Children and Creativity Gua – A Classroom Case Study

Learning is a lifelong journey but to enhance a child’s creativity is extra important to ensure that they will always enjoy learning especially in the classroom. IFSG member Julie Pelletier-Rutkowski outlines how she enhanced the Children and Creativity gua for a client with favorable results.

 

Children and Creativity in the Classroom, Julie Pelletier-Rutkowski

 

Julie’s client was a returning young middle-school reading teacher who was filled with angst about the upcoming school year. She wanted assistance with arranging her classroom for positive chi flow and support for both herself and the students. She identified three issues:

  1. administrative pressure to return students’ work in a timely manner;
  2. distracted students in the classroom unable to focus and prematurely approaching her desk with questions related to the assignment;
  3. stress over difficult students with known behavioral concerns joining the class.

During the visit it was clear that her client had many challenges for the upcoming school year. The focus was primarily on the placement and location of the furniture. We discussed the color scheme and “decorations/art work” in the room and trying to separate yin and yang space; yin space for the students to learn, and yang space for the students to grow.

First, the client’s desk was moved the front corner facing the students to behind the students. She could now watch the students from the back of the room. They created a wide path from her desk to the front of the room, where the blackboard was located. This solved the issue of uninterrupted time to correct papers and return the students’ school work. When students were assigned quiet work, the environment encouraged students to stay on task decreasing the amount of time students were at the teacher’s desk. Lastly, the desk was intentionally placed in the Children and Creativity gua and specific students’ desks in the most helpful and supportive gua; children with family issues in the family gua, students with learning issues in the skills and knowledge gua, and students with health concerns in the center of the room.

The result was quite positive and came quite quickly after implementing the changes. Her client particularly noticed that using the ba gua proved to psychologically/emotionally beneficial. And by keeping a clear walkway to this new “safe area” (desk area), and she retreated there periodically, the students remained calm and most of them stayed on-task.

 
Children and Creativity in the Classroom, Julie Pelletier-Rutkowski

Julie Pelletier-RutkowskiJulie Pelletier-Rutkowski, MS, RN, is owner and principal consultant for Feng Shui Services of New England. She writes, educates and consults about balance and harmony using the Western principles of Feng Shui. Julie has been called the “home care nurse” because she works to heal homes, offices, and workplaces.  Read more about Julie.

Energize Self-Knowledge Area to Receive New Insights and Life Guidance

It’s back-to-school time. Get back into learning by activating your knowledge and self-cultivation gua!

Self Knowledge reflection, image by Katy Belcher
The self-knowledge area in the front left corner of the home (facing it from the outside) deepens clarity and insight about life purpose. If balanced, its energy allows for wisdom and insight to flow into life. It also encourages contemplation, which is vital in today’s hectic world. The element of this area is Earth since it brings nourishment as well as grounding into our lives. A specific symbol is mountain as a place where people have been going for ages to still their minds and seek wisdom.

Some easy ways to enhance this gua include:

  1. Remove all clutter from the desk (living room), closet and dresser (bedroom). Things you do not use reduce your clarity in life and might create stagnation or even blockages.
  2. Install a wall light above the desk. Lights are great energizers both in reality as well as symbolically.
  3. Place a fresh planted orchid in a blue pot – a fresh plant brings new vitality and chi into this area. An orchid in particular with its rich blossoms symbolically represents rich and blossoming wisdom and insight. A blue color is associated with the Self-Knowledge and if possible should be prominent in this area.
  4. Knowledge and Self Cultivation, Kelly Brito image sourceDisplay a few inspirational books on a desk – books are great symbols of wisdom. Preferably, display only books which are personally meaningful to you and which you regularly read and/or refer to.
  5. Display photo(s) of a wise person in a blue frame – typical wise people displayed are Buddha, Dalai Lama, Gandhi, motivational speakers as well as grandparents. Ideally on a desk or above the desk.
  6. Display artwork showing an image of a beach and/or water lily – the beach is a symbol of a quiet place and water lilies represent awakening wisdom. Both of these images are great for Self-Knowledge Area.

 

Blanka Vun Kannon is an Advanced Practitioner of Interior Alignment® the Feng Shui and Space Clearing School founded by Denise Linn. She is owner of Blanka Vun Kannon Feng Shui and founded The School of Harmony in her home country of Czech Republic.  Read more about Blanka.

The Impact of a Stand Desk

From Portland, Oregon based Feng Shui professional and clutter expert, Sugeet talks about his journey toward a stand desk.  Why did he do it?  Fad? Physics? Productivity? 

My old office arrangement, even when I had cleared most of the clutter still looked, well . . .

A Stand Desk, by Sugeet

– – cluttered.

I had recently finished working with a couple who worked from home. She had build a rigid standing desk and loved it. He was building one for himself. They were both enthusiastic for them. They had many positive things to say about them. I became curious.

I saw a Kickstarter campaign to build a reasonably price standing desk that could be both – a sitting desk and a standing one. The campaign was very convincing – lots of studies extolling the benefits of a standing desk.

Research was needed.

A Stand Desk by SugeetSitting is the new smoking.

What began as a curiosity has provoked a great deal of studious inquiry. Results?

  • Reduced risk of obesity
  • Reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic problems
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduced risk for many kinds of cancer

Wow! And that’s just what the Smithsonian Magazine reported. (March 26, 2014)

Sitting six hours a day ups he death rate by 20% for men, 40% for women!

That’s scary while some other research says otherwise, but the consensus indicates we should be standing/walking at least 2 hours a day and then work up to 4.

OK – I got into the Kickstarter campaign and got my desk a couple of months ago.

I had to rearrange my office.

Time to declutter.

Pounds and pounds of files into the trash, Scan others.

4 file drawers to 2.

Fewer printers, fewer everything.

And the result?

A Stand Desk by Sugeet

What a difference! Take a look just at the top:

A Stand Desk by Sugeet

No, I don’t stand all the time, but I’m standing more and more and sitting less and less. I find not only has the simplification made me more focused, but much more productive. I love the top – it’s bamboo, my favorite building material.

You can jerry-rig a standing desk for yourself and try it. I like mine because I can take it up or down, and stop it any place that suites me or my arms or my chair (all at the touch of a button.) A programmer friend just bought himself one that uses counterweights to go up or down. He has a bit of a weight problem, so this is going to be good for him as well! And a major client I just worked with we designed his office so not only could he have a standing desk, but combine it with a treadmill!

If you want to see the one I bought, (also because I support new companies) go to

https://www.standdesk.co/

 

SugeetAn expert in lighting and Feng Shui – Sugeet was a gallery art director for 12 years! Certified in both the basic and Advanced levels of BTB Feng Shui, Sugeet has been serving clients from Northern California to the Candian border since 1999. He has taught Feng Shui for the home, business and landscape design at Southern Oregon University; as well as private classes in Clutter elimination. Read more about Sugeet.

 

Article/Image Source: The Impact of a Stand Desk

4 Reasons Your Office Needs Plants

The notion of buildings that speak helps us to place
at the very center of our architectural conundrums
the question of the values we want to live by—
rather than merely of how we want things to look.

Find out how plants and Feng Shui can bring about greater health, happiness, and productivity in your office – by Carole Hyder

I love this quote by Alan deBotton from his book “The Architecture of Happiness.” It speaks to the primary Feng Shui premise about a space having influence on our purpose. A much-used translation of this statement is: Your space reflects your life. Although the philosophy of Feng Shui is centuries old, it is still in its infancy here in the west. Those of us who have studied this Asian philosophy know that, indeed, what you have in your space can help or hinder you on a daily basis.

Despite its enormous influence in your life, the beauty of Feng Shui is that often it doesn’t take much to make a huge difference. Sometimes, just the shift of a desk or a new paint color or the removal of some clutter, helps you move forward with clarity and efficiency. Your office (or cubicle) provides a great opportunity to symbolically remind you of your values, your goals, and/or your ideal path. The symbol must be relevant to you—in other words, you must truly connect and like what you’re using as a placeholder for your vision and guidance.

 

4 Reasons Your Office Needs Plants, Carole Hyder

One of the simplest suggestions I make to my clients as we are analyzing their office is to add a plant. This can be a silk plant if keeping one alive will be a challenge due to lack of light or lack of time. A plant is very symbolic on many levels for a career and having one in your office can be a steady reminder of reaching your goals. If you already have a plant(s) in your office, then you can overlay it with any of the Feng Shui intentions listed below.

  1. Using a plant that grows upward and outward can reflect to you the possibility of career advancement if you are looking for that to happen. A plant represents forward movement and action so make sure your plant has room to expand.
  2. A plant on your desk will always remind you of nature, whether that is a conscious or unconscious reminder. Connecting to nature automatically lowers blood pressure. Check out the work by Dr. Roger Ulrich, a professor at Texas A & M who did research in the 1990’s and into 2003 who determined that being around a plant, even looking at a photo of a plant, can lower blood pressure and increase positive feelings. It will be important to keep your plant alive and healthy obviously.
  3. If you’re feeling stuck and uninspired, a plant can be a symbol for taking action. A flowering plant will provide even more inspiration and creativity. Flowers can be a perfect substitute for this intention since they are colorful and vibrant, although not as long-lasting as a real plant.
  4. Finally, for health reasons alone, place a plant near your computer to provide balance from all the EMFs that you are exposed to during the day. The electronic energy you are exposed to can be offset by the natural energy of your special plant.Your responsibility is to keep your plant alive and healthy no matter what intention it’s holding for you. Even a silk one needs a regular dusting off from time to time. Let yourself be inspired and motivated as you watch your plant grow and expand and reach for the sky—–a wonderful mirror for whatever your intentions are. 

Carole HyderCarole Hyder has been a Feng Shui consultant since 1992, having studied with Professor Thomas Lin Yun and Roger Green. She is the owner and director of the Wind and Water School of Feng Shui and Feng Shui Institute of the Midwest. Read more about Carole.

 

Article/Photo Source: 4 Reasons Your Office Needs Plants

Bring Your Home Office to Life with Feng Shui

Terah Collins, Feng Shui officeOne of the most popular trends these days in home design is the Home Office, and for good reason. Working from home eliminate the rush hour commute, gives you much more flexibility, and can save you significant amounts of time, money, and aggravation.  Read Bring Your Feng Shui Home Office to Life by Terah Collins

For many people, a year’s worth of work-related expenses, including transportation, clothing, restaurants, rent, and childcare, far exceeds the cost of remodeling and furnishing a home office.

Setting Clear Boundaries

When working from home, it is vital to set clear boundaries between home and work life. The biggest challenge is to stay in control of work hours and not become “ruled” by the proximity of the office. This means that a serious home office is best located in its own room with a door, not an alcove in a room that also serves another purpose. Ideally, your work world is self-contained and private enough that you can concentrate on the tasks at hand, and then close the door at the end of the day and “go home.”

Any room can be transformed into a home office. Feng Shui observes that work actively focused on communicating and connecting with people is best located in a room at the front of the house, while quiet introspective work is best placed in a room toward the back. When your work includes visits from clients, customers, or patients, plan for a separate entrance that takes them directly into your home office and a nearby bathroom. Again, this keeps your work world contained and your work-related visitors from wandering through the house!

Desk Placement

No matter where your home office is located in the house, space planning is key. Of primary importance is the placement of your desk (or primary work surface) in the room. The ideal spot is where you have a direct or peripheral view of the door(s) from your chair, a pleasant view out a window, and a solid wall behind you. This provides you with a commanding view from the front and a sense of safety and support from the back. Achieving this often means “floating” your desk in the room, rather than pushing it against a wall. This can present an aesthetic challenge unless your desk is attractive from all angles, without exposed nests of wires or unfinished sides. Whenever possible, include an electrical outlet in the floor under the desk, and choose a desk that is designed with a front “modesty” panel and an opening that
allows wires to unobtrusively disappear behind the panel. Or, enclose wires in a tube designed to hold them (available at office supply stores) or run them safely out of harm’s way under area rugs or existing carpeting.

While it’s ideal to have a view of both door and window from your desk, a view of the door is most important. If you lose a good window view in order to see the door, install a mirror to capture the view while youíre at your desk. When a window is directly behind your desk, enhance your sense of security and protection by placing something substantial like a credenza between you and the window. When you cannot bear to give up your window view – or a built-in desk provides no view – install a mirror so that you can see the door from your desk. A freestanding or wall-mounted mirror can be placed so that it reflects the door behind you when you are seated at your desk.

Furnishing Your Home Office

Feng Shui maintains that you can reduce work-related stress and irritability by choosing the right furniture. One important rule of thumb is to choose furniture with rounded corners, even when the overall shape is square or rectangular. When you must include an item that has sharp corners such as a filing cabinet, make sure to place it away from the room’s traffic flow, or store it in a closet.

Most people work best on a surface where white paper contrasts “just right.” Paper tends to disappear on pure white surfaces and contrast too dramatically on black surfaces, and either extreme can cause eyestrain. Clear glass desks seem to disappear beneath paper, which can also strain the eyes. Most wooden or medium-toned surfaces provide the right amount of contrast without causing visual strain.

Terah Collins, Feng Shui officeWhen choosing a desk chair, select only the best. Your capacity to produce and prosper is considerably enhanced by a great desk chair. Treat yourself to an ergonomically correct chair that has features such as excellent lumbar support and adjustable height. And always test drive a chair before you buy it – that’s the only way to know if you’ve truly found the right one for your body. Consider the other furnishings you’d like in your home office. Perhaps a comfortable reading chair or couch would be the perfect place to open mail, return phone calls, and receive visitors. Or, you may need a conference table or other work surface in addition to your desk. And every office needs storage – lots of storage! Being organized in your home office is not an option – it’s mandatory. If your office has a closet, outfit it from top to bottom with shelves, built-in filing cabinets, and drawers. Or purchase furnishings that specifically meet your work-related storage needs such as a cabinet, armoire, or credenza.

Your home office is a launching pad for your prosperity… make it dynamic! Any bold, dramatic, or empowering color you love belongs here. Select “Wow!” art that stimulates your creativity and inspires your productivity. Hang fabulous art, awards, and diplomas on your gorgeous walls, look around, and congratulate yourself. Your success has found its way home.

 

Terah CollinsTerah Kathryn Collins is a best-selling author and the founder of the Western School of Feng Shui®. She is also the originator of Essential Feng Shui®, which focuses on the many valuable applications Feng Shui has in our Western culture while honoring the essence of its Eastern heritage. Read more about Terah.

 

Article Source: Bringing the Office Home

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