Feng Shui In The Office

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How are things going at the office? Are competitors getting the edge over you? Office politics getting you down? Making as much money as you should? Maybe you don’t need a new job. Maybe all you need is a little feng shui advice.

yin-yangWhat is feng shui (pronounced fung shway)? It is the art of arranging the space in which you live or work to bring success and prosperity into your life. The Chinese have been practicing it for over 5,000 years. Now a growing number of American businessmen and women are finding that this ancient technique is not some new age superstition but a simple, logical way of making sure their business grows and prospers.

yin-yangIn practicing feng shui, we change the outside first, knowing that inner change will follow. You’ve probably been doing this for years and didn’t know it. Doctors advise a “change of scenery” to a patient. A friend suggests the purchase of a new dress to “make you feel like a new woman,” and color consultants add or change the color of a room to make it restful or stimulating.

yin-yangThere are many acts we perform to cause change form the outside. A secretary brings a plant and puts it on the boss’s desk and suddenly he’s in a great mood. The secretary, of course, gets no credit. Neither does the plant. We bring flowers to sick people to cheer them up, use electric fans to circulate stale air space, add pools and fountains to gardens, use mirrors to enlarge space or bring in outside views. Little things are done everyday to improve space. We tend to perform such acts without thinking of the consequence but greater benefit could be reached if such acts were done consciously.

yin-yangAlthough the techniques of feng shui are extremely complicated, whether you work in a typing pool surrounded by hundreds of coworkers, are the CEO with an impressive corner office, or run your business from the kitchen table, there are a few simple things you can do to bring good feng shui into your office.

yin-yangTry to choose a building element that is suitable for your occupation. If your occupation is creative or growth oriented, choose a Wood element building; a two or three-story building constructed of wood. For intellectual or spiritual work choose a Fire type building; sharply peaked, triangular, pyramid shaped or with a pointed roof. For work that requires stability and longevity, choose an Earth type building; one story, low to the ground, flat roof, made of stone or marble. For diplomatic, detailed work, choose a Metal building; curved, round or made primary of metal (and glass). For compassionate social work, choose a Water type building shaped like a wave with an irregular roofline with various levels. (Glass is the building material associated with Water).

yin-yangInvestigate the history of the place. Who sat in your chair or worked there before you did? Did they succeed or fail? If they were promoted or moved on to bigger and better things, don’t do anything. If they were fired or left in unhappy circumstances, ask if you can exchange your desk and chair with other ones.

yin-yangIf not, rearrange the furniture so it is positioned in a different way. If the space has negative vibrations, clean the desk, the draws and the chair with lemon water or lemon oil. Try a new desk pad that covers the desk. Keep the surface of your desk clear of unnecessary papers or items. Organize your drawer space.

yin-yangTo be more organized, clear the path between the entry door and your desk. Remove boxes, completed projects or other items that may have accumulated around you or behind the door to the office. Straighten out the cords that connect the phone, fax and computer. Jumbled wires equals jumbled communications. Don’t sit too close to the walls. Otherwise, you might feel as though you’ve been “backed against the wall” with little room to maneuver, or there might be few options or opportunities coming to you.

yin-yangWindowless offices can be oppressive but easily rectified. Pictures of nature and mirrors of all types can create artificial openings in the walls, adding life, color and action to any closed space. Colorful desk accessories, computer screen savers or mouse pads can also add beauty and nature in an otherwise sterile place.

yin-yangThe position of your desk can affect your well-being. When you sit with your back to the door, much may occur behind your back or without your knowledge. Use a mirror positioned so you can see the entry. If you sit facing a blank wall, place a picture of a nature scene with a distant view to transform that wall. If you sit facing a corner fill the corner with books or silk flowers in a small vase. Remember, if you cannot see anyone, no one will be able to see you and you might be overlooked when promotion time comes around. Make yourself prominent. Raise the height of your chair; add lights to your workspace, anything you can do to be more noticeable will help.

yin-yangTo increase business (and money), use the color red. Flowers on the desk are cheerful. Tie a red ribbon around a vase with red or pin k flowers (avoid roses as they die and have thorns). Tie a red ribbon around anything that you usually have on your desk. Keep a red pen in a prominent spot on your desk. Use a screen saver on your computer that has a school of fish swimming amidst bubbles. To the Chinese, fish and money are synonymous. The more fish, the more money. Place a mirror behind your desk or cash register to double the amount of money you make. Warning: if you are already overworked, don’t do this as it might double your workload.

yin-yangAs you enter the room, look towards the furthest corner to your visual left. This is the “money corner. Keep this area clean. Place round leaf plants in this corner. Use the color red and tie a ribbon around the plant. Place coins under the plant. Pictures o money can also be used to stimulate cash flow.

yin-yangLittle things can make a big difference. Feng shui shows you how to care about space. When you water plants and feed your pets, they’re happy. It’s the same with your home or office. Pay attention to your space. It will respond in kind and business will improve. Why? When you’re comfortable, you’re in the power spot. When you’re in the power spot, success is yours.

Originally published Aspects, Summer of 1997

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