Would you like your business to be more prosperous? Would you also like a more harmonious work environment that both invigorates and supports you and the people you work with? How would you like to think more clearly and be more productive? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you might want to consider the use of Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of placement. Join the multitude of businesses in this country that have embraced its teachings and enjoyed its many benefits – benefits that can indeed help create a peaceful, successful and profitable work place. So come. Come take a journey into the fascinating world of “wind and water.” Learn to use the flow of energy called chi to improve yourself and your business. Declutter your desk and your mind with a practice that has been declared beneficial for over three thousand years. Let feng shui’s universal truths bring a beautiful balance into your work life. Understanding feng shui Feng shui (pronounced fung shway) is the ancient Chinese art of placing objects that will bring either favorable or unfavorable effects; the placement of which is based on the flow of energy in the universe call chi (pronounced chee) and on patterns of yin and yang. The literal translation for the Chinese words “feng” and “shui” are “wind” and “water.” It is through wind and water that chi flows through nature and the universe. Chi should not be impeded but balanced so that any negative forms (sha chi or “poisoned arrows”) may be offset with positive adjustments. Yin and Yang is both a symbol and belief of natural opposing yet complementary forces that allows a harmonious universe to exist. Nothing can be totally yin or yang; there will always be at the least a miniscule amount of one in the other. Yin, the black side, is characterized as weak, passive, dark, cold, winter and female; Yang, the white side, is characterized as strong, active, bright, warm, summer and male. Feng shui is based upon the yin and yang philosophy. The Ba-gua This is one of the most powerful tools in feng shui to create positive changes. The ba-gua is an octagonal chart that depicts the eight points of a compass. Each direction on the compass focuses on a different facet of life; i.e., Southeast influences wealth and fortune and can be characterized by the color purple and the number four. Using this knowledge can help to achieve goals in all aspects of life. Business Applications Declutter Your Desk and Work Space According to feng shui, work performance and business wealth can be increased by decluttering and establishing order on your desk. Productive chi cannot flow if all that “stuff” on your desk is blocking its movement and cluttering up your mind. Take everything off your desk and clean up any cluttered areas around it. Put back only items that are used everyday, and papers on your desk must be limited to those for one project only. Other items and papers should be placed elsewhere; in file cabinets, desk drawers, and storage cabinets/containers. Now that your desk is clutter-free, add things that are lovely, positive and career-enhancing. Use the ba-gua to guide you; for example, to generate more wealth to your business, place a red or purple artifact on its southeast corner. The eastern side of your desk is your health, growth and family area, represented by wood and the color green. A plant would be nice in this space or a family picture in a wood frame. Position of Your Desk in a Room or Office In the practice of feng shui, the happiness, success and prosperity you have in your business life is greatly influenced by the position of your desk. The optimal position is one in which your desk is set back to view as much of the room as possible, with your back to a wall. You should also have a view of both a window and the door, but never in direct line with the door. Diagonal desk and door alignment is best. The doorway or window should never be directly behind your back; to do so would invite negative sha chi. Flowers and Plants Live plants and flowers bring many positive elements into the workplace. Aside from their natural beauty, they improve air quality, unite us with the natural world outside, and their green color encourages personal and business growth. Avoid any cactus or plants with sharp-looking leaves as these may cause sha chi .To bring their positive influences, plants and flowers must be healthy and flourishing. If a plant dies, remove it and replace it with another. Keep in mind it better to have a silk plant than none at all. Just be sure to keep it dusted and vibrant-looking. Water Water is the most powerful symbol of money in feng shui. Its sparkling chi energy is beneficial for your health and prosperity but care must be taken to keep water fresh and clean. Fountains are wonderful but be sure their water flow is not blocked, stagnant or very rapid. Scaled-down fountains that are designed for a desk or small table are a good choice if space is limited. Another great choice is either a fish tank or aquarium. Consider including goldfish in your tank as gold is a Chinese symbol for money and is thought to attract it. Another great way to incorporate water into your business is the use of any artifact that depicts water. Home Offices Feng shui promotes the importance of keeping business and personal life separate when you have a home office. An outside separate entrance to your office is optimal. If not possible, a room near the front or back door of the house or apartment is best. When a home office is part of a larger room, be sure to partition it off with something like a screen or large plant. An area rug on the floor can also be used to mark off the office. What type of ceiling do you have in your home office? Flat ceilings promote the flow of chi and are best; otherwise hang wind chimes from cathedral or sloped ceilings to offset sha chi. Enhance your personal chi and your professional appeal by dressing well and taking care of your overall health, hygiene and appearance. Resist the urge to work at home while unshowered or adorned in your sweats or pajamas. Keeping thoughts of work and home from commingling can be difficult at times when you work at home. Consider taking a short walk each day before and after your “work” day as another means of separating your business life from your personal life. * To truly obtain a full and deep education and understanding of feng shui can take years. Visit your local bookstore or library to learn more about this age-old practice that has been enjoyed by faithful followers for thousands of years. Whether you are a novice or a master, there are many applications you can effect to encourage good “feng shui” and in turn affect your work environment, workers and wealth in a beneficial way.