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How Feng Shui can improve your prospects

Las Vegas (2).JPG

Feng Shui.  It sounds so mysterious and foreign doesn’t it?  But at the heart of this ancient practice is a solid core of common sense and applied wisdom, designed to improve the quality of your life. 

Feng Shui works on the basic premise that your prospects will improve when the environments in which you spend most of your time - home and work - are in harmony.  Why should that be? 

Because a building has a similar function to your body: it is there to support you in leading a rich and satisfying life.  However, it can only serve you when you take the time and trouble to nurture it in turn.  When your body is run down you become ill more easily.  Insufficient rest, poor diet, inadequate sleep, and too much stress can contribute to this because it throws the body out of balance.  When you neglect - or make gross changes to - your home, unaware that it is living system too, it can react in a similar way to your body; it gets sick. Correspondingly, you may notice things things go awry both inside your home and office and affect your affairs generally. 

Warning signs you may need to pay particular attention to your environment are when:

·         Your career, wealth, and health matters needs a boost

·         Your relationships are in conflict or flagging

·         You are remodelling a room or building an extension

·         You are planning to sell (or rent) a house

·         You are designing a new home or office building

·         You are moving home or relocating the office


Literally translated Feng Shui means ‘wind and water’, which will make more sense shortly.  It was originally an oral tradition that has been practised for over 3000 years in China, predating Confucius and the Tao as a body of knowledge.  Other ancient civilisations also had their version of Feng Shui, which they lived by.


Early Feng Shui experts were consulted to determine the best sites for homes and villages. They looked for evidence of where the life-force energy, called Ch’i in Feng Shui, was most vibrant and flowed in a manner which supported life.

Our ancestors lived in much closer relationship to nature. It was perfectly normal to want to be in tune with nature and be able to decipher the language of the land intuitively; after all the environment was a living entity and every physical feature told a story about the quality of Ch’i with which it was imbued.  They located buildings with consideration and built homes in a manner, which did not upset the natural habitat or adversely affect the movement of Ch’i. 

All this is hard for us to comprehend today, which is why we are quick to label it superstitious.  That’s because our prevailing ‘superstition’ is almost solely scientifically based.  Early Feng Shui practitioners were not scientists.  They had a very pragmatic approach to life, based on their observations of what worked and what didn’t because of the effect it had on people.  They also had a well-developed intuitive and mystical faculty and were very adept at reading the signs.  It’s much the same for Feng Shui practitioners today although most of our clients do not live in close proximity to nature so it’s not surprising our systems get out of balance easily.

Contemporary Feng Shui

The average person is a long way off even noticing the environment in which they live beyond the shops, the school, and the patch of green where they can walk the dog.  We barely know what is under our feet because concrete covers most populated areas.  When asked where the nearest natural water supply is, the closest hill to their home, or where the sun rises and sets – all of which still affect the quality of Ch’i arriving at our homes - most are at a loss to answer. 

Feng Shui practitioners today are investigating very different scenarios to their predecessors. Most of the time we’re diagnosing buildings that exist rather than advising on the creation of new structures.  Our intentions are still the same however – to cultivate the health, prosperity, happiness of the inhabitants.

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

Alive, connected, dynamic

The art of living mindfully with the environment is based on three fundamental principles.  These are not exclusive to Feng Shui and shared by many spiritual teachers, holistic practitioners, and not the least, quantum physicists. 

Common to all is the understanding that non-visible life-force energy is omnipresent.  Ch’i animates, connects and moves through everything, including objects that appear entirely solid.

1.       Everything is alive

Even an inanimate object like a sofa, which appears lifeless and immobile, is still endowed with Ch’i of a certain quality and quantity.  It appears static but is composed of millions of particles in motion.  That’s why it’s so important to choose the objects you have around you with care.  The fact you inherited a vase or someone gave it to you should not justify its continued existence, unless you love the sight of it too.

2.       Everything is connected

You are part of the interconnected web of life.  You affect and are affected by everything around you; there are no islands.  This means choosing your neighbourhood and your surroundings wisely because the Ch’i emanating from them will impact you.  Since you can’t up and move easily or get rid of your neighbours, this means doing what you can to minimise the more unsavoury influences around you. 

Inside buildings negative influences includes clutter.  That over-crowded cupboard at the entrance to the home can have a restrictive and irritating ripple-effect on the whole space, if left unattended.  The bank of over-filled filing cabinets in the centre of the office can have a choking effect on the whole business.

3.       Everything is constantly changing

Ch’i is constantly in a state of flux and movement.  This includes both the Ch’i inside your body as well as in your environment.  Your home and office can get stuck in a time warp if you’re not careful and pull you back into old patterns of behaviour you’d like to outgrow. 

You’d do well to lighten up more when it comes to how and where you live and not allow yourself to become so entrenched with the status quo.  Let your space change and dance with the moment and movement of life. Let your external environment be the outward expression of your inner aspirations for congruency sake; as without so within.

In the meantime, here are some sure-fire Feng Shui attention-seeking hot spots to enhance the flow of Ch’i around you:

·         Decluttering the obstacles to success

·         Unblocking thresholds to the flow of Ch’i

·         Moving furniture around for optimum location

·         Balancing architectural problems

·         Softening harsh angles and replacing missing corners

If you desire to live in a lovely home, sell the one you have quickly and achieve a good asking price, or simply lead a good life, you would be wise to do everything in your power to attend to the environment you are currently living in.  Prevention is less troublesome and expensive than cure. 

To learn more about practical Feng Shui, please join me for:  Pamper Your Home with Feng Shui - a one-day introduction to the art of creating vibrant and harmonious living spaces by requesting details here:

To speak to me about a Feng Shui consultation, please get in touch here:

To discover what your inner aspirations truly are join me to make an Intuitive Vision Board by requesting details here:





That Which Stands In The Way Is The Way


My newly-graduated daughter is preparing job applications. When you're young and full of energy, when you've worked hard and got a first-class honours degree (History), when you already show valuable work experience acquired in the school holidays and you still don't get snapped up, it's one of life's many challenges she's to face.

One of five
She was pipped at second interview for two lip-smacking jobs that on paper suited her down to the ground.  In one she made it past 130 applicants to arrive on the short list of five.  I was mightily impressed.  At the palace too.  Yes, The Palace. On her first visit she was directed to the wrong gate and had to make a right royal run through the Queen's back corridors to get there on time. 


'i' before 'e'
The second near miss was for the National Trust at Cliveden; the most frequented NT property in the whole  UK apparently.  Her writing sample they liked very much but they didn't like her spelling Cliveden wrong! 

Having spent the previous three years in Clifton at Bristol University, it was a mistake easily made under pressure - but 'Clifton' cost her.

On another occasion she turned down a marketing communications job because the photos of the product turned her stomach.  Fair enough I suppose, she's not a scientist.  You have to draw the line somewhere and hers went right through the centre of a colostomy bag.  
Wisdom of hindsight
This episode recalls to mind a treatise on fate.  Sometimes in life you have accept things as they are presented. Sometimes this means doing the one thing you're resisting like crazy.  Having put up a fervent protest, only to find a particular clump of chewing gum is still sticking to your shoe, then the odds are it has your name on it.  Somewhere in the distant future, you'll look back and realise how essential that hated, fated job or task turned out to be.

Since I can't impart these words of wisdom on my daughter because I'm only her mother and what do I know, I'm sharing them with you instead.  Thank you!

My first-ever job after University was to work for my father.  I absolutely didn't want to sell swimming pools or hot tubs.  Nor did I want to start immediately after graduation.  I wanted to travel, see the world, spread my wings.  He wasn't at all sympathetic - nor impressed with my Anthropology degree from Durham University; I was of no use to anyone with that!  

Readers, he had a particularly chauvinistic attitude and thankfully it is not everybody's experience of fatherly love.  Anyway his solution was to slot me straight into secretarial college where two afternoons a week, I learned to touch-type on a typewriter; one of those quaint devices with honky-tonk keys.  One false letter and you had to tear the whole sheet of paper out and start again. 


Fate worse than death
Not only was it my job to type, I had first to decipher the illegible hand-written scrawl of three male directors and churn out their correspondence error-free.  Computers had made it onto the scene but they were still comparable to the size of a double-decker bus so not many businesses had room for them.  We didn't.
The other excruciating job I had was to front the showroom as sales receptionist.  Excruciating because I didn't know a thing about swimming pools.  But I knew a lot about the culture and behaviour of primitive peoples and not many of them came into the showroom, not even in Devon.   With one eye on the typewriter, both ears on the telephone for in-bound calls, the other eye was free to meet and greet customers shopping for this high-end product after they'd finished at the market.  Once I'd got over the initial embarrassment, curiously enough I enjoyed it.


If the esteemed Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor, had been around I'm sure he would have counselled me accordingly: "That which stands in the way is the way, Mary." 

Hate mail
But I was two thousand years too late for him so I kept on hating the typing.  And I hated my father for insisting I had to do it.  After a year of this I quit the job but only after I'd inadvertently mastered touch-typing at speed.  I moved to London and with my newly-acquired typing skills, bluffed my way into a secretarial job where I worked long hours for three months and saved enough to head out across Africa for six months.   

Post-Africa, I got a job for a Mail Order Book Club.  My job was to select books for three clubs and to commission copy-writing and design to produce the monthly catalogues. In contrast I loved it.  Four years later I volunteered redundancy and moved to Richmond, Surrey and offered my services as a freelancer in Marketing Communications.  Now I'm the one writing copy, which means that dreaded touch-typing skill is coming in very handy again.   "That which stands in the way is the way, Mary." 

More than words  
The business grew and within two years my partner resigned his job as a Marketing Director for a Financial Services company and joined me.  Not long after it seemed we became a full Direct Marketing Agency with 15 staff and a flotilla of company cars.  And now I'm still writing copy but for our Fortune 500 clients - banging out the words fast and furiously and well-paid for it using that fated touch-typing skill.  

Oh, and I'm the Sales & Marketing Director for the Agency as well.  Where on earth did I cut my teeth for this job?  As the sales receptionist in my father's torture chamber!  "That which stands in the way is the way, Mary."

Resistance is futile
Me thinks that once you've put up a stout protest and nothing changes then that's enough.  It's time to accept that which stands in your way is your way and to drop any resistance to it gracefully.  Because years later, when you're as old as me (lol) and get to join up the dots, you'll discover the heinous job or task proved to be a gift horse in the end. 

So thank you Dad for your contribution to my writing.   And thank you Marcus Aurelius, receiving you loud and clear. 

I'd like to mention too I've almost finished my book and publish in 2018. It's around 55,000 words. Each one touch-typed, of course.





The Feng Shui case for cheating on your partner


With not a moment to lose and while his car is still crawling down the driveway do you open the back door to your clandestine visitor.

There she is the Feng Shui lady.  She arrives complete with a set of mirrors for all occasions and a three-legged frog that doesn’t need a pond and will sit happily with a coin in its mouth at your front door to encourage prosperity. Seconds later she's assembled her trolley to remove all the stuff you're about to part with into the skip that’s arriving any minute now.  You're spending the day together and there's much pleasure in store.  

There are too many messy people living in your house and it’s driving you insane.  When you try and explain to the messy people their behaviour is lowering the value of your property and reducing the quality of your life together it falls on deaf ears. That's why you've succumbed to this illicit rendezvous. 


That’s even before you've mentioned the “chi” word to them and how important it is for life-force energy to arrive at your door in a good mood and to move unhindered throughout the house.  They’re too absorbed in their own worlds and oblivious to the effect their dumping around the place is having.  It’s one darn shoe after another.  If you wait for everyone's approval to rectify the problem - or expect them to do it - you'll wait a lifetime.

As the person who does care and is aware of the impact this is having on everyone under the same roof, it’s time to assume your title as Facilities Manager and start kicking arse around here before the river of chi bursts its bank.  The cost of a Feng Shui correction is a snitch compared with 360 days wear and tear on the property - and on your psyche. 

What school, college or University do you know that allows its pupils to bring whatever they want into the building and plonk it wherever they like - and wander off?  What organisation do you know that allows paperwork to high rise on surfaces, dirty dishes to pile up on tables, and clothes to trail across the floor?  Furthermore they employ cleaning angels who breeze through the premises overnight working to the remit of the Facilities Manager preventing the river of life silting up and business grinding to a halt.


Once upon a time I lived with a hoarder.  Thank goodness he now lives on the other side of the channel because I swear he’d star in Britain’s Biggest Hoarders.    We met just as I was completing my Feng Shui training and took up residence together.  The irony was I owned the house but his stuff occupied two-thirds of it.

Repeated attempts to have him pare down led to no progress at all.  So I had to cheat on him and enrol the help of my lover, Hestia, the Greek Goddess of the Hearth, to come to my aid.

Repeated attempts to have him pare down led to no progress at all.  So I had to cheat on him and enrol the help of my lover, Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth, to come to my aid.

True confessions.  For one whole week while he was away on a training programme I beavered away.  I didn’t just tackle his stuff, I finely-tuned my own.  I didn't remove anything of his you could absolutely describe as valuable and sentimental.  Besides what is more valuable than your physical, mental and emotional health and this behaviour was an early indication of dis-ease.  Call me a wicked witch if you like but I’d had enough.  Besides how could I go forth into the world as a Feng Shui consultant when my own home wasn’t in order.

Towards the end of the final day with the third car load full to straining and my partner due home within the hour, I was ready to make the last trip to the skip.  But where’s the car key?  Where’s the bl**dy car key?  It could be anywhere in this junkyard.  Was this my guilty conscience playing a trick on me or my partner getting his own back for cheating on him?  Thankfully Hestia came to my rescue before a melt down and I drove away with a sense of relief.

What did my partner say on his return?  Absolutely nothing.  He felt the difference in the home for sure but was mindfully unaware of what the cause was to the same degree he had been mindfully unaware there had been a problem in the first place.  Best of all he never reproduced such a surplus while we were together - but he’s obviously gone downhill since. 

“I wouldn’t be happy if she did that to me,” I can hear muttering in the background.  My response to that is:  Well live on your own then.  What makes one person more important than the other members of the household they allow their stuff to dominate the home? 

And when your life is compromised by another who is not taking responsibility for theirs there is a case for cheating on your partner  - or evacuate the building.  Since by default you are the Facilities Manager of the home (because somebody has to be) then why not step up and get on and do a good job.  And may the flow be with you.




Look out Rick Stein!   We have the Feng Shui advantage.


The Feng Shui advantage

When I was invited down to Rick Stein’s gourmet metropolis in Cornwall for a Feng Shui assessment of a new café/restaurant opening there, I leapt at the chance.  As I stepped off the bus at Padstow and walked towards the quay my heart skipped a beat.  Directly in front of me was an image similar to the ones in the centre of my current Vision Board.  Up until now I hadn’t realised what I’d been looking at were lobsters, although I assumed it was a sea creature of some description.  Now I'm stood right opposite the lobster ‘maternity ward’ at the Marine Conservation centre and I’m left in no doubt.  “I’m in the right place then,” me thinks.


When Sharon and Ian took over Greens café as a going concern, they picked up the baton from two local families who had established it nearly 20 years earlier, along with the crazy golf course above it.  It’s located at the far side of the harbour in North Quay and has a view to die for.  However catering had been limited to homemade cakes and serving tea.

10 years on the café was groaning under the additional footfall with people desperate to sit out on the terrace and no customer toilet on site. Once the 2016 season was over, it was time for Sharon and Ian to make their move.  The existing buildings were demolished and new footings laid for the café/restaurant that would provide more comfortable accommodation for customers and staff.

Cedar-clad and modelled on the style of a Scandinavian boat house with a pitched zinc roof, it has large windows that open up entirely onto the terrace with panoramic views of Padstow harbour and the Camel Estuary.  Quirky, warm, and with lots of interesting textures, it will certainly gain tops marks for good ‘hygge’ and receive a massive commendation for its creative verve.


Created with passion, delivered with love
Cramming in extra covers to achieve more profit was not their prime motivation and because of this I’m sure it will be a rip-roaring success.  The comfort of guests and staff was uppermost and the need to address the limitations of the previous café.  There was a desire to broaden the menu of this family eatery to include vegan and gluten-free options.  Also a desire to lengthen the season so the local community might use the Café for other events and classes outside the peak tourist months. 

I wanted to visit on my own and make an initial Feng Shui assessment before meeting with Sharon the next day.  It was still very much a building site and I had come prepared in my walking boots and neeed to to be decked out in a hard helmet and a luminous green jacket.   The next day Sharon and I poured over the architect’s plans, the interior design visuals, and the proposed furniture and accessories.  I was very impressed with their imaginative colour schemes and the variety of thoughtful textures. 


The 5 basic Elements – Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal

Green’s is an ambitious undertaking in three stages and I was here to review the first stage – the restaurant itself. 

Stage 2 will see a total revision of the Crazy Golf course which is currently a mound of earth at the back of the restaurant and will include a viewing platform over the estuary.

Stage 3 will be the addition of a typical Cornish garden open to the public on the uppermost tier of the site – a little Eden Project, both beautiful and educational.


My focus during this first visit was to review the location, the building infrastructure and the usage of the interior spaces; we had to consider the back of house hot-food kitchen, bakery and staff relaxation areas oftentimes neglected as well as the visible spaces to the public. Sharon's instinct was to avoid this. 

I assessed the general flow of energy throughout the whole site and paid attention to the entrances - from the public footpath and into the restaurant itself (what we refer to as the ‘mouth of chi’) to make sure the flow is steady, well-directed and undeterred. 

I took into account the site aspect and its effect on the interior and how to balance this with appropriate colour, lighting and accessories. We discussed appropriate signage and enhancements using mirrors and planters to give direction to flow and to manage the flight paths of staff (serving both inside and outside the restaurant) and the arrival and departure of customers so the two worlds didn't collide. 

I called on the 5 Basic Elements to ensure overall balance relative to the building’s purpose.  In particular I wanted to make sure the essential nature of the enterprise (Wood element) was well represented and supported by its feeder (Water element) and not over-powered by its control (Metal element).  This was already beginning to happen from the plans and was rectified.  If this had continued, the enterprise would lose vitality and presence unnecessarily.


I celebrated a thoroughly enjoyable job well done with a plateful of Rick Stein’s Fish and Chips.  But only after I’d visited thousands of baby lobsters, each smaller than my thumb nail, in their nursery. 

Fortunate was I to be in Padstow in May.  I’m told July and August can get so busy with people and pushchairs you could end up over the side of the harbour with the lobsters.

Greens of Padstow opens its doors on 21st July.  If you’re down that way I highly recommend you pay a visit.  It’s going to be AMAZING.  

And here’s the feedback from a happy client

“Thank you for your detailed and informative Feng Shui report and for sending it so promptly.  It was very useful to have before the staff meeting, and before our site progress meeting and the architect was really interested too. 

Your visit was timed perfectly to enable us to ‘tweak’ some of the materials we were using to more directly support the elemental aspects of the site.  It has also given us a good ‘steer’ for choosing the finishing touches that will bring everything together.

This process added another dimension to the whole building project, making it more meaningful – and somehow bringing it to ‘life’.  It has also raised our awareness to the energy of, and our intentions for, this new home for our ‘new’ business.

It felt like a very creative time we spent together, on site and in discussion before and after your visit, and I really appreciated your input.  It stimulated lots of ideas and took us in new directions too that I know will benefit the space.  Thank you!”