Feng Shui wasn't something I knew much about. I vaguely thought it had something to do with decluttering, which I'm not very good at, so to learn more about the Chinese art of organising one's living space I picked up a copy of Joey Yap's Pure Feng Shui.
The book promises to "bring abundance to your home, happiness to your relationships and success to your career". What more could I ask for?
At first glance I thought the book looked a little daunting as it is full of tables, diagrams and symbols. Once I had started reading it, however, I realised that, although the subject is reasonably complicated, Joey Yap has managed to explain it in easy-to-understand terms and offers a step-by-step approach that is simple to follow.
The book starts by introducing the basic principles of Feng Shui as being about energy flow, compass directions and elemental factors within a property.
It then explains that the first step in Feng Shui is to create a personalised chart of your home based on where it faces and the year you moved into it. This requires a compass, an accurate floor plan and the information in the book to allocate the right "stars" (or numbers) to the different "palaces" (or areas) on the plan. After that, the book goes into detail about the best way to allocate the uses different rooms are put to and the best arrangement of elemental objects, such as fires and lights, water features, plants, statues or metal items to get what you want out of life. This varies for each property, so you do need to create the chart first.
It might sound as though you need all the skills of a surveyor, astrologer and interior designer to be any good at Feng Shui, but you don't. Joey Yap's Pure Feng Shui gives you all the information you need to know to get started.
After covering the basics, the book has specific chapters on how to use Feng Shui to boost your prosperity, help you in your career, bring more love into your life and encourage good health.
The chapter on wealth seems particularly relevant at a time when everyone seems to be suffering as a result of the worldwide credit crunch and resulting financial crisis. While Feng Shui is unlikely to put the world's stock markets to rights, you can use it to deal with personal money issues. Joey Yap lists a number of specific money problems - ranging from "I just need a bit more cash for a big purchase", to "I have serious debts and they just keep piling up". All you have to do is pick the particular problem that is most relevant for yourself and then follow the guide to the solution.
Having read the book I am now keen to Feng Shui my own home. I realise it could be a bit time consuming, particularly as I will probably end up having to move a lot of furniture - and tackle my clutter. Perhaps it is a job to put off until after Yule and the follow the western traditions of New Year resolutions and spring cleaning as well as the traditional eastern technique of Feng Shui.
Joey Yap's Pure Feng Shui is published by Cico Books and costs £14.99 in paperback. http://www.cicobooks.co.uk/
Joey Yap is doing a book signing tonight, November 5, at Border’s bookshop, Charing Cross Road, London. The event starts at 6.30pm and is free.
Joey Yap's Pure Feng Shui