In the 1970’s, Albert Ellis, one of the original founders of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), investigated and extrapolated on the theory that:
“We are what we believe.
Attitude is nothing but beliefs,
and the voices of our negative beliefs
prevent us from moving forward”
When I first read this quote, I was drawn to the similarity with another quote that is commonly known in the feng shui world, and that is:
“Where the mind goes, Qi follows.”
This has always resonated with me personally as I have observed time and time again the way in which 2 people can experience the same situation and yet have absolutely different beliefs about that experience, depending on the negative or positive (yin/yang) belief system and subconscious expectations driving their emotional response to the situation.
Most feng shui consultants have plenty of examples where clients enthusiastically engage their services seeking significant change and yet they are unprepared to actually implement the changes recommended from an 8 Mansions, San He, Fei Xing, 4 Pillars, Xuan Kong Da Gua, Qi Men Dun Jia etc perspective. Some take on board a vague superstition and place their trust in a feel-good placebo-based object rather than taking responsibility for their predicament and then taking action to begin the process of change.
It’s a catch 22 – the majority of clients approach a feng shui practitioner in the hope that they can help them to either retain a current harmonious position or (most commonly) to help move them from their current state, situation or predicament towards where it is that they really want to be.
And this is where a general understanding of CBT can help facilitate a better relationship between the feng shui consultant and their client because CBT is fundamentally about the connection between how people think and what they do.
The founding 5 assumptions of CBT are also in alignment with what makes an effective feng shui consultant in regard to understanding what the client is seeking and developing strategies to help them realistically achieve their goals. The founding 5 assumptions of CBT are:
A feng shui consultant is primarily in the “people” business and to be effective in what they do, they need to be good at offering tangible hope while avoiding jumping to conclusions, making assumptions or premature judgement calls in regard to what the client is seeking their services for.
If the feng shui consultant accepts the core belief that there are no bad intentions, then they become completely non-judgmental in their approach while unconditionally accepting of the client and their specific needs. This in turn builds a higher level of trust and the client is therefore more likely to be open to the feng shui consultant’s guidance and support. While the client them self may have some preconceived initial prejudice, incorrect assumptions or pre-conceptions about who the feng shui consultant is and what they do, once they recognize the feng shui consultant is in no way judging them, they will begin to open up and then the feng shui consultant can better understand their client’s perspective and effectively communicate with them.
Fears and subconscious expectations mainly come from a learned response from past negative experiences. Anxiety is often linked to the projection of past experience when looking into the future. With this basic understanding, a feng shui consultant can help the client understand their previous pattern of behavior and subsequent outcomes can indeed be altered as they havn’t yet learnt the most effective strategies for moving forward, thus helping them get away from their current state and closer towards their desired state.
This can be achieved by many tools and strategies such as investigating the client’s 8 Mansions, surrounding landform, fei xing, current luck pillar, tapping into their personal Noble People energy and location, explaining their Yong Shen and associations to their favourable elements (via character, communication, timing, industry) and so on. This in turn leads the client to a position of increased hope and openness to the concept of attaining a better future from what they have previously experienced.
If a client believes they are fundamentally “unlucky” or somehow “cursed” or “broken” then they have no real hope and are therefore subconsciously closed to the idea of change, unable to break free from the past and blinded to any other options. If the client is introduced to the concept that “nobody is broken and nobody is fundamentally unlucky” then they automatically accept the principle that nobody needs to be fixed. This then indicates the client is fundamentally fine, however currently heading in the wrong direction in regard to what they wish to achieve. It’s important for the feng shui consultant to focus the client on positive and pragmatic options, tools and strategies that refocus the client on the positives and less on the negatives. This in turn increases the client’s overall luck potential to come closer to achieving their desired outcomes.
I personally also like to describe the concept of LUCK to my clients as follows:
Labour Under Correct Knowledge.
This is not about unrealistic positive thinking. It’s about accepting and assuming the best possible outcomes and scenarios are realistically possible. I always keep this founding assumption in mind when dealing with a difficult scenario from a feng shui perspective. The correct actions may not be immediately known. Sometimes as a feng shui consultant, you need to dig deep into your accumulated years of knowledge, education and experience to come up with a viable solution to a difficult problem. No matter how difficult the situation may appear, there is always a creative solution available. This may take some lateral thinking and mind mapping with the client, and often these types of consultations end up achieving the most desired results.
This is my favourite founding assumption because as Tony Robbins famously stated: “Action is the most important key to any success” and taking responsibility for yourself and your predicament automatically opens the door to change and the drive to take action.
From a feng shui perspective, empowerment often comes from understanding the driving characteristics behind the client’s 4 Pillars Day Master, missing or dominant elements, clashes or combinations, the influence of a particular annual energy in relation to current construction or excavation and a variety of surrounding landform situations that they may have been completely oblivious to before meeting with their feng shui consultant.
A prudent feng shui consultant will empower their client by giving them the things they need to focus on and invest their time on, such as when and what to do, how to do it and why and where they should be doing it.
When you take responsibility for your thoughts, words and actions, you begin the process of living a more empowered life. This is actually supported by science in regard to your Reticular Activating System (RAS) which refers to a network of nerve pathways connecting your spinal cord, cerebrum and cerebellum which mediates over all levels of consciousness. Each day we take in a gazillion pieces of information from our senses and in order to keep functioning coherently in the here and now, your RAS system filters out unnecessary information so the important stuff still gets through. This comes back to the quote: “Where the mind goes, Qi follows.”
Plato’s opinion about opinions stated that “opinion is actually nothing more than a medium between the truth and complete ignorance”. In other words, ill-considered conclusions about why things happened the way they did can lead to an internal screw-up regarding subconscious and negative beliefs. Emotions are a result of our internal interpretation process of external events and situations.
If you tend to focus on the negatives, then this is what you will mainly see. If you focus on orange cars, you will be amazed at how many orange cars appear before your eyes during the course of a road trip.
The quality of your thinking has a direct impact on the quality of your emotional state because thoughts play a fundamental role in our lives. While we are not in control of the thoughts that may randomly pop up in our heads, we ARE in control of which thoughts we choose to focus on. It’s good to always bear this in mind as a feng shui consultant when dealing with a client and thus ensure your words and advice focus on positive and achievable outcomes with specific strategies created for the client in regard to empowering them to take positive action.
Image by the very talented photographer and graphic designer Julian Ball at www.JulianBall.com