Is spirituality a part of Feng Shui and are Feng Shui and spirituality a part of, or missing in, today's interior designs? Those are a couple of questions my intern asked this last week while we were working together on a survey she is preparing. It's been a fascinating week having started the week with these questions as the answers reveled themselves throughout the week.
Before meeting with my intern I had spent several hours at the condo of a client who is going through some very challenging times. When I arrived I was welcomed into a home filled with religious icons from numerous cultures and religious backgrounds. The home felt very nurturing and safe. Even with all the legal issues she is having to endure, the spiritual qualities represented by these lovely objects allowed the home to vibrate at a much higher and purer level than a home without visible signs of spiritual connectedness.
A few days later I attended the Designers' Wednesday seminar held at the San Francisco Design Center where both Agnes Bourne and Paul Wiseman presented "When Less is More: The Upside of Downsizing." As both famous interior designers shared their projects, a common theme ran through them.
"When less is more, there was a serenity present in the environment," was a comment made during the presentation. "The space breaths and allows you to resonate with it. You connect with nature. You connect with your soul. It's a spiritual experience."
Here we had two different ways to bring in the spiritual nature of design. One was with lots of icons - some religious, some not. In the other there was less of everything, creating open space for the individual's spirit to respond to the purity of the design.
Both of these forms of interior design also could be good Feng Shui chi. In one Feng Shui training there are Feng Shui symbols used, many of which are religious or spiritual icons. In another Feng Shui study, no religious icons are used, only a strong connection to nature through the five elements from the Asian arts is used. I saw this as the common denominator in the "Less is More" presentation.
When I realized how Feng Shui and spirituality has "shown up" in my life this week, I reflected on the homes and other environments I have had the pleasure to visit. I can say many of these have not had the blessing where spirituality was included in them. They were cold and void of spirit.
What's missing in design? I'd say some places are missing the vibration of joy, harmony, balance and beauty. These qualities can be brought into an environment through Feng Shui or through a connection to nature and natural elements.