Mar 032011

Feng shui means wind and water in Chinese. It is the concept of creating harmony in one’s environment with specific placement of items and lighting to increase the energy, or ch’i.

A group of more than 60 women from the CSU Women’s Association gathered in the entrance of the Shepard of the Hills Church on Taft Hill at 9 a.m., dressed in their Sunday best to hear about the ancient Chinese art of feng shui.

“Our lives are linked to our environment,” presenter and interior designer Beverly Doig said to The hour-long session focused on typical problems that bog down a space, such as closed-off rooms and narrow hallways.

Doig explained the nine cures that can give a space a better feeling, including specific colors and adding objects such as candles and bamboo.
Ten round tables filled the room, covered in red and black cups filled with pens and rulers atop Asian-style placemats. Women in the back laid out muffins, quiche and other breakfast foods created by the CSUWA gourmet club.

The presentation came with mobiles, mirrors and a golden frog that Doig says is a good-luck charm for her finances.
‘I think you have to be a bit of a mystic. You have to believe,” Doig said.

Doigs, 75, earned her first degree in computer science, but always had an interest in design. Her new career path came while sitting in her doctor’s office after overcoming lung cancer.

“His prescription was, ‘go out there and do something you’ve always wanted to do,’” she said.

She enrolled in night classes at the UCLA with little art experience but worked hard, got a degree and later aced her interior design license.
The association sold hand-made jewelry and greeting cards as a part of its regular fundraiser. The money will go to creating scholarships for CSU students. CSUWA gives away more than 10 scholarships per year.

The women who sat in on the workshop nodded at the tips on how to make any room into a rejuvenating, harmonious space. They created their own feng shui redecorations on graph paper after Doig’s presentation, using color sheets and other information to harness the room’s ch’i.
“It made me more aware of my surroundings,” said CSUWA past president and former Colorado Senator Peggy Reeves.

Vice President Brenda Carns coordinated the event after hearing Doig’s story and believing that her expertise would mesh well with meetings in the past.

Other meetings have included speakers from Iran and lectures about scientific phenomena. Next month the group will visit Our Global Village Museum created by former CSU professor John Roberts.

CSUWA has more than 200 members, but Carns says it is always looking for more people. The association is open to everyone interested.

Staff Writer Rachel Childs can be reached at

Feng Shui your place

  • Clear entranceways of clutter
  • Place mirrors and pictures at “people height” for high ceiling rooms
  • Use mirrors to open up closed spaces
  • Place plants in the room to add oxygen and a relaxed feel
  • Display objects that are pleasing to you in the room
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