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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Using Feng Shui to discover yourself

I first read "Adventures of a Feng Shui Detective" by Valmai Howe Elkins a few years ago. I love it and have recommended and lent it out to a number of people.

The art of Feng Shui is thousands of years old and is based on the principles that everything on the planet and in the universe is alive. This assumption forms the theory that you have an affect and are affected by things around you. Feng Shui focuses on a flow of energy or Chi, and outlines ways to maintain flow and release blockages. Placement of furniture, doors and windows all have an effect on the flow according to Feng Shui. Making changes in the objects or the placement of objects in your home or office may affect how elements of your life such as relationships and finances flow.

There are a multitude of books and courses on Feng Shui. It can get pretty complicated. There are also a number of people that practice the art of Feng Shui and work as consultants to show you things you could due to improve your environment. A lot of companies and corporations now use Feng Shui practitioners to help them design and decorate office spaces in order to improve customer and employee satisfaction and ensure financial success.

Valmi Howe Elkins is a Feng Shui practitioner but her approach is quite different than the "standard" Feng Shui artist. Elkins believes that looking at the things around you can help reveal clues about your inner life. Once you gain an awareness of what those objects might mean, you might be better positioned to make significant improvements in areas of your life.

The thing I really like about her book is that it's just a fun read. She begins by telling a bit of her story and how she went from a very successful midwife to designing birthing rooms to becoming a Feng Shui "detective". Her life is a fascinating story in itself. In the second short chapter she explains the very basics of Feng Shui. But the rest of this book is just a good detective novel. She takes you through 36 "cases" where she went to a clients house, saw their environment and was able to identify aspects of their lives that could be improved through awareness and some pretty subtle changes. Along the read I started to look at my own space from a different light and I discovered some pretty shocking things. I'm not saying it was easy, but it was enlightening and as the trash bags filled up I felt lighter inside.

I love books that you can read for pure enjoyment, immersed in the storytelling aspect and then find you have learned something in the process. To me, it's the hallmarks of a really good author and I think Valmai Howe Elkins is a great one! The book was published in 1999 by Woodley & Watts and can still be found on-line. Elkins also has a website with information on a number of her books and how she has developed her craft.

A great read on a snow day!!

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