Feng Shui: Helping With Harmony & Tranquility (cont.)

Melendez: One of the things I see a lot in business is people wanting to become more successful, or people wanting to have more not be so stressed out all the time. A lot of the times, businesses or offices are very cluttered... there are piles of papers everywhere. Broken clocks or those that don't even work... calendars on the wrong month... looking at from an energetic standpoint, there's so much stuff around that there's nowhere to go. Oftentimes, people feel bogged down because when they look at their walls in their office, all of them are covered with posters and pictures... grid sheets, so when you look up, your mind has nowhere to go because every space on the wall is taken.

Moderator: How did you get into Feng Shui?

Melendez: I got involved in it because I used to sell real estate in Manhattan Beach for 5 years. One of my clients at the time said something about Feng Shui, and at the time, they were moving to California from Indonesia. I said I had no idea what that was, and I started looking into it. And since I went into a lot of houses, I had the opportunity to really look into it.

Melendez: I started studying with a master about 4 years ago.

Moderator: Can feng shui be divided up into good and bad?

Melendez: I don't like to say good and bad. In life, there's a balance. Hot-cold. Good-not so good. Black-white. Nothing is ever just good and nothing is ever just bad. In any space, there's better energy than other spaces, but doesn't necessarily mean that one of them is horrible.

Moderator: What are some benefits of practicing Feng Shui?

Melendez: The reason for me I got into it, is because I was in a career that was very triple type-A oriented, and one day, I realized there had to be more to this. At that point, I didn't know any tools to find balance in my life. So I started with my space. And once my space got more balanced, and even more I went to work everyday and get crazed, I could come home and my space would stop me. That's how I started to feel -- I had to live and feel the effects of balance, and it just went from there. I felt how powerful it was, and saw myself transform.

tuesday1_WebMD why is red such a prominent color in Chinese decoration and interior design?

Melendez: Red is considered in the Chinese culture as an auspicious color. On a vibrational level, it has a very powerful movement-type energy. It's considered to be extremely auspicious... so when red is placed in the right area in a home, it creates that fire energy... that upward powerful force of energy.

Moderator: Are there different types of Feng Shui? What is the easiest approach for Westerners to follow?

Melendez: There are several different types of Feng Shui. The first and original is the Form School. What that really does is take a look at the outside landscape, and really takes into consideration the shape and size, and looks at water courses and mountains, the four directions, and a lot of it has to do with landscape. The next type of Feng Shui is the Chinese Compass School Feng Shui, and that's what I practice. That's based on the 8 trigrams, and I Ching, and that's based on a scientific formulaic approach to Feng Shui. Most people say its about 3,000 years old. The newest form of Feng Shui, which is very popular in the West, is the Black Hat. That's been popular in America since 1986; its a more spiritual approach to Feng Shui. Its very popular here in the West, and it also has reference to the 8 trigrams as well. It was developed by a Thomas Lin Yun, and it takes that in any space, there's a career corner, wealth corner, that kind of thing. That would probably be the easiest form of it. And then there's Intuitive Feng Shui. Intuitive is what we all have; we all know when we listen to our intuition what feels right for us and what doesn't.

Moderator: What are trigrams?

Melendez: In western astrology, we break up things by the Zodiac signs, 12 of them. In Feng Shui, it's broken up by 8 trigrams. The north is associated with a color and it's associated with a member of the family, and there's different associations for different magnetic directions. The 8 trigrams have to do with 8 different magnetic directions.

Moderator: Could you please describe the Bagua map, and how it relates to different areas of one's life?

Melendez: For example, the south is associated with fame and recognition, and the southwest is associated with marriage, and the west is associated with children, and the northwest is associated with mentors and networking, and the north is career, and the northeast is education and knowledge, east is family and health, and southeast is wealth and prosperity. So that's basically what each direction resembles according to the Bagua.

Moderator: What do you practice?

Melendez: I practice the Compass School, which is more mathematically... based on over 200 energies that exist, and depending on when a house or building was built, and how it faces, the energy within that building is one of those 200. I'm not saying that the Black school is not powerful as well, and I believe the two schools can be used together, because both have good information.

tuesday1_WebMD One of the problems that I have with feng shui is that it presents an "absolute" about what is thought to be good or desirable way to live. From living with my husband I have discovered that he really likes clutter and that it makes him feel secure to have his things all around him. Clutter, to the extreme that he likes, would be thought to stagnate the energy. Comments?

Melendez: First of all, great question. There are no absolutes in Feng Shui. Because there is no one way in Feng Shui to do something. There are only suggestions. A clutter is something that's very personal-type issue to many people, and being someone who was a complete clutter person, I completely understand where you're coming from. The more things you have around you, there's not as much air that can circulate within a space. There's two different rooms; one room that has a lot of stuff in it, and one room that doesn't have a lot of stuff in it. One person walking into those two rooms would feel drastically different. I'm not saying that clutter isn't good for your husband, because if that's where he's at and feels comfortable, then that's where he is. But what clutter is, a lot of the times is just things and items. The more things your release that you no longer need, energetically that releases something in your body as well. It's interesting because even if you go to a closet in your house, and you go through it, and the emotional thing of taking out clothes you never wore in 3 years, or saving clothes that you wore when you were a size 4, it's like you're living in the past. When you remove those items from your space that you no longer use, and give them away or sell them, when they leave your house, you energetically will feel different. And that's only from a closet, but its a start. The whole thing is, that a person has to be ready, because that's a big energy shift. You have to live it, and you have to do it to now ... you can read books all day long, but until you actually live it and do it and feel it for yourself, you will never know the power of it. And if it doesn't work for you, you can add more clutter to your house.