For YEARS I've been making sure my bed faces the door because I knew it was good feng shui. I didn't know why, and until recently I didn't know it shouldn't be directly in line with the door. Can you shine some light on why all this is?
Shanna G., Brooklyn, NY
Traditionally in feng shui, the position of the bed directly in line with the door is called the “coffin position." This is because if you sleep every night with all that energy, or “qi” coming straight at you, it causes health and other problems that may lead to an unhappy life or untimely death.
In feng shui we have a very important concept called the “command position." Ideally, your bed, desk, stove and other important areas should be positioned so that you can see the door and you have your back against the far wall. You don’t want to be directly in front of the door. Rather, across the room, diagonally from the door, is typically the most ideal position.
Where does “command position” come from? From the physical and scientific perspective, there are areas of the brain that are more primitive than others. These areas are connected with the fight or flight response, also known as the “acute stress response." The feeling of danger and fear is a physiological response that you experience on a subtle level when you cannot see the door, or see what may be coming your way. This level of stress is especially activated when the back of your neck is exposed and facing the door. Your adrenals activate and anxiety levels increase, therefore affecting your mood and health.
Although not everyone is consciously aware of it, it does affect you. It is like a stone that has water dripping on it lightly for years; the stress levels begin to wear down at you.
Metaphorically, the command position places you in command of the room, your home, and your life, because you can see what life brings to you, and you can move forward with your eyes open.
Understandably, this furniture placement may not always be possible, so you can make an adjustment to a potentially unfavorable position by placing a mirror in such a way that you can see the door to the room. Now you’re back in command!