"Big Chair (Thomasville)" (c)Katy Allgeyer
SURVIVING IS IMPORTANT
“Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.” ~ Maya Angelou
The runaway success–indeed, the survival for several years of seasons!–of the TV show “Survivor” proves that a large number of the viewing public is fascinated with whether or not they could last under primitive living conditions. Then again, maybe the show’s popularity just proves that people want to see girls in skimpy clothing eating raw kangaroo meat covered with flies.
But regardless of whether or not you watch television, you may be interested to know that many of the principles of Feng Shui originated as survival techniques. The ancestors of our ancestors who lived in caves knew that it was important not to turn one’s back to the cave entrance. If you did, you could be devoured by a cave dwelling beast (lions and tigers and bears, oh my!), or, a rival tribe could come and steal your fire, your food, and your family.
It was in this way that the idea of positioning the bed and the stove and the desk so that the door to the room can be easily seen was born. In this placement, one feels able to relax and “let one’s guard down” (notice the idiom that evolved as a direct result of this principle). Of course, the ideal furniture placement can not always work within the limitations of the architecture of our homes and offices. This is where a Feng Shui expert can offer you alternate solutions to achieve the desired peace of mind.
Ch’i Whiz! It Really Does Feel Different
DO try this at home (when you are bored with eating bonbons and being waited on hand and foot by your husband):
Take a room that has only one entry and place a chair in the middle of the room with the back facing the door. If you have other people around, ask them to give you some time to settle into your room, but eventually have them move around in the hallway outside the door and come into the room occasionally without telling you when they are coming in.
Now, sit in the chair so that you are unable to see the door. Sit there for awhile, try to get a sense of the ch’i energy surrounding you and pay attention to how it feels. Now, try to read a magazine.
Notice how you feel. Do you feel uneasy and unable to concentrate on the magazine? Is your mind constantly wandering to the activity in the hallway and on alert mode so that you won’t be startled when someone comes into the room and surprises you?
Ok, once you’ve experienced that feeling, turn the chair around to where you have a clear view of the door as you sit and read your magazine. Notice how you feel. Is your posture more at ease? Are you able to focus more intently on the task of reading the magazine? You have now witnessed the importance of placement for peace of mind based on the principle of survival.
THRIVING IS ELEGANT
The ancient cave dwellers painted their cave walls mostly to serve sacred ceremonial purposes and did not have to worry about matching the drapery fabric to the wall paint. Today, we express ourselves through the way we decorate our homes and the myriad of choices we make as to color, style, space, objects, art, and placement. But even though we have come a long way from the cave and the necessity of being in constant survival mode, we can feel a connection to our ancestors and benefit from their wisdom by incorporating the principles of Feng Shui into our modern lives.