Wednesday, April 23, 2014

some more feng shui reading — done

My quest continues, to improve my health, my life, my surroundings. I have recently been making some changes around the house, utilizing the age-old practice of feng shui to improve our surroundings. Feng shui must be big in the British Isles, because three out of five of these books on this list were written by Brits. I'm not sure if that means anything, but it is interesting that most of the books that I am picking up to research the subject turn out to be either written by, or published, in Britain. Here are the latest from my reading list.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Feng Shui, Third Edition, by Stephen L. Field, Ph.D. 
There was altogether too much math in this book. I found myself doing all sorts of calculations to try and determine what my Personal Trigram is, and what the most (and least) auspicious directions would be in my house. Once I got to the Four Pillars of Destiny I gave up. The emphasis is squarely on improving one's luck and fortune, rather than a harmonious living space, which is more what I'm after. The luck, I believe, will come, once I am feeling happier and more at peace in my home. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Feng Shui also tries to debunk, in a very snobbish way, some common feng shui "cures" which can be found in just about every other book that I have consulted, such as mirrors used to fix problem areas in the home. According to this book, only the five phases (fire, earth, metal, water, wood) can be used to remedy and enhance feng shui. So with all that math and very little return I am filing this book as a big flop. 
The Feng Shui Handbook: How To Create A Healthier Living & Working Environment (Henry Holt Reference Book), by Master Lam Kam Chuen 
This is a nicely illustrated, general guide to feng shui principles. It includes a good history of feng shui, and has some sample room layouts and cures for common problems. The focus here may be more on the exterior of homes, and would come in handy if one was purchasing a new home and was wondering if its position was auspicious — how it relates to nearby hills, water, and other influences. A nice book to dip your toe into feng shui, but not one to consult if you are looking for some real, practical things to do inside your current home. 
Feng Shui for Your Home: An Illustrated Guide to Creating a Harmonious, Happy and Prosperous Living Environment, by Sarah Surety 
Another nicely illustrated book that offers both feng shui basics and some real-life feng shui cures. The author talks about cleansing a space, which I did recently, as well as other elements to introduce into your home to increase prosperity, such as plants, mirrors, and light. It is an easy, user-friendly read, and one that I might go back to often to consult, if I was going to rearrange some furniture in a bedroom and wanted some tips on where to best position the bed, for example. 
Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui: Free Yourself from Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Clutter Forever, by Karen Kingston 
This is a nice little book that makes the connection between clean house, clear mind. I like how the author covers not only the real day-to-day clutter that we all accumulate and should regularly clear out, like paperwork, old clothes, magazines, etc., but also focuses on how that clutter, whether it is your own, or a partner or family member's, affects your health and energy. A quick and easy read, but one that will make you think a little bit about what you hold onto. Hopefully you will decide that you don't need to be featured on the next episode of Hoarders after reading this book. 
Feng Shui In A Weekend: Transform Your Life and Home in a Weekend or Less, by Simon Brown 
This is a very user-friendly, how-to sort of book, with bright, bold graphics and lots of photos. It includes loads of tips and projects — there are actually many weekend projects to choose from. The author doesn't intend the reader to be able to completely rearrange their home in one weekend, but they could implement many of these cures over time. Like Clear Your Clutter, I liked that the emphasis was as much on taking care of your personal well-being as that of your surroundings. One thing feeds off the other, and the greater goal is to achieve harmony in all aspects of one's life. This is another book that I could find myself going back to for suggestions on quick fixes, such as what colors to paint my daughter's room to help her study, or ways to enhance a bathroom or the wealth area of my home.

I'm not completely done on my feng shui project yet, but I have to say that just a few of the changes I have made around the house since I started, such as reclaiming a space and introducing more plants and changing the flow of our main living space seem to already have made an impact. I feel like our home is more beautiful, more peaceful. There is alway room for improvement, of course, but I really do feel like I'm on the right track. Wish me luck as I continue my journey.


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