Mindful Design Feng Shui: Feng Shui for the Holidays

I recently shared a few feng shui tips for the holidays on the Mindful Design Facebook page.

Feng Shui for the Holidays
- creating harmony in the family during the holidays
- space clearing during the holidays
- gratitude and giving for wealth and abundance

Check out the video here and on the Mindful Design Facebook page, and keep an eye out for next week’s video about feng shui and holiday decorating!

If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design Feng Shui certification program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. 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.

Feed Your Wild: How To Bring Balance To Your Home, Health + Life Using The Art Of Feng Shui With Anjie Cho

featured this month on Wildly rooted

This month I was featured on Wildly Rooted’s podcast, Feed Your Wild, with Venessa Rodriguez! We chat about what feng shui means, my journey to feng shui and architecture, what a typical feng shui consultation is like and so much more!

Practicing Feng Shui is a way to have mindfulness in respect to your surroundings - all of the little details impact your wellbeing, your stress levels and how you show up in the world.
— Anjie Cho

Consider for a moment that everything in your environment, what I call your Sacred Ecology, plays a role in creating the conditions for growing the YOU that stands as yourself today and the future (whether we like it or not)… While it may not feel like it initially, this is a highly empowering thing to grasp.

Check out the full posting and episode recording here!

If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design Feng Shui certification program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. 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: Beach Holiday Feng Shui

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I would appreciate some Feng Shui tips for a beach holiday (accommodation, beach tote, and so on). Thanks in advance.

Giuliana G., France

Hi Giuliana,

Nice to hear from you again! You always come up with such interesting questions. 🙂 Thank you!

My first thought was…"well I’m not sure if I can answer this one." But, upon reflection, this is very similar to just feng shui travel tips. And I also did take a work vacation to a Greek island in June (I was at teacher a dharma art retreat). I travel quite a bit, especially this year. So, maybe I do have something to share!

For the travel part, whether it be a train, car or especially a plane, there are a few things that I always travel with. First, a hydrating spray. My favorite is Alaska essences Travel Ease, which has essential oils, flower and gem essences to ease with the jet lag. Another wonderful travel aid are hydration tablets. Nuum is currently my favorite. I also carry a feng shui talisman I received from Catherine Woo that is unfortunately unavailable anywhere that I know of…I’ll ask my mentors about it. I always travel with Lotus Wei's Radiant Energy, which works to expand your presence after computer use and travel. It's a MUST for restful sleep while traveling.

When I arrive at my destination, the first thing I do is unpack and make myself at home. Putting your belongings away in a drawer creates a feeling of ownership and relaxation, rather than the chaos of literally living out of a suitcase. Then I tuck the suitcase away. For me, it makes me feel at home and spacious. Your belongings also deserve to stretch out a bit after a long day of traveling. :)

Next, I clear the space, because there can be residual energies from the people who have stayed there before, or just from the people you’re staying with. I think over the holidays, or when you're traveling, you can easily feel sensitive to space as well as foreign energy. By clearing the space, you’re just giving the place a little perk to provide a restful and spacious sleeping situation while traveling. I suggest carrying some space clearing tools with you whenever you travel, such as palo santo, white sage or orange essential oil spray. I prefer room sprays when traveling, because you’re not burning anything. My store sells travel-friendly bottles of each of these.

The beach tote is an intriguing question and can be feng shui relevant. There’s something called fashion feng shui, and if you haven’t heard of it, basically we can use feng shui colors to support and produce the type of qi we want to cultivate. So, you can coordinate your beach tote (or suit or towel…) with the kind of energy you want to embody on your trip. For instance, green if you want some healing vibrant energy. Purple to attract abundance and success. Earthy colors if you want to take care of yourself and do some self-care. Pink if you want to attract a partner. Red if you want to be really seen and noticed. Dark blue if you want to work on self cultivation, like maybe at a yoga retreat. 

Finally, since you specifically asked about a beach holiday, we can touch upon the water element. In feng shui, moving bodies of water like the ocean and rivers, provide a natural element that can offer your intentions to the universe. If there’s something you want to give up to the world, perhaps your worries about something or a negative energy, you can let it go into the water. Let the water carry it away. One way to do that would be to write it on a red piece of paper, burn it and offer the ashes into the water that’s moving away from you. Then just leave it up to the universe.

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 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! 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!

Visit the Holistic Spaces Store

How to Spring Clean & Green your Beauty Cabinet with Anjie Cho

featured this month on Modern Minerals by Mo Mi

  image credit: Lotus Wei

image credit: Lotus Wei

In the late summer of 2015, I was in Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan where I found a book titled “108 Ways to Create Holistic Spaces“. I was in a bit of a rush, but snapped a photo of this because I knew this was something I needed to read. At the time I was with my Mom and said “I would love to meet this designer one day”. A year later, my friend Katie Hess invited me to a super moon soirée on the roof top of building in Flatiron. I sat down next to Anjie and we started talking and I immediately knew we were going to be friends. It wasn’t until in 2017 that I had finally got around to organizing my photos when I found this photo I had taken in 2015 to remind me I wanted to read this book, and to my surprise the author was my incredible friend Anjie Cho! Since getting to know Anjie and watching her on YouTube, I often turn to Anjie when I’m feeling like something could be made better or for practical solutions to improve the flow of energy and balance in my space. Learn more from her podcasts HERE.

I wanted to find out more about Anjie for some advice on how to Spring Clean our beauty cabinets and asked her for some advice…Check it out!

...read full article

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!

The Benefits of Orange Essential Oil

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On a typical day, I start with five drops of orange and one drop of frankincense essential oils in my diffuser. This is my favorite way to clear my work space to begin to create. In feng shui, oranges and orange peels represent vibrant, life affirming yang energy. Yang energy is like the energy at high noon – bright and strong.

It is good practice to clear your space at least once a year. The most auspicious time to do this is on Chinese New Year.  The Lunar new year is symbolically a great time to clear out the old stagnant energy in your home to make space for new positive energy. Changing seasons can also be a great time to practice space clearing!

Fresh orange peels work the best to bring out the good, but you can also use 27 drops of orange essential oil. Place the orange peels (or essential oil) in a spray bottle and fill it with water. Walk around your home and spray this citrus essence all around, paying special attention to dead corners and closets. Orange peel carries with it vibrant life energy to clear space and, in turn, rejuvenates you and your home. This is excellent to do on an annual, or even monthly basis. 

Besides its feng shui applications, the benefits of orange essential oil range from internal to external, from mental to physical. Many of us are looking for a heal-all for modern struggles, and we may all be overlooking the immense benefits of orange essential oil. 

Orange essential oil is almost a miracle substance! It is an organic anti-depressant to some degree. When treating mild depression, orange essential oil works to lighten the mood and reduce anxiety by increasing circulation and cleansing the liver. While orange oil is also safe to use with severe depression requiring medication, it should not be used in place of medication. Some research also supports the use of orange essential oil as an aphrodisiac, as it works to reduce stress and promote relaxation in the body, which is often the cause of sexual issues and frustration. In this same function, orange oil can serve as a natural, non-toxic sedative following a long day.

Physically, orange essential oil goes a long way as well. On a surface level, orange oil can help to reduce inflammation, no matter what the cause. It can also be effective against inflammation for everything from excessive consumption (of food or drink) causing gas or pain to fever, infections and more. In addition, orange oil not only alleviates pain, but also acts a regulator for the body and its functions. Orange essential oil rids the body of excess gas and flushes bodily toxins through urination, which in turn promotes healthier digestion.

Other uses for orange oil are almost endless, from relaxing spasms to acting as a disinfectant to promoting healthy menstruation and alleviating acne. The list goes on, and it’s worth taking a peek. You have little to lose except negative thoughts and unwanted gas!

by Anjie Cho

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!

Q&A Sunday: Tips for Spiritual & Healing Providers

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What are some basic tips for people who provide spiritual or healing services to reflect a fun, sacred, zen-like atmosphere to spaces/venues that are already designed?

T.F, Stamford, CT

This is a situation that many face: how to create a holistic space with what you have. It’s a little like life, right? We come into this world with our cultural and environmental conditioning and limitations. My teachers would say that if you’re born a Honda you’ll never be a Mercedes, but you can be the best Honda you can be! Similarly, we can work with what we’re given. Most feng shui is remedial - we make adjustments after the fact. With my clients I actually incorporate feng shui into the architectural design. But not everyone has that luxury or foresight.

Space Clearing

My first suggestion is space clearing. In feng shui we use different rituals involving mantras, sometimes rice, sometimes oranges and others. If you want to do this yourself I recommend getting some orange essential oil and placing 9 drops in a bowl of water. With this bowl, walk around clockwise from the entrance sprinkling the essence throughout the space. Lately I’ve also been burning palo santo, a Peruvian wood used to smudge (or clear) a space. Remember when you clear a space, always put positive energy back in.

Commanding Position

Second, use the commanding position to layout the most important areas in your space. For a spiritual or healing provider, this may be your desk or the position in which a client receives your services. The commanding position locates us in an advantageous place so we can feel relaxed and in control of our environment. This position is that which is furthest back from the door, while not in line with or behind the swing of the door.

Five Elements

Third, use the five elements to create a balanced and harmonious space. Take a look at this previous Holistic Spaces blog article or explore our five elements series on the Holistic Spaces podcast.

Bring in Nature

Finally, for a healing and zen-like space be sure to have some green plants. Use non-toxic cleaning products and add fresh flowers when possible. The plants not only improve the indoor air quality, they add life energy to the space. Plants promote kindness and flexibility. Fragrant fresh flowers bring joy and improve energy flow.

There is also something my teachers call “method of minor additions” which involve the use of feng shui adjustment objects such as crystals, mirrors, windchimes, colors, etc. Unfortunately that’s where the feng shui expert comes in. This depends on the particular location, situation, and person.

Good luck with your space, and kudos to you for providing such beautiful services to help others.

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!

Feng Shui on a Budget

Many times, I hear people say that they can't afford to make the feng shui adjustments they'd like, or they worry about having to buy new items in order to improve the energy in their homes. While there are a number of products available to improve the qi in your spaces, I'm a firm believer that feng shui should be available to everyone. Take a peek at the tips below for introducing feng shui into your home and office, even if you're on a budget. Keep in mind, although these adjustments are effective, especially with the right intentions, they don't take the place of a certified practitioner

Student Consultations

Many feng shui schools or organizations offer student consultations while students are still learning. Think of places you can get a cheaper haircut by an instructor-assisted student, or discounts on other beauty regiments, like manicures or massages, as students perfect their craft. Feng shui academies often do the same thing! Spend some time online checking out schools near you, and if you're in the New York area, try the BTB Feng Shui Masters Training Program, where I learned feng shui! 

Holistic Spaces

We work hard on the Holistic Spaces blog to bring you as many helpful, affordable feng shui tips as possible. From our Q&A Sunday questions to the podcast to weekly blog posts on common feng shui adjustments, the Holistic Spaces blog is a good spot to find information on feng shui without the cost of a full consultation. Just use the search bar on the right-hand side under Previous Blog Posts!

One Good Deed a Day

One of the first adjustments my feng shui mentor taught me was One Good Deed a Day. It seems easy enough - just do one good deed every day for 27 days. The best part about this adjustment is that, once you really start to think about it, it becomes so much more than just a good deed for another. This adjustment can really open doors for positive energy to come to you, and it's completely free!

Plant Life

A favorite adjustment for feng shui believers and non-believers alike is the addition of plants to your spaces. In feng shui, plants bring life energy to your home or office through the wood element, which symbolizes new beginnings, kind heartedness and fresh energy. As an added perk, they also work hard to improve the air quality in your indoor spaces. Adding a plant to your home or office can be as easy as transporting some of your backyard greenery indoors or even borrowing cuttings from friend. Check out how to do that here

Qi Cleansing of Re-used Objects

While it is almost always better to invest in new items or plants for adjustment purposes, it's understandable that isn't always an option. Maybe you managed to find some beautiful crystals at a thrift shop, or a friend moved away and left an object in your care. These are both acceptable additions to your space, but always remember to clear the energy of any item that comes into your home. Whether you open the windows and peel some oranges or burn a little palo santo, refreshing the energy in your space, including the items there, is a very important aspect of feng shui. Usually it's best to clear the "predecessor qi" of any reused objects so you can start fresh.  

Book Tips

One of my favorite resources for feng shui on any budget is my book, 108 Ways to Create Holistic Spaces. I finished my first book this year, and it's packed with tips on creating your own holistic space through feng shui adjustments and guidance, like how using different burners can open up your opportunities. If you haven't picked up a copy, check the Holistic Spaces store for a signed one! 

No matter what adjustments you decide are best for you and your space, the most important part of feng shui is remembering that it is YOUR space. Everyone deserves to have a sacred space filled with positive energy and beautiful objects that nourishes who they are. Your holistic space may be different from a friend or family members, and you make choose different adjustments that speak to you, but ultimately, all that matters is that you make your space your own. 

Have you made any of the adjustments or changes we mention on the site? We absolutely love to hear about how feng shui has affected the lives of our readers. Share your story in the comments (photos encouraged)! 

by Anjie Cho