Guest Author - Lisa Shea
If you do a search on Amazon for the phrase "Feng Shui for Success" there are at least six different books with this same title. Apparently a lot of people are interested in using Feng Shui to achieve success in life! Kurt Teske has subtitled his version "simple principles for a healthy home and prosperous business". I settled myself in, looking forward to a list of simple principles to help me in these two areas.
The book first goes into the history and background of feng shui, as you would expect. It quotes Wen Tzu, saying that success is about managing yourself, finding inner harmony, not outer wealth or status. Next, the book talks about the whole philosophy of using Feng Shui to make cash appear. Again, prosperity is not necessarily about hard wealth - it is about finding contentment. The richest man can be miserable in his mansion, a poor woman can be very content in her quiet cabin by the pond. Still, you can earn wealth and use it for great good in society, to help vaccinate children, for example.
On to more Feng Shui basics. You should learn to meditate and relax, to "walk the walk". The more calm your mind is, the more you can handle the projects you wish to take on, and to do them well. Feng Shui is a very personal connection. One person might love the shore, while another adores the mountains. Each location is perfect for one person, but not another. Find your own matches, don't expect a book to know what is best for you. We are all unique in what makes us happy.
In a related thought, we are all a mixture of different aspects. Feng Shui is broken out into wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Don't assume you are "100% earth" for example and do everything with that in mind. We are all tapestries, and different parts of each area will apply to you.
Your very frame of mind as you work on feng shui has an effect, as you might imagine. If you are morose and depressed, then you will react to the things around you differently than if you're focused and alert. Try to meditate and relax before you start working on any area.
By this point you are most of the way through the book and you still haven't learned anything directly helpful about feng shui and success, at least in terms of what most people picking up this book would think of as success. If they just wanted a book on feng shui basics they probably would have gotten a book titled "feng shui basics". Anyway, you keep going. Everyone should have a room or place of their own, as many famous authors and poets have said. Somewhere that feels "yours". On the other end, communal areas should feel like they are everyone's. They shouldn't be filled with one person's stuff. This thought includes aroma and sound too - as in an area shouldn't always have sounds one person likes but others aren't quite fond of.
We are at page 197 when we finally get into some concrete advice! Entry areas should provide a welcoming atmosphere, with water. They should provide a quiet, not showy impression. Living rooms should be simple. Kitchens should be functional. Dining rooms - reflecting that you are grateful and attentive of food - should be cared for. Bathrooms can provide spa-like refuge. Bedrooms should be a combination of earth and fire. The suggestions - now that we finally have some - are VERY simple and short. I really would have appreciated much, much more information here. More importantly, none had to do with "success"!
On to office. Again, just one page of information. Metal is for organization. Wood, growth. Fire, leadership. Earth, continuity. Water, communication. That's pretty much it.
The book spends a lot of time discussing famous locations, famous buildings, but very little time providing "simple principles" for readers to easily use. Also, some of the examples used seem to make fun of Feng Shui! They talk about a dad and mom in their living room.
Dad: "I got this great Chinese mirror to make us wealthy!"
Mom: "The mirror maker is certainly more wealthy now ..."
What makes this even more ironic is that at least the Dad learned a way to become wealthy and gave it a try. The mom is laughing and saying the seller of the item is the one that benefits. Doesn't that mean that Kurt Teske is benefiting from the sale of the book, while it is not providing a lot of "success" information for us readers? I know you can make the argument (and Kurt does) that success is simply about being happy. However, this book isn't titled "Feng Shui for Happiness". It's also not titled "Feng Shui Background". However, most of the book IS background, and is about general contentment with your life. Or about fancy houses and mansions and buildings.
I'm not saying I disliked the book. The writing is easy to read, there is a lot of valuable information about how to meditate, how pointy spires define a building as being in the "fire" category, and how plastic furniture is never the same as wood even if it has a wood-like design. However, with "SUCCESS" being the biggest word in the title, I was expecting a solid portion of the book to be full of straightforward, easy to follow suggestions on what to do for my home and office. I found barely one page on office tips, maybe 2 pages on home tips, and that was it. Most of that information was covered in more detail in my basic Feng Shui books. So for its stated purpose, I'm not sure that anyone who owns any other Feng Shui book will find anything new here.
I'll give it 3/5 stars for having good information - just not directly on the topic. As Kurt himself indicated, some people are using success to fund a good cause, for example to run an orphanage. Those people will not find easy to follow information here on what to do.