Doors: A Scientific “Event Boundary”

A welcoming and open doorway, this home could use a little protection from additional landscaping and a bit more color to attract attention.
 Photo courtesy of

Ever walk into a room and forget why you were there?

Science is proving that you aren’t crazy…in this instance anyway! 🙂  It seems that the whole world is beginning to understand the impact doors, and spaces, have on our lives.

A door is actually an “event boundary” meaning that passing through a door is a reset for our brain…important for keeping us “safe” and creates a new field to make us aware of our new surroundings.

Published in the Quarterly  Journal of Experimental Psychology in 2011, performed by Gabriel Radvansky and her team at Notre Dame looked closely at the ‘event model’ for forgetting things as we pass through doorways.   Susan Gilbert of Notre Dame explains:

“We’ve all experienced it: The frustration of entering a room and forgetting what we were going to do. Or get. Or find.

New research from University of Notre Dame Psychology Professor Gabriel Radvansky suggests that passing through doorways is the cause of these memory lapses.

“Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an ‘event boundary’ in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away,” Radvansky explains.  (Read more here)

Doors, doors, doors  (and not “The Doors”)

Science is bearing out Feng Shui’s thousands’-of-years-old wisdom (oh THAT old line again?  sorry) that links design of our spaces to our behavior.  Design determines whether we will be comfortable enough to engage, open our hearts and our wallets (if we are in a retail situation).

So what do we do about it?

PS As I am writing this, on the radio is the tune:  “Let my love open the door…to your heart.”  Fun. 

Here are a few things to think about when making friends with your doors:

  • According to ancient wisdom of Feng Shui (a small branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine) Doors invite opportunity, health and all the good we are wanting.  The front entry door is the Mouth of Ch’i which brings fresh Life Force into our homes and our lives.  Take a hard look at the entrance to your home or business.  Is it easy to find, obvious, beautiful and well cared for?  Stand at all of your doors, inside and outside and look around:  what do you see?  (to discover how the body sees and responds to spaces and creates behavior sign up here for emails and post notifications.)
  • Are your doors beautiful? Do they look inviting and work perfectly? Do they open completely? Make sure yours do.
  • From any door, what we see speaks a language of metaphor to our subconscious, and drives our behavior.  If you see a beautiful view, if your eye is led around to uplifting elements, you are on the right track! If not, clear anything that is clutter and anything that takes your energy down.  (Find out how to design for the body’s response to space: sign up here)
  • Energy flow:  use caution: doors directly across from each other ‘steal’ energy.  If your neighbor’s front door or garage is across from your front door, you are losing energy and life force.  Place some landscaping between your door and the other or at the very least, if you can, hang a bagua mirror above your front door.  If you cannot do that, place a wreathe on your front door and place a small round mirror facing toward the offending door.  Other options apply, if you have questions, just email me.
  • Make it obvious.  A home or door that is hard to find, a walkway that is in disrepair or overgrown by plants, hidden street number or not-well-lighted doorway all signal that we are unavailable for the goodness in our lives.
  • Make sure it’s well lighted, that it all works perfectly: your handle, hinges and your doorbell and welcome mat.  If not, put this on the list for whoever handles your ‘honey do’ list.  Even make sure your garage door works perfectly, the light works, the remote works, etc. and everything is easy and welcomes you home beautifully.
  • Interior doors: Just as important.  Each door influences the vitality of each aspect of our life. Give yours a fresh update just by giving your doors and doorways some attention.

Feng Shui TIP: 

  • Open your front door daily, even if it’s not the entrance you used daily.  Welcome the new, and use it often!
  • If you don’t use your front door daily, it is equivalent to covering your mouth and trying to live your fullest. Your front door is known as the Mouth of Ch’i…if you are not using it daily, you are not getting your full breath of fresh air and opportunity.

Feng Shui: 

  • To align spaces the energy of Earth and the energy of our lives a tool called the Ba Gua Map is used to show which area of the space influences which aspect of our lives.  Two basic schools of Feng Shui align this map differently.  The Compass School aligns the map according to compass directions: N, E, S, W, etc.  The Form School aligns the map according to the entrance.
  • In my work, I use primarily the Form School because we live and navigate through the forms of our rooms and buildings.  Although the Compass school is also relevant, the Form School is much easier, more practical and works.  To discover how to use the BaGua in your spaces.

Body wisdom doesn’t listen to ‘reason’ or excuses, and neither does energy.  Invite more into your life by addressing your doors.  Make sure the doors open completely and onto a beautiful view.  Have you tried to have a conversation with a storm lately? It’s an advanced move.

All my best,

Fawn Signature

PS  Everything matters, so also, make sure your car doors work perfectly.  Spray the hinges with a little WD-40, wipe the door frame and clean the door itself.  You’ll be so amazed at the difference it makes, all around!

PPS Sign up for my newsletter to get more tips and tricks to open your world to all the good around you.