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Feng Shui Q & A

by Aaron Lee Koch


Dear Practitioner,

My apartment is so cluttered that I can’t stand being there and I have moved out. I am now staying with friends and each weekend I return to my small and dingy apartment hoping to make it livable once more. Unfortunately, the environment causes me to feel completely paralyzed. I have asked a couple of friends to help me clear things out but they barely made a dent in the mess. The clutter mostly is literature I hope to read someday, clothing I can no longer fit into but have hoped to wear again, and manuscripts and musings of my own that I have never done anything with. How can I get past this mess and go home? Please do not suggest that I throw out my possessions. Many of them are worth a great deal to me and they must be gone through and sorted out carefully.


Jersey City, NJ

Dear Elena,

It sound like the situation is too far gone for a quick fix, so I will recommend a long term solution that should start to help immediately. Do you have, or can you get, a storage area that is secure, clean and dry? This can be a small storage rental unit, an area in your basement or garage, or simply a corner of your apartment. Purchase a number of large plastic bins. These are very inexpensive and are sold in discount department stores and home centers everywhere. Buy more bins than you expect to need – the extras can be returned.

Choose a day to work on the apartment and enlist the help of the same friends who tried to assist before. Start bright and early in the morning. Have refreshments available and order in lunch. The task for the day is to carefully transfer all of the clutter, treasures and trash alike, into the bins. Each of the bins should be labeled in very general terms – i.e. "books", "manuscripts" or "clothing". Your friends’ job for the day will be two-fold – to help with the transfer and to make sure that you stay on track, and do not get distracted by the things you dig up.

Once all the clutter is "binned", neatly stack the bins in the storage area except for a single bin that will remain in your living area. Once you move back into the apartment, you will work on one bin at a time, and at a pace that is very comfortable. You can spend a few minutes a day or an hour a week, or whatever you choose, on gradually sorting out the contents of the bin you are working on. Each item can be put in its place in your home, put in a bin for "donations" or "yard sale", or discarded. Realize that what once constituted clutter is now neatly stored away and can remain so indefinitely. Furthermore, each item that you deal with and each bin you empty is a step towards a simpler and unencumbered life.


Dear Practitioner,

I met a man on the internet who lives several states away in the Midwest. A few of my friends have been very negative about this situation even though they see that I am happy. All I hear is "long distance relationships are too difficult", "long distance relationships can’t work", "internet romances are dangerous", and "be very careful". My new friend and I recently met for the first time – he came here. My family liked him but, to make things more difficult, we are of different faiths and that brought up more negativity. As for me, I am more convinced than before that we are a good match. What can I do to solidify a long distance romance and how can I protect my self from being influenced by the negativity of others?


Oceanside, NY

Dear Diane,

Internet romances can be dangerous. It can also be dangerous to meet someone at a bar, a party, in school or at church. Common sense precautions should be taken regardless of the venue in which you meet someone. Take your time to get to know them, be slow to trust them and be cautious about giving out personal information. Long distance relationships can be difficult and so can short distance relationships – it’s a matter of carefully choosing the right person and taking the time to really get to know them before getting too involved.

Assure your concerned friends that you are happy with this relationship and ask for their support. Introduce them to your boyfriend, even if over the phone. As for being of different faiths, you must follow your own conscience. If, like me, you believe that each faith is simply another pathway to the same end, then what difference does it really make? Every form of spirituality and religion will have aspects that will resonate with you and may have aspects that will not be right for you. Being close to someone from a different background is an opportunity to see things through a different set of eyes, and to learn a new perspective. Hopefully, your family will come around.

There are a few things you can do to improve your romance luck, and these will help with your situation. Start by clearing clutter from your bedroom. Clutter bogs you down and blocks progress. Look at everything in your bedroom and keep only that which is useful and relevant to you now. Books no longer significant for you should go. Clothing that you haven’t worn for a certain period of time (a year, 2 years or even 6 months) should go also.

Are there any water features or pictures of water in your bedroom? If so, remove them.

Do not have a mirror in your bedroom, unless it is positioned so that no part of the mirror can be seen from the bed. A mirror can be located on the inside of a closet door or otherwise concealed from the bed, if you wish.

If your bedroom contains a computer, exercise equipment, or work-related materials. remove them.

Make sure your bed is comfortably accessible from both sides. A bed pushed up against the wall is a clear message to the universe that means "I want to be alone"!

In the southwest corner of your bedroom, display three pictures of couples who appear to project the type of relationship energy that you want in your life. These can be friends who are in the kind of relationship you would like to have, or pictures of any couple who you perceive as truly caring, supportive and loving towards each other. These can even be cut out of books or magazines.

Do you have any pictures of single persons or animals anywhere in your home? Replace these with pictures of happy couples.

Make sure that your home is comfortable to members of both sexes. It should not feel too "masculine" or too "feminine".

Place a picture or statue of a dragon in your living room. (Single women should do this. Single men should use a rooster, peacock or phoenix.)

Keep a number of Apache Tears around you, and even in your purse or pockets. These stones are readily available, inexpensive, and will absorb some of the negativity that you are experiencing.


Dear Practitioner,

My husband and I are "empty nesters", and we are finally remodeling our home to suit us. We have designed a beautiful bedroom suite, but I do have one question. You have written that pictures of water are a negative feature in the bedroom. What kinds of pictures are best to display there?


Bainbridge, NY

Dear Becky,

The artwork in your bedroom should be calming, soothing and/or romantic. Avoid anything that is overly "busy", such as pictures depicting expressway traffic or battle scenes. Avoid pictures of just female nudes, and in the case of a mature couple like yourselves, avoid pictures of flowers. Either of these may cause your husband to have a wandering eye.

Aaron Lee Koch is a Master Feng Shui Practitioner, and Director of The American School of Classical Feng Shui. He is available for home and business consultations throughout our area, and may be reached at 607-722-8988 or 718-288-1058, e-mail: FengShui@AmeriChi.com, web site: www.AmeriChi.com. As many questions as space permits will be answered through this column. Questions may be e-mailed or mailed to Aaron at AmeriChi Feng Shui, PO Box 983, Vestal, NY 13851-0983.

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