Mindful Design Feng Shui: Behind the Scenes - Feng Shui Design Altars

We turn the cameras around to talk about our own feng shui, homes, offices and design ideas. See how we have set up our own homes...

Sacred Space & Altars
- what is an altar?
- what do you have on it?
- Why do you use one?
- What we have on ours !!!

We chat about how to set up an altar and the show you our altars and shrines and what elements we have used.


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design Feng Shui certification program. Laura Morris and I are launching our program in September 2018. We have a free webinar “Five Feng Shui Tools Revealed: Must-Do Business Boosters for Soulpreneurs and Wellness Practitioners” coming up, too! To get on the list about it, sign up at: www.mindfuldesignschool.com.

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish.

Q&A Sunday: Best Feng Shui Location for an Altar or Shrine

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I read your "9 Feng Shui Things in Bedroom" and find it helpful. I'm currently remodeling my whole home. My question that I've tried to find an answer to in my books and online: Where is the best position to place an altar...what direction, and is the bedroom not a good place to have it? I am a single woman and my bedroom is in the front right section of the bagua map. 

Carolyn K., 

Hi Carolyn,

Thank you for your question, and I’m so glad you like the MindBodyGreen article, “9 Things That Should Be in Your Bedroom (According to a Feng Shui Healer)”.

Wonderful that you have an altar (or shrine) in your home. My first response would be to ask what’s most appropriate from your teachers and spiritual lineage. If there’s no specific place required, the next suggestion would be to locate it where you will use it. I’m assuming this is where you would practice meditation, so it’s a good idea to have it placed so that it works for you functionally. 

When I created my first altar, it was after I started studying and practicing BTB feng shui. My teachers taught me that, if we’d like, we could create an altar in the BTB feng shui tradition to honor the teachings and as a focal point for our attention. We were even encouraged to assemble “altar committees” in class so that we could have a special sacred place in the classroom. Here we offered an image of the teacher (a Buddha and/or Professor Lin Yun), a musical instrument, a red ribbon on a stick, saffron water, rice, and a mirror in a rice bowl.

Since I live in a small New York City apartment, I have my shrine in the living room. I’ve even included a photo of it here. If I had more space, I would like to have a separate shrine room near the rear of the home. It’s ideal if the shrine can be in a more private space. I’ve been told that the bedroom traditionally is not great, as it’s seen as disrespectful for the Buddha’s image to gaze upon our romantic activities. But remember, the mundane and functional is as important as the spiritual and transcendental. It’s up to you and your specific situation. I can only share guidelines.

I have a spiritual Buddhist shrine, but there are also secular altars that you can create. Laura Morris (together we founded the Mindful Design Feng Shui school) has a blog post about more secular altars. An image of a deity is not required... you can even have a vision board or beautiful inspiration piece of art, like from my talented friend Amy T Won. On my shrine I also have a manifestation list and my ikebana cutters. The cutters are there to remind me to "cut my thoughts" and a tool of my contemplative art practice.

Since I practice BTB feng shui, the direction is not important. However, my shrine is located in the commanding position of the living room. And when I sit to meditate, I face the shrine, so I’ve also placed a small convex mirror so that when I’m sitting, I can see behind me as well. This corrects and places me in command as I meditate. But the Buddha holds the leading seat - the seat that’s most in command.

On a final note, wherever your altar ends up, you can see what area of the feng shui bagua maps it corresponds with. Or alternatively, if you have total flexibility, you could choose the feng shui bagua map location based on your intention. For instance, the Knowledge (dark blue) area would be wonderful if you seek to deepen your self-cultivation. The center area of your home, or the Health area, would be useful to have your altar become the central focal point of your life. A shrine in the New Beginnings area might give you a sense of freshness and nowness every time you sit to practice.

As with so many aspects of BTB feng shui, the optimal placement of your altar does depend on you and your preferences. Of course it helps to observe any feng shui guidance, so I would encourage you to consider the feng shui bagua and the energy of the area when selecting your altar space. Don't forget to arrange your altar with intention as well!

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design Feng Shui certification program. Laura Morris and I are launching our program in September 2018. We have a free webinar “Five Feng Shui Tools Revealed: Must-Do Business Boosters for Soulpreneurs and Wellness Practitioners” coming up, too! To get on the list about it, sign up at: www.mindfuldesignschool.com.

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish.


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


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Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui and Pregnancy

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Is there any sort of feng shui I should pay special attention to if I'm pregnant?

Stephanie C., Washington D.C.

Hi Stephanie,

First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy! 

There are a few things to consider when we look at feng shui and pregnancy. For one, I would encourage you not to do any kind of house renovations during your pregnancy. Your home represents your body, so during a pregnancy, you don’t want to do any renovations or move things around or rebuild things. Not only does this disturb your body's natural chi, any chemicals or substances that become airborne during a renovation can be harmful to an unborn baby. 

Since your body, for the next nine months, is your baby's only space, do your best to keep this space healthy, both emotionally and physically. Avoid high-stress situations and instances where you might come into contact with anything physically harmful for your baby's growth. Check out my recipes for DIY non-toxic cleaners and laundry detergent, and if you feel the need to nest (which you most likely will!) aim for a green cleaning approach, natural space clearing and the like. And don't do any painting yourself, but check out how to create a relaxing atmosphere, use the color wheel and incorporate other feng shui aspects into your baby's space

Don't forget to take time out for yourself to eliminate stress too! Meditate, use essential oils or do any other activities you can to calm down without changing the overall chi of your baby's temporary space. 

In feng shui, there are also some important factors to consider before you get pregnant, when you are trying to have a baby. One of the most important is to avoid cleaning out from under your bed during this time. Though feng shui recommends keeping space beneath your bed clear, it is important to understand the concept of "ling particles" as it relates to pregnancy. 

Feng shui practitioners believe that there are what we call "ling particles" in the air that help create and support life. When a baby is conceived, a ling particle gives the embryo life, and these particles are said to collect under the bed. For this reason, if you're hoping to become pregnant, you don’t want to clean under your bed. I would also encourage you not to do any renovations when you’re trying to get pregnant.

For the most part, feng shui advocates creating a healthy, positive space for your baby. This means not making any drastic changes to the environment you've already created, and doing what you can to maintain a stress-free, healthy lifestyle. This will also help to create a holistic space in which for you to welcome your baby to the world!  

by Anjie Cho


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


On Meditation with Joseph Mauricio of Shambhala Center

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As an architect and feng shui practitioner, I help my clients create holistic home and work spaces. One of the most important aspects of the feng shui work includes meditation and visualization. I had the honor of taking one of Joseph Mauricio's meditation classes at the Shambhala Center in NYC. His teachings are very approachable and digestable. I believe it is incredibly beneficial to include meditation in everyday life.

AC:  How did you get involved in meditation and with the Shambhala Center -- what's your story?

JM:  I used to run a comedy club years ago in New York, I was a comedian, an actor and that was an exciting lifestyle but it was a little heavy and I was looking for something to help me balance out the pressure. Then I came across meditation. I had always known about Jack Kerouac, the Dharma Bums and Naropa University, founded by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (also founder of Shambhala Center) along with Allen Ginsberg, Ram Dass and a number of people back in the ‘70s. So it was kind of legendary in my mind, the beat poets. They were an influence in my work as a performing artist. I ended up going in to a Shambhala Center and finding out there was this whole connection. I decided to drop out of the comedy club, moved to a dharma center up in the woods, then ended up at Rocky Mountain Shambhala Center at 8,000 feet in the middle of winter -- which was crazy. I went from being an actor in New York to a cabin with no heat. I met my teacher there, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, and I ended up studying with him.

I became intrigued by the mind (my own mind) and the idea that I’d (maybe all of us) create the limitations and disabilities in our own world because of the way we think and the way we perceive the world. So I became really fascinated with that concept. It’s not something that you just pick up and put down, and I gave up my whole life and career to study. I studied in India, Mexico, a number of places for number of years. I was actually studying personally with Sakyong Mipham in 2003 when he suggested I move back to New York and go back to doing performance, which just shocked me. I didn’t expect that at all. I thought I would just be a yogi. I moved back and that’s when I started teaching at the Shambhala Center. I found my calling putting meditation together with performance and comedy. I’m also a life coach, motivating people towards a more healthy balance vision themselves.

So for other people, the way I recommend meditation is not that they drop out of their careers like I did for 17 years, but that they incorporate it in the same way with a good instructor. They study and go to classes and let meditation actually bring stability into their life. I recommend everybody read Sakyong Mipham’s books, particularly The Shambhala Principle. He teaches practical meditation, and it is not particularly religious. I study and teach meditation and training people of all backgrounds. I go in to jails and you can’t even mention Buddhism or any kind of religion. You just teach straight mindfulness training and it helps people. I’m a real believer that meditation can bring a lot of stability and clarity to people, to their lives.

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How would you describe meditation to someone who's not familiar with the concept?  

I would say that it’s a tool whereby you sit in an upright posture, which helps you to wake up and gain confidence. There are tests and studies showing the mind can change brain chemistry in only two minutes when you sit up straight. It starts to lower cortisol and raise testosterone levels. In short, you begin to feel more confident just by sitting in an upright posture. And relaxing down into the earth allows us to open up our heart and begin to feel our feelings and our sense of things. The upright meditation posture is very powerful in re-training the mind into believing that life is possible, that life is workable.

How is meditation helpful in everyday life?

Any given meditation session could be wonderful; maybe they feel very clear or calm. Or maybe their back hurts the whole time. But the real power of meditation comes from consistent practice. I recommend that people practice as little as 10 minutes a day, if that keeps them practicing every day. It’s more powerful than just an hour every few days. But to practice at the same time every day, you develop a consistency that brings stability to life. It becomes like a reference point. Every morning you get up, seat yourself up, recharge your confidence, open your heart and face yourself. It can be very powerful to do that in a few minutes.

Obviously, as time goes on, with longer sessions we can go deeper. I’m a believer in consistent practice even if the practice isn’t very long or arduous. I teach that practice doesn’t have to be perfect, great, or good, and not to be hard on themselves. If they’re on a cushion consistently, slowly and in time lengthen their practice up to 20-30 minutes, and settle in to their practice, they will see a profound difference in their life. But as I said, for beginners, I stress that consistent process.

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Now for my holistic space question:  Where do you like to meditate and what makes it sacred to you?

I have a number of altars. When I was single it was really embarrassing! I have one in my kitchen, and my room is basically a huge shrine. But that’s me and that’s not what I recommend for other people, I’m just obsessive and very devoted. And that’s why I teach it, it’s my living, it’s my life. But for other people, according to my teacher Sakyong Mipham, meditation should support your life, not be a burden to it. So I think if people are creeped out by a shrine, they don’t need a shrine.

I do think meditation in their house is helpful because it actually settles the energy of the space. If you start to feel open and calm in your own house, then that really makes you feel open and calm when you come home. A focal point is also helpful.

Meditation with community is good in a different way. If you just meditate at home, you tend to not have the same level of motivation as when you show up in room full of people. You’re not going to slump as readily. So I do recommend both for people. But I do think some kind of a meditation area in the house really empowers the home. And for some of the hardcore meditators, we have that instead of a television…Often the television is the central part of the home, that’s great and that’s fine, but what kind of energy does that create? So I think to balance that, a meditation area is wonderful, especially in New York apartments, where you can’t have the fireplace or a big beautiful kitchen and stove, the kinds of things that bring more warmth and life in to your house.

I think a little meditation area kind of does that, they can. I do also believe that the meditation changes the energy. If you go into a meditation center, it’s easy to meditate because people have been doing it there for years. That starts to happen in your house and it starts to feel a little more contemplative and meditative because of the practice.

I absolutely agree! Thanks Joe!

Read my other blog post where Joe shares his tips for beginning meditators here.

by Anjie Cho


Joseph Mauricio is a speaker, teacher, workshop presenter, and meditation instructor in academic, business and private sectors. A senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist Tradition, Joseph began teaching twenty years ago at Karma Choling Buddhist Meditation Center in Vermont, and has subsequently taught in meditation centers, schools, businesses and community centers throughout North America, Canada and Europe. He has served as the Director of Public Programs and Outreach at the Shambhala Meditation Center of New York, and has recently become the Executive Director of the Baltimore Shambhala Meditation Center.

Joseph is a close student of Meditation Master, Sakyong Mipham, Rinpoche, the Head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage. He has studied with renowned teacher and author, Pema Chodren, and many prominent teachers in the meditation and yogic traditions in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia. He has completed dozens of solitary and group retreats, including three month-long meditation retreats, two month-long solitary retreats, an eight week silent group retreat, numerous shorter group retreats and years of advanced study. Joseph is a graduate of the Shambhala School of Buddhist studies and advanced meditation instructor and teacher trainings in the Shambhala Tradition.

www.josephmauricio.com


Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui for Sensitive People

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Feng Shui cures for HSP/empaths. How can a very sensitive person create a haven of peace, calm and beauty to sooth his/her overwhelmed senses?

Giuliana G., Lille, France

Hi Giuliana,

Thank you for your question; it's a great one. Undeniably there are many different types of people, each with different tuning levels to their emotions and the emotions of others. Highly sensitive persons (HSPs), also known as empaths, are gifted with the ability to feel almost all emotions in their immediate surroundings, often picking up the energy of others as well, whether positive or negative. With a trait like this, settling down and finding calm can be a bit difficult, as spending time around others in any capacity often results in an overwhelming collection, and range, of emotion.

Thankfully, some aspects of feng shui are excellent for use in creating a safe, calming space for a HSP, and I can suggest a few simple cures for an overactive emotional field. One of the most important characteristics of feng shui is awareness of one’s environment, and this is especially necessary for empaths. While it may seem self-explanatory that HSPs are aware of their environments, this applies to the physical space surrounding them in addition to the emotions and energy they pick up from others.

Two major focal points for empaths when creating a personal healing area are neatness (lack of clutter) and privacy. Having a clutter-free space, as you may know, is important in any balanced home, but even more so for empaths, as they are already overwhelmed by emotional clutter. As you’re likely to pick up a wide variety of energies outside your personal space, it is especially vital that you create a clean personal space free of clutter and dedicated to positive energy.

One great way to do this is by regularly smudging the space in which you choose to relax. Whether you use your own separate space or the family den on off hours, take care to ensure that your area is clean of all energies so that you do not pick up any additional emotional sludge. You can use any of the methods I’ve discussed, palo santo, sage or orange oil to smudge a space.

Another way to make the most of your personal space as an empath is to incorporate daily meditation, even if only for a few moments. After being flooded with the energies of others, it is very important to spend some time alone to clear these energies and define your very own mood. Consider also including the elements Earth, Fire and Water in your space, as these elements are able to convert negative energies to something better.

Finally, look into healing crystals, stones and essential oils. These products are all very beneficial in balancing emotions and energies, and if you’re willing to take time to find the right stones and oils for you, they can be incredibly helpful in preventing overload for an empath.

by Anjie Cho


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


Let Us Welcome the Winter Solstice

It’s officially winter! Happy (late) Winter Solstice!

Many months after we celebrate the Summer Solstice, our longest day of the year, the Northern Hemisphere observes the Winter Solstice, our shortest day of the year. These celebrations are actually opposite in the Southern Hemisphere, where Winter Solstice brings the longest day of the year.

Our earth is tilted on its axis as it revolves around the sun, which means that the different hemispheres experience seasons and solstices (Latin for “sun stands still”) differently. During the Winter Solstice, the Northern part of our planet reaches the furthest point from the sun we will experience during the year.

Feng shui-wise, the winter is considered a yin season, where we start to move inward physically as well as emotionally. The yin concept is also about slowing down, and emptiness. Winter in feng shui is also associated with the water element. In winter it looks like everything is dead outside on the outside, but below the snow there is life (even if it’s dormant). The water element and winter are similar. Imagine the middle of a vast ocean, where it’s very still but there’s so much activity happening if you look beneath the surface.

My meditation instructor, Joe Mauricio, called me out earlier this month on my “speediness”. I spent all year running around, never stopping to be mindful. I can’t just blame it on the year of the Horse (Chinese astrology)! Meditation can help you find that space that many of us fear. During this winter season, I encourage each of you to accept the slower pace and pause to find emptiness and space. Even five minutes a day is enough! Let yourself slow down and feel…. Bored? Empty? Quiet? Rest. Peace. And love for yourself.

Fun facts about the Winter Solstice:

Usually occurring between December 21st and 23rd, longstanding Winter Solstice activities have been combined with the popular Christmas holidays, but many of our traditions began as ancient celebrations for surviving another year! In earlier times, winter was a welcome break from hard work during the rest of the year, and almost every culture celebrates the Winter Solstice in some way.

Some of our most mysterious world wonders, including the Irish Newgrange tomb and Stonehenge, were constructed in a way that perfectly captures the sun’s light at the moment of Winter Solstice.  The Yule log also originated as a celebratory festival for the Winter Solstice. Romans even celebrated the solstice for an entire week!

by Anjie Cho


A Holistic Holiday Gift Guide of NYC Experiences

featured this month on 6sqft by Hannah Frishberg and Anjie Cho

The catharsis of shopping and gift giving does not come without monetary guilt, but in a city as commercially diverse as New York, it’s possible to spend locally and come away with products bringing long-term relaxation and mental balance. No one wants to give or receive a gift that feels empty of emotional value and purpose. Here are some ideas for purposeful products and experiences that can be bought within the five boroughs for friends and family (or yourself!) this holiday season.

1. A yoga class

The pressure to workout is high enough when you’re the one who invested in a class, but when you’re gifted the paid opportunity to do yoga, an added element of etiquette raises the stakes even higher for you to find the time and energy to attend.

On the Lower East Side, Golden Bridge Yoga has no minimum for its gift certificates and RA MA Institute New York offers both yoga and meditation programming in its studio. Classes at both locations start at $22.

...read full article

by Anjie Cho


Holistic Spaces Podcast, Episode 055: Sound Healing with Julius Betila

VISIT:

HOLISTICSPACES.COM/PODCAST 

 

AVAILABLE ON ITUNES

 

THIS WILL BE THE FINAL EPISODE OF THE HOLISTIC SPACES PODCAST FOR NOW. 


THANK YOU FOR LISTENING AND FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT!

Holistic Spaces 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

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It's already that time again! We've curated another Holistic Spaces Holiday Gift Guide to help you find the perfect gifts for everyone in your life. Lots of us go into the new year with resolutions for self-improvement, so this year's gift guide is tailored to help achieve those goals! From meditation to essential oils to yummy teas and more, we've chosen 12 amazing options for anyone seeking to find peace and holistic wellness in 2018. We also recommend giving a listen to some of our favorite podcasts, including Episode 051: Creativity and Feng Shui with Laura Morris, Episode 048: Essential Oils and Feng Shui, Episode 024: Creating Holistic Spaces for Inspiration and so many more! Feel free to share some of your favorite self-improvement tools and Holistic Spaces posts in the comments!


Essential Oil Necklace Diffuser

Essential oils can be wonderful tools for self-care and self-improvement. This necklace can be paired with an essential oil for an amazing gift. Listen to my friend, Andrea Giordano on podcast Episode 048: Essential Oils and Feng Shui, for some inspiration on different essential oils.

Essential oils can help in a variety of areas, from improving focus to lifting mood, treating headaches and much more. This personal diffuser is the perfect introduction to using essential oils for healing, inside and out. Add a drop of your selected oil to the porous lava rock inside, and enjoy personalized olfactory treatment for hours! You can even carry drops in the vial that comes along!

Available at: Amazon


TheraBox Subscription

With box subscriptions more popular than ever, I'm excited to see a box set geared toward happiness and self-improvement! TheraBox is curated by therapists and filled with research-backed activities and goodies to enhance your mood and life! 

Each monthly box includes one happiness-boosting activity and "5-7 consciously crafted, natural, organic, or artisan self-care wellness goodies to promote relaxation & wellbeing!" Past boxes have included mud masks, incense, journals, planners, aromatherapy inhalers and many more incredible self-care items! 

Available at: CrateJoy


Analog Alarm Clock

The type of clock you use in your space, may seem trivial, but an analog clock can be symbolic. An analog clock represents the idea of time as a cycle that starts over anew each day, giving us continuing hope. 

I love this simple, elegant analog alarm clock from Amazon. It's made of real wood, silent, battery operated and is a perfect fit for any space. It's also small enough to travel with and serves as a nightlight as well as a clock. What a great way to carry the feeling of hope throughout your own holistic spaces and those you visit!

Available at: Amazon


The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook

One of my favorite hobbies is the Japanese art of Sashiko, needlework quilting. I've received many compliments on my projects recently! This sourcebook is my go-to and is ideal for those interested in getting into Sashiko or starting a new hobby.

Susan Briscoe's guide includes an introduction to Sashiko, a list of what you'll need to get started, step-by-step patterns for your projects and beautiful inspiration by Japanese textile artists! It's the perfect gift for readers, crafters and learners, and Sashiko can easily serve as a way focus your mind and gain a little clarity around whatever is going on in your life!

Available at: Amazon


Zafu Zabuton Meditation Cushion Set

It's difficult to talk about improvement and self-care without mentioning meditation! This practice has been life changing for me, whether on a cushion or in more active styles like Ikebana

One of my recommendations for meditators is to create a holistic space dedicated to meditation. You can include altars, special items and more, but don't forget the meditation pillow! This set from Samadhi is the ideal combination, featuring a sitting cushion as well as a larger, flat cushion to protect the knees and ankles. Not sure if your gift recipient would like meditation? Read up on it here and here and listen in here

Available at: Samadhi Cushions


Wonder Walking Deck

Another of our favorite people is artist, Amy T. Won, who creates stunning paintings in her beautiful holistic studio. Amy's art is based on her observations of the natural world, and she's even created a 12-week online course for reigniting creativity! 

This set of cards follows that train of thought, aiming to reconnect with nature and creativity. Amy's Wonder Walking Deck "features intuitive mood paintings and explorer notes from the pages of my personal sketchbook, inspired by Spring and Summer’s wonder-walks."

The deck makes an incredible gift for artists, art lovers or anyone seeking to rekindle the fire of creativity. 

Available at: The Curio Shop


Eco-Friendly Journal

Whether you're experiencing challenges or just hoping to get to know yourself better, journaling is an excellent way to fill your own cup and keep track of your goals and achievements. 

I love this eco-friendly journal, handmade in Nepal! Each page of the notebook is created through an ancient process of cooking and drying the fibers from Himalayan Lokta bushes, and the cover is colored with varying vegetable dyes! Not only does this journal provide a beautiful place to capture and explore your thoughts, it contains rich Nepali history and supports individual artists in the Himalayas!  

 Available at: Amazon


Rubber Plant

I love adding plants to holistic spaces. They bring the wood element and nature into your space and are excellent tools for increasing indoor air quality

In his book, How to Grow Fresh Air, Dr. B.C. Wolverton lists 50 houseplants proven to reduce VOCs and other harmful pollutants in our indoor spaces. The rubber plant is one of the highest rated plants due to its ease of care and ability to remove airborne toxins.  Affordable, effective, healing and easy to care for, a rubber plant makes a beautiful, loving gift that keeps giving!  

Available at: SpecialGreen via Etsy


Ketu Yantra Mandala for Spirituality & Healing

For friends and relatives dedicated to, or experiencing, personal growth, the Ketu yantra mandala is an incredible, meaningful gift and a beautiful addition to any space. 

This mandala relates to spirituality, healing and introspection and connects directly with the New Beginnings and Knowledge (or self-cultivation) bagua areas. Perfect for New Year's resolutions! The Ketu mandala actually has a yin, meditative energy, so it's also perfect for a meditation space

Available at: Holistic Spaces


The Furoshiki Handbook

Another beautiful Asian tradition I love is Furoshiki. Furoshiki is the art of Asian fabric wrapping, rich in symbolism and making its way to the western world. Furoshiki uses cloth to wrap a variety of objects, and the ties in the fabric represent ties between the individuals giving and receiving the items. 

Furoshiki is a way to offer great care and detail in how we present our gifts and feelings to others. It is even touted as a great communication tool. This book teaches basic Furoshiki tying as well as more intricate and elaborate styles of tying, including specific examples like bottles, books, scarves and more!

Available at: Amazon


Wellness Tea OF THE MONTH

I don't drink coffee often, but tea is a different story! I keep a collection of teas in my kitchen, and each of them serves a different purpose, much like the tea selections in The Republic of Tea's Wellness Tea of the Month.

Perfectly curated to soothe whatever ails you, these blends are ideal for relaxing, finding energy, fighting sickness and even getting back on your feet.  

Available at: The Republic of Tea


Feng Shui Inspired Malas

My good friend Susan Chan has just launched Amà designs: Feng Shui inspired malas! Malas are meditation beads and intentional reminders encouraging growth in specific areas of your life. Worn on the body or hung in a living/work space, each mala is blessed with a sacred intention and mantra.

New York-based artisans knot the malas and make each tassel by hand. Susan even provides feng shui directions on how to infuse it with your specific intention. Our favorite is the Unconditional Love Mala, what everyone needs when starting the new year. Be loving and compassionate with yourself when taking steps toward your goals. 

Available at: Amà