Feng Shui: Our Power

5,septiembre 2007

In all the books that we can find on Feng Shui, we see that it is in the Northwest sector of a given area where the aspiration of “power” is represented.

no-1.jpgPersonally, however, I prefer to translate it as “the power of our abilities”, for two reasons: firstly, I think that this reflects the intrinsic connotation of the individual to which this aspiration refers much better and, secondly, it is more coherent with the philosophy of Feng Shui. 

I have found a Taoist principle related to this which, I believe, holds the key to this aspiration:

“Only with moderation can we be prepared to deal with events. Being prepared to deal with events is to have an increased reserve of virtue. With an increased reserve of virtue, there is nothing that cannot be overcome; when everything can be overcome, there is nobody who can know the limits of his strength.” 

As we commented in the column on success, which is man’s fortune that refers to the development of our own abilities, the most powerful of fortunes.  Needless to say, we can also take this aspiration to refer to power in terms of leadership and/or authority. In this case, we should think about the characteristics to be able to represent them.

The Northwest sector is also the place in which to represent our beliefs, our mentors or our spirituality, understanding these factors as a help in developing our abilities … The way to represent this aspiration in our surroundings is through metal objects, identified in white, grey, golden … or with images that mean the backing that we referred to earlier. For instance, this is the corner of the house in which the Buddhists place the Buddha or the Christians a Virgin.  

Since this column ends today where we have been analyzing the eight aspirations, in terms of Feng Shui, I would like to close with the idea of a search for balance as a key to achieving happiness, the ultimate aim of practicing this technique. All that surrounds us is energy, which is transformed into matter through the five elements: metal, water, wood, fire and earth. And harmony is based on the interrelationship of these five elements. In turn, these elements are organized under a dual order known as “yin and yang”, the opposing and the complimentary which, by supporting and opposing each other, generate movement, progress and, in the end, change, which is the only constant in the universe and is the direct cause of progress. 

Good feng shui! 

Maru Canales 

Translated articles

“El Poder”


Feng Shui: Creativity

29,agosto 2007

creatividad.jpgCreativity is represented in the West sector of a given area, although it is directly responsible for innovation. In a sense, innovation may be taken to be one of the key factors in change and the change in progress.

We can now find on the market a documentary on quantum physics, made by a heterogeneous group of American researchers, called “What the bleep do we know?” The documentary explains to us that “the brain does not know the difference between what is seen and what is remembered”, because the same neuronal networks are activated for both functions. An incredible anecdote is told: evidently, the Caribbean natives could not see Christopher Columbus’ ships on the horizon. This was due to the fact that they had never seen a ship before. Only the tribe’s shaman was able to see them through his daily observation of the horizon, so that when he was aware of what he was seeing, he warned the others who, because of their trust in him and because more and more appeared, began to see the ships.

So creativity arises as a real challenge. According to the dictionary definition, creativity is the act of producing something from nothing or of establishing something for the first time. But however, if we take a look at the history of the great universal thinkers, we would realize that none were able to create anything of any value until after ten years of intense dedication to what they were doing. Neither Aristotle, Leonardo nor Einstein started their work from nothing: they all used knowledge developed previously by others, devoting many years of their lives to learning them, experimenting with them later by drawing the available data together, in unsuspected ways.

According to the coaching expert, Germán Nicolás, in his book “Rowing together”, where he deals with optimizing entrepreneurial management, creativity has four ingredients: skillfulness, perseverance, motivation and the presence of a creative context:

“It is within the creative context where the time available, a favorable climate and a physical space become important, opening up or blocking our capacity to think and innovate”

In terms of Feng Shui, it is the West sector that is responsible for representing the creative capacity through the metal element: but more importantly, it must reflect creativity. So that the best way to enhance this aspiration that we are concerned with today entails decorating this area in the most innovative, creative a manner as possible.

Nevertheless, this is the area in which our sons and daughters are also represented. Personally, in this area I like to put paintings or abstract sculptures open to various interpretations, depending on our state of mind or on whoever looks at them. 

Maru Canales 

Translated articles



Feng Shui: Commitment

22,agosto 2007

Now we turn to the southwest sector that, according to Feng Shui, represents the aspiration of commitment, of marriage.

From my professional point of view, this is the most difficult aspiration to manage, not only for being the one that involves the most emotions and feelings, but also because, when all is said and done, every couple is an enigma but who knows the magic formula?

We shall now look at an example of the subjectivity surrounding this issue of a couple type relationship. In “The simple art of writing”, by Raymond Chandler, he includes a compilation of personal letters dedicated to his wife, then deceased.

“For thirty years, ten months and two days, she was the light of my life, my sole ambition. She was the music heard almost on the brink of sound. She was the beat of my heart. All else that I did was to kindle the fire in which she could warm her hands …”.

The journalist, Rosa Montero, wrote an article commenting on this book with,

“I am sure that it wasn’t all peaches and cream all the time. They must have got angry, argued, hurt one another. They may even have fallen in love with others, and there may well have been times of hating each other (…). Living together is like that. A long road riddled with accidents. And perhaps it is that very road that ends up by uniting people. It involves building a common past, from one life into two. It is remembering those tender moments but also, and perhaps more than anything, getting over the bad times (…). You can carry on loving if you insist on loving, if you decide to continue loving the other, if you persevere with it, despite everything …”

Personally, what most strikes me is the fact that there are two different views of the same love, the first, more romantic, as opposed to the pragmatism of the second. But I suppose that we all stamp our character, our experiences and, sad to say, our fears onto a love relationship.

I invite you to use the Feng Shui technique to venture one step further, just to improve, even though it might be only a little, in the aspiration that we are focussing on today. So let us try to express our wishes, that to which we aspire rather than what we have. Also, those who are fortunate enough to live in an extraordinary situation in this regard, I would invite them not to touch anything.

The element representing this aspiration of commitment is, not by chance, the earth, which, among other things, is associated with the number two. In the business world, this aspiration is translated into partners and clients. The most common way of expressing it is by a decorative element involving a two-fold nature or a couple which, in a way, would suggest that these attributes are important to us. Examples of this are a sculpture of a couple, to independent sculptures, a painting with a couple, a couple of paintings …

A brief anecdote to round this off: in the southwest sector of the Emperor’s chambers, this aspiration was expressed by numerous two-fold objects as a way of representing the highest possible number of concubines required of him because of his rank … 

Maru Canales

Translated articles 

“El Compromiso”


Feng Shui: Fame and Social Recognition

15,agosto 2007

“You will achieve a good reputation by making an effort to be what you want to be like” 

Traditionally, in psychology, social recognition represents the subject’s perception of esteem coming from others. Most of us like to deny the importance of how others see us.

sur-1.jpgBut however, either directly or indirectly, how others appreciate us certainly does affect us, both personally and professionally. At a given point in time, we all move out of a need for recognition. For this reason, it is vital to attempt to make the people around us feel acknowledged because it is a source of motivation and satisfaction, so that when an individual makes progress, the same happens to us all.

On this issue, Teresa Amabile, Professor in Marketing at Harvard, has researched into the impact of people’s immediate surroundings and, although she applies it to the work environment, it is logical to consider that it affects us in all areas of life: “the context predisposes individuals to liberate or block off the emotional dimension that sets the difference at work”.

To illustrate this, by keeping the office untidy, it would be difficult to be highly organized in going about our work. But it would be even more difficult to convince our bosses that we are the ideal person for promotion, bearing in mind that higher positions call for a greater capacity to organize.

A similar thing applies at a personal level: if we want to show that we are romantic, our chances of success would be infinitely greater if we took our partner to a good restaurant, for a candlelit meal, with flowers and violins. On the other hand, romantic proposals at a McDonald’s are prone to a lower success rate.

sur2.jpgEvidently, there is information in the publicity adverts that we tune into at a conscious level, while other details are aimed at our subconscious. According to Feng Shui, our surroundings work in the same way, perhaps subconsciously, as other people make up their own concept of us through what they see, not only in terms of the area as a whole, but also of the situation in a specific area corresponding to the South sector. So, as well as looking after the general image of our house or work place, we should pay special attention to looking after is South area because it is what we represent here that determines how we project ourselves to others.

The element expressing fame and social recognition is fire, which is associated with the sun, i.e., light, heat, all its colors from bright yellow, orange, reds through to pinks … The simplest item to use here would be a lamp, switched on. As with other aspirations, to choose the object that represents us in terms of Feng Shui, we must first think about how we want to be seen and, as Socrates put it, make an effort to be what you want to be like! 

Maru Canales 

Translated articles

“Fama y reconocimiento social”


Feng Shui: Prosperity and Wealth

8,agosto 2007

“Trusting in oneself is the secret of success” 

According to Chinese philosophy, a person’s luck is divided into three: divine fortune (some are born lucky), surrounding fortune (on which Feng Shui acts directly) and a person’s luck, our abilities. This must be the most important of the three and, I am sure, the one with the greatest influence on our lives, without developing our capacities, it will be hard to access the other types of luck.

se-2.jpgNow we have come to the southeast sector, one that, I am certain, is one of the most hoped for because it is here where the aspiration of wealth, success and prosperity is expressed. Paradoxically, it is the element of wood through which prosperity is expressed. In its yang form, as the Chinese would say, or in its living expression, it is an element that can grow, which also suggests to us the idea of growing.

In this regard, I would like to comment on the keys to success or good fortune put forward by Trías de Bes and Alex Rovira in their book, “Good luck”. “If you are not lucky now, perhaps it is because the circumstances are as they always were. For good luck to come your way, it is appropriate to create new circumstances: for this reason, good luck only depends on you”.

Once again, change arises in an aspiration as a form of progress and, in this case, of success. One of the aspects that most enthuses me about Feng Shui technique is its application as the ideal vehicle to start a positive dynamic of change. Not in vain, the first book of Feng Shui on record is the “I Ching”, literally translated as “Change”. As commented in the analysis of professional career aspirations, the greater the aversion to change, the less opportunities arise.

So the way to enhance prosperity and success in a given area is by reflecting wealth in the décor, in other words, the southeast corner of the dining room or office. This is the area where we put the most valuable objects, the best painting in the house, the best sculpture, the best vase … Let me give you my personal turn on this aspiration: I not only use the element particular to this area: wood. I also add the element that feeds it: water. Following this train of thought, if I want to hang a painting there, I look for one with a field (wood) and a river (water), a vase with flowers … 

Maru Canales 

Translated articles

“Exito y prosperidad”