Changing the world one business,
one home, one person at a time
Join us for a wonderful evening filled with poetry, art, music, and networking.
One of the silent auction items is a Feng Shui consult!
For more information about HUB, visit this link.
Tomorrow is a bad energy day for me. I'm a tiger. Does that mean I shouldn't do anything special business wise, or not get my hair cut? Roxanne, Powell, OH
When you pose a question, everyone learns from you -- so thanks! This is actually a question that comes up frequently. Let me first say that I don't view things as good or bad; instead it is whether it supports me or doesn't. In Feng Shui, we say is it auspicious (supports) or inauspicious (doesn't support). When a day comes around that doesn't support your Chinese Astrology animal (tiger), just notice if the day doesn't go as well as it normally does.
I personally pay more attention to whether it's a good day for business, moving, or whatever the activity is. The reality is your inauspicious day happens every 12 days. That's because there are 12 Chinese Astrology signs -- we all take our turn with this. I 'notice' it, but live my life anyway. There are many other variables that, in my opinion, have more weight (called a date analysis). Now if it were an inauspicious day for my Chinese Astrology animal AND medical procedure -- then I would try to reschedule the procedure. Make sense?
So, do what you need to tomorrow (business or hair cut), and if you notice that your energy is more drained at the end of the day ... it's because the day didn't support you. Again, thanks for the question.
This month I’d like to share what’s transpiring in my world. Talk about needing to be creative! Didn’t I mentioned 2015 being a year of change?
Well, stuff happens even to the Feng Shui Lady, and I’m a three (hard wood) in a three year so knew it was going to be challenging…but, goodness!
There are some big transformational projects in process:
So what went kaboom? It wasn't July 4th's fireworks, it was Ronda's two-weeks notice. Chaos generates creativity, so even though this month’s theme was developed a year ago…it is unfolding before my eyes. Funny how that happens, isn’t it? Ronda takes care of back-office flow so that I can concentrate on consulting and strategic efforts. Still, she has a great reason to leave rather than bad reason to go, so it’s all good.
It was on a TEDtalk event that Ruth Chang talked about hard choices, and the more difficult it is to choose, the more profound the choice. This was a difficult decision for Ronda, and we both cried; and her choices are profound. For me, it’s the universe’s way of saying, “stop Diana, are you driving or being driven?” This is yet another chance to turn a challenge into an opportunity.
How can one person get all this done? One step, one day at a time. My life has been a series of breakdowns to breakthroughs, so this is another one. TEDxColumbus’ theme this fall is disruption, and timely enough not only as discussed in my video on 2015; but from Wall Street to Main Street to my kitchen table…disruption. It means change, and change is a constant.I choose to be an agent of change (and not a victim of it). Change management, risk management, Feng Shui ... different names, same principles.
It will be a while before I search for staff. Still if you (or someone you know) is looking for an amazing journey, this is a close description (paid but no health insurance).
The public image portion of this month’s theme comes into play regarding workshops. That is one area that I can cut back, so some classes will be postponed to next year. If you have a favorite that you’d like on 2016’s schedule, let me know. I’m also going to cut back on press releases.
This month’s workshop is all about creativity and social interactions. “Feng Shui for learning centers, labs, and classrooms” is being hosted by Workforce Development Innovation Center at Central Ohio Technical College. Participants thus far include professors, deans, facilities managers, and teachers. This is an experiential workshop, meaning we’ll tour from room to room and discuss Feng Shui for each space. It’s free but registration is required to ensure we don’t exceed occupancy (and have enough handouts). You can sign up through Monday, July 13.
And one of my favorite classes, “Myers-Briggs® Type Indicator” is July 23rd. This is likely the last MBTI workshop Intuitive Concepts offers this year, and it is being held at OSU. Talk about creativity, public image, and social interactions … MBTI is a marvelous tool. I hope you signed up because reservations closed July 6.
Last, don’t forget about this month’s special … career strategy session. What do you want to do when you grow up?
May you be exceedingly, generously, and joyfully blessed, ~Diana
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.
An ongoing theme of my newsletters is being present to what is right in the world. That sounds rather philanthropic and is typical of a dragon. But the key aspect is that it starts with what is right in your world. After all, it is human to ask, ‘what’s in it for me?’ That, for the most part, is what drives us. Do you agree?
Your world is my world. I sincerely believe in the concept that we are all one. So, there is an ulterior motive in my asking clients to keep a gratitude journal.
I say and believe that abundance attracts abundance, positive energy attracts positive energy, and what you put into the world comes back to you strengthened. But, a gratitude journal isn’t about receiving. It’s about gifting--give without expectation. Love delights in giving attention rather than attracting attention.
Gratitude—So, how does this translate when it’s receiving generosity or love — be thankful or appreciative. Every day acknowledge how blessed you are. Even during those times when the only thing you can be thankful for is knowing the Lord won’t ask you to handle more than you can take. We’ve all had those days, haven’t we?
My original request was before going to bed to write down at least one expression of gratitude. This could be for something that someone else said or did, or something you said or did. You asked for a bit of clarification, so here it is.
· Each day keep your eyes and ears open for acts or words of kindness. If someone did or said something nice to you, acknowledge the positive energy. If possible, do or say something nice back.
· Pay it forward (see the movie by the same name). What is pay it forward? Do or say something nice to someone else—keep the ripple effect going. The more positive energy we put out—the more of it there is in the world.
· In the evening make a note of these events. What more pleasant way to drift off to sleep than thinking of the things for which we are thankful.
Following are some examples from a gratitude list I made for my husband several years ago. We’re celebrating 25 years of marriage. Remember - It’s never too soon to say these things; but there may come a time when it is too late.
I’m grateful that you provide a home that encourages faith and religious freedom.
I’m grateful for your patience and have learned from you.
I’m grateful that you love our family and want the best for us.
I’m grateful for your friendship, imagination, and humor.
I’m grateful that you value my independence and encourage my growth.
I’m grateful for you dear husband.
My husband keeps his list in the medicine cabinet and sees it every day. Think of what this could mean to him on a morning when it’s difficult to get up and out the door. Would a reminder of how much you’re appreciated help? Don’t we all need a boost from time to time? Create your list whether it’s for a family member, friend, mentor, or even yourself. Acknowledge what you like about yourself and others!
Some of you may feel that starting each sentence with “I’m grateful,” is a bit much. Feel free to find your own style. For me the more I said I was grateful, the more the wording and intention was present for me. This became a gift for me too. However, one of the attributes of a good teacher is for their students to grow beyond them. So… succeed and share.
Yes, share what you’re grateful for by sending me an eMail. We’ll start a web gratitude journal. As Mother Theresa said, “let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” And, as my Mother said, “leave a place better than you entered it.” Let’s change the world together! Be defined by your generosity. Be the one who says positive things about others. Be happy for others in their good fortune.
Thanks for your follow-up note. We enjoyed our consult.
We're in Louisiana for our annual Habitat for Humanity build. This is our 9th year here - we started the year after Hurricane Katrina. We'll look for the consult recording when we get home, and will start working on our remedies then also.
Your comments about 2015 being a difficult year for break-ins (and we're already in that energy) seem to be true. Neighbors had their unlocked cars rifled through, although nothing seems to be missing. Another neighbor was robbed during the night while they were upstairs sleeping. The burglar came in through an unlocked basement door. Everything except cash and gift cards were found a few streets away over the next couple of days. We're planning on starting to use our security system when we are away.
Thanks again, and warm wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Eve and Greg
If you (as a blog visitor) would like to know more about 2015's energy, we've uploaded a video to our YouTube channel. In it we offer insights and tips as doing something is better than doing nothing. However, do what these clients did and obtain your OWN consult for business or home. Don't delay, Feng Shui today!(c)
The month of May brings a celebration for one of the most important women in our lives – Mom. If your Mom is alive, consider yourself lucky, and when you are giving thanks be sure to mention Mom. It took me a long time to realize how much my Mom influenced my life. That was the price of youth, and now I wish she were here so I could tell her what she meant -- all ways, always.
I’m still very blessed. My mother-in-law is also a magnificent woman. She also has taught me many things, and is the essence of unconditional love and grace under fire. So to all the Mom’s out there – Happy Mother’s Day! This rest of this message is to you.
Moms invented TLC (tender loving care) but we get in our own way. What do I mean by that? Think of it this way – Feng Shui is about flow, flow out and flow in. Flow out is the effort we express in the world; whereas flow in is receiving. We’re good at giving but in many cases not at receiving. Doesn’t it feel good to do something nice for someone? Then why do we block the flow when someone tries to do something nice for us? We deny them the gratification that we enjoy. Moms, get out of your own way and accept the contributions of others.
Let’s take this a step farther. How do you take care of yourself? In the past I felt guilty about that, but have come to realize that it isn’t anyone’s responsibility to make me happy – that’s up to me. Somehow today, many look to others for happiness. Instead, happiness comes from within. Moms, get out of your own way and take charge of your happiness.
This doesn’t have to be a grand gesture (like buying a new car), it could be a simple take care of me thought, deed, or action. Positive thoughts, deeds, and actions attract positive thoughts, deeds, and actions so you’re doing the world a favor. Moms, get out of your own way and spread the love. :-)
Here are a few ideas on how to take care of yourself, and I’ve even provided some resources. Take a long bath surrounded by candles and calming music. Treat yourself to a facial, or color analysis. Obtain a massage or Sōmenos™ session. Enjoy a yoga lesson or learn to dance. It can be as simple as enjoying a divine cup of tea in your favorite cup.
Am I walking the talk? You know I am! This week kicks off a chain of events that start with meeting friends at The Breathing Association’s Mother’s Day Tea. Join me? Also, something I do daily is diffuse essential oils. Smell is definitely a pleasure trigger for me, and this month I'm treating myself to Peace and Calming.
And for those reading this that aren’t Mom’s, our wish is that you treat your Mom or yourself by taking care of YOU.
May you be exceedingly, generously, and joyfully blessed© AND Happy Mother's Day, Diana
This Month’s Feng Shui Energy