Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Three books on Feng Shui

Darrin Zeer. Office Feng Shui: Creating Harmony in Your Work Space. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2004. 102 pages. ISBN 9780811842150.

Belinda Henwood. Feng Shui: How to Create Harmony and Balance in Your Living and Working Environment. Pownal, Vermont: Storey Books, 1999. 79 pages. ISBN 1580171702.

Denise Linn. Feng Shui for the Soul: How to Create a Harmonious Environment That Will Nurture and Sustain You. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc., 1999. 256 pages. ISBN 9781561707317.

OK, I admit it; I'm on a bit of a streak. I found these three titles at the AAUW book sale in State College in May 2014, when I visited with my sister and spent parts of three days picking out fun books to read. I had read a few other books on feng shui when I worked at my previous institution, and thought it would be fun to brush up a little bit on feng shui principles now. We're almost finished with the interior renovations to our house and I was looking for aesthetic and organizational suggestions to make improvements on how we've arranged everything. I'm also always looking for ideas for how to organize my office better.

I found the Zeer book, Office Feng Shui, to have the most practical suggestions for organization and other improvements to my work area. Zeer offers many ideas for reducing clutter, weeding files, and arranging your work space. There are a lot of good suggestions there, although most of them aren't new for readers who do a lot of reading in this area. Nevertheless, the book is a fun way to assess your office and see what improvements can be made that will make you more organized and will also make the environment more peaceful.

The Henwood book, Feng Shui, offers many suggestions for arranging your home to be peaceful and harmonious. Many of the suggestions make sense, such as not placing the head of your bed near the bedroom door, because this will cause you to be restless. That makes perfect sense, especially in a home with multiple adults or children in it. Other suggestions are just outrageous, such as placing a small mirror near the toilet so that energy and money don't go flowing down the toilet every time it's flushed. Nevertheless, this is a very short book with many illustrations, and may be interesting to folks who want to learn more about feng shui concepts.

The third book that I read, Feng Shui for the Soul, by Denise Linn, was the most substantive. Whereas the other two books were very short and heavily illustrated, this book is primarily text, although there are a few illustrations. The book is organized into three parts: "A Home for the Soul," "Awakening Natural Forces," and "Medicine Wheel Feng Shui." I only fully read the first part of the book; the latter two I just skimmed and selectively read a few sections. I found the first part of the book compelling, although it suffers from some of the same outrageousness as the previous book. The most important thing that I gleaned from this book is that in order to have a peaceful home, you have to love it; treat it well; keep it clean and clutter free; think about the messages you send with your d├ęcor, color schemes, and how you place your photographs and other items. There's a lot of good advice in this section of the book, and anyone interested in feng shui principles would find this useful. The other two sections of the book delve into areas that I just don't buy into, but others might enjoy them.

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