You are your home. Over the past 5,000 years, the Chinese have proven with time-tested accuracy that you can enhance your life when you enhnce your home decor with feng shui.
Feng shui, which literally translates as “wind and water,” provides simple and simply wonderful ways to design your environment to benefit your career, relationships, and finances. While the design of all areas of your home is equally important in bringing harmony to your life, your desk, its placement, and the way it’s accessorized are significant in bringing about creativity in your personal and financial affairs.
To understand how feng shui works, consider the stress you feel when you have much to do and little time to do it. Now add to the mix a cluttered, disorganized desktop. When there is no room on your desk, there is no room to think. When you clear your desktop, however, you also clear your head. You become better organized, less stressed, and allow new possibilities, ideas, and creative solutions an unfettered path to enter.
Because feng shui works via your unconscious response to what you see and experience in any given environment, imagine all the life-enhancing possibilities the following desk-decorating tips will make in your life:
• Avoid Jessie James Syndrome: Never sit at a desk with your back to the door. (Jessie would never have been able to count his bounty with his back to the door). If this situation can’t be avoided, place a small mirror in front of you so you can see someone entering the room. Being startled from behind creates insecurity; at your desk, this means financial insecurity.
• Design your desk so everything you need is easily accessible simply by spinning around in your chair or reaching across the desktop.
• Position your light source so it doesn’t create a “shadow of darkness” on the desktop. Avoid glare and use natural lighting to “lluminate” creative possibilities. Direct light for optimum efficiency: Right-handers should direct the light over their left shoulder, lefties over their right shoulder.
• Surround yourself with art and accessories that make you happy. Good feng shui means placing yourself amid furnishings you find beautiful, functional, and/or symbolic. What art and accessories symbolize personal or financial success to you? If you love to travel, consider placing beautiful travel photographs in metal frames on your desktop (metal represents abundance). If you’re an accomplished gourmet cook—or simply an accomplished gourmand—a metal gravy boat could serve as an ideal pencil holder. Even if you only use your desk to pay bills, consider accessorizing it with a beautiful, empty metal bowl to symbolically provide a place to hold your wealth.
Wherever in your home you choose to use feng shui—the ancient Chinese art of placement—you can positively enhance your wealth, health, and happiness quotients. How you nurture your physical environment is as important as how you nurture your body, mind, and spirit. In this case, even your desktop can become a mirror of your soul.
To help jump-start your professional life, call on the bagua life-situation chart to help you dress your desk for success. The bagua is a holistic symbol derived directly from the ancient Chinese text, I Ching. The eight sides of this simple figure represent the eight life aspects. Once you identify where these aspects are in your home, you can energize them with any number of cures and enhancements to stimulate positive ch’i and create good feng shui.
To allow health, wealth, and prosperity a clear path into your life, apply the bagua to your desktop much as you might map out a room plan. When seated at your desk, consider the section directly in front of you as the Career section. Moving counterclockwise, the next section of the bagua is Helpful People and Travel. Following are the sections for Creativity, Relationships, Fame and Reputation, Wealth and Fortunate Blessings, Health and Family, and Knowledge and Wisdom.
Knowing that the practice of feng shui affects the flow of positive ch’i, you will want to place even the most common, everyday desk items with creative intent in order to realize the greatest success.
Career. Stationery, notepaper, and a pen placed in this sector will remind you to contact people important to your career. Keep this area clear if you are ready to accept new projects.
Helpful People & Travel. An address book with phone numbers and addresses—including those you rely on in your business, such as employees, customers, and suppliers—should be placed here as a reminder of the people you welcome in your life. Include in the book those with whom you share positive personal and professional news and who are always there to lend a helping hand or sympathetic ear. A passport placed here can represent being ready to expand your professional or personal life to distant shores.
Creativity. A clock in this sector activates creative new ideas because the motion of the hands activates ch’i, and the clock’s silver surface is appropriate here because metal is the element linked to this section of the bagua.
Relationships. A crystal vase placed here symbolizes a vessel with the ability to contain nourishment from all your relationships. The flowers are living ch’i that attract new growth to you. This arrangement is further activated through the type, color, and number of flowers chosen. Tulips are a welcome sight in spring, reminding you of the cycle of the seasons and hope for new life in relationships. The flowers’ white, pink, and red colors—the Valentine colors of the West—are related to issues of the heart, as they are in the East. Additionally, these colors typify this section of the bagua. And the selection of nine flowers is auspicious. This number, used repeatedly in feng shui cures to symbolize all eight sides of the bagua plus its center, represents completion and movement.
The silver letter holder is placed here to hold the energy of people contacting you. The envelopes it contains represent thoughts about relationships sent out into the world.
Fame & Reputation. Fire is the element linked to this area of the bagua, representing your light shining brightly so that others can find what you have to offer on both a personal and professional level. Keeping an aromatherapy candle lit while you are working at your desk also is an excellent way to enhance your ch’i in order to attract new business.
Wealth & Fortunate Blessings. Placing something substantial like a paperweight in this section attracts substantial wealth and blessings; the crystal paperweight’s heft and hue, and the fact that it is an expensive desk accessory, make it particularly suitable. The silver bookmark holding the pages of the checkbook is an object of value that also denotes wealth. The checkbook itself has obvious connections to your financial well-being; visualize a steady and balanced flow of resources moving through it.
Health & Family. Placing family photos here reminds you how your loved ones support each other and your work in the world. Having them before you can motivate you to excellence in honor of the generations before and after you. A cup of your favorite tea here will comfort you at personal and professional tasks, whether you need a quick boost of energy or a soothing herbal brew.
Knowledge & Wisdom. The magnifying glass symbolizes close examination, representing all the details that add to your knowledge of both objects and situations. A ruler allows for precision and accuracy in your work.
Note that no sharp objects, such as scissors and letter openers, are found on this desktop. Rather, they should be stored in a drawer to protect you from harsh, cutting ch’i.
By artfully placing your desk accessories in the appropriate bagua sector, you can be assured of personal and professional success—and a wealth of possibilities.
Jami Lin is an internationally renowned author, lecturer, and feng shui consultant with more than twenty years’ experience as a professional interior designer. Laurelyn Baker is a noted author, speaker, mentor, and radio guest known for her detailed feng shui analyses of commercial and residential spaces.