Feng Shui Consultants Designing Themselves a Great Future The Buzz


Imagine if the secret to success was as simple as placing an aquarium in your hallway, or hanging metal chimes over your desk? What if moving your dresser and bed meant the difference between divorce and marital bliss? And what if a well-placed mirror helped to cure your chronic asthma?

Feng shui is all about energy. According to feng shui practitioners, the energy in how a home or office is set up can play a big role in everything from a happy marriage to a successful company.

Feng shui practitioners use the Chinese philosophy of feng shui, which balances yin and yang energy, when deciding how a home or office should be laid out.

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, feng shui began to receive a lot of media attention. Feng shui consultants were popping up everywhere. Many schools were offering quick classes to become a feng shui consultant.

So where does that leave the practitioners that remain today?

Steve Kodad is a feng shui practitioner in Florida. He says that feng shui is definitely not a passing phase. He says many people use feng shui philosophies when selling a home or deciding how to live in their home.

"As with many things from the Orient, like acupuncture and meditation, the benefits are becoming acknowledged," he says. "How I communicate with folks about feng shui is that it is based on a lot of common sense and a lot of trial and error. Anything that lasts for thousands of years must have a lot of merit."

Grace McKnight is a feng shui consultant. She says that feng shui is no longer a fad. The people who remain interested in feng shui and those that practice it are very much in it for the right reasons now, says McKnight.

"I would say feng shui has gone through the hype phase and is now sought out by fewer people, but by people that understand it at a deeper level," she explains.

McKnight says that feng shui helps people to see their everyday surroundings in new ways. "I assist people to see their environments with fresh eyes," she says, "to discern what objects and images serve the current vision they hold for their life and to arrange those things to support harmony and abundance."

Terah Collins, who founded a feng shui school in California, says that feng shui is around today more than people even realize. She says many people who learn feng shui integrate it into their career without calling it feng shui.

"One of the challenges is that there's a variety of types of feng shui," she says, "which has caused some confusion in the marketplace."

Collins says that feng shui is a difficult thing to be involved in unless you're in it for the right reasons. And because the overly trendy phase is past, people doing it now have to really love it.

"Feng shui is challenging to practice if the consultant's heart isn't into it," she says. "It's one of those 'walk your talk' paths, with referrals from genuinely happy clients being the best way to grow the business.

"Successful feng shui consultants must be people-loving and proactive," she adds. "They must love their work from the inside out and be truly into it."

And those that are into it get a lot of satisfaction out of it. Take Terri Perrin, a feng shui practitioner. She says she loves inspiring people and helping them realize that what is around them affects their well-being and their health

"Teaching people to recognize whether their 'stuff' is nourishing or depleting them is very rewarding," she says.

"Most people overlook the impact of the symbolism in artwork, for example, and how hanging onto clutter, broken things, and items that remind you of bad times can be like a cancer. I love to hear back from my clients when they make a change in their home or work environment and realize a significant life change as a result of it."

Perrin says she doesn't call feng shui an "industry" so much as a "movement." She says if people do want to think of it in terms of an industry, then it's definitely a niche market and people looking to enter this line of work should know "there's not a lot of room for hundreds of practitioners.

"It takes a long time to learn this 'science' and even longer to gain respect," she says. "For young people interested in feng shui, I would suggest they get a degree in interior design or something of that nature and then complement that with feng shui. A home staging certificate is another good add-on."

Feng shui practitioners now have to deal with the backlash that often follows something that gets a lot of media attention. One of the worst aspects of that backlash is a bad reputation because of some insincere feng shui consultants who were just hopping on the trend bandwagon.

"Like any healing practitioner, a feng shui practitioner has to be honest, genuine and not promise the moon," says Perrin.

"Whenever I conduct workshops or consultations, I explain that I do not promise I can cure disease or guarantee that a knight in shining armor will ride up on a white horse to rescue you. But I do promise that I can teach you how to look at your space with 'feng shui eyes' and make changes that will have a positive effect on your life. When you feel better, you do better.

"I guide people to have open minds and open arms to welcome new opportunities," she continues. "I have yet to meet anyone for whom that doesn't make sense. Anyone who promises otherwise is really just a proverbial snake oil salesman."

To get started as a feng shui consultant, check your area to see if there are schools that offer feng shui practitioner certification courses or other professional training.

Kodad says certification isn't strictly governed, but people should go through the expected training before entering the field. He says a basic class will take anywhere from 40 to 80 hours. McKnight adds that studying with a skilled professional is also a way to get started in feng shui consulting.

Perrin stresses that taking a single course isn't enough. People need to be involved in continual learning, join associations and do lots of networking in order to learn the art of feng shui.

Links

Western School of Feng Shui
Learn more about becoming a certified feng shui practitioner at this American feng shui school

What is Feng Shui?
Learn more about feng shui principles