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Feng Shui

Helen Oon explains how Feng Shui - the philosophy of living in harmony with the environment - can improve your working life.

The Chinese believe that, if properly harnessed, the powerful combination of the natural elements of wind and water - Feng Shui - can direct good energy flow to your homes and offices. Their universe is composed of a balance of opposites, of Yin and Yang, and all interactions in the cosmic world can be described in terms of five elements: earth, water, fire, wood and metal. When in tune with the flow of energy or 'chi', the dragon's cosmic breath, one will receive abundant good fortune and propitious luck.

The Chinese often refer to 'wealth luck', meaning success in business. Your office is instrumental in determining this wealth luck, and this includes the shape of your office. Ideally, one should choose a regularly shaped office to ease dissemination of chi (postive energy) in the room and to ensure the presence of good luck. If you happen to occupy an irregular shaped office, use furniture to demarcate a regular boundary.

If you can, make sure your office is in an auspicious part of a building by using the Flying Star Feng Shui method to determine the good area (check with an authentic Chinese Feng Shui consultant or read Lillian Too's book Flying Star). Avoid offices near toilets, kitchen areas or directly opposite lifts. Otherwise, concentrate on your own auspicious direction for the siting of your desk and sitting position and activate the eight-house formula of Feng Shui. (North for career, south for fame and recognition, west for your descendants and projects, east for health and family, south east for wealth, south west for relationships, north east for wisdom and personal development, north west for mentor luck).

Your auspicious directions are computed from your date of birth, which, in turn, gives the ming kua number. This number determines your four auspicious Feng Shui directions and the four inauspicious directions you should avoid.

The most important aspect of any office is the position of the desk. You should make sure that your desk is facing your sheng chi or the prosperity direction, as determined from your ming kua number. If the desk cannot be adjusted, orientate your chair when you work, perhaps at the keyboard or answering the telephone, to tap into any of your four auspicious directions.

Make sure your desk is not directly facing the door - adjust it to face diagonally, to access the flow of energy at a slower pace, and try not to sit with your back to the door or have a window behind you. This 'stab in the back' position may sabotage your efforts. If you do have a window behind you, place in it an ornamental tortoise or the dragon-head turtle to symbolise support.

A cluttered desk encumbers the dissemination of chi, creating confusion and irritation.

Clear a space in front of you to simulate the 'bright hallway effect' and invite benevolent energy to settle. Put away files you are not working on and make sure the pile of work on the left (the dragon side) is higher than the right (the tiger side) to create a balance of energy.

To really get ahead in your career, activate the north corner of your office - the career sector - by installing a small water feature, such as a miniature fountain. This will stimulate and attract benevolent chi to boost your career.

Ensure your sitting position is not in the line of sharp corners from edge of furniture or open shelves. Avoid sitting under a beam or a single protruding structure on the ceiling that will yield malevolent energy to cause headaches and lethargy. If it cannot be avoided, suspend two hollow bamboo flutes tied with a red string to disperse the suppressing energy.

Excessive sunlight in the room should be controlled with blinds. Keep your waste paper bins out of sight, and dirty cups and ash-filled ashtrays, all of which attract yin energy. Fresh flowers or plants placed in the south east or east corner enhance health and wealth.

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