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Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of placement of objects to create and manipulate energy, is an excellent tool for life-enhancement. While there are different schools of Feng Shui principles, “Feng Shui Enhanced” will focus on a fresh approach to the bagua map: The incorporation of symbols chosen according to positive affirmations.

Begin by focusing firstly on your favorite room within your home, or where you spend the most waking hours (preferably in a non-task situation, such as the living room). Be sure that your room is sparkling clean and organized functionally so it doesn’t leave you feeling burdened with a to-do list. When you are comfortable with your room’s condition, sit down with a pad and paper and write the following nine areas of focus down the left column: 1) helpful people and travel; 2) creativity and children; 3) love and marriage; 4) fame and reputation; 5) wealth and prosperity; 6) family; 7) knowledge and self-cultivation; 8) career; and 9) health and balance.

(If you are unfamiliar with the bagua layout, you will need to familiarize yourself with it, and the most effective way is visually. There are myriad images and diagrams of the bagua map online.)

Back to your note pad, look at these nine areas and ask yourself, “What do I want? How can any or all of these areas enhance my life?” Write down your aspirations beside the areas as appropriate. You may have five, nine (one in each area) or more, but try not to make it so complex that you scatter your energy and efforts. A few at a time works well, and if certain areas are more full than others, that’s fine. It just tells you where your priorities are.

Next, transform each aspiration into a positive affirmation. Make them as brief as possible. If you can manage poetic metaphors (i.e., “I am a chalice brimming with knowledge”), that is excellent. It will make it easier for your symbolic objects to be effective. Read over your pithy, poetic positive affirmations. Connect with them; memorize them in time.

Look at your affirmations one a time and locate the appropriate place within the room to apply each one (refer to an online bagua diagram, if necessary). Here is an example of the process: Say you want respect from your peers which you believe you can obtain most effectively through sophistication. Your affirmation is “I am a chalice brimming with knowledge.” Look to the knowledge and self-cultivation area of the bagua. It is in the near left corner as you stand in the doorway facing the room. If you’re lucky, there is a bookshelf there. If not, consider adding one, or minimally, a workable display table. What are the memorable key words within your affirmation? “I am a chalice brimming with knowledge.” Consider two objects as symbols to speak these words to you (in this case, you will want a chalice and perhaps a few books on your subject of study to represent knowledge). Place the books lovingly and strategically, and place a nice, polished chalice (possibly a large Depression glass goblet) on or beside the books. Every time you see this new symbolic arrangement, your positive affirmation will echo into your subconscious mind.

Here is another example of an effective arrangement. Perhaps you have always wanted to unleash the inner artist. You might choose the affirmation “I am an artist in bloom.” Look to the creativity and children area of the room. (If you stand in the doorway facing the room, it is central along the wall to your right, perpendicular to the doorway.) Pinpoint or create a space within that area for a pretty little vase full of paintbrushes! Dip them in yellow paint and fan them out like flowers. If that’s a bit much for you, consider a vase with a decoupage treatment of prints by your favorite artist, and fill it with a few yellow flowers. Both of those approaches say “I am an artist in bloom.”

Exercise your creativity in this manner and repeat the process with each positive affirmation: 1) select objects as representative symbols, and 2) place them around the room according to the bagua layout.

The result will be that you will have moved beyond the standard Feng Shui symbols and into those that speak specifically of you and what you aspire to in life. Your room will echo your desires, and your life will shape itself from the subconscious mind outward, creating a plethora of opportunities for enrichment and satisfaction.

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