by Carol C. Wheelock
I like being able to see out the back of my house when I walk in the front door. A friend told me this was bad feng shui. What is wrong with it? I like the view.
The situation you described is called "rushing chi" in feng shui. The concern is that the energy or chi moves too quickly through the space and out the back, without nurturing and supporting the space and those in it.
There are ways to slow it down without hiding the view. First of all, look at the path from the front door to the back. Is there a rug (or rugs) that emphasize and encourage movement to the back? If so, remove or turn it. Long rugs or a series of smaller rectangular rugs only exacerbate the rushing chi.
If it is an open space, how is the furniture in the area placed? Is it lined up to reinforce the rushing chi or does it draw your eye off to the side(s)? Place it so that it encourages a look and/or movement in either side direction..
If it is a hallway, hang bright art on alternating sides of the hall so that the eye moves from one side to the other. If the eye slows down, the energy slows down.
Whether the space is open or a hallway, consider plants strategically placed to eliminate the runway feel. The idea is to soften the space and give the eye something to stop at on the way to the view in the back.
There is another perspective to this situation. In China the emphasis is not on huge expansive let's-see-it-all-at-once views. Instead, more thought is put into windows and openings that allow beautiful and often unexpected views as someone proceeds through a space.
I work in a building with long straight hallways. Everybody is always in such a hurry. What can we do to make the building feel more comfortable?
What you describe is another example of rushing chi. Many office buildings and schools are built with long straight hallways that encourage people to move too quickly. The result is that everyone tends to feel rushed and always out of time. It also leads to feeling stressed and anxious.
This situation can also affect communication among those who work there. If everyone is always in a hurry, contact with others is often cursory. There tends to be less face to face communication.
If you have any say in the hallway decor, try to place colorful, eye-catching art in a staggered pattern. The energy will follow the same route as your eye - side to side, giving a more meandering feel. If it is lined up evenly on both sides of the hall it will just accentuate the long straight feel that you want to ameliorate.
If permitted, hang something you like on or next to your door with the intention that you are calling the energy into your space. It will also serve to greet you as you enter the space. If you aren't allowed to do that, put something inside the room that will serve the same purpose. It could be a beautiful crystal, a sculpture, or other "power" object.
Make sure that your office is balanced on all levels so that you feel grounded when you are there. Is your desk in the command position? That means you can see the door but are not in direct line with it. Is the office clutter-free? Have you softened all sharp corners?
Also look at the yin and yang balance. Do you have enough energy to work there and, at the same time, are able to settle down enough to get the work done? Balancing the elements is often important. Water, wood, fire, earth, and metal all need to be represented.
I want to have my desk facing out the window. Although I know it's not supposed to be good feng shui, the view is great. How can a great view be bad?
Many people want their desks facing the view. The problem is that your energy gets drawn out the window as you focus on that beautiful view, which means that you are not as productive as you could be otherwise. If you are just paying household bills from a home office, it's not a problem. If you are actually working, it is a problem.
The ideal situation is to place a desk so that you can see the door when you are seated. You always want to be in the command position so that you are in charge of the space and all your energy can go to the task at hand. The best situation is to have a solid wall behind you. Don't have a solid wall behind you? Hang plants, stained glass, or a half curtain to give you a sense of protection.
When you take a break from your computer, look off to the side and out the window at the beautiful view. Although not everyone can set up an office to be this way, come as close as you can. You will work smarter, not harder, to get things done!
Carol C. Wheelock, M.Ed. of Feng Shui Vermont is a certified feng shui practitioner who has studied in the United Sates and China. She practices Black Sect or western feng shui. Carol does private consultations for homes, schools, libraries, and businesses; clutter counseling and clearing; spaces clearings; phone consultations; presentations; and teaches workshops throughout the United States. She also does personal clearings.