Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Conscious Design Conference and Expo

I attended, spoke and signed books at the Conscious Design Conference and Expo this past weekend in Parsippany, NJ. The conference gathered together professionals in green design, Feng Shui, interior design, architecture, Bau-Biologie and sacred geometry for a weekend of workshops, book signings, exhibitions and more.

I wrote Harmonious Environment to put in one book what has never before been put together: the subjects Conscious Design was covering. So, I was very excited to attend this event and see how the parts fit together in a conference.

What I discovered was very interesting. Over 10 years ago, when I took Feng Shui classes, nothing but Feng Shui was offered in the certification programs. Chatting with Amy Mims, the director of The New England School of Feng Shui, I found that the school is offering all kinds of Feng Shui related classes; personal clearing, clearing clutter, dowsing, "The Secret of Miracles" by Denise Linn, , aromatherapy and more.

I was chatting with one of the employees of The International Feng Shui Guild and she asked me if I was a member. I said no, that my approach to Feng Shui wasn't traditional. As an example, I told her I use 4 elements like the Native Americans, not 5, like Feng Shui practitioners. The director overheard me and chimed in that the Guild supports all approaches to Feng Shui.

For me, this was huge! I never liked the strictness of many of the Feng Shui schools, especially when they related to ancient practices in China, because they make no sense for 21st century America. Because of this, I created a system called Harmonious Adjustments™, which combines the best principles of Feng Shui, the application of the Four Elements based on your birth date, color, Vastu, energy work, creative visualization and good design, with the use of non-toxic products.

Feng Shui has been practiced for thousands of years without concern for the detrimental effects of pollution on the environment or its inhabitants because there were no toxic chemicals, pesticide-laden food, electricity or other contaminants until recently. Today, these issues are relevant, but are still not addressed in Feng Shui. To achieve a truly harmonious environment, one’s home must be as clear of toxic elements as possible.

Another issue on which I disagree with Feng Shui is the principle of applying specific colors to each of the eight Bagua sections. The colors have a historical significance to the Chinese culture that do not translate to Western modern times. For instance, the center of the Bagua, which represents health, is yellow. If I were to assign a color to the health Gua (a single section of the Bagua), green makes more sense to me, because green is about balance, nature and healing. Furthermore, the idea of using all colors in every room is a designer’s nightmare! Yet, that is what Feng Shui advises. Harmonious Adjustments™ goes beyond these rigid boundaries by incorporating the science of color theory which includes the physiological and psychological impact of color, intuition and good design principles. Harmonious Adjustments™ uses color theory in its application of appropriate colors for the Bagua sections. In essence color is used in decorating to create greater harmony and for psychological well-being.

In Feng Shui, the elements fall into five categories: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth. The object is to create balance among the five elements and to use the elements in a particular way to create either a “generating” or “overcoming order”. I believe this is unnecessary and overcomplicated. Harmonious Adjustments™ aligns with Earth-based spirituality and uses four categories: Earth, Water, Fire and Air. Harmony and balance of the elements is achieved based on the needs of the individual occupants.

Harmonious Adjustments™ provides guiding principles that will help you get started on your journey of creating a harmonious environment while encouraging your creativity and intuition to blossom. Additionally, Harmonious Adjustments™ includes the principles of good design, which is not addressed in Feng Shui.

On another note, Stephanie McWilliams, from the new HGTV show, Fun Shui spoke on Saturday night. A TV show about Feng Shui! How cool is that?

For much more information on Feng Shui, go to:
Harmonious Environment:Beautify, Detoxify & Energize Your Life, Your Home & Your Planet

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