Some young girls spend their summer days running through fields to pick bouquets of bright yellow dandelions; some dress up as princesses and smear red lipstick across their faces; and some sing their hearts out, aiming for stardom. But some — or at least one — draw floor plans for fun.
“I like to tell people I’ve been doing Feng Shui since I was six years old when my dad brought me home a doll house,” Lorrie Webb Grillo, certified practitioner of “Essential Feng Shui,” said.
Unlike most doll houses, this one opened from the top. The roof hinged open and a young Grillo could sit contently, mapping out the floor plan for each room in the little house.
“I think I was called to Feng Shui,” Grillo said. “I am very personally impacted by my environment.”
In a presentation held on Thursday, Sept. 24 at the Frank G. Pogue Student Center, Grillo made suggestions to students about how to transform their dorm or apartment into a stressfree environment by using Feng Shui.
Several years ago, she began reading books about the topic. When reading, “The Western Guide to Feng Shui,” she decided to contact the author, Terah Kathryn Collins. She received a response telling her about the Western School of Feng Shui, and Grillo decided to attend.
She had previously worked in urban planning, public relations and real estate, but for the past six years, she ran her own business, Thriving Spaces.
“I do it because it makes a difference with my clients and it works,” Grillo said. Fung Shui, Chinese for “wind” and “water,” is meant to transform a living space into a peaceful, stress-free environment through the use of three tools: the Bagua, the five elements map and the yin and yang.
The Bagua breaks a living area into eight equal square sections around a center ninth square; they include wealth and prosperity, fame and reputation, love and marriage, creativity and children, helpful people and travel, career, knowledge and self-cultivation, and health and family.
On the wall space for the fame and reputation section, Grillo suggests hanging a first place ribbon from your high school science fair or hanging the plaque from when you were chosen as most valuable player on your high school basketball team. The creativity and children section would be the ideal section for an art student to display their favorite paintings and drawings.
Using the five elements map and the Yin and Yang, Grillo helps others to find a balance between five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Water elements include dark-colored items and mirrors. Fire includes red-colored items and lighting. According to Grillo, the key is to find what combination works best for a certain individual.
“For everybody, their definition of ‘just right’ is different… and what you want to do is to find your balance,” she said.
According to Grillo, the space you live in will mirror your mind. A disorganized room means a disorganized mind.
“I’m probably going to have to clean out my closet because it’s very cluttered,” student Kevin Dess said. “I always leave it open, so I always see inside my closet, and I should probably at least close it.”
Instead of collecting and piling more clothes, jewelry and other things into their closets, Grillo suggests getting rid of something every time you buy something new.
“We don’t wear all our jewelry at once,” she said. Yet, in dorm rooms, clutter can be difficult to avoid, as students bring boxes of belongings to fit a rather confided area. Ideally, Grillo recommends that people don’t keep anything under their beds, but she recognizes that it might be nearly impossible for college students living in dorms and apartments to do so.
Instead of throwing all your shoes under your bed, she suggests hiding them. She suggests buying a bed ruffle, putting the shoes in boxes or covering the mirrors so students can’t see the reflection of all the clutter. That’s what student, Samantha Griggs intends to do.
“I would be more at home because I feel like the mirrors just don’t make it comfortable for me,” Griggs said.
After the program, Julie Chacona, director of development at Edinboro University intends to apply some of what she learned to change her office set-up and room where the annual phone-a-thon is held.
Chacona already lives what she calls “somewhat of a Feng Shui life,” as she has researched it some on her own. When she heard about Grillo and learned she was certified in Feng Shui, Chacona invited Grillo to hold the program.
“Knowing that a lot of our students experience stress and anxiety because it’s just the nature of college, I thought it might help students realize that they can live in a space that isn’t stressful if they learn the tools to make their space more livable and more stressfree.”
Tracy Geibel is the Campus Life Editor at The Spectator. She can be reached at email@example.com.