Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile."
William Cullen Bryant

There is something hauntingly beautiful and peaceful about November's bare trees. They stand against the cold and driving, late autumnal winds while stripped bare of their leafy attire and they dare winter's sleet and snow to dislodge the life that remains dormant and unseen within... That is pretty much like the retailer facing the economic crisis of the upcoming Christmas season, don't you think? Don't misunderstand, I am hopeful - even determined to survive and prosper. Never say DIE!!! But...I am also a realist and realize that this upcoming Christmas season is the largest mountain to climb I've seen yet!

That is precisely why when Denise Hopkins of Eden Environments hosted a Elements of Harmony workshop presented by Jenna Boyd, a Feng Shui Consultant, I leaped at the opportunity to gain understanding of creating a more balanced environment - and I dragged my husband with me! We, personally and work-wise, were definitely going to need all the help we could get!

Now you might be surprised to find that I really knew very, very, very little about Feng Shui, even though I am in the interior design field. I do feel that I loosely practice a version of balance based on design principals, but the actual understanding of Feng Shui eluded me. Jenna calmly and clearly explained Chi, Yin and Yang, the concept of the Five Principals of Water, Earth, Metal, Wood and Fire, and helping clients find harmonious solutions of design within their living environment - all while I sipped on the most exquisite water mixture of .....yes, water, with cucumber, mint and a hint of rosemary!!! (Denise, that was definitely better than lemon!!!)

By the end of the workshop, after viewing some of the incredible sustainable design materials that Eden Environments carries and how they perfectly partner with Feng Shui principals that Elements of Harmony promote, I was on the road to a more balanced and equipped ability to assist my clients in design decisions. I also knew that I had just acquired "something" that I, personally, could utilize in my own world. In other words, I GOT IT!
I understand that I still have a lot to learn of the Eastern school of thought; after all, I am a Westerner, but I will try my best to empty my mind of preconceived assumptions and embrace a practice that has enabled an ancient culture to continue to survive thousands of years on this earth. Perhaps, just perhaps, it might allow me to survive one more Christmas retail season!

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