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TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN It gives me great pleasure to write this. Until recently, I knew nothing about Feng Shui (didn’t even know how to pronounce it, let alone what it was all about!). Ignorance is bliss, they say. Well, then I met the lovely Debra Jarvis and, out of ignorance and wanting to sound intelligent, I simply asked her, “What is that thing that you do?” (not wanting to actually say the words in case I mispronounced them). Debra was very charming and patient and explained to me the science of Feng Shui. I was amazed, to say the least. It was not something mystical or radical or anything like that – in fact, it just made good, old, common sense. After I experienced this little mini-session with Debra, we agreed that she should share this knowledge with others, so we organised a workshop and Debra came to our home (which also houses our business). The results were simply quite phenomenal. In a very short period of time, with just a few adjustments and the clearing of the clutter (particularly in my office area), we had very positive results in our business. We expanded both internationally and locally and our turnover increased. Could this be coincidence? (didn’t know). People who were visiting our home were commenting on how different it felt – there was a lovely energy and feeling about the house. They asked what we had done – repainted or redecorated or what? None of those things! We explained that we had simply followed Debra’s advice and that we also had felt the same way. Debra’s workshop has helped us in an ongoing way – because now, when we notice things slipping backwards, her lessons have taught us what to look for and how to immediately rectify the situation simply, and guess what, it works! I absolutely recommend Debra’s services. I believe she is a master at this science and her advice only serves to help those who use it. From someone who was a sceptic, all I can say is, I just know it works and if that’s the case then use what works.

Kind regards Kay Wichgers

What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within us into the world, miracles happen. ~ Henry David Thoreau

ABC of Feng Shui

Debra Jarvis

Copyright © 2010 by Debra Jarvis Published and Distributed in Australia by: IPS Consultancy Australia Pty Ltd Suite 301, 4/58 High Street, Toowong, Brisbane, QLD 4066 +61 423 630 928 Cover and Illustrations by: Edited by: Heather Millard All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic process, or in the form of a phonographic recording, nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or otherwise be copied for public or private use – other than for “fair use” as brief quotations embodied in articles and reviews without prior written permission of the publisher. Debra Jarvis ABC of Feng Shui 1. Feng Shui 2. Philosophy 3. Self-Leadership ISBN: 978-0-9751912-0-0

1st Printing, January 2004 2nd Printing, March/April 2004 3rd Printing, November 2005 Revised and Printed December 2010 Published in Australia

Contents Feng Shui...................................................................... 1 Wind and Water ............................................................ 5 Classic Configuration ..................................................... 7 Modern Application ..................................................... 11 Welcome opportunity in! ........................................ 13 Be secure and protected ....................................... 16 Define your boundaries .......................................... 18 Chi .............................................................................. 23 Chi Enhancers ............................................................. 29 Colour ................................................................... 32 Mirrors................................................................... 33 Lighting ................................................................. 38 Crystals ................................................................. 40 Water Features ...................................................... 43 Soundmakers ........................................................ 46 Wind Dancers ........................................................ 48

Living Things ......................................................... 49 Nature Objects ...................................................... 51 Art ......................................................................... 53 Core Concepts ............................................................ 57 Eliminate Clutter .................................................... 58 Put Safety and Comfort first; Beauty will follow. ..... 64 Organisation; A place for everything. ..................... 66 Express yourself .................................................... 67 Bagua ......................................................................... 71 Life Path, Purpose, Career ‘Deep Water’ ......................................................... 75 Relationships ‘Receptive Earth’ ................................................... 77 Health and Family (Seed money) ‘Arousing Thunder’ ................................................ 79 Abundance and Prosperity ‘Persistent Wind’ ................................................... 82 Tai Chi (Balance) .................................................... 84 Helpful People and Travel (Synchronicity) ‘Creative Heaven’ .................................................. 87

Children and Creativity (JOY) ‘Joyous Lake’ ........................................................ 90 Contemplation and Learning ‘Still Mountain’ ....................................................... 92 Fame and Reputation (Recognition) ‘Clinging Fire’ ........................................................ 95 Elements ..................................................................... 97 Implementation and Intention ..................................... 105 BONUS CHAPTER Turn Your Office Into a Powerhouse of Success ......... 115

NB - Throughout this book, I have used capital letters to refer to the Feng Shui elements i.e. Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal. When I have NOT used a capital I am referring to the common meaning of these words.

Preface How would you rate your overall life satisfaction on a scale of one to ten? What would your score be so far today?... Yesterday?...The day before? What is your anticipation for tomorrow? Would you like to increase your enjoyment of life; have more fun; improve your popularity; earn more money and be happier? Do you find your work satisfying? How’s your relationship? Feng Shui is all about change. To change your current situation, take action in your current environment. Practise right here and right now! This Feng Shui book is filled with practical suggestions that everyone can implement, because Feng Shui Miracles really do happen! Feng Shui permeates every aspect of our lives and now you, too, can apply it simply and practically. You hold in your hands essential information to allow you to enhance your life using the ancient wisdom that is Feng Shui for greater balance, harmony and prosperity.

Acknowledgments Without connectedness none of us would be who and what we are. Every experience and every interaction contributes to this moment. There are many who have been a part of my journey. To everyone who has ever touched my life, or touched the life of someone who has touched my life, even if only for the briefest moment in time, I thank you! Everything is ALIVE, connected and always changing. Joy and Blessings

Disclaimer The information and advice provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate at the time of publication. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessments of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information. Debra Jarvis and IPS Consultancy Australia Pty Ltd do not accept liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by reliance on the information or advice provided.

Feng Shui

Feng Shui has two main schools of thought - Form and Compass. Form School developed where there was form (shape) to the land; mountains, valleys, hills, rivers and streams. It considered positioning based on the lie of the land, elevated for breezes but close to a water source for drinking and bathing. Compass School was developed on the plains of China where very little form exists. The changing seasons, what happened in the sky, and their co-relation to the events of the people were studied and further refined to observations based on a person’s date of birth. Combined, these two aspects of Feng Shui are immensely powerful. This publication concentrates on the practical Form School aspects of Feng Shui and the simple and effective ways that you can implement these aspects in your home and workplace to experience Feng Shui benefits for yourself. Personally, I prefer to refer to Feng Shui as “Earth Wisdom”, principles practised by people of all cultures, everywhere in the world. In this book we explore the application of some of those principles to modern buildings and their locations. In particular, we consider the flow of energy known as ‘Chi’ - the Classic Configuration; the Foundation Principles; and the three Core Concepts. We will discover how the application of these principles can be successfully applied to make our lives safer and more fulfilling.


ABC of Feng Shui

The order of the information in this book has been arranged to help you implement the most important aspects of Feng Shui first! The introduction of specific enhancements and cures - such as the Bagua, Chi Enhancers and the Elements - are much more effective when all aspects of the Classic Configuration, Foundation Principles and Core Concepts have been attended to.

Debra Jarvis



ABC of Feng Shui

Wind and Water

“Feng Shui” literally translates as “Wind” and “Water”. At its essence, it is about creating a harmonious environment with the right mix of these two elements. “Water” is the seen (our physical environment) and “Wind” is the unseen (our internal environment). We see the effect of the wind as ripples across the surface of the water. Feng Shui suggests that adjustments in our physical surroundings (the seen) which may be quite subtle, can cause profound changes in our life experience (the unseen). We liken this to the effect of a small pebble dropped into a lake. Water is displaced, and we see this effect as the ripples across the surface. Even when those ripples are no longer apparent to the human eye, they continue, unseen, out to the edge of the lake and into the earth. At its essence, Feng Shui seeks to balance extremes. Feng Shui Practitioners seek to create change and balance working in the seen, physical environment, which affects our internal being and changes the way in which we experience life. In the words of Winston Churchill: “First we create our dwellings, and then they create us”


ABC of Feng Shui

Classic Configuration

Traditionally, we looked for land that was fertile, lush and abundant - land upon which crops grew and animals thrived. We ensured that we were near a good source of fresh water for drinking and for bathing, but not so close as to be subjected to flooding. Next, we looked to be secure and protected. We like to be sheltered from strong winds and to feel safe from any approaching danger. We feel most comfortable when we have an expansive view to the front, to see all who approach. In the days of pioneer settlement, it was most important to determine if those approaching were friend or foe so we could make the appropriate preparations for their arrival. Classically, in Feng Shui, we looked to site our villages between the extremes of wind and water. According to the principles of Feng Shui, the ideal location is about halfway up a mountain, with a fresh water source (lake, stream, river, and pond) at the base and an expansive view to the front. It is below the strong winds which occur on the top of mountains and above the level to which water rises during flooding. The mountain itself protected our back, and to the sides were generally hills or trees forming a protective embrace. This is the Classic Configuration, often referred to as ‘the seat of the armchair’. In China, this situation is known as the Belly of the Dragon. This gave a good view of those approaching prior to their arrival so that they could be assessed (friend or foe) and either the billy would be put on to boil and damper placed in the coals to cook, or the rifle was placed where it would be handy in case it became necessary to use it.


ABC of Feng Shui

Boundaries are also important. Let us take a clue from nature. Animals mark their territory, and fight to defend it. It’s natural for dogs to mark their territory by urinating. In Queensland, we are wary of invading a male crocodile’s territory especially when he has a nesting female. If you are another male crocodile, Watch Out! You had better be prepared to fight for dominance! New settlers made their homes on land previously uninhabited by other Europeans. Each family unit cultivated land for its own use, to provide food and crops for itself and its stock. Neighbours were not welcome to help themselves or graze their stock. Each family traded its surpluses for goods it was unable to produce itself. Cultivated land was a strongly defended asset representing the livelihood of the family. Folk frequently lived hours, if not days, from their neighbours. It was important to be self-sufficient and, obviously, the family on the most fertile land that provided the best protection was able to defend it, keep the best health, and was the most prosperous. The Classic Configuration is, in my opinion, the most important aspect of Feng Shui. Get each part of the Classic Configuration right, and your life will be very rewarding! The more our living and working environments match the ideal siting (the seat of the armchair), the more ideal our experiences of life are. The concept behind Maslow’s Hierocracy of Needs Pyramid fits with our Feng Shui Classic Configuration. Chances are Maslow didn’t know anything about Feng Shui but he did have ‘Earth Wisdom’.

Debra Jarvis


Our most basic needs after air, water and food, are shelter and protection; then comes love, care and affection; followed by selfesteem and meaning/purpose. Money isn’t mentioned at all. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Self Actualisation Esteem: Self, Others Love: Belonging Safety: Home, Family, Religion

Physiological: Air, Water, Food, Sleep, Sex

As each level of basic human requirements is met, it is the next level that we focus on attaining. If we have water, food, shelter, love and purpose in our lives we are abundant! In Maslow’s terms, we have Self-Actualisation – i.e. each individual doing what he or she, individually, is suited to. What humans can be, they must be! The two lower levels correspond to the Classic Configuration (the seen), and the upper levels of the pyramid are our inner Feng Shui (the unseen). Only when we have the ‘seen’ or physical needs met, do we appreciate the ‘unseen’ internal needs.


ABC of Feng Shui

Modern Application

We have water piped to our homes, and other pipes to remove the water once it is soiled. The internal environment of our homes is manipulated with controlled heating and air-conditioning. Our social interaction is much greater and we tend to specialise, investing our time and other resources to produce the goods or services we are most proficient at. Our basic needs are met by trading these goods or services with others. We now seek to control nature and manipulate the natural order. We no longer live in small, self-sufficient communities that must protect themselves from harm to ensure community survival. Much of our food is mass produced and distributed by shopping centres. No longer are we reliant on our individual, small plots of land to provide for all our needs. During the Industrial Revolution, cities formed and we began to disregard our natural order. Balance was no longer our highest priority and greed began to have a profound influence. Society became focused on materialistic outcomes. Common sense lost out to immediate financial considerations. We now build houses on swamps and near waterways; we live in units, townhouses and high rises! In this book, we will examine the logic of the most important aspects on which Feng Shui has been developed, and this will guide you in their application to your environment. The most important Feng Shui you can implement is to apply the Classic Configuration to your current dwelling space. Whether you live in a house, a townhouse or an apartment, have one room in a boarding house or hostel, are on lifestyle acreage or a farm, you can benefit from Feng Shui.


ABC of Feng Shui

It is important to practise Feng Shui right here and right now. Create a comfortable home you really enjoy spending time in. Together, let’s identify the ideal situation and how you can apply that knowledge to your current living and working environment, improving your experience of life today.

Welcome opportunity in! We say that opportunity comes to us in direct proportion to how easy we are to locate, and that the quality of that opportunity is related to the quality of the feeling of welcome. The Real Estate catch cry - Position, Position, Position - coincides with good Feng Shui. Traditionally, “Position” was about being located near a good water source and having fertile ground to sustain life, feed stock and grow crops. Today, we look for opportunity in a different way. In business, we locate our business alongside other successful businesses. Banks tend to be grouped together in shopping centres. Where you find McDonald’s, you also find other fast-food outlets. Car yards are all located together. Zoning regulations support this process. A panel beater would typically locate himself near other businesses that service the motor vehicle industry and, specifically, near those with a similar, ideal-client profile. Logically, other panel beaters are going to be looking at the same considerations when selecting their locations and typically, we find that several competitors are located within a short radius of one another.

Debra Jarvis


The customers and customer expectations we attract will be determined by how we are perceived on first impressions. What do your premises say about your business? Do they portray an image that suggests your ideal clients would be found there? Is the subconscious message, “We will do a great job” or “We can be beaten down on price”? Let’s look at opening a new business, say a Hair Salon. One of the first considerations should be what type of Hair Salon you want. That information should determine where you choose to locate, not the amount of rent to be paid. A salon in a busy shopping centre that attracts lots of people is going to be more profitable than one in a dead-end street in a block of run-down shops. We go to the Hair Salon to feel good about our image. Obviously, a salon located in a place that is pleasant provides better vibes. This salon will charge a little more. However, it will also attract many more customers. Some shopping centres we automatically associate with an up-market, classy image; others are just places to get the weekly groceries. There is no heightened sense of expectation. I recommend you always select a location that lifts your energy. Wherever we place ourselves in the market determines the value of our services and where others will perceive our talents to be. Use this same reasoning when making a decision about where to live. Consider first the experience of life you desire and devise a strategy to afford as close to that optimal as possible. Start by considering where you would like to be situated. All too often we look at our current financial situation and, when given a choice of two properties, select the least expensive one, thinking there will be less strain on our finances. When we select the option which we


ABC of Feng Shui

prefer (provided it meets all the criteria of the Classic Configuration), somehow everything comes together and our experience of life improves. It is said that if you move to an area where the average income is greater than yours, your income will increase as your expectation of what it is possible to earn increases. Conversely, move to a poorer suburb and it is likely that your income will reduce to be on a par with those with whom you associate. Most of us live and work somewhere right now. If you desire to improve the opportunities or quality of opportunities where ever you are currently located, take a look at the entrance to your property and the path to the front door. Our front entranceways are where we welcome opportunity in. Do you have a letterbox? Is it attractive? Is the house number clearly displayed on the letterbox? (As we drive, we tend to quickly turn our heads, identify the letterbox and then look for the number!) Is the number horizontal or sloping up? Numbers on an upward slope lift our eye and are energetically preferable to numbers which slope down. Are you an ‘A’ or ‘B’? Consider using a capital letter. Ideally, we can identify the people path that leads to the front door from the street. Is there an open area at the front of the home? Obviously, a forest of trees right up against the front door is not desirable as it will have the effect of blocking any opportunities that are passing by. In units and townhouses, where we are not always able to influence the body corporate, I encourage you to have a welcome mat, an

Debra Jarvis


attractive doorbell, or something that makes your home stand out like a bright, shining star. Where it is not possible to do anything outside the unit, ensure the first impression on opening the door and stepping in is one of welcome.

Be secure and protected Ideally, we want land which slopes gently up from the street. In real estate speak, “Buy on the high side of the street.� Unfortunately, these days when we are building, typically we are guided to look for a level, flat block due to cost and ease of construction. Many homes back onto canals or rivers and have no strong back or protection from the river. The dilapidated state of some of these properties is testimony to the quality of the lives of the inhabitants. One property with two large palm trees near the back boundary stands out for me. The palms are positioned equidistant from each other about a third of the distance from each side. This particular property has beautifully manicured lawns and it seems that the strategic position of these palms is helping to symbolically provide a strong back for the inhabitants. Ideally, I recommend a barrier constructed of wood or formed by plants at least nine inches in height. One couple living in the Gold Coast Hinterland called me because, two weeks earlier, their business had taken a big dive for the worse. No new work was coming in; they were not receiving payments for previously completed projects; and they had attracted a number of legal complications which were not looking very favourable. When I arrived, I observed that their home was situated on the


ABC of Feng Shui

crest of a hill. To enter the property, I drove up to the house where a magnificent view of the Gold Coast beaches awaited. Behind the house was a vertical drop and the rear balcony was built out over this drop. Two weeks earlier, the client had severely cut back the foliage under and around the deck, causing me to feel in danger of falling over the edge. The solution? Encourage the growth of the canopy to the height of the deck railing to give that secure, embraced feeling. Install outdoor lamps along the top of the cliff, either up-lights or coach lights, but not white or black in colour. Augment with additional lighting on the deck. The lesson? Watch your back!!! Are you drawn to spend time in the backyard or do you feel exposed and vulnerable? Use fencing and shrubs to make this your private sanctuary. Remember there is nowhere to hide from Feng Shui eyes. Once again, units and townhouses present unique challenges. Balconies tend to be at the rear and to either side of the dwelling and look out onto beautiful views. Feng Shui suggests this makes us vulnerable. We do not have that armchair embrace. Introduce potted plants or hanging baskets to provide some screening privacy - not so much as to block the view, but sufficient to provide the intention of protection. Lighting, such as fairy or up-lighting, can also be introduced with positive benefits. Generally, Managers have offices where they do set themselves up in the power position. It is the staff in cubicles who are vulnerable. When people feel safe and their back is protected, they are going

Debra Jarvis


to be much more productive than when they are concerned for their safety, even if that concern is not conscious. Where it is not possible to physically rearrange furniture so everyone is set up in the power position, I suggest that those individuals whose backs are exposed use high-backed seating and strategically place a mirror in front of them so that they are able to observe whatever activity may occur behind them. This will increase the feeling of comfort and security and can only be good for the organisation.

Define your boundaries When our boundaries are not clearly defined in the physical, we have boundary issues with the people in our lives such as stepping on toes, back stabbing and unclear expectations. Boundaries don’t have to be a six-foot high wooden fence enclosing our properties but we do want to identify where the corners are - a physical indication that this is mine and that is yours! If our neighbour has noxious weeds, we want them contained so that they don’t enter our yard. When neighbours walk their dogs, it’s annoying to have them drifting over our lawns because we haven’t made it clear where our property begins. One client introduced some small, white, wire hoops about nine inches high to define her front boundary and observed with amazement that no-one stepped over them, instead opting to go around to the path leading to the front door! When the shape of our home or workplace is not square or rectangular then, in Feng Shui terms, we consider that they are


ABC of Feng Shui

incomplete and missing boundaries. Ideally, this is rectified by introducing a structure such as a veranda or patio to square off these missing areas. Other suitable remedies would be a garden or hedging. At the very least, mark the corner where the two walls intersect in some way. Some suggestions to help get you started are a pole, a plant, a lamp, a boulder, children’s play equipment or a birdbath. Whatever object you come up with, the main criteria are that it is aesthetically pleasing to you and that it ‘anchors’ the missing corner. Where you are unable to place anything above the ground, bury a single, pointed, quartz crystal below the ground’s surface pointed up on a 45o angle towards the centre of the structure. As quartz crystal is particularly sensitive to and absorbs negative energy readily, ensure that it has been cleansed prior to implementing this cure. Areas already covered by bricks, concrete and bitumen can be marked using surveyors markers. These markers are commonly seen in outdoor dining areas marking the perimeter between pedestrian access and customer dining areas. When the area is bricked, give consideration to replacing some of the bricks with ones of a contrasting colour to define the missing or undefined boundary. A broken yellow line or a dot are other possible methods. One restaurant marked its missing area with diagonal yellow stripes as a Delivery Only Zone. When you truly can’t do anything outside (maybe you are in a unit or the intersection of the missing corner is in the neighbour’s yard) then I recommend an energetic cure inside. If a window looks out to the missing side, hang a 20mm round Austrian crystal in the window to energetically bring it into the structure. (see Crystals)

Debra Jarvis


If there is a solid wall, consider installing a mirror to draw in the missing space. One mirror will be required on each side of the segment missing in the building structure. Where these solutions are not possible or practical a small, round, compact mirror can be discreetly placed. The higher and closer to the extreme-most corners this can be placed the better (See next page). It is, however, okay to discreetly place mirrors behind furnishing items. When using mirrors in this manner, be careful not to position them where they could draw in harmful energy such as directly behind the meter box. In such situations, position one mirror face-in to the wall, pushing the meter box away, and another mirror, preferably higher, to bring in the missing corner.

Read the Bagua section thoroughly and ensure that, whatever the missing gua or guas are, these are in exemplary condition within individual rooms.


ABC of Feng Shui

When speaking with clients on lifestyle acreage, I often hear the phrase, “It spoils the view�, when I discuss boundaries with them. My observation is that one of the motivating factors for these clients in moving onto acreage is to get away from people, as they have difficulty setting boundaries of appropriate behaviour with the people that they interact with. When boundaries are not clearly defined in the physical, we have difficulties setting the boundaries with the people in our lives. Clearly define the boundaries of your property and observe how your interactions within current relationships change over the following month.

Debra Jarvis



ABC of Feng Shui


Feng Shui teaches us that everything is Alive, Connected and Changing. These are the three Foundation Principles of ‘Chi’ (energy). We know from science that what we see as Form and Shape existing in the physical dimension is merely dense particles vibrating. The chair you are sitting in is merely lots of molecules vibrating closely together and this gives the appearance of solid matter. Ancient cultures knew that everything, all animate and inanimate objects, is ALIVE with memories, feelings and associations. All objects are speaking to us all of the time; some give messages that lift our spirits while others reduce our excitement and enthusiasm (negative vibes). Sometimes these vibes (good or bad) are barely perceptible.

The test I use to measure ALIVENESS is: “Does this lift my energy when I look at it or think about it or does it bring me down?” Intuition/Instinct is very accurate in discerning aliveness, when we listen to it! Our gut feelings, and what’s in our hearts, not what our heads are reasoning, are the keys. As human beings, we are alive - connected to every other being and constantly changing. Just as a pebble falling into a pond ripples out


ABC of Feng Shui

and affects much more than the eye can see, so too do the actions and thoughts of each one of us. One of my favourite statements during a consultation is: “Tell me about this.” Many clients initially respond with something like: “Well, I got that when I split up with my ex.” They then go on to explain why it is totally unconnected to their ex and has no memories, feelings and associations of that previous, less-than-excellent relationship. “It’s just wonderful and worth lots of money, and I just couldn’t possibly part with it.” It’s interesting how often we reach the end of our time together, and they just can’t wait to get it out of the house!

Our connection to our belongings is a big deal! Why do we hold on to items that have painful memories of the past? When we hold on to items that remind us of less than excellent situations in our lives, we are holding on to the hurt and the pain of that time. The objects we are holding on to connect us to people and relationships that no longer serve us. We haven’t let go; thus it is difficult for anything or anyone to come into the space. Do we want to continue to recreate that less than excellent scenario or are we willing to let go, allowing room for a different experience, a different outcome? Wind and Water represent Unseen and Seen Energy, “Chi”. Both can be gentle and meandering or rough and ferocious. In our modern society, we liken our roadways to Waterways and the speed and volume of traffic determines the quality of the Chi.

Debra Jarvis


Ideally, Chi flow is not so strong as to be uncomfortable like the strong Westerlies that those of us in Queensland associate with the Ekka (show) or the raging river in flood that spills over its banks and sweeps away everything stored under the houses in its path. Stagnant Chi is also destructive and may be even less desirable than overly strong Chi. It creeps up on us unnoticed, often for many years, and we are not even aware of its presence! A disused carpark doesn’t appear to be causing any major challenges. The musty smell in the air of a room that hasn’t been opened in a long time appears harmless. Both are representations of slow decay which tend to be ignored, as they don’t appear to be an immediate threat. Over the long term, however, the harm/damage becomes more challenging to overcome as the threat doesn’t necessitate immediate action. There is always tomorrow. Inevitably, our attention becomes focused elsewhere and, gradually, the adverse impact of this decay and stagnation on our quality of life increases. A delightful client, in her early forties, used her walk-in-robe as a dumping ground for items she was letting go of (torn sheets; old papers and cardboard; broken and unusable items). Mixed in with these were half a dozen wedding gifts that were from close friends. These items complemented her personal style and taste, and were ones she would have purchased for herself, had she had the appropriate location in which to place them. Unfortunately, the marriage had been short-lived and the gifts induced feelings of unhappiness for her. This room reeked of stagnant Chi!


ABC of Feng Shui

Ideally, we encourage meandering Chi such as a pleasant spring breeze to enter our homes - a balance between the strong breeze that causes doors to slam and the oppressive, still heat that grips Queensland in February when every movement is a test of will. Rapidly travelling Chi moving towards our doors, such as at major intersections where one road meets another and forms a T, is not desirable. This tends to be symbolic of the lives of the inhabitants, who are usually busy dealing with a variety of challenges, one after the other. The quality of Chi is also important. An environment that has wide streets and beautiful gardens is far more pleasing than the neighbourhood with narrow streets blocked with parked cars, daggy front yards, paint peeling off letterboxes and illegible house numbers. Homes and workplaces with Chi conducive to balance, harmony and prosperity are those that are clean and vibrant, that lift our energy and that we are drawn to want to spend time in. The Classic Configuration, Foundation Principles and Core Concepts applied together all contribute to assisting us to maximise the quality of the Chi we surround ourselves with, and directly affect our experience of life.

Debra Jarvis



ABC of Feng Shui

Chi Enhancers

A Chi enhancer is anything we introduce which is aesthetically pleasing to us. It will in some way appeal to at least one of our five senses, Sight, Sound, Touch, Smell and Taste. Most will have a physical aspect to them. We see the beauty of flowers and we appreciate their scent. Some Chi enhancers will be felt in our hearts rather than by physical touch. Obviously, unpleasant smells and tastes do not constitute enhancements. An item is not an enhancement if you don’t particularly care for it! Never introduce anything as an enhancement if you personally dislike it. Choose items that are nice to you; that is, they have good memories, feelings and associations. If you have a passionate aversion to dusting; avoid items with lots of crevices that require constant and detailed cleaning. If you are allergic to fur, have fish rather than a cat.


ABC of Feng Shui

Is an item one you will constantly have to be careful of, because you could cause yourself injury? It doesn’t constitute an enhancement! If you can’t stand wind chimes, pick something else to enhance the space! Enhancements are not lifelong. We are never Feng Shui’ed. As we change, it is important that our environments and thus the enhancements in those environments change to reflect who we are now and who we are choosing to become. Red candles are considered an optimal enhancement for increasing positive recognition and our reputation in the community. In order to maintain this enhancement as a high quality one, the candles must be lit and left to burn for several hours at a time. They will require frequent replacement. The holder will require updating at periodic intervals as it becomes ordinary and common-place to us, rather than stunning. We will observe the enhancement as not being as effective as it once was, signifying to us that it has reached its use by date. When the items in our homes and workplaces reach their ‘use by’ dates, it is important that they are replaced, often with a different object that once again produces that ‘WOW’ factor in us. We will then continue to enjoy the greater benefits we have become accustomed to when we first introduced the original enhancement. It is important that we do not overdo enhancements. In western society, it is our tendency to think that, if one is good, ten will be even better. This is not true. I recommend simple and aesthetically pleasing enhancements for best results.

Debra Jarvis


I have observed desperation multiple times especially concerning prosperity and relationships. People become so desperate that they place everything they can think of to energise an area which only serves to remind them of what they don’t have and clog it up even more. Clutter is created and occupies the available space, energetically repelling whatever we wish to attract as there is no room left for it. Small changes and simple, aesthetic enhancements frequently produce the most profound results!

Colour This is the simplest enhancement to work with. In small areas, use light shades to reduce the closed-in impression. To make a large, open area more cosy, use dark colours. Feng Shui classifies colour into five groups representing each of the five elements: ! Fire-Red spectrum including Orange ! Earth-Yellow ! Metal-White and Pastels; Metallic colours ! Water-Black and Dark Tones ! Wood-Green and Blue (mid-range) Very often in decorating we go for bland, to avoid an overly busy look. I recommend adding a small amount of a contrasting colour. When you have a very metallic, sterile look, try introducing a little bit


ABC of Feng Shui

of colour from the red spectrum. These colours may be in shades ranging from apricot to pink and from maroon to orange. A room that has a dark, swampy feel will benefit from the introduction of some yellow. An area that is predominantly red and has a fiery look can be dampened with the introduction of black and dark shades of blue and green. When wood and mid range greens and blues are prominent, I suggest a few light-pastels. If your problem area is all yellows and earth tones, the contrasting colour is mid-range greens and blues. Avoid bright, bold colours in bedrooms. Pinks and creams are generally ideal; as it is here we go for intimacy and nurture. Always select colour shades that are aesthetically pleasing to you and any other family members who share that area of the home.

Mirrors Mirrors are one of the more common and powerful ‘cures’ used in Feng Shui. It is, however, very important that they are positioned appropriately. Mirrors both activate and reflect energy. They are excellent in dull, lifeless areas. However, when placed in an area filled with clutter and stagnation, they multiply the chaos.

Debra Jarvis


Use them in narrow hallways to increase the width, but do not place them at the end of hallways as this accentuates the length and energetically repels you. Do not hang mirrors opposite a door, especially the front door, as they simply reflect back out whatever you are attracting into your life. Mirrors are unable to differentiate between good and bad energy. Seating I once found a rear-vision mirror attached to a workbench in an auto electrician’s workshop. Intuitively, this employee had increased his personal security. The employee’s workbench was facing a wall and into the corner; his back was exposed and vulnerable. The rear-vision mirror enabled him to increase his sense of comfort and security. He had strategically placed the mirror so that he was able to glance into it to see what was happening behind him without having to twist and contort his body. Reflections (Self-Esteem) Most households contain a variety of mirrors in many shapes and sizes; some functional, some decorative. It is extremely important that mirrors reflect the full head of anyone who will catch sight of himself/herself in that particular mirror. Our self-esteem is related to the image we have of ourselves, and if we see ourselves as chopped off, cut up or deformed in some way, our sub-conscious takes in the message that we are not okay. This has a negative impact on how we perceive ourselves and adversely affects our experience of life.


ABC of Feng Shui

Tiled mirrors and mirrors that split our image, including mirrors hung on a mirrored wall, are not considered to be good Feng Shui. Aging Mirrors that have become cracked or cloudy are also poor Feng Shui. A father was experiencing difficulty with his teenage daughter who had taken to hanging out with a group. The father was uncomfortable about his daughter associating with the group. The father suspected that the daughter could be involved, or was about to partake, in inappropriate behaviour or engage in unlawful activities. The father decided to hang a full-length mirror with a very ostentatious frame on the inside of his daughters’ wardrobe door. This became the mirror the daughter used to check her appearance prior to leaving the house. Within three weeks, not only had the daughter started to take a greater interest in her appearance, but she was also changing her circle of friends and associates.

Debra Jarvis


Bagua Mirrors Bagua mirrors are a very specific Feng Shui tool. In Australia, we most commonly find them in the form of a circular mirror within an octagonal wood surround painted green and red.

They should never be hung indoors and, if stored, should be in a leaded box. I recommend against their use unless you really understand what you are doing. All mirrors are very powerful and, when implementing a Feng Shui enhancement, should be used with care. If in doubt, contact your local Feng Shui Consultant for advice.


ABC of Feng Shui

Bedrooms Most bedrooms are for intimacy and nurture. As mirrors activate energy, they are undesirable in most bedrooms, the exception being in brothels. Mirrored wardrobe doors directly opposite a bed quite often split the couple apart. They sleep facing away from each other and this is ultimately detrimental to the relationship. Mirrors can also be a contributing factor to poor sleep habits. Reflections can startle us if we wake suddenly. Many busy people are constantly doing things but are not always very productive. When these people (myself included) have either removed or covered the bedroom mirrors at night they have found that they achieve just as much, or more, without being as frantic. It’s as if there were two of you - the one in the bed, and a double in the mirror - and you have had to do the work of two people. Mirrors in bedrooms are considered to be bad Feng Shui. I recommend that mirrors in bedrooms are preferably on the inside of a wardrobe door. If you have mirrored sliding wardrobe doors and are not yet prepared to replace them with non-mirrored ones, I suggest lifting them out of the tracks and reversing them so the mirror is on the inside of the wardrobe.

Debra Jarvis


Lighting Lighting that improves our environment and benefits our experience of life qualifies as a Chi Enhancer. Open fires were probably our very first lighting enhancement, along with brush torches. Later the candle was invented. The first enhancements which provided sufficient light for us to continue with activities, such as sewing and reading, which were previously confined to daylight hours, were oil and gas lamps.

Thanks to Edison and his invention, the light bulb, we have a greater choice about when we can engage in many activities. What if Thomas Edison had given up after ninety-nine times, when the next experiment would have solved the challenge? Edison really changed the way we live our lives; no longer are we restricted to planning activities according to the hours of daylight. Night sports are played under floodlights and floodlighting is used at night on road construction sites.


ABC of Feng Shui

Sunlight is essential for optimal health and no artificial lights (incandescent or fluorescent) can replace sunlight as they emit only a partial spectrum of the light which we receive from the sun. When we have fluorescent lighting, I recommend ‘full-spectrum’ bulbs also referred to as ‘daylight’ bulbs as these are less harmful than regular fluorescent bulbs and not much more expensive. All fluorescent lights flicker and often hum and buzz; modern ones just do it more rapidly than our eyes can perceive and more quietly than is audible to the human ear. In November each year, Bridgewater in England puts on a spectacular street-float parade. Each float has its own generator to power the thousands of light bulbs used in its illumination. It attracts many visitors from neighbouring villages and around the world. The sight is absolutely AWESOME and the pitch-black night is ALIVE with Chi. Candles and fairy lights are fantastic to create mood lighting. Well choreographed fireworks displays and light shows make a spectacular sight. Neon signs are used by businesses to advertise their presence, guiding and beckoning customers to their location. Torches are portable enhancers. They make walking in a dark or poorly-lit area much safer.

Debra Jarvis


Crystals When we talk about a crystal in Feng Shui, we are referring to a round, multi-faceted sphere of leaded glass – the same glass we use in the manufacture of lead-crystal serving bowls and glasses. These multi-faceted lead-crystal spheres are one of the easiest chi enhancers to use. I find them invaluable if I haven’t got any idea of what else to do. Generally, these crystals are slightly flatter at the bottom and have a hole at the top for cord to be threaded through for hanging. The best quality lead-crystal usually comes from Austria. Crystals are preferably installed after clearing clutter and a thorough clean but, if you are really, really stuck, try hanging a 30mm or 40mm leadcrystal from the ceiling in the centre of your home and see just what happens. Amazingly, you may find that you do some cleaning and clutter clearing. Traditionally, lead-crystal cures are hung on an 18” (imperial not metric) length of red cord. However, many of my clients have found that they get results by fixing the crystal directly to the ceiling with superglue, which is more discreet, especially in workplaces. Nylon fishing line also works well as it is almost invisible when you are not looking for it and, sometimes, even when you are. The cord or nylon is threaded through the top of the crystal so that the crystal is suspended 9” from the ceiling. Crystals emit circular Chi rather like throwing a pebble into a pond. Ideally, we would use either one large crystal (30 or 40mm diameter) in the centre of our home for balance, or several smaller ones to cure specific challenges.


ABC of Feng Shui

As we know from science, when waves of energy hit each other they have a nil effect, cancelling each other out. Some areas where we could use crystals include toilets and wet areas to lift Chi, especially if directly opposite the front door as so often happens in units and townhouses. Hang the crystal on the inside between all drains and the door.


In some homes the laundry, bathroom and toilet all have doors that lead off from a central area, so one crystal hung in the central area is better than separate ones in each room.

Debra Jarvis


Feng Shui seeks to focus on connectedness and harmony. Ideally, our buildings would be one level. Stairways are another Feng Shui challenge as they create separation. Ideally, stairs have backs to assist the Chi flow between levels. Another method used in the practice of Feng Shui to symbolically improve Chi flow between the levels, is suspending a small (20mm) crystal 9� from the ceiling, above the centre of the tread which is the greatest distance away from the ceiling. We also use crystals (20 mm) hung in the window) as an energetic cure to square off and symbolically complete the structure where we have missing corners.


ABC of Feng Shui

Water Features In Feng Shui, Water represents abundance and opportunity. It is, therefore, very important that water is never stagnant! Keep it clear and sparkling. Generally, most people prefer that abundance and opportunity flow to them; therefore, we arrange our flowing water features to flow a full 360 degrees or towards the centre of our space. Still water features such as ponds and birdbaths are also considered to be auspicious Feng Shui. Water features are best located in front of, or to the right of, our entrances, to welcome in opportunity and in the North and South East corners of the property, symbolising abundance and prosperity. Water features also symbolise great joy. West is the best direction to place your water feature to enhance your creativity and childlike nature. Left and right are defined as we stand outside our front entrance looking into our home. Water is not desirable on the exterior walls of our homes flowing away from the house, nor is it appropriate to have it in the centre of our homes. When water, such as a bathroom, laundry or a central atrium with pond or spa, is located in the centre of our home or property, the occupants tend to constantly have water issues and, additionally, they find that stability in life eludes them.

Debra Jarvis


Common water features are fountains, aquariums, birdbaths, ponds, spas, swimming pools and bores. In Feng Shui we follow the same guidelines detailed on the previous page when considering the placement of water dispensers, float bowls, taps, shower heads and appliances that use or make water i.e. washing machines, dishwashers and fridges. Be very careful of overdoing water features. One lady loved water features and had a dozen or more on her property. Many were in a state of disrepair and most were flowing away from her home. She constantly had water issues with pumps, irrigation, councils regulating the available creek supply, storage tanks, drains and guttering. One of the features this lady had installed in the preceding two months had a spout which pointed directly to an office on her neighbour’s property. Upon talking with the neighbour, she discovered that the previous two months of his business had been his best in over seventeen years. As the lady was about to block off the spout flowing towards his office, the neighbour decided to invest in some water features of his own and decided that, if this one spout could improve business as it had, then the more water features he could have on his property, and the bigger they were, the better off he would become financially.


ABC of Feng Shui

The first water feature he designed was a waterfall with a shallow pond located in the front third of his property. The drop for the fall was built of rocks and stone on flat land along his left-side boundary fence and the water flow was toward the prosperity corner of his office. Next, he decided to install another water feature closer to his house, located in the middle of his property, and which included a deeper pond for fish which he had read were good Feng Shui. The feature he constructed was slightly larger than the space where it was installed could comfortably and aesthetically accommodate it. It was also located in the relationship corner of his home, an undesirable location for water features.

Debra Jarvis


Before either feature was complete, construction was delayed by heavy rains which filled the pond near the house, which then became stagnant. Coincidentally, a world event occurred, which significantly impacted on his international business. Overnight, his services were obsolete. Logically, we can say that this sequence of events is just coincidental. I agree. However, I believe that, if he had paid more attention to ensuring that enhancements were appropriate and had considered overall balance, then the impact on his business and him personally, would not have been as great. Some other opportunity would have presented itself, filling the gap and allowing him to maintain the lifestyle to which he had become accustomed.

Soundmakers Any items such as bells, horns, musical instruments, CD’s, radios, whistling jugs, and wind chimes that produce sound are considered to be soundmakers. In order to be considered an enhancement, the sound must be one that you enjoy. Mobile phones are sound makers; to make sure it is an enhancement, set the ring tone to one that makes you smile. Callers will hear the smile in your voice when you answer. Have an alarm that you look forward to hearing each morning. As a child, I always wanted chickens. For a while, I owned an alarm clock that could be set so that it sounded like a rooster crowing.


ABC of Feng Shui

Doorbells are designed to announce visitor arrivals. Have a doorbell that works, that you can hear and that is pleasing to you. Don’t settle for the mundane! It is important that musical instruments are tuned and played regularly. A piano that was bought for Mark when he was eight and on which he had lessons for a month, is unlikely to be an enhancement if Mark is now twenty-eight and does not play, Mum never wanted it and Dad wonders if Mark could have been exceptionally talented if only he had persevered.

Feng Shui has some specific recommendations in respect to Wind chimes. They are: ! Best hung outside ! To contain five rods or more

Debra Jarvis


My personal wind chime favourites are: ! Six rods, metal with a wood donger, located in the North West, the area known as Synchronicity. This arrangement stimulates opportunities and flow. ! Six or eight rods, wood or bamboo, placed in the prosperity corner (South East) stimulating increased abundance. The best arrangement is to hang rods from a circular, hexagonal or octagonal flat piece of wood rather than half a coconut. If it is exceptionally windy, consider placing a rubber band around the rods so as not to disturb the neighbours. Wind chimes can also be hung in a similar fashion to lead crystals over exterior staircases to even out the Chi travelling between levels.

Wind Dancers Flags, kites, windsocks, balloons, mobiles, or any item that waves in the wind to catch our attention is considered to be a wind dancer.


ABC of Feng Shui

In Brisbane (Australia), we are fortunate that our council is very effectively using wind dancers to promote events and festivals such as Riverfire, an annual extravaganza of activities for residents of all ages. Permanent stands have been specially designed and constructed to hold the banners promoting this and other events and festivals hosted by the city. The banners are kept current and changed regularly. When travelling on matters of national importance, persons such as the Prime Minister and Governor General have small flags attached to their vehicles, identifying that they contain a prominent person who is being transported to or from such an event. Our used car yards have overused wind dancers to the point that we consider them tatty and this reflects our perception of a used car sales person. Items are only enhancements when they lift our energy. They do not have eternal life and do require replacement when they become torn, tatty, tired, faded, or are falling apart.

Living Things Animals and plants are wonderful Chi Enhancers when they are well cared for. Sick, ill-treated and uncared for animals, as well as dead and dying plants, do not constitute good Feng Shui. In general, people who have pets or interact with animals live longer and this is one reason for the growing acceptance of animals in nursing homes and children’s hospitals. Playing with dogs reduces stress helping to divert people’s thoughts away from their troubles.

Debra Jarvis


If you have ever owned a dog, you will know how much it makes you feel welcome when you arrive home. No matter how bad things are out there in the world, your faithful companion is always there for you. Fish are delightfully soothing and relaxing to watch at any time and, whenever it appears that food might be forthcoming, swim expectantly to the surface. Looking at the fluid motion of fish has been shown to reduce anxiety.

Tending to plants and connecting with the earth is also beneficial to our health. Being in nature takes us to a restful mental state. Even views of trees, shrubs, lawns and flowers can lower our heart rates, reducing muscle tension. “Sick building syndrome� is a relatively recent hazard due to some of the materials used in manufactured building and decorating materials giving off hazardous substances. In offices, we also use a variety of potentially harmful chemicals, to maintain and clean modern equipment.


ABC of Feng Shui

Computers and electrical equipment increase the rate of positive ions present in the air. To reduce the presence of these positive ions, I recommend that every workstation should have at least one plant adjacent to the machine. Plants are excellent for improving the quality of the air we breathe. 1 Some suggested species for use in offices to absorb and transmute those hazardous substances and which have all been found to be good performers include Golden Pathos, Philodendron, Spider Plants, Dracaena Massangeana, Spathiphyllum, and Aglonem (Chinese Evergreen). Potent flowering plants include Gerberas, Daisies and Chrysanthemums.

Nature Objects Any natural object is considered to be an object of nature. Shells, bones, rocks, wood, nuts, pods, fur, feathers, cotton and wool are all nature objects.

When we pick up and collect nature objects during happy moments in our life and bring them into our homes, they create positive Chi for us when recalling that time. As time passes and dust gathers, they no longer provide that nourishing Chi to the same extent. 1

REF: Indoor Plants. Winning the battle for Clean Air, US Foliage for Clean Air Council.

Debra Jarvis


Eventually, the time comes when we have kept an object for so long we don’t quite know where to place it. It is not appropriate anywhere. This is our cue to let it go, and allow new remembrances of happy moments into our lives. Growing up, I collected shells and had them all sorted and labelled. When I married, my parents delivered to me all my belongings, among them my shell collection. I opened the shell box with eager anticipation only to find it full of dust. While I could have washed the shells to clean them up, inside I knew that they didn’t represent who I had become and that it was time to let them go. Had I kept them, I would have spent the next years of my life finding somewhere to store them. My beach walks collecting new shells would not have been as enjoyable. Sadly, I come across many homes where people have collected nature objects and have continued to hold onto them over many years. Generally they are very dusty and stored in dishes or jars that do not enhance the decor of the inhabitants. It seems that we continue to collect, because we have always done so. Sometimes we may think that this object is holding the only happy memory we have. I find that it is really saying to remember when life was good; that’s in the past; it’s gone now! It actually drains us and prevents us from moving on and embracing new opportunities.


ABC of Feng Shui

Art Art is paintings and posters; it also encompasses any item that is a form of individual expression. Art is a reflection of personal style and taste. Many times I find that clients have Art because it was given to them, not because they selected it. When I first took a look at the art work on my walls through Feng Shui eyes, I realised that most of it had been painted by my motherin-law or previously owned by her. It was fantastic art, but it wasn’t really my style and taste. Had I purchased the art, I would have selected different pictures. Interestingly, my mother-in-law tended to be a fairly dominating force in our lives. Of all the enhancements, Art is the one which most feeds our subconscious. Are you single? Do most of the images you have in your home reflect a solitary figure?

Debra Jarvis


One friend was always talking about going on a holiday to the beach. Inevitably, she would end up in the mountains on a skiing holiday. On her wall at the office was a beach scene with an empty deck chair. Her conscious intention was to fill the deckchair; her sub-conscious translated the picture in literal terms, leaving it empty. Therapy art tends to be acquired for its connection to a situation in our lives, that holds painful memories, and we are working through the issues that have arisen around that situation. Art depicting images that express for us the feelings and emotions we are unable to otherwise acknowledge can be very beneficial while we process these thoughts. The secret to the success of Therapy Art is acknowledging when the time has come for its release, just like the pain and suffering it has helped us to let go of. Therapy Art can also be items we introduce to support us as we make major life changes. Many clients contact me to see if I can help identify why they are unable to find that special person for a meaningful and committed relationship. Often they have had a very close relationship with one parent. In one instance, the life of the parent with whom the close bond had been formed was dramatically taken while the client was still a boy. The death was never spoken about and the client went through life never having properly grieved for his mothers’ death or receiving acknowledgment that the event was not connected to him or any of his actions. When I visited the client’s home, every family photo that existed of the time before his mothers’ death was on display. His parents’ wedding photo really hit you in the face when you came in the front door. The client didn’t tend to use the front door, nor did he enjoy spending time in the room.


ABC of Feng Shui

He had put the photos up while undergoing treatment to process the emotions he had about that situation. The client avoided relationships with women because the beliefs he had developed were that, if he loved someone, then she would suffer a brutal attack and leave him. Somehow all this would be his fault because he loved her. I suggested that it was time to take the photos down and allow a special lady into his life, acknowledging that the emotions had been processed and that his mother’s death did not occur because the client loved his mother. Our physical environment reflects our internal environment; until the pictures were released there wasn’t room for anyone else to enter his life. He has now moved and is sharing his new living space with a delightful lady. Butterflies start their lives as frumpy caterpillars; part way through their life cycle they enter a cocoon, and emerge having transformed into a beautiful butterfly. When I was training to become a Feng Shui Consultant, I had lots of butterfly images and was particularly fond of a butterfly broach embedded with crystals. Butterflies reminded me that, although I felt like a caterpillar, I had within me all the qualities to become the butterfly. Once I integrated the qualities I aspired to, which I related to a butterfly, I stopped wearing the broach and removed all my butterfly images. Eventually I gave the broach away. I didn’t feel the need to wear it any more. I had become the butterfly! Art, like the other Chi Enhancers, typically has a limited life span. It can often be longer than many of the others, but understand that the time will come when it no longer reflects who it is you are choosing to become and it will be time to let it go.

Debra Jarvis



ABC of Feng Shui

Core Concepts

Some of us wonder why nothing good ever comes to us. Usually, it’s because we have so much junk there just isn’t room for anything else. These are the Core Concepts: 1. Clean and clear all clutter; only allow items you love, that are useful, and that uplift your energy to remain in your home. 2. Put safety and comfort first. Beauty will follow . 3. Express who you really are and whom you choose to become by the items and decorating style of your living environment. Organise your possessions so that they are easily locatable “a place for everything and everything in its place!”

Eliminate Clutter Clutter is any object or repository of objects that occupies space in your home, which you dislike or do not use, or which has been waiting more than twenty-eight days for sorting. Some points to ponder: ! What are the objects in your home saying to you? ! What doesn’t affirm YOU is holding YOU back from reaching YOUR true potential. ! When you let go of those objects which are less than excellent, energetically you create a space for something wonderful (object or opportunity) to flow into your life!


ABC of Feng Shui

! Don’t look back, unless you want to go that way. ! Live as much as possible, exclusively with what you love! Sometimes when people go home and evaluate their homes after attending one of my presentations, they look around and realise that they don’t love anything in their entire lives. I recommend that, if you are in this situation and are like most folk who can’t afford to throw everything out immediately, you start by introducing one item that really makes you feel good and lifts your energy. One young lady, a sole parent with two young children, realised everything she had was borrowed or had been given to her; she didn’t love any of it. When doing the weekly shopping, she added in a $2 bag of brightly coloured clothes pegs. That purchase is the time she credits when her life turned the corner for the better. Each day, while hanging out the clothes, she colour coordinated the pegs, and this increased her feeling of wellbeing and inspired her to do other things that have gradually changed her thought patterns from quite negative ones to very positive and uplifting ones.

“Let go of the old, to make space for the new!” Sometimes we keep objects out of what I refer to as ”poverty consciousnesses”. It may have been an expensive gift such as a painting from an associate. I see this occur again and again. At the time the gift was given, the receiver was over-awed at receiving such an expensive gift but a few months or years later, the receiver comes to realize that the ethics of the giver are not in line with their own and they prefer not to continue the relationship.

Debra Jarvis


The painting is retained, and usually located in a prominent position. It would be better for the painting to be replaced with art that is uplifting. Another client, just prior to my visit, had just installed a new kitchen which she was ecstatic about! Out of my mouth came the words, “Is everything in the cupboards in good working order?” However, this was not the case. Tucked away in the hard-to-reach back corner cupboard of the new kitchen was a food processor which had not worked in five years. The client was undecided whether to have it repaired or to put it out in the garbage. The cost of repair wasn’t much less than purchasing a new one and the client was also able to accept that, as the food processor hadn’t been required in the last five years, it was unlikely that it would be in the next five. Live only with what you love, is useful (even if only in an aesthetic sense) and is uplifting for you. If you don’t like or care for an article and it’s not useful, move it out of your life and create space for new opportunities to flow to you. One aspect of Feng Shui is about the messages we feed our subconscious minds. What are the objects in your environment saying to you? Sometimes we might think we love an object. It may or may not be useful; however, we know within us that, when we see it, it brings our energy down rather than lifting it up. Usually these objects are being kept because we have feelings of guilt and obligation connected to either the object or the source from which it came. Instead of strengthening the relationship we actually weaken it, sending negative Chi to the person or situation. The presence of


ABC of Feng Shui

these articles in our environment is detrimental to us leading happy, productive and fulfilling lives. One client whose occupation at the time was selling mobile phones contacted me as she was feeling very stuck in her life. In her laundry were rows and rows filled with empty golden-syrup cans and jam jars. Golden syrup and jam are very sticky. Her life was empty and stuck, so why was she keeping these empty golden-syrup cans and jam jars? Because they might come in handy one day! No, she wasn’t intending to be preserving or making jams any time soon. What less-than-desirable messages are you receiving from the objects in your environment? Up until very recent times, we did not have the abundance of belongings we have today, and we ensured we took very good care of what we did have. Ideally, we should only have as many belongings as we can reasonably look after. Furniture from a five-bedroom house doesn’t fit comfortably into a two-bedroom unit! If we choose to place the surplus furniture in storage, we are maintaining a connection to the past instead of embracing the future. Why not release it from your lives and live fully in the moment? Most often, when we put items in storage, we wonder why we ever kept them or we just can’t find the right spot for them wherever we are living and this occurs each time we move. One client has an extensive collection of quality crystal and silver. She jokingly refers to the cupboard where it is kept as the crown

Debra Jarvis


jewels and, sadly, whenever she looks for an item to display, none of the pieces really appeals to her as being perfect for what she has in her mind. Most of us have items of far less value clogging up our cupboards.

Measuring Aliveness The test I use to measure Aliveness is “Does this lift my energy when I look at it, or think about it or does it brings me down?� Sacred things are not sacred when they are stuffed in a suitcase under the bed or in the back of your cupboard. Often people approach me unsure if items constitute clutter or not. In one instance, an outfit belonging to a two-year-old had been stuffed in a plastic bag, in a shed at the rear of the property, for some years. The young boy to whom the clothes had belonged died in tragic circumstances and this was the only reminder the mother had of her wonderful baby boy. These items do not constitute clutter; they are sacred and require honouring. It was important to the mother that she honours her son, who had been an important part of her life. To discard his clothing would be like discarding a part of herself. After talking with me, she decided to retrieve the clothing, launder and iron it, then pack it in a purpose-brought, designated, wooden container. She placed the items in her wardrobe which just happens to be in the Health and Family area of her home, in honour of the happy memories of her son.


ABC of Feng Shui

Ensure every item you surround yourself with (including the people in your life) lifts your energy! If you are in a less-than-excellent work situation, minimize your contact with those who drain your energy even if that means removing yourself from the premises during lunch and having other commitments after work. Use this time to develop your mind. Listen to a motivational tape. Read a personal development book. Watch an inspiring movie/video. It’s the little things we do, on a daily basis, which create the changes in our lives. The change is subtle and is usually only recognised when we reflect on life’s experiences. For six months, I would take myself off into the park at lunchtime and read the same book over and over Norman Vincent Peale’s Enthusiasm Makes a Difference. Did my co-workers care? NO! Did I feel as if my life was changing? NO! Did the people I interacted with on a daily basis notice any difference? I don’t think so. Through circumstances, I moved to a new town and discovered that I attracted a different quality of people into my life; people whom I enjoyed hanging out with; people who inspired me to continue to develop my enthusiasm and to be the best I can be. Subtle changes in our habits and in our environments cause profound changes in our experiences of life. My bathroom was predominantly mission-brown tiles. I remember the difference when I first painted one wall a vibrant, bright blue, especially when the new, gorgeous, gold, brass towel rail replaced the plastic, mission-brown one. Every morning the vibrant, bright blue wall still brings up a smile.

Debra Jarvis


Much of what I share about Feng Shui seems like small, insignificant things, but these seemingly unimportant items each makes maybe a ¼% difference in our experiences of life. Most of us have forty, sixty, or 200 of these ¼% less-than excellent items in our environments. Even if we are not consciously aware of them our sub-conscious remembers and nags away at us about them on a daily basis. That’s a 10%, 15% or 50% difference in our experiences of the quality of our lives and how we feel emotionally. This affects our enjoyment of life and the quality of our connections with all people with whom we interact. Are we enthused and excited by life or just getting by? The more we feel good, the more uplifting hormones our bodies produce; the better our connections with others; and the more opportunities present themselves to us.

Put Safety and Comfort first; Beauty will follow. When we first look after ourselves, then we are most able to care for others. So often I hear statements such as; ‘It doesn’t matter; it’s only me.’ We are the most important person in our lives. If we allow our own well-being to suffer, we are unable to function optimally and the quality of our experiences of life diminishes. Our two most important pieces of furniture are the chairs that we sit on and the beds that we sleep in. Are these ergonomic for the inhabitant, you? Is your seating (all of your seating - dining, relaxing, office, workplace) comfortable when engaging in the activity for which it is designed? If not, replace it with furniture that is comfortable. If that means you spend a few hundred dollars on a chair for your use in your workplace, then do it! This enhancement


ABC of Feng Shui

will benefit you! Do you have a feeling of well-being when you wakeup? Is your bed comfortable and do you sleep well? When we have to be careful and caution others about furniture, it is the appropriate time to repair the furniture or get rid of it! Mattresses which sag are overdue for replacement. Typically, when purchasing furnishings, if we don’t care for an item, we keep looking until we find one we do like; unfortunately, we don’t always apply this criterion to functionality. Consider where furniture will be positioned and how you will be interacting with it. Buy the most functional, suitable item. It is also important to consider the health and wellbeing of others. Interactions between people are most optimal, and result in the best outcomes, when each person is comfortable. Always position furniture to locate people in the power positions of a room. That is with their backs to a solid wall and a view of all doors and entryways. Mirrors can be strategically placed to reflect openings when they can’t be viewed any other way. Sofa tables can be strategically placed behind seating to provide some security when it is impossible to place the seating against a solid wall. When designing homes, ensure that there is adequate wall area to position seating so that people sit with their backs protected. Is your furniture nice to you? Does it have sharp corners that can draw blood, or is it positioned where you have to remember not to bump and bruise yourself on it? Our subconscious has so much to think about in our modern world, extra considerations such as these are not only unnecessary, but multiply our stress levels. Put comfort first!

Debra Jarvis


I became aware of slight pain in my thigh several mornings running, and a bruise developing on my upper leg, as I approached the front foyer on my way out of the house. Several days passed before I connected this pain to brushing against the dressing table in my bedroom as I rushed about, preparing to leave for work. The dressing table had been moved a couple of centimetres during vacuuming the previous weekend. I took a few minutes to reposition the dressing table where I didn’t brush against it and the discomfort stopped. The solution was simple with immediate benefits. Take the time, immediately, to eliminate tasks which don’t seem that important to attend to. When we don’t, our homes and workplaces become filled with multiple tasks which, by themselves, are insignificant but, together, become a depressing list which can be overwhelming. Attend to tasks such as sticking doors when they first come to your attention. Fix leaking taps, replace blown lamps and throw out dodgy appliances.

Organisation; A place for everything. I once had a client who, when he went to mow the lawn, first had to find where the lawn mower had been left the last time it was used. There were five spots around the home it might be parked. All enthusiasm for cutting the grass evaporated by the time the mower was located. Is this the same for you with the scissors or knives? If other staff or family members are always using them, invest in your own specialist equipment. This will save you time, and it will also ultimately lead to better relationships.


ABC of Feng Shui

It is important that all items have a designated place to which they are returned after use. “A place for everything, and everything in its place!” Put things used frequently in the most accessible spots. Life is much more pleasant when we can easily locate and access items as and when they are required. There is nowhere to hide from Feng Shui eyes. Subconsciously, we know which areas require attending to, and even though we may not feel an immediate, conscious requirement to improve these areas, our brain retains this information and its function is impaired. The more tasks pending, the more our brain function is impaired and the greater the detrimental effect on our ability to function and perform tasks in daily life.

Express yourself The homes of some clients look lovely; sadly, however, I have found that many of them are a façade usually hiding an unhappy marriage. When I hear the word ‘nice’, warning bells go off in my head. Usually it is ‘nice’; however, my experience is that there is no heart connection. The clients are generally concerned about what others will think of them and are hiding what they really are and what is really happening in their lives behind a mask they put on for battle in the world to cover their scars. Many times I find these clients have figurines depicting people who are armless or headless, typically reflecting the view the clients have of themselves. Often the figurines also have defects, such as chipping or cracking, which have been repaired. The figurines reflect the feelings of worthlessness the clients have about themselves. Often these clients are domestic violence victims. Underneath their

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perfect façade they are battered, bruised and broken. Sadly and mistakenly, these clients feel that their friends would abandon them if they knew the truth about their lives. Make sure the items you surround yourself with speak to your heart; don’t just place them so that they look ‘nice’ for others. Express who it is that you are now and who it is you are choosing to become. One couple purchased a unique salt-and-pepper shaker while on holiday early in their relationship. Years later, they had purchased two display cabinets to house their continually-expanding collection, continually being gifted to them by friends, of whom there were only two or three they really liked. Both were amazed at how much more they used their lounge when the cabinets and their contents were gone. They discovered that they enjoyed living in their home much more and were thrilled with the changes in their work positions which happened almost immediately after the cabinets left their driveway. It seems that when we have two of something, family and friends get excited as they think it solves their Christmas and birthday gifts for the next thirty years. Another client collected frogs. In her bathroom, frogs were king. When she let go of the frogs, along came Price Charming who swept her up and made her his princess. One lady collects teddy bears and is given many bears. Often they do not fit the parameters she has decided on for her collection. She


ABC of Feng Shui

either personally doesn’t care for them or they require substantial repairs. She is the one who has to make that decision about who is lovable and what is past its ‘use by’ date. Fortunately, she has now developed clear guidelines for herself and no longer feels guilty about disposing of unsuitable bears. It is critical that we continually monitor and upgrade our environments so they continually reflect who we are now and who it is we choose to become. I love affirmations and in my home office, I have pictures with positive affirmations on the walls. I love it as do some of the people who see it; others think it is tacky. I choose to express Debra, anyway. Children go through the black phase, the fairy phase, and the monster phase. When we are able to express who we are right here, right now, then we integrate it into our being. What phases do you feel deprived of? Get them out of your system; even if that means those around you think you’ve gone nuts! Once you are done with a phase, immediately remove all traces of it from your life. Find out what your personal style and tastes really are at this point in time. Express that in your clothing, home and car!

Debra Jarvis



ABC of Feng Shui


The Bagua is one of the best known tools of Feng Shui. ‘Ba’ translates as eight and ‘gua’ means segment. We use it to determine the areas of our living and working environments that relate to the different aspects of our lives. ! Life Path/Purpose, Career ! Relationships ! Health and Family ! Abundance and Prosperity ! Tai Chi (Balance) ! Travel and Helpful People (Synchronicity) ! Children and Creativity/Marketing (Joy) ! Contemplation and Learning ! Fame and Reputation (Recognition) The Bagua divides our environments into segments like the tic-tactoe board encountered in time management seminars where you are asked to fill in the squares with the areas of life meaningful to you. In Feng Shui the squares are pre-defined and each one has a unique number and colour. The eight outer segments represent every aspect of a balanced life and the centre one, known as the Tai Chi, is the balance or pivot point. I liken the Bagua to a wheel - the Tai Chi is the hub and the outer ‘guas’ the spokes. It is important no grit gets into the hub to interfere with the smooth functioning of the wheel.


ABC of Feng Shui

As well, if one segment is seriously longer or shorter than the others, the wheel will not run smoothly down the road. Balance and Harmony are lacking and life will be a bumpy journey. Lay the map below over your floor plan to determine which area of your home represents each of the life areas. You can also apply the Bagua to the area of land your home is sited on. The Bagua can also be applied to individual rooms and even items of furnishings such as a desk, the fridge and bookcases.

Prosperity & Abundance

Reputation & Fame


“Persistent Wind” 4 South East Purples, Royal Blue, Reds & Golds

“Clinging Fire” 9 South Reds FIRE

“Receptive Earth” 2 South West Reds, Pinks, Yellow & White

Health & Family


Creativity & Children

“Arousing Thunder” 3 East Mid-range Blues & Greens WOOD

“Tai Chi” Supreme Ultimate 5 Yellow, Earthtones

“Joyous Lake” 7 West White & Pastels



Contemplation & Personal Development Self & Learning

Life Path & Purpose Career

Helpful People & Travel Synchronistic Events

“Still Mountain” 8 North East Blues, Greens, Black & Aubergine

“Deep Water” 1 North Black & Darktones WATER

“Creative Heaven” 6 North West Silver


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Feng Shui applies the Bagua to our physical space and, interestingly, we find that our current Life Challenge frequently shows up as stagnation or clutter, which corresponds to that section of our home and/or workplace, holding old behavioural patterns in place. Whenever you are experiencing a challenge, locate the gua that corresponds to your situation and take a look at what is located there. Do you have any rubbish stored in this area? Are there items located here that are on their way to somewhere else? Dispose, Discard, Dump or Deal with them! Are any of the images (artwork or the manner in which objects are arranged) less than excellent or suggesting harm in some way? Bring order to the arrangement of items, and critically evaluate your reasons for holding on to the art. Our subconscious is very powerful and even when on a conscious level we don’t take in an image, our subconscious sees it and this affects our experience of life. Are you are drawn to spend time in this space that corresponds to an area of your life you would like or is it somewhere you avoid? Every area of our home and gardens relates to an aspect of our life. When areas are uninviting, they correspond to a part of our life experience that is less than excellent. Fully inhabit every area of the space you occupy. Create beautiful garden rooms in those parts of the garden that don’t currently tend to be inhabited. “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.” As you are learning about Feng Shui it is tempting to change everything. Unless your life is diabolical, I don’t recommend massive changes in your living and working environments in one hit.


ABC of Feng Shui

Implement changes gradually and experience the results within twenty-eight days. Concentrate on the areas of your life you would most like to see improve in some way.

Life Path, Purpose, Career ‘Deep Water’ The Career area, North, relates to our Life Path and Life Purpose. Career is represented by black and dark tones (that deep blue, almost black colour, of deep ocean water) and the number 1. Within you is a unique combination of skills and talents that you have developed in areas you have deemed it worthy to spend your time. When you select an occupation based on tasks that you derive pleasure from, deep within you is the knowledge that you are in the right occupation. When you do a job because the position was available or it paid well or it fitted in with other people’s wishes, quite often you discover that the position is unfulfilling and you become despondent. To change occupation when you realise that your current path is not satisfactory takes courage and strength from within. Enhance the Career area when seeking a new direction for your life, and applying for a new position or promotion. Remove items that are stagnant, not working or past their use-by date. Water features are considered to be one of the most effective enhancements to stimulate improvement in this gua. “Career” is not always our job. One friend is a passionate Toastmaster. Right now, her life purpose is to enlighten those people with whom she connects about the benefits of gaining public

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speaking skills. She has a variety of temporary jobs to pay the bills. When she took a look at her Career gua (her office) filled with general household clutter which had not found a home elsewhere, and turned it into a work area that was inviting and which she looked forward to spending time in at night, was when she was voted into a role looking after several clubs. She loves Toastmasters and is out attending meetings more nights a week than she is at home. Another client was at a crossroads in his career. This client had always been in the corporate arena working in office and sales roles. He was tired of the long hours, the stress, and the pressure to achieve moving targets. Taking a look at the Career area of his home, this client realised that nothing special was there and that every item was basically still the same, since the day he had moved in. Desiring immediate results, this client took action. He removed all the paperwork related to his current position from the Career area of his home to the Helpful People gua and painted a feature wall in the Career gua dark blue. Within a week, he resigned and secured a great reference from his employer. Although apprehensive that he did not have another job to go to, he realised that he had created a space for a more fulfilling position. This client now enjoys a rewarding position in natural therapies.


ABC of Feng Shui

Relationships ‘Receptive Earth’ The relationship area represents many things – a strong and healthy relationship with our significant other, with our friends and family, and with our colleagues and associates. It extends to relationships with all individuals with whom we have interaction. Most of us, deep down, desire long-term, committed relationships, with solid dependability, romance and passion, connection and stimulation on an intellectual level. We look at this gua when we wish to attract a potential romantic partner, improve an existing relationship with a significant other, and improve relationships in general. The principal colour associated with relationships is pink. Yellow, red and white are other good colours in this sector. The qualities of these three colours relate to the elements of Earth, Fire and Metal respectively. The French and the Italians have a reputation for romance and passion. Many of our socialising and courting activities revolve around food. Interestingly, red-and-white checked cloths represent the elements of Earth, Fire and Metal. In Feng Shui, square shapes are considered to represent Earth; red to represent Fire and white to represent Metal. Pairs and the number 2 are significant when looking to enhance this gua, be it people, ornaments or other items. Many people who decide to implement Feng Shui to help them attract that perfect partner into their lives discover that their relationship area is filled

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with clutter, is in some way uninviting or is, perhaps, garnished with a dreary painting of a sad and lonely person, or a single boat drifting out into the ocean all by itself. Water is not appropriate in the relationship gua as it dampens Fire, representing passion and romance. Water also muddies Earth, causing unstable ground on which to build trust. Are you surrounded with images of ones or threes? Perhaps that’s why you never seem to end up in a cosy twosome. Do you have lots of pairs, and know lots of couples? I recommended you pare back to a single pair. Are your pairs of things all separated because another object (or objects) is between them? Try placing the pairs together. To attract and encourage a strong, loving, and loyal relationship with your significant other, enrich the Relationship area with softness for romance and pairs of items for strength and loyalty. We use yellows and squares to ensure a grounded, real relationship with a real person. Bring in reds for Fire to ignite passion and whites or Metal for mental stimulation. Unfortunately, the perfect man/woman doesn’t exist. When seeking your perfect partner, keep in mind that you will attract the perfect person for you to learn your life lessons as you continue on your life journey. Enjoy harmonious relationships in all your interactions. Avoid threes of things. “Two’s company; three’s a crowd!” One client who had come to terms with the fact that her partner had an affair, looked to her Relationship area both inside and outside her home. The more she looked the more she saw threes! Now you may say this


ABC of Feng Shui

is coincidence but everything in Feng Shui is connected. Having threes of things in the relationship gua ultimately brings interference or disharmony in some form, whether it’s an unfaithful partner, meddling in-laws or a work colleague creating unnecessary difficulty. To build good relationships, it is important that you spend time with the most important people in your life. Take an interest in their interests and listen to their goals and dreams. Relationships are an area often neglected while we are busy attending to other life areas. All too often they crumble away through neglect. We soon realise when our relationships are not functioning well as it is then other things around us start falling apart as well.

Health and Family (Seed money) ‘Arousing Thunder’ Do you feel tired, lethargic or run down? Are relationships with family members less than excellent? Financially, is it a struggle to make ends meet? All of these issues suggest that the gua known as “health and family” is less than optimal. Firstly, look at the quality of the Chi and apply the Core Concepts. The next step is to ensure that the element of Wood is present and to minimise any items representing Metal. The principal colour used to enhance “health and family” is a mid-range green or blue. Wood is the prominent feature of this gua. Wood is about growth and vitality. Think about spring time! Metal chops Wood and can eventually destroy it. Consider the effect of an axe or saw on a tree. In this gua, remove as many of the items depicting Metal as you

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can. One client moved into a new home where pebbles and rocks had been used extensively due to poor drainage. Every week unexpected expenditure would arise - video hire fines, $47; replacing stolen school shoes, $55; washing machine hoses, $63. Within a few weeks she was finding it difficult to pay her weekly bills (seed money) including buying groceries. In fact, one weekend she took her last $50, jumped in her car and, walking from her car to the chemist, lost it! Panic set in and, as she started working harder and harder in an attempt to get finances back in order, her body became tired and run down. With my encouragement, she removed all of the pebbles (three cubic metres) from the left side of her home. Immediately small amounts of money started to flow in. A small loan to a friend was repaid unexpectedly. A bonus was received from a client and curtains being returned to the store were exchanged for ones twice the value at no extra charge. Another client and her son, who were never unwell, moved to a new home where both were constantly in poor health and money also became scarce. This time a Metal ham radio aerial dominated the Health and Family gua. Ideally, Feng Shui recommends that the aerial be removed. As the property was rented, the best recommendation I had was to grow a bright pink bougainvillea up the pole strangling it and symbolically melting the Metal, (the red colour of the flowers symbolically representing Fire.) A charming couple in the health/nutrition industry who knew a little about Feng Shui and the Bagua had applied it to individual rooms, desks etc. However, they had not looked at the house as a whole or the land on which the home was sited.


ABC of Feng Shui

Their business was not doing as well as they would have liked. There was underlying tension between them and their own health was less than ideal. This couple was under the impression that areas could be looked at in isolation. Remember, everything is connected. When applying the Bagua, I have found that the best results are obtained when we look at the foundations first, (the land, the house) and then consider individual rooms. In the above instance, undesirable images abounded in the dining room which was the Health area of the home. Numerous headless sculptures of people, and one of a woman with her foot on a man’s head about to thrust a sword into his heart, were displayed. Two fish were swimming in a barren fishbowl separated from each other by a glass jar. A picture on the wall depicted spiky, thorny vines and branches. We can compare Feng Shui to the construction of a building the higher you want to go; the more important it is to start with a firm foundation. Really examine the messages, especially the sub-conscious ones; you are receiving from your surroundings. Clean and clear clutter before introducing enhancements. It is my experience that results are most effective when we attend to the basics first.

Debra Jarvis


Abundance and Prosperity ‘Persistent Wind’ This is the gua everyone always says “could be better”. It seems that, no matter how much we are blessed in the way of material possessions, we always want more. Remember that “abundance and prosperity” is not just about material possessions and the funds you have available to you. Today, we are very blessed. We have far more belongings than our forebears even fifty years ago could have ever foretold. In Feng Shui terms, we never want to have more belongings than we can reasonably care for. We have electronic appliances to make our lives easierdishwashers, washing machines, fridges, and piped water. With all these labour-saving devices we seem to have less time than when lifting heavy buckets of water, boiling kettles on a coal range to fill the copper, and then using a washing board to complete basic chores. Purple is the colour that is especially good in the Prosperity gua. Up until 1856, only the very wealthy could afford purple as the colour purple could only be obtained from molluscs. One ounce of purple required 250,000 molluscs to be crushed. This purple dye was used in ceremonial robes such as those worn by royalty and the Pope. The prosperity sector is considered to be one of the most auspicious areas to locate a Water feature. Make sure it is stable and well secured. Do not include rocks or stones; after all, we usually prefer that our finances are not on rocky or unstable ground.


ABC of Feng Shui

The water can be either still or flowing but not stagnant. As water represents abundance and opportunity if flowing, then ideally select a fountain which flows 360 degrees or a feature which flows towards the centre. Wood is the principal element to enhance this gua. Some years ago, my former husband and I moved into a house which was missing its prosperity corner. Missing Prosperity Corner

Interestingly, at the time we had the funds put aside to build a patio which would have squared off the missing corner. We decided against immediately installing the patio because, as much as we wanted to, we would have used up all of our available capital. We would not have had funds available for a rainy day. Our mentality around money was what I today refer to as ‘poverty consciousness’. Months passed; not only had our nest egg disappeared, but also we had incurred additional debt. The point in the yard where the

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corner walls of the house intersect happened to be located in a position that was not conducive to the placement of anything such as a plant, water feature or post. While my husband was away, I went shopping with a friend and invested in a large, single, pointed quartz crystal, (different from the lead crystal Chi enhancers). Quartz crystal is an energetic cure used to square off missing corners. It is activated by burial on a 45 degree angle pointed up toward the centre of the house at the intersection point. It is vital that natural crystals such as quartz are cleansed before implementing this cure. I’m often asked about the size, and how do you know what crystal is right for you. When I went shopping with my friend, I had looked at and considered several crystals before she called me to look at a large cluster. None of these, including the cluster, felt right. I then caught sight of exactly what I was looking for - a single, pointed, quartz crystal of significant size. It was a little more than I had budgeted for; however, it had the word abundance displayed just below it, and I wasn’t scrimping on this cure. Remember, I was anchoring my abundance and prosperity gua.

Tai Chi (Balance) The Tai Chi refers to “centre” - our centre within and the centre of our homes. It is westernised as Supreme Ultimate. This is the Balance (pivot) point of our lives. It is crucial to our wellbeing and good function that it does not become clogged. Unfortunately, as our homes become larger and larger and, naturally, we want all rooms to have natural light and windows with a view,


ABC of Feng Shui

there has been a tendency in recent years towards built-in storage cupboards right in the centre. This is an area where it is best that there is vacant space, unrestricted movement or, perhaps, the family dining table. Absolutely no junk should be kept here! True success and happiness are built on a firm foundation rooted into the ground. When building, we ensure our tallest buildings have the deepest foundations for stability. In Feng Shui terms, we speak about this as being grounded or Earthed. Truly great people in our society did not “make it” overnight. They developed into the person they are because of their life experiences. It is said that it takes twenty years to become an overnight success. This is because all that time, when it seems as if nothing much is changing or happening, we are developing the foundation, sending roots into the Earth to enable us to grow and build on our current successes. There are many “come-and-gone” stories in our society, centred on a rapid rise to fame and then a downfall. This is because there was no grounding. Translated into the physical environments of our homes and workplaces, it follows that a firm foundation is important and that Earthing, connecting the centre to the ground, is essential. I spend much of my day in the car driving and I have in my car a yellow towel, folded in the middle on the back seat, which is the centre of the car, to help keep me grounded. Locate the centre of your home, office or business by squaring off missing corners and drawing two diagonal lines. The centre is the place where they intersect.

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Ideally, flooring would be clay, so terracotta tiles are excellent. The other two main representations of the Earth element are square shapes and the colour yellow. Water is not desirable in the centre of our homes as Earth and Water mixed together create MUD! Central atriums and spas are to be avoided as are bathrooms and laundries. The centre is also not a good spot for fridges, or dishwashers, or to hang mirrors. If you have an appliance centrally located that is Watery in nature, it is likely your life is unbalanced and you and those who inhabit your dwelling with you will seem to lurch from one challenge to the next. It is unlikely that you will have a firm platform from which to go about your daily life. The more water we have in the centre of our homes, the more likely it is that we will have a tendency towards a constant stream of more serious water issues such as dripping or leaking taps, blocked gutters, ineffective drainage and irrigation issues. When you discover that you have one or more of these watery influences, I strongly suggest introducing the element of Earth to stabilise your life. Place fridges and other water appliances on square, yellow or terracotta ceramic or clay tiles or lay yellow flooring. Do the same for bathrooms and laundries. Remember the twenty-eight day rule - “Expect to see a result from a change within twenty-eight days or less.� The results (degree and longevity) from the changes we implement are directly proportional to the quality of the change. A quick fix or temporary solution has a limited life span and, in some instances,


ABC of Feng Shui

may only hold for twenty-eight days. In the situation described above, you may choose initially to place some yellow paper on the floor under the appliance. In order to continue to experience the benefits of the enhancement, remember to get a more-permanent and aesthetically-pleasing solution in place within a month. To generally enhance the centre of your home and, thus, the balance in your life, introduce a representation of the Earth element to the centre of your home. It won’t cost much so why not try it for twenty-eight days and see if it makes a positive difference in your life?

Helpful People and Travel (Synchronicity) ‘Creative Heaven’ Are others helpful to you or do you find that you are the one spending lots of time helping everyone else? When you do receive assistance from others, do you often spend longer on the tasks after they have gone, completing them, than if you had just done the whole job yourself from the beginning? When travelling (not just on holiday, but to and from work, in your neighbourhood, buying the groceries, or everyday travel) do all the arrangements fall into place beautifully; is the accommodation comfortable, and with little extras you didn’t expect; or are there mechanical failures or punctured tyres, one annoying small distraction after another, and you are constantly disappointed? We have all experienced days and projects that flow really well. We start the day/project with an outcome in mind and everything falls into place perfectly.

Debra Jarvis


We find ourselves saying things such as, “It was meant to be”. At other times in our lives it seems as if, no matter what we do, nothing works out. When you find that life is difficult, that simple tasks seem to require much more time and effort than a reasonable person expects, and you desire to improve your experience of these types of events, Feng Shui suggests looking at the North West sector of your home. Can you easily access items in this corner of your home and/or office? No? Spring cleaning and organisation are your first priorities. The colour ‘silver’ and the number 6 are the most basic enhancements we can introduce into this gua. Prominent amounts of Metal, aesthetically included in the décor of your Helpful People and Travel gua, enhance the flow of synchronistic events that occur for you, as you live your daily life. A charming young man whose major source of income was from a contract in PNG, which had diminished significantly in the past two years, decided a Feng Shui evaluation of his home might help. Due to a change in family circumstances, he had moved into his current home two years before, immediately prior to the time that his contract with PNG had been reduced. A public bus shelter was located very close to the Helpful People and Travel corner boundary of his property, which was an open, grassed area. I suggested that this corner required identifying, a concept which he was very reluctant to implement due to the proximity of the bus shelter, and his perception of its vulnerability to vandalism and the number of commuters who congregated there each morning.


ABC of Feng Shui

Coincidentally, in the middle of his backyard was a small pile consisting of six silver-grey rocks. Charming but sceptical, that weekend the young man relocated the six rocks as suggested. Monday morning, he received a call from his contact in PNG. Was he available for one week’s work and what was his hourly rate? About to reply ‘the same as my usual contract rate,’ he paused and said, “I’ll get back to you”. He rang back that afternoon and quoted a figure about three times his usual contract rate. On Wednesday, his contact in PNG rang to ask if, perhaps, he might be available for two weeks. Tongue in cheek at the end of the conversation, the young man quipped, ‘That will be at the hourly rate.’ A push of a button on his contact’s computer in PNG and there, on the young man’s desktop, was an e-mail confirming the details of the conversation including payment at the hourly rate. Within two weeks of placing the six rocks in the Helpful People and Travel corner boundary, as I had suggested, the young man had received a pre-payment for six weeks’ work at his new, hourly rate. Bedrooms in the North West sector of the home are real challenges! The Fire element is very important for intimacy and passion, but detrimental to the flow of synchronistic occurrences required for comfortable, daily living. I suggest you ensure that, if your bedroom must be located within this gua, you incorporate yellows and creams for a solid commitment and understanding between you and your significant other.

Debra Jarvis


Children and Creativity (JOY) ‘Joyous Lake’ This is the gua I used to ignore. I didn’t have children and I didn’t consider myself creative. The gua of Children and Creativity is also associated with our inner child, the arts, communication and marketing. When you would like to enhance your creative talents and natural abilities, this is the gua to focus your attention on. When it seems as if you have absolutely no ‘joy’ in your life, evaluate this gua for an excess of the fire element. Is there a large red rug, a leather lounge or a fireplace located here? Replace the rug and/ or lounge with one in cream, yellow or white. Hang a mirror over the fireplace. Let go of your inhibitions. The innocence of children and their ability to embody simple pleasure, finding joy and happiness in their everyday surroundings, captures the essence of this gua. Children amaze us with the array of household items that they derive pleasure from. Pots become drums; cardboard boxes are forts and houses. Acknowledge your creative potential. Take a pottery course, pick up a paintbrush, join Toastmasters, tap or sing along to music. Evaluate this gua when you decide to start or add to your family. Signs that this gua is not optimal include general communication difficulties, mobile phone, internet connection and e-mail issues. In business, it is when your marketing effort is not producing the results you expect. The Children and Creativity gua is a great place for your musical instruments, and displaying your own and/or your children’s artwork.


ABC of Feng Shui

Select Metal accessories in preference to Wood. Metals, rocks, crystals, white and pastel colours, and items numbering seven are all considered beneficial in the Children and Creativity gua. The following story highlights the importance of keeping the Children and Creativity gua in optimal condition. One evening out walking, my small dog, Tessa, was savagely attacked by two bull terriers; one had her by the throat and the other a hind leg. When I arrived at the vet holding a limp dog with a dislocated leg, they suggested she be put down. I declined. Tessa spent two hours on the operating table, the vets unsuccessfully attempting to relocate the leg as I adamantly refused to allow the leg to be amputated. The vets then spent more than another hour on her internal injuries, removing the peritonitis which had already started. When I finally went home, the vets not holding much hope for her to survive the night, I was devastated. Why had this happened? What splinter was in my home? Two days later, I woke at four in the morning with a revelation. Five weeks earlier I had lent a spare bed to the neighbours. When the bed was returned, it was dismantled and pushed up against one wall as I had committed to thoroughly cleaning the spare room prior to reassembling the bed. The legs of the bed were dislocated just as Tessa’s leg was dislocated. Tessa was loved and cared for almost as if she were a child. The dismantled bed was in the Children and Creativity gua of the house. After I had convinced my then husband to help, we immediately set about putting the bed back together. Interestingly, one of the screws had become cross-threaded and he painstakingly took the

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time to fit it correctly. That was the day the vets finally agreed to attempt to again operate on the dislocated leg. Another two days passed before the operation. The successful operation took less than half an hour, the vets amazed at how the limb just slipped into place. Usually, the longer an injury of this nature is sustained prior to operation, the less likely it is to succeed. All the veterinary staff and our friends expected that Tessa’s leg would have to be amputated another Feng Shui Miracle?

Contemplation and Learning ‘Still Mountain’ Discovery of self is one of life’s more confronting lessons and this gua is sometimes one of the most forgotten areas in our homes and workplaces. Remember that all areas are connected and that, when one gua is neglected, life will not function optimally. Every challenge we experience in our lives helps us to develop as an individual partaking in life. Theoretical understanding develops from observation and third-party accounts. We develop “knowing” and empathy from our own experience. “Understanding” is not the same as “knowing”! The contemplation and learning gua is the area to look at when it seems as if you have no stillness in your life and you are on a roller-coaster ride pleasing everyone else. Other times when we look to enhance the contemplation and learning gua are when we are studying, intending to study, concerned about our children’s’ studies, about to learn new skills or are developing existing skills. Number 8, the infinity symbol, is the number significant to this gua.


ABC of Feng Shui

Eight has no beginning and no end; it just is. Contemplation and learning refers to the time we allocate to our selves as individuals. Do you make time for your self and for your interests? Unfortunately, we are often conditioned that it is selfish to set aside time for ourselves exclusively, and we reason that, if we look out for the needs of those around us first, then it will be acceptable for us to spend the left-over time as we choose. Just as we learn with money to pay ourselves first, it is important to allocate time to ourselves, which is not negotiable in accommodating the demands on our time by others. Without time for self, eventually we will be of no use to others. Mothers do the best job of running households, caring for children and maintaining a healthy relationship with their husbands when they take the time to care for their body and its needs. When we spend time for ourselves, we can focus and develop clarity of mind. Our life flows and we make better decisions. Health, food and self time create harmony of mind, body and spirit to bring about contentment, happiness and wisdom. Formal education is a small part of the learning process. Life provides many other opportunities to learn and grow. Books, television, films, the internet and other media are more recognised methods of learning. Every day we have the opportunity to try new things and interact with people whose experiences are different from ours. We can observe nature in our own backyards or travel locally and overseas. Get serious about your self. Create a sanctuary that is exclusively for you. Release all items in this gua that are holding you back and have

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faith within that you can succeed. Every person on the planet gets frustrated, has self-doubts, niggling worries and fears which can easily overwhelm them. One sole parent invested in a black coach lamp to anchor her self and learning gua intending that she gain clarity and become more focused on developing her new business. Interestingly, it was at this time that her teenage son, a practical boy, non-academic, who wasn’t fitting into the education system decided to look for a school-based traineeship and acquired a suitable position as a trainee chef. Another client planted a sturdy tree representing the tree of knowledge in the Contemplation and Learning gua of her garden. She also moved her encyclopaedias into this gua of her home and introduced affirmations meaningful to her, relating to contemplation, happiness and wisdom. Within days, she became astutely aware that her current living and working arrangements were not supporting her to be true to herself. It became very obvious to her that unless she proactively changed how she was living her life and made time to pursue her own interests, her life would continue to be mundane and unsatisfactory.


ABC of Feng Shui

Fame and Reputation (Recognition) ‘Clinging Fire’ Most of us are not looking to be constantly in the public eye like our entertaining and sporting personalities. Look at this gua when you have been overlooked for a promotion, when you are not receiving recognition in the workplace or from your community, and respect from your peers is not forthcoming on the level you deserve. Remove items that you perceive as less than ideal from this area. Enhance with the elements of Fire and Wood. Minimise the elements of Water and Metal. The number relating to fame and reputation is 9 and the colour to enhance this area is red - that is, any colour in the red spectrum from pink, peach, or apricot through to maroon and burgundy. Even orange is considered suitable. Decapitated or armless statues are not beneficial, nor are those quirky, gimmicky quotes that seem funny but are really put-downs. This gua relates to our wholeness and all images, actual and implied, should reflect our completeness. Certificates and Awards that relate to what it is you wish to be known for at this time are good enhancements here. I suggest that about four are displayed and typically recommend solid, wooden frames and mats in red-spectrum colours. In the Fame and Reputation area of the home (which my friend and her son shared with her mother and sister), my friend had stored a mattress base. My friend was short listed for a position as a newsreader with Foxtel (Pay TV) and had been advised that the decision had been postponed for a week.

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My friend had moved from Sydney to the Gold Coast and her furniture was slowly making the journey as friends were making the trip between the two cities to visit. We discussed the options open to her to improve this area of her home; ! Arranging for the mattress in Sydney to be immediately transported up to the Gold Coast. ! Returning the borrowed bed, retaining the mattress and using it to assemble her bed. ! Releasing the base permanently (selling, dumping, giving away). Unfortunately, my friend chose not to do anything. This left her fame and reputation gua in a state which was less than ideal. Coincidentally, she did not get the job.


ABC of Feng Shui


The Chinese work on a five element system; Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. These elements, how they interact with one another, and their relationship with the Bagua are one of the least understood aspects of Form School Feng Shui. They are very potent and, just as correct application can result in miracles, incorrect placement brings disaster. Each element has a gua of the Bagua that it is associated with. The corner guas do not have one specific element and the major element of each corner gua is taken from the gua preceding it when going in a clockwise direction. Each element has a colour, season and attribute. Wood Wood is represented in the Health and Family gua, also known as Arousing Thunder. An imbalance in the Health and Family gua can show up as tired, lethargic, run-down, general ill-health or chronic disease in one or more individuals in the household, as well as continuing extended family issues. In this gua, “family� refers particularly to ancestral family. Perhaps there may be a situation that you are required to attend to, concerning an elderly parent or relative who may not even be living with you. An imbalance can also show up as unwittingly frittering away seemingly small amounts of money creating strain on your weekly budget. Wood is associated with spring. Consider the aspects of growth and renewal that plants posses. It is represented as Wood furniture, fence palings, items made from Wood, items and artwork representing plants and living plants. The quality we associate with Wood is that of intuition. Colours are mid-range greens and blues.


ABC of Feng Shui

Fire The Fame and Reputation gua uses Fire for illumination and light. Next time you are near a Fire, watch how the flames ‘cling’ to the Wood. It is said in Feng Shui that our reputation, good or bad, clings to us like Fire. If our reputation is good then we are allowed two or three (sometimes more) foolish mistakes before others change their perception of our character. When our reputation is poor, it takes a long time to gain the trust of others and change their perceptions of the person they have come to know. Colours in the red spectrum (from pink and apricot all the way to maroon and burgundy, including orange) represent the element of Fire. Other Fire representations are animals and items that depict animals, objects that come from animals, leather, shells, feathers, wool, fur as well as candles, triangles, fireplaces and stoves. In Feng Shui, emotions are considered to be ruled by the Fire element. We don’t have red airports or hospitals because these are situations where people’s emotions are already high. Red stimulates the emotions increasing both the positive and negative aspects, passion and aggression. In our culture we mention fiery redheads. Summer is the season associated here.

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Earth The element Earth is placed in the centre. It provides a solid foundation. Its season is high summer, those few weeks in the middle of summer which are hot and dry. Consider Earth in terms of grounding. Square is the shape and yellow is the colour associated with this element. Clay bricks and tiles, and items in clay, porcelain, and terracotta also represent the Earth element. This gua/element combination has been covered in detail under the heading Tai Chi on page 84. Metal Metal is the element of Children and Creativity and is also the gua known as Joyous Lake. Colours are white, chrome and pastels. (Metal becomes white-hot when it is heated.) We use whites and pastels as a neutral background in our homes so we can accessorize our individual style and taste. It is great in helping us express ourselves as we can easily change our environments to reflect us as we are now and who it is we are becoming. Metal is the element associated with autumn and is represented by circles and arches. Crystals, stones, rocks and precious metals are items considered to belong to the Metal family. You will notice that people who think a lot are surrounded by lots of white and chrome. Lab coats worn by intellectuals such as scientists are always white. The quality of Metal is intellect.


ABC of Feng Shui

Water Water flows in streams and rivers just as, ideally, we flow rather than struggle on our journey through life. It belongs to the Career/ Life Purpose gua and is associated with winter and black and dark tones. Water is considered to be asymmetrical; that is, it does not have a definite shape of its own. Its attribute is spirituality, not fixed in our view or direction, where we are receptive to whatever opportunities flow to us. Elemental Cycles There are two major elemental cycles. They are the Productive and Controlling Cycles. One is not more important than the other; they just work in different ways. We use the Productive Cycle to help us build up elements in a gua to enhance an area and the Controlling Cycle where an excess of an element occurs so as to create harmony.

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Productive Cycle





In the Productive Cycle: ! Wood feeds Fire. Fire cannot burn without Wood. Without Wood to feed the Fire, Fire extinguishes. ! Fire creates Earth. Out of the ashes of Fire, Earth is created. ! Earth produces Metal. The tectonic plates of the Earth rub together, compressing on matter which creates minerals (crystals and rocks). ! Metal condenses to produce Water. Water can also be contained in a Metal bowl. ! Water sustains plants. Without Water to nourish plants, they die. If we are looking to enhance a gua by introducing the element which is most beneficial to it, then we can further support that element by introducing the element in the cycle preceding it, which nurtures the enhancing element. The nurturing element is referred to as the parent element.


ABC of Feng Shui

The parent element of Wood is Water, so to enhance the Health and Family gua we would introduce the Wood element, if it was either not already present or only had a token presence. Then we would also ensure that the parent element of Wood, Water, was also present.



Controlling Cycle




In the Controlling Cycle: ! Wood is controlled by Metal. Trees (Wood) are destroyed, cut down and chopped up with Metal and stone tools (axe). ! Metal is controlled by Fire. Fire melts Metal altering (manipulating) its shape. ! Fire is controlled by Water. It is not possible for Fire to burn in the centre of a body of Water. ! Water is controlled by Earth. Water flow is controlled by dams constructed of Earth.

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! Earth is controlled by Wood. A crumbling bank is held together by tree roots. Also consider the desert. It is barren, with sand dune after sand dune; an oasis (usually palm trees) converts this image to one that feels peaceful. The trees introduce balance and harmony. The Controlling Cycle is useful where one element is dominant. We use the element known as the grandparent in the Productive Cycle. That is, the element prior to the parent controls the element appearing immediately after the parent according to the Productive Cycle. In the Health and Family gua when Metal is a dominant element (where Wood is the enhancing element) and we wish to reduce Metal’s negative effects, Feng Shui suggests we use Fire, the grandparent of Metal, to control and reduce the destructive properties of an excess of Metal. There is another less significant cycle - the regression of the Productive Cycle. Child controlling parent, it is not as potent as the Productive and Controlling Cycles as it tends to wear away slowly, but it is worth remembering the pattern below; ! Wood soaks up Water. ! Water rusts Metal. ! Metal makes Earth unsuitable for cultivation. ! Earth smoulders Fire. ! Fire consumes Wood.


ABC of Feng Shui

Implementation and Intention

Half-hearted attempts are not enough. Be serious about your intentions. When implementing Feng Shui, we can unknowingly do the wrong thing with the right intention and we will still get a result (perhaps not quite as ideal as it could be). However, when we are aware of the optimum implementation and we choose not to, then the results we receive reflect the quality of our implementation. It is not always possible to put in place the optimal implementation immediately but there is always something we can do. When we do what we can do, we get a result and it is imperative we apply this toward optimising the implementation within twenty-eight days of the previous implementation, with intention. When we do not continue to upgrade our environment to optimally fulfil the principles of Feng Shui, our experience of life will not be optimal and, after the twenty-eight day period, will most likely fall once again to a lessacceptable level of comfort. A tenant in an inner-city apartment complex that, on first appearances, appeared to have implemented Feng Shui called me after she had been broken into on three occasions in as many months. Foo Dogs (these are the lion statues typically placed as guardians at the entrance of Chinatowns around the world) lay at your feet in the foyer upon entering the complex. The Foo Dogs were not fastened down and I was easily able to move the statues with my foot. Intention was present, but the implementation was inappropriate.


ABC of Feng Shui

Foo Dogs are guardians. It is important that they are firmly fixed in position, so that visitors are unable to manipulate them. Foo Dogs should be positioned on pedal-stools where they can oversee and guard the property entrance. Placing the Foo Dogs on the floor and failing to secure them in place is not congruent with their guardian role. The Foo Dogs were not only ineffective - they actually invited intruders in! The very reason they had been installed to protect against was exactly what they attracted/encouraged. This example has been included to encourage you to ensure that you appreciate that, although intention is important sustained, long-term benefits require optimal implementation of Feng Shui enhancements. Remember that with knowledge comes responsibility. To have read this book and take no action is worse than not reading it at all. If you choose to implement the Classic Configuration and Core Concepts in your environments, as previously outlined, you will be well on your way to achieving your hopes, dreams and desires.

Debra Jarvis


Postscript I trust that you have enjoyed reading this book and sharing part of your life’s journey with me and that I have provided you with valuable insight to apply Feng Shui in your home and/or business. It is my wish that this publication empowers you to look objectively at your own life and to initiate the activities necessary for you to flow in life’s journey so as to fulfil your own special purpose and potential. As you know, Feng Shui is a journey of discovery and this is the first of a series of ABC of Feng Shui publications. If you have a Feng Shui story you would like to see told, which you believe would benefit others, please email your information and contact details to for consideration.

There are only two ways to live your life: One is as though nothing is a miracle; The other is as though everything is a miracle. ~ Albert Einstein

Recommended Reading Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, Karen Kingston, London: Judy Piatkus (Publishers) Limited, 1998 The Western Guide to Feng Shui, Terah Kathryn Collins, Carlsbad, CA: Hay House Inc., 1996 Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life, Karen Rauch Carter, New York, NY: Fireside Rockefeller Centre, 2000 Interior Design with Feng Shui, Sarah Rossbach, London: Rider Books, 1987 Enthusiasm Makes the Difference, Norman Vincent Peale: Cedar Book, 1987 Pulling Your Own Strings, Dr Wayne Dyer: HarperCollins, 1994

Need More Help? If you would like some additional help with applying or understanding the Feng Shui principles outlined in this book, then take advantage of a ‘Mini Miracles’ phone session with the author, Debra Jarvis. ‘Mini Miracles’ is charged by the hour and information on fees and method is available at:

Feng Shui Training If you’re interested in Feng Shui for fun or profit, information on Debra’s Feng Shui Practitioner Training Program is available at:

Keynote Speaking Debra’s keynote speeches and information on how to book Debra as a keynote speaker can be found at:

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ABC of Feng Shui

Turn Your Office Into a Powerhouse of Success

Feng Shui may help improve your business prospects by attracting more customers who are well-heeled and ready to spend. A few simple changes can add $$$ to your bottom line. This approach focuses on the natural and built environments, practised for thousand’s of years in China. It can be used in the design and layout of an office, home, building or other property. It is important that your workplace presents a professional image, even if you are the only one who sees it. It is a reflection of your commitment to your occupation and your personal self-worth. Designate this area as the office, not as an area for storage. When you go there you are going to do work. Is everything in this area relevant to the function and purpose of the office? We work best in clean, organised, uncluttered areas. Move everything out of the area designated as the office, especially what’s stored in cupboards and on shelves. There is no place to hide from Feng Shui eyes! Bring back in only those items that are relevant. Evaluate the other stuff. Do you love it; is it useful; if not, get rid of it (sell, dump or give it away).

A place for everything and everything in its place It is important that all items have a designated place to which they are returned after use. Put things used frequently in the most accessible spots. Time spent working is much more pleasant when we can easily locate and access items as and when they are required. I once had a client who, when he went to mow the lawn, first had to find where the lawn mower had been left the last time


ABC of Feng Shui

it was used. There were five spots around the home it might be parked. All enthusiasm for cutting the grass evaporated by the time the mower was located. Is this the same for you with the stapler or hole-punch? If other staff are always using them, invest in your own set. Not only will this save you time but it may also lead to better workplace relationships.

Setting up Place yourself in the power position. This is the position where you have a view of every entryway. Where you have a choice of places or direction, put your desk chair in each and sit quietly for a few minutes getting an idea of what it would be like to spend time there. The one that immediately feels right is your power position. (I’ve heard all the arguments about the desk taking up the whole room and about untidy computer cables. Use plants, screens and false fronts to camouflage.) When you set yourself up in the power position, you have control in the space; your self-esteem goes up and you accomplish more. Try it for twenty-eight days and, if you don’t find any benefits (including increased business) then change it back. Desk and chair combination must be ergonomic for you, the occupant. These are items worth spending money on. The desk should be at a comfortable height and large enough for you to organise yourself without feeling cramped. I recommend 1500 x 900mm.

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If the chair you have been provided with is less than optimal, I strongly encourage you to invest in your own chair, good quality, ergonomic and comfortable - to perform the tasks you perform while seated.

Clean and Clear Clutter Maintain a clear desk top. Paperwork is relentless in its onslaught. Deal with it immediately, using TRAF - Toss, Refer, Act or File. Creating a pile to deal with later creates clutter and we know by now that clutter is bad Feng Shui.

Remove Obstacles Make the area inviting to come in to. In Feng Shui, we consider that opportunity flows to us in direct proportion to the ease of entry and the welcome that is experienced in our workplaces. Feng Shui tells us that everything is alive with memories, feelings and associations. What are the objects in your office saying to you? Question their origin. Did you come by it because that’s all you could afford or find at the time? Are you still in a good relationship with the person it came from? Would something else be more suitable?

Condition Audit Does everything work and is everything kept in optimal condition? In Feng Shui, it is very important that we either attend to the repair of items immediately or, where we are not prepared to do this, we discard them. An item that is less than ideal is said to begin negatively impacting after twenty-eight days.


ABC of Feng Shui

Lighting Use natural light as much as possible. If you have fluorescent, use full-spectrum (daylight) bulbs.

Plants Ideally every workstation should have one plant. Plants absorb potentially harmful gases and clean the air. Golden cane has been shown to be one of the more efficient plants at recycling our expelled air. Plants also make offices more pleasant spaces to spend time. When people feel good, they perform better. It is important that the plants are well cared for and that they remain healthy and vibrant. No plant graveyards, please!

Water Features Water symbolises opportunity and abundance and is a wonderful Feng Shui enhancement. Ensure water is not stagnant, and if flowing, the fall is a full 360 degrees or flowing towards the centre of the occupied space.

Could your staff benefit from a Feng Shui seminar? Learn how to implement Feng Shui principles into your work environments to develop both skills and people for greater balance, harmony and prosperity. Contact us now on +61 423 630 928 or visit

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ABC of Feng Shui  

ABC of Feng Shui, greater balance, harmony and prosperity for you. "Easy to read, hard to put down, and simple to understand." ~ Karen Sonte...