The Artist's Shui

comments (7) February 23rd, 2009     

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Jen_W Jennifer Worick, contributor
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With a few tweaks, I changed up the energy and cleared off my desk.
The basic bagua.
Put things you are proud of (in my case, my published books) in your Fame & Reputation area to inspire you.
With a few tweaks, I changed up the energy and cleared off my desk.

With a few tweaks, I changed up the energy and cleared off my desk.

Photo: Jennifer Worick

Ever since my friend Sandra Watson came over to sprinkle a little feng shui dust around my apartment, I’ve been a bit kookaloo. Whenever I take to a new craft, I jump in with both feet. This usually coincides with an impending deadline I’d rather pretend doesn’t exist. This form of productive procrastination has now extended to feng shui, the art of thoughtful placement of objects in your home to effect positive change. I highly recommend the book, Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life by Karen Rauch Carter. It breaks down black hat feng shui into easy-to-understand concepts.

The Basics
In a nutshell, there is a nine-square “bagua” that you apply to your home, depending on where your front door is. The individual guas are Prosperity, Fame & Reputation, Love & Relationships, Children & Creativity, Travel & Helpful People, Career, Skills & Knowledge, Family, and Health. Different colors and materials are applied to each gua for optimal energy and flow.


The basic bagua.

Let me just say that I don’t consider myself “woo woo.” I’m pretty skeptical of New Age practices and normally steer clear of the self-help section or the first whiff of incense. After a series of unexpected blows in January, I was ready for Chinese New Year and some Eastern special sauce.

Enter the dragon.

I went to work on my Prosperity gua (the bathroom), Fame & Reputation (bedroom), and Love & Relationships (kitchen and office). I needed to add more purple to the bathroom, so I put a fuchsia orchid on the back of the toilet. The toilet itself was a bit of problem, being placed in my money corner. I wrapped red tape around the pipes and make sure to keep the lid down. I don’t know if it’s the feng shui or my awareness of wealth when I lower the lid, but lucrative opportunities have come my way this past week.

For the bedroom, I tossed the baby blue accents and brought in some rich red touches: pillows, lamp, glassybaby, and mantra mirror. With my chocolate brown linen quilt, my bedroom now looks like a box of Valentine’s candy. Yum.

Now that I have a rudimentary knowledge of feng shui, it’s pretty easy to spot the ridiculous. In my Love corner is a radiator that I have kept shut off because I stored my booze on the shelf above it. Is it any wonder that I’ve been dating emotionally distant men with a penchant for Pabst? That corner now boasts a pink valentine, a photo of my favorite happy couple, and Mac Daddy’s red collar. Oh, it’s on like Donkey Kong.

I’ve been tweaking the rest of my apartment in accordance with the bagua, and things feel much, much better. When reading the book, I noticed that you can also feng shui your desk or workspace. You just configure the bagua based on where your chair is.

Tackling the Desk
My desk is also in my Love corner, so I thought it might be a good idea to make a clean sweep of my workspace and bring order and flow to the place where the real magic happens: the crafting and the writing.
 
My desk is not super cluttered, or so I thought. When I brought a fresh eye to it, however, I noticed a lot of items that could fall by the wayside. There are piles of stuff that never move. There is also a stuffed Rolodex, Ball jar full of pens, loads of files, medical reports, stapler, expired passport, business card holder, lamp, my checkbook on top of a pile of bills, notepad, paper clips, hand lotion, coaster, battery charger, and a stack of business cards I need to file away.


My desk, before the makeover. While it's not covered in crap, it does have a lot of items that don't need to be there.

Okay, there’s more crap on my desk than I thought. Most of the stuff isn’t necessary to my day-to-day operations, so after assessing what I need to keep handy, I went to work on the desktop.

Starting in the top left Prosperity corner, I pumped up the purple by adding a hyacinth. Let’s hope my black thumb doesn’t rear its ugly head too soon. Moving to the top center (Fame & Reputation), it seemed obvious that I should replace folders of medical records and bills with all of my published books. I placed my business card holder in front of them. When I’m feeling blocked, I can be inspired by my previous productivity and accomplishments. The top right part of my desk is reserved for Love & Relationships and the ruling color is pink. I popped a hot pink hand-crafted card from my lovely editor Michaela and an envelope covered in love stickers from my favorite three-year-old.


Put things you are proud of (in my case, my published books) in your Fame & Reputation area to inspire you.

Moving down to the middle right, it’s time to pump up the Creativity & Children gua. I added a playful Magic 8 Ball next to my Rolodex. The lower right gua is earmarked for Travel & Helpful People. I placed my silver tin of paper clips here, and slipped a few pieces of paper in as well, detailing a few wishes and the people who can help me achieve them. I’m contemplating what I can put here to denote travel, perhaps a small photo album of my trip to Paris or a guidebook of some sort. For now, I placed an Eiffel Tower rubber stamp and paper clip.


Put a silver box in your Travel & Helpful People gua and slip pieces of paper with intentions and people who can help you achieve those wishes.

The bottom center area is for Career, and this is where my laptop lives. I’ve got the chi flowing there already. Moving on, the bottom left area is for Knowledge & Wisdom. My blank notebook is here, ready for questions, comments, and great thoughts. Moving up to the middle left Family gua, I placed rocks from Lake Michigan that my dad sent me on a small green tray (green being the Family optimal color). Monthly bills go here as well. And finally, the center gua is all about Health. For now, I’m leaving this space alone.


Place photos or things that remind you of your family (in my case, rocks from Lake Michigan that my dad sent me) in your Family gua.

My transformed desk still has a number of items on it, but each thing is placed with intention for use and inspiration.

What do you think of my desktop makeover? Do you have any other suggestions for my tabletop bagua? How can you reconfigure your creative space based on feng shui principles?

In the future, you can find me at my website or blogs, Things I Want to Punch in the Face and Prairie Tales. My new book, Backcountry Betty: Crafting with Style, is in stores now.

posted in: home, desk, feng shui, cleaning, workspace

Comments (7)

Craig27Jannie writes: If you are willing to buy a house, you will have to receive the credit loans. Moreover, my sister all the time utilizes a collateral loan, which supposes to be the most rapid.
Posted: 12:14 am on July 9th
Laurably writes: Fantastic! As artists we know how such things as color, shape & texture, create energy & we use those to get the effects we're looking for in what we're creating. Learning about Feng Shui teaches us how these things are affecting us in our surroundings, subconsciously or subliminally.

I have found the bagua can be interpreted just a bit differently. From how I learned Feng Shui, & I'm by no means an expert, you've done a great job already! But since you asked :)) Here's a few suggestions on how I would further 'tweak' your desk bagua:

Front right is your helpful People/Travel space, move the rolodex there. Perhaps even come up with a different holder in black or a simple black box top to place over the rolodex, when not in use, & stamp the top or box with the Eiffel tower or use a pretty postcard on top.

Where the rolodex is now is your Children/Creativity area, white/pastel/metal. Put a small photo of your favorite niece there in a metal frame, in white, cream or decorated pastel frame. Small toys & fun things (like the 8-ball - but which is the wrong color) are good too, but use the colors indicated.

Top right is the marriage bagua. The handmade card is nice, but IF you are interested in highlighting this area, in a romantic way, put something too like a red heart paperweight, valentine card, maybe a vintage wedding cake topper, etc. Something that is significant to you & shows you're open & interested in promoting the romance area of your life.

I think the hyacinth is great! Your $$ will be growing!

Your fame center (center rear) is where you want to 'shine' & be in the 'spotlight'. Anything representing the sun is good here. I would move your desk lamp there next to your books. I am so impressed with your published works! However, I would select about 4 or 5 special volumes, & use something in a bright orange or yellow color to hold them up. You want to be "hot" in this area.

Great post!




Posted: 2:41 pm on March 6th
Jen_W writes: Yay! So glad you found this helpful. The real trick is maintaining the order as life gets in the way.
Posted: 7:14 pm on March 1st
taja writes: This is great! this winter i have made it a point to remover clutter and organize my home and was just working on my desk area.I had purchased a book called "fengshui in a weekend" which is a great book but being new to feng shui its hard for me to understand easily(i have to keep going back and forth through the book to look up terminology)though it does have some great ideas.You made it seem simpler with small touches and personal details.The desk area is a great place to start if wanting to learn how to use feng shui.I kept thinking about my whole house and it seemed over whelming.Great article and thanks for the inspiration!!!
Posted: 3:50 pm on March 1st
Not_So_Plain_Jane writes: I'm one of those skeptics who is really just hoping to find something that really does work. I can actually see the difference in your photos and I've read enough of your (great) work to know that you are NOT baying at the full moon (so to speak) Thanks, maybe I will try it?
Posted: 6:17 pm on February 24th
Belladatura writes: Great article! Now if only I could actually see the top of my desk...
Posted: 7:47 pm on February 23rd
samsstuff writes: Lovely! I need to do this with my whole house (& then prevent my husband & son from dumping more stuff on the arrangements). The book does sound helpful. Nice article!
Posted: 1:30 pm on February 23rd
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