How to rearrange your life

New Idea, New Zealand,
28th July 2001

Aucklander Szuson Wong never felt strongly drawn to feng shui . "I didn't want to learn how to rearrange furniture as a way of sorting out my life," she says. "I thought I had my life pretty well sorted already."

But a five-day intensive course in Kuala Lumpur with top feng shui expert Lillian Too has completely blown away her reservations.

Szuson has come back home with a master consultant's certificate - and new respect for the ancient Chinese way of doing things.

Growing up in Arizona she took little notice of some of her mother's habits, like hanging a certain Chinese symbol upside down on the wall as an indicator that good luck had entered the family home.

"She did other little things which I resisted at the time. I thought they were just her own ideas. Now I recognize them as feng shui practices."

When Szuson grew up she became first a nurse and then moved into holistic healing and specialized in acupuncture. This meant learning about the mysterious life energy called chi which flows around our bodies.

Feng Shui teachings, she says, are in harmony with the principles that govern acupuncture and so it all makes perfect sense to her. "It's about tapping into the auspicious energy of the earth and bringing it into your home - inviting in the best environment so we can be the best that we can be."

Colours plays a huge part in the way we live our lives and project ourselves to other people, she asserts. We most often gravitate to colours representing one of the five elements in feng shui philosophy - red for fire, yellow for earth, white for metal, blue and black for water, and green for wood.

"If a person is of the wood element, their best colour is green. But too much green exhausts the earth, and so a little bit of fire colour in their houses and their wardrobes is helpful."

If you go for black-and-white door, then other people will see your home as a metal-and-water place-and that you operate mostly from the head, not from the heart.

It's important in all things, she says, to have a balance. "Here in New Zealand we wear an enormous amount of black. Black confines the aura, contains it, not allowing anything to go out or come in.

"It's a good colour if we want to insulate ourselves from outside influences.

"But if we want to be in a harmonious environment where ideas and communications are freely exchanged, then black is not the most conducive colour. It tends to keep others away. "Adding in warm, vibrant, lively colours will help to lift our mood."

Szuson suggests most of us unconsciously follow feng shui principles every time we go into a café and look for a seat that feels right.

"Usually that'll be with your back to a wall and your front facing the door. We like to have our backs protected, which is why a settee with a low back is not as welcoming as one which cradles you all around."

Szuson's now taken a fresh look at her own home. "I rearranged all the furniture immediately." She smiles. "Now I'm sleeping with my head pointing in the most auspicious direction, I'm really having such insightful dreams."

She felt drawn to live in New Zealand six years ago. "I love the people and the land."

Now she has a new focus in her healing work of "not rescuing people as much as empowering them."

"I'm loving working with women, to help them be who they really are, not who they think they should be.

"First we need to work on ourselves, then the environment. It's so important to be happy. Then we can circulate love in our homes, at work and in the community."

Szuson can be contacted on (025) 392 053
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