DEARBORN – With rising gas prices, fuel economy is becoming increasingly important. But what if there was a way to keep good energy flowing inside the car as well?
It’s called feng shui – the words sound exotic, mysterious. But in truth, feng shui is simply the art of placement. Originating in China more than 3,000 years ago, it’s considered a way to bring harmony as well as organization into your environment – whether that’s a home or a vehicle.
The tenets of feng shui suggest your environment reflects every aspect of your existence – from finances to relationships to knowledge to career. There are many different ways to practice this ancient art, and a wide variety of applications. But however it’s practiced, the basic aim is the same – to create calming, positive surroundings.
“I use good feng shui wherever I am – it’s just intuitive,” said Catherine Hilker, a feng shui practitioner from Detroit and owner of Creating Sanctuary. “Whether it’s a home, whether it’s your car – it’s always a good practice.”
The word “feng”means wind, while “shui” means water; together, the phrase is another way of alluding to health and wealth of mind, body and spirit.
In many Western practices of feng shui, a “bagua” is used. A bagua is a template, or map, that shows how ch’i, or energy, flows in our lives. Each area of that environment – whether it’s a home, a room or a workspace – relates to an area on the map.
The bagua can even be placed over a vehicle. Consumers spend so much time on the road these days, staying relaxed can only be beneficial. And with a car that offers as much interior quietness as the all-new Ford Fusion, taking the next step toward peace and harmony just makes sense.
The bagua covers nine life areas: career, fame, knowledge, creativity, helpful people, travel, finances, health, relationships. Under the tenets of feng shui, your environment is a symbolic reflection of your life.
There are traditional schools of feng shui that use a compass direction to orient the bagua, but in many Western applications the front door is in the areas relating to knowledge, career or helpful people. From there, it’s easy to see how the rest of the area looks.
For instance, is your financial area neglected and messy? Then perhaps your finances could use a second look. Are you storing your cactus collection right where your relationship area falls? Perhaps that explains how prickly your personality has been lately. Does your creativity area fall under that old, disused bedroom? That might explain a few things.
With a vehicle, many practitioners consider the career section – or the energy source – to be the engine. (See graphic for more information on how to place the map.)
But Hilker, a “ch’i detective” and a 10-year practitioner who uses a more intuitive form of feng shui, likes to keep it simple.
“I prefer to simply pay attention to the rooms that people spend the most amount of time in and make sure they have surrounded themselves with the kind of vibe they’re trying to create,” she said. “You can do the same thing with a vehicle.”
A few general feng shui tips from Hilker:
- “The No. 1 enemy in feng shui is clutter – no matter where you are. The most dramatic thing you can do to shift and change the way ch’i behaves is to get rid of the clutter, whether it’s in your home, your car, your office or workspace. Over time, clutter creates stuck energy – creating pressure, depression or tension. Clutter is stuff we don’t love, stuff we don’t use, stuff that’s broken and needs our attention. Keep your car clutter-free – that’s the best way to improve the experience of your space.
- “When you have a connection to something, you’ll take better care of it. Giving a name to your car is one way to encourage a strong connection to your vehicle. Using decals and vanity plates are other ways to encourage that connection.
- “Add some ch’i enhancers to the interior of your vehicle. A ch’i enhancer is something that promotes wellbeing through the senses. Of course you don’t want anything that distracts your vision while you’re driving, but instead use your other senses. Maybe you hang small chimes in your vehicle. Pick a calming essential oil if you’re stressed, an enlivening one for a quick pick-me-up, or an antibacterial one for a quick wipe down.
- “In feng shui, color is very important. Choose a car color that balances your personality. For example, fiery Type A individuals can choose a water element color like black to calm down (and perhaps avoid tickets). Type B individuals can choose fire and wood element colors like reds and greens to create more liveliness. Ford vehicles offer a palette of ambient, or detail, lighting that allows drivers to customize the interior of their vehicle based on their mood.
- “Using symbols is also important in feng shui. For example, add a little icon – like a statue or a medal or a picture – as a reminder to drive safely, to be courteous, or to reduce stress. It doesn’t even have to be something visual – just something the driver knows is there. It can even be something tucked in the glovebox.”