Health & Well-Being

Feng Shui: What Is It? Lessons to Live in Harmony

I finally knew Feng Shui was cool when it was in an episode of Frasier: I felt like my favorite subject had hit the big time.

Nowadays, it seems everyone has at least heard of it, even if they are not quite sure what it is truly about. Here are a few facts, fiction, myths, and legends about this fascinating art and science.

Classical Feng Shui is not about decorating, Chinese superstition, old wives’ tales, or cooking, nor does it have any religious connections.

Feng Shui (pronounced “fung schway”) is the art and science of reading the land. It means wind and water. It comes under the division of physiognomy in Chinese philosophy.

In the early 2000s, I introduced the subject to the College of Architecture at Texas A&M — a perfect place to start.

To build a structure, one must begin with the land, an excellent blend of East meets West! Feng Shui teaches one how to recognize and tap into the land’s energy, supporting the chosen activity of the structure.

What Is Feng Shui?

Feng Shui is the art of assessing the quality of the land, a building, and life through observation. It is the analysis of an individual’s environment to determine the quality of the Qi and its potential or shortcoming.

The is the art of assessing the flow of Qi, (“pronounced “chee”) from the external to the internal environment.

Feng Shui is all about location, direction, and protection. One Feng Shui principle states that when the land is flat — as in, no mountains or high hills — the structure that rises above the others will not just stand out but will also collect the Qi of the environment.

What Is Qi?

Qi is energy, the vital life force of our planet. The Chinese might say it is the breath of the dragon, one who believes in God might say it is the breath of God, and a scientist might say it is an enzyme reaction.

Whatever you think is the force that turns an apple seed into a tree, that is Qi.

How Do You Bring Qi into Your Home?

Borrow as much Qi as possible!

Like borrowing a cup of sugar, you borrow Qi from your external environment.

The most beautiful garden with the healthiest wildlife collects the most beneficial Qi and nourishes the residents.

I always encourage new homebuyers to ensure they have a budget to tend to the garden, using it to invite Qi onto their property so it will flow into the house.

Use natural items to encourage the Qi to circulate through the house from the outside to the inside.

To encourage the Qi to circulate through the house:

  • Clean up and care for your property, both inside and out.
  • Plant seasonal color.
  • Encouraging wildlife to live on your property.
  • Plant a mature tree. This spreads Qi across a broader area.
  • Add a fountain to your yard. Water is a good source for Qi, and the gentle bubbling or running of water will calm you.

What Else?

Examine the vegetation on your property. Is it healthy? Are the large trees straight? It may be hard to have in an older home. Do the roots flange out so the trees are balanced? Does the vegetation breathe? Do shrubs always die in the same spot? Are all plants in good repair or in a state of decay?

The better your property is cared for, the better the feng shui.

Feng Shui is about tapping into the beneficial energy of your environment and bringing it into your home. Remember, good Feng Shui works from the outside in, not the inside out.

Tap into your environment’s resources, harness the Qi from your garden, and bring it into your house. Life will tip in your favor.


Donna Collins

Donna Collins, The Jelly Queens is a 22 time award-winning, Dallas based artisan food company that produces gourmet jams, jellies, spices, sauces and more. Each product is handmade in small batches using organic and, whenever possible, locally grown ingredients. Its jams, jellies and sauces are each infused with beer, wine or champagne to create unique and complex flavor profiles. To learn more about the Jelly Queens and order their delicious creations visit

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