THIERRY CHOW tells how a revelation overturned her attitude towards her father’s calling, and led to her own vocation
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GROWING UP AS the daughter of a feng shui master, I certainly didn’t feel any different from other kids, except that our furniture at home would be moved around a bit more often than other families’. I was creative and artistic as a child, and when my grades in other academic subjects didn’t excel it was easy to dream of being a fashion designer or a fine artist.
Following in my dad’s footsteps was never in my book, but life has ways of teaching you things. As I reached a point where I thought I knew and understood everything, and had worked at a few wearisome jobs, I started to think about my purpose over again. Something happened inside me, and right there and then, the idea of feng shui popped into my head.
“Make it creative,” my heart told me – and that was it; I knew clearly what my next step would be, and it felt so right. Something extraordinary had happened and my life was changed forever.
I didn’t know everything of the world, I’d only scratched the surface. I used to think feng shui was all hocus pocus, having never had a real understanding of what the practice is about. That’s when I realised how little I knew and how much I judged everything, living in my own tiny world with my mind a prison I’d created for myself. If I didn’t understand the people that are closest to me, how was I going to understand anything else? Thus my journey of understanding and contemporising feng shui began. Here are some things I’d like to share with you: The original concept of feng shui has been polluted over time.
It’s a practice that brings harmony into our space and environment, it’s not a short cut to fortune, it’s not going to turn you into Bill Gates or David Beckham overnight, it’s a practice that should be applied daily, just like healthy eating or daily exercise. The language of feng shui is
a relic. Don’t get me wrong, the language is very important, but only people in the industry will understand feng shui terms. For an outsider the language might as well be the language of black magic, with phrases like “dragon is flying through this mountain”, “chi will flow in this area”, or “this low ceiling will give you bad luck”. It sounds superstitious and masks the logical reasons behind the advice. Design and feng shui can go
together. The practice can be used alongside design, and neither should be overlooked. If one chooses to consult both a feng shui expert and a designer, one should aim for a good balance between both, and good teamwork is essential.
It’s not superstition. The concept is simple – it’s about how the environment affects our mental and physical health. For example, the practice often recommends having enough natural sunlight in a space, and studies show that our brains naturally produce more serotonin on sunny days, and that those who live in low-light environments are more prone to seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Another common piece of advice is not to have low ceilings. Ceilings that are too low are not healthy, and for this we can look at how air circulates in a low-ceiling space as opposed to a high-ceiling space.
Once we begin to understand this advice logically, we realise that feng shui is not black magic but a system that exists all around us, and we allow ourselves to apply the practice properly and with correct understanding.
My journey into the world of feng shui has lasted about seven years to date, embracing many constructive talks and creative collaborations. My goal is very clear: to help others understand what I understand. A lot of people look at me and are baffled as to why I chose such a traditional practice in which to work. All I can say is that it has given me a great sense of purpose and motivation because it allows me to look at the world not only differently but also with an open mind.
Most importantly, it has enabled me to understand my father and what he does – and that’s the best reward of all.