The Value of Intent in Feng Shui

At the beginning of a feng shui assessment, or an annual update, I like to ask people, “What do you want?  What do you want feng shui to support for you?"

What Do You Want?”

  After 18 years of practicing feng shui, what is apparent is that the people who get the most out of working with their feng shui are not the ones who only follow all the rules to the letter, but the people who take a clear look at what they want, specifically, and let that take the lead as they implement all the other principles of feng shui.

For several years I taught a form of therapeutic bodywork called Body Harmony®.  At the beginning of the session we always asked our clients, “What do you want from this session?”  Any kind of work is a participatory partnership, and a statement of what someone wants from an experience allows that person to take some responsibility for participating in the results, and focuses the practitioner so that the relevant resources they have to contribute become more available; a healthy partnership is created.  Stating a desire or intention also focuses the client in a way that allows greater ease, and perception of what is helpful.  For both client and practitioner, the conscious mind and the subconscious resources are brought into play.

Feng shui is the same in an interesting way.  Not only does a clear statement of what one wants as a client focus the skills of the feng shui practitioner, it also allows greater direct awareness for the client of what will help them towards their goals, including awareness of helpful things the practitioner may not be aware of.  The whole feng shui experience becomes more direct and more personal.  There is a working partnership created between the client and their home or work, as well as a partnership with the feng shui practitioner.

For clarity’s sake, it should be mentioned that just as with a goal for physical health, it helps if the intent is described in terms of something positive and functional.  In the example of the bodywork session, getting rid of pain is fine, but is more effective if followed up with something like, “so I can enjoy playing sports”.  Then, the center of the goal is something positive in present time.  Clients sometimes want to use feng shui as a way of recovering from a loss or a difficult period of their lives, which is something that feng shui absolutely can help with, and it helps to keep the focus on creating a current happy experience of life, rather than just escaping something from the past.

A clear intention, or stating what you want, includes two different parts: 

First: What do you want to do or accomplish?

Second: What do you want to feel?

These questions apply to all people in a household or business, and to all activities.  Lets say you’re an author, and you want to write a new book or series of articles.  The writing would be the doing and a finished result.  

How do you want to feel while you’re doing the doing?  Do you want it to feel arduous, obscure, annoying and complicated?  Of course not, and I’m being extreme just to make a point.  You probably want to feel things like inspiration, ease, clarity, challenge, focus, efficiency and creativity, right?  

Look at the image of the deep woods in the photo.  What do you feel when you look at it?  Every image and thing in your environment, as well as how you move from one place to another, the light coming in the window, and so on,  adds to the ‘feeling tone’ surrounding you.

When describing what you want in each area of your home or work place, and the place overall, be sure to include what you want to feel.  Feeling is at least as important as what you want to accomplish because positive feelings give us energy and allow us to feel contentment in the moment, even if there are challenges, or seemingly imperfect situations.  In reality, if one accomplishes everything on the accomplishment check-list but feels unhappy along the way, no amount of outer rewards will fill in that emptiness. Conversely, feeling content in one’s life allows more balance to come out of any situation, and rewards to come from unexpected sources.  The feeling and the doing are an important partnership in creating a balanced and functional environment for all your wants and needs.

“Feeling” includes many, many inner subjective experiences.  It can include “emotion”, such as joy, sadness, fear, etc., but it is much larger than that.  Any subjective feeling, such as well-being, ease, constriction, alertness or fogginess, lightness, heaviness, and so on, is all part of what we’re able to feel or sense.

Before you make any change in where you live or work, you can make yourself a list of what you want to do and what you want to feel, and be very specific.  Notice, I say “what” you want to feel, rather than “how” you want to feel, because “what” tends to bring forth more specific and clear awareness of the feelings, which more effectively inspires our feeling self to get on board.  

Next, imagine that you already have what’s on your list, and see if it feels right to you.  You can do a whole-body scan to see how it fits all of you.  In this way you can tune up your intent so that your environment is an even better match to you.  Your clarity will help you notice what will create the beneficial environment you want, and will also help a professional working with you to bring forth the resources and skills they have which are the most useful.

If more than one person is living or working in a building, the environment will be most harmonious and effective for everyone together if each person takes some time to answer the two questions for themselves, and their results are shared with everyone else.