Tag Archives: health

Song Dong Waste Not

Song Dong Waste Not until Jan 27th

at Carriageworks, Sydney


I met some friends at Carriageworks the other day and realised I would have to go back with some more time to see “Waste Not”. And so I did.

What would happen if you could spread ALL the contents of your home in a big shed?

This installation shows everything that Song Dong’s mother had accumulated over the years. Some items there she had for fifty years! Growing up in communist China pre-industrialisation you were trained to save and re-use. So she started keeping everything.

The exhibition was a healing experience as they as a family went through everything each time they re-assemble the show.

As a good Cancerian my hoarding tendencies are quite strong, so it was a great mirror for me going through the exhibition looking at all the items, big and small.

I loved the bird cages. My grandfather used to grow quails and other birds, so there were always lots of wooden cages around. I was never fond of keeping birds in cages, but I had such a great relationship with my Grandad as a young child. I was always fascinated with all his artesan skills, building things out of wood, including the cages and pieces of furniture.

However the main thing I felt while looking at the exhibition was raw exposure. Are the things that we keep able to tell a story of who we are?

What an amazing act of bravery!

I actually spent quite a bit of time there, but noticed that most people, apart from the reading part, would not spend more than 10 min looking around the whole exhibition. Was this a sign of our short attention spam? Or were they feeling generally uncomfortable?

I felt uncomfortable. (Would I feel different if I lived a less cluttered existence? Not sure). But I stayed. I felt some sadness for the pure impermanence of the material world. One day, everything fades away. Material possessions loose their beauty and become junk.

I felt like invading someone’s privacy as well. But I stayed …

And then I started looking for treasure.

The bird cages were treasure-like for me. But then I realised that the true treasure were the bars of soap, some from the early 60’s! The soap bars were rationed and scarce at that time, so they were very precious.

I think once one feels the need to save everything, they may continue to do so for the rest of their lives. In a continuous journey of disenchantment and lack of trust in providence. I suppose part of the sadness I felt was brought by that as well, the obvious hardship that appear to have lead to the compulsive hoarding.

After being in Song Dong’s installation my questions for us in the modern world were:

Can we go fanatic about re-cycling and start accumulating too much clutter?


Is there an underlying connection between frugality and hoarding?


The exibition ends on Sunday 27th Jan. I hope you can go. And let me know how you liked it.




Feng Shui Tips for Choosing a House to Buy

Basic tips on buying a new home. Important points to look for:

-       plenty of natural light with an important part of the home facing north (living room or family room, or at least a sun room), or north-east;

-       choose a street where many of the houses have been renovated, so you know the area has good wealth potential;

-       choose a house on the higher side of the road, avoiding homes below the level of the road whenever possible,

-       what’s the name of the street? Choose a positive one.

-       avoid proximity of power lines (<3 km away);

-       avoid steep slopes or make sure the house has its outline linked to the ground with brick or stone walls all around;

-       avoid main roads;

-       avoid houses on corners;

-       avoid homes with ‘circular’ walk ways in the centre of the house, as they cause stress (merry-go-around problem), especially when they include the kitchen;

-       some modern features, such as kitchen in the centre of the room, glass-wall ensuite bathrooms, walk-in wardrobe behind the bed, walk-in wardrobe with no ventilation, wireless surround sound, may not be suitable for a stress free and healthy life;

-     choose a home with a nice green backyard or space to create one, essential for relaxation;

-       choose a home matching the main breadwinner’s orientation (either west or east orientation, depending on year of birth and gender);

-       choose a home with a front door facing an auspicious direction (again in relation to main breadwinner) and with auspicious stars (Flying Star chart needs to be calculated).


In Classical Feng Shui we work with the San Cai: Heaven, Earth and Humanity

In Feng Shui we use the San Cai principle: Heaven, Earth and Humanity. How these three interact determines the quality of life force or Sheng Qi (Chi) in a determined area or dwelling. It is important to have flow (Feng) and it is important to have containment (Shui).

As Qi appears in a more obvious way in the material world we look at the Form or gross Qi: what is there apparent to the eye, the mountains, rivers, forests, shape or design of dwelling. However, also important is the unseen or Formless Qi: Heaven Qi, which is determined by the Compass: how time and directions combine to determine the hidden potentials of a property.

Human Qi is both form and formless and sits there between Heaven and Earth, interacting with both. Human Qi in its material form is our body, while in formless nature is represented by our thoughts, emotions and our karma.

Although all three, Time, Shape and People, will affect the Feng Shui of a place, we tend to take the Form or Shape first.

In an ideal situation, after careful choice of location (gathering positive Earth energies), the whole design of a home (Form or Shape) would be created under the knowledge of the Time-based Luck of the Place (Formless) for a powerful coupling of Heaven and Earth energies that will fully support the Human element.

Heaven (Formless) Luck is determined using a Lo Pan Compass. There are two useful Feng Shui Formulas or processes that I personally like using. The first is the Eight Mansion Formula, and the second is the Flying Star Formula. The first is totally depending on the location and directions, while the latter is more complex and uses time, location and directions for its calculation.

Although learning the formulas is not that difficult for anyone with good mathematics skill, learning how to interpret them is an art that takes years of practice to perfect.

One of my passions is to help clients with their renovation plans, so they make the most of it, creating an environment that supports health, wealth and relationships equally.

Although in most cases in Sydney I will be working with an already constructed home, there is still room for improvement when we have the scope of possibilities offered by a home renovation.

From the basic steps of avoiding doors facing each other, or designing a bedroom with a protected position for the bed, to selecting an auspicious area for the master bedroom and the kitchen, there is a lot we can do.

I am a truly believer that once people live in a home with a good Feng Shui design, where both Form and Formless Qi combine beautifully, the human element progresses both physically and spiritually. And from that we create a better society and a better world.


What will 2012 the Year of the Water Dragon bring us?

This is Theodora Lau’s introduction to the Dragon (The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes):

I am an unquenchable fire,
the centre of all energy, the stout heroic heart.
I am truth and light,
I hold power and glory in my sway.
My presence
disperses dark clouds.
I have been chosen
to tame the Fates.

The Dragon is known for being direct, energetic, enthusiastic and for having an attraction for great causes. So 2012 will have some of this qualities, including a love for justice and fairness. On the negative side the energy of the Dragon can stir things up leaving nothing undone. I believe it will a great year for spiritual growth and personal development, like the earth cracking up and letting whatever is underneath come to the surface. It is also this great earth energy coming this year that may bring earth quakes. 
The Yang Water sitting on top of the Dragon this year, however, is the main element of 2012. Yang Water represents the oceans, or ‘big water’. Yang Water brings creative force, intelligence, adaptability, connection, courage and strength. On the negative side its power can bring floods, heavy rains and the emotion of fear, bringing pessimism. All these qualities will be present in 2012.
Strong metal people (born in a metal day in a metal season) and weak water people (born in water day not in a water season) are the main beneficiaries of the strong water this year. Weak wood people (born in a wood day not in wood season) also benefit as water is their support. 
According to Master Raymond Lo the main businesses benefitting this year will be Earth based businesses, because water means wealth or profits for them. These are real estate, natural therapies, teaching, medicine, mining

On the personal side, strong metal people (born in a metal day in a metal month) and weak water people (born in water day not in a water month) are the main beneficiaries of the strong water this year. Weak wood people (born in a wood day not in wood month) also benefit as water is their support. People born in the year of the Dog and Dragon can use a pendant of the Rooster as a protection, while people born in the year of the Rooster, Monkey, Rat and Pig will have very lucky years in 2012.

According to Master Raymond Lo the main businesses benefitting this year will be Earth based industries, because water means wealth or profits for them. These are real estate, natural therapies, teaching, medicine, mining. Wood based industries will also benefit even more than Earth based ones. This is because, wood will have resources (water) and wealth (earth) coming together in 2012. Wood industries are books, paper, media, environmental businesses, food, carpentry, printing, and textiles.

So compared to 2011, where we had metal on wood (rabbit), represented by a dagger on wood, 2012 will be much more positive year. It will be a great year for personal growth and learning, where we will all be called to be more corageous, more giving, to work harder and to be more honest with ourselves and others around us. It will also be a great year for creating connection and community, for better and fairer laws and for greater creative expression in general. The environment will also benefit this year. So it looks like a very exciting and promising year ahead!

Enjoy 2012!




A few times I have come across some people that, although they present themselves well, their home is in a state of war: dirty dishes piled up in the kitchen, rubbish hasn’t been thrown out in days, every room is not only cluttered but messy beyond belief. And some of those were well-off families and not teens!

I believe we would all agree that self-neglect is not a positive thing. Most people I know make an effort to tidy their hair when they leave the house, or to simply wear clean clothes to work. But sometimes we only understand someone suffers from deep self-neglect when we walk into their home.

From the psychological point of view walking into a home that looks like a war zone it’s like sliding straight into someone’s subconscious mind: the self neglect, lack of discipline, lack of self-esteem, and lack of gratitude are yelling out on your face. So it’s quite distressing and I need a lot of compassion to deal with clients like that.

One of the things I am most passionate about in life is to bring awareness to everyone about a very simple, yet powerful fact: our homes represent ourselves. The same way a very messy and dirty home reinforces someone’s low self-esteem, having a negative effect in their health also, a home that is well looked after, de-cluttered and tidy will have a positive effect on their physical and mental wellbeing.

For a disempowered person, having a home that looks and feels good may appear an impossible task at first. However taking care of one’s home can be learned and will slowly help people with low-self esteem, or even depression, to start feeling more positive about themselves and the world around them. It will also help to unblock their creativity, so they can find easy solutions for what appeared to be a difficult task before, and they will feel more vibrant as the life force in their bodies will start to flow again as well.

I have had clients that six months after starting to take good care of their small flat, improved their relationship, lost weight, and started feeling more vibrant about life. So much so, that their landlord asked the flat back and they ended up moving from a mouldy, dark and below-the-street apartment to a water front, full-ocean-view one, that they could have never dreamed of affording before their consultation.

Feng Shui is a very simple and yet profound way of bringing lasting positive changes into people’s lives. And that’s what I love about it!



Have you ever felt that nothing really interesting has been happening in your life for a while? Everything is fine, but somehow you are always meeting the same people again and again, eating at the same cafes or restaurants, and at work, oh well, it’s just the way it has always been?

Your home represents your life, if your home has been the same for a while, guess what? Your life continues on the same path. Hopefully it is a very comfortable path, however sometimes sitting in your comfort zone is not that comfortable anymore. You feel ready for change! You would love to meet new people, have different opportunities at work, go to new places, read inspiring books that change your perception of the world, or just feel more alive!

Your living room is always a great place to start. Just by moving your furniture around you can get rid of stagnant energies that are locked into that area and bring some fresh energy into your relationships. Arrange the furniture in a ‘friendly’ way, with the main lounge against a solid wall, and two other seats that can ‘converse’ with it, semi-circle style. Push the TV to the corner, so it is no longer the centre of attention. WOW that feels heaps better already: with only a few moves you already expressing that YES you do have time for others in your life. To finish it off, add some new cushions with nice colours, a couple of plants (peace lilies are lovely and easy to keep) and… Voilà! You are experiencing the fresh new energy there.

Even small changes like these to your living room are able to support you in making new friends, freshening up your relationship with family and loved ones and feeling more energised.



with love,




Chi is also called life force or prana. It is what keeps us alive, truly alive, not just surviving. When we are doing things that we love, we have plenty of energy, we have a zest for life, we have plenty of chi in our body. Sometimes after an acupuncture session or a yoga class we feel happy. Both yoga and acupuncture move the stagnant energy by improving the flow of chi in the body and this immediately reflects a feeling of being more alive.

The same happens with our homes, because our homes are a reflection of who we are. For us to be feeling healthy and have plenty of energy it is important that the home has a good flow of chi. If the chi is not flowing we may eat really well, exercise well, but still feel tired or de-motivated.

Stagnant energy in the home will make us more lethargic and less lively. It also affects all other aspects of our lives.

Stagnant energy is accumulated primarily in the corners and areas where we don’t walk through. The more furniture, clutter, clothes, exercise equipment, kitchen appliances or toys we accumulate per square meter, the more stagnant energy there will be in the home. This stagnant energy represents the blockages of the flow of chi inside the home.

The main purpose of the Feng Shui consultant is to open space for a healthy flow of chi to come through the home in all areas. So it is a bit like having a massage or acupuncture in the home, letting the chi flow through those blocked areas, increasing the health of the home.

Through my years of practice I have observed many different symptoms in my clients that were related to blockages in the home. Some of these were tiredness, sleeping problems, confusion, agitation, depression, or plain disenchantment with life. And the poor circulation of chi in the home will not only affect the health of its residents, but it will also have a ripple effect into their friends, family and colleagues, eventually affecting the entire community.

The same as in the classic story about the power of one kind smile to create ripples of goodness, the home with blockages has the power to create ripples of dissatisfaction.

So for me it is not a luxury, but a necessity, that the correlation between the flow of chi and its effects on our health and wellbeing needs to be shared with the wider community.

Improving the flow of chi in the home is a very simple task most of the time. In many cases selling excessive furniture or de-cluttering the home is very efficient. Most of the time cleaning the home thoroughly is also needed, including moving all the furniture out and then back into place.

The blockages of energy in the home, those pockets of stagnant energy, also need to be removed in order for us to fall back not only into good health, but also back into the flow of life. Blockages in the bedroom may represent problems in relationships, with yourself or your partner. While blockages at the home’s entrance, may stop new opportunities and friends coming into your life.

On the spiritual level the blockages in the home will create blockages in the mind, giving rise to resistance and procrastination. People may also become more absorbed in their own ideas and less flexible and open to feedback from others. These in turn will create less peace in the mind and more agitation and will increase the belief in the delusion of separateness. In the end, these blockages in the home are truly moving people away from their intuition, their inner wisdom, and stopping them finding creative solutions for their life problems.

So if you are determined to feel more vibrancy in your life and attract more chi into your home, just check from the front door inward this visualisation:

If I am an angel and open the front of my home to let water flow through where would it go? Would it bounce straight back out the front door immediately after entering? How much would come in? Visualise the water flowing through the home and observe where would it change its course, what is blocking its way. How can I let the water flow more freely through my home? Notice the areas where the water would run fast, medium or slow. Notice if the water would arrive at the front door and leave quickly out another door. Is the water meandering through each room?

This simple visualisation will give you an idea about where the flow of chi is not happening (flow of water very slow) or where it is going through too fast, and what is in excess, affecting or blocking its free flow, which can be changed. Remove or move the pieces of furniture that you discovered are in the way, add plants to stagnant corners and check if the flow is free from the front door to the living area.

In my experience, many good things arise from improving the flow of chi in the home.  I have seen families communicate better and reduce arguments, clients finding a new job, writers improving their creativity, clients finding a new partner, and unexpected wealth arising for the residents, between many other success stories.

Enjoy your experience and let me know your results!

with love,