Q&A Sunday: Five Common Feng Shui Mistakes

Five Common Mistakes in Feng Shui.jpg

What are five common mistakes people make with feng shui?

Jacqueline R., Cleveland, OH

1.  There are mistakes in feng shui! 

I would not necessarily call these mistakes, but rather misinterpretations of feng shui. And sometimes the misinterpretations lead you to what you really needed! My point is: everything you do is right and correct if you do it with the best intentions. But this is a great question, because I always like to share with my clients the meaning and reason for the feng shui concept. If possible, we should strive to do things in the proper way. But mistakes happen and sometimes for a good reason!

2.  Feng shui is simply about moving furniture around

Feng shui is not just about moving furniture around! It’s about creating harmony in our lives by unifying our inner and outer environments. The inner and outer are not separate, because everything that we do to our spaces – positive and negative – affects our daily experience. In BTB feng shui we incorporate many personal chi adjustments (meditations and rituals to change your personal energy), adjusting objects to your space (such as adding plants, mirrors, or crystals), in addition to re-arranging your furniture.

3.  Using items made out of wood for the wood element

The wood element is about new beginnings, family and kindness in feng shui. Sometimes people misinterpret wood as the dead material of wood, like a wood desk. But in fact, objects made of wood do not embody the wood element. To add wood element you can add green plants or objects that are green/teal or tall and expansive. Brown wood objects are actually earth element!

4.  Fountains flowing wealth away from the home

Fountains can be used as feng shui adjustments to bring more wealth into the home. The best way to do this is to position the fountain so that the water flows into the home, rather than right out the door. So just turn that fountain around.

5.  What direction your door faces is very important

In BTB feng shui, it is not critical if your door faces north, south, east or west. We look at the relationship of the space to the formal entry to the room, home or property. We call this the “mouth of chi,” where the energy comes into the space. There are other schools of feng shui that use the compass directions. The other schools are as valid and equal to BTB feng shui. But the feng shui I practice does not follow this particular discipline. We care more about where the energy enters the environment, and how to look at the flow of chi. 

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!

9 Simple Tips to Feng Shui Your Home

featured this week on inhabitat

Since January is organization month, it’s the perfect time to start the new year off right with a little Feng Shui revitalization at home. Here are 9 simple tips for bringing positivity into your home with Feng Shui. Nine is the most auspicious number in Feng Shui, so if you can manage to do all nine of these, you will attract even more good energy!

1. Fix your squeaks!

Does your entry door squeak or whine when you open or close it? The entry door is the first and last thing you encounter when coming or going from your home. The sound is as if the door is crying and this can affect your mood and well-being. Many people have become so accustomed to the sound that they don’t even notice it. Oil that door hinge and create more positive energy when you enter and leave your house. It’s also helpful to oil any other door hinges throughout the home, but the entry door is the most important.

2. Use your front door

Many people live in homes where they drive up into the garage and use the back door to get in. While this is very convenient, from a Feng Shui perspective this may limit good energy and opportunities in your life because again, the entry door represents how “chi” enters your home and life. The easy Feng Shui fix? Start using the front door at least once week. The more often the better! Just open and close it when you go get the mail, or maybe to take walk. Write it into your regular routine.

...read full article

by Anjie Cho

Coffee Break with Sabra: 5 Tips to Creating Wealth and Abundance Using Feng Shui

I'm thrilled to be a guest on Coffee Break with Sabra again! This time, listen as I share five tips for bringing wealth and abundance. Some are as simple as switching up which stove burner you use! Take a peek below, or a listen here to hear the whole list and how to draw more abundance into your life

Interview transcript:

SS: Welcome to the Coffee Break with Sabra where we answer your burning questions, the questions you didn’t ask, didn’t know to ask or were afraid to ask. We ask them for you. Each week, we bring you another 20 minutes so that you can get your answers and get back to having a productive and fabulous day. 

Today we are here with Anjie Cho, who is a holistic interior architect and a sought after expert in the fields of Feng Shui and green design. As a New York State registered architect and certified Feng Shui master, Anjie creates beautiful and nourishing spaces throughout New York City and beyond. Today she’ll be speaking on a very interesting topic, searching for wealth and abundance, 5 tips to creating wealth and abundance in your life and business using Feng Shui. Welcome to the program Anjie.

AC: Hi Sabra!

Hi Anjie. I’m so happy to have you here. 

I’m so happy to be here!

You’re speaking on a really interesting topic today that is of interest to lots of people, and I’m curious, because of your expertise in Feng Shui, how you’re going to show us how we can attract more wealth and abundance into our lives. Maybe just start out with explaining what is Feng Shui and start from that place.

Sure. You’re absolutely right. There are two things that people are really interested in when they hear about Feng Shui. They’re interested in relationships, and they’re interested in how to get more wealth and abundance, so it’s a very popular topic. So what is Feng Shui? That’s a good place to start, because not a lot of people know what Feng Shui is. First of all, it is pronounced “Feng Shui,” but you could say it any way you want, really, as long as you understand what it is. “Feng Shui" is just one pronunciation, and all different cultures have a form of Feng Shui, and even within China, there are different forms of Feng Shui, so they might pronounce it differently based on the dialect. Feng Shui is an ancient art of placement. It started in China thousands of years ago, and it seeks to improve the energy in the environment around us and to really deepen the connection with you and your environment so you can create a harmonious and supportive space that can help you improve energy so you can gain more wealth and abundance in your life.

Okay. And how do you do things like that? What kind of things would you do to create that?

Well, in Feng Shui, we might have you look at certain places in your home and in your office, maybe move some things around, and we look at different layers and go so far as to suggest personal energy adjustments in correlation to making a change in your space. But specifically, in terms of abundance and wealth, we’re going to talk about 5 different ways that you can look at your home and your office to really hone in and focus on creating more wealth and abundance in your life. 

I want to first, actually, start with, what does it mean? What does "wealth and abundance" mean in Feng Shui philosophy? People think wealth is money, but wealth is much more than that. Wealth means having a plentiful supply of things in your life, whether that means money or helpful people, or having abundance of health and abundance of energy and to be overflowing and have a lot of fullness. So that’s really our goal, to create a supportive lifestyle and a supportive home around you so you can have the best opportunities to attract the most wealth to you. Actually, there’s a Feng Shui map, and it’s basically like a tic-tac-toe. It’s a 3 by 3 square, and one of those areas is represented by wealth and abundance, and it’s also, interestingly, related to the idea of self-worth. In Feng Shui, we really relate those two things, because if you don’t have a lot of self-worth and if you don’t have a lot of self-esteem, it’s hard to attract abundance to you, so that’s one thing that we look at. We look at really working on yourself, but in the Feng Shui perspective, so that’s that abundance area. If you’re standing at your front door, like the entrance to your apartment, if you’re in New York City, and you’re looking in to your home, it would be the far left corner of your apartment, so the furthest away from you on the left. If you’re just looking in your bedroom, you would stand in your front door looking into your bedroom, and it would be the far left corner, the corner farthest away from you. That’s your abundance or wealth area of your home. Do you know where yours is, Sabra?

Yeah, it’s far from the door, and it actually is a very open space right near a huge window that I have.

Okay, that could be positive. The map is conceptual. You can use it on your desk, so if you’re sitting at your desk, the far top, left corner of your desk, if you divide your desk in a 3 by 3 square, would be the wealth area of your desk. You can go big in terms of your property or your whole office. You could start as big as your property, you could go a little bit smaller into the entire floor plan of your home, and then you can go smaller into the layout of your bedroom, and then even the layout of your desk, and find the wealth area. So it’s really important to look at the wealth area in your home and your office, because you want to look at a couple of things. One, you want to look at if it is there, because sometimes it’s missing, and that’s an issue. Say you have an "L" shaped floor plan, and that area, the wealth area, is missing. That can be a problem. It could mean that you have difficulties with receiving wealth into your life. One way to alleviate that would be that you could put a plant in that missing area or you could put a mirror, because a mirror extends the view and takes back that missing space.

I’m into it.

It’s interesting, because a lot of times, people also have a bathroom in that area, so that means that there’s a lot of water. Water represents wealth, and so in a bathroom, that’s a lot of water going down and being drained away, so that’s also an issue too. You never want to lay out an office, for instance, if possible, with the bathroom in the far left corner, because that represents water going away. If you are stuck with that situation, one way you can alleviate it is to put a plant there. What the plant does is symbolizes growth, and that water energy that’s going down symbolically, you can water the plant and transform it in to a positive upward growth, because the water feeds the plant. So you’re taking something that is, maybe, flushing away from you but transforming it to an upward, expansive energy.

One other thing to look for in your wealth area is if you have a second door in your wealth area. Now, this is really important for a lot of homes, a lot of houses. If you have a second entrance in your wealth area, that can mean that there is money that’s slipping out, away from you, that’s being leaked out. That’s a really important thing to look for. A good way to alleviate that would be, if possible, not to block the door, but to place something, like maybe a table, that redirects energy away from that front door. There are a lot of other things to do, but I would have to look more specifically at the space. But in general, that’s something to watch out for, not to look for a second door in your wealth area, because you really want to be able to keep your wealth in there and not have it leak out.

Yes, sure, you want to capture it and hold on to it and then decide what to do with it, rather than letting it slip away.

Yeah, even in properties, if you have a home in a shape that’s wider in the back and smaller in the front, that’s actually ideal. It’s called the money bag property shape, and what it means is that a lot of money can go in and you have a lot of room in back to hold it in, because the back is really about wealth, so that’s really something I look for. 

So those are the first 2 things. One is to look at the wealth area in your home and make sure it’s not missing, and if it is, try to adjust it. Then two is to look what’s happening in your wealth area. If there’s an extra door, that’s not a great thing, and if there is a bathroom, add a plant to adjust it. If you have those 2 situations, it’s really great to bring someone in to work specifically on it, especially if you’re having wealth issues.

The third way that you can look at your space to improve your wealth and abundance is to look at the stove, so look at fire energy. The stove in your kitchen represents how you nourish yourself in the world, so it’s really important to keep your stove clean all the time, because if it’s dirty, you’re really kind of mucking up your energy to support yourself and nourish yourself. If you can be healthy in the world, you can really attract the best energy to you. So it's good to keep it clean. It’s also good to have a lot of burners. These houses, sometimes they have 6 burners, that’s really great. It actually represents a lot of wealth. The more burners you have, the more wealth you can attract.

That’s great, okay.

Usually we only have 4, but one way you can improve that, actually, is if you can set up a mirror that reflects the burners. Then, if you’re standing at the stove and you can double your amount of burners, that actually doubles your wealth.

Just said simply, huh? Just putting up a mirror.

It’s also interesting too, because the stove represents how you nourish yourself. I always ask my clients, “When you woke up this morning, you probably went to your stove, and you went to your favorite burner, and…” Sabra, which one is your favorite burner?

The front left.

Everyone has their favorite burner. I think mine is the front left as well, and you always go to that. That’s your go-to burner, but in Feng Shui, since your stove and your burners represents your wealth, it’s really important to not just go to the same one all the time. We really encourage people to rotate and to try new burners. It’s really interesting, because when I first learned this, when I would go to my stove, I realized every morning, “Oh, I need to really look at other ways to incorporate different tactics in my business and in my life to attract different things.” If we always go to the same things, we might miss something. It’s really easy to just go and do the same thing out of habit, but if you open up your opportunities and start to use different burners and start to look at different aspects of your life, it really starts to open things up for you and bring you more wealth.

Oh my goodness. That’s fabulous, but it sounds too easy.

Well, you know what? It doesn’t have to be hard.

Yes, you’re right, a lot of things don’t have to be hard. That’s actually one of those, I think, false beliefs that many people have. If I’m not working hard enough then that’s why I don’t have whatever it is that I want. You’ve got to work harder. But sometimes that’s not just working harder…

It’s about working smarter.

Exactly and you’re demonstrating that here today. Thank you. 

Well I think it’s a really great reminder every morning, because it's something that you do every day, usually. Most people go to the stove every day, but you should actually use your stove every day because, again, it represents how you nourish yourself, and it represents fire energy, which represents how people see you and your ability to be seen and attract wealth. You should use it at least every day to boil water or something, but to go there every morning and go to put your teapot and think, “Oh, I should use a different burner,” then you get that reminder every morning, “I need to open up opportunities for myself, I need to bring new things to me, I can’t just go do the same thing all the time and expect to really flourish my experience, my business and my life and my opportunities for wealth.”

Exactly. If you want to see different things in your life, you have to do different things. Doing the same thing over and over again is going to probably yield the same results you have now, so what a great fabulous reminder first thing in the morning. That’s a great way to start your day as well.

Yes, that’s my third tip. My fourth tip is about water energy. A lot of people know this Feng Shui cure, or adjustment, is about putting a fountain. They know that fountains have something to do with water. Water represents, or can symbolize money, especially if it’s flowing water. That represents cash flow, so it’s really ideal, kind of a Feng Shui 101 thing, to have a fountain in your entry because, your entry represents your mouth of chi, where energy comes in to your home. If you have a water fountain, you want the water directed in towards your home. You don’t want the water to be directed out, because then it’s flowing the water away from you. If you have a home, you can have it in front of your entry and have the water, again, if possible, flowing into the center of your home, because that’s directing the water energy or the money energy, wealth energy, into your space. That’s a really easy one, and, in a practical way, it helps humidify your home and creates nice soothing sound, and it’s a really nice way to welcome yourself into your home. And again, it’s a reminder every day when you come home or when you leave that this is an intention you put into your life that you’re going to attract more wealth to you.

Nice, another simple, easy thing to do. Fabulous.

I have another question for you having to do with water. What about having a vase with flowers in it, fresh cut flowers? Does that have some kind of symbolism of water in a place or something?

Well that’s a little different, because it’s still water, and for abundance you want moving water, which is something like a fountain. You can also use something like an aquarium with moving water. I actually have a fish tank with a filter that pours like a waterfall, and it directs inside my home. But flowers are actually really great for something else, which actually ties in to the fifth tip. One thing that’s really important to look at with your wealth is what your career is like, and your desk represents your career. So really look at your desk and see what you could do to make it more organized and less cluttered. Also, the way that flowers can tie in, is flowers represent a few things, but they're all a very positive, joyful energy. The fragrance of flowers is a very powerful thing in Feng Shui that we use for joy, but it also represents the wood element, because it’s a plant. It would be really great if you could put fresh flowers on your desk in the wealth area of your desk. You can also do it in fame area, which is the far center. Sitting at your desk, if you divide it to 3 by 3 grid, it’s the back, center square, so either the wealth, or in the fame, or maybe right in the middle. Having a fresh bouquet of flowers would really be something beautiful to look at. It represents wood energy, which represents growth and expansion, and also, because the same area represents fire, you’re feeding the fire with wood. It’s really helping you expand and bloom and flourish in your business or in your wealth so you can get that raise that you wanted, so that you’re seen for all the good work you do. That would be a really great way. Even red flowers would be really great. Also, because you keep it fresh, it’s really something beautiful to look at, and you pay attention. One thing that’s not good is it’s not good to have dead flowers or dry flowers in your space, because that actually represents negative, dead energy.

That’s so interesting. I was going to ask you, what do you do, or how do you know when to remove the flowers, because they will eventually wither and die. So that was one question. The other question I had is, I remember going to my prom and the guy brought me a corsage, and when I came home, I hung it upside down to dry out the flowers and save them for a few years, so I was curious what you have to say on those two items.

In general, yes, dried flowers represent negative or dead energy, because they’re dead, but if there’s something like a wedding bouquet or, I don’t know about a prom corsage, I guess if you’re a high schooler, that’s exciting at that time, but I think its equivalent for adults could be your wedding bouquet or something very meaningful, then actually those flowers have a whole different energy, because you have your own memories associated with them. As long as there’s something very positive of those flowers, those dried flowers, there’s not a problem if you have a positive association and they mean something really good for you and it’s supportive for you. But, in general, they’re not good. If you just have dried flowers for decoration, you want to avoid that. But if you have a really some positive, happy memory attached to it, it’s perfectly fine.

Great, that was awesome. I know we’ve been talking a lot about wealth and abundance, but it’s a lot of fun to talk about, and you shared quite a few tips. Did you have any more for us?

I think those are good. That’s 5 tips. That’s a lot to do.

How would you recommend people start implementing them? One at a time? Should do they do over the course of a week, a month…Should it take longer for them to really feel into these different tips that you provided us?

I think the best way is to find something that speaks to you and something that’s not going to be too difficult, because a lot of times, people overwhelm themselves and want to do all of them at once, and then they don’t do any. If there was one that spoke to you, for instance, for you Sabra, the flowers, that was something you’re interested in, give yourself a little task. Put it in your to-do list to get some flowers, and it’s good to do it within 3 days of deciding you want to do it. Even one little addition can shift your whole perspective. Even just looking at your stove, your burners, that’s an easy one to do. My whole MO is to make it really simple and digestible for people, because we’re so overwhelmed with so much information every day, and it’s so easy to not do anything because there are so many options. I really want people to look at what is easy for them to do, what’s really going to be something that’s manageable and how to integrate it in your daily life so you have this gentle reminder to put yourself first and to take care of yourself and have positive intensions. 

Great, great. Well you definitely gave us some wonderful tips, and I agree that making a decision and implementing it right away, even if it’s just one thing, is a move in the right direction, and when you’re moving in the right direction, good things tend to flow if that’s the right direction and a good direction. I don’t know if you would add something more. Wonderful. Thank you so much, Anjie, for joining us this week. It’s so exciting to have you.

Thank you Sabra. I love being on! Thank you so much for having me on again.

Thank you again for joining us this week and for joining us during our weekly Coffee Break with Sabra. Join us again next week.

by Anjie Cho