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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Feng Shui Office Space

Yesterday we had a quiz to identify which elemental energy is you most dominant. If you missed yesterday’s blog, go back and take the short quiz so you know which element is most descriptive of you. If you’re across the board, pick the one you think fits best. Today we are going to talk about creating balance in your workspace by either toning down the energy or complimenting it.

Wood Energy: Just a review from yesterday. Wood tends to be enthusiastic about projects, enjoys change and they are hard workers. One drawback is they sometimes leave projects unfinished when they lose interest. When wood energy is excessive, they may be impatient and easily irritated. Sometimes they suffer from exhaustion and burnout. People with excessive wood energy also tend to get headaches often.

Here are some things to do when the wood energy needs to be toned down:1. Turn off the phone and unplug from the internet, facebook, twitter and anything similar for at least an hour a day. Because you tend to get distracted easily, this will help you stay focused.
2. Include a plush chair in your office to encourage quiet time to clear your head.
3. Since horizontal lines slow energy, pick horizontal pictures, blinds or striped curtains. Wouldn’t horizontal stripes painted on the wall be fun?
4. Water helps to soothe wood, so you might want to include a fountain in your office. Also, keep a glass of water handy and don’t forget to stay hydrated in your excitement of pursuing a project.
5. Make a list of people you know will help you when you’re becoming overwhelmed and ask for help when you need it.

Here are some ways to support your elemental energy:1. Wood likes new things, so stock up on different notebooks, folders, colorful markers, etc.
2. Keep healthy, ready to eat snacks or lunches that can be heated in the microwave on hand. You’re too busy to stop and cook a meal, so you’ll grab whatever is quickest. Chips and a soda aren’t going to give you the fuel you need to keep going.
3. Wood has a tendency to think big and wants to soar, so hang pictures high to encourage this natural tendency.
4. Use natural wood in your office.
5. Remove the television.
6. Paint the walls an untraditional color.
7. If you can, pick a room with a view. But, if that’s impossible, hang a landscape picture on the wall.

Fire Energy: Fire likes to socialize, and they are likeable. Their one danger is becoming too involved with others. Because they are sensitive to others’ feelings, they can feel too strongly, which can lead to physical illness or anxiety.

Here are some things to do when the fire energy needs to be toned down:1. Take time to journal. Pour all those feelings out on paper then set them aside to give your body and mind a rest.
2. Avoid or limit alcohol and caffeine.
3. Lower the shades and dim the lights to decrease the external stimuli.
4. Add black accessories to your office, because black is grounding.

Here are some ways to support your elemental energy:
1. Create a space that appeals to your senses. Fill it with fresh flowers, scented candles and soft fabrics.
2. Paint the walls in a vibrant color.
3. Hang art with visual impact and that moves you in some way.
4. Include music in your workspace.
5. If you are able to set up your office in a sunny place, do it. If you don’t have that option, be sure to take breaks to step outside or get some exposure to sunlight.
6. Buy fresh fruit to snack on during the day.

Earth Energy: Earth tends to mother others. They have a talent for making people feel as if they belong. And they tend to be sentimental. One negative they may experience if earth energy is too high is unmanageable clutter and constant worry.

Here are some things to do when the earth energy needs to be toned down:1. Use physical activity to decrease worry. Gardening is an especially good activity, but taking the dog for a walk or cleaning out a closet might be just as effective.
2. Sort and get rid of unneeded items, but break the task into manageable chunks. Maybe clear out the junk drawer one day then a dresser drawer the next.
3. Contain clutter in attractive containers, such as baskets or wooden boxed for small items.

Here are some ways to support your elemental energy:1. Display your collections in your office, such as old books, teapots or vintage hats.
2. Paint the walls a muted shade, like sage, terra cotta or a dusky blue gray.
3. Include a sofa or loveseat in your office where others can join you from time to time.
4. Intersperse antiques or keepsakes in your space.
5. Pick furniture with rounded edges.
6. Surround yourself with family photos.
7. Stock your panty and refrigerator so you know everyone has what they need so you can focus on working on your projects.

Metal Energy: Metal is discipline and organized. They are great at completing tasks and recalling the rules of how things should be done. However, when metal energy is excessive, relationships can begin to suffer. There may be an increase in sarcastic, biting comments and a growing distance between yourself and loved ones.

Here are some things to do to tone down metal energy:1. Ground yourself in the world by activating your senses, especially your sense of smell. Scents are very effective for conjuring memories, so choose ones that bring back memories of when you felt connected with others.
2. Select a warm white for the walls instead of a cold white.
3. Keep fresh fruits and vegetables on hand to nourish your body.
4. Add plants to help soften the edge of metal.

Here are some ways to support your elemental energy:1. Include actual metal in your office, but include warmer metals, such as copper.
2. Keep your décor to a minimum so you have a streamlined look that won’t distract or bother you. Use open shelving for easy accessibility.
3. Incorporate arcs into your office. If you don’t have an arched doorway, you can add art that depicts arches.

Water Energy: Water tends to engage in solitary reflection. They see most, if not all, sides of a situation. Time can be fluid in their world. When water energy is excessive, water may have trouble motivating themselves to rejoin others, even if they want to join in activities. They may also have trouble moving from ideas to action. They may sleep more than usual, and their bodies may feel may feel cold or crave salty foods.

Here are some things to do to tone down water energy:1. Open the curtains and let in the sun. The sunshine can reset our internal clocks, so get in the sun as often as you can.
2. Warm up some soup or tea to help warm your body.
3. Eat spicy foods for the same reason.
4. Light candles.
5. Write thoughts in a journal.
6. Be patient, because decreasing water energy can be a slow process.

Here are some ways to support your elemental energy:1. Include cascading plants or hanging items in your office. Maybe a wind chime would be a good addition.
2. Remove all noisy devices.
3. Add an ottoman to your space, so you can get your feet off the floor. You tend to be freer with your feet up.
4. Make life easier on yourself, such as hiring a cleaning service.
5. Choose a smaller space for your office. If you don’t have that option, create a nook for yourself with bookshelves or a folding screen.
6. Choose furniture with curving lines.
7. Paint your walls a darker color.
8. Incorporate circle shapes with art, furniture or whatever you can imagine.
9. Use containers to organize your stacks of papers so they are where you need them, but out of sight so as not to overwhelm you.

I’d love to hear if you plan to incorporate any of these suggestions into your workspace. Also, if you make changes and want to send a picture, send it to ladyscribes@yahoo.com. I’ll post them to share with others when we have an open spot on the weekends. Thanks, and I hope you enjoyed this rather long blog.


  1. Samantha! This is so cool! I'm so glad you did a "Part 2" to yesterday's post. The "earth" description is spot on for me. And their suggestions are spot on, too...I always turn to physical exercise and/or cleaning out a drawer or closet when I'm feeling stressed or worried. I'm desperately needing to do one...or both...of those things today!

    Awesome post!

  2. Very interesting. I seem to have more elements that are supposed to support the other elements than I do my own. LOL. I'll have to see what I can do about that, and also if making changes helps my productivity any.

  3. This is great. One line hit the nail on the head for me: too high is unmanageable clutter and constant worry. We just finished cleaning out the house of clutter (one child moved out and rooms switched around). I now have an office, small, but still a quiet place to work. I am not thrilled with the wall color but now I think I can justify buying a can or two of paint - of a muted color of course. Hmmm, wonder what my husband will say about my reasoning behind the painting - lol. Oh, and about the pictures, I better take one now, while it is organized (before more clutter takes over) - lol.

  4. LOL. This is so funny. I think after reading this I'm more earth with a fire influence. All the helpful hints for "earth" fit me to a tee.

  5. I am definitely water, it's scary how accurate that is. I'm such an introvert now. I want to get out and socialize but at the same time I don't. I love being at home and more to the point alone by myself. I have to have eight solid hours of sleep or I am cranky, I'm always cold and I do crave salty foods. Sadly, it's mostly chips lol.

    I think I have some elements from each but I relate more to water and wood. This was fun, Michelle.

  6. I'm so glad you all liked today's blog. I love feng shui. And I love to pull out my books periodically and read it all again.

  7. Somehow I've managed to counteract some of my woodiness without really trying.

    I have a sheepskin rug over my chair to make it extra squishy.

    I have Venetian blinds (horizontal) on my window and most of the pictures on the wall are landscape orientation, especially the ones over my desk.

    As for the soothing sound of water, I’m not too sure about that. My office shares the walls of two bathrooms and occasionally they get stuck in flush mode. LOL. The sound drives me crazy and I’m always bouncing out of the room to fix them.

    Oh and I now have a great excuse for my love of new stationary. I’m subconsciously supporting my need for elemental energy. LOL. Great post!