The Feng Shui Forum:
Gratitude

by Joani Nunez

It’s amazing how events conspire to bring me to the moment I begin writing this column every month. Since last sitting down to write I’ve been thinking a great deal about intent, motivation, and desire. This has resulted in fabulous "chance" encounters, conversations, and e-mail. Even global events have lent themselves to this month’s Forum.

What fuels the decision to incorporate Feng Shui into our lives? And what effect does that intent have? It is, of course, no fun to struggle with survival issues. Concern over meeting expenses and paying bills saps our creativity and joy and plunges us into lower energies that make it difficult to feel connected spiritually. The wealth corner/hsun gua or sheng chi locations are VERY popular and are at the top of the list for many people having a Feng Shui consultation. There’s nothing wrong with this. Yet I wonder sometimes when is enough enough?

We live in a culture of conspicuous consumption. Everything around us encourages us to desire and then possess more, and more, and then even more. We are encouraged to chase "achievement", to pursue our "highest potential", yet whose yardstick measures that?

Having, possessing, and achieving do not, in and of themselves, bring happiness. Again and again I’m reminded of this in my consulting work. Many times the more we have, the more we want, and the more we want, the more stressed and complicated our lives become. And what happens if something we want doesn’t manifest for us? Many times we actually allow our inner state to be determined by whether or not we get whatever it is that we think we should have.

We’re depressed if we don’t have a relationship. We’re angry if someone else gets a promotion. We believe a new fill-in-the-blank will make us happy. Yet none of these things are truly responsible for how we feel. Happiness is not about having one more thing. Security does not come from the money we have in the bank!

Once Feng Shui has taken us past the struggle for survival and into the land of enough, then what? I can share with you, with absolute conviction, the recipe for happiness. It is composed of gratitude, contentment, tranquility, generosity, and compassion. And it is dependant not upon what we have or don’t have, but upon our personal relationship with spirit, and with our own inner Divine Self.

I heard a great spiritual teacher once say that "gratitude is a magnet for grace". This is absolutely true. The more we focus on what we’re grateful for, the happier we become. And as we come to live from a full and grateful heart, the universe floods our lives with even more to be grateful for.

As we focus on gratitude, contentment and peace naturally arise. Feng Shui is about balance and harmony. How is that possible without contentment and tranquility? Of course it isn’t. And finally, as we live our lives from these elevated states of consciousness, and as our lives overflow with blessings, it is natural and necessary that we offer whatever we have back again to the world around us.

Don’t think that you have to wait to begin to practice these principles. It’s important to start wherever you are. If you have $100.00, offer $10.00 to a cause that uplifts the world. Focus on how lucky you are to be able to give money away. Notice how rich and abundant your life is in every way. Give with gratitude and love whatever you can, and watch what happens.

The recent fires in Mexico bring to our immediate attention how precious the environment is. World events tap us on the shoulder and say, "look, here’s an opportunity to help; here’s an opportunity to love". Master Lin Yun is traveling to Houston as I write this. He, along with a number of other great and compassionate leaders, are coming to attend a symposium whose proceeds are going to support Tibet in its struggle for freedom.

Pick something that matters to you, that you care about, and offer something of yourself. This will do every bit as much for you as placing something purple in your hsun gua. These kinds of actions invite chi into your life in a powerful way. Any Feng Shui benefits you’ve experienced will be strengthened, and if things have been stuck, this will prime the pump.

And so, until next month, many blessings and much happiness. To participate in the Feng Shui Forum, please fax me at 713-861-9243, e-mail me at joani@wt.net, or call me at 713-861-0903 with your questions or contributions. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

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