So, this is my life.

And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

believe it or not. (but do it just in case.)

beginning in mid-september and throughout much of october, i found myself having serious trouble sleeping.

i should note this cycle of sleep v. sleeplessness is not new to me.
i've gone through these phases before, beginning in high school (i'm pretty sure i didn't get a solid night's sleep between 1996 and 2000). for a recovered insomniac, even a few sleepless nights in a week can be worrisome, and i was beginning to worry.

so i resorted to one of my old faves, Tylenol PM. and i found myself whining at work in the mornings, to the point that one of the paralegals in my office brought me Lunesta (score!!). and of course, i complained
non-stop about not sleeping well.

it was during one of my complaining sessions, while on the phone with A, that i remembered something i once read, and which i had learned to follow in my previous apartment: feng shui teaches us to leave space on all sides of our beds in order to allow energy to flow around us while we sleep, thus allowing us to sleep better.

right then an there, while still on the phone with my very incredulous boyfriend, i pulled my bed away from the wall. i haven't had a sleepless night since. believe it or not.

i got to thinking about feng shui, the 6,000+ year old art of what i would sum up as re-directing energy. and somehow, despite my extremely busy schedule and overwhelming workload, i found the time to research the topic so that i could provide for you a concise list of basic feng shui tips.

i've summed up some helpful tips below, for your
edification and enjoyment. this way you won't have to spend 6 hours of your own work day reading 1,000 websites and pretending to do actual work.

i won't bore you with the philosophy and/or history of the ancient art. i'm just going to boil it down to some basic changes you can make in your home and office.

you may or may not buy into it, but open your minds to making a few changes... just in case.

the most important room in your house:
I. the bedroom
-place your bed in a "command position," meaning a position that is diagonally far from the room's entryway yet facing the door. this is the position of power in any room. (note: don't sleep directly in line with the door, though!)

-there should be a solid wall behind your bed, but leave space on all 4 sides of the bed to allow the flow of chi through the room
-remove workspaces (desks, computers) and excessive electronics (televisions) from the bedroom.

for the stubborn among you who refuse to give up television in the bedroom (to the detriment of your sleep and health, as i've been saying for years), at least "put the tv away" when it's time to go to sleep. there are lots of ways to do this.

-do NOT place any mirrors on the wall opposite your bed. according to chinese legend, this will attract a third party into your relationship. (of course, if you're looking for that sort of thing, take out the "NOT" above ;-)

-keep nothing under your bed!

-no trash cans/waste baskets in your bedroom, or your love life will suffer.
and finally,

-king-sized beds are usually a bad idea. why? because in most, the mattress is made of two distinct mattresses, placed side-by-side. this means you're not technically sleeping on the same bed as your spouse/lover/significant other/soon-to-be-ex. sad...

II. the living room
-unlike in the bedroom, mirrors are great in the living room, as they can redirect both the energy and the light in any space, despite architectural limitations you might have to work with. mirrors bring a sense of calm and refreshment. it's also really convenient to be able to check your hair and teeth without walking to the bathroom.

-if you have a red sofa, get rid of it immediately. that's all there is to it.

-the more water you bring into your living space, the better. this explains why old women a few years ago were obsessed with those little rock fountains, until the motors burned out or the rocks grew stinky algae.

-every room has "dead areas" in it, usually corners and shady alcoves. it's important to bring life to these spaces by using lamps, plants, or fish tanks. do people still have fish as pets? i dunno...

-if this isn't already obvious, your
seating furniture should be placed in an OPEN layout, as a circle or curve. duh.

-according to learned chinamen, a fireplace should be the focal point of a room. in my house, it is; but i bet most of you have replaced the fireplace with a television set. the least you can do is get a dvd of a lit, inviting fireplace, and play it when you have guests over.

-arrange a seated area called the "honored guest position," which should be cozy and located opposite the entryway to the living room. i think the HGP at my house is in my bedroom.

III. the bathroom
-because this is the ceremonial site of your daily cleansing ritual, this room should be kept pristine. this might come as news to many guys out there, but clean up your disgusting bathrooms! piles of toothpaste in the sink and pubes on the toilet bowl are unacceptable and may cost you a second date.

-a key tenet of feng shui is welcoming fortune to flow in your direction through the prominence of running water in your house. even something as simple as a picture of a waterfall is enough to encourage this flow; unfortunately, a leaky faucet or a running toilet does just the opposite. a dripping tap sucks the fortune out of you both spiritually and literally (waste of energy, waste of money. obviously.).

-keep the lid of your toilet down. especially when you're at my place! total pet peeve of mine.

-place mirrors so that they can reflect the faucets in your bathroom.

-important colors for the bathroom are pale blues, grey, and cream. and i'm NOT just saying that because those are the very colors with which MY bathroom is decorated. i read it somewhere!!!

IV. the kitchen
-all i could find for the kitchen is to hang a mirror behind your stove. i don't know why. maybe so you can see how fat you are while you cook, and thus will be discouraged from eating.

finally, what i was looking for when i set out on this research journey:
the office
-place your desk in a command position. remember what that is? if not, you might be retarded or have alzheimer's, because we just talked about that (above).

-your desk should have rounded edges. it probably doesn't, though. mine has ONE rounded edge and the rest square. ugh.

-you need plants in your office to generate creativity and the growth of new ideas. it also doesn't hurt that they provide fresh oxygen to your overworked, overcaffeinated, and sometimes hung over brain.

-remember that the color yellow has been scientifically proven to sharpen focus, especially in dyslexic children. the chinese knew this thousands of years ago, before dylsexia or children even existed!

-you need a window in your office or near your desk, for the natural light. if you can't see a window, you need a new job. your job is literally killing you as you read this.

-three words: solid wooden desk.

as i read over my 6 pages of feng shui research notes i compiled today (i can be extremely productive when i'm being paid to do something else!), i realized something funny. i have inadvertently been following many key tenets of this ancient art during the past few years. if you've had the good fortune to be in my home, in the presence of the great Atticus-Buddha, you'll concur. and i promise i didn't tailor my findings to support what i've done with my own home.

so look around your house, and i bet you'll find that you're already practicing feng shui to some extent. and if, by chance, your home is completely out of whack in feng shui terms, let this be impetus to re-arrange (and vacuum the dust bunnies out from under) your furniture. whether you believe this mumbo jumbo or not.


Pat said...

"you need a window in your office or near your desk, for the natural light. if you can't see a window, you need a new job. your job is literally killing you as you read this."

This literally made me chortle at my desk, because I sit in a windowless bomb shelter. I always make sure that the background on my computer screens (yes, screens) is an outdoor setting, and the people around me tune the big TV on the wall to the outside cameras that point to the plaza outside. I guess it's almost a window :/

Carey said...

I, like Patrick, also lack a window. I have a humidifier though! My favorite part of this post--"the great Atticus-Buddha." P.S. have you run out of valium?

feng shui said...

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Feng Shui