Here's one from my archives.  Something to do over Thanksgiving to get those writer juices flowing more freely.

How do you feel when you enter your office at work or at home? Do you feel the way your body feels when it is uplifted with high energy from high negative ions in the forest after a good rain? Do you feel that sense of peace and well-being you get from walking on the beach at dawn? Or do you feel more like you have just entered solitary confinement in a falling down, filthy jail? Somewhere in between perhaps? Help is available.

Feng shui, the Asian art and science that unites energy, time, space, people and the environment can help you increase your work productivity and feel much better while you're working. It requires a few simple changes in your working environment.

Feng shui has been around for over 3,000 years in China. It consists of a complex body of knowledge that determines how to balance the energies in a space. It is based on Taoist vision and an understanding of nature and the idea that everything in it is alive.

Perhaps you would be surprised to learn that Donald Trump, Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and some of the largest companies in the world including Coca-Cola, Sony, Shell, Procter & Gamble and Citibank use feng shui.

For our purposes here--to come to your immediate rescue--we're not going to get too technical or have you use the Feng Shui compass and the Ba-Gua, a chart you make which outlines the entire space you are in. Plenty of further information is available on the Internet if you wish to delve deeper.

Chi is the term for the universal energy that permeates everything around us from the inside of our bodies, the inside of buildings and on to the outside. The primary goal of feng shui is to direct the Chi inside the space you work in so that it nourishes a good flow of Chi inside your body. Then you can approach your tasks feeling energized, inspired and in tune with nature.

Here are some feng shui basics that will not only get you started but will provide almost immediate results.

The first step is very important. Clear out the clutter. Get rid of everything that doesn't belong in your office, that is ugly and unnecessary. Initially it requires some effort to light the load but keep in mind as you take things out of your environment that don't need to be there, you are lowering your stress level. Clutter can rise to the ceiling on a bookshelf. It always has an oppressive, overpowering feeling. You are freeing the Chi, or life source energy, to flow smoothly around you and keep that energy moving.

According to feng shui doctrine, the position of your desk dictates your power. It should be as far away from the door as possible. You should have an unobstructed view of the door from where you sit. If this is not possible, use a feng shui cure such as setting up a mirror to enable you to see it.

Don't face a wall while you work. If you can't reposition yourself, hang up a picture that provides an eye level scene of something like a long winding road or river.

Define your personal space. A small mat or area rug at the entrance to your work space will inhibit people from walking in unannounced. Hang a bell to alert you to visitors if you can.

Do not let things pile up on the floor. This keeps you stuck in the past, making it hard to finish projects or meet deadlines. Sort through your papers once a month and discard what is unnecessary.

Use symbols of future goals just above your eye level. If you wish a promotion, put a tall plant on top of a bookcase or file cabinet. To reach a sales goal, write your target number in red marker on a green piece of paper and post it over the door.

Integrate organic materials into your work space such as wicker baskets, wooden paper trays, crystal paperweights, and potted plants. These will encourage people to let down their guard with you because representations of nature are reassuring in a business environment.

Keep your dreams. If your job bears no resemblance to the work you dream of doing, incorporate water into your office. Try an indoor fountain or a picture of a moving body of water. Aquariums are wonderful and relaxing. Water keeps you tuned into your desires and encourages you to take steps toward your real career goals.

Don't let items pile up on your desk. Clear your desk at the end of each day. It will be so much nicer to come in the next morning to your clean desk free of clutter.

Have good quality air and light in your office. Keep the office windows open often or use an air-purifier. Use as much natural light as possible. Think about using full-spectrum lights.

Color is very important in feng shui and each color offers different subtle characteristics that affect the mood and tone of your office. If you can't paint, set out objects like rugs or pillows with the color. Live with the colors you love. Light colors invigorate, and dark colors can make you feel oppressed. Use lively, energetic colors like orange or yellow to accent and uplift the energy. This will help not only your productivity, but also your morale and creativity.

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