As we all try and pack in as many memories of fun in sun as we can before the end of summer, we quickly travel to and fro, cris-crossing across our city, state or country. Even as gas prices remain at historic highs, we still have a love affair with our cars. The freedom they represent (even if we only travel 10 miles to and from our jobs!), the image they project (Corvettes and mid-life crisis, need I say more?) and the fact that they get us from Point A to Point B in a timely manner just adds to the wonderful relationship we have with our cars. And, as life imitates the art of this column and I’m car shopping (!) we will explore how Feng Shui can help you pick the perfect car!
***When looking at purchasing a new vehicle-how does it make you feel? If you hate the color, the fact that it’s a sedan or whatever, you will instantly hate driving the car. Not good energy or Feng Shui. ***
Now it should be stated that the following tips are for ALL vehicles-yes, even golf carts! (This is an actual project presented to me by my mother to help improve her golf game AND for the golf cart parade (I know) in her condo community-stay tuned). Not only can Feng Shui protect you and your loved ones from harm’s way, you can also augment your overall luck and positive energy. By considering your vehicle as an environment that can affect your mood, you can use Feng Shui as well to help make driving more pleasant and safer activity.
Do you get tired as soon as you hit the road? Try tying a red tassel with bells attached to help ease the sudden fatigue. Remember, RED is a FIRE color and represents action and yang energy. The ringing of the bells will also help keep you focused and alert. The tinkling of bells and chimes also helps to ward off negative energy. I have a small Fairy chime attached to the rearview mirror in my car-when I get “perturbed” on the road or am looking for the perfect parking space-I ring the chimes. Stupid, I know, but it makes me laugh (and the other occupant’s in the car as well) at the silliness, which in turn raises the positive energy in the car.
Too much clutter? Too many stops at McDonald’s and Starbucks, with the evidence thrown in the back seat? Sporting equipment strewn throughout the backseat and trunk? Does the front passenger seat look like a remote office space with your Blackberry, iPod and files strewn about? Have stuffed animals taken over the back shelf so that seeing out of the rear window is a distant memory? While clutter will be discussed in later columns, in Feng Shui terms, clutter is the physical manifestation of our emotional baggage. When your vehicle (or home/desk/office) is full of empty fast food bags, overflowing ashtrays and empty water bottles, you are showing to the world that you don’t care about how you are seen or what image you present. You may also subconsciously feel that you are not worthy or confident (i.e. feeling like garbage).
While many of us travel for work and don’t have a vehicle devoted to work only, it is imperative that you do your best to separate your personal from your job. Keep files in a binder or tote, that way everything is kept in one place. I do see the need for the iPod (!) so that can slide. The Blackberry or other cell phone should not be viewed as an appendage while you are driving! Utilize blue-tooth technology or the option of phone service through OnStar if you MUST be on the phone while you are driving for safety issues.
***You should NEVER be texting, IMing or checking emails WHILE YOU ARE DRIVING for safety reasons. ***
On a monthly basis, you should do a thorough cleaning of your car. This means vacuuming, wiping down/cleaning the dash and seats (especially if you have leather-make sure to condition it! This is a must if you drive a convertible). Get rid of all the garbage that has accumulated in the backseat, empty ashtrays and organize what must stay in the car. My mother’s car looked like a sporting goods store/closet before we bought her a golf organizer! Shoes, golf tees, golf shirts, socks…you name it-plus the clubs in the trunk not leaving room for anything else-were all over the place. This with all of her coupons stuffed in a cup holder, sunglasses in the other made her car a total mess. The golf organizer was wonderful as all of her clothes, tees and other accessories were now put into one place, not strewn about, and fit into the trunk with the clubs. Thusly, freeing up the backseat. I have yet to get her to “free up” the cup holders-although she does not have the venti latte addiction I have, so this isn’t that important to her-but I’m still working on her. Washing the windows in your car is also a must for safety-it’s always good to see where you’re going, especially at night or in inclement weather! But from a Feng Shui perspective, clean glass/windows symbolizes CLEAR sight towards the future and/or goals, as well as natural light being able to enter your space bringing in positive energy.
***Make a point of cleaning your windows with every gas fill-up! Windows are considered the “eyes” of the car/house/office; therefore they should be kept clean to see clearly! ***
A great smelling car also makes the journey go smoother. Hopefully after you do a thorough cleaning you should have no smell, but by using aromatherapy you can help manipulate emotions while you drive. Have a long journey ahead of you? Use peppermint to help energize you. Want to be more relaxed and less anxious on your daily commute? Use orange to help de-stress. There are a variety of car diffusers out there-some plug into the cigarette lighter, some are merely terra cotta shapes that can be hung on the rearview mirror or placed in an unused cup holder (again with the empty cup holder!). I have a small terra cotta heart, which hangs with the fairy chime, from my rearview mirror. I have a couple of different scents I use depending on my mood. These terra cotta diffusers are great in warm weather/climates, as the sun shines into the car it helps to diffuse the oil/scent throughout the car! I love this.
Many of you have heard of hanging crystals in your car as well to help bring in positive energy. Crystals can also help to break up and disperse stagnant energy. (Remember to keep your crystals clean!). This is also a great idea-HOWEVER-do not hang a crystal larger than 10mm from your rearview mirror. Anything larger looks like a big disco ball hanging there, swaying back and forth causing the drivers around you to go blind when the sun hits it. Needless to say, that is not good Feng Shui!
***When purchasing crystals for your car or elsewhere in your space, only buy real crystal spheres, points…whatever shape. Glass, plastic or other materials do not conduct the same energy as real crystal. Always ask and verify material BEFORE you purchase. ***
– Just as in ALL of your spaces, your vehicle should be clean and fresh-smelling to facilitate good, healthy energy movement.
– DO NOT clutter up the back seat with clothes, stuffed animals, sporting equipment, et al, as this will detract the positive energy from you car and create a negative, chaotic and stressful environment. If you don’t LOVE it, USE it or NEED it, GET RID OF IT.
– Some Feng Shui practitioners will tell you to place fluffy cushions and/or blankets in your car to help balance the hard, yang energy of the road with a calming, comforting energy. I personally am a “less is more” type of person, however, if throwing a blanket in the back seat or you feel the need to “accessorize” your car with some accent pillows, go for it if it doesn’t impair your driving. It should be noted that a blanket is a necessity if your dogs travel with you and/or for emergency situations if you life in a colder climate.
– Less is more as far as items hanging from the rearview mirror-the days of fuzzy dice, graduation tassels up more than 1 year after graduation (!) or anything else that is large and will impair your driving (or items that will make other drivers afraid of you) need to be taken down. In Feng Shui philosophy, if this item falls off, it means it has protected you from negative energy, replace it immediately.
– Use music to help set the mood for your drive-classical to relax you on a long drive, some jazz for a dinner date, classic rock for your commute…whatever sets the mood for you. I personally like Jimmy Buffet as it makes me think of warm, sunny beach times and transports me from the cold and snow of WI. Remember loud, aggressive music encourages aggressive driving-leave the NAS music off for your daily commute.
– According to Calgary author/interior designer Margo Trofimenkoff, you can tell the gender of your car by the placement of the gas cap. As you face your car from the front, if the gas cap is on the right it indicates feminine, on the left-masculine.
– Name your car (see previous). If you have a personal connection with your care, you are more likely to take care of problems, keep it cleaner and keep up the maintenance in a timely manner. (My car’s name is Tiffany based on the color-sterling silver).
– Keep your car in good working order. Get timely oil changes, keep tires properly inflated, replace burned out lights and keep the window washer fluid filled (it always goes empty right after a storm!).
– Make sure doors and windows (as in any space) open and close easily and quietly. Any sticking or difficulty will bring tension at the start of every journey. A door that doesn’t close properly will also cause stress on the window, which can cause it to crack/break.
– When parking, try to leave a clear path that allows an unimpeded entrance. It should also be noted that you should never park facing a house/office/building as it can subconsciously create a threat to the occupants in the building-a feeling of the car driving into the space. Park parallel or facing away from the space.
– When choosing a color for your car, the interior color is the most important choice as this is the color that most directly affects you while driving. If you aren’t happy with the interior of your vehicle, it will cause you stress.