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Feng Shui: Is Your Home Your Ally or Your Adversary?

Actually  your home can be both  if you understand the yin and yang of it.  An adversary can reveal your weaknesses, as well as inspire you to develop your strengths.  The reality is that all experience is neither  positive or negative.   It is just something leading you in the direction of your highest purpose, so even a seemingly negative situation can evolve into something positive on down the road if you have faith and keep an open mind.  Sometimes it's hard to see the positive in a situation, but everything that occurs in life is ultimately guiding us on another level toward where we need to be in order to align ourselves with the evolving energies and new paradigm for this Earth. 
Most people in the Western World, when they think of feng shui associate the words with some Chinese form of interior design utilizing Chinese coins, hanging crystals and three legged ceramic frogs to generate abundance, love and business success.  While I have been trained in the traditional classical approach of feng shui which employs certain Chinese symbolism or  'enhancements' such as these, and there is validity to these objects, I prefer to combine techniques and methods that I learned from a wide variety of teachers and disciplines.  Some teachers have given me certifications and some have not.   
Much of the expertise that I have  is based on a wide range of life experiences, as well as extensive research, training and client work that I have done utilizing techniques and tools from various cultures and traditions around the world.  It was this complex array of teachers (including Nature) which I had, that enabled me to understand and make sense of my life experiences, and begin to trust and rely on my own inner guidance in order to help others with their homes and properties. 
Ever since I could remember, I would rearrange my room when things felt 'stuck' or didn't feel right.   Sometimes it was only an attempt to control those things in my environment which I felt helpless to change.  It was something intuitively I felt even as a child, although I could not put a word to it.  It wasn't until many years later when I began working in the furnishings industry doing sales and interior design, that I found the word feng shui.  I was thrilled because finally I could identify what it was I had been feeling all those years.  It is unfortunate that in recent years feng shui has been given somewhat of a bad name  and become seemingly passe'  in certain circles, as a result of so many inexperienced and unqualified practitioners claiming to be experts. 
Truthfully, I often don't even like to refer to myself as a feng shui practitioner anymore for this reason and prefer to refer more to my work with Earth energies and creating healthy, balanced, inspirational environments.  In reality, it takes years to establish proficiency and a true understanding of the foundations and wisdom behind feng shui, which relates to the energy experienced within a home or space and how it helps the occupants to prosper.  This energy can enhance or detract from the health and total wellbeing of the occupants in relation to all areas of their lives. 
When I first learned of feng shui, I devoured every book that I could find on the topic and eventually sought out various teachers who could guide me to develop those innate skills which I knew that I had been born with.  While initially I began working solely with the interior of buildings, my own experiences with homes eventually led me to a deeper and greater understanding of the principles of feng shui which originated in China.  Variations of these principles were also practiced in many ancient cultures throughout the world.
The foundation for feng shui lies within the land and the underlying attributes and energies inherent in the landscape.  These energies can either support you, enhance your life and/or business, or they can create sickness, depression and a multitude of other challenges ranging from financial disaster, relationship issues, and structural problems within a building.  In essence, those aspects of yourself or the dynamics of a business, which need to be healed, will be reflected in the landscape and the buildings that you choose.  
Throughout my career, I have worked with the energy of homes ranging from tiny apartments to historic homes within Buffalo, NYand other parts of the US and Europe, as well as various businesses  including a 38,000 sq ft former armory originally built on quicksand, which was eventually restored into a beautiful events center.  This castle, as it was later called, had a history and beginnings which were quite unusual, as well as energetically challenging.  Unfortunately, my work was never completed there, but that's all part of the energy matrix of buildings and their owners.  Everything happens for a reason, at it's appropriate time, and under the right circumstances.
Among my projects have been clients whose homes and properties were originally part of huge estates and carried with them the energies of the former histories and legacies of a bygone era.  Many owners and occupants experienced tremendous difficulties despite the beauty of these historic buildings and landscapes.  Some were even sites of paranormal activities.  Each client taught me more about the unique energies of the Buffalo-Niagara Region of New York and the tremendous power of the natural energies that exist in this landscape, as well as the layers of energetic imprints that are held here including years of contamination from nuclear and other manufacturing facilities.   All of these things comprise the Spirit of Place of a specific location on Earth and contribute to the wellbeing (or lack thereof) of its inhabitants.
I think I should also mention that you might consider me a survivor because my learning didn't stop with my training and clients.  My own life gave me such a wealth of information that continues to this day to contribute to the foundation of knowledge and experience that I hold.  I've lived in a wide range of homes throughout my lifetime and each of them have caused me to develop a greater understanding of this concept of feng shui and our relationship to the homes and land we dwell upon.  Since returning to the WNY region in 1993, I have experienced some of the most overwhelming  challenges which I believe largely stemmed from the imbalances existing within the land of the homes that I inhabited.  
Now did I choose these challenges?  Well probably yes-- at a soul level because they coincided with my eventual work, but certainly not at a conscious level.  I was drawn to these particular homes because I liked how they looked aesthetically and/or I was drawn to their corresponding landscapes.  Little did I know what I would experience, once I moved in, but it has been these experiences which have enabled me to help others in similar situations.
It's often easy to teach something you've read about, write a book about something you've researched or even consult on something you've been trained to do, but when you truly have experienced the challenges of the people you are helping, only then, in my opinion, can you truly have compassion and understanding of the situation.  There is an old saying which goes "You teach that which you need to learn."  I can't tell you how appropriate I have found this saying to be, not only with regard to the challenges within my own life, but also with regard to the supposed 'authorities' I have come into contact with throughout the years. 
Unfortunately, there are some who give feng shui and other energy practices  a bad image.  In this time of joblessness and economic challenge, there will be many who become part of the New Age movement and profess to be practitioners or authorities on a wide range of healing, metaphysical and alternative topics, but beware of those who are truly only motivated by profit and/or ego and sometimes trying to take advantage of those who are desperate.  They may know how to say the right things and often market themselves very well.  Sadly, inexperienced practitioners can often create more harm than good for their clients, not to mention taking your well earned money.  
In Native American and other ancient cultures, it was believed that medicine people, seers or other intuitives were not to accept payment for their gifts, as this would corrupt their  abilities, as well as their motivations.  I can certainly understand the foundations for this thought and the reasoning behind it.  Nevertheless, we live amidst different times.   I believe we must now somehow learn to integrate these special abilities that many of us have in such a way that it is for the greater good of humanity.   We need to share our knowledge and  expertise doing what we are passionate about, in order to align ourselves with our true purpose here on Earth and help others do the same within their own lives.
Truly there are many very gifted individuals out there who offer a wide range of alternative healing/energy modalities to help guide you through the personal, health and professional transitions taking place right now.  Trust yourself and your own inner guidance.  Talk to friends, neighbors and colleagues.  Get referrals and then know that you are being guided to exactly the right person who can assist you in creating a healthy, balanced, fulfilling life pursuing your passions.  And remember
"Home is where the story begins."
                  ---- Annie Danielson
Abundant Blessings!
A note to all my overseas Readers:  If you are in need of assistance, please know that I am able to do consultations via email, photographs and drawings of your landscape.  Also, my thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan and this entire planet.
Copyright 2011 Awen Environments.

5 Comments to Feng Shui: Is Your Home Your Ally or Your Adversary?:

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Ron Laswell on Saturday, March 12, 2011 7:25 PM
In the short time we have been communicating with each other, I don't remember you saying that you were knowledgeable about Feng Shui before. Enjoyed your perspective on the subject.
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Clarissa on Monday, March 14, 2011 10:34 AM
My background is diverse with a wide range of interests, as you can tell by following my writing. Ultimately, it is our relationship to Nature that forms the foundation for all healing arts. Glad you enjoyed the article.

Deborah on Sunday, March 13, 2011 9:55 PM
This is such an interesting article Clarissa. I often think feng shui is 'coming of age' in North America, going to a much deeper level. Blessings on your journey and thank you for sharing.
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Clarissa Harison on Monday, March 14, 2011 10:49 AM
Thanks so much for writing, Deborah! It's always great to hear from a fellow colleague of feng shui. I totally agree with you that an evolution is currently taking place of our understanding of these powerful ancients arts and traditions.
Reply to comment on Thursday, March 07, 2013 6:25 PM
I would eventually come to find out by talking to other people who were living or had lived there.   This eventually led me to conclude that there was something inherent in the energies of the land that attracted such misfortune (see Feng Shui: Is Your Home Your Ally or Your Adversary? ) and ill wil
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