Have you ever noticed that almost every Chinese restaurant you walk into has a fountain or some sort of running water near the entrance?

It's not just that they think fountains make great decorations. The energy of flowing water near an entrance is believed by many to attract prosperity to the building, and the people in it.

At my home, we want to enhance the energy in our lives and we practice the art of feng shui on our living space. We were first introduced to it by our personal success coach, and after we had it done to our old place, not only did the space just feel and look better, things started happening that helped us make more money.

So what is it?

This is what Wikipedia has to say about it.

Feng shui (UKListeni/ˌfɛŋˈʃi/;[1]US/fʌŋʃw/;[2]pinyinfēng shuǐpronounced [fɤ́ŋ ʂwèi] ( listen)) is a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing the human existence with the surrounding environment. The term feng shui literally translates as "wind-water" in English. This is a cultural shorthand taken from the passage of the now-lost Classic of Burial recorded in Guo Pu's commentary:[3] Feng Shui is one of the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics, classified as Physiognomy (observation of appearances through formulas and calculations). The Feng Shui practice was created so humans could work with alleged omnipresent invisible forces that bind the Universe, Earth, and man together, known as Qi/Chi/Energy.

Terha Tulius, Facebook

How is it done?

Our feng shui expert (Terha, pictured) starts with a compass reading facing directly out the front door. After that, she does something with the blueprint (or in our case because we didn't have them ready, a sketch) that divides the home into sections. The sections are then analyzed using her expertise and some materials that she has on hand. Numbers that have certain meaning are considered along with the age of the home, and our birthdays.

This, along with a few other things, she determines what types of energy exist. The energies we are dealing with are the five elements of the Earth; metal, earth, fire, water and wood.

I spoke with Terha about the basics of Feng Shui.

Different energies make different things happen. Too much of one thing needs to be counteracted by some of the other. So, fire counteracts water (and vice versa, for all of these), metal chops, or is opposite of wood, and so on.

Some people think that it's important to have a home that faces a certain direction. I thought it was east, and was perturbed when I fell in love with  a house whose front door faces east. It's not the case. Feng shui simply deals with the situation at hand, and balances energy using techniques that go back 6,000 years.