A few years ago, following several car accidents, my cousin recommended I hire a Feng Shui expert to “fix my Qi.”
While I wasn’t so sure my energy was the problem vs. being a Masshole driver navigating LA traffic, I was game. Sure enough, the consultant zeroed in on the long hallway that runs from the living room to my office.
“Your Qi is like a strong wind whipping through your life — too fast with nothing to stop it,” she explained, tying my house’s layout to the accidents.
Energetically connecting the quality of your life to your habitats is core to the 5,000-year-old Chinese philosophy, Feng Shui. With remote work at an all-time high — 71% of those who can work at home are doing just that, according to Pew Research — and home improvement topping consumer spending, it’s worth considering this ancient art that links harmony and balance with success, happiness, and prosperity.
The Feng Shui Way
Rooted in early Taoism, Feng Shui means “the way of wind and water.” Balancing opposing yet complementary elements is thought to activate positive energy and repel negative forces.
While the details of how Feng Shui works are esoteric, the philosophy is simple: optimize your environment for greater well-being. According to Cathleen McCandless, author of Feng Shui That Makes Sense:
Feng Shui is not a belief system, a religion, or a good luck system. Like gravity, Feng Shui affects all of us all the time, whether we believe in it or not. When correctly applied to one’s surroundings, Feng Shui can help create an environment that is soothing and nurturing, and in turn, reduce tension and stress levels.
It’s very Feng Shui to integrate nature and light into your space, for example. It’s also scientifically proven: research shows that better lighting and houseplants improve mood, productivity, and satisfaction.
Home In On Your Happiness
In my wind-inviting abode, the Feng Shui expert provided a Bagua Map (energy blueprint) to improve the interior design and counteract weak spots with plants, crystals, and mirrors.
While it’s helpful to work with a professional, your instincts can tell you if your space feels “off.” These basic Feng Shui principles can help you shift the energy in your space.
- Integrate the five main elements — wood, fire, earth, metal, and water — using plants, candles, rocks, mirrors, and fountains.
- Declutter your desk (and anywhere you spend a lot of time).
- Separate your bedroom from your office.
- Avoid placing your desk with your back to a door.
- Choose colors and decor that make you feel happy, successful, and appreciated.
If you buy into the idea that your home is your castle, consider fortifying it with the same energetic blueprint as China’s Great Wall. It’ll help you scale the challenge of achieving work-life balance.