The economy is in the dumps. You're working hard to impress the higher-ups, and polishing your resume in case of layoffs. But what else can you do to stay employed (and sane) amid the reports of economic doom and gloom?
Feng shui expert Kathy Mann said the ancient Chinese art of space arrangement and energy flow can help you ride the recession storm.
"There are a lot of people who have made a lot of money in major depressions. It really depends on your mind-set," said Mann, of Tampa. "If you pay attention to the energy around you, it would definitely make a difference."
Mann uses a bagua map to arrange a space into nine categories that represent different aspects of your life. In each area, you can make certain tweaks to improve the energy flow, or chi.
The bagua map can be applied to a room, desk or your car. Just align the knowledge, career and helpful people side with the entry.
There are no hard rules in feng shui. If a tip doesn't work with your design scheme, don't worry. "The whole idea of feng shui is flow and harmony," Mann said, "not about making things too stiff or rigid."
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The "mouth of chi," Mann said, because it's where energy enters the home. It should be bright, comfortable and clean. Paint the front door red, or put red flower pots or a doormat near the entrance way. Make sure your house numbers are visible so the chi of promotion can find you.
Place books relating to your career goals and investments here. A green plant will give you confidence for your interview or evaluation.
Looking for a job? Light a candle to ignite new energy and opportunities.
Take inventory. Does everything in your career area work? Are there pictures of something you'd never want to do here? If so, remove them.
This is the place for progress. Hang pictures of items moving, not standing still, and you'll coast through difficulties in the office.
Helpful people, travel
Gray and silver are traditionally the colors that help you get the boss on board with your ideas. If you're spiritual, this is the place for religious objects or symbols.
Plants help the clan stay in harmony. Green and blue are auspicious colors for this area.
Located in the center of your home, the health section may lack natural light. Add lamps, hang a crystal from the ceiling or strategically place a mirror to reflect the light from a window into this space.
Metal, moving objects like pendulums and grandfather clocks keep the ideas flowing. White objects will help you get creative in the job search or give you an idea for starting your own business.
Place paired items here for success in business and personal relationships. Store your oval mirrors and globes here. "When we're in a circle, we come back to each other," Mann said. Opt for desks and furniture with rounded edges as opposed to hard corners.
Fame and reputation
Hang diplomas, awards and pictures of people you admire in this space. Red objects and triangle shapes will help people see you as the awesome employee, manager and/or job candidate that you are.
"Wealth is a combination of money, energy and time," Mann said. Like the career area, this is not the place for broken objects or pieces that tie you to the past. Get rid of any clutter and make room so all that money, energy and time can come pouring in.
Powerful colors — red, green and purple.
Healthy plants in this area help your money grow. Mirrors magnify what you have. Big solid items keep your income and 401(k) accounts stable.
If the builder stuck a bathroom here, make sure there are no leaks. "That's your money going down the drain," Mann said.