Tag Archives: gardening

Making a Place for Creativity

I received a message from a Feng Shui colleague who was preparing a talk on “Making a Place for Creativity.” She contacted several of her Feng Shui friends for suggestions on how each of us makes a place for creativity in our lives and in our work. It is an interesting and thought-provoking question.

Creativity is regarded as our ability to view things in new ways to allow for the formation of new possibilities. And, while the responses to her question varied, several themes emerged.

MeditateMeditation was an important component to several responders, one of whom stated, “Meditation is
a way to find my place and access my creativity.” She is definitely on to something. Research suggests by engaging in a particular meditation practice we are able to cultivate new and more positive ways of thinking.

One person finds that being in large groups of like-minded people stimulates her creativity. It suggests a form of brainstorming that encourages an informal approach to thinking outside the box.

Dancing is another person’s way to make a space for creativity. Dance is a therapeutic outlet that releases endorphins in the brain, causing the dancer to experience happiness. Dancing has beenJoy found to help improve problem-solving skills and Improvisational dance can help with divergent & creative thinking. So if you want to access your creativity, dance as if no one is watching!

“Learning something new raises my vibration” was another response. It appears new learning allows for exploration of new ways of thinking.

It’s no surprise that several responses mentioned the importance of simplifying and decluttering to access a place for creativity. Addressing the presence of clutter is a critical aspect of the practice of Feng Shui. This practice evaluates and provides recommendations for arranging home and work environments to enhance the quality of life of all the inhabitants. Feng Shui is based on the understanding we are profoundly affected by our surroundings, whether we are aware of it or not. And one of the more negative affects on our overall well-being is clutter.

ClutterClutter is considered a crowded, untidy collection of things. According to Karen Kingston, those “things” generally include four main categories: things we do not use or love; things that are untidy or disorganized; too many things in too small a space and/or anything unfinished. Resonate to any of these? Yes, me too. Clutter anywhere in your home and/or work area can overwhelm, sap energy and block creativity. A cluttered horizontal surface (think desk or dresser or kitchen counter top), hampers clear vision and innovation.

The Bagua is the Feng Shui energy map that identifies our nine life areas: Career, Knowledge, Family, Wealth, Fame/Reputation, Partnership, Children/Creativity, Helpful People/Travel and, in the very center of your home or office, Health. Clutter in any of these areas can block that sector of your life, however, two sectors particularly support creativity – the Creativity and Health areas.

If the Creativity sector is cluttered, you are likely to experience blocks in your inspiration and struggle in bringing projects to fruition. Clutter in the Health or center of your space can have damaging health consequences and your life can lack a meaningful focus.

While the process of creativity often leads to messiness, it is important to try and devise a supportive balance that allows for originality but doesn’t stymie it.

Gardening was my response to making a place for creativity. For me, it is an immersion in inspiration and incorporates all the above-mentioned themes.

It is my place for meditation. When I work in the garden, my mind is free from any distraction other Patiothan the sounds of nature and the feel of the soil on my hands and beneath my feet. The creativity that comes from discussing gardening with other gardeners is unlike any other group I’ve experienced. Of course there is always something new to learn as I play with color, texture shape and scent. Keeping weeds and over-growth from cluttering the garden is an ongoing activity. And the dance is ever present, both as I physically move back and forth within the garden, and from the gentle movement of the dancing flowers and leaves in a gentle wind.

Planning my garden, working in it and just enjoying looking at it, helps me access my creativity and that inspiration spills over into all I do. It definitely makes me happy! And happy chi produces creative chi!

A Tease of Wood Energy

Sprout2Do you get as excited as I do at the tease of Wood energy emerging around us? When there is a snow melt, brown is the predominant color, however, if you look closely, you will notice that tease of wood energy –little green seedlings just beginning to peek out of the ground. The Feng Shui Five Element Theory follows nature’s cycle, transitioning from the Water Element that represents Winter and moving into the Wood Element of Spring. When spring finally arrives in Minnesota, that Wood energy erupts in full form as our gardens bloom and tree buds burst open!

I love when garden centers begin offering classes about the newest annuals and perennials. Anything that appears to bring Spring a bit closer and reminds me that I will soon feel nurtured by working in the soil is most welcome. Of course, I realize that won’t happen for about two more months, given our Minnesota weather season.

I enjoyed gardening at my previous home, but when I moved into my town home years ago, there was no gardening opportunity. The landscaping consisted of shrubs and rock, requiring no upkeep. After all, isn’t that what town home living is about? But after that first summer I recognized a void in my life; my hands were literally aching to get back into the soil. It was then I became acutely aware that gardening was not just a hobby for me but an intrinsic need.

I knew nothing of Feng Shui in those days, but I intuitively knew I had to create a small garden in an area by my front door. I spent hours hauling out rock, removing shrubs and amending the soil. My new little flower garden was appealing both from my front door and from the road. I learned years later, from a Feng Shui perspective, this was ideal. That garden enhanced my front door and attracted positive chi into my home!

I quickly discovered that one small garden was not enough for me, so I began extending theWheelB garden around my town home. I continued laboriously hauling away wheelbarrows full of rock, digging up old shrubs and amending the clay soil. I spent hours planning what and where to plant. It has taken years to develop my garden, and, as all of you gardeners know all too well, it is always a work in progress! With new annuals and perennials being introduced every year, the choices become intoxicating and endless.

My previous home was on an acre, allowing me to have several areas for gardens. I loved impulse garden shopping and experimenting with a variety of perennials and annuals! There was always room for everything I brought home. Those plants that did great in the garden were neighbors to those that didn’t do so well, but it didn’t matter.

My current gardens are too small to be forgiving with plants that don’t thrive and, with ever increasing choices, I have learned to make tough decisions. I’ve become increasingly ruthless! A plant that ceases to delight is quickly removed! I recycle the rejects to my gardening friends who have more gardening space than I do. It’s a significant type of Feng Shui de-cluttering. It also speaks to the Feng Shui principle that reminds us to have in our space that which we have room for and love.

So, as this tease of wood entices us to dream about our garden – big or small, a flower box or balcony pots – remember to be intentional and have only what delights your eye!


Happy Spring!

“Spring drew on…and a greenness grew over those brown beds, which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that Hope traversed them at night, and left each morning brighter traces of her steps.” ― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre