Can A Floor Plan Cause Strain?

Can A Floor Plan Cause a Strain On Health and Career?

According to the readers of my weekly Feng Shui column in California in the Benicia Herald, you find the question and answer articles helpful for adjusting your own homes and offices.

Here is a complicated one. Please follow along, grab a cup of coffee or Chinese green tea, my personal favorite. (After visiting the tea orchards in China, I have learned the best type of green tea to buy. Choose an expensive brand, one which claims they are Chinese green tea tips from spring harvest. They do not export their finest spring tea, keeping it only for themselves. What we buy is a 3rd or 4th picking. The difference for taste and medicinal purposes is obvious.)

Dear Caroline,

My husband and I built a new house late last year. Ever since we moved in, the family has been sick (with me having the fewest illnesses). My husband has had shingles and was misdiagnosed, so it’s gone on longer than it should have, my 3-year-old has had bronchitis, ear infections, etc. – even the cat is on antibiotics! We have two dogs, one has had seizures and the other has a rotten tooth and some muscular back issues. It’s almost eerie! We’ve joked about the house being “cursed” – because of this I’ve done some Feng Shui reading. It also “feels” weird – I can’t explain it, and it may be because it’s still so new, we don’t feel yet that it’s home.

The house faces north and is on a corner (so there is nothing but a house facing us on the west side), neighbors in all other directions, and the stairs and the main hallway are in the middle of the house (the Health sector?) The stairs are a little to the right of the door, but they are visible when you open the front door, and they are not spiral stairs, but rather, bi-level (leading up to a landing, turning and leading to the 2nd floor.) We keep a baby gate on them since the toddler tends to want to climb them, and there’s a powder bath next to the stairs with a shower. I understand our house is also “L-shaped” (the garage juts out on the back of the house, southwest).

On the other hand, I’ve gotten a promotion and my husband is interviewing for an excellent job. My daughter began preschool in the fall and is doing splendidly. So, there must be some auspicious Chi somewhere? Anything I can do about the health issues and not destroy the good career energy?

Thank you!

A Reader

Dear Reader,

To begin, a corner lot is a good value money-wise, as corner lots are considered prime. For Feng Shui purposes, the energy produced by all of the traffic flow brings confusion to the peace of the occupants as the people going and coming day and night emits a yang Chi or high energy force. To avoid the constant intrusion, plant bushes and/or add a fence (without pickets or arrows on the top) around the area most prominent to the street.

Many times children are afraid to sleep near the front or side of the home that receives this excess energy bombardment. If this is the case, change the bed away from the window. Add a round lead quartz 50mm crystal between the child and the traffic. Bed headboards should be against a wall, but not against a wall with a stairway or bathroom or electrical wiring or pipes draining downward. All of these energies can disturb sleep and cause sickness. Watch out for TVs, computers, detail clocks, etc. in any bedroom, or any excess electrical appliances in any sleeping space.

Staircases are convenience and a necessity, but should be built to the sides of a home away from the front door. Any stairs in a series are considered a waterway, as they mimic a waterfall when the energy is pulled by the gravity of the earth downward. Having one line up with the entry or mouth of Chi washes money out the door. Having them over to the side is in your favor, so the next clue to your sicknesses is, yes, the center of the home that contains the Earth element, which is related to Health. Yellow is the main color that should be used in the staircase to “soak up” some of that “waterfall.” Shades of yellow are the first choice. I have seen this correction work time and again to shift health problems.

Lighting up these staircases is a must. I have recommended lights, lights, and more lights in split-level homes for cures. Another no-no is hanging pictures in a downward spiral, increasing the flow of “water” energy. Use paintings of Earth scenes or herbal and garden growth or harvest pictures with earth tones in yellow matting, lining the tops of the frames together to form a line between heaven and earth.

Always check under the house for any water leaks, standing or running water, another big no-no in Feng Shui principles. I have witnessed water leaking above and below the home which causes health problems.

What color of clothing does your family wear, as too much blue and green in the winter times can also lead to mucus diseases. Yellow sheets on the bed along with yellow pajamas keep your liver functioning properly. Other questions are, how old are your mattresses, are you sleeping on a water bed?

Don’t use the space under the bed for storage, as the bed needs to “breathe.” Keep the powder room door closed, toilet lid closed and a picture of, or up-growing bamboo plant, on the back of the toilet. Is there a bathroom directly above in entryway? You will need to contact me personally if you need a correction for the configuration, as it takes an experienced consultation to advise on this problem. Career problems can occur.

The Shape of the Home

BaguaThe shape of the home, as you have described, is missing the Wealth Gua and the garage is to the back far right or SW? If this is the case, make the Wealth area beautiful inside and outside. Place a fountain in the far back left side of the home inside or outside and keep it running unless you take a vacation, as when you turn them off, the money situation slows down.

I’m sure the garage is in perfect order, as this is the romance section. If life gets boring, open the garage door and have a romantic dinner back there! Or camp out for a mini vacation in the area without the kids. All kidding aside, keep the swing sets and toys in the other sections of the yard for more harmony in the marriage. a checks-and-balances system to continually check my progress with life aspects. The house is YOU!

When homes floor plans are lacking or missing parts some parts, the body lacks energy. I spoke for The AMA Surgeon General’s spouses in San Francisco on Mapping the Home a couple of years ago and explained to the group, you are your home and the home is you. They were very interested in the concepts of the home and body interconnection.

Last but not least, read Louise Hay’s book “Heal Your Body” for other physical and metaphysical clues for better health. Good luck. Let me know if any of these suggestions help.


Chinese Antique Door

Chinese Antique Door and Its Origin

From the beginning of time, man has recorded his life. Whether it be the walls of a cave or a priceless painting in the Louvre, creativity is a part of the human experience. Furniture, panels, window coverings, stone walls, tiles, flooring, jewelry and pottery are but a few of the materials that hold man’s nature. Forms, shapes, colors, wood, metal, stone and clay have been used to carve, mold and retain words and feelings of the artist. Ancient buildings in most countries display magnificent artesian creations, from fountains to the roof tops. These pieces speak symbolically of the past and hold energy from the makers and the owners. Using pieces in your home that have a positive past are a welcome addition.

Here is an email from a person who recently purchased some beautiful huge double doors. They are works of art and he/she would like to more know about them. The pictures sent by email reveal over one hundred metal half pieces on the panels. Some of the large ones are set in rows in horizontal lines across both doors. Other features are metal wording, dark wood and two round ring handles, which are probably the openers to the heavy doors. Here is the correspondence.


I was advised that you would be able to give me information about this door. I would like to use it as an entry door for my house. I have searched in books and also the Internet, no such luck. Can you kindly help?

I am hoping you can give me information on this particular door. With this email is an attachment file, with pictures of the door. I had purchased it at a consignment store in California. I have searched the Internet to get more information, but all I find are reproduction doors, but not anything like this particular door. I thank you in advance and appreciate any information you can provide.

I was told the following information when I purchased this door. Origin: Shan Xi, Qing (Ching) Dynasty Circa: 200 years old, 1634-1911 Material: Elm Wood with Wrought Iron Measurements: 96.5′ x 26.5′ x 6


A Reader


Please don’t take my word on this, as I am no authority on antiques. There are places on the internet which you might search and experts in San Francisco who could help you on your research regarding your purchase of doors. So, in saying that, I do remember my Master Teacher talking about the raised, large half circles on doors we saw in China, and that they reflected the owner’s importance, adding you could add the same type of decoration to your doors if you want to retain or add status in the community. Certain numbers are auspicious and bring good luck, so the amount of “decorative knobs” in certain areas in a row would tell a story of sorts about the person who lives in the house.

I would also think they are for protection, as they represent the METAL Element in the 5 element theory system and are convex. No “evil” can stick to a rounded protruding surface, and I see the door ring handles are guarded by Mystical Dogs. You might find a site which might give more insight as to the characters. They look wonderful and I hope they bring you abundance.

The Metal Element in a constructive cycle will “make condensation” which in turn makes WATER, and WATER is the Element which is associated with job opportunities. The mouth of Chi is the front door, and so Chi flows through the front door bringing Knowledge and Helpful People to assist with those unseen opportunities!

The pictures of the doors are beautiful and mystical. I would try to find out what part of China they came from and if the owners were prosperous, which in turn, would help you be prosperous, as well. This is called predecessor Chi. The energy continues to help or hinder the next owner. Remember, keeping things around that are loved will bring good luck, while keeping old, mean, Auntie DoDa’s rings and desk is only asking for you to inherit her “Cranky Chi.” Yikes! And why are you keeping the china from a horrible divorce and the china cabinet or, God forbid, sleeping on the same mattress you shared with this person? Every time you pass the display cabinet it is a silent reminder of the culprit.

Please let me know what you find out about the doors. If you have no luck I will try to find a friend who can help you.

Could you share who recommended me for this advice?

A Life Changing List, Part 2

I’m sure you have made several million lists in your life. There are grocery lists, daily lists, calendar lists, wish lists, intention lists, Christmas lists, to-do lists, honey-do lists, shopping lists and doodling while on the phone lists. But it is strange to wake up one day and find you better write a Rest-of-My-Life To-Do List!

Wealth_SymbolThis is exactly what I decided to do one day, when I found my self at the bottom of everyone’s Things-To-Do-For-Caroline List. Yes, my name had dropped out of sight on my loved ones list. My daughter, my son, my daughter-in-law, my husband and other close relatives were not supporting me or my wishes. My friends stayed strong as always, but something needed to change in the Family Tree. I have learned enough throughout my life’s lessons, that you must make yourself happy first and then the circle becomes complete. Instead of crying Poor Me, I got out my paper and pencil and began to estimate how much time I approximately had to live. It was just another no-nonsense business approach or reality check of life spans of people in my family tree. How many Earth years might I have left to accomplish the things I wanted to do? Looking over my wish list, I decided that learning to ride a horse is one I can cross off the list. At 60-something, keeping my bones intact might be a better wish.

Travel_Grand_Canyon_GrandmasterI began to think deeply about being of service. This is the mission of human beings, and we forget that love is the greatest gift to others and ourselves. I pondered over the teaching of my greatest teacher to date. His Holiness Grandmaster Lin Yun has changed my whole way of thinking, as has traveling with him in his homeland of China and Taiwan. Professor has so perfected his personal Chi that he is able to heal. His Christ and Buddha energy is profound, and when he touches the forehead of someone, his /her inner light is altered. He will always tell those who listen that doing good deeds is what raises your Chi. As you practice good deeds, your Chi is cultivated and you become healthy and strong, and you remember how you can contribute to the world.

I began to cultivate my Chi several years ago by not blaming others for my problems, meditating, forgiving, and listening to the whispers within. It is all within and not on the outside.

I decided I might have 15 good years left to travel, teach, and take people on tours to China and other wonderful places. I want to go back to Ireland, China, and Taiwan, and also see Tibet, Europe, Greece and maybe Africa. I began my Life List . . .


  1. made an altar for all my sacred objects.
  2. Feng Shui’d every room to active my desires and intentions.
  3. reinforced the intentions and left room for listening.
  4. lovingly let go of toxic relationships (big one).
  5. stopped working so hard at things which I didn’t like anymore.
  6. moved forward with hard decisions on auspicious days.
  7. sleep.
  8. read.
  9. respect myself so others would follow suit.
  10. raised my prices!
  11. am giving myself what others couldn’t give me.
  12. took back my happiness and began laughing.
  13. quit asking permission.
  14. put “Ego” to bed.
  15. stopped teaching and speaking in locations that didn’t support life.
  16. made major decisions.
  17. am giving myself time to have fun.

The list continues and as I accomplish one mission, I mark off it off the list. I may only have a few minutes or several years to fulfill my purpose, but I’m on a roll now. I challenge you to evaluate your life and see if you are on target or if you need speed up the process.

A Life Changing List

Wealth_SymbolLast January, I began to change my life. I pulled out a piece of paper and wrote the number one. First on the list was how much longer I might live. To estimate the time I might have on the planet Earth, I recorded all the ages of most of my relatives who have died natural deaths. It read something like this. Mama Sheppard 73, Papa Sheppard 97, who were my mother’s parents, followed by my father’s mother and father, Daddy John 67, Mimi 74. Next I entered my father’s age, barely 75 and mother’s death at 83. Now I added aunts and uncles, 57, 56, 98, 96 a couple of cousins here and there to fill in the spaces. It was not a sad picture, but a family tree of sorts.

There was cancer, heart trouble, strokes, emphysema, Alzheimer’s and other serious conditions associated with these diseases. Other ancestors of mine lived long lives. I decided the ones who lived the longest were the happiest or laziest. Next I wrote the names out again and “visited” each person’s life one by one. It seemed the ones who suffered the most either gave too much or too little of themselves and did not fulfill dreams and wishes. I came to the conclusion they were too busy trying to make everyone else happy, being good or trying to control others. While they were alive I heard their stories of woe and felt compassion, but being a child you just observe and listen. By the way, if you want a quick summery of what’s wrong in a household, ask a child from the ages of four to ten. They will give you an honest answer in a second. I have done this on occasion with a puzzling case of how best to help a family with Feng Shui.

All in all, if I don’t get hit with a trolley car, I have 20 more years. It could be quality years, or it could get iffy in 10 years. When you are 21, you think you will live forever; so I trotted along and forgot to take a tally of years lived, how many happy and how many not so happy. Most of the unhappy ones, I realized, I was half to blame. If this were a business report, I would certainly be in trouble and change my business strategy. Yes, I was certain, my Good Deeds total was lacking. I must make a quick change! Who am I and what did I come to this planet for? I was born an Earth sign, with an Earth rising as an astrologist would say, I have a Water moon and am on the cusp of Fire. That means I love to boss, cook for everyone, have a home and family, care for people, take chances, talk too much, listen, have opinions, drive fast, be impatient and wear lipstick…so what is wrong with that?

Now on the other hand, my Chinese Chart says I’m private, can be cold (Metal), a thinker, love to gain knowledge, secretive, sensual, wise, need to teach; I also have Water, Wood, Earth and Fire. So I can be rigid, loving, flowing, patient and emotional. “It’s time to accept and embrace these aspects,” I decided, “cause if I goof up now, I won’t have time to correct the mistakes. I must make a really great list and follow through with grace and good times,” I surmised. (Next week, The List)

Hello from Mexico

FdesertSouth America has welcomed Feng Shui with open arms. There are many Feng Shui books translated into Spanish, especially from some of Professor Lin Yun’s early students. This country is at home with the Earth Element and builds houses to reflect its nurturing Mother Earth feeling. I feel very at home in Mexico. We lived in Arizona for many years. I used my little bit of high school Spanish when we crossed the border often to shop or fish in the desolate lower and wild regions of Mexico. With my features and olive skin tones I was always mistaken for a local and so was warmly welcomed and approached by strangers until they heard my Oklahoma accent, and then we would all laugh at my attempt to communicate.

This is an email requesting a picture I am still trying to locate on my website which I drew to give an example of a perfect house. He obviously finds it and sends the page back to me and I am able to answer his questions while looking at the drawing. You know how computers swallow up things. I need to talk to my webmaster to see if I can locate my onsite page reference on the house!

Hello Caroline, this is from Mexico!

I do want to ask you for a very special favor.

Could you please send me the image in high resolution format?

I’ll build a brand new house taking your ideas … Feel proud of yourself!

PS: Do you think it is important the house orientation?

PS2: What do you think about a “shield” protecting the back, front and both sides? (See attached file)

Let me thank you in advance,
A builder in Mexico

Dear Builder,

Thank you for your interest and insight for building happier homes. I’m sorry I don’t retain the high resolution of the picture you are referring to, it was only a sketch. Where is the page on the website located? I have forgotten where the webmaster placed it.

I’m glad you are building a Feng Shui-friendly house. The best Feng Shui-shaped house is square, round or rectangle, so energy or Chi can’t be trapped. Round houses are very good.

No bathrooms should be in the middle of any structure, homes or city buildings, as all energy of all family members or workers is depleted. Also, no toilets in the far back left corner (Wealth) or far back right corner (Partnership). Bathrooms are best placed between Quas or sections. Also, none over the front door if it is two stories and none in view when entering a dwelling.

No “shields” or special mirrors (Bagua with the I-Ching written on them) are needed, unless you have schools, factories, graveyards, hospitals, etc. next door or nearby, which are Yin in nature or dangerous problems near by. My Master teacher says it is better to be ten miles or more from graveyards.

Yin is not bad as we need Yin and Yang equally to live, but it is best to live in “alive places” which are Yang. Bedrooms should have a Yin or darker feeling and placed near the back of a dwelling so sleep is not disturbed by traffic and daytime activities.


Dear Caroline, I’m glad I got your reply.

Too bad you don’t have the high resolution image, because I cannot understand some words you wrote on it.

Could it be possible you could tell me what’s written on it?

For example: (IN THE WEALTH CORNER) I can read there is a lamp, sliding doors, plug-in fountain, toy storage and computer for the play room, but I cannot read what’s underlined.

Thank you for your help,



persimmonsCould you send me the page to view? I’m not finding it. I will be leaving for Taiwan soon, so am trying to help everyone before I leave next week. . . Thanks for sending the page to review. These are just suggestions that I added to give the viewer ideas to use to bring in the energies. I put a hobby desk, family pictures, etc. in this drawing. These aren’t rules, but family study or a large table for crafts is what was drawn. The wealth corner is also a good place for a dining room, with a mirror reflecting the food on the table. Pictures of fish, a calm lake, crystal chandelier over the table and the color of purple work in this area, as well as grapes, purple walls, or just the color here and there. Don’t forget coins and piggy banks.

There are a couple of things I would now do differently. Try to build the bedrooms to have the all beds facing the front door or having a “view” of the front door (if you could see through the walls). The beds, desk and stove should be in a commanding position to the front door or architectural front door to welcome Chi and opportunities.

Good luck and let me know how the design works for you and your clients.