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Feng shui is an ancient Asian art of placement developed thousands of years ago. Feng shui seeks to enhance and improve the flow of energy through your environment, to maximize the positive potential for your life. It is a truly holistic way to look at your environment. It may include interior orarchitectural design, but it’s really more than that. Feng shui looks beyond the superficial and is about creating awareness beyond what you see on the surface. The intent is to create an environment that supports and nurtures you.

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As a holistic interior architect, many people share with me the wish to integrate feng shui into their homes and businesses, but they want to wait until the space is clean, or they have more time, or when they move. These are of course appropriate times to renovate or redecorate, but what most people don’t know is that you can incorporate feng shui at any time. It may even be more helpful when it comes at a challenging time. Feng shui is more than just about moving furniture around, it’s about shifting your environment physically and energetically to support and nurture your life. Even if you are not ready to renovate or redesign your home, you can still incorporate feng shui principles into your space.

How to get started: There are many aspects to feng shui, and one of the most important rules is called the “command position”. The “command position” is the feng shui concept that governs where and how you can position your furniture in a given space to achieve the best and positive flow of energy. Ideally your bed, desk, and stove should be positioned so that you can see the door, while not in line with the door. Better yet, is to have your back against the wall furthest from the door, so you can see the expanse of the room, but not in directly in line with the door. This places you in command of the room, your home and your life, so that you can see what the universe brings to you and you are not in a position to be surprised. The “command position” situates you in so that you can clearly see ahead and move forward with your eyes open.

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Where does the “command position” concept come from? From a scientific perspective, there are areas of the brain that are more primitive and connected with the fight or flight response. Also known as the “acute stress response”, this feeling of danger and fear is a physiological response that you experience on a subtle level when you are not in the command position. Your adrenals are activated and your anxiety levels increase, therefore affecting your mood and health. For instance, if you are sitting in a cubicle with your back to the door of the cubicle, the hallway and the entry door, you’re body is triggered by this stressful position relative to your environment. Although not everyone is consciously aware of it, it does affect you. Like a stone that has water dripping on it lightly for years, the stress levels begin to wear down at you.

Historically, the “command position” is called the “armchair” position, where you have the mountain in back of you for support. No armies could come up behind you. You have your arms supported on either side by smaller mountains, and the river and valleys in front of you so you can see any enemies coming from miles away.

On a practical level, being in command increases happiness, relaxation, and productivity to name just a few benefits. Metaphorically, the command position situates you in control of your life, your present and future. You are able to see everything that is open and available to you, you can see the bad and the good and properly prepare for it all. You can observe and act on the opportunities that the universe has presented to you. Overall, you feel nurtured, safe, and protected in this position.

The “command position” is essential for how you can position yourself in any situation. Furniture-wise, it is beneficial for you to re-arrange your bed, your desk (at home and work), and your stove in this position.

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It is understandable that this furniture placement is not always possible, so you can make an adjustment to the unfavorable position by placing a mirror in such a way that you can see the door to the room. For a desks and stove, I recommend small makeup mirrors or small convex mirrors that you can find in an automotive shop. You can also find computer “rearview” mirrors. For your bed, you can get a tall standing mirror. Make sure that when you’re sitting at your desk, standing at your stove cooking, or lying down in bed, you can clearly see the door in the mirror. It takes a bit of maneuvering.  But once you get that mirror, you are back in command!

Feng shui can be simple and straightforward. Take some time and look at how you can rearrange your furniture and life so you can be in command, to encourage relaxation and the best of you to shine through. Recognize that you are actively making a small change to let the universe know, you are ready to accept the best things that are coming to you.

anjie cho, holistic spaces, feng shui

Anjie Cho is the founder of Holistic Spaces and Anjie Cho Architect, integrating beauty, spirituality and green design.  She creates and enhances balance and harmony by designing spaces with an understanding of sustainability and informed by the ancient practice of feng shui. Anjie is a licensed Architect, LEED Accredited Professional, and practices BTB Feng Shui.  She received a BA in Architecture from the College of Environmental Design at the University of California at Berkeley.  With over a decade of experience, Anjie has designed high end residential and commercial spaces throughout New York City, the Tri-State area, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  She is available for projects of all sizes, from a two hour feng shui consultation to a full gut renovation.

You can follow her on twitter @HolisticSpaces