Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui for Toilets

My husband had knee replacement surgery, so we added a 4 inch seat raiser to the toilet seat and cannot close the lid. I have been putting a folded towel over the open bowl--do you have any other suggestions?

Angela L., Victorville, CA

Dear Angela,

Thanks so much for your question. I hope your husband is on the mend after his knee replacement surgery.

First, it’s great that you’re accommodating his needs in a practical way by adding a riser to the toilet seat, but it sounds like you’re concerned that you can’t close the toilet lid. For the readers, ideally it’s good to keep your toilet bowl lid closed. There are practical reasons for this: the moisture in the toilet actually adds to the moisture in the bathroom and can create mold and mildew. Closing the lid also energetically puts a lid on the excess downward water energy in a bathroom.

It’s nice that you’re mindful of trying to maintain this cover by putting a folded towel over the open bowl, which is a great solution. You of course want to keep that towel clean and change it regularly, because it can accumulate bacteria. You can also keep your bathroom door closed, which effectively does the same thing as closing the toilet lid. Another suggestion is to put a mirror outside the bathroom door, which energetically helps the bathroom disappear from the floor plan.

Because your husband had knee surgery, another thing to pay attention to is your landscaping, and especially the trees on your property. The health of a landscape affects the health of the people living there, and the branches of a tree can represent joints, including knees. If there are any trees on your property with broken or extremely heavy branches, it’s a good idea to prune and take care of them. This can be helpful in terms of your husband’s recovery as well as preventing possible joint problems in the future.

Thanks so much for your question, Angela. We’d love to hear more about what’s going on with the trees on your property. Good luck with your husband’s recovery!

by Anjie Cho

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. Visit us at mindfuldesignschool.com.

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 Illnesses

Feng Shui for Illnesses.jpg

My husband has leukemia and I would love some feng shui suggestions.

Mary P., New York, NY

Dear Mary,

I’m so sorry to hear about your husband’s illness. While feng shui is not the most important factor, it is absolutely beneficial to incorporate with the mundane directions given by medical professionals. My teachers always reminded me that the everyday practical details are more important than the transcendental adjustments. 

I have two suggestions for you. First is to activate the center of the home, which corresponds to the Health area of the feng shui bagua map. You can activate it in different ways, but my first thought is with the sound or song. A bell, a chime or a Tibetan singing bowl like this one will do. You can ring the bowl nine times every day if you can. Or better yet, you and your husband can sing together. Sound and song can be very healing in a gentle way. 

Second thing, please check your plumbing and electrical systems for any defects, and correct any problems. These relate to the blood vessels and nervous systems of the body. 

There are more complicated feng shui suggestions that require a consultation, but these two feng shui adjustments are wonderful to start with.

You can also learn more if you study feng shui. I’m starting a feng shui certification program this fall and encourage you to take a look at the details below. 

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!

Things You Might Not Know About Coconut Oil

As a holistic designer and architect, I'm all about finding ways to incorporate natural, less-toxic substances into my daily life in place of those harmful chemicals we normally keep beneath the kitchen sink or in the medicine cabinet. One of my most recent discoveries is coconut oil. The holistic perks of this natural oil are incredible, and of course I want to share them with you. Some of my favorite uses are below!

In the Bathroom

Coconut oil is awesome as a natural hair serum. Adding just a small bit to your hair can reduce the frizz we so often deal with as ladies. Be careful here, as you don't want to overuse any sort of oil in your hair. Just rub a dab onto your palms, then distribute evenly throughout your locks!

Try mixing coconut oil with equal parts sugar to create your own simple exfoliating scrub for those long, nourishing showers. 

Coconut oil makes an easy lip balm too! Especially in colder, dryer months, our lips are susceptible to weather and have the tendency to chap and crack. Anyone who's ever experienced this knows it isn't fun! Next time your lips start acting up, try rubbing a bit of coconut oil on as a lubricating balm and soothing agent.

One of the most common beauty products containing toxic materials is deodorant. Unfortunately, this isn't a product we can really do without, unless we're all willing to deal with each others' body odor. Coconut oil can provide a natural remedy for this issue. Using the oil by itself as deodorant is very effective and eliminates the need for harsh chemicals that you may find in other store-bought products. 

Around the House

Aside from its numerous uses for the body, coconut oil also makes a super stain remover and furniture polish. You can rub the oil alone on a tough-to-conquer stain for some help, or mix the oil with baking soda for a non-toxic stain removal option. 

Back in the bathroom, coconut oil works wonders on soap scum, which is great, since bathroom cleaners can be some of the most toxic on the market. Instead of exposing yourself, and ultimately your family, to the toxic chemicals and VOCs in bathroom cleaning chemicals, try using natural coconut oil on a rag instead! 

There are literally hundreds of uses for coconut oil outside the most common uses in cooking. With an increasing number of cautious dieters and, thankfully, individuals concerned for the environment, coconut oil is becoming more and more popular, and with good reason! Next time you're near a natural market, stop in and get some coconut oil to get started on the many things you can do!

by Anjie Cho

Common Sources of VOCs in the Home

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are chemicals that easily convert to gases and enter the air we breathe, whether indoor or out. Many studies have linked excessive VOC intake to diseases and disorders ranging from headaches to respiratory issues to certain cancers and everything in between. It shouldn't be difficult to conclude that these chemicals have no place in our homes, but surprisingly, that's where they are found more often than not.

An average household, not one that is highly organic or raw, can be a veritable plethora of substances emitting VOCs. The most obvious of these is the paint with which we decorate. The VOCs released from traditional paint are of the class that humans can smell, which is evident in how offensive paint fumes are to most individuals. In this case, the VOCs are easy to identify, and the non-appealing smell often motivates homeowners to turn toward healthier options.

Paint, however, is not the only substance in the home that gives off VOCs, and it isn't even the most common. The list of chemicals and items in an average home that contain harmful VOCs includes new carpet and furnishings, many types of pressed wood and/or boards, new electronics and plastics. On a more alarming note, many personal care and hygiene products also produce VOCs including, but certainly not limited to, many kinds of makeup, shampoos, deodorants, etc. Harmful VOCs are even present in most cleaning materials found in an average home. 

With the number of sources of volatile organic compounds in today's society, it comes as no surprise that most humans have a number of chemicals in their bodies ranging into the hundreds and risk developing any number of health problems as a result. Take a moment and research how to reduce these chemicals in your home and keep your family as healthy as possible

See more articles on VOCs

by Anjie Cho

Business, Bliss + Balance: Featuring Anjie Cho

I'm thrilled to share that I am part of my friend Beth Larsen's free interview series: Strategies for Women Who Want Success Without Sacrificing Their Health, Happiness or Relationships. Beth Larsen is a Certified High Performance Coach, Law of Attraction coach and the founder of the Unlock Your Natural Abundance Group Coaching Program. Her new series features daily interviews delivered straight to your inbox on topics like balance in your body and relationships, aligning your energy to support your dreams and goals, and so much more! 

Sign up for Beth's series here and receive your daily interview to help coach you toward finding and achieving harmony and success in your life. The series began on March 5 and ends on March 25. My interview with Beth will air on Wednesday, March 14. If you miss it, you can still sign up and listen to all the interviews at the end of the series!  

As a bonus, anyone who signs up for the Holistic Spaces newsletter through Beth's interview will receive 20% off at the Holistic Spaces store. As Beth says, "You have nothing to lose - except for the stress and poor habits."

Register now.