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Nourishing and Controlling the Five Elements

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017 in Five Elements, Your Home | Comments Off on Nourishing and Controlling the Five Elements

The Five Elements in Feng Shui

In Feng Shui, the elements WoodFireEarthMetal, and Water are considered the basic building blocks of everything physical on the planet. They manifest in countless ways and combinations all around us. Feng Shui observes that human beings are made up of all Five Elements, and therefore, we are most comfortable when they’re all present in our homes.  The fastest way to learn how to work with the elements is to observe them in your home.

“Wood” collage by Terah Kathryn Collins

Although many people can sense when an environment is out of balance, they often don’t know exactly how to fix it. Would red or blue be good here? Should the table be round or rectangular? Is a mirror or artwork best there? Questions such as these are easily answered when you know how to read the elements, making them one of your most intriguing Feng Shui tools. Learn how to recognize and combine the Five Elements, and you’ll be able to see exactly what each room needs to bring it into perfect balance.

Five Element arrangements can be made in any room and can be any size that’s appropriate for the space. I often suggest that people put together an elemental arrangement of objects in areas that need energizing, such as a garage, spare bedroom, or basement. This positive action marks the beginning of change and stimulates the Ch’i so that it’s easier for people to organize these areas.

“Fire” collage by Terah Kathryn Collins

The Nourishing Cycle of the Five Elements

When you bring the Five Elements into a room, you are tapping into their Nourishing Cycle, where each element feeds and sustains the other in perfect harmony. Water sustains Wood; Wood feeds Fire; Fire makes Earth; Earth creates Metal; and Metal holds Water. The Nourishing Cycle shows us how the elements strengthen and nurture each other in an endless regenerating sequence. When all five are present in an environment, a natural balance is achieved.


The Controlling Cycle of the Five Elements

“Earth” collage by Terah Kathryn Collins

In the Controlling Cycle, we see how the elements dominate and control each other. In this cycle, Woodconsumes Earth; Earth dams Water; Water extinguishes Fire; Fire melts Metal; and Metal cuts Wood. The Controlling Cycle is regarded as a powerful guide for establishing elemental harmony, and is present in many of the places we consider the most beautiful. A palm tree oasis in the desert is a perfect example of Wood consuming Earth, while a tropical island in crystal-clear water is essentially Earth damming Water. Nature constantly provides us with examples of how the Controlling Cycle of the elements can create harmony and beauty.
It’s also very useful to be aware of  the Controlling Cycle when you’re balancing the elements in your home. When one element is especially dominant, the Controlling Cycle will show you the element that can quickly balance the Ch’i. Once you have balanced the dominant element with its controlling partner, you can turn to the Nourishing Cycle and further refine your elemental

“Metal” collage by Terah Kathryn Collins

I worked with a home where the living room was dominated by Earth. The decor included square tile floors, stucco walls, dark beige-checked couches, brown chairs, small square area rugs in various earthtones, and many small earthenware accessories. The furniture was arranged in a tight square around a large rectangular table made up of ceramic tiles. On the wall behind the sofa hung a painting of the desert. So much Earth gave the space a heavy, boxed-in feeling, which matched the way the owners felt in their home.
To balance the Earth, they needed to first introduce the element that controlled Earth, which is Wood. They added turquoise pillows to the sofa, a large textured rug in blues and greens beneath the coffee table, and several large plants. Turning to the Nourishing Cycle, they fed the Wood element with Water by replacing their desert painting with a large mirror and adding a small tabletop waterfall.  They also introduced the Metal element by framing that mirror in a gilt frame and arranging the plants in round metal pots.  Lamplight,  natural light, and touches of coral painted on their ceramics brought in plenty of Fire, which by nature strengthens Earth.

They also opened up the boxy “Earthy” furniture

“Water” collage by Terah Kathryn Collins

arrangement by turning the two brown chairs at a diagonal, giving them a peripheral view of the door. As a finishing touch, they ran a turquoise table runner diagonally across the coffee table to soften two of the corners. With these changes, their once-constricted living room became very comfortable, inviting a more spontaneous and enjoyable lifestyle.

Elemental extremes abound in our architecture and rooms.
Monochromatic motifs, and the constant repeating of one shape, are two things I often see in people’s homes. Although the effect may be perceived as quite trendy or dramatic, most people will not find comfort there, because on the elemental level, one is dominating while the others are missing. Remember, your ultimate goal is to bring all Five Elements into balance in every
room. It’s remarkable to witness the difference this makes in the perceived comfort of a room.


You’ll find much more information on the Five Elements in Terah’s book The Western Guide to Feng Shui, Room by Room.


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The Retail Recipe For Great Feng Shui

Posted by on Dec 31, 2015 in Career & Business, Essential Feng Shui Tips, Five Elements | 2 comments

On a recent visit to a new gift shop in town, I passed a woman who was just leaving with a big shopping bag in hand. “This place has great Feng Shui,” she beamed. My curiosity piqued, I asked her, “What exactly do you mean by great Feng Shui?”  “Oh, you’ll feel it right away,” she said, smiling over her shoulder. “It’s the whole atmosphere.”
And indeed, the store did have a very inviting atmosphere.  Inviting enough for me to buy something so I could take a little piece of that great Feng Shui home with me…  So what exactly is “great Feng Shui?” As an Essential Feng Shui® consultant for jewel
over fifteen years, I liken it to the favorite meal you create with just the right ingredients.  When you know the recipe, you can make magic happen and in this case, an enchantingly irresistible retail atmosphere.
The recipe begins with three fundamental ingredients, or the three foundational principles of Essential Feng Shui:
1. Everything is Alive ñ Essential Feng Shui® observes that all things are essentially alive with the thoughts and feelings we associate with them.  Every thing triggers internal dialog, memories, and associations.  The trick is to create a shopping environment that prompts the chatter inside shoppers’ heads to say things like, “I really love the lighting in here; oh, I love that color; this reminds me of being on vacation, what a soft chair …”  Not, “I look awful in this lighting; what an ugly color; that looks like my kid’s messy room; there’s nowhere to sit in this place …”  
Creating an environment that encourages feel-good mind-talk is a gift – a gift that shoppers purchase and take home with them.  Instinctively, they know that every time they look at their purchase, the pleasing memory of their experience in your store will come alive again.
2. Everything is Connected -Essential Feng Shui® views all parts of an environment as connected.  For storeowners this means that areas such as the “employees only” bathroom, the storeroom, and the back office are just as connected to the store’s success as the showroom.  Whether it can be seen from the front entrance or not, clutter and disorder can push prosperity right out the door.  Every square inch counts and it’s all connected.
What’s more, your personal connection with your business is crucial. The more you really love and feel connected to it, the more you’re ready, willing, and able to pour your essence into it, and to address clutter and maintenance issues as they arise.  This principle also applies to your connection with every customer who walks through your door.  Serving customers with the “just right” balance between harassing and ignoring them is the holy grail of customer service.  People respond best to soft landings, where no one barks a pseudo-cheery “Hello!” at them as soon as they enter the store and yet they can connect with someone helpful when they’re ready.
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The Power of Dressing with Intention

Posted by on Sep 11, 2015 in Alumni Speak, Essential Feng Shui Tips, Five Elements, Inner Feng Shui | Comments Off on The Power of Dressing with Intention

by Andrea Dupont

In Fashion Feng Shui®, we talk about attracting what you want through your clothing, your body’s most intimate environment. We work to dress the whole person that you are, including your essence, your appearance and your intention. Visually affirming your goals in your attire fortifies you to achieve them. Through the use of color, shape or texture, you can express all you desire to attract. How can you dress to realize your goals?

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Q & A Beyond The Bagua – Feng Shui Tools

Posted by on Jun 5, 2015 in Bagua, Compass Feng Shui, Eliminating Clutter, Five Elements, Q & A | Comments Off on Q & A Beyond The Bagua – Feng Shui Tools

Our friend M.C. asked  us:

“Why do you use the standardized bagua vs. the compass school.  I have tried both on my home with little improvement.  I do it for other people’s homes and have success.  Moving would be a hardship even though this place holds so much sorrow.  I am about to give up.”

Hi M.C.,

Thank you for asking this question.  We’re so sorry to hear of your grief and sadness. Sorrow can run deep.

In Essential Feng Shui, we find that the Bagua Map is just one of many tools we use. Some structures really need help with their Bagua, whereas some structures or environments are more elementally imbalanced, others are struggling with blocked Ch’i and others still lack self-expression or intention. Ideally, an Essential Feng Shui environment touches upon all of these tools to find balance.

If the working with the Bagua isn’t making any desired changes in your space, then it sounds like you may have a different issue altogether – you may need to access these other tools to create balance. Are you familiar with the Five Elements? Are you surrounded by Clutter? For you personally, is there even one thing, place, color or a reminder of a happier time?

Where are you located? I bet there’s a local Practitioner who can help you, and if you don’t see someone close by, many of our practitioners can help you with a distance consultation. Your results can still be marvelous, uplifting and help support that happiness you so rightly deserve.

Best of luck – let us know what you find out!


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Essential Feng Shui Tips: The Earth Element

Posted by on Mar 11, 2015 in Essential Feng Shui Tips, Five Elements | Comments Off on Essential Feng Shui Tips: The Earth Element

The Earth Element – Yellows and earth tones; items made from ceramics, tile, stucco, brick, earthenware; square and rectangular shapes; art portraying desert, flat plateaus and earthy landscapes. Enhances physical strength, sensuality, practicality and stability.

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