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Feng Shui for Modern Times

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Feng Shui for Modern Times

By Erica Sofrina, Author of the book Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World

At its essence, Feng Shui is a collection of practical, tried and true ideas about how to create living and working environments that support, nurture and guide our lives in a direction that promotes optimum well being.

Who wouldn’t want that?

To the westerner who lives in the modern world, the word Feng Shui seems foreign. However, the term in Chinese simply means wind and water. Among other things, it refers to the observation that the elements have an impact upon us and therefore should be strongly considered when we are choosing the best site for a building. It acknowledges something that most of us intuit already: the more we live in harmony with nature, the happier our lives are.

A case in point might be a city built below sea level, right on top of a fault line or on top of an active volcano.  Eventually this poor decision on the part of the original city planners will come back to roost, as we have seen in some recent disasters in the past few years.

There are different schools of Feng Shui that can be effectively used for different things. Classical Compass School Feng Shui is the best one to use when determining how to place a building on the land. It is a more complex type of Feng Shui involving Chinese astrology, a Chinese Compass and other factors, including numerology. It brings in cures from the Chinese culture, incorporating wind chimes, crystals and other objects. All of which come out of the Chinese culture and traditions.

If you are confused by Classical Compass School Feng Shui, Western Form School Feng Shui offers a more logical, practical alternative. It is simpler to learn and less esoteric.

The language in Western Form School Feng Shui is positive and seeks to show the logic in these simple, tried and true teachings. It leaves out the cultural piece, allowing for the client to bring in objects that have a personal meaning to them. Chinese Fu dogs as greeters at your front door may not be your thing. Western Feng Shui recognized the importance of having a wonderful entryway, but leaves the choice of how to get there up to the client. They may prefer a pot of colorful flowers, a sparkling water fountain, or a welcoming sign. The point is to have it be lovely and welcoming, the choice of how to get there is up to them.

Rather than recommending Chinese red for the color of the front door, Western Feng Shui recommends the client chooses the color that they love the most. The point being that this will lift your personal chi much more than Chinese red, especially if you dislike this color.

Rather than saying something is bad or negative, Western Feng Shui points out the practical reasons why the teaching makes sense. As we know, what is negative in one culture may have no meaning in another culture. Case in point: in China the number 4 is considered very negative, and sounds like the word death. The number that might have a negative connotation in the U.S. might be the number 13. Having all westerners avoid having the number 4 in their home address because this means something negative in China does not make any sense, and is part of what has contributed to people feeling like Feng Shui is a superstition.Western Feng Shui throws that part out and sticks with the practical and simple concepts at the essence of Feng Shui.

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Erica Sofrina

Erica Sofrina is an Internationally recognized Speaker and Teacher and Author of the book Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World. She is also a life coach and motivational speaker and is the founder of the West Coast Academy of Feng Shui. She has run a successful business as a Professional Organizer, Interior Designer and Certified Feng Shui Consultant for over a decade and resides on the charming coastal town of Half Moon Bay in Northern California. Find out more at

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Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World

By Erica sofrina A simple and easy guide to Feng Shui for our contemporaty life stylesbuy now


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12:27AM PDT on Sep 4, 2012

This was a great summary and I enjoyed reading it. Lifted my eyes around the study and went 'uh-huh ... uh-huh ... uh-huh ...' Back to work at it next week. ;)

8:23AM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

I think your album idea is great, Erica! It establishes the value of the people as well as helps the living space be the uplifting area that you inspire with your advice! Great response! Thanks so much!!! And thanks for it being provided here for all to read~

3:38PM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

Me, I like high places with lots of sun and space.

10:42PM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

Thank you all for the great comments. Dot A, as for the family photos that are not uplifting but you have to keep for some reason, how about putting them all in a photo album. I had a client I worked with whose family photos took over the hall way. She said she had tons of relatives and when one picture went up, the others asked where theirs were, so she felt obligated to put up one of them, and on it went. I told her to take them all out of frames, put them in a wonderful family album, and when they asked, show them the album. Tell them you had to paint and take them all down, or what ever makes sense. Or, yes, put them away in a corner of a room you don't spent a lot of time in. All of our art work and pictures take up important real estate on our walls, make sure they uplift you and make you happy, after all it is your home, and you are the important person here. If it is because it is relatives of a spouse or partner, then you need to negotiate where their family photos go. Perhaps they can go in their personal space, like their office, etc.

1:03AM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

11:38PM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

As long as there's something water in every, pictures, water feature, fish tank

7:17PM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

yes my house upside down renovation...CLUTTER everywhere......but I try my best to have patience I figure eventually things will get fix.....sometimes I don't let the clutter get to point of fighting the clutter..just go with the flow......

3:59PM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

Always find your articles realistic and insightful...
Thank you for the periodic and uplifting reminders...

2:09PM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

Wonderful article - wonderful comments. Thank you one and all.

12:11PM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

All great guidance and information from you as usual Erica! Love the 'favorite colors' being good Feng Shui! However, here's a Q: What's the best place for photos which cannot be discarded for family reasons, but aren't 'uplifting' to be in the living environment either??? No reason to get specific here, as perhaps other readers could use some of your considerable knowledge regarding this personal issue,.... (?) Hope you can post a wonderfully diplomatic and Feng Shui wise response, Erica~ The only thing I can come up with is hiding them in a box and stuffing them in a dark corner in the closet, kind of 'weirdness' ~ [for a kind of weird problem, LOL]

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