Looking for Luck
While you can certainly fill your home or business with objects to bring you good fortune, the real keys to creating better chances are based on personal outlook and opportunities
QUESTION OF THE WEEK: I saw a store promoting a feng shui fish figurine for “money luck.” How does a figurine bring luck? It seems bogus to me. What are your viewpoints of lucky objects, lucky people, and people who live lucky lives? I sure can use some luck in my life right now and would feel stupid buying the fish, especially if it didn’t work.
I’m sure most of us feel that we can use some extra luck in our lives, too! Life these days is challenging in myriad and new ways and doing something to bring some good luck our way probably seems more attractive than ever — but buying a fish?
Feng shui symbolism
Let me explain. Feng shui is heavy on symbolism and what objects “represent.” You can find lists of objects that can be placed in the home to attract whatever you want more of — everything from fish figurines for money to elephants for fertility to deities and altars for protection. The million-dollar question is, do they work?
Most often when I ask the owner to tell me about the lucky items in his or her home or office, I hear something along the lines of, “This is what the store sold me,” or “I read that having these items are good luck.” The items obviously are not working because the client wants to know what else he or she can do. Is it about purchasing another lucky object or is there more to it?
The bigger picture
I use feng shui symbolism to create an intention in the environment. Placing something in your environment that has meaning to you will symbolically and energetically support you whenever you see it, but the item itself has no magic ability to change your “luck.”
The other day a woman said to me, “You’ll love this! I put a money toad in my wealth corner and I received a large check in the mail the next day. Feng shui actually works!” I cringe when I hear stories like this. Feng shui has nothing to do with luck or getting something for nothing. The toad may have subconsciously helped her to focus on what she wanted, but it was she who created the opportunity for the check to arrive.
Feng shui is not about purchasing something to place in your home so that the item itself can bring you what you want. That is a fantasy that many people unfortunately buy into and what you sensed as “bogus.” If you want to manifest anything, you must hold the intention and vision of what you want and recognize opportunities to create it when they arise. Symbols meaningful to you will help to support you in that endeavor.
Is there such a thing as luck?
I feel we create our own “luck” and that every event in our lives has two sides to it — the “lucky” and “unlucky” sides — based on our perception, or thoughts. Winning the lottery may seem lucky, but most people who hit the jackpot can give you a list of the challenges that came along with winning all that money, the “unlucky” side.
When something happens that we perceive as being challenging, the positive side is that it is helping us find a better path, grow in ways we never would have otherwise, or see a situation differently.
What about people who seem luckier than most?
In the same way, I do not think of one person being luckier than another. The lucky person is one who looks toward the positive, sees more opportunities, and acts on them. The person who thinks he or she is unlucky is stuck in a pattern of thinking that promotes or engenders “unluckiness” and missed opportunities.
Researcher Richard Wiseman (The Skeptical Inquirer, 27, 1-5) showed this pattern in an experiment. He had volunteers read through a newspaper and count the photos in it. Those who thought they were lucky took a few seconds to complete it, while those who saw themselves as unlucky took an average of two minutes. Why is that? Because on the second page of the newspaper, a large message read: “Stop counting, there are 43 photos in this newspaper.” The answer was clearly marked, but the unlucky people were far more likely to miss it, while the lucky people tended to see it.
As an added bonus, half way through the newspaper was another message that read, “Stop counting, tell the experimenter you have seen this and win $250.” The people who claimed to be unlucky in life, looked right past this message, never seeing what was clearly in front of them, losing time and money.
This experiment shows that the same possibility for money and success is latent in everyone’s environment, but some people pick up on it and others do not. What you see or do not see may be based on how you see yourself. No one in that room had “more chances” than anyone else. We create our chances or “luck” based on our outlook.
Use symbolism in your environment to help you “see” and create more opportunities in your life. The stronger your connection with what the objects represent, the more positive and useful they become for you, but never confuse “objects” with the power of your own intention. Your reality is a creation of your thoughts and intentions.
Alice Inoue is a life guide at Alice Inoue Life Guidance LLC, a company committed to assisting people in living empowered lives. Alice shares her wisdom as a professional speaker and personal consultant, and offers a series of instructional DVDs on feng shui, as well as her award-winning books on feng shui, happiness and spiritual life wisdom. Visit www.aliceinspired.com to read her blog, sign up for her newsletters and download useful feng shui tips.