By Peg Donahue
What is Feng Shui?
Feng shui (pronounced “fung shway”) is the practice of arranging your environment to enhance your life. It is based on the knowledge that “ch’i” or energy flows thorough everything – through nature, your human body, your work space, your home, your possessions, your life. Everything in the universe is connected and ever-changing. Your environment acts as a mirror of your inner state and affects you deeply on a conscious and unconscious level. Because the two are interconnected, you have the power to create positive change in your life by working with your environment.
In Chinese, feng shui means “wind and water” and back over 3,000 years. Every culture has practiced it, in the form of geomancy … the practice of living in balance with nature and natural cycles.
- is comfortable and safe
- is comprised of things that you love
- reflects your personality in a creative way, and
- is clutter-free and well organized!
What is Ch’i?
A second principle of feng shui is that everything is alive, everything is connected and everything contains ch’i (pronounced “chee”). Ch’i is a life force or energy. It is an invisible force and it is always around us. The objective of feng shui is to capture good ch’i and to enable it to meander through your space, while keeping it alive and fresh.
How many times have you walked into a business or office and felt completely comfortable and at ease? Environments that feel great are very supportive and have excellent ch’i. Environments like this are likely to prosper. Employees are likely to get along, clients are likely to be happy, and the business can flow with ease and prosperity.
Have you ever walked into a room that felt stressed or seemed to have a sense of heaviness in the air? Ch’i is absorbed into everything in our environment and you can feel the negativity when it is there. It weighs you down.
Over time, stagnant and clogged ch’i will manifest itself somewhere in your business and your life. Stagnant ch’i can contribute to stagnant businesses and difficult relationships. Clogged chi can lead to a lot of chaos. From a business perspective this can contribute to workplace stress, troubled relationships, employee turnover, higher costs and lower profits.
How do Business Issues relate to feng shui?
In feng shui, a bagua map is used to relate life issues to specific areas of your environment and they translate directly to business. Whether you are at home or at work, the bagua map covers all relevant work issues, such as:
- your career, employee career paths and journey of the company
- your relationships, partnerships, and teamwork
- your employee “family”, your health and the company history/past
- your wealth and prosperity; company growth and market share
- your core beliefs and values; the company mission and vision>/li>
- your helpful friends, suppliers, international growth and travel
- your creativity, brainstorming, troubleshooting, R&D
- your knowledge, wisdom, training and employee development
- your integrity, your reputation, company visibility
Typically, when you are trying to change one or more areas of your life, “evidence” of each specific issue is found in the open, in your environment. The same is true within businesses. Within a business, however, things can be more complex because there may be many people and a lot of space involved.
You can use the following bagua map to identify the each area of your office and each area within your company or business. Observe how each area looks and feels. Think about the correlation between the physical area and the associated business issue. If improvement is needed, work with your space.
|Wealth & Prosperity
(Sales, Profits, Market Share, Accounting)
|Fame & Reputation
|Health & Family
(Employee Relationships, Benefits)
(Training & Development, Market Research)
(Clients, Suppliers, Mentors, Travel)
Regardless of what you find, you can correct most environments through clear intentions and by applying enhancements or adjustments. You don’t need a lot of adjustments. In fact, it is often recommended that you make only one change at a time with specific intent and then track what happens for a few weeks. If you work quickly and make a lot of changes, the energy all around you will be stirred and you’ll need to be ready for a whirlwind of activity. You cannot predict what will happen as a result of feng shui. However, when you have good intent and you are clear about what you want, feng shui can really make a difference.
How can feng shui help me in business?
Ch’i moves around us, whether we recognize it or not. You can increase your chance of business success and minimize problems by following good feng shui principles. Encourage positive ch’i to enter your place of business and meander throughout. Practicing feng shui actively does not have to be noticeable. In fact, feng shui should blend with your surroundings, your culture and your environment. Knowledge and practice of it puts you in stronger collaborative position and enables you to capture positive energy and deal more easily with business issues.
For example, a business that is difficult to find or difficult to enter will have trouble attracting the right employees and customers. This could be due to location, to signage, style of the front door and much more.
Rooms and offices that are clogged with paper or items that are not actively used have low energy. Low energy in your environment is replicated through the low energy of people. This can easily be passed on or picked up by clients.
Leaky plumbing (restrooms, kitchen areas, furnaces) or even electrical problems can negatively impact the company’s finances and employee health … situations that drive up cost and lower profit.
Spiky or thorny plants can cause difficulty with relationships. On the other hand, soft and flowing plants can contribute to good health, strong relationships and healthy finances. A water feature or image in the prosperity area can positively contribute to a healthy flow of money and profits.
Seating arrangements are also important. If you are the CEO of your business, make sure you know where the strongest position is in your company as well as in your office. You’ll want to locate your office and desk in these areas. You’ll also want to help empower employees by seating them in positions of strength. Doing so will help build strong relationships and will also add to your bottom line.
Many large corporations have actively practiced feng shui through the years …in the east as well as in the west. Companies that have used feng shui include: Borders Bookstore, Citibank, Coca Cola, Hill Holliday (a prominent New England advertising agency), Hyatt Hotels, Lucent Technologies, MGM Grand Hotel and Resorts, Mercedes Benz, Merrill Lynch, Motorola, Trump Towers, Universal Studios, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, and many more.
In business, you begin by defining your business goals and challenges. Issues are investigated by mapping your business space to the bagua, looking at where and how employees are placed (beginning with the CEO!), and identifying the messages your business is giving based on your office environment and overall surroundings.
I work in an office and I’m not in a position to influence a feng shui consultation for my company. Can you assist me with the feng shui of my office or cubicle?
Yes! Even if your company is not tuned in to feng shui, you can influence the energy around you by practicing good feng shui. It may help you bring clarity to your work, strengthen relationships with your co-workers, get the promotion you desire.
How do I get started?
You should begin by analyzing what you’d like to be different in your life or business and visualizing the end result. All of your intentions should be positive or lead in a positive direction. Never cast negative thoughts toward another person or thing … they are likely to come back to you and the pattern will be repeated until you learn to break it.
Once your intent is clear, remove all clutter and anything that is uncomfortable or unsafe from your environment and organize everything.
Next you can apply the bagua map from your front entrance. In the west (USA, etc.) squaring off your office, business or house like a tic-tac-toe board and overlaying the map as follows, seems to work best.
Or, you can call us for a consultation and we’ll help you move directly to the core issues and provide you practical suggestions for implementation.
What are ch’i enhancements?
Ch’i enhancements are common items that we find in our homes and offices daily that are used to improve the flow of energy. There are several categories of ch’i enhancements, so you have many choices. The important thing is to use enhancements that fit your style and your culture. The purpose is to have energy flowing smoothly, not to create imbalances or draw attention to things that are totally out of place.
Ch’i enhancements fall into the categories below:
|paintings, sculptures, collections, textiles, etc.
|All colors of the spectrum have elemental associations and are used to activate specific areas … use colors you love!
|round and faceted to circulate ch’i
|such as lamps, sunlight, spotlights
|plants, animals, fish, flowers, etc.
|use to view the door if you sit with our back to it.
|such as rocks, shells, etc.
|music, musical instruments, wind chimes, bells, etc.
|pictures of water, water fountains and water gardens.
|mobiles, flags, banners, etc.
What are the elements used in Feng Shui?
Feng shui uses the Five Element Theory to balance and harmonize environments. The elements used are: water, fire, earth, metal and water. Each element has a nourishing cycle … where one or more elements support or create another element. Each element also has a controlling or destructive cycle where one element diminishes or reduces another. When the elements are in balance, you have a harmonious environment. When one or more elements are out of balance, the imbalance manifests itself in a variety of ways. It might impact your health since each of our five major organ networks is controlled by one of the elements. It may also manifest itself through your personality, your emotional state, and the way you feel about things and the way you react to situations and people. The elements are represented through color, shape, texture, materials and life form. In feng shui, you always balance through the elements!