Changing the world one business,
one home, one person at a time
Angel Skillman, Public Relations Director for Journeys of Wisdom, was curious and so she called Diana, Master Feng Shui Practitioner, to get the scoop on Feng Shui. It was an enlightening conversation as Feng Shui is much more than decorating (which is how most people think of it), placement of furniture, crystals, and mirrors.
To start with, Diana is known for her former work with JP Morgan. She started her employ with Bank One (purchased by JP Morgan) on 8/8/88 and eventually managed business continuity and disaster recovery for their information technology (at its peak was 65,000 workstations and 2,500 servers … and all employees and buildings associated with them). She worked at the command center during Y2K, the New York terrorist attack, as well as hurricanes and floods affecting the U.S. What does Feng Shui have to do with business continuity and disaster recovery? “Everything,” says Diana.
Here’s how the interview unfolded:
1. You’ve been doing Feng Shui for over 30 years, and I heard you reached a crisis point in your life due to your health problems. This resulted in you assessing how you wanted to be remembered, and if you survived -- what you wanted for the future. At the time you wrote a poem, almost a pledge, would you share it?
This evolved during 18 major surgeries, and experiencing death twice. It’s part of my personal mission statement, and certainly a pledge. Thank you, Angel, for the compliment (that it sounds like a poem).
"If I live, I will … "
Live in possibility every moment
Be an agent of positive change
With God’s grace and support, create miracles
Do what's right (rather than what's convenient)
Be financially and emotionally free
Be wise (not righteous) and self expressed
Accept (not judge)
Be open to the contributions of others
Keep my "I love you"s in check
Be the light
2. Can you tell me a little more about how you discovered Feng Shui?
My start with Feng Shui was because I wanted to live. I had studied many alternative therapies, including naturopathy. You see, in addition to what we’ve covered, I had five pregnancies resulting in one living child (multiple full-term). For me, there had to be more than what traditional (and even alternative) medicine was providing. During the course of these tragedies, I lost my faith (temporarily) and was desperate for answers. It was when I started to implement Feng Shui that my life turned around. Feng Shui contributed to my life’s course change, and finding my way back from the darkness.
3. Life in the banking world must have been very different to the work you do now as a Feng Shui Consultant. Did you find the change difficult?
There are more similarities than most can imagine. When at the bank, I had to follow processes and procedures (which I helped to write). Especially that I worked with bank auditors and examiners, we had to test these to ensure they worked and modify them as circumstances changed (i.e., growth, risk factors).
Business continuity means you anticipate known factors and try to mitigate or avoid them. Disaster recovery means something has happened and you have to recover. By day, I would assess a situation according to approved policy. However, nights and weekends I would evaluate the situation from a Feng Shui perspective. It (traditional Feng Shui) is a look into the past, present, and future. I found confirmation of what was going on – which means we could have mitigated or avoided a crisis. Business continuity and Feng Shui are both proactive. Disaster recovery is reactive. It’s much less expense and demands much less effort to be proactive. We’re learning that lesson now (i.e., global warming, the economy).
The discipline of writing processes and procedures, as well as project management, was invaluable. That has certainly carried over to my Feng Shui consulting business. We have a manual of them: 1) To empower staff; 2) To provide consistency in what and how we do things.
Another thing that comes to mind are hours of work. I was on the Emergency Response Team, so was one of the first to be notified/dispatched when there was a crisis. It was common to work 70+ hours a week and be on conference calls at wee hours of the morning or through the night. Now as a business owner, it’s that and more especially that we work across time zones.
To the last part of your question – I had to do this (pursue Feng Shui), it was a calling and I haven’t looked back. I drafted a 10-year plan to leave the bank. It took courage to leave a steady pay check and benefits behind when I was just five years short of full retirement. This was a major decision that affected my family, and my husband understood. My Feng Shui business had grown to the point that I couldn’t be where and when I needed to be even with four weeks vacation. I truly feel that I’m still here on earth for this reason. To the best of my knowledge, all stage four (or worse) cancer patients that I’ve worked with have gone into remission and have quality of life (when they were told they would pass over). Now that’s confirmation!
4. Life has a way of presenting us with what we need. Do you think that is how it was with Feng Shui?
Interesting question. I’ve had many journeys, as most of us have, and all paths led to here. It is said that we’re here to fulfill our destiny. Feng Shui, according to many, doesn’t deal with destiny … but luck. Feng Shui is part of my destiny. Luck seems to have eluded me, and I still feel very blessed.
5. Gradually Feng Shui changed your life completely. In what way?
There are several ways. First, I’m here to share about it. Also, I have full-time career doing something that has a long-term effect. It helps many people in significant ways. Then there’s the cultural dynamic. It’s an honor to serve people of varying backgrounds and faiths … a reminder that we share one planet.
6. You now have an international Feng Shui Consulting Company. Can you tell me more about this and what type of clients you work with?
At one point I tracked clients by the countries they were in. Then it seemed easier to track continents. Again, it’s a reminder that we share one planet. Allow me to provide an example. I’m still on the United States’ Geological Service’s list for earthquakes above a certain rector scale. When something happens on one side of the planet, there is a reaction on the other. To make the point more personal, when you breathe or exhale, that affects others. I believe that when an office or home incorporates Feng Shui, the rest of the building or community benefits.
I work with all economic and social factions; anything from a housewife or stay-at-home Dad to boards of directors, to developers. No stone should be unturned; thus my goal is to change the world one business, one home, one person at a time. Every individual makes a difference, and affects the environment and those in it. Speaking of environments, there’s the environment of the mind, body, spirit, home, work, neighborhood, social network, school, the weather, and so on…that’s why I say Feng Shui affects everything.
7. When you do a consultation what is the first thing you do?
Interview the client. If a practitioner doesn’t understand the client’s circumstances and what their goals are, they are missing a wonderful opportunity. The consult (or more specifically the analysis) is a confirmation of what the client is experiencing. Many clients ask if their spouse called and asked me to say things, or if I interviewed a neighbor before the meeting. When it’s confirmed the client is experiencing what the energy says is there, then the analysis leads to a specific action plan. Being able to influence our surrounds produces hope. How many of us feel hopeless in today’s dichotomy? Well, there’s something we can do and it starts with a single step. Instead of being a victim of our circumstances, we can choose our reaction to it. My health background, as an example, affirms this – I could easily be in a different place.
8. Are there any requests for a consultancy that you least like dealing with?
A couple things come to mind. One is when a client is hoping for a rubber stamp (unconditional acceptance) for what they’ve done. The other is when the conversation of religion surfaces.
Let’s discuss the first example. Many times a client says they know a lot about Feng Shui and they’ve designed their project around that. It’s challenging to honor the fact they’ve researched Feng Shui, and yet I suggest a different approach that may not have the same conclusion they’ve reached. Just like in high school or college, book knowledge goes so far. It doesn’t necessarily prepare you for life and its circumstances. Book knowledge is a foundation to build upon but is not a substitute for years of experience.
The second example, people’s faith, is even more complicated. Traditional Feng Shui is based on science. I try to explain to people (who ask whether Feng Shui conflicts with their faith), that Feng Shui helps to create balance. When people struggle less, they have more time to practice their faith from a place of gratitude rather than scarcity. The point is to value all people of all faiths, or at least those who are open to exploration.
9. Can you give an example of a recent piece of work?
The client owns their success because they followed the advice they were given. They put it into action. When I think of a piece of work, it’s a collaboration. I ask clients for feedback rather than interpret it for them. After all, their experience is the ultimate measure. Our website has many testimonies and letters of reference on it. Clients are confidential until they chose to share their story, and we’re very blessed when they’re willing to do so. Three of them were featured in January’s Columbus Monthly. Several are also on our YouTube channel. As far as a recent piece of work, I’m working on a project now in Columbus. It’s a well-known business, affiliated at an international level, on a premier intersection in Columbus. A press release is forthcoming so you’ll hear about it soon.
As you know, I was hired by The Ohio State University in 2005 to look at a building they were moving a new venture into (an integrative wellness center). When I explained the energy of the building, they asked me to join their faculty (realizing that people’s living environment affected their health). A conservative institution like OSU being willing to embrace Feng Shui was significant. OSU is ranked 56th of the top 100 national universities in the United States by the U.S. News and World Report. To that point (and for the most part), universities place Feng Shui in the adult education arena, not as a course or medical offering. My application had to endure their credentialing process, and ultimately be approved by the Dean of the College.
I mention this because, as you’ve seen, I focus on case studies. Feng Shui needs to migrate from an esoteric art form to a legitimate methodology. I was excited to see the Italian conference focusing on science and case studies, and wished I could have attended.
10. Do you think the application of Feng Shui is becoming more necessary?
Yes, we have to get back to basics. What’s going on in the environment affects all of us. It’s our reaction to it that determines our future. The saying goes, ‘we did not inherit the Earth from our forefathers, we are borrowing it from our children.’ When I did grand rounds at OSU (educational form for physicians and residents), it was an audience to be reckoned with. I explained it this way … “If you take the human cell and place it into a nurturing environment, it survives and thrives. If you take the human cell and place it into a hostile environment, it struggles and sometimes dies. That’s Feng Shui!”.
We are, or should be, at a place and time where we want to co-create our health and environment. It is no longer a case of, ‘here it is, deal with it,’ but ‘what can I do?’ We are all responsible and accountable. The “they” mentality is what got us here. There is no they, there is only us. Feng Shui deals with the environment. As I mentioned, environments include the mind, body, and space.
11. How do you think the principles of Feng Shui could help alleviate the current International crisis?
Global warming? The economy? Politics? War? I can think of many … and it all goes back to one planet. We are ALL responsible and accountable. I would like to think the principles of Feng Shui bond us, yet even the Feng Shui industry struggles with this. There’s so much healing that needs to be done, there’s a place for anyone who wants to help. A first step, in my opinion, is to focus on our similarities not our differences. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, the more I know … the more there is to learn.
I hope, as a result of this exchange, that people think about continuity versus recovery. How can we alleviate crisis (whatever your interpretation – pain, struggle)? Identify risks, create a plan of action, work the plan, and rework the plan as circumstances change (called daily life).
12. Do you think there are an increasing number of people who are turning to ‘Alternative’ remedies such as Feng Shui?
Trends and statistics show this to be true. We’re more educated. We have unprecedented access to information.
13. What is your animal sign?
My stem and branch (according to my year) is water dragon. 2012 is the water dragon, so one would think that’s a great thing. 2012 has its opportunities and risks for all signs. It’s knowing where to be conservative and where to shine that makes the difference. At the talk on Sunday, I’ll give an overview but for people who want more specifics for them individually, I’ll conduct strategy sessions at my booth but the slots go fast.
14. What is your element?
According to traditional Feng Shui, I’m Zhen (hard wood). 2012 is hard metal, which chops wood, so there are risks to plan for.
15. How do you see your work with Feng Shui in the future?
I plan to change the world one business, one home, one person at a time. Governments are a good example. They run as a business and are made up of people. The future is unfolding, and this is an exciting time to be alive! Thank you for this opportunity, Angel.
Learn how Feng Shui affects a house and you in it. Distinguish myth from fact. Feng Shui Master Diana Garber will be Speaking at the the Central Ohio Home & Garden Show held at the Ohio Expo Center, February 20, 2015 1 p.m.
To read more, please follow this link.
A staggering 86 percent of all respondents stated feng shui will play a role in a future home buying decision and 79 percent are willing to invest more for a home that incorporates its principles. As such, feng shui often carries a large premium, with respondents willing to pay an average of 16 percent more. On the flip side, for sellers, incorporating feng shui into the foundation of a home may also affect its future on the market, as 90 percent of Chinese-Americans believe implementing its principles increases a home's resale value.
To read the full article by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate (which offers some free decorating tips*), select this link. Let me help you with your current home, with a new purchase, and most importantly -- with a new build. You'll save time, resources, and money by doing it right the first time! Call us today for your free phone exploration.
The Feng Shui Results Lady© Diana Garber
*P.S. Tip #3 which says to use red and orange in the kitchen -- that only applies if the building needs the fire element in that quadrant (direction). Those colors, while active and exciting, can increase the appetite and cause aggression. Used appropriately (where the building's energy needs them), they can work wonders.
Have you heard the cliché money attracts money? Are there disciplines the wealthy use so their money makes more money? Sure there are. Whether it’s utilizing financial planners, maintaining balance between income and debt, or saving little on a recurring basis…there is credence in the abundance conversation.
What’s the abundance conversation? Abundance attracts abundance, and scarcity attracts scarcity. Its self talk…what we say to ourselves. Let me explain. If on a daily basis we acknowledge our life as whole, loving, and complete (we have what we need), then we attract more of that energy. If, on the other hand, we acknowledge life as less fullfilling than it could be, we attract scarcity. Our choice creates our perception! This isn’t to say we need to wear rose-colored glasses all the time; that life doesn’t have its ups and downs. It’s about how we choose to view our experiences overall.
I’d like to share some advice that my commercial and residential clients use to raise their prosperity energy because it works and its fun. Commercial clients, as an example, use this information to change their prices. Residential clients use it for budgets and even to request telephone numbers.
There are numbers that improve luck, and those that deplete it. Prosperity numbers are six and eight. When combined with one or nine, it boosts good energy. The first approach is to use numbers at face value (examples are 16, 18, 68, 69, or 89). Another approach is for the series of numbers to total six or eight (examples are 15=6 or 17=8--as you can see, these are reduced to a single digit by totaling the numbers). It's particularly powerful when there are several face-value numbers that total to six or eight (example, 888-689-6891888-689-6891 totals 71, reduce that to a single digit 7+1=8).
How can you raise your prosperity energy? If you need to make a payment for $14, make it for $15 instead. If you’re selling your house, instead of $159,500, ask $161,000. Remember, numbers that show a prosperous face value AND total to six or eight are particularly good. Try to avoid two and five where possible.
Here's to your prosperity! Share this article with others so they too can enjoy.
May you be exceedingly, generously, and joyfully blessed,(c) ~Diana Garber
I often hear that Feng Shui is about intent. It’s said that if you set your intent for increased prosperity (put a money frog near the door), it’s supposed to happen. Put action behind thought (intent), and you’ll get better results! Envision a realistic goal (reduce debt which increases income). Be present to what you’re doing (write a check that has good energy) and don’t spend more than you can afford. Reap the reward (sense of accomplishment), and pass it along (be more generous). May abundance be yours!
Do you want a better life? Could you be healthier, happier, or more successful? During this presentation, you’ll learn how Feng Shui affects a house and you in it. Most people think it’s about decorating and furniture placement but it is WAY more. Albeit a remodel or new build, authentic Feng Shui assesses the biology of the land, structure, and occupants (human and animal). Did you know that Feng Shui works at a quantum (cellular) level and impacts health, happiness, wealth, success, and even safety?
Just the facts, mam! Distinguish myth from fact from one of the best in the U.S. -- Feng Shui Master Diana Garber. Feng Shui impacts where the house is positioned on the land, the driveway, the design of the house, windows, doors, lighting, appliances, flooring, paint colors, and virtually most aspects of the design/build process.
For more information and event details, visit this link.
1. Do you want to increase your luck when it comes to prosperity and abundance? Start by understanding where the one-water number is positioned in your structure. A flying-stars assessment determines this. When you place a water feature outside of where this quadrant is in the building, you increase your chances of prosperity and abundance substantially. Otherwise the general rule of thumb is it is most desirable for a water feature to be in front of the structure. Of course, it is best to know whether the structure is double sitting, double facing, or reverse (again, determined by flying stars); as these determine more precisely where it should go in order to support the structure (versus undermine it).
2. Evaluate the architecture of the building and surrounding buildings. Should the water feature be formal or informal? An example of formal is trimmed hedges and plants. An example of informal is casual and less structured. Do the garden (discussed below) and water feature need to be childproof? Remember Feng Shui is about working with the environment, so if you’ve done a good job animals will be attracted. What can you do to discourage unwanted vermin, and encourage good ones (earthworms, birds, bees, or butterflies)? Our water garden attracted Labrador retrievers (dogs that love water), and children wanting to fish. Then we ran the risk of an accident and had to take liability precautions. One time there were sticks tied with string and erasers. It was funny at first, but we ended up installing a fence for their protection as well as ours. Your next steps are to decide on the size and depth of the water feature, and water filtration/maintenance features. Water should move, not be stagnant.
3. Will the water feature be inclined to flood when it rains? Will anything cause water to back up into your pond or fountain? Is it possible run-off from contiguous properties will enter your pond, pool, or fountain. If yes, what effects will that cause to humans, fish, or animals? Will it have adequate drainage that won’t affect the building or neighbors? In Feng Shui there is a water formula that shows how water should flow, and drain. Ideally no one should see where the water exits.
The rest of this article is for water gardens.
4. Plan your garden so it simulates the perfect Feng Shui environment – an armchair.
5. Will the water garden slope toward or away from the front of the building? What are you considering for the size and shape of the water feature? Take into account existing features such as plants or structures. Mark their position on a piece of grid paper. Using the grid paper, draw the garden as though you’re viewing it from the sky (called an aerial view). Scale it as accurately as possible and include the position of the building, the front door, existing garden and geographical features.
6. Using a compass, take several readings and note North, South, East and West directions on the layout. When taking a compass reading, avoid metal, as well as magnetic and electric influences (such as vehicles, septic tanks, electric poles and wires, etc.).
7. What is the direction of the sun? How do shadows cast over the proposed water garden? Are there areas that will have full sunlight most of the time? Are there areas that won’t receive much sunlight most of the time? Full sun is yang; partial to no sun is yin. Knowing how much sun the plants and the water will have is crucial to a successful garden.
8. Investigate plant families that do well in your zone. Talk with neighbors on their successes, and visit nurseries. Are there trees around that will drop leaves or seeds into the water?
9. Lay a bagua template over your plan. How do aspiration sections complement the natural conditions of your garden? Make notes of anything that already exists in the Southeast, East, and North sections. If something is going to remain, does it complement the elements for those sections (water feeds wood, and SE and East are wood; metal feeds water, and North is water).
10. Have a telephone number handy of another enthusiast or local garden center. Of course before you dig, have the utility and cable companies mark your property. Then start digging and have fun! The rewards of watching it evolve are wonderful. So is spending time near it.
Of course anything worth doing is worth doing well. A water feature is an investment in your property and future. Instead of guessing, hire a Feng Shui professional to assist. I'd be happy to help!
This Month’s Feng Shui Energy