By David Hodge
November 16 22, 1998
Are you agitated, overwhelmed or just feeling blah when you enter your home? It could be the fallout from a long day. Or it could be a sign that you need to redirect your ch’i — the energy all around us.
Cynthia Chomos is a Feng Shui consultant who specializes in creating harmonious living spaces. Feng Shui (pronounced “fung shway”) has been advocated by the Chinese for nearly 5,000 years, in an attempt to harness the energy of our surroundings to positively affect our health, wealth and overall well-being.
As Chomos points out, “Clutter is like clogged arteries in the energy flow of a home. The key is to reduce the clutter and organize it.”
What led you to Feng Shui?
I’ve always been sensitive to my surroundings. When I left my job in public relations in 1994, a friend, who’s an interior designer, came over one day and introduced me to Feng Shui. Not having a clue as to what she was talking about I immediately said “Feng what?!” While I was quite content with the beauty and décor in my home of seven years, she proceeded to move my furniture and belongings around according to the principles of feng shui. I was amazed at the difference! I felt a new energy in my home that seemed to embrace me in a whole new way, as if my home had come alive. My attitude about this Chinese design philosophy quickly changed. I started reading books about Feng Shui and then took several practitioner trainings along with a mentorship program with Nancy Santo Pietro, one of Professor Lin Yun’s senior students. As I got deeper into feng shui, I soon realized my sensitivity as a child was simply my ability to read the “seen and unseen” energies in my surroundings.
What are some basics of Feng Shui?
Balance is key. A balanced environment has both yin and yang energy. Yin is feminine and nurturing (such as soft furnishings) whereas yang emphasizes more dynamic and active expressions (hard or reflective surfaces). Ideally, we want a balance of both. It’s also important to create the appropriate décor and energy in the more private and restful yin spaces, such as a bedroom or a bathroom, as well as the more active yang spaces, such as a living room or kitchen.
We also need to understand that everything in the universe is alive and composed of energy, or “ch’i. When the ch’i enters our home, it moves fast in direct pathways such as a hallway. We can balance and slow the energy down with feng shui solutions and by redirecting its path.
Another simple application is to incorporate a water fountain or even a fish tank in a home. After all, Feng means “wind” and Shui means “water.” Our bodies are approximately 90% water and we need water for our survival. Water creates movement and flow in any environment.
What are the differences between consulting on a commercial space versus residential space?
The principles are the same. However, in a corporate environment there are longer corridors where the ch’i moves more rapidly and can separate the connectivity of the workspace. Also, one of the greatest challenges is creating workspaces where employees can be in a position of power, so they can be more productive. Since many employees work in cubicles, they often have their backs to the entrance. This psychological vulnerability can be reduced by using reflective surfaces such a small mirror on the side of the computer or on a wall to alert you if someone approaching from behind. Also, when negotiating a raise or making a presentation, it’s important to have a solid wall of support behind you and to be out of the direct path of energy flowing into the room.
The corporate environment also has a lot of harsh fluorescent light bouncing off white walls which can produce anxiety as well be hard on the eyes. The ch’i needs to be grounded with more balanced lighting and the addition of color and artwork.
Whether it’s a home or workplace, every environment is unique with it’s own energy and challenges. By becoming aware of your surroundings and the principles of Feng Shui, you can consciously create more harmonious spaces to support your personal and professional goals.