I’m a collector, and I appreciate good writing that takes collecting seriously. This New York Times article is interesting and the exhibit sounds very interesting. In the next three to five years I hope to get around to writing a book that I have a passion to write—Feng Shui for Collectors. In the meantime, here are some of my thoughts on collecting as it relates to feng shui.
Collecting is a huge topic. I’ve framed these suggestions as don’ts because it keeps the openness of collection categories. I have one thing to say about categories of collections at the end.
Firstly, don’t collect beyond your means. My father had a saying, ‘If you can’t pay for it, you can’t afford it—don’t buy it.” If you collect more than you can afford, you have to harness your willpower and put more money in the bank. Bad finances erode the stability of your life, and anything that does that is bad feng shui. Collections are not necessities.
Secondly, don’t collect beyond your space—not if you want to continue collecting. Making your home too crowded will affect your health; that’s from my twenty years experience as a feng shui consultant. The feng shui message you are putting out into the world if your home is stuffed with things is “I have no room for new energy.” Be prepared to edit your collection when better items come along.
Thirdly, don’t collect everything—it’s not possible—you must specialize. Narrowing a collection makes it feel smarter. Perhaps continue to narrow it down. It’s fine to have several collections—especially if you’re not actively adding new items to most of your collections. I have several collections, but only one active collection (books). I recommend having sub-collections within a larger collection—the sub-collections showing specialized aspects of the whole collection.
Fourthly, don’t collect objects when money (investment value) precedes love in their acquisition. Love an object first, before collecting it. Don’t let investment value be your main motivation. Here’s what the Oct/Nov. 2013 issue of the AARP Bulletin says, “…just about anything recently produced that’s touted as rare or limited edition is unlikely to appreciate in value.” In feng shui, objects are symbols representing your desire to affect the energy in your home; they are much more powerful when they have meaning for you, and especially if you love them.
Lastly, don’t collect disturbing images—anything morbid or ghoulish. It’s not good for your spirit to have those images in your environment. A collection should be more uplifting than that.
I anticipate that when Feng Shui for Collectors is published, it will be beautiful—with color pictures as in Feng Shui for Hawaii and Feng Shui for Hawaii Gardens. To that end, I need photographs. So, calling all collectors out there—you know who you are. If you’re interested in having pictures of your collections in the book, please contact me. No money or book exchange involved—you would just be able to point to pictures in a lovely book and say, “That’s my collection.”