I imagine we’ve all experienced less than ideal environments that interfered with our enjoyment, health or productivity. I once had an office built into an old storage area with two entrances that staff had used as a thoroughfare to get to the snacks. Apparently, my co-workers had short memories, because they continued to barge through and bang me with the door at least four times a day. Made it a bit hard to concentrate.
I also remember as a young girl, my family had a china hutch against the wall as you entered the dining room. I can’t count the number of times I stubbed my little toe on the pointed corner and cursed in my head. In fact, I think that hutch deserves credit for the rather colorful combinations of swear words I’ve been known to blurt out in times of crisis.
Have you ever stepped into a room and been enveloped by a sense of peace? Or maybe you’ve experienced the opposite. You felt uneasy in the space or unable to relax. Much of Feng Shui is based on creating balance among the 5 elements – wood, earth, fire, metal and water. Too much of one element can create a certain feel in a space. For example, a room with too much of the fire element might leave occupants feeling irritable or agitated. The effects of these elements can be toned down by adding other elements to counteract the effect.
We have a tendency to be drawn to one or two elements more than others, so I’ve created a short quiz to identify which element is more dominant for you. Tomorrow’s blog will offer suggestions on how to enhance your work space to support, and possibly tone down, you dominant element to hopefully create a sense of peace and productivity in your space.
Answer each question with your first instinct.
1. Which creature most appeals to you?
a. Turtle b. Dragon c. Phoenix d. Tiger e. Serpent
2. Which color do you like best?
a. Black b. Green c. Red d. White e. Yellow
3. Which item would you be drawn to?
a.Tea service b. Wind chime c. Fresh flowers d. Angel e. Pottery mug
4. What do element would you like most in a home?
a. A window seat to curl up with a book
b. An open concept floor plan with lots of room for rearranging furniture
c. A great kitchen for parties
d. Clean lines and plenty of storage
e. A comfy family room with a fire place
5. I enjoy or get energy from:
a. Engaging in deep, meaningful conversations rather than chit chatting with others.
b. Trying new activities. I’m the type to sign up for belly dancing classes or scuba diving.
c. Indulging my senses - a hot bath, a day at an art gallery, a gourmet meal.
d. Engaging in intellectual pursuits.
e. Playing games with my family or scrapbooking.
Count up your letters.
Mostly As = Wood. You tend to be an early riser and ready to tackle the day. You dive into projects with enthusiasm, but may not finish what you’ve started once you lose interest. You are a fast worker and tend to be impatient with explaining to others how to do things, so you just do it yourself.
Mostly Bs = Fire. You’re sensitive to others’ moods and sometimes take on other people’s problems. At times, you can feel overwhelmed by their feelings and have trouble separating their problems to solve from your own. You’re social and others like you. You have a love for beautiful things.
Mostly Cs = Earth. You are a caretaker, the glue that holds your family together. You remember birthdays, anniversaries and keep abreast of what’s going on in your friends’ lives. You have a talent for making others feel they belong.
Mostly Ds = Metal. You wake with, and sometimes before, the alarm. Your day is planned almost to the minute and you are organized, organized, organized. You’d call yourself disciplined. You approach most situations as if it is a problem to solve.
Mostly Es = Water. You spend much time reflecting inwardly. You don’t require others around you for contentment, and often prefer to spend time alone. For you, time isn’t linear and schedules fluctuate. You eat when you’re hungry, write a masterpiece at midnight, nap at 5 pm. You’re not easily shaken or upset. Your strength is being able to see the big picture.
What is your dominant element and does it seem to fit you?
*If you’re interested in reading more by real Feng Shui experts, check out authors Terah Kathryn Collins and Sharon Stasney, who has a more in depth questionnaire in her book “Feng Shui Your Kitchen”.