Claire McEwen, hopeful romantic.

Feng Shui Office

I’ve been feeling a bit blocked, creatively, these past few months. I am working on a story I was looking forward to writing, but the joy has disappeared, as well as a lot of my ideas.

I know, logically, that there are good reasons for my slump. I’ve been ill since the end of August. My son is struggling as he starts first grade and I’m worried. And I’m still grieving the tragic loss of someone I cared about deeply.

But I’ve got deadlines and I felt this desperate need to do something, anything, to wake up my creative mind!

I wondered if changing my office would help. Granted, it’s a bit of a stretch to call it my office. My work space is really a section of our guest/storage room. But I figured there must be a way to make my work area a little more inviting.

I stood in the doorway of the room and tried to view my work space as if I were seeing it for the first time. And I could see that there were problems. My desk was crammed against a wall and the way toward it was often blocked by toys or laundry hanging on a rack. The laundry made the room smell musty. So I cleaned up the toys and moved the laundry rack to the garage. There was improvement already!

old-desk-spot-for-blog

There was a glider chair in the room — the chair I’d rocked my son in when he was a baby. No one ever sat in it and I realized we were hanging onto it purely for sentimental reasons. And it took up a lot of space. (Have I mentioned recently that we live in a small house?) I decided it was time to let it go. I moved it to the garage and it’s going on Craig’s List. I thought I’d be sad to sell it, but I actually feel relieved!

I went back to my spot in the doorway and studied my desk. And I realized that I never really wanted to sit at it. One reason was that it faced away from the door and when I worked, my family would interrupt by coming up behind me and startling me. For someone with way too many stress hormones already zipping around her system, that is an especially unpleasant feeling! So I Googled where a desk should be in an office and to my surprise, a Feng Shui website came up.

Do you know Feng Shui? Wikipedia says it’s a “Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment.” There is a lot to it, and I’m sure I understand very little, but the website I found had some very clear ideas on where your desk should be. It should be in what the site called The Command Position. Ann Bingly Gallops, who owns the website, says that from the command position you should be able to see all the doors and windows. Well, she had me sold right there, because I’d like to see my lovely family coming, rather than jumping out of my skin when they mysteriously appear at my shoulder!

She also believes that if you place your desk in this position you will be more in charge of your business life, be better able to identify and invite in new business opportunities, be more at ease as you work, be situated in either the Wealth or Business Relationship Bagua sector of your office (that must be a Feng Shui thing,) prevent your thoughts and business Chi from floating out the window toward a distant view, and avoid feeling confronted or creatively blocked by a solid wall in front of you.

Really? Facing the wall might be contributing to my creative lapse? I read that section over and over. Did I really believe that? I decided it didn’t matter what I believed. I was desperate to get out of my doldrums, so I took her challenge to try it for a week, and moved all the furniture around so my desk could be in the command position.

Here is the result!

new-desk-set-up-for-blog

I have no idea if it will work. But I love that I can see who’s coming through the door. I love that I can turn my head and peek out the window if I want, but the view isn’t distracting. (Not that it’s the most amazing view, but I do like the palm tree!)

office-view

But there is a downside. Now I can see the messy toy shelf and the Harlequin boxes that used to be hidden behind the door.

messy-office-corner

I guess that’s the next part of Project Office Improvement!

I got so interested in Feng Shui that I changed a few things in the bedroom too. Apparently less clutter and the right art on the walls can make a difference. Making your bedroom more peaceful can promote better sleep (which I desperately need) and improve your relationship as well.

I’m not sure if my new office arrangement will make me more creative, but right now I am enjoying sitting at my desk with no wall in front of me. I am blogging, which is part creativity, but let’s be honest, it’s also part procrastination. But hopefully this new layout will help my book blossom into something far more wonderful than it is now. And if nothing else, the room looks a lot better than it did yesterday!

Thanks for joining me today. If you’re interested in Feng Shui, take a minute to check out Ann Bingly Gallops’ Open Spaces website. She even offers consulting services! And I’d love to know if you’ve ever tried using Feng Shui, and if you noticed anything different as a result.

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