As we all try to save as many memories of fun in the sun as we can before the end of the summer, we travel quickly from one place to another, crossing our city, state or country. Even when gas prices remain at record 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 the midlife crisis, need I say more?), And the fact that they take us from point A to the point. B in a timely manner adds to the wonderful relationship we have with our cars. And, while life imitates the art in this column and I’m shopping for a car (!) We’ll explore how Feng Shui can help you choose the perfect car!
*** When considering buying a new vehicle, how does it feel? If you hate the color, the fact that it’s a sedan or whatever, you’ll instantly hate driving the car. It is not good energy or Feng Shui. ***
Now it must be said that the following tips are for ALL vehicles, yes, even golf carts! (This is an actual project my mom introduced me to to help improve her golf game AND for the golf cart parade (I know) in her condo community, stay tuned.) Feng Shui can not only protect you and your loved ones from danger, it can also increase your overall luck and positive energy. By viewing your vehicle as an environment that can affect your mood, you can also use Feng Shui to help make driving a more enjoyable and safe activity.
Do you get tired as soon as you hit the road? Try tying a red tassel with attached bells to help ease sudden fatigue. Remember, RED is a FIRE color and represents action and yang energy. The sound of the bells will also help you stay focused and alert. The tinkling of bells and chimes also helps ward off negative energy. I have a little fairy doorbell attached to my car’s rear view mirror, when I’m “disturbed” on the road or looking for the perfect place to park, I ring the doorbell. Stupid, I know, but it makes me laugh (and the other occupant in the car too) at the silliness, which in turn increases the positive energy in the car.
Too much clutter? Too many stops at McDonald’s and Starbucks, with the evidence lying in the back seat? Sports equipment strewn across the back seat and trunk? Does the front passenger seat look like a remote office space with your Blackberry, iPod, and files strewn about? Have the stuffed animals taken over the back shelf to make looking out the back window a remote 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 the world that you don’t care how they see you or what image you present. You may also subconsciously feel that you are not worthy or trusting (that is, feeling like garbage).
While many of us travel for work and do not have a vehicle dedicated solely to work, it is imperative that you do everything possible to separate the personal from your work. Keep files in a folder or purse, that way everything stays in one place. I see the need for the iPod (!) So that it can slide. The Blackberry or other cell phone should not be seen as an appendage while driving! Please use Bluetooth technology or the phone service option through OnStar if you MUST talk on the phone while driving for safety reasons.
*** You should NEVER text, instant message or check emails WHILE DRIVING for safety reasons. ***
Monthly, you need to do a thorough cleaning of your car. This means vacuuming, cleaning / 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 back seat, empty the ashtrays and organize what should be left in the car. My mom’s car looked like a sporting goods store / closet before we bought her a golf organizer! Shoes, golf jerseys, golf jerseys, socks … you name it, plus clubs in the trunk that don’t leave room for anything else, they were everywhere. This with all his coupons stuffed in one cup holder, sunglasses in the other made his car a total mess. The golf organizer was wonderful, as all her clothes, jerseys and other accessories were now in one place, not scattered, and they could fit in the trunk with the clubs. Thus, freeing the rear seat. I have yet to get her to “release” the cup holders, even though she doesn’t have the venti latte addiction that I have, so this isn’t that important to her, but I’m still working on her. Washing your car windows is also a must for safety; It is always good to see where you are going, especially at night or in bad weather conditions. But from a Feng Shui perspective, clean glass / windows symbolize a CLEAR vision towards the future and / or goals, as well as natural light that can enter your space and bring positive energy.
*** Make sure to clean your windows with every gas fill! Windows are considered the “eyes” of the car / home / office; therefore, they must be kept clean to see clearly. ***
A car with a good smell also makes the trip smoother. Hopefully after a thorough cleaning it should be odorless, but using aromatherapy you can help manipulate emotions while driving. Have a long journey ahead of you? Use peppermint to help you get energized. Do 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 – some connect to the cigarette lighter, some are simply terra cotta shapes that can be hung on the rear view mirror or placed in an unused cup holder (again with the cup holder empty!). I have a small terracotta heart, hanging with the fairy bell, from my rear view mirror. I have a couple of different scents that I use depending on my mood. These terra cotta diffusers are great in hot weather / climates as the sun shines on the car and helps diffuse the oil / scent throughout the car. I love this.
Many of you have also heard of dangling crystals on your car to help generate positive energy. Crystals can also help break up and disperse stagnant energy. (Remember to keep your glasses clean!). This is also a great idea, HOWEVER, do not hang a glass larger than 10mm from your rear view mirror. Anything bigger looks like a big disco ball hanging there, swinging back and forth, causing the drivers around it to go blind when the sun hits it. Needless to say, that is not good Feng Shui.
*** When buying glass for your car or anywhere else in your space, only buy real glass spheres, dots … in any shape. Glass, plastic, or other materials do not conduct the same energy as real glass. Always ask and verify the material BEFORE you buy. ***
– As in ALL your spaces, your vehicle should be clean and smelling fresh to facilitate good and healthy energy movement.
– DO NOT clutter the backseat with clothing, stuffed animals, sports equipment, etc. as this will detract positive energy from your car and create a negative, chaotic and stressful environment. If you don’t LOVE, USE or NEED IT, UNDOWN.
– Some Feng Shui practitioners will tell you to place fluffy cushions and / or blankets in your car to help balance the hard and yang energy of the road with a calming and comforting energy. Personally, I’m the “less is more” type, however if you throw a blanket in the back seat or feel the need to “personalize” your car with some accent pillows, do so if the driving doesn’t surprise you. . It should be noted that a blanket is a must if your dogs are traveling with you and / or for emergency situations if you live in a colder climate.
– Less is more when it comes to items hanging from the rear view mirror: the days of fuzzy dice, graduation tassels over 1 year after graduation (!), Or anything else that’s great that misses your Driving (or items that will make other drivers afraid of you) should be removed. In the philosophy of Feng Shui, if this item falls off, it means that you have protected it from negative energy, replace it immediately.
– Use music to help set the mood for your classic record to unwind on a long drive, some jazz for a dinner, classic rock for your commute … whatever sets the mood. I personally like Jimmy Buffet as it makes me think of warm sunny times at the beach and transports me from the cold and snow of WI. Remember that loud and aggressive music encourages aggressive driving; Leave the NAS music turned off for your commute.
– According to Calgary interior designer / author Margo Trofimenkoff, you can tell the gender of your car by the location of the gas cap. When looking at your car from the front, if the gas cap is on the right, it indicates female, on the left – male.
– Give your car a name (see above). If you have a personal connection to your care, you are more likely to take care of issues, keep it cleaner, and continue maintenance in a timely manner. (My car’s name is Tiffany based on the sterling silver color.)
– Keep your car in good working order. Get timely oil changes, keep your tires properly inflated, replace burnt out lights, and keep your windshield washer fluid full (it always drains immediately after a storm!).
– Make sure doors and windows (as in any space) open and close easily and quietly. Any traffic jam or difficulty will bring tension at the beginning of each trip. A door that doesn’t close properly will also put stress on the window, which can cause it to crack or break.
– When parking, try to leave a clear path that allows unobstructed entry. It should also be noted that you should never park in front of a house / office / building, as it can unconsciously create a threat to the occupants of the building, a feeling that the car is entering the space. Park parallel or with your back to the space.
– When choosing a color for your car, the interior color is the most important choice, as it is the color that most directly affects you while driving. If you are not satisfied with the interior of your vehicle, it will cause you stress.