Have you ever wondered how to set up your office space for maximum effectiveness, or wondered how much your surroundings affect your ability to stay productive and make those big dreams of yours happen? Today, I’m excited to share with you a guest post from the fabulous Tanya Arler, Intuitive Art Coach and certified Infinite Possibilities Trainer! In today’s post, Tanya shares with us 5 tips for using Feng Shui basics to set your workspace up for success and abundance. Take it away Tanya…
I lived in Singapore for 2 years and had the amazing good fortune to learn Feng Shui Consultancy from the most genuine, peculiar and fascinating woman I have ever met… OK, I’ll say it differently; she was strange, but good strange.
When I first met her she just looked at me, waved her hand around, kind of squeezed my forearm and said “ahw… ahw…hmmm… too much Yin.” Then led me to her apartment where she was going to teach me the finer art of Feng Shui, or the science of Geomancy as they call it locally.
I followed her to her apartment, expecting a picture of tranquility. A neat, tidy, Zen abode which oozed grace and fluidity. She was a Feng Shui Master after all!
I don’t even have the words to describe her place.
The humidity had taken over, the apartment was tatty and at first glance, chaos seemed to abound. I sat down on a worn futon couch and in front of me was a flip chart, you know, one of those things from the 80’s?
So, I sat there with very little hope, feeling a bit icky to be quite honest, but what came next was amazing!
Creating a space that works for you!
She looked at this blond western girl and just very matter-of-factly said “I don’t need to teach you about dragons and lotus flowers — that means nothing to you in the west. And I don’t think western people really care about the 9 generations that came before and how the positioning of their lamp could affect the 3 generations to follow. I am going to teach you ‘Black Hat’ Feng Shui”, and off we went!
And so I learned Feng Shui, and it was fascinating!
She taught me the principles, but also taught me the art. The focus is on the flow of energy in the space, but it also needs to gel with the people living there. She recognized that putting a dragon in the ‘Fame’ corner could be counter productive if the person just thought it was weird.
Instead, she taught me to use shapes, colors and the depictions in paintings to shift energy and create an environment that flowed for the person. She taught me to be sensitive to the individual, whilst implementing the clear guidelines that dictate good CHI (the Chinese word for energy).
5 Tips to Feng Shui your workspace
Putting it all together is quite complex but there are some simple principles that you can apply. In business, I leaned some really cool stuff… that quite frankly makes perfect sense if you think about it.
1. Never place your desk in a position where a window is directly behind you.
If a window is behind you, you will feel unsupported in your decisions. Unsure of who has your back, you will continually doubt yourself and your performance.
In time, this will lead to you not feeling passionate about what you do; feeling very lonely in your work and self-doubt will creep up more and more as time goes on.
At the same time…
2. Never sit with your back to the door.
If your back is directly facing the door, your nervous sensors will continually be on guard. Literally worried that someone might ‘stab you in the back’.
Being able to see the door where people enter through, or just the direction where most people come from, is key. If you can’t see who (or what) is approaching, your body will naturally put itself in a slightly ‘defensive’ energy. Ready to respond to surprises quickly.
This is at a miniscule level, not like when we were cavemen and worried about tiger attacks, but nonetheless, it is constant.
Over time you will feel more stressed, less able to handle unexpected projects that land on your desk and you will become distrusting of you colleagues and world around you.
3. Place your desk so there is a wall behind you and you can see the entrance to your space.
Ideally you want a solid wall directly behind you to literally give you the feeling that something or someone has ‘got your back’. This will allow your body to relax a little more into the moment and not feel the need to be on guard all the time.
Your work and creativity will flow more easily and you will welcome support, help, suggestions, and ideas. You will find that you collaborate with your colleagues better and connect with your customers in a more welcoming way.
To do this, sometimes you need to get creative, but remember, the desk doesn’t always have to be against a wall.
It can be pulled away from the wall so that you walk around it to sit. This puts a wall behind you and the door is in your line of sight.
Even in the smallest space I have been able to find solutions with a little bit of out-of-the-box thinking.
4. Feng Shui does not equal ‘Zen’
A common misconception is that good chi is achieved by having a minimalistic, preferably all white, office with little or no personal touches… OH, and the desk has to look like it is never used, not a paper to be seen.
Hang pictures on the walls that inspire you. Make sure that they exude what you want to feel like in your work. Avoid pictures that are lonely, or too introspective as that might lead you to be too insular.
Also, some people need a level of chaos to thrive. A sense that they can make mistakes, not be perfect, gives them the license to truly create amazing things.
So, when looking at your desk, don’t dwell on how it ‘should’ look. Focus on the right amount of organization, or chaos, for you.
The caveat is for you more chaotic types. Just because I say that a little chaos might be right for you, doesn’t mean I am giving you permission to go wild. Remember, it is about the RIGHT amount of chaos.
So when your mind is not focusing, clean your desk. It doesn’t have to be perfectly tidy, but get rid of the stuff that doesn’t need to be there and give yourself a sense of organization.
5. Put a plant in the far left corner of your space.
In the most basic version of Feng Shui, the far left corner of your office, standing in your door looking into your space, is your Prosperity corner.
In Feng Shui this not only represents money, but wealth in general, abundance and flow. So it is in this corner that we want growth!
If you have an established business, put a solid plant there that has strong roots and represents the business and how you want to keep it.
If you are a start up, or looking to grow, get a younger plant that has space to grow and get bigger.
What is really important is that you don’t leave a withering or dying plant in the corner… or in your space at all! This represents death and decline and brings down the energy and flow of you and your chi. NOT GOOD!
For those of you who have the opposite of a green thumb, a silk or plastic plant is fine (I can hear that sigh of relief).
The important thing is that whatever you put there doesn’t get neglected. Make sure the live plant has water and is thriving and that the fake plant doesn’t turn into a dust bunny machine.
Water, clean or dust your plant regularly, so that it represents the vibrancy of life.
Where is your energy focused?
Like most ancient philosophies, Feng Shui is steeped in tradition, but when you look past that, you can see the common sense behind it.
To thrive in your business you need to put yourself in a position that all your energy is expended on your passion and joy. That creating growth and vibrancy is your focus, not preparing yourself for battle.
I love Feng Shui because in my business, I thrive on finding the things that are holding you back, that you don’t even realize are an issue. What’s lurking in the subconscious or keeping you from really pursuing your dreams. Feng Shui is just one of the tools in my toolbox.
To do further Feng Shui work with Tanya on your office or space, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She does both on line workshops for up to 6 people and individual consultations via a combination of email and Skype!
photo credit: pixabay.com cc (modified by me)