The Artist's Shuicomments (13) February 23rd, 2009
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?