My home office is a mess. My work office isn’t much better. But this past week I was on vacation, so that plus the end of year resolution guilt motivated me to start cleaning. While I was procrastinating one morning, I turned a digital page and discovered an article on “office feng shui.”

Feng Shui, (pronunced fung shway) are rules in Chinese philosophy that govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to patterns of yin and yang and the flow of energy (qi AKA chi). The belief is that you need to consider the favorable or unfavorable effects when you are designing and siting buildings and home, or graves, or the furnishings of a room.

Feng Shui translates as “wind” and “water.” It is a traditional way of living based on a philosophy that has roots in spirituality.

Some of the suggestions I found sound more practical than spiritual. For example, remove clutter because it stimulates negative energy. Eliminating physical clutter that you would encounter every day will also clear you mentally and lighten your emotional burdens.

I think I need to use creative and dream-inducing objects in my home office. More logical, work-oriented elements belong in my weekday office to help me focus on business.

Your desk needs to be in a position of power. You should have a direct view of the door, a view out the window (if possible) and a wall behind you for stability. Sit in the corner farthest from the entrance to the room to have a “command” position. Don’t sit in line with the door, as you will be in the path of negative energy. And don’t look straight out into a corridor or see the stairs, storage rooms, closets, elevators, escalators, or toilets. Keep your back toward a corner or a wall for support, and if you can sit with a tall building behind you, it will provide the support of a “mountain.”

Even the shape of your desk, can affect your mood and productivity. Recommended shapes include rounded curves, especially a kidney-shaped desk which follows the natural curves of the human body. These create a subconscious feeling of inner alignment and encourage the flow of creativity. And wood desks are best.

You need plants to maintain a connection to the natural world. Green spurs creativity. They are useful in allowing positive Chi flow in energy dead corners. They also (literally) filter the air and remove toxins.

The blues, purples or reds are colors that enhance wealth and prosperity. Not important to my home office.

You want natural daylight, so work near a window but not directly in front of the window (or fluorescent lights) because of the glare which causes eyestrain and exhaustion. Unfortunately, those compact fluorescents are the new rule. Stock up on some warm incandescent bulbs or daylight spectrum ones while you still can.

You may improve your mood and energy dramatically by replacing fluorescent lights with warm lights that don’t cast a glare.

I am not advanced enough to create a “Bagua map” to determine the connections between various spaces in your office and the eight different guas of the bagua map. Maybe next year.

There is a lot to feng shui. A crystal bowl helps with wealth and prosperity. A picture of your father or ancestors would be good if you have an inherited business.

Don’t ask me why, but a tall red vase on the floor, table, or windowsill will help you add more yin energy.

I’m not a feng shui expert or much of a believer. (This may be a result of consulting Feng Shui Your Workspace For Dummies) but I do believe that your environment affects you and how you work or create.

eIt does seem better having an uncluttered workspace. I do love a desktop that looks like a ZEn garden. Bare. But it is hard for me to maintain. My home “office” has a very different purpose from my work office, but I have noticed that work stuff is creeping into my home space, and I have added home objects to my work office. Bad chi?

And I may not get permission from my wife to work on our bedroom’s feng shui.

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