How you position yourself and furniture within a room has a direct correlation to how empowered and successful you are in life

QUESTION: There seems to be a paranoid theme in feng shui. Furniture is placed so no one can sneak up, and mirrors are hung so one can see what might approach from one’s “blind side.” Is this an archaic carryover from the warring states times?

Feng shui is an ancient art, spanning thousands of years. Originally, people used it to find auspicious sites, harness “good energy,” and bring balance and harmony to anything energetically disruptive in the environment. The belief was that if you lived and operated in an energetically sound place, your life and/or business would have the best chance to flourish with ease, and opportunities would be maximized. Over the course of history, those in high positions, such as emperors and political leaders, used feng shui to maximize their status and maintain their power over people.

Of course, those in power usually experience opposition and have enemies who want to overtake them. So, part of the feng shui philosophy emphasizes the importance of situating yourself in the most powerful position within the environment so that you can see all activity — including any enemies who might try to surreptitiously eliminate your carefully harnessed power.

The power position


The power position, also known as the “commanding position,” is a feng shui concept that helps you place yourself in the most powerful position in your home. This is to ensure you have the greatest command of a room — usually against a wall so that you can see all the entrances and nothing can happen behind your back. This allows you to be the focus of attention while enabling you to easily observe all activity in the room without craning or turning your neck.

By choosing to place yourself in the power position, you gain an advantage in sleeping, negotiations, business activities and peace of mind.

Safety and security

An added benefit of positioning yourself in the power position is a greater subconscious sense of safety and security and less anxiety.

We all have an instinctive need to maintain visible control over our environment. We are most comfortable when we know on many levels that no one can sneak up and surprise us. Think of how it feels when you are engaged in something and, without your knowledge, someone is behind you, watching what you are doing. It feels disempowering.


In feng shui, if you are positioned so that you cannot see all the activity that enters and leaves a room or occurs behind you, mirrors are used to reflect that activity and to bring into view anything out of sight.


Place yourself in the best position

Here are a few things to be aware of when you want to put yourself in the best position in any room, whether it’s your home or office:

• Make sure you can see the door easily from where you are sitting, sleeping or standing so that you are in the best position to deal with whatever might come through the door. If this is not possible, place a mirror where it will give you a better view. For example, if you sit at a desk that can’t be moved, put a “rear-view” mirror on your computer monitor so that you can easily see behind you. I like to affix a 2-or 3-inch round mirror with self-stick tape to the upper corner of my computer screen. You can purchase such mirrors at any auto supply shop. • The key is to always give yourself the widest view of the room without being in direct line of the doorway. You know you are in the “power spot” when you feel comfortably in charge of the room.

The next time you watch a movie scene with a powerful person sitting in a restaurant, notice where he or she is sitting. It will be far from the door, usually across the room from the entry, with his or her back to a wall.


This concept for positioning is powerful, a strong metaphor for being in control of your world. How you position yourself in a room has a relationship to how you position yourself in life which, in turn, has an effect on how empowered you are and, to a degree, how successful you are.

Alice Inoue is a life guide at Alice Inoue Life Guidance LLC, a company committed to assisting people in living empowered lives. Alice shares her wisdom as a professional speaker and personal consultant, and offers a series of instructional DVDs on feng shui, as well as her award-winning books on feng shui, happiness and spiritual life wisdom. Visit to read her blog, sign up for her newsletters and download useful feng shui tips.