Saturday, August 7, 2010


My current favorite writer, Jane Smiley, defines love as “ever-renewed desire to see someone and a constantly flowing pleasure in their presence…” This is as good a description as I’ve ever read of a quality of experience that most of us would wish to enjoy in our lives. If our relationships don’t quite measure up to this index, it might be worthwhile to take a look at an area of our living space that refers to our closest relationships, according to Feng Shui principles.

Feng Shui uses a tool called the Bagua map to divide a space into nine sectors that correspond to major life issues. This imaginary grid, which looks like a tic-tac-toe board, is oriented to the front door of any home, business, building, or room – and adjusts to the shape of the space. As you are standing in the doorway of the space and looking in towards the interior, the square that in the far right corner in the back is called Earth, and is all about the quality of our relationships.

I once did a consultation for a couple who told me that they had lost some of their old pzazz, and were having difficulty relating to each other in an intimate way. Their relationship seemed to revolve mostly around money, paying bills, and other business issues. I suggested that we take a look at their Relationship area, and what we found was an eye-opener for them. Here in their most precious corner was a four-drawer steel file cabinet loaded with receipts, work-related papers, and unpaid bills. They “got” it, and moved the file to another place, added something that expressed the two of them in a positive way – and their relationship improved almost immediately.

Feng Shui is effective because it grounds our intentions in the physical world. By making changes to our physical space, we also change the energy behind the scene, and create something that is more in line with what we want in our lives. In that way, as author Smiley describes, we find ourselves looking at the faces of our loved ones – even if they are crabby or unpleasant – and smiling in spite of ourselves at how charming they are.