Listen: Feng Shui for the New Year

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HAPPY NEW YEAR to my readers!

Listen to me discuss with Ian Power of Vancouver’s CKNW Home Discovery Show, Feng Shui considerations for the New Year.

Here in the West, we celebrate the New Year by making "New Year Resolutions".  Listen how you can use Feng Shui in your home to support your resolutions for 2014.

Interview transcript:

IP: Our phone is always open at 604-280-9898. For long distance, it’s toll free around the province at 1-877-399-9898. Anjie Cho is a Feng Shui interior architect based in New York City and Los Angeles and is sought after as an expert in the fields of Feng Shui and Green Design. She’s also the founder of the online blog Holistic Spaces, integrating beauty, spirituality and Green Design. And we say good morning and welcome to you Anjie.

AC: Good morning Ian.

How was your holiday, your Christmas?

It was great. I visited family and I’m back in New York now and it’s nice and rainy and cold.

No snow?

There was snow, and it doesn’t last very long here.

Oh, okay. Now you just shattered my vision of New York. I thought that was the place to go and roll around and go to Central Park and make snow angels.

That’s what I actually did the first time I visited New York, so it can happen.

Yeah. You’re originally from the West Coast?

Yes, I’m from California where there’s no snow.

And you were dragged there by your husband?

Well, no, actually I met my husband in New York and I dragged myself here but I like it a lot, I’m much more of a New Yorker I think.

We’re wrapping up 2013 as we head towards 2014. I’m looking for some meaning, some of the symbolism of New Years and Feng Shui.

Well, New Year’s happens just after the winter solstice, where we have the longest night, and it’s quiet time. It’s the time of looking inward and planning for the new year because it’s winter, it’s really quiet, you’re not doing, you’re not out as much. So what a lot of people do is start with New Year’s resolutions, right?

Mmhm.

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

I do. Do you want to know what my New Year’s resolution is?

What is it?

Not to make any New Year’s resolutions.

Okay, well that one’s, that’s a good one. I make resolutions all the time, so I don’t necessarily do it for the New Year, but a lot of people take this time to reevaluate themselves and plan something, plan goals for the next year. So one thing that’s really common is that people want to lose weight. They want to exercise more, lose weight and feel better about themselves physically.

All of the reasons why I don’t make any resolutions.

Well, I wanted to give the listeners some Feng Shui tips. If they happen to have that New Year’s resolution, they could do something in their home to correspond with that resolution. So for instance, with losing weight, there’s a few things that you can do Feng Shui-wise. First of all: if the first thing that you see when you walk in is your kitchen, that can be an issue, because the first thing you see is food. So if you are planning on doing a renovation, a good way to help with your weight reduction is to maybe put your kitchen in a different location or organize your home, in such a way that you don’t see the kitchen, especially the refrigerator, the first thing when you walk in.

How about a door, would that be enough?

Yeah, you could put a door or you could put a piece of furniture if you don’t want to do renovation but, do you understand? You see, if the first thing you see is refrigerator, then it’s going to make you think food and that adds to your weight problem actually.

No, I absolutely get that, that makes a lot of sense. Yup, keep going.

Another New Year’s resolution that people have is that they want to make more money this year or they want to improve their job, which has to do with money and prosperity. So one way that you can do something Feng Shui-wise to go along with that resolution is to add a water element to your entry area. Water represents the flow of money and prosperity in your home. So you could add a fountain on the inside or the outside of your entry door, so you can have one in the lawn. And make sure to have the direction of the water, if it’s water fountain for instance, it needs to be flowing water. So make sure the flow goes towards the center of your home instead of away from your home and that will attract the wealth towards the center of your home and towards you.

Very interesting. Okay, that’s good, I like that one.

Are you going to try that one?

Well, I’m not making any promises but I am listening keenly.

Okay. And it’s also really important to make your entry inviting. I know it can be cold and snowy in the winter, but you could still do things to make your entry inviting. Some people still have wreaths up and just keep your doormat clean, keep the entry area clean and you might have wet boots, but make an effort to keep it a little bit cleaner. Because your entry actually represents your face to the world and how opportunities come to you, and if it’s not attractive then a positive energy that you can have in your life will have a hard time finding you because not having an inviting entry will kind of push that energy away.

Mmhm. It’s all about the energy, isn’t it?

Mmhm, it is, it is. Because, and especially, your front door is so important because that’s where the energy comes in to your home.

Is it true that some people that practice Feng Shui will not buy a house, for example, if it is not facing the right way of the wind direction and things like that?

Yes, there are. Well actually, I practice a different school of Feng Shui, but there are schools of Feng Shui where there are more ideal directions, and they would definitely recommend that you don’t buy a home that has entry facing the wrong way. And that applies to actually my school too in some situations like people who retire. They might not want to have a front door right on a major street, because that attracts more energy and maybe people who are retired want to be a bit more hidden, so it really depends on the person and the home. But the front door is really, really an important thing to look at.

Let’s talk a little bit about Feng Shui in general terms and, in particular, as it applies to our homes. What is the practice, where did it begin and who is involved with it now and who can be involved with it? Do you have to be, is it a religious thing, is it just something that anybody can do?

Well, Feng Shui originated in ancient China, but if you look at all cultures, all cultures have some form of Feng Shui, which really is about how do you locate your home in such a way that you take advantage of the most ideal conditions? So for instance, south facing homes are, in the northern hemisphere, are much better because you get more light, right?

Mmhm.

And you get more light and more heat etc., etc., so different cultures have different types of Feng Shui. Now, it’s not so important which way you face, weather-wise, because we have heat and such in our homes, but Feng Shui is still relevant, and there’s a lot of people that practice. I do, and I actually took a 3 year master certification program. There’s a lot of people out there that maybe read books and then they start to practice, but I would recommend that you look for someone that’s been certified in a program that’s at least a year long so they’ve had the chance to really absorb and understand and work with a master, because it’s something that’s really handed down through working with a mentor.

Interesting. You want to stick around?

Sure.

Okay. Well, we’ll take a break because I’ve got couple more questions. I also want to open up the phone, if you’ve got a question for Anjie Cho. She’s in New York City, she’s a New York architect and Feng Shui consultant. If you have a question about anything to do with your home in terms of Green Design or Feng Shui, now’s a good time to join us. Our number is 604-280-9898 in Metro Vancouver. Throughout the province, toll free at 1877-3899-9898 or connect with us on Facebook, look for The Home Discovery Show page on Facebook. The Home Discovery Show is back in just a moment on the Corus Radio Network.

Alright, we are talking to Anjie Cho, a Feng Shui interior architect based in New York City and Los Angeles and a sought after expert in the fields of Feng Shui and Green Design. She’s also the founder of the online blog, Holistic Spaces, integrating beauty, spirituality and Green Design. Appreciate your time this morning. If you want to talk to Anjie Cho about interior architecture or Green Design or Feng Shui, our phone number is 604-280-9898, around the province toll free at 1-877-399-9898. Couple of things that I want to ask you Anjie and that is: with Feng Shui is it better to start from scratch? I mean, it almost seems obvious, but is it better to start from scratch or is it sometimes better to look back and retro fit your home to meet the Feng Shui standards?

I don’t think one is better than other. Well I guess it is better to start from scratch, in a sense. If you’re able to create a space that is exactly how you want it, that’s always the best, but most people don’t have that option. So just as good, you could retro fit a space. or you could even do simple things like repaint or move a few pieces of furniture around, and that can make a huge difference.

What role does color play in Feng Shui?

Color is actually one of the most effective ways to really transform your space. Everyone knows if you paint your room, you can really change the feeling of your space, and in Feng Shui, different colors represent different aspects of your life that you want to improve. So you can use those colors to really support what you want to achieve in your life.

What are some of those colors?

Well, for instance, red represents fire and passion and reputation and how you’re seen in the world. So for me, at my desk, in the Fame area of my desk, I also have a painting that has a lot of those red colors, like fiery colors, to emphasize even more my desire to improve my reputation and how I’m seen in the world and how people see me, and also the passion for the work that I do.

I sure hope we haven’t destroyed any of that for you today.

No!

What are some of the other colors that play into this?

Green is a great color. It’s very healing. It represents new beginnings, it represents, like plants are very green, so an example of the wood element. A lot of people actually think the wood element would be like a wood desk. A wood desk is actually brown, and it’s made with dead wood, so the wood of the tree is not living anymore so that’s actually earth element, brown. But to go back to green, green is wood element, so plants that are green represent the wood element, and it represents growth and new beginnings and it’s also a very healing color. If you’re not feeling well, you can also wear green or have green in your bedroom and that helps heal you.

Mirrors.

Mirrors. Mirrors are, there’s a joke my teachers say, they say “Take 2 mirrors and call me in the morning.”

I have no idea what that means but it sounds good.

Well, a lot of times in Feng Shui, we use mirrors to remedy a situation, an existing situation, that’s not the most ideal. So for instance, if you have your desk set up so that you can’t see the door and ideally, you want to position yourself when you’re in bed, when you’re at your desk, when you’re cooking, in these important situations, you want to position yourself so you can see the door so you can see what’s coming towards you, that’s the metaphor.

Mmhm, okay.

But if you can’t, like if you to have set your desk, so you’re facing the wall, you can put a mirror up so you can see the door behind you, and that helps you adjust the situation.

Same kind of thing applies to windows, I’m guessing?

A lot of people like to face the window when they’re working, and that’s actually not the best Feng Shui position, because your energy doesn’t stay with the work that you’re doing. Instead, you’re looking outside and daydreaming and letting your energy leave.

Hmm, okay. So maybe have your back to the window?

You can have you back to the window or, like I have my window to my side, because when I want to, I can turn and look out the window. But in front of me, I actually have a mirror in front of my desk, because I can’t position my desk in such a way that I can see the door, but I have mirror so I can see the door behind me. Because mirrors are very expansive. They’re also used to expand a space and make it look larger. And there’s something called, in Feng Shui, we have a map of different areas that represent different areas of your life. For instance, wealth, everyone likes that one, wealth and relationships, different areas. Sometimes in your home, you don’t, depending on the layout of your home, and the floor plan of your home, you may be missing an area. So if you are missing an area, sometimes you will need a mirror to symbolically and energetically bring back that area that’s missing, so it fills and expands the space.

That desk of yours with the mirror is on holisticspaces.com. I’m looking at it right now right behind your iMac.

Yes and can you see the Mandala I have above my desk?

Yes, I do, it’s very nice. Did you make that?

I did. So that represents the fire energy, and there’s triangles there, and it actually represents the planet of Mars which also represents passion. So there’s a lot of depth you can put into what you do, but even just having like a red flower in the front center portion of your desk can help to improve how you’re seen at work. So if you want to get more recognition for what you’re doing, you can put a plant with a red flower in the top center portion of your desk at work and that’s actually, the plant is wood element so the wood feeds the fire…

Right.

… of that area, and the red represents, the red flower, represents a blooming passion and recognition for the work that you do.

Have a look at holisticspaces.com. Anjie Cho, final question for you: New Year’s resolution, what is it, what have you got going on?

For me?

Yeah, what’s your New Year’s resolution?

My New Year’s resolution is…mine is like yours, to not have one. I guess what my New Year’s resolution is, is to work more on doing things that make me happy.

How is it going so far?

It’s going well.

Good. I’m glad that you are able to spend some time with us today, really appreciate your time and wish you a Happy New Year.

Happy New Year to you too.

We’ll talk again soon. Anjie Cho, Feng Shui interior architect based in New York City and Los Angeles. And you can visit her website at holisticspaces.com where she also has a whole bunch of e-How videos for you to learn more about Feng Shui. We’ll be back on The Home Discovery Show. If you have anything going on at your place that you want to bring to our attention, by all means, 604-280-9898 or long distance, 1-877-399-9898, The Home Discovery Show on the Corus Radio Network.

Click here to listen to my other interviews with the Home Discovery Show.

by Anjie Cho


From the leaky faucet upstairs, to an entire back yard overhaul, when it comes to projects around your home, the advice you need is heard weekly on Vancouver’s CKNW Home Discovery Show.

Join Ian Power every Sunday from 10 to 11 am PT as he’s joined by experts on home renovations and upgrades, plus the latest tools and tricks from the trades.