Age old philosophy brings relief from modern day practices

We’ve all heard about the house that just wouldn’t sell. Great neighbourhood, lots of nearby amenities, good sales nearby, but no luck on this one.

Or, the family whose relationships seemed to fall apart after they moved to their dream home.

Or, the child who mysteriously began a downward academicd spiral.

Often, it has to do with things in the house. At least, that’s what Feng Shui consultants believe, and it’s certainly held true for lots of people.

When my friend Theresa Dowsett, owner of The Business Advocate, told me the impacts of Feng Shui on her business space, my curiosity was piqued. “Valerie Samson’s influence on my work environment has made a tremendous difference both in my focus and my increased revenue,” says Theresa and she means it.

And so, Valerie Samson, Feng Shui consultant, former accountant, took the draftsman’s drawings for our house and applied her Feng Shui interpretations to it. With interesting results. A house, or a room, or a single office, or a workspace can all be plotted with the same template. The template concerns itself with eight areas of life… relationships, prosperity, creativity, problems, healing, discord, disasters and life threats.

As Valerie, or any of Canada’s 250 Feng Shui artists for that matter, applies the template, she looks at latitude, longitude, direction of windows, orientation to east and west axes. She also looks at location of lot, location of street, shapes of yard, what’s in the yard, garden and water features and where they should go. She uses a process that’s 6000 years old, combining Chinese ancestry and Indian culture.

“It has to do with forms–a hill, a river, stars and what happens to people living with those elements,” says Valerie.

I found myself thinking, as Valerie was presenting “our house” to us, that this would be a great thing to do if you were buying a house. She’s quick to point out that no house, or office is a disaster… one of the best things about Feng Shui is that articles can be placed in certain locations to enhance our lives and bring positive energy to the way we live and work.

Of course, if you have problems with the concept of positive energy, the concept of Feng Shui may seem a little off-the-wall, too.

Valerie has a number of basic concepts that she shares with anyone interested in the art of placement. The first is to de-clutter. Less is more. Cleaning out closets, drawers, garages, and getting rid of things we don’t like or never use is step one to enhancing our space, says Valerie. The second is that when positioning a desk, be sure you can see out the window and out the door. Your back should be against a solid wall. Third tip is to never sleep with the head of your bed directly under a window; a bed should always have a headboard. Fourth is that the front door (of office or home) should be completely free of clutter, easy to access, with a walk as wide as the door. Fifth is simple… if you find something beautiful, it has good Feng Shui; if not, it’ll bring negative energy to you and should be replaced.

Val has a simple solution to all the things we have reluctantly… you know, the wreath someone has made lovingly for you with all the colours you hate, or a table you absolutely adored when you were 24 but don’t like anymore. “Every time you give away something you don’t appreciate, you create space for something positive to take its place,” says Val. That something positive might be nothing at all.

Val works with interior designers, with real estate people, with people trying to sell their homes. She works with people who have specific goals in their lives around relationships, careers, focus, prosperity, health. She works with people buying homes in subdivisions. She analyses floor plans.

With Theresa’s permission, Val shared that all she did with Theresa’s work space was place in different ways what Theresa already owned. Theresa procrastinated, looked for some reason to leave her space. Now she focusses and her clients comment on her office.

“The finished product in Feng Shui should be someplace people want to spend time in. You forget about the space and it embraces you and frees you to be your best,” she says.

If Feng Shui interests you–and certainly after meeting with Valerie, I’m convinced–you can meet Valerie in person and attend her workshop, Feng Shui for the Workplace. She will be presenting it Friday, October 18 at the Army Navy Air Force Club at George and Anne Streets during the Doing Business With Your Neighbours Trade Show.

Valerie’s workshop time is 6 pm. Admission is free. Her email address is

And Valerie? I’m working on changing the placement of a few simple items in our family home. I feel quite certain it will only enhance what we already love.