I Feng Shui’ed by Desk!


I love oriental ancient wisdom and philosophy—it amazes me that parallel to western ways, there’s a non-abrasive system to work on the whole physical body, including its surroundings, and (the best part) most of it cost nothing. I know for some who have been deeply ingrained with Christianity, there is nothing more a poor unconnected person can do, but suffer and die. I made up my mind early in life that suffering was not my identity. I began to dabble in many non-traditional ways of creating good around me and using whatever methods I could for manifesting positivity.

About a month ago, after having a sore throat for months and huge piles of projects that I hadn’t gotten to, on my desk—it struck me that I had forgotten to use my non-traditional knowledge for assistance. I could create the peace I wanted in my life by creating a serene work environment using Feng Shui. Feng Shui (pronounced “Fung-Shway”) is an ancient Chinese system of aesthetics believed to use the laws of both Heaven/astronomy and Earth/geography to help improve one’s life by bringing in positive energy called qi (pronounced “chee”).

The principles of Feng Shui are common sense based—but maybe they are things we don’t usually ponder. For example, the simplest idea is, if you want something in your life, you have to make room for it. Easy, right? If you want a relationship, does the way you live support someone fitting into your life? Is your home inviting, and is there space for someone else to fit in-or is your home overwhelmingly stuffed with your things and your taste, making guests feel like intruders? When your environment is cluttered with mementos and overwhelming amounts of items, you stop the energy flow that is essential to bringing new things into your life. There is no room for anything else.

There are several schools of thought as to how to find your Wealth, Health, Love, Career, Creativity, Friendship, Fame, Knowledge and most important Helpers areas in your office, home, yard, neighborhood, city, etc. There is even a convenient map called a Bagua that shows you how to divide your space for optimum results.   Check out the areas and see how your desk, your room, your home, your whole yard relates to these areas. Do you have a picture of a skeleton, a leaky faucet or a dead plant in your wealth area? All these things symbolize scarcity and waste.

So I started off on a small scale Feng Shui fix. I spend a whole day cleaning my desk—setting up little pictures, flower arrangements, groupings, certificates, the radio, lights, pens, the telephone— everything in a way that would support what I want in my life. I couldn’t move the telephone to my wealth area, in anticipation of an important phone call from the lotto board about my winnings, or news about being granted a huge sum of money—but I did add a few items that represent abundance and placed a postcard of the Guggenheim Museum in my fame area, because I dream big!

A day passes and I get a pay raise—yep, in the middle of this economic crisis. Then I get an email from an art colleague telling me that I am being nominated for a community volunteer award. A week later, my in-box is getting smaller and smaller, because all of a sudden I get all these volunteers coming by to assist me with my work, so I am pretty much just overseeing the progress. I am getting so much done–woo hoo! So in my abundant free time I’ve been getting great ideas too, on how to get my artistic goals met on my terms. New people are coming into my life and wanting to collaborate with me—and weird, but my sore throat is almost gone. There must have been a steady silent scream inside me that couldn’t get out. Everyday, I am waiting for more good things to happen, as I work on things that bring me pleasure and happiness. I don’t know exactly what the next fulfilled desire will be, but I am open to it’s arrival and excited by the thought of another great surprise. Now, before I go home I straighten out my desk and keep it the model of how I want to live my life—surrounded by all the things that inspire me and remind me every moment that anything is possible.

18 thoughts on “I Feng Shui’ed by Desk!

  1. serio? do these things really work? i’ve been stressing out over work and other stupid stuff, maybe i should re-arrange my messy desk.

  2. I am not kidding! En serio this worked for me. A few years ago I lived in a studio apartment that was too small. I was exploding out of it. One day I got sick of it and decided that I was moving to my own home. Without money or resources—I packed all my stuff up, like I was waiting for the movers. A month or two later a friend (also feeling the same) tells me about some great loan opportunities. You know—during the time of the ‘creative’ bank loan wacky phase? I found a lender that even paid my down payment! I put nothing down! One thing in my head was to get a fixed loan and not to have a monthly payment that I couldn’t afford–if I were to get sick or something. They qualified me for hella money too–but I kept saying, “No, no, this smaller amount is fine.” So—without money I bought a home in Boyle Heights. It’s a fixer upper, but its mine. I think sometimes we don’t believe in ourselves and our abilities to fall into some place that is good.

  3. Cleaning up one’s desk is always a good idea, starting a post by using the word “oriental ancient wisdom” in the first sentence isn’t.

  4. I actually gave the adjectives “oriental and ancient” lots of thought—because I knew someone inevitably would misinterpret my words and think me racist. I took my best shot to think you would understand. In actuality, I am speaking of the opposite of ‘western’, also, I wanted to encompass the Sanskrit which brings in my belief of the vedas as a philosophy and way of life, as well as Buddhism. My point was not to just speak of Chinese wisdom, but all intelligence which is older than Western Civilization.

  5. right on cool good for you Victoria.
    On the use of “oriental” I would of personally have used “asian” instead. To me the word “oriental” is more like say the oriental rug, the orient express, the orient.
    But I dont think your intentions were negative.

  6. Asian is when you are speaking of a person, oriental when are speaking of a motif/idea. In this instance I am speaking of ying/yang—an idea. Western/Eastern or Occidental/Oriental.

  7. Victoria,

    I loved your story. I think what some of us are trying to say is that the line “oriental ancient wisdom” and your combination of the term “ancient chinese” sounded like a stereotype, a “positive” stereotype, but there are no positive stereotypes. We know you’re not like that, but it might be offensive to people who are concerned about not promoting stereotypes.

    Moving on to the story I do believe that it’s the little things that prepare you for big changes in your life. People always forget about the details and the details of being prepared for change are a big part of being ready for an opportunity that may present itself to you. Thanks for sharing.


  8. I keep a mostly clean and minimal desk at work, not for any particular reason other than wanting to get clutter out of the way. Because of this, my co-workers like to use my desk for all kinds of stuff and temp projects, so I often don’t have a desk cuz others want to use it, which i don’t mind. But my stapler, scissors, and pens kept going missing, which was a bit annoying, but someone suggested I put those in a drawer. Now I have some physical limits on what they can access, but my desk is still functional, practical, and kinda the default hangout spot. Which is kinda cool when you think about it. Works for me!

  9. Hey Victoria, it sounds like you’re very aware of how words can have racist implications, which is great. But I just wanted to say that the word “oriental” is a pejorative for most people, whether applied to people or things or places. As an analogy, it’s a little like the words “colored” or “negro.”

  10. I’m curious then, so it’s never appropriate to use the term “oriental”?

    “Asian is when you are speaking of a person, oriental when are speaking of a motif/idea. In this instance I am speaking of ying/yang—an idea. Western/Eastern or Occidental/Oriental.”

    This is what I thought too…

  11. Yeah, Chimatli, it’s pretty much never appropriate in my book. Of course, people still use it, even some Asians, and I’d guess that most people (like Victoria) use it without any intention of being pejorative, but it reflects a racist European construction. Another good analogy would be “gypsy” for Roma people or maybe even “Hispanics” for Latinos.

  12. Chimatli,

    With the term “oriental” to put it in the East vs West thing in my opinion is making it seem as if the West is the center of everything in regards to everyone. It is like saying that the other side of everyone is the USA.

    Culture wise people in China, Korea, India, Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana did not create their culture in regards to how it would fit within the USA idea of culture.

    I understand how living in America (or any country) people would think that. How can anyone help but not think that where they live is the measuring stick by which to judge others. Even if that stick gives another country an extra inch, it’s still using an American stick to measure an idea that another culture or country may not even find valuable or important. How can we be ok with using our own terms of measurement to judge another country?

    And say this was 1950 and you wanted to use the term oriental. That term is pretty broad (that’s another sign it’s a stereotype, because it puts forth a preconceived feeling or mood instead of an actual factual place,) in general anything you are describing doesn’t need that broad of a description. When you say oriental are you talking about China or India, those two cultures are as similar as France is to Ireland. It would be like saying North American food, well North America includes Mexico, Canada, the West Indies the US, so which one?


  13. Hey browne, just saw your comment. Cool. 🙂

    yeah, el chavo, that’s true. As I see it, there’s no way to get these things all right, all the time. It makes me think of my father, who used to infuriate me by calling black people “colored.” When I objected to him, and called him a racist fuck, he always replied by saying, “blah blah blah . . . I’ll stop using the word “colored” when the NAACP takes the word out of its name . . . blah blah blah wank blah wank.” He was basically just being an idiot, but it made me realize that there will probably never be full consensus on these things. It’s definitely worth trying of course, because forcing identities on people is definitely pretty messed up, but I guess it will be a work in progress.

  14. As a person that speaks two languages, I live in two worlds that see themselves as the center of culture and the universe, expressed through 2 different languages. I know that words are dropped from English and others are introduced. American English is fluid and based on what/how people speak–and what will turn a profit. I think it is presumptuous to think that idioms of English somehow dictate or represent how other non-English speaking people feel or see us or if they even care what we say. I think public actions are what gives Americans the center-of-the-universe attitude that others around the world see. Asian people are Asians, not oriental like one would describe a rug or a coffee table.

  15. Back to the essence of this post! I recently activated my wealth corner by adding a jade (money tree) plant and posting my sales goals on a corkboard in the wealth corner of my wall. I am in sales and I have attained my monthly goal in 16 days!!! It really works, the trick is this: one needs to combine the placement of the object with reflection and meditation on what one wants to achieve and the outcome. You cant stick a lucky bamboo plant, not tend to it for a couple of months or leave dying leaves on it and expect your luck to change. I see dudes in my line of work stick a bamboo plant in the wrong corner and wonder why their results suck. If you dont believe it and your intentions are not honest or good, nothing will happen. Pretty much sums up the philosophy of Feng Shui too.

    Great Article!

  16. Thanks Agatha for bringing it home. YES–this does really work. Congrats on making your goal too! When I wrote this article, I mentioned getting a pay raise—recently I found out that I was the only one in my office to get a pay raise—WOW! I moved some stuff around last week. What can I put in my health area to stay mellow and on point? Too many opportunities can be overwhelming.

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