MILAN, Italy — Have you ever noticed how certain places have the ability to make us feel at ease, while other places fail to welcome us in the right way? Why is that? What can help us to exist in harmony with the spaces in which we live? A great help is Feng Shui (FS), an ancient Chinese discipline that is currently so fashionable as well as being distorted by its true meaning by some misinformation and superficiality of self-proclaimed experts. Therefore, we have asked Paola Neglia, consultant and teacher of Chue Style Feng Shui since 2008 to shed some light on the topic. She studied in Milan at the school certified by the Chue Foundation International, founded by Grand Master Chan Kun Wah.
Interview of Feng Shui Expert Paola Neglia
How would you define the Feng Shui?
“Rediscovering your own well-being through the improvement and harmonization of your environment”, explains Paola. Feng Shui studies the flow and movement of energy in the environment and channels it, putting the person at the centre. People are influenced by their surroundings, shapes, colours, layouts, furniture, objects and even by the exterior and entrances to their homes. The interrelationship between people and their environments could help us achieve a better life.
What are the elements that distinguish the authentic Feng Shui from ‘vulgar imitation’?
“We in the industry called fake Feng Shui ‘Fast Feng Shui’ or ‘Pop Feng Shui’: some self-taught Feng Shui teacher or expert who has read all the books on the subject. Feng Shui works in all aspects of life, so it is essential to look for serious professionals: it takes at least two years of study to learn the basics and be authorized to provide counselling; then, it is essential to practice.
Each consultation is unique and personalised. The same advice is not suitable for everyone nor can it be given from a distance”. In fact, Feng Shui has no fixed rules on how a house should be, “each person has different energetic constitution and life goals, so the manuals may be too general and not very effective. Let me give you an example: a common belief attributed to Feng Shui says the bed should be facing north, a very cold and dark area from the energetic point of view, but this area could exacerbate depression! Therefore, you need an expert”.
Feng Shui is not synonymous with home-neutral, or bio-architecture, it is not magic or superstition: having at home Chinese coins to attract abundance or gold dolphins to attract the love of your life, are part of Chinese superstitions and beliefs, but this is not Feng Shui!
“We must take into account a person’s taste and the culture in which he or she is fully immersed. Including rare elements in an environment would not help, to the contrary, I am sure if I put a Chinese red light in a living room in Milan, it would be a nuisance instead! We need to work with what surrounds us and what we like”, continues Paola.
Nevertheless, the starting point of any assessment of an environment is to be aware of what you are doing, “to change something in your home you must first understand why you need a change and what should be changed. If the environment in which we live doesn’t represent our personality any more or we’re trapped in some aspect of our life, then we need to renew the environment to sustain us in a new stage of life”.
And what does Feng Shui says about trends and fashion?
“After an in-depth energy analysis, it may be suggested to wear the colour that recalls the most suitable energy to a person, but if his house is in disharmony, the person may not benefit from it in the long run. Unfortunately there are those who, even in this context, uses the name of FS as an advertisement to attract customers”, finalises the Feng Shui expert.
Needless to say, beware of imitations and avoid the do-it-yourself Feng Shui!