I am delighted to introduce you to Ariel Joseph Towne, also known as The Feng Shui Guy. Ariel is an internationally recognized feng shui consultant and life coach who has worked with CEO’s, celebrities, single moms, large companies, and average couples. He has sold a show based upon his work to the SyFy network, has had his own radio show on Sirius, and has contributed to four books. He has also just authored his own book about how to create balance, peace, and success using feng shui principles.
From communicating with him I can tell you that Ariel is an incredibly genuine and warm individual, whose words are full of wisdom. Today he sits down to answer the Live Simply questionnaire. Soak it in!
How did you initially discover feng shui, and what inspired you to begin practicing it and using it in your work?
I’ve always been doing feng shui, but I didn’t know what it was called. I was constantly moving things around as a kid, getting rid of things that no longer served me, but I was doing it all by trial and error. I learned feng shui principles from a feng shui master when I relocated to Los Angeles in 1999.
What inspired me to begin practicing it was after two years of making suggestions to friends and having them all tell me what happened as a result of their actions. I decided to offer one session of feng shui and one session of life coaching to my community and it started a word of mouth business which has culminated in what I do today.
While many of us are curious about it, we are also not truly informed about feng shui. Can you give us a very brief explanation of what feng shui actually is?
Feng shui literally means wind/water. It originated in China several thousand years ago and has traveled to us through many cultures. It has taken on a life of it’s own since coming to the US by incorporating everything from color and how it affects our moods, the power of our mind and what we see on a daily basis and everything from neuroscience, cutting edge quantum theory to the science of how interconnected we are to everything we come into contact with. Another definition would be that feng shui is the art and science of design intended to help us create more peace, harmony, and flow (or love, passion, and sex).
If I had to sum up feng shui in one word, it would be balance. If i had to sum up feng shui in a sentence, it would be the balance of energy within a space. I think a good way to think of it is a balance between the looks of a space (your stuff), the purpose of a space (your intentions), and the energetics of a space (how it feels).
Feng shui can be used to help any space from a home or office to a desk, car, bed, website, school, hospital, even a sports team.
You have worked with many different types of people from around the world. Is there one common mistake you see people make that’s “bad feng shui?”
I don’t believe in absolute good feng shui and bad feng shui. It is what it is. What might be right for you might not work for someone else. I do, however, believe that people’s own intuition can tell them if something is good or bad for them. I guess if I was going to sum up the principle that creates the most challenge for my clients it would be: hanging onto whatever is no longer serving their life now, today.
What are three things everyone can do to easily improve the feng shui of their space?
1. Declutter. You can’t pick up something new in your life unless you put down what you are holding onto.
2. Intentionalize. Place everything in your space with a clear intention or purpose… if you don’t know why it is there, consider letting it go. Every item in your home is a seed that contributes to your future “tree of experiences” so make sure what is in your space is reflecting where you want to go.
3. Bless. Say your version of a prayer to transform the inside of your space into a sanctuary of what is most sacred to you. This can be religious, spiritual or non-denominational.
What inspires you to be productive when all you want to do is stay in bed?
This really depends on what your priorities are. Sometimes I want to stay in bed because someone I like is in my bed. In this case, productivity can wait. Sometimes I want to stay in bed because I am in need of filling my tank. I am no good to anyone I am not centered, balanced, and healthy. If this is the case I make rest my priority. If I am staying in bed because of the weather or prolonged sadness or grief, I focus on what I desire and when my desire is stronger than the pull of the bed I can be incredibly productive.
What one thing or area are you most proud of how you organize?
Just one?! I am very proud of how I organize my time.
What one thing or area in your house is most in need of organization?
I currently think it’s time to tackle our office closet. We moved in last May and since that time have gotten married, traveled every month for nine months and accumulated a bunch of new stuff. Spring cleaning is around the corner, but I’d like to tackle it before spring.
Favorite piece of advice or wisdom to pass on to others?
No matter what you do in your outer environment, you must apply these same principles to your inner house as well, so that you can receive all of the positive energy you are creating in your home or office.
What is your definition of either beauty, organization or simplicity?
Beauty: something that lights you up from within.
Organization: everything in your home is placed on purpose and with purpose. Or as my friend Regina Leeds says, “A place for everything and everything in its place.”
Simplicity: 50% stuff, 50% space.
Ariel’s three tips to easily improve the feng shui of your space especially resonate with me. What nugget of wisdom did you most enjoy?
Image Credits: (bamboo) Bambooandtikis.com, Buzzle.com, (desk) Meredithperdue.com x2, (living rooms- clockwise) luxury-idea.com, Real Simple, Luxury-furniture-design.net, (bedrooms-clockwise) homedit.com, waitingroomfun.com, pipinkbisma.com, homedit.com, hit-decor.com, bedroominteriordesign.net, (tulips) George Doyle