George Birdsall, Feng Shui Companion
Lisa: Today’s industry expert is George Birdsall and George has an engineering degree, majoring in construction management and he has also written two books on Feng Shui and one on home decorating. So George is the perfect person to help us today talk about Feng Shui and how it’s going to affect your property. It could be a property that you are selling, or a property that you’re buying; in fact any home where you would like to create a more harmonious feel and a beautiful energy. So I am really looking forward to speaking with George today.
George: I first got involved in Feng Shui when I was building a large building in Sydney’s China Town in the mid 80′s and found out that if you have escalators facing straight out of the door, all the money would flow out and things like that, so I became very interested in the whole concept over the years. So over the last 20 years I have been able to apply Feng Shui in ways that make a difference to my life and also to people around me and people I have done consultations for.
One of the first tips that I have in Feng Shui terms is when you’re buying or selling a house or just living in a house generally, is to look at the clutter in the house and how that affects things. Clutter is not a mess that is left by kids and things like that, it’s more things that are left lying around that have been there for six months or a year that haven’t been moved, and they then start to block things up. So it’s really good not to have year-old Vogue magazines on your dining table or your coffee table. It’s more important to have more up to date things and things that are always moving. You will notice when you look around a place whether things are being ‘blocked’ and the flow is not going well in a place in Feng Shui terms if there is too much clutter.
The second tip I’d like to talk about in terms of Feng Shui when you are buying or selling a house or just living generally, is about the impact colour can have in Feng Shui terms on you and the people who live in that place. The idea of colour has been integrated with Feng Shui for thousands of years and the different colours mean different things. For example if you go into a Chinese restaurant and you notice it’s all painted red, they do that on purpose – to try and generate more energy so that people will eat the food fast and get out and they can get more people in. In a house, it’s not appropriate to use the colour red, say in a bedroom, because it will generate too much energy and you won’t be able to sleep.
So it’s important to look at how you use colour within a place and do something that feels good to you, don’t go painting lots of red rooms everywhere. I tend to recommend you use a very neutral palate and add colour as you go along.
The third tip I want to talk about in terms of Feng Shui is the idea of how you use mirrors within a space. A lot of the time it’s really important to be able to put a mirror somewhere near the front door to bring the chi and energy into the place because otherwise it can be a little bit blocked. So a mirror can help to bring that in and it could also be used to amplify a view from outside. I have seen one house where they put it near a balcony and reflected the view of the water back into the house and that was a lovely thing to do.
One of the things to watch in terms of mirrors, if you use big mirror wardrobes in bedrooms and you’re not sleeping very well it could be because the mirror is generating too much chi. It’s really good to find a way of covering those mirrors up if it’s causing you not to sleep very well.
The fourth tip I would like to talk about in terms of Feng Shui when you’re buying and selling a house, is to look where the bathrooms are located. There is a concept within Feng Shui that if you have a bathroom in the far left hand corner (which is known as the wealth corner) it is seen as you flushing your wealth away. It’s very important that you understand that you can correct that – it doesn’t mean you don’t buy the house, it means you just have to keep the toilet lid down, put a little crystal in the window, put a bagua mirror over the face of the door and keep the door closed and that symbolically encloses the energy. I first came across this during a consultation when one of my clients was telling me how he’d had a house like this and gone bankrupt while he was living in that house. He now realises what had happened. So, consider where the bathroom is, stand at your front door, and if the bathroom is at the back far left side, make some Feng Shui corrections and that could save you from going bankrupt.
The fifth tip in terms of Feng Shui is to look at the plants that you have inside and outside of the house. In particular, in terms of Feng Shui, if you have plants that have leaves that are very spiky, it’s symbolic of daggers of chi or energy coming in, which disturbs energy and it’s preferable to have round leaf plants.
I discovered this one day on a consultation I was doing – I arrived and came up the driveway instead of the front path. When I looked back, the front entry path to the house had a line of rose bushes each side and the lady who owned the house told me everyone came up the drive way, no one came up the front path. So when you’re looking to sell a house, consider how people come to your house and come to the front door. If you’ve got lots of spiky plants you will get less people coming to look at the house and you’ll be less likely to sell it. So, look at spiky leaves, look at round leaves and make sure the house is in a way that the energy can flow and people are open to come to that place.
Tip number six is to consider the maintenance of your house and the impact that can have on people who are looking to buy it, if you are selling. Look at the house from the buyers’ point of view.
And consider the things that they might view: is it open, is it welcoming, is there any paint peeling off a sideboard or a gutter or anything like that, is there anything that needs a little touch up? First impressions are really important. Then when you get inside the house, it’s the same sorts of things. It’s funny when you step inside someone’s house and even from a subconscious level, if it is something as small as a light bulb blown, it can turn them off very quickly, in very subtle ways. So, make sure all the small maintenance items are attended to. That way, people will have the best first impressions.
Tip number seven is the location of your home office. Many of us today have a home office. It is really important that the home office is away from all the regular activities and that you don’t mix the energy of your work and your relaxation time in the home. So try to keep your home office located away from your relaxation area in the home, away from the lounge rooms, dining rooms and kitchen. Particularly don’t have a home office located in a bedroom. It disturbs the energy when you want to sleep. The other thing is, if you do have a home office where you sit at your desk facing the wall and your back is facing the door way to come into the office, this is not ideal. In Feng Shui terms it’s symbolic of being stabbed in the back and this will disturb your work and you won’t work as efficiently. So just consider where the home office is located and if you can have a separate entrance to it then that will be much better for the energy as well.
My eighth Feng Shui tip would be to use your common sense and use your intuition of what makes you feel good. Usually when you walk into someone’s house you can tell if it has been loved and really well looked after and if it’s worth going further with it. Other times when you walk into a house and you have that inner voice that tells you that something is not right – you should listen to that voice and move on; it’s obviously not the property for you.
So don’t disregard those intuitive feelings that you have about a house, because those feelings are usually right. Look for a place that makes you feel happy and good and you will live a long and happy life there.
The ninth tip in terms of Feng Shui – can you see the back door standing from the front door? It symbolically means that the energy is flowing through the house too quickly. And it can be that the energy in these houses is represented by money. So houses like that tend to have the money flow out much quicker than it’s coming in. They might get $100 worth of income and then the next day get a bill of $100. But in terms of Feng Shui, it always has a solution for these kinds of things, so there are things you can do which will slow the energy down between the front door and the back door. It can be a wind chime, a piece of furniture, a mirror or anything symbolic. You can make changes so it shouldn’t stop you from buying that house, it just means that you can make some Feng Shui energetic corrections, and then you will be able to hold on to your money longer. You can look for that in any house whether you are buying or selling.
My tenth and final tip has to do with the whole concept of the esoteric view on things from when you are moving house and buying a property – all of these sorts of things – it can be quite a stressful time. Even though you don’t see it around you in a physical sort of sense, you feel it inside you that the stresses are there. This tends to leave an imprint on other people as they are coming to look at the property – they can feel there is something not right. Some of the things you can do in terms of Feng Shui is start shifting that energy by lighting a candle and asking for your connection of the house to be cut – it’s like cutting the cord of a baby – because if you are still connected to the house, the house won’t sell.
It is important to remember that with Feng Shui, it is mostly energy. It’s not always visible and often it’s the invisible things that will come in as well. You will get a feeling as though you need to make a change. It’s called sacred clearing and sacred space and people have done it for thousands of years.
So in terms of Feng Shui, it’s always good to put a little bit of Feng Shui into your life, not your life into Feng Shui.