New Ways, Phone Shui
By Carol Posthumus, Fri Aug 30 00:00:00 GMT 2002

TheFeature joins Phone Shui Guru Paul Darby in his cosmic consulting rooms.

If a loved one has tied their mobile to your body with a red ribbon, in the interests of "keeping your relationship energy charged" - then you are an unquestioning devotee, not only of your sweetie, but also of therecently founded art of Phone Shui. Who knows, this could have even worked wonders. A ritzy little mobile number, attached to an arm or leg,perhaps put zing and ring into a love life somewhere, in a Lara Croftkind of way.However, what fans of this new trend should know,is that Phone Shui energies work in strange ways. Especially, whenpeople believe everything they read in newspapers. The UnitedKingdom's Feng Shui Doctor Paul Darby, who is also entitled thePhone Shui Guru, is tickled about the way a reporter relayed his adviceon Phone Shui-for-love. We hooked up to interview Darby at hisheadquarters in Nottinghamshire via his red phone on wheels. This phonesignifies, he tells, "the chariot and movement" - an effectivechannel for keeping things on the move,apparently.

Chi Doctor for Space and

"Iadvised that couples can recharge their phones together at the sametime, with a red ribbon. Not, to tie the mobile to their partner: I findthis hilarious. I've been keenly looking out for people withmobiles tied to them."Feng Shui doctor to celebrities andbusinesses around the world, the star of many fascinating soundingtelevision shows on BBC ( us 'We Clear SluggishEnergies' from homes), the man who diagnosed the causes and curesfor the unlucky dressing room at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium andconsultant for the house of the domestic captives' reality TV showBig Brother - as sages go, Darby is of the energetic and entertainingschool.Darby says Phone Shui is simply all about using theancient, 6000-year-old skills of Feng Shui for modern living andtechnology. The Phone Shui service tells, further: "Forcenturies the ancient Chinese noted the movements of the natural chienergies around them. Wise men noticed that certain locations of thecompass when encouraged and enhanced with appropriate colors andornaments, had life-changing effects on the people concerned." Yourmobile, according to Phone Shui principles, should work with your"inner energy, and the image you want to portray to the outsideworld".

Ancient Skills, to Survive or Style

"People can make use of ancientskills to survive the 21st century. Skills like Feng Shui, meditationand Tai Chi make for survival and lifestyle enhancement skills for ourmodern world," comments Darby. On the Internet, you can pep up yourmobile look and life with a quickfix of 6000-year-old skills. You take apop phone shui quiz, part of an innovative marketing effort for a mobileretailer. E-mail advises you on the mobiles best suited to you - alongwith a promotional offer and a "wisdomreading".Darby's interest in communication andmobiles goes wider than the smart mercantile use of Phone Shui displayedon the web, which now has his name associated with it.A sagewho laughs a lot - he's not a leadweight guru - Darby has beenworking with Feng Shui for 13 years. Once a headmaster, he came to FengShui via the academic route. He has a doctorate in Oriental Philosophy.He says, he is "of course, very very ancient, like 137 yearsold" and an" Oxman" (born in Year of the Ox)."Though people describe me as a Mr Miyagi (from the Karate Kid);I'd prefer, of course, to be likened more often to SeanConnery".In the Feng Shui Times, his philosophical take isrevealed in an eloquent tip he gives to people desiring to spread thewisdom of Feng Shui. "The best way to put people off is to go andon about something, until they are very bored or frightened by what yousaying - this fanatical approach frightenspeople."

Colors, Charging, Resting - Mobile

Interestingly, whenever, the gooddoctor of Chi, who goes everywhere around the world, does a housecall -to a business like the Indian Stock Exchange, a hotel or the psychiatricwing of a hospital - attention to the siting and energies ofcommunication devices is important. Placing phones and faxes inthe Northwest, for example, are highly complimentary, we understand, tonetworking and for meetings of influential people. Whereas in a businesswhere creative energies are important, say a photographer's studio,phones and faxes could be well sited in the West, we learn. Looking atmobiles, Darby says applying Phone Shui means considering "colors,where you charge and rest your mobile: you apply the same principles ofFeng Shui." People's sense of place and space,clearly, now extends to their mobiles as part of their personal domains.Darby feels that the practical skills of Phone Shui make a lot of goodcommon sense for everyman, not only the mystically inclined.Heexplains: "More and more, our mobiles are symbols of ourpersonalities and individuality. They're like a technologicalversion of our clothes: we take time with our choices in clothing. Weare very bothered about the image we project with clothes. As withclothes, with your mobile, you say something about yourself. "Somepeople already are consciously creating an image with their phones: forexample, creative or confident. Or, if you feel like it, you put the'real person' out there: those quirky ringtones often put thereal person in front of you. I saw a man in a train whose phone rangwith a Mission Impossible ringtone - and lights flashed about on it asit rang. He's in the 'this is me, take me or leave me'category."

Mobile Image: Real or Unreal, Always Revealing

With mobiles, says Darby, peopleare already subconsciously aware that they can change energies and image- in the same way they do with clothing."People who go toa nightclub after work will change clothes or if they do not change,they will make some alterations to the way they appear in the office.They are separating their business personas from their play ones. Withyour mobile you can do the same things. For example, change the look ofa business phone after hours with a different color cover. As withclothing, people who like to update or change their images a lot,upgrade their phones."Darby says mobiles are veryrevealing indicators. While working on developing Phone Shui heobserved people and their mobiles over a few months. "Traveling ontrains, it was striking for me when I saw how much people fiddle with,or simply take out and gaze at their mobiles while on the journey."Our mobiles serve, amongst their other uses, as the technologicalversion of the age-old female ritual of taking out a mirror to putlipstick on in a public space. A ritual that looks like vanity, but isa common sense, practical thing for many and is also a trance-likestaking of some personal space in a publicplace.

Think Yin Times, Pink and

Darby adds: "I was on a radio talk showdoing an interview and I asked the interviewer for a look at his mobile.I described his personality and image to a T just by looking at hismobile. He was surprised and said 'ooohhh don't know if I likethis anymore - it's too revealing'! The thing is that theshape, color and style of your mobile express your personality andindividuality. It tells us things about you." The energydoctor's own mobile is grey, silvery and showbizzy. "You willoften notice that creative, razzmatazz people have a silvery greyphone."Finally, for those couples wanting to add even moreto their lives than tandem mobile intertwining charge-up sessions withred ribbons, Darby, has a few more things he suggests can be tried athome. "To enhance your personal relationships - pink, terracottaor yellow colored phones make for good vibrations. For personalcommunication energy, the yin times of later afternoon or early eveningare good for charging your mobiles, and this can be done in theSouthwest."

Carol Posthumus is a freelance
author, analyzing how mobile technology impacts our lives. She lives in
Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.