Friday, April 2

Do You Believe In The Ancient Art of Feng Shui?

This year we finally got a house that allowed me to have an office of my very own! No sharing space in the family room, no dungeon in the basement with a 14"x12" window, no cluttered dining table. It's only 7'x11' with two windows that fill up one 7' wall, a closet, and door, but it's mine, mine, mine!

Then I started reading about Feng Shui, chi, yin and yang, and the art of keeping energy flowing through your home. I don't think the contractors who threw up these military houses 50 years ago knew much about the Far East. To them, apparently, a box is a box is a box. With aluminum siding on it and cement everywhere outside.

Back to my cute little office. This is an excerpt from Feng Shui Do's and Dont's and Taboos, by Angi Ma Wong. Read and learn, grasshopper!

1) DO sit in the corner farthest from the entrance to the room to have a "command" position.
    ME: Check - I'm on a 45 degree angle from the door.

2) DON'T sit in line with the door, as you will be in the path of negative energy.
    ME: Check - the wall with the door is too short for my desk.

3) DO keep your back toward a corner or wall for support. If a post protrudes from the corner or wall, correct it by covering it with a hanging plants' draping foliage.
    ME:  BIG X - my desk is against the North wall and my back is to the room. Hmm...first nail of death to creativity.

4) DO sit with a tall building behind you to provide the support of a "mountain" if your back is to a window.
    ME - Check - we have no tall buildings around and my right side faces the window, which faces directly East.

5) DON'T face away from the door if you are conducting a business from home. Business will symbolically come to you through the door so don't turn your back on it.
    ME - BIG X - my back is to the door. Second nail of death to creativity.

6) DON'T arrange your workspace so you look straight out in to a corridor or see the stairs, storage rooms, closets, elevators, escalators, or toilets.
    ME - Check - I'm facing the North wall so all I can see are the clutter of calendars and posters I've masochistically shoved in front of my face. Note to self: De-clutter wall and put up a soothing ocean picture.

7) DO put your computer in the North or West area of your office to enhance your creativity. Place it in the Southeast if you use it to generate income.
    ME - Check - I'm in the Northeast corner so maybe this balances out facing the wall?

8) DO place an aquarium or tabletop fountain in the East, North, or Southeast. A small aquarium with black or blue fish in the North area of your desk or office will activate your business and success.
    ME - BIG X - my telephone is in the Northeast corner of my desk so I have no room for fishies. I can't afford an aquarium anyway. As for table-top fountains, my husband gave me one years ago to "help" me have a soothing sound in the background and all it did was make me jump up every twenty minutes to go to the bathroom.

9) DO place a safe, which is usually constructed of metal, in either West or Northwest, which both represent the metal element. The safe symbolizes the prosperity and financial security  of a business.
    ME: BIG X - does a second-hand, listing, broken drawered filing cabinet count? At least it's in the right corner for the "metal element" of the room. 

10) DO have a good balance of yin and yang when decorating your workspace. Balance light and dark colors, hard and soft surfaces, and smooth and rough textures in your choice of window treatments, furniture, and flooring.
      ME: BIG X - white plastic blinds count as "window treatments". Does military beige count as "light"? Time to get out those decorating magazines...this room is one solid chunk of hard surfaces, corners, and edges!

11) DON'T have any mirrors in your office, as they can reflect negative energy from clients to other people in the room. You should always maintain control over the energy in your office.
      ME: Check - no mirrors! I see enough horror in the bathroom mirror every morning, I don't need to see it in here too. BIG X - no clients! Guess these two cancel themselves out. Anyway, clients come through the telephone as far as I'm concerned. I'm willing to bet even La Nora doesn't entertain clients in her inner sanctum of creativity, so why should I?

12) DO treat the files in your office with respect. They represent your past, present, and future business.
      ME: Check - all "past" files get boxed and taken down to the basement. Note to self: get those sticky file cabinet drawers fixed so you can actually put files in them and get said files OFF the floor!

13) DO keep the cords to your office equipment well hidden. This eliminates clutter and allows for the free flow of CHI.
      ME: BIG X - come on now! This is just common-sense - unless your only electrical outlet is on the north wall, so you have to slide your phone extension cord across the front window wall, past the closet, and behind the floor-to-ceiling bookcase, to the ridiculously placed electrical outlet right beside the door!

So, how'd I do? Only seven out of thirteen CHECKS, just one over the tie position of BIG X's. Not too Feng Shui, am I? If any of you out there know how to re-arrange a 7'x11' bedroom in to a Feng Shui creative dream, I'm only an email away! As it is, I think I'm stuck with what I've got, but I'm glad to finally have a space to call my own. Even if my back is to the door....


  1. I don't care how many Xes I'd get, to have an office of my onwn would be heaven. Preferably on the second floor, facing the mts. Overlooking the horse pasture. Ah, nice. One can dream....

  2. Congrats on the office. Sounds perfect.

  3. I never understood people who decorate using fung sh...I can't even spell it. But having your own space is nice. Congrats.

  4. I'm open to feng shui, but it never meshes with my decorating sensibilities. I have my desk facing the window, so I can look out at green tree tops and the Chesapeake Bay. Sure, this puts my back to the door, but I wouldn't give up my little hit of nature. Hope it works for you!

  5. Thanks for the comments, ladies! Yesterday I had a quick visit with my friend who's feng shui'd her house and mainly her writing office. :) She's moving next month and is already planning how to FS her new office. I told her I can't help the "back to the door" but I might add a plant.:) Speaking of objects "holding energy", another of feng shui's beliefs, my dh brought back a rock he picked up from the height of the ruins of Masada in Isreal. Quick history lesson - Masada was a pre-built fort on a huge mountain with nothing else around it; built for the last Herod the Great as a last resort in case the Romans came for him. He never used it, although he did build a palace on the mountain. The Romans took nearly 3 yrs to build a ramp up to the top, in order to kill all the Jews who'd fled there as the last resisters to the Roman empire after they'd destroyed Jerusalem in 70A.D. Anyway, the Jews cast 10 lots and 10 men had to cut the throats of their families, and every one in their group of "ten". Then they killed each other, with the very last man committing suicide. They left the water cisterns and storerooms full, to show the Romans they'd only killed themselves to avoid being taken in to slavery. Today, the modern Isreali army swears in its recruits on that mountain, and their refrain is: "Masada shall never fall again." The point of this story (yes, there is a point :) ) is that ever since I've had this rock on my desk, I've had a tremendously hard time concentrating and writing. When I was reading about this feng shui stuff, it occured to me the rock is the only inanimate thing on my desk that could "hold energy". If ever a place could hold the "vibrations" or "energy" of 2000 souls, it would be Masada. I've moved the rock downstairs and away from my writing area. I'm proud my dh climbed it's heights, took fantastic pictures, and brought home the rock, but I don't need a daily reminder of the horror that occurred there.

    If I turn my head to the right, I can look over the "park" and watch people run their dogs and kids around. Not quite a horse pasture, D'Ann, but quiet anyway!