Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui for a Difficult Roommate

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My roommate is unbearable. She speaks to me in the most condescending tone and reprimands me about things like I'm a child. I've spoken to her about this, and she doesn't seem to see a problem - therefore isn't changing her behavior in any way. 

I'm saving up for a new deposit and hoping for an opportunity soon, but I am maxed out time-wise, and it might be a while. This situation is wreaking havoc on my emotions. I cry most days and feel worthless, and she often increases my anxiety and makes focusing difficult. I have tried to keep most things in my room and have stopped using the shared areas unless I have to. Is there a feng shui adjustment I can use to help deal with this until I am able to move to a better situation?

(P.S. I do see a therapist and am on meds.)

Megan D., New York, NY

Dear Megan,

Thank you for your question, and I’m really sorry to hear about this difficult situation. 

You know, when I lived with roommates, I think I was an awful person probably like the one you live with. This was before I became Buddhist and when I was just starting to study feng shui. I was really super unhappy and was very controlling about my space. I think I am probably still a little bit like this with my husband, and it’s something I’m working on. 

And you’re totally right; if your roommate doesn’t think anything is wrong then she’s not really going to change. So, what I’m getting at is that she’s probably got a lot of other things going on, and it does sound like you’re handling it as best you can. Your plans to move out are wise!

My feng shui teachers also taught me other healing modalities and information, including the Huna tradition, which comes from Hawaii. There’s a healing and clearing practice Ho opono opono, which is about forgiveness. It may push your buttons, because you would be asking anyone that has possibly wronged you for their forgiveness. 

From the Huna philosophy, there is a belief that we are all interconnected and that each individual in the community is responsible for each other person. So for instance if there is a crime, the whole community takes the blame and not just the person who committed the crime. Forgiveness has to happen on all sides. So, one way to work with this difficult person is to practice Ho Opono opono. There are different versions, but a simple one is to just recite this mantra, with your roommate in your heart.

Thank you [roommate].

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

This is a healing practice for both of you. You can recite this every morning and night 27 times for 27 days.

While doing this practice, another thing you can do is to take baths with orange peels to help to strengthen your qi during this challenging time. The vibrant life energy of the orange peel with refresh and support you.

Finally, there is also a Buddhist practice called Tonglen, which works with taking in the pain and suffering of others and breathing it in while giving out light and love. If that interests you, Lion's Roar has a great description of the practice here.

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. Check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a 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!


Q&A Sunday: Front Doors and the Bagua

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You did a wonderful, artful creation! I received my copy of “Holistic Spaces: 108 Ways to Create a Mindful and Peaceful Home” yesterday. I don’t think we have met, but I am a member of Bon Shen Ling. 

If you don’t mind, I have a question about your bagua map. Do you consider the front door to be the front door as the house was designed? Or is it the door that you use the most? Because those are two different doors for me. Kinda important for the whole system to work, I think 

David D., Milford, PA

Hi David, 

Thanks so much for your question, and thank you for purchasing the book. It’s nice to meet you! That’s great you’re a member of Bon Shen Ling; Chongtul Rinpoche is very kind man. 

For the readers, Bön Shen Ling, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization in the U.S., is dedicated to supporting the global Bon community through its programs that support refugees and educate western societies about this unique group of people and their way of life. Bon is the indigenous religion of Tibet and is closely tied to BTB feng shui as well as Tibetan Buddhism. Chongtul Rinpoche blessed me at my BTB feng shui ceremony. In addition, 10% of the proceeds from each Holistic Spaces Mandala is donated to support Tibetan refugee children at Bon Shen Ling's Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India.

Ok, now onto your question! In BTB feng shui, when we refer to the front door, we mean the formal front door to the space as was intended when the house was built. There are many people (especially in the US) with the situation that you have, where you have a formal front door but then have a secondary door that you use more frequently. Either way, you would lay the official house bagua on your home using the formal front door. You align the bottom of the bagua map so that the front door is in Gen (Knowledge), Kan (Path in Life/Career) or Qian (Benefactors and Travel).

In your case, if you don’t use the front door very often, I recommend you open it every day, if possible, to activate the energy. If the official front door stays dormant, it may affect how qi comes into your life and home. 

Another interesting thing of note, once I had a client where the official front door was converted into a window, and the side door then became their official front door. In this case, we had to open up the closed door. Doors represent the mouth of qi, and the mouth/voices of the inhabitants. When a door is removed or closed up, this may impact the voice of the people and the voice of the house.

Thanks so much for the wonderful question. Doors are really key in feng shui, as is the bagua, so this is a good question for everyone! Again thank you for purchasing the book and feel free to reach out with any other questions!

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. Check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a 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!


Q&A Sunday: Black Tourmaline for Protection

Could you talk a little more about using black tourmaline for protection (tip 19 from your book)? Not sure where exactly to place them.

Izabela F., Roseville, CA

Hi Izabela,

Thanks so much for your question from the book. For the readers who don’t have the book, here is the excerpt from tip 19 from Holistic Spaces: 108 Ways to Create a Mindful and Peaceful Home.

In feng shui, black is related to wisdom and knowledge… Black can be contemplative, too… Because black absorbs, black tourmaline is excellent for protection from negative energy, including electromagnetic smog. Use four pieces to create a grid under your bed, in your bedroom, or for your entire home. Place one piece in each corner (of the bed, bedroom, or entire home). This generates an energetic grid of security and absorbs most types of harmful energy.


Black tourmaline is a natural crystal that’s pretty popular! It can absorb negative energies and provide protection. I love the idea of incorporating it into your home so it’s part of the design of your space. The black tourmaline can be small tumbled pieces, around 1/2”-2” diameter. The rough pieces, larger and smaller, also work. See what you’re drawn to and what is available for you.

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I’ve created a diagram that I hope will be helpful for you, Izabela. The red stars indicate where you can place the crystals if they would go under your bed. They can also go between your box spring and mattress, or fastened to the bottom of your bed frame. Sometimes that’s easier if you have pets, children or a cleaning person who may move them around. Similarly, the blue stars indicate where you would place them in the bedroom, and the yellow stars would indicate where they would be located if the grid is created for the entire home.

You may be wondering which option to choose: bed, bedroom, or entire home. Usually it’s best to start with your personal energy, so I would suggest you do this for your bed first. It’s also worth noting it’s probably overkill to do all three areas (bed, bedroom and home) unless you have a very unique situation.

Check out our black tourmaline and crystal set for protection on the Holistic Spaces store website. I have included in the set a pointed clear quartz crystal that can be placed in the center of the grid. Clear quartz provides clarity and it can be programmed for your intention. Check it out!

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. Check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a 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!


Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui and Mindfulness in Art

I wanted to send a picture that I have hanging in my bedroom to get your opinion of the Feng Shui as you suggested in one of your posts. The  online form did not allow me to input it. I hope this is ok! Thanks!

Lucretia B., Austin, TX

Hi Lucretia,

Thanks for your email and for sending in your question. This is a lovely piece of art. May I assume that it’s one that you care for, since you’ve not only hung it in your bedroom, but you’ve also taken the time to ask me about it? Take a moment to touch into how you feel about this artwork. Where did it come from? What do you sense from it? How does it feel in your body when you gaze upon it?

It still surprises me that sometimes I receive questions about feng shui and art where the asker has a neutral position on the piece. Sometimes they can take it or leave it. I think we have the tendency to try to fill up space and just put something up ‘just because’. Often they have no idea why they wanted to put it up in the first place, besides that there was a empty space they wanted filled.

Sound familiar? We do the same with food, television, any sort of entertainment so we don’t feel the empty, bored, sad...etc. It’s not ‘bad’; however it’s interesting to notice this and see that if it comes from mindless conditioning. Is this coming from a helpful place? This is true mindfulness, contemplation and paying attention to the details even for a few moments.

I also encourage my clients to wait for the art that they love. You don’t need to rush and hurry to finish up your home. In fact, it’s kind of fun to have your eye open for something that you love. Alternatively you can find something to put up that’s not perfect but is trendy and fun for now, without a lot of investment. Or...why not just keep the space open?!

There is, of course, also the aspect of the location of this art. In your case, this art is up in your bedroom. If you’re a single woman ready and actively desiring a relationship with a partner, this isn’t exactly the best imagery. But the colors are soothing; the cool hues are okay for a bedroom otherwise. The angles are rather metal-like, so precise and orthogonal. And it can certainly go in another area of your home.

Be sure to check out our other posts about art!

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. Check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a 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!


Q&A Sunday: The Best Front Door for Creative Entrepreneurs

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Dear Anjie,

Hope you are doing well. Thank you so much for your podcast; it's very helpful. I'm in the process of moving to a new house. It would be very helpful if you could please let me know which is the best front door direction to look for, as I and my wife are creative professionals. I write music for film and tv and she writes and edits novels and short stories. And both of us work from home. We would like to strengthen our financial stability and growth. And we would also like to attract more opportunities in our respective careers.

Jaikumar S., Mumbai, India

Dear Jaikumar,

Thank you for your email, and I’m glad you like the podcast!

I understand you would like to know the best front door direction for your family as creative professionals who work from home. There are dozens of feng shui schools, and the one that I practice is called BTB feng shui. BTB feng shui does not prioritize the direction of the front door on the basis of the compass directions, rather we look at how the door is located in relationship to the flow of qi (or energy). 

Because you noted that you and your wife would like to attract more opportunities, it would be best if your entry door was easy to find and visible from the street. Ideally you would have the house number very easy to find and a clear path to reach the front door. This means that the qi can find you, therefore the opportunities can also reach you with ease. 

I would discourage a front door to a home that is on the side or back of the house, or hidden. If it’s hard for your friends to visit you, it will also be for all the opportunities and prosperous qi. 

You mentioned that you and your wife would like to work on financial stability and growth. With respect to the front door, you could make sure that the home has a door that is stable and in good condition. Repair any non-functioning items and oil any squeaky hinges. You can even repaint the door to refresh the qi. The colors related to growth are bright blue and green. These colors relate to the wood element. Or you can opt for a deep green like the color of a deeply rooted and stable tree canopy.

Remember to keep your entrance well-lit and free of clutter as well! I encourage you to also take a look at some of the blog posts on creating a productive home working space, like The Feng Shui Home Cleanse That Will Bring Your Intentions to Life, as well as Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui for Career Growth and Direction, another relevant reader question. Thank you again for reading the blog and listening to the podcast. I hope these adjustments help!

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. Check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a 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!


Q&A Sunday: Fu Dogs or Qi Lin?

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What is the meaning of the fu dogs that are just standing on all fours or just laying stretched out with nothing under their paws like the others?

Wanda B., Lexington, SC

Hi Wanda,

Thanks for your question. I am not an expert on fu dogs, so I asked around…

One colleague told me that she had never seen a fu dog in this position. We suspect that the Chinese statues described here as an animal standing on all fours, or stretched out with nothing under their paws are typically Qi Lin (chi lin). They look similar.

Fu Dogs and Qi Lin are mythical creatures and heavenly guardians believed to have the ultimate protection and power to ward off evil spirits and keep harmful people at bay (such as robbers)—silently watching over homes, temples and businesses. They also bring in more good fortune (happy chi, good business) by improving the Feng Shui of the entrance.

Fu dogs come in pairs, a male and female. The male is depicted playing with a ball (symbolizing authority and command of the householder) while the female has its claws on its cub (symbolizing loyalty and maternal protection). These Feng Shui guardians are usually placed at the front door facing outwards at ground level or on shelves at either side of the front door. Or, they can be raised high up on both sides of your main gate. The male is placed on the left side (from standing inside the doorway of your building looking outside) and the female on the right. Ideally, you’d have them activated by your Feng Shui consultant performing the traditional “Opening the Eyes” Ceremony.

Qi Lin can be single or in pairs, and is a dragon-like figure. Typically it has the head of a dragon and a horse-like body. They can be used outside or inside of a home. Did you see these statues inside or outside? Hopefully this provides a little clarity around fu dogs! Send in a photo if you see them again. We’d love to share!

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. Check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a 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!


Q&A Sunday: Is a Canopy Bed in a Bed Alcove Good Feng Shui?

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I'm moving into a studio that has an alcove for the bed right next to the front door. Because of the layout of the apartment, there is no other position for the bed that would work (it would literally be in the kitchen, lol). Would having a canopy around the bed, and keeping it enclosed, help with the feng shui in this scenario?

Nakia, on Organizing your Studio Apartment: Feng Shui Tips

Hi Nakia,

Thanks for responding to our Organizing your Studio Apartment: Feng Shui Tips post! 

I hope your move went well. So, you are correct, you definitely don’t want to have your bed in the kitchen! Hahaha! We have to work with what we’re given, and sometimes we are presented with obstacles because there’s a teaching in that. 

With a studio, or sometimes they call them junior one bedrooms, there’s some sort of separate alcove for a bed, but it’s all one open space in the living area. You were wondering if a canopy around the bed would work to keep it enclosed, since a canopy bed typically has a curtain around it. While it would definitely serve a function to enclose the bed, isn’t it already enclosed because it’s in an alcove? I am getting the feeling that it would actually feel pretty tight and maybe suffocating. But I don’t know how big your alcove is. My first thought is a no. Why would you want to make the alcove seem even smaller? There may be a specific reason for you that would be beneficial, but in general I would not advise it. If you want to visually separate the bed, I’d rather see one use a curtain or perhaps a room divider. 

You may want to double check our posts on the commanding position and other bedroom tips and see if any of those adjustments apply to your new space. It’s your apartment, so you should make it comforting and relaxing for you, and there are usually feng shui tips for this.

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. Check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a 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!


Q&A Sunday: Self-Sabotaging Love

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I'm not sure if there is a way to answer this question with feng shui, but it's worth a try! I am a single woman hoping to find lasting romance. I've done most of the suggested feng shui adjustments to welcome love into my life, and I find that I have no problem finding interested men, but I seem to self-sabotage with my anxiety. For the past year, I've noticed a pattern of becoming paranoid and distrustful of men I'm involved with, and that almost always leads to me pushing them away or running them off. Is there a feng shui adjustment that can help with this?

April S., Philadelphia, PA

Hi April,

Thank you for your question. I think there are probably a lot of people who feel the same way you do, so I’m glad you asked the question. It does sound like you have a good idea of what your personal issues are, that they revolve around anxiety and trust. This is definitely the toughest thing when it comes to love — being vulnerable. 

When clients approach me about love and relationships, I ask a series of questions that can best help me to determine what feng shui adjustments would be the most appropriate. You already answered some of these. Are you meeting people? Yes. Are you meeting people that you’re interested in and that are interested in you? Sounds like a yes. But is it really? It is also possible that you have not met anyone who is worthy of your trust as well. That you are simply not meeting the right people. But from your words, it sounds like the main issue is that you fear being vulnerable. 

The Career/Path in Life area of the feng shui bagua map is related to fear and water. There is a fear of opening your heart and being hurt. But if we never risk anything and stay safe, then there is no chance for love. Also, there’s also the importance of seeing the situation clearly, rather than what our conditioning colors. The first thing that comes to mind for clarity is for you to clean your windows. The windows symbolize your eyes. If you can’t see the reality of the situation, it’s easy to remain closed off, and you may miss opportunities. Once you can see things as they truly are, then you can trust your experience and know what to accept and what to reject. And then there is less fear.

The second part is related to Knowledge and Self-Cultivation. There is more you can do there. Work on the anxiety and trust issues. Where do they come from, and are they still useful? Feng shui is by no means a substitution for good mental health. So take care of yourself and ask for help. I used to also have a lot of anxiety, and meditation has really helped me. I also have mentors, teachers and community all around me to support me on this path. A simple exercise of writing an affirmation 27 times each day for 27 days while sitting in the center of your bed can activate the Health area, which impacts the entire bagua on your bed. I’m thinking something along the lines of “I am ready to open my heart and be vulnerable.” You can take the affirmations from each page, tuck them into a sealed red envelope and place them in the Relationship area of your bed (top right), under the mattress. 

Thank you for being willing to share and asking for insight on this. Remember that the mundane is just as important as the metaphysical, so please take care of yourself and take time for wellness. When you work with this and the suggested adjustments, you may find your heart opening to new experiences and opportunities.

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. Check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a 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!


Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui for a Father and Daughter

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We moved into a rental empty apartment, myself and adult daughter, and need to maximize space also because we love lots of space and room just to be. One room is big enough for a full bed and desk and has one small door for closet. The other room has one side wall as a huge closet and one small closet on the opposite wall for things like books. It has a mirror that will face east and the water, but shines into the bed no matter what position the bed is placed (so it can be covered at night). Because my ex and my son come to visit, I thought about a daybed with a trundle so when none of us are there, she has room for exercise also, since it has a big mirror, and to spend time during the day at the daybed. However I will be living with her for a while and do not wish to create bad energy for myself or future for herself. Can you please advise?

Syl P., Providence, RI

Hi Syl,

Thanks for writing in. I have not seen your floor plan, but in general it sounds like you need advice on how you’re going to survive living with your adult daughter in a small space. There is also the consideration of hosting your ex and your son. Since you wish to not create bad energy for yourself or for your daughter, I’m sensing there is some negativity there already. 

There are, of course, the mundane space planning aspect, but it sounds like you’ve thought this through. And since there’s no floor plan, there’s not much I can advise on. But what I can offer you is some tools to work with uplifting the space. 

Somethings to look out for:

  • Is your bedroom in the commanding position of the home? It would be better if your bedroom was more in command (further back) than your daughter’s. This establishes you as the father so you can support your daughter.

  • Is your bed in the commanding position of your bedroom?

  • Are there any doors that open and hit each other? This can mean arguments. You can learn how to correct this from a feng shui consultant, but for now, you can just be aware if you do have this happening in your home.

Because you’re the father, I’m assuming that you will want to do what you can to support your daughter. The Abundance area of the feng shui bagua map is related to the eldest daughter. This area is also related to a big tree, and what a big tree needs is water to grow and feel supported. To activate and support your daughter, some adjustments can be made to the Abundance area of your home. For instance, a water element like a fountain, or even purchasing fresh flowers in a vase of clean water. The flowers might be a wonderful idea, because you will have to refresh them frequently. Each time you do, you can remember that the purpose is to help your daughter grow and flourish in the world. The flowers also work to add joy into the home. Fresh fragrant flowers can unstick any negative energy.

Take a look at some of our blog posts, like Decorating with Seasonal Flowers and Do You Speak the Language of Flowers? for ideas on what kind of flowers to bring into your space for your needs. Also, be sure if you add a fountain, the water flows into the home - not out. Good luck in your new space with your family!

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. Check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a 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!