As an ancient Chinese practice that dates back centuries, feng shui has enough intrigue and mystique to pique the interest of many. Not only are its adherents convinced that feng shui’s principles help create harmonious living spaceswhere a palpable sense of energy or chi circulates freely; they also believe that adhering to these principles can usherin the very best of health, wealth, and happiness.
By Ayah Victoria McKhail
Whenever Dee Johl sets foot on the plushdusty rose carpet in herbedroom, she’s overcome with an overwhelming sense of peaceand tranquility. The walls are painted ametallic green, and on one wall, a painting of a delicate-looking whiteorchid hangs, revealing the word‘happiness’ in Chinese.
Her bedroom, which is seen as a sanctuary that must reflect a safe andsecure environment according to theprinciples of feng shui, is clutter-free and its contents are arranged in anorderly manner. On the birchwoodnight tables, there are three wish fulfilling jewels that rest on glass. Onher husband’s side, there is a blue jewelto promote wealth and prosperity. On her side, one is purple to promotewisdom and spirituality, and the other ispink to promote love and romance. There are also bejewelled lovebirds oneach night table to promote a lovingrelationship between them.
Yet as passionate as Johl is about creating a serene and harmonious livingenvironment throughout the home sheshares with her husband and two teenagers, she’s also quite passionateabout imparting knowledge about fengshui to an increasingly diverse group of people. Pointing out that feng shuienjoys widespread appeal, Johl explainsthat the customers who visit the store, World of fung shui, which she operatesalong with her partner Dolly Sidhu,aren’t only Asian, as some people might expect. Instead, they’re predominantlyItalian, Eastern European, British,and Spanish.
What’s more, Johl credits the growing interest she’s been witnessing in fengshui to our deep-seated fascination withcreating aesthetically pleasing living spaces. This manifests itself in a varietyof ways, but it’s especially apparent inour seemingly endless infatuation with design shows and magazines that offertips on everything from renovatingone’s home on a budget to selecting wallpaper.However, she’s quick to pointout that feng shui, which is the practiceof creating a happy living environment within the home, goes beyond that:“It’sreally a way of life, and the science ofliving. People around the world have recognized its benefits. For example,when we rearrange furniture in myhouse for Chinese New Year – people typically do this to change the energyaround the house and to accommodatenew energy – I’ve found that it’s made such a difference. In fact, I’ve noticedthat there’s been less arguing andmisunderstanding in my house, and everyone feels calmer.”
Yet as eager as people might be to putthe principles of feng shui into practice within their current homesand even offices, Malca Narrol, aToronto-based feng shui consultant and instructor, points out severalimportant factors to consider. Assomeone who advises individuals and companies on choosing and designingnew properties in addition toimproving their existing properties, she explains that accessing suchconsulting services at the onset of aproperty search can be very helpful. “What a lot of North Americans donot yet know is that feng shui is ofgreat benefit in choosing or designing a new building as it is easier to createa highly beneficial environment rightfrom the beginning than to correct built-in deficiencies,” she says.
For example, Narrol explains that shecan offer advice about whether or not aproperty will be beneficial based on factors such as the shape of the land andits terrain (if it’s flat or if there areslopes), and the location of water (if there’s a pond, river, lake or ocean in thevicinity). She can also give adviceabout how to site a new building, its entrance, and its main rooms for maximum benefit, or how to choose anexisting one.
She explains that most buildings benefitfrom an open area at the front of the site so the building can receive energy, andan enclosed area at the back of theproperty in order to hold it. Buildings where the front is blocked often createfinancial trouble for their inhabitants,and buildings where the back is too open often lead to issues with health,relationships, fertility and an inability tosave money.
Intrigued by the potential to create positive energy in her home, CatherineWhiteley decided to put some of fengshui’s principles to use after reading a look on how practising it couldenhance her life and increase her wellbeing. "I was really drawn to it becausejust the mere thought of bringing a sense of balance to my home seemedvery interesting and even somewhat exotic,” she says. So what’s the first thingshe did? “My husband and I rearranged the furniture in our bedroom, and wefelt a greater sense of tranquility and calmness there.”
And that’s exactly what feng shui’s supposed to do. As Lillian Too,renowned writer and authority on fengshui who’s based in Malaysia, writes in Feng Shui Life Planner, “Good feng shuireflects the right balance of yin andyang energy while simultaneously ensuring there is harmony between thefive elements – earth, fire, air, water andmetal – that make up the cosmic universe we live in … it’s created byarranging the flow of energy in one’senvironment in a way that attracts good fortune – health, wealth, and happiness– to residents.”
For those interested in learning some easy steps that can be implementedfor better feng shui, Johl explainsthat people shouldn’t place plants, flowers or TVs in their bedroomsbecause they can sap energy fromthe residents. However, silk flowers are okay.
Having a laughing Buddah in the household is also importantbecause it’s purported to bringhappiness and prosperity. As well,
hanging a Mandala painting, which can offer different benefits suchas restoring harmony and peace, isalso recommended.
The colour red is favourable, primarily in accents such as candles, but oneshould be mindful of what part of theeight sectors of the home they’re placed in. For example, the north is associatedwith career aspirations; the northeastwith educational aspirations; the east with health; the southeast withwealth; the south with fame;the southwest with romance; the west with children, and the northwest with mentors.
For many, that’s enough information to get them intrigued by the purportedbenefits that have made feng shui aspopular as it is.
World of Feng Shui
3175 Rutherford Rd, Unit #24
Tuscany Place at Vaughan Mills