I’ve been back in London for a few days and one of the things that has struck me is how noisy it is. I have taken a studio apartment in South Kensington and the constant traffic, both cars and people, in the middle of the night has really taken me aback. At Le Plantis, our home in France, we only see a few cars an hour and during the night you can actually hear the silence. Here in London I sometimes struggle to hear myself think.
One of the lovely things about being back in London however is the opportunity to catch up with friends and former clients. I will quite often meet up for a drink or a bite to eat with people who I have met on training courses or coaching sessions and I always find that we end up discussing some aspects of Feng Shui.
A few days ago I met a former client for coffee and a chat in London. A very successful business woman with a number of offices across south east England we had met a few times last year when she had come to me for one to one coaching. The last time I had met her she had opened a new office which was not doing as well as the others and which was actually having a negative impact on the whole cashflow of her business. Whilst not exactly losing money overall, this office certainly was suffering from more cash going out than coming in and she wanted to ensure that the problems didn’t continue and had asked me for advice.
I had visited the new office with her and had immediately been struck by the spiral staircase in the reception area that went down to the offices below. A lot of money had clearly been spent on this reception area and it had clearly been designed to give the impression of wealth and success but I had major concerns about the staircase and the negative impact this was having on her business.
It is unusual for me to say that something is bad, but for me a spiral staircase is bad for a house or a business. To me it is like a corkscrew that pierces the heart of a building. I often find that where a spiral staircase is in place the energy around the building does not flow calmly and the occupants can experience a journey through life similar to the journey one would feel on a rollercoaster, alternating between highs and lows. Though spiral staircases may be architectural masterpieces and great when space is at premium they can unfortunately have a negative effect on the natural flow of energy within the building.
In this instance there was no way of taking this particular staircase out without some major interior redesign which my client didn’t want to do so we therefore needed to work together to minimise the negative effects of the staircase. In this particular instance I advocated putting some big plants with shiny rounded leaves underneath and around the staircase in large round pots. I also suggested wrapping the interior pole in fabric and making a feature of the space underneath the staircase with a raised pond with ferns. The client was willing to take my advice at the time with the exception of the pond and I left her happily discussing some other ideas for the reception with one of her members of staff.
Catching up with her this week was lovely and we spent a happy forty minutes discussing how her business fortunes had improved over the last year. She had followed the guidance I had given her and bought some plants which she had placed around and underneath the staircase and had implemented the other enhancements I had suggested with the exception of the pond. The business over the past 8 months had improved and this particular office was no longer losing money and she felt confident enough about it that she was thinking of having a whole redesign of the reception area in which she would be able to lose the staircase completely. “But still no pond” were her final words as we parted.