Weather Forecast


Speaking with a Feng shui consultant

Feng shui, an ancient Chinese wisdom, is based on how energy flows. It is both a science and an art.

Anyone can practice Feng shui, but to be a certified professional Feng shui practitioner, it requires certain education and skills.

Caroline Lehman, a certified Feng shui practitioner in Woodbury, kindly agreed to the following interview:

What was your first experience with Feng shui?

My Feng Shui journey began ten years ago in an East Asian Religions class at Hamline University. I learned that Feng Shui is Chinese for "Wind and Water" and it is concerned with the beneficial flow of life-giving energy (Ch'i) through our environment. Feng Shui is not a religion, although it is based on the Buddhist tradition of a gentle and beautiful life.

Simply put, it is an understanding of how energy flows through the universe and how we can align ourselves to it for a more peaceful and fulfilling life.

A few years later I was able to explore this ancient art of placement in depth. I began with a class on Feng Shui and clutter clearing, taught by Feng Shui consultant Darcy McDowell.

After clearing the clutter in my home, I was absolutely amazed at how my house began to feel, and how my life began to change as a result. I realized quickly that Feng Shui offers practical, logical advice on how to create environments that encourage us.

I went on to study for two years with Carole Hyder and am now a certified Feng Shui practitioner.

Where and how did you get your certificate?

We are very fortunate here in the Twin Cities to have an excellent school that offers a two-year accreditation program that is licensed by the Minnesota Department of Higher Education.

Carole Hyder is the founder and teacher of the Wind and Water School of Feng Shui. You can find information about Carole, articles on Feng Shui, current classes being offered in the area and enrollment information on her Web site,

I would encourage anyone interested in learning more to consider studying Feng Shui with Carole Hyder. I am not exaggerating when I say that it will open your eyes to a whole new way of seeing your world.

What is your approach to Feng shui?

There are several schools of Feng Shui. While they may differ in approach or method, all of them address the flow of ch'i in and through our environments, and they seek to balance and harmonize that energy so that our spaces support our lives.

My personal training is in the Black Sect Tradition, established by Professor Thomas Lin-Yun. This tradition is very flexible, practical and intuitive. It focuses on four primary principles: everything is energy, your intention is the most important thing, your home reflects your life, and nature provides the patterns you need.

How do you work with a client?

A Feng Shui appointment usually begins with an introductory phone call to discuss in general terms how they came to hear about Feng Shui and what they would like to accomplish with a consultation.

Before we meet, I ask for a basic blueprint of the floor plan of their home or office, along with a list of three issues or concerns that they would like to address with Feng Shui.

I prepare a packet for them that includes general Feng Shui information as well as specific information pertaining to their home or work area. I also prepare an energy map called a Bagua that is based on their blueprint; we will refer to this during the appointment.

The appointment lasts about two hours and during that time I ask the client to tell me about their space and how it impacts their life. I then offer my insight on how the energy is flowing, what adjustments might be appropriate to bring balance to their environment and how Feng Shui can help address their concerns.

What do you say to someone who has clutter issues, but is too embarrassed to ask for help?

Well, first of all, we all have clutter of some kind. It seems to be something that everyone can relate to on some level. Don't forget that my own clutter issues are what drew me to Feng Shui in the beginning, so I do understand.

Secondly, I never forget that it is an honor and a privilege to be asked into someone's home. When I walk through your front door, it is never with the intention of judging or criticizing your situation. I am there to share all that Feng Shui offers regarding what clutter is, what it does, and why it needs to go.

I can also provide some helpful information on how to move clutter along so that new, fresh energy and possibilities can flow into your life.

I would encourage anyone who wishes to rid their life of clutter to consider Feng Shui as an effective approach to the issue. You can be free of the stuff that inhibits your energy flow and drains your life.

Who would benefit most from a Feng shui appointment?

Anyone who wants to connect with their environment in a new and meaningful way, to live with deeper intention and clarity, to address an issue from a different perspective, to create a supportive, balanced, peaceful home environment, to bring focused energy to their office or to simply see the world with new eyes will benefit from an appointment.

Feng Shui gives you a way to initiate change and move in the direction of your goals and dreams. As a result, you will gain a fresh sensitivity to how spaces affect you, how energy flows, and how you can orient your life to live in harmony with that flow.

Besides offering home or office consultations, Lehman has also written manuals on elemental moving and elemental clearing. She is developing a line of "elemental purses."

For more information or to set up a consultation, e-mail or call (651) 269-3315.