Shared from the 4/7/2019 American Press eEdition



Thanks to paper place mats at Chinese restaurants everywhere, most folks know their Chinese zodiac animal sign. Last week a Mc-Neese Leisure Learning class had fun finding out how the combination of animals and elements—fire, water, wood, earth and metal -- in their Chinese astrology chart impacts individual energy, career and relationships.

Next week the class will find out how to apply these ancient Eastern philosophies -- including feng shui -- to a modern Western issue: decluttering and organizing the home.

“We’ll talk about why we create clutter and how understanding a little about feng shui can help get us find the right motivation to deal with clutter,” said Cheryl Bowie, class instructor. “Specific feng shui exercises and approaches could make the work fun, even intriguing.”

Feng shui goes beyond hanging a wind chime here or there. Bowie will demonstrate how taking an intentional approach can make a difference and will give case studies that demonstrate results.

“If you’ve been following all the press about Marie Kondo, much of what she says fits with feng shui philosophy,” said Bowie.

Kondo advises gathering belongings and keeping only the things that spark joy.

“For feng shui consultants, the real pioneer in this work was Karen Kingston, one of my early teachers,” Bowie said.

Bowie, known as the Feng Shui Lady of The South in some circles, has been practicing feng shui since 1991. She has studied with masters in California and Hong Kong and is a member of the International Feng Shui Guild. Bowie has also served as keynote speaker and workshop presenter for State Farm Insurance, National Kitchen & Bath Designers Association, AIA, and higher education development director regional conferences.

Feng shui was first used to help the Chinese select dwelling sites. Feng means wind. Shui means water. Feng shui is a system of principles said to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to energy flow. The focus is to present an environment that is conducive to balance and harmony.

When I reduce clutter, I feel a lifting,” said Jennifer Ewing, a McNeese Leisure Learning student in Bowie’s class. “I don’t want to sound mystical, but it just feels better.”

Tidying Up with Feng Shui, scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. still has openings, but class size is limited, according to May Gray, coordinator for Leisure Learning Classes at McNeese.

The class meets in the Holbrook Student Union Executive Meeting Room. The fee is $36. Go online to to register or call

(337) 475-5616.

See this article in the e-Edition Here