Westerners are soon to be wild over the idea that one ancient Eastern philosophy – Feng Shui – can help pet parents live in harmony with their pets.
The idea is that when there is balance in our space, there is peace in co-existence – an extremely important aspect of living with any set of paws.
New York architect and full-time Feng Shui Consultant, RD Chin, is showing pet parents how to “harmonize and balance their lives through their spaces, and to empower themselves and their own creativity,” by implementing the basic elements of this Chinese wisdom. Author of the book, Feng Shui Revealed, RD’s countless clients are already living the life many strive to attain.
My journey began with RD from the moment I entered his west side home, a place where numerous animals roam peacefully and free of worry. His apartment echoed the sounds of serenity, while the lighting and color scheme was just perfect. In the background there was a faint jingling of bells and classical Oriental music. A small pond flowed with cascading water and live bamboo plants adorned the nearest wall.
Upon my arrival, RD and I sat down and cleared our energy channels with a basic breathing meditation exercise, while his Schnauzer pup ‘Mozart’ and two cats looked on from their cozy niches about the living room. The exercise relieved much of the tension I had brought with me from a long day’s work and certainly helped RD and I communicate our thoughts more vividly – it helped me to see that what I was about to learn was more astounding than I could have ever imagined.
“As living things, we all need to find places within our homes that we feel protected and safe, where energy currents are in balance with one another,” RD explained to me as we walked throughout his most spiritual abode.
“The great aspect of adding Feng Shui into your pets is that animals tell us where those very places are in our homes,” he added. What valuable intuition, I thought, for those of us who live amongst fur, feathers and paws and often confuse ourselves with existing tensions.
RD pointed out how each of his cats placed themselves in a remote spot about the room where they could feel safe, yet very aware of his dog sitting facing the doorway. RD’s cat Goliath was stretched along the center of loveseat- type couch designed as an armchair.
“The armchair is a fundamental piece in Feng Shui,” said RD, “It represents the protective mountains along the backside with the two equal side arms, a perfectly balanced resting place for anyone.”
Boris, RD’s black cat lay atop a flat mini pad designed for pets. The pad was placed near the closed window and right adjacent to RD’s desk. Here, she felt above the rest of the room (with easy access to get down and move about of course) while she also felt safe near the closed window.
RD explained to me that flat sleeping areas for pets allow them to have a better connection with the Earth energy, one of the five elements of the Chinese wisdom that is widely practiced across the globe.
The theory sounded complex at first, when in fact, it is so very simple.
It is important to understand a few of the basic concepts of this most astonishing philosophy in order to learn how to better the lives of your pets and the lives of, well, you of course! My visit with RD allowed me to see that by incorporating these very harmonious tactics into our homes, everyone who shares a particular space will find it easier to do just that.
The most fundamental root of Feng Shui is the makeup of the idea. Here, the ‘Yin’ and the ‘Yang’ are the two energies that make up our ‘Chi,’ or our overall personal space energy. Our Chi changes as the energies around us change and it is affected by color and placement of the objects in our homes.
When it comes to crating our pets, or placing them inside enclosed spaces for periods of time, this provides for Yin, a very enclosed and quiet type of energy. When pets are exposed to Yang, or more open type space, they tend to be in a more active, more energized state of mind. Both of these energies – when in balance – play a vital role in the maintenance of a healthy pet.
Color and patterns of hue also play a large role in the implementation of good Feng Shui. According to the Chinese proverb, each color stands for and emits different energies and luck forms. Yellow, for example, is a very Earth tone, whereas red represents fire and good luck. These warm tones are very Yang, very active.
Blues and greens are instead, Yin colors. These cooler tints represent inactive and calm moods when surrounding our pets.
“Mozart sleeps on a green pad. The green is very soothing, much like a white or bamboo color would be because they are not only calm, but in balance,” RD told me as I bent down to pet a resting Mozart.
Another wonderful item that we can place around our homes to assist in sharing space is the mirror. Mirrors not only make a room look bigger than it really is, but they reduce stress as well, according to Feng Shui.
“Everyone must take a break. When mirrors are present, we allow our eye muscles to relax as we are looking a further horizon than what’s just in front of us,” said RD.
Both flowers and crystals are also great Feng Shui tools. The old ancient tradition looks to both of these, in all shapes and colors, to bring good luck and serenity to a home.
RD’s apartment had a vase full of fresh yellow tulips set atop his desk, which he believed helped to calm the animals as well, being that they spent much time around him while he worked. In the center of the room hung from a beam that hung from the ceiling, hung a single crystal ball that created rainbows for all to see.
The ultimate principal, I learned, while beginning my journey into the world of Feng Shui is ‘love.’
“Love is what we all attain for,” said RD, “If you want to have a great relationship with your pets, tell them you love them often and most of all, keep them happy and keep them busy. Toys and treats show them that you are making an attempt to live in harmony with one another and pets will pick up on this sense of spiritual giving.”
On that note, RD and I ended our session the way it began. We took in a few deep breaths and allowed ourselves to come once again to a calm and peaceful state of mind.
Check out RD Chin’s peaceful work here website!