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Harmony in family life for under twelve bucks?
on June 5, 1997
Okay, I'll admit I was seduced by the subtitle, ". . . Creating Balance, Harmony and Prosperity in Your Environment." I need all the balance, harmony and prosperity I can get.
Feng Shui (that's FUNG SHWAY to us mortals) is the ancient Chinese art of placement (does anyone but me notice there's never a modern Chinese art?). I came from the 1950's Irish-American art of placement: "Use a coaster! Don't lean on your elbows! Get your feet off the coffee table!"
The idea of Feng Shui is that by correct placement of objects around my environment, I will maximize the 'Chi' or energy in and around my physical world. Hey, I believe this. In college I rearranged furniture in my dorm room every month. I continued this even after I married a man who, given the option, would nail down furniture. These days I'm too tired to change the television channel after everyone has gone to bed. In this book there's a Chinese saying: "If you want to change your life, move 27 things in your house." I do this every morning trying to figure out where my son left his gloves, his hat, or his lunch box. My life hasn't changed yet.
The author claims that "Relaxation, rejuvenation, and recreation are the three primary functions of a home." The three primary functions of my house are collapse, incoherence, and get-ready-for-the-next-round-of-laundry. The front door is the gaping mouth, where all the chi enters the home. All doors are entrances for chi, which is why doorways should never be blocked and should open freely. I haven't been able to open a door in my house without banging into something since 1988. I'm in chi debt until the millenium and then some.
Halfway through the book I learned my rooms are laid out poorly, my bedrooms in the wrong place, and my blocked doors are draining me of energy. She didn't mention what stepping on those little green army guys does to your chi. It can't be good.
Ms Collins says for optimal chi, my environment should be clutter-free, contain my treasures and photos of my loved ones, fresh flowers and natural crystals to circulate chi to energy-low areas. I was getting energized just reading this book. Hey, I could throw some stuff out, rearrange the furniture, put out my crystals and burn scented candles. Maybe there's something to this. Ancient Chinese arts have to be based on something.
I was telling my husband the highlights of all this when our eight-year-old son came into the room. In quick succession he argued about his homework, his chores, his sister, and tried to negotiate a later bedtime. When he left I slumped over in my chair. My husband looked at me and asked, "Does the book say anything about living with the 'Anti-Chi'?"