REARRANGE YOUR FURNITURE TO ENHANCE YOUR WELL-BEING
Pawelak, Feng Shui consultant.
Philippe Jourdin - Photo: Marco Weber
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese art which makes it possible to
live in harmony with the environment. After almost 4000 years
it is finally being adopted by Western culture, thanks in no
small part to the tireless efforts of people like Lydia Pawelak.
Feng shui (pronounced "fong shway") is the art of arranging
our environment. Lydia Pawelak adapts the ancient principles
of feng shui to modern life in order to create a balance with
the energy lines of the earth and to stimulate the circulation
of positive energy. In addition to making the most of her talents
as a consultant in feng shui, Ms. Pawelak is also a recognized
photographer. From the United States to Belgium, passing through
Canada, she knew how to use photography to capture those magic
moments lived on the stages of some of the largest theatres in
the world. Feng shui became a natural extension of her talents
as a photographer. By examining her client's environment, she
can recognize the details that obstruct the personís path
to progress in life.
Ms. Pawelak, what is your background?
I was born
in Belgium, from Polish parents. My mother tongue was Polish
until I learned Flemish, one of the official languages of the
country. I was a "sporty" girl, very close to nature;
I loved the open air. So I studied to become a physical education
teacher. I adored gymnastics and volley ball, but a bad fall
on my back, during an exercise at the asymmetric bars, destroyed
all my hopes of a career in sports. The practice of yoga was
the one thing that helped me make it through this dark period.
It constituted my first conscious harnessing of the energies
that circulate through our body and around the earth.
Is it at this time that you discovered
through an additional stage, photography that is, before coming
to feng shui, which became for me a profession and at the same
time a true passion. At the time, my intention was to work in
the film industry. So, I studied photography at a university
in Belgium. I had a real fascination for the dimensional lighting
commonly used in the black and white films of the 30ís,
with legends like Greta Garbo. I then left for New York City,
to work as assistant to Broadway photographer Gerry Goodstein.
His techniques were a real source of inspiration. He had a very
personal style for harmonizing and capturing light and movement
on stage. After that, I toted my camera from London to Paris
and I ended up settling in Toronto. Perhaps the artifice of the
entertainment world drove me towards Eastern culture, closer
to the true nature of an individual.
What form did this discovery of Eastern
I was raised
a Catholic, but I had difficulty finding myself in its doctrines.
When my father died, it was time for my inner journey to begin,
and I was inspired by books on Chinese spirituality. I also practiced
tai chi chuan, a slow gymnastic form increasingly popular in
Western culture, chi kung, a discipline made up of movements
which encourage self-healing, and shaolin kung fu. In all these
derivations from Chinese culture, elements of feng shui were
always present. I then launched into a profound exploration of
feng shui itself while studying with a world-renowned Chinese
Master, Jes T.Y. Lim, in Toronto. I also completed a course in
dowsing, which is one of the components of feng shui. One thing
led to another and my interest evolved from photography towards
feng shui, two arts which are connected by the visual aspect
is feng shui?
in Chinese, means wind and water. This art allows you to organize
your environment in order to live in harmony with it. Some 4000
years ago, the Chinese had a custom of burying their deceased
in locations deemed more propitious in order to attract happiness
and prosperity to the family. These favorable locations quickly
became their places of residence. Thereafter, feng shui was a
secret tool that the rich of the country used in order to maintain
their power and privileges.
How can feng shui be applied in our everyday
a balance between yin and yang, the harmonization of energies
can be applied to all the spheres of our life. Those little grains
of sand that get into the gears of our daily lives can cause
a subtle erosion. Thanks to feng shui, it is possible to recover
health, to give wing to lost creativity, to find success in business,
to find employment and even to find your soulmate.
Do you really think feng shui can help
you to find your soulmate?
interview my clients to identify the aspects of their lives that
they wish to modify or improve. I then inspect the physical space
in which they live, or the one they intend to occupy, a lot where
they want to build, or a house they want to buy. I take many
detailed notes on the orientations, the positions, the interior
and exterior. I use these notes to carry out my calculations,
applying formulas from the various schools of feng shui.
What are these schools?
school is the form school which was born in the south of China.
The four poles of the compass are represented by animals that
correspond to the shape of the mountains located in this area.
The traditional compass school uses a compass, the eight trigrams
of the I Ching, the octagonal symbol called Ba Gua and the Lo
Shu square. The school most known in North America is the black
hat sect, which was brought over from China by Master Lin Yun.
It is now also called the Ba Gua School because its old name
caused fear in spite of its inoffensive nature. The fourth school
is intuitive feng shui, where the consultant must rely solely
on his or her intuition. These four schools draw on the same
guiding principles; only the process differs. In cases where
a house is already built, I use the techniques of the Ba Gua,
or the compass school, while for a construction or renovation,
I always call upon the traditional compass school and the form
How do you proceed after examining the
recommend colors and adjustments to furniture placement. It is
always astonishing to note to what extent the positioning of
a bed, a kitchen table or a desk, on which we work every day,
can have an impact on our life. I can also install mirrors, crystals,
plants, or a water element. But my actions are always informed
- it's a principle I adopted - by respecting the preferences
of the people who consult me. The interior style will always
basic tips would you give people who wish to live in harmony
with their environment?
important first of all to remove all stagnant Chi by eliminating
all the objects that you no longer use. You should also keep
the main entrance clear and visible and avoid placing mirrors
in the bedroom. Moreover, you should never sleep or work under
a structural beam. Last, flushing a toilet is symbolically synonymous
with the loss of prosperity, so keeping the toilet seat down
is recommended. It is also best to keep a bathroom door closed.