the earth. From forests to rivers to mountains, wind and water must be in balance to create a harmonious environment.

The right amount of wind will bring a gentle breeze, but too much wind causes a hurricane. Likewise, the right amount of water can make a gentle lake, but too much water causes a flood. Just as elements in nature need to be in balance to create a soothing environment, elements in your home need to be in balance for you to live peacefully.

5. Read Feng Shui Your Life
Barrett’s book offers advice that you can tailor to fit your own personal needs. You’ll be encouraged to figure out what inspires you and then to decorate your home to reflect that. You’ll be asked, “What do you want to create in your life?” and then offered tips to help you do so.

There’s a separate chapter on clutter, the office, the bedroom, and every other room in the house. The book has beautiful color photographs that illustrate the concepts.

6. Bring nature indoors
Think about the last time you were surrounded by nature, whether it was on a hike in the mountains or a boat trip through the islands. Remember how peaceful and harmonious you felt? Recreating that feeling is simple.

“The more sunlight we have, the better we feel,” Barrett says. So throw open those blinds and let in the sunshine. Raining outside? Try replacing your regular light bulbs with full-spectrum light bulbs, which she calls “indoor sunshine.”

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