August 7, 2003
Kosher Feng Shui
Jayme Barrett wants you to close your bathroom door and keep the toilet seat down.
That is the feng shui (pronounced fung shway) way of assuring that the positive energy that comes from clearing out your clutter and creating love, wealth and fame will stay in the appropriate places in your house and not drain out every time you flush the toilet or pull a plug.
Tips like these made 35-year-old Barrett, the author of "Feng Shui Your Life" (Sterling Publishing), one of Los Angeles' leading experts in this ancient Chinese art of object placement. Barrett has feng shuied the homes of Hollywood celebrities, and she has guided many others in creating calm and prosperous home and office environments.
But now Barrett would like the Jewish community to understand that even though feng shui is an Eastern discipline, it is one that is wholly symbiotic with Judaism. As she explains it, objects like mezuzot fill the house with divine energy, and clearing out clutter is akin to cleaning your house for chametz (leavened foods).
"From a kabbalistic perspective, it means you are clearing away the objects that keep you enslaved," Barrett said. "When you clear up clutter, you are also taking away the things that are depleting you, and then you can purposefully place items in your house in a way that helps you move forward in your life."
Barrett says that Jews actually need feng shui to keep their Judaism going.
"The home is the center of Jewish life in a lot of ways -- it's where you have Shabbat dinners -- and it needs to be a place that emanates peace and order for you to feel happy and comfortable," she said. "If your home is a wreck, you are less likely to invite people to your house for Shabbat."
Barrett advises her Jewish clients to put tzedakah boxes in their "wealth center" (one of nine energy centers Barrett says comprise the home) to keep the money flowing in their lives, and she tells married couples to hang their ketubbot opposite their beds.
"You need to create positive energy every day, and you have the power to do it," she said.
Jayme Barrett will sign copies of "Feng Shui Your Life" on Aug. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at --Village Books, 1049 Swarthmore, Pacific Palisades. For more information, visit www.jaymebarrett.com .