Part 5, This Is How My Feng Shui Got Better

Improvement leads to better performance

Experience taught me that Feng Shui works, but you don’t need to follow any school or practice. Declutter, command seating, be organized and you’ll benefit.

This is the 5th and final publication of a 5-part series related to Bagua Maps. If you would like to jump to another article in the series, the links are below.

Part 4 Recap

In the last 4 articles, we went over Bagua Maps and how they are fundamentally used in most Feng Shui practices.

There are 3 major Feng Shui Schools (Traditional, Black Hat (BTB), and New Age / Pyramid). The Traditional School is the most intricate, involving zodiac charts, natural and artificial structures, seasons, and cardinal directions to calculate Bagua equations. The Black Hat (BTB) studies are much simpler, using either a compass or superimposed, static Bagua Map over blueprints. 

Both the Traditional and Black Hat schools “activate” spaces with specific colors, arranging objects and furniture according to its life aspect. 

New Age Feng Shui, however, doesn’t rely solely on Bagua maps or a compass. The practice utilizes intuition and feelings as guidance for where to place objects, furniture, decorations, and color schemes.

Previous to this final article, I explain how I Feng Shui my home and space. It’s a methodology that doesn’t adhere to any specific school and leans more toward psychological and scientific principles. I take a very simple approach that goes as follows. 

  • Each room is free of clutter
  • Each room is organized to where I can find everything, but out of sight
  • Each room is decorated according to its purpose
  • Each room has furniture arranged to where I can see the entrance
  • Each room is maintained daily
  • Each room is cleaned weekly

This final article will explain how I came to my current understanding of Feng Shui. I felt I should share this as it may give some insight into why the approach I follow achieves results.

The results are, of course, really what it’s about.

Please also note, in no way am I saying I have all the answers or even some of them. However, this way of doing Feng Shui consistently elevates what I do.

I hope you find some value from this, or at the very least, are encouraged by what is possible. 

Belief And Achievement

Belief is powerful

I’ve found that life functions from a sense of belief. This is also mostly experienced individually. 

Whether it’s from our parents, teachers, or authority figures, how we operate is influenced by what we have been told. This information is accepted, rejected, or replaced with personal experience that becomes belief.

Granted, there is a difference between belief and fact, the latter being far more objective and empirical. However, arguments have been made that even fact is built upon belief, and is debatably malleable.

Regardless, the concept of believing is such a powerful and fundamental aspect of the human psyche, that it shapes our thoughts, emotions, and actions in profound ways. As long as the belief is heart-felt, it serves as the driving force behind our decisions, motivations, and goals, influencing the outcomes of various aspects of our lives.

This publication in Psychology Today explains how our thoughts influence individual reality.

With that, here is how I came to know Feng Shui.

Desperation To Liberation

There are no atheists in foxholes.

– William Thomas Cummings

The quote is to illustrate that when livelihood is threatened, we tend to abandon the luxury of philosophy and cling to anything that will save us.

Many years ago I made some bad choices that affected me for years. I may explain what that was in another article, but for now, just know the decisions carried consequences I should have been more intelligent about.

At the peak of my success, I found myself spiraling down slowly at first, and then, dropping fast toward destitution. My body was wrecked with stress, thinning hair, and 40 + pounds overweight. I smoked half a pack a day and was a social alcoholic. 

Eventually, everything fell apart. I had nowhere and no one to turn to. Like many, I became desperate and looked to anyone or anything for help. 

It was browsing the web for something, anything that might turn things for the better, when I came to discover Feng Shui. 

For whatever reason, after studying the concept for about a day, it made sense to me. The application of Feng Shui appeared as a magical way to improve my life, while aligning well with my education in psychology.

I also felt I had nothing more to lose.

On a side note and looking back during that time, I later realized that my discovery of Feng Shui occurred right around when I indirectly let go of my old life.

For months I struggled to hold onto a lifestyle that kept slipping through my fingers. Eventually, I succumbed to exhaustion and stopped letting it matter. I can’t help thinking that liberated me from my hinderances which brought me to where I am today.  

Traditional Feng Shui Is Where I Began

Traditional Feng Shui

As I was learning about the Traditional School of Feng Shui through books, websites, and videos, I worked during whatever free time I had to reconfigure my living space. I was convinced this would turn my life around. 

You should know that as I was doing this, I took whatever jobs I could to keep myself afloat.

During that time I had acquired enormous debt and was amid 2 large civil lawsuits. As I couldn’t afford an attorney, I answered and filed all legal briefs myself, including court appearances. Amazing what Google can do.

After about a month, I implemented the Traditionalist approach to Feng Shui in the home I was renting at the time. The calculations, arrangement of the rooms, de-cluttering and object placement took far longer than I had anticipated, but when it got done, I immediately felt better. 

An hour later, I received a phone call. 5 million dollars was transferred to my account from a Nigerian Prince. Feng Shui worked!

I’m kidding. 

The truth is, there were no magical deposits of money. My then ex-girlfriend still refused to be with me. I was still fat. I was still in debt. None of the lawsuits looked to be dismissed or ending any time soon. I was still very much alone.

However, what I did notice is that I really did feel better. So much so I was doing more.

My home was originally cluttered with boxes, smudges of dirt on the carpet, an unkept bedroom and a messy office. It transformed to a place that was clean, orderly, and welcoming. 

I found myself smiling, feeling more relaxed, having clearer thoughts, and sleeping better.

While Working, Things Started To Happen

As the days went by, I continued to work and look for income opportunities.

Soon I found a consistent paying contract that had my rent and food covered. I couldn’t pay the debt I owed, but at least I was no longer concerned about the longevity of survival. 

Somewhere during those ongoing weeks, a friend of mine allowed me to use his gym membership while he traveled. He made arrangements with the manager at the location near where I was. I quit smoking, changed my diet, and started lifting.

Some 9 months after I applied Traditional Feng Shui, I found myself essentially born again. 

My body was in the best shape in years. My income turned from barely getting by to having a savings again. What I originally thought was a deep loss of a romantic relationship became quite the opposite. I realized a sense of freedom and confidence that I hadn’t during the last year with her.  

Though I remained in debt, I surprisingly received a few notices some had been forgiven.

Now, this isn’t as miraculous as it may sound. Banks and lenders do write-off bad loans as a loss and receive tax breaks if the debts appear uncollectible. Nonetheless, it was an incredible bit of encouragement. Granted, I had to pay income taxes on the forgiveness of those debts, but I was elated regardless.

As for the lawsuits, they were still ongoing. However, I did well with my filings and court arguments. A deposition was scheduled several months later. Both lawsuits finally dismissed me a week after.

At this point, I was convinced the Traditional School of Feng Shui works.

Black Hat Feng Shui Saved Time

From the moment I originally implemented Traditional Feng Shui, I meticulously followed its requirements, including adjusting for the seasons and using “cures” wherever needed. I was convinced this was the key to a perfect life.

Then, 5 years later, the landlord sold the home I was renting to a retired couple.

In searching for a new place, I wanted to apply what I learned from Traditional Feng Shui, and maximize the power I felt it had. However, the amount of time it required to find a property with ideal parameters, while also working full time, forced me to get what I could.

The home I secured was nice, and in an area that I liked, but it was far from a perfect alignment. Considering how tight my time was, I worried that misfortune would befall me again. Fear of reliving some of my most challenging times resurfaced. 

To my surprise, I discovered that a number of my colleagues and friends practiced Feng Shui. Many are enormously successful people, some of whom I very much admire. 

This is when I learned about Black Hat Feng Shui (BTB).

If they were doing it, that was enough to convince me. I implemented BTB Feng Shui, superimposing a Bagua Map over sketches I made of the home I was renting. Unpacking, arranging furniture, decorating, and activating spaces throughout, and bringing everything in order took about 10 days.

This is where things get “spooky” or a little “woo woo” as many would say.

Quite literally a day later, I landed a huge contract. It was the biggest in years and propelled me to what I consider financial success. This actually happened. It was uncanny.

Then, several days later, I needed to run a credit report. This had me nervous, as I still had unpaid debt hanging over my head. However, to my complete surprise, there was absolutely nothing. The money owed had fallen off my credit score.

Note: Without my realizing it, 8 years went by since when I defaulted on my loans. Generally speaking, credit reporting agencies, like Experian, Equifax and Transunion drop untouched, delinquent records.

During the several years, I lived in the BTB home, I had many occurrences of success, financial gains, beautiful romantic encounters (one of whom is now my fiancée as of the date of this article), and grew substantially as a person.

You could say my life became magical.

Then, My Parents Died

My parents died.

Toward the end of my final year living in the BTB-influenced home, my mother died. My father soon followed out of grief. I did everything in my power and knowledge to keep them alive but failed miserably. My solace was knowing I at least helped make them very comfortable before passing.

It was after their deaths I contemplated what this life is, as many have. 

I moved a third and final time to the home I’m living in now. It’s a property I own. 

Still wrestling with the loss of my parents, both of whom I was very close to, my new home, as the previous 2, required Feng Shui’s touch, except this time…

I didn’t do anything.

The death of my mom and dad was fatiguing. I didn’t have the exuberance I once did to put things in order and also continue with growing a business.

Strangely, I felt things had come full circle.

Like when I suffered financially, I eventually reached an emotional state where I let go of missing my parents. As freeing as that was, when I went to Feng Shui my new home I felt overwhelmed. It was like the time I spent grieving demanded repayment. 

My work had fallen behind and projects were uncaringly coming due. 

Worries about what could happen if I didn’t properly harmonize my home still haunted me. I couldn’t delay my business responsibilities and was forced to prioritize. The work related tasks I committed to now required full attention. This left me with only a few hours each evening to Feng Shui what I could.

Like any major project, I divided it into actionable parts.

I chose to start with what I felt were the core principles of Feng Shui.

The strategy was to first lay the foundation and return to arranging my home later for full execution. I figured this would at least tap into the proper flow, reducing any compiling negative energies. As such, I decluttered, arranged every room’s furniture in the command position, and decorated based on use.

This meant applying colors, artwork, objects, and whatever else respective to what I felt the room’s purpose was.

My bedroom was soft, serene, and peaceful, with a few pictures of my fiancée and myself. My office was arranged with business-orientated pieces, like a dry-erase board, framed pictures of a beach house I like, and so forth. The living room was set up in a socializing and entertaining manner, with a large TV, speakers, pictures of my favorite artists, books, etc. 

About a week later, I was done. The house was enough in order, I felt great and marked the calendar a month forward to finish applying full Black Hat principles. 

However, I never did. 

Did I Just New Age My Feng Shui?

The projects I had been working on were completed early. I beat the deadlines by several days and received glowing reviews. I took some time off and thought about the Feng Shui I did. 

Based on the loose, interpretative nature of New Age Feng Shui, one could argue that I implemented its principles.

I somewhat disagree, though I can see why one may think that way. I originally intended to re-Feng Shui the house and fully apply the BTB method, but kept putting it off.  I found myself doing other things.

This went on for a few months when it finally dawned on me.

I kept putting the Black Hat follow-up off because there was no need. My life was already doing well. In fact, it was pretty great.

I didn’t see any reason to spend time doing something if the results were already gained.

A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

I have gone from a meticulous Traditional Feng Shui practitioner to a simplistic Black Hat implementer, now essentially a rogue, more science based user.

The reason? It’s the results. 

Thinking back, the Feng Shui schools worked because I wanted them to.

I might have even needed it too. The laborious calculations and requirements that the art demanded, strengthened my belief and acted as the promise of security during unreliable times. The almost religious-like devotion to its maintenance and living by its adherence turned me into a devotee.

Dedication to a school-based Feng Shui reinforced my beliefs, and belief is powerful.

Through consistent effort and perseverance, Feng Shui became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

A self-fulfilling prophecy refers to a belief or expectation that influences your behavior in such a way that it causes the belief to come true. In other words, I held a belief Feng Shui would turn my life around. My actionable steps were supported by that belief. So long as I remained consistent, it would only be a matter of time before my life would improve.

Then, why did it seem Black Hat Feng Shui worked so well? The results were faster than the Traditional School and with far less effort.

Why did a simple decluttering and practical arrangement of furniture produce a similar, if not the same, outcome? This is where my most recent education in Environmental Psychology adds clarity. 

This area of study has found certain facts to be universal. A good living space, a healthy environment, and emotionally reinforced surroundings have been proven to increase the likelihood of success. A nurturing atmosphere encourages the mind, reduces stress, and helps remove impediments to taking action.

You can read more about the psychology of your environment here.

My third execution of Feng Shui inadvertently revealed a defining truth.

The ancient Chinese practice is a tool that can enhance behaviors, no matter which school, if any.

Feng Shui, Environment, Then Action

Well-balanced running shoes, the finely tuned engine of a sports car, or the sharpness of a chef’s knife. 

All of these are examples of various tools that help to bring about goals.

A runner may desire to reach a certain distance within a time frame. The driver of a well-built, precision sports car may have the destination of finishing first. A chef may wish to create the perfect meal.

So long as the runner, driver, and cook, remain dedicated and with consistent action, the above become tools to ease the way toward accomplishment.

Feng Shui specifically brings encouragement, serenity, peace, and energy while doing a thing.

The better your environment, the more likely you are to succeed. 

Published in the National Library of Medicine, the workshop, The Interplay Between Environmental Exposures and Mental Health Outcomes, eloquently explains the relationship between your behaviors and the influence of the environment. 

Feng Shui is an excellent tool to improve your environment, which tends to enhance belief.

When we strongly believe in a particular outcome, we tend to subconsciously act in ways that align with that belief, increasing the likelihood of the desired outcome happening.

This psychological mechanism can significantly affect personal achievements, relationships, and even health. Published in the National Library of Medicine, The Biochemistry of Belief, is a study that explored and demonstrated how belief can affect the chemistry of the body.

In my experience, especially when you take into account what belief is and how it works, there is no right or wrong school of Feng Shui.

There are basic décor, color schemes, and furniture arrangements that have been shown to create deeply helpful environments for better behaviors. However, so long as harmony is achieved, I’ve found it doesn’t matter.

A general understanding of basic room layout, some statistically sound psychological mechanisms, and a little willingness to make changes lead to astoundingly wonderful results.

This is what I have learned in my 10+ years and follow to this day.

Being Over 40 Helped Me

Turning over 40

I explored Feng Shui when I was 35. As of the date of this article, I am 47. 

It was shortly after I turned 40 that my outlook matured.

I didn’t realize it right away, but as each year progressed, the flowery and theatrical aspects of most things eroded. My perspective reformed in such a way that I began to be able to quickly decipher what is important in most situations. 

Commercials lost much of their draw, movies seemed repetitive, music turned monotonous, and so forth. It’s not that any of these things are bad, but the allure they once had lessened. It’s like I became capable of looking past the “shiny” thing and discovering its source or essence.

In other words, I cut past everything and went to the heart of the matter. 

In the article, Is Wisdom Related To Age?, posted in Psychology Today, studies have shown that as we grow older, wisdom does develop with experience. Granted, it’s not guaranteed, but it’s more likely and we turn receptive to it through age. 

I found that because of this, and the recognition of circumstances and factors that affected it, the Feng Shui I practiced evolved into what it has today.

Feng Shui Works And You Don’t Need A School…Unless You Want One

I found the simplest approach yields the same, perhaps even bigger, faster, and better results than any Feng Shui school.

You’re spending less time with calculations and more getting to know your home by practical placements of things. This also allows for additional time to take action toward the goals you want to accomplish. 

However, belief is definitely a factor, that is, until it’s not.

The way society is and how our psychology has been conditioned, a clean, organized, and bright space with natural elements like plants and fresh air do wonders. People perform and live better in those environments.

Feng Shui is one way of creating that for you.

Follow whatever path you’re most interested in, or feel most comfortable with.

However, just remember, you don’t have to stick with a school or practice to get excellent results, unless you enjoy being dedicated to a practice. That too can be very rewarding.

As long as your home remains clutter-free, clean, and spacious, you’ll benefit.

Thank you and cheers.

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