Soothing the Savage Beast with Sound
If you’ve ever been yelled at, then you know that the wrong kind of sound in the wrong place at the wrong time can be frustrating, annoying, and even harmful. But sound used correctly can be appealing, gratifying, and energizing.
In Feng Shui, gentle or tranquil sound can be a cure, by raising chi and making your space seem calmer and more pleasant.
Extremely loud noise, especially if it lasts for a long period of time, can damage your hearing. If you work around lots of noise, wear ear protection.
Ding dong, the chi is moving
Pleasant ringing sounds can be used at any time to raise the chi in an area. Ringing sounds can be used to
- Moderate chi flow. If chi moves too quickly through your space, sound cures can help slow it down.
- Change chi’s direction. Soft background music playing from your cubicle can change the direction of the copy machine’s drone — sending it away from you.
- Dispel antagonism and negative energy in the workplace. The gentle sound of a fountain can go a long way toward diminishing hostile feelings within a space and dispersing negative chi. Put a wind chime in the Family sector when a co-worker is sometimes loud on the phone. (The Family sector influences work relationships when you’re at work.) Whereas a mirror deflects the energy completely, a wind chime moderates and reduces it. Your co-worker is performing a natural (although annoying!) action, so reducing the energy rather than negating it is appropriate.
Wind chimes are a common Feng Shui cure. Used outside, the wind moving through the chimes creates music. Inside, they ring as people move about. Or, you can deliberately make them ring as you walk by. Brass bells of various sizes can produce pleasing sounds and raise the chi.
Objects that ring have different pitches, tones, harmonies, and sound qualities. Listen carefully before choosing; only your ears can tell you whether the sound of the chime is pleasing or not.
Be respectful of your co-workers. They may find the wind chimes annoying, not energizing. Get permission first if you need it.
Playing some mood music
Music, like wind chimes and bells, can increase the chi in your workspace. Unlike wind chimes and bells, your co-workers are less likely to object to your playing music as long as it’s soft and low. And if you’re not allowed to play music out loud, many work places allow you to bring in your own portable music player and headphones.
Depending on the decibel level and the cadence, music is thought to be yang in character, so when a space is too yin — too quiet and passive — music can energize it.
Match the music to your environment. A radio playing soft classical music is suitable for most office work. (A tape of lullabies is too calming and you may find yourself needing a nap!) For creative or active pursuits, more energetic music can help generate good, active energy.
If you work where you don’t have control over the music — the store where you work plays the Muzak version of Madonna’s greatest hits all day, every day — ask if the volume can be lowered or if a different type of music can be substituted. If possible, add a Feng Shui sound cure, such as a wind chime, where you spend most of your working hours.
Noisy conversations, the clatter of the printer, the hum of your computer — all can raise stress levels and cause discomfort in your workspace. Blank walls, ceilings, and floors amplify sound, so adding materials to them creates a more pleasant environment. Sometimes noise can be camouflaged with music or sound machines, but often this just creates another layer on top of the stressful noise.
Homing in on rippling water
The sound of moving water creates a pleasant, relaxed feeling (unless it’s dripping from a leaky faucet). Water features such as desktop water fountains and aquariums are popular Feng Shui cures for a multitude of problems.
In Feng Shui, Water represents relationships, wealth, and general abundance; it is symbolically and literally necessary to life. The ideal locations for a water feature are the north (a Water area), the east, and the southeast (Wood element areas). Don’t forget to set your intention as you place your water cures.
Your intention is what you want to accomplish by placing the cure. As you place your cure, remind yourself what it will do. For example, say something like, “By placing this fountain in my workspace, I signal my intention to reduce the amount of unpleasant noise in this area, which will make it easier for me to do my job.”
Aquariums can be incorporated into many workspaces. Because they combine living energy and water, aquariums can be especially powerful. Aquariums bring good fortune and symbolize flowing chi that never gets stuck. An aquarium placed in the Wealth sector symbolizes abundance.
Don’t rush out and get an aquarium unless you’re sure you can follow these guidelines:
- Healthy fish only. Think robust — try to avoid the puny goldfish.
- Ideally, plants are living. Don’t pick out the plastic plants you see at many pet stores unless you have no choice.
- Aquariums need to be cleaned regularly. Otherwise, they can create negative chi. And stink up your office too!
Want to get really fish picky? Nine is a favorable number in Feng Shui, so try to collect nine fish. Traditionally, one of the fish is black, to absorb the negative chi, and the other eight are gold. However, if you want to get along with a wide variety of people, it is more favorable to have fish of all different colors and sizes. If a fish dies, replace him right away.
Fountains and waterfalls
Flowing water symbolizes money flowing to you. Water features that perform work (as in a water wheel) are considered auspicious.
Desktop size water fountains and waterfalls
- Create energy
- Refresh your spirits
- Make visitors feel welcome
- Are calming
Be sure to keep the water fresh and clean with a drop or two of bleach every few weeks. And clean hard water calcium stains with a calcium remover product. If the water fountain gets dirty, not only does it create an unattractive sight but may create negative chi.
If for some reason you cannot use a water feature in your workspace, a painting of water also stimulates the chi! Water features are also available in convenient desktop versions!