What You Can’t See Affects You More Than You Know

Casazza Mural by Lidia Kenig Scher ©2009
Mural for Dental Office in Wakefield, MA by Lidia Kenig Scher
Wakefield Mural-Side View by Lidia Kenig Scher
Wakefield Mural-Side View by Lidia Kenig Scher

Art placement in the home or workplace constitutes a very important feature in the total design scheme. It emphasizes the theme, sets a tone for the space and it is used to enhance or offset a particular area. To orchestrate an optimal environment, we must not only consider the art’s size, shapes, colors and textures, but carefully appraise its vibrational component. For although the art’s vibrational field cannot be readily seen, it deeply affects people living and working in the space more than we know.

Whether the art is in the kitchen where everyone gathers or is hanging within clear view of an employee who sits by it day after day, people will naturally react sensorially to its presence yet be unaware of its impact of their moods, thoughts and actions. A receptionist facing a problem with a co-worker or a client may feel negatively or hopeful as the art quietly hangs behind her. Dinner time maybe something families look forward to or inexplicably feel detached, while a vibrantly colored painting presides over the dining area. A mural, such as the one in the photo, may represent an element in the work environment that creates the very atmosphere to which a staff member looks forward to returning every day, even if those who have seen the same piece daily will report that they “don’t even notice it anymore”. It affects them none the less. You may ask why?

Each form, shape, size, color, texture, pattern, rhythm, lines, materials and techniques used in creating the art is composed of atoms, molecules, and particles that work together by emitting energy or a vibrational field. Each action, thought, emotion, timing and space related to creating it, is composed of the same elements and it also emits a particular vibrational field.

Artworks’ energy field that began with the artist’s intention at conception, once placed in an environment becomes a physical presence “visually-speaking” those intentions, through the media used, the composition and the absence or presence of recognizable elements. As windows into a different world, art’s visual imagery forces viewers to shut off human’s natural tendencies toward speech, eliciting emotional reactions to the piece without fully realizing it. After all it is just hanging there.

This mural created as a focal point for a busy dental office is seen by everyone who enters the clinical area, and sits right across a large open reception station. It had to provide relief from the steady inflow and outflow of patients to and fro treatment rooms, consultation stations and financial issues for 3 to 4 clerks and it had to invite movement in a very busy and possibly crowded hallway. It does all of it and more.

Painted on a rounded wall abutting the laboratory, the art is seen from the reception desk as convex thus appearing to move away from the reception desk, curving in the opposite way. The moving graceful figures encourage people’s perception of spaciousness and ease, manifesting as flow for patients checking out, and for those going to the treatment rooms and clinical areas. The surrealistic style of the mural provides plenty of whimsy, open to myriad of interpretations. The staff delights telling stories of people who see it as a new addition (it was created before the office ever opened), the variety of assigned meanings and the ability to yet discover new shapes, 8 years since its creation. I intended the art to also provide stability and continued growth to the business. The 98” x 144” custom mural succeeded in every aspect.

For more information on ordering a custom mural, visit http://www.lidiascherart.com

Want to Recognize Your Heart’s Song? Here are the tools

cathedral of Milan-A View
Cathedral of Milan-A View
Casazza Mural by Lidia Kenig Scher ©2009
Casazza Mural by Lidia Kenig Scher ©2009

Last week I wrote about allowing the heart to speak, and proposed that it talks all the time, but that we need to choose to listen and heed its song. Yet, how can we recognize its particular sound? How do we know that we are not deluding ourselves? How we feel and how we look is a telltale, for if you recall, I also said that when the heart speaks, it changes our physiognomy.

When we look at the face of an old person, we can tell if they smiled or frowned a lot. The muscles on their faces are etched into whichever set was most often used. A face that exhibits few wrinkles bespeaks of peacefulness and as muscles are highly trainable, and that includes the muscles that connect to the heart; we can train ourselves to abide in a state where we can soften our mind and body and clearly discern our heart’s voice.

When we spend the time to be quiet and reflective at least once a day, and train ourselves to use this tool in our everyday life, our new perspective alters our lives and eventually, our muscles learn to follow suit. But what actually happens in the meditation cushion is that we not only train ourselves to be more reflective, but begin to understand how our body feels under stress, and how we react to sounds, thoughts, and events. We also learn how our body behaves when we are happy, peaceful and hopeful.

As we dwell more and more in a balanced present moment, we start to hear our heartbeat and identify how it reverberates inside our bodies. Little by little, we begin to feel that our heart sounds louder and deeper than before, and that it reacts in distinct ways to our thoughts. We may feel a ping when a happy thought arises.  At that point we may also notice a kind of echo indicating that we may not be all alone when we breathe and when we seat. We begin to feel good and smile often. The next day we notice that things flow with greater ease, and the next day, that we reacted better to what we didn’t like. We found ourselves accepting without regretting; being happy for no reason and liking someone without expecting to be liked back. We came up with ideas we didn’t know we had and at day’s end we worked hard and long yet felt refreshed.  This is the result of doing our human work, our normal tasks mindful of our spiritual connection. We recognize that Spirit is within us, safely tucked in our hearts, because what we create, how we talk and how we behave and relate, causes others to also hear the music of our heart and we all rejoice.

When we act, think and feel from our heart center, it is Spirit that speaks through us and the results are so rewarding that we feel a deep joy. Our muscles are now trained to relax and we are at peace, happy, and content doing Spirit’s work. This amazing shot of the Cathedral of Milan portrays human activity deeply steeped in the spiritual desire to connect and embody god. The beautiful building leaves no doubt that the resulting structure was created when the architects (and there were a few,deeply steeped in politics) heeded the voice in their hearts and conceived this masterpiece. The unknown modern photographer, in selecting the angle where the building meets a softly blue and open sky, reinforces what was heard inwardly before taking the picture. Similarly, when I conceived the mural for the center of a dental office, I wanted to inspire those who constantly walk by it to open their hearts and connect with their spirit-within and change from fear of the dental chair to trust in the doctor’s knowledge care and concern. It worked! After more than 5 years, it presides over a vibrant, happy, trusted and abundant practice.

We need not be artists who paint or play an instrument, nor be cathedral designers to create from the heart by co-creating with Spirit. I challenge you take the time this week to meditate and practice listening deeply to the voice in your heart. May this practice prompt you to view all you do as a work of art, and look for inspiring viewpoints to help you filter the day and rejoice in all your endeavors.  I wish you a felicitous outcome to whatever and however manifests!

Mural is on view at http://bit.ly/1iItXdR. Won’t you share your thoughts?

How using Good Design and Feng Shui Principles Contributed to a Successful Endodontics Practice.


Imagine an environment with relaxing colors, plants, original artwork and the peaceful sound of trickling water, where one can lounge in the most comfortable recliner on the planet. Where is this sanctuary? An island resort? A five star hotel? A spa?…Would you believe an endodontics office where people in serious pain come to have root canals?

A few years ago, when innovative endodontist Rudolph Lantelme decided to meld two practices into one, he located a space in an office park in Methuen, MA in the Merrimac Valley. As in the past, Rudi created what he thought was a good  floor plan, took it to the local dental supply office and construction started. After the first phase of construction had begun, Dr. Lantelme felt uneasy about the layout of the space, but he could not identify the problem. He discussed it with his contractor, Gil Mattheson from Doyle & Mattheson Construction Co, who recommended he call on award winning interior designer and Feng Shui practitioner, yes, you guessed it, Lidia Scher! Scher was then not only my Feng Shui mentor, but she specialized in dental and medical office design. She continues to focus her practice on this market.

As I studied the plan, I noticed that a couple of rooms and a bathroom were relocated, the reception room was expanded and recreated, and some of the ceilings were redesigned to offer different heights, interest and spatial distractions. Scher interviewed the doctors and their staff and together they created an upbeat, contemporary environment.

That visit to this progressive practice and a chat with Dr. Lantelme sold this writer on the ideal place for a root canal. “Patients who come here are in a lot of pain. Once inside the office, they feel immediately relaxed. Once in the chair in the treatment room, patients often fall asleep without much sedation.”

 What makes the environment at Endodontic Specialists so patient friendly? Arranged and designed according to Feng Shui principles, the reception area is an inviting feast for the senses. The vibrant colors and variety of textures uplift the spirit, while the rounded shapes of the table, chairs and counters, and even the wall corners, soothe the soul. In Feng Shui, curves are preferable to straight lines, because they soften and harmonize the flow of ch’ i energy.

Five Energies

In Chinese thinking there are five energies represented by the elements: earth, water, metal, wood and fire. When all are present in a room, it creates a serene and balanced feeling. Scher brought all five elements into the reception area with a large water fountain to suggest the calmness and refreshment of water. The light beech furniture and plants tucked into the corners represent the resilient, creative qualities of wood energy. The reception desk granite counter top provides the order and endurance of metal energy. Artist Gillian Frazier’s painting with red flame-like shapes on the wall above the desk creates the brilliance and drama of fire.  Yellow and copper wall colors promote the healing, nurturing qualities of earth energy. In fact, Scher brought in the earth element- terracotta tiles, to the treatment rooms to ground and support the doctors and staff and to sooth the patients. She also added purple upholstery, and lavender and green walls. The fire energy of purple and lavender encourages communication and clarity of thought, enthusiasm and joy. Greens continue to bring the wood element to imbue optimism in patients who are pained and afraid, and encourages flexibility and the ability to create innovative and practical treatment plans. The multi-colored speckled carpet in the reception and the hallways generates a dance of color beneath one’s feet. Finally, magnificent color photographs from the doctor’s visit to Cuba, grace the walls of the operatories and hallways, and add an additional human and personal element to the practice. These were carefully placed to inspire and reinforce the different energetic areas.

A Highly Effective Environment

Even after merging two distinct offices, the staff, according to Dr. Lantelme, seemed happier and communicated better than in the former environments. Certainly they felt more comfortable in the new space. “I love working here,” exclaimed the practice manager, “We appreciated that Lidia interviewed each one of us.” In addition to selecting colors that support each staff member in their working environment, Scher placed them in the “command position,” which gives each person a view of the main door or the door to their office.

As patients step from the waiting room into the inner hallway leading to the treatment rooms, they encounter a glass water fountain sculpture with etched fishes. A wall behind the fountain imitates and expands the etched design by artist Antoinette Virgilio. Antoinette also created another painted copper wall seen upon walking toward the operatories, which invokes a feeling of wonder and delight. This wall also creates a distraction from what in Feng Shui terms is called a “split view”, when upon walking into a space, a door opening divides the vertical surface and forces the eye to see two scenes simultaneously. To solve the problem of the lack of natural light in two of the operatories, Scher directed Ms Virgilio to paint murals over the entire wall viewed by the patient. One is a lush, bucolic scene of the countryside and the other a yellow sunset over water. ” In addition to enhancing the mood, these scenes support the energies of the dentists who work there, said Scher.

Lidia worked closely not only with Patterson Dental Supply to furnish the operatories, she also collaborated with the doctors and technical experts in installing the most updated technological advances in dentistry. These advances enable patients to have a one-visit root canal treatment, an efficient and cost effective situation. “Patients sometimes faint when having a root canal,” stated Lantelme. “I experienced this in my former offices, but there has been no fainting in the six months we have been in this office.” Endodontics Specialists serves as a model for dental and medical offices of the future. “When patients are relaxed, we can be most effective.”….

 Mary Roberts is a Feng Shui consultant and owner of  Feng Shui Options, based in Carlisle, MA.  As the founder of Dorm Chi, a consultancy geared to enhance the dormitory experience, Mary created  the Mystical Pizza E-Kit to make college dorm spaces really work. www.fengshuioptions.com