Q&A Sunday: Beach Holidays and the Five Elements

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Hi Anjie. I would appreciate some Feng Shui tips for a beach holiday in terms of balancing the seaside environment, which seems to me water, earth (sand, pebbles) and fire (sun). I wondered if one should add the missing elements in order not to be too exhausted and overwhelmed.

Giuliana G., France

Hi Giuliana,

Thank you so much for always sending such wonderful questions! I previously answered this question on this blog post, but you sent me a follow-up and clarified that you were more curious about the five elements. A beach holiday can be at any time of year--a lot of times we go on beach holidays in the summer, but we often go during the winter as well because we want to go somewhere warm for a bit.

So what do we do to balance elements in a seaside environment? First, it’s really important to be in touch with what resonates with you. You can look at your Four Pillars or your Bazi, which is your Chinese astrology. You can see what your Day Master is, if it’s weak or strong, and what element you’re supported by. For instance, I’m a weak yin wood. Since my Day Master is wood, having water around me is really great. I’ve always lived near water; I grew up in Los Angeles, I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I lived right on the water in New York City. Because water is really supportive for me, I don’t really need to balance things when I’m by the seaside.

If you don’t know anything about Four Pillars or Bazi, we have some information on the website about how to figure out your Nine Stars. If you look at the Nine Stars and you’re a wood element, for instance, it may mean that the seaside environment is supportive for you.

But what if you are not supported by water? That’s what it sounds like, because your question implies that you become exhausted, overwhelmed, or depleted near the seaside. That’s the main thing to pay attention to; you can look at numerology and astrology, but it’s important to see what you’re personally attracted to. For instance, as I mentioned, I’m always really drawn to the water, whereas my husband is more drawn to the forest and the country. For me, going to the country is neutral, and if I was going to the country, I’d want to be by a lake or another body of water. You usually know yourself, so if you close your eyes and think about your ideal vacation, that would be a good indication of what element you need. If being by the seaside makes you feel exhausted and overwhelmed, and your ideal vacation is in the country, that’s the number one indication that you may not need more water.

You mentioned that at the beach the main element is water, and you also mentioned earth (sand) and fire (sun), so what’s missing is metal and wood. Metal actually creates more water, so if you’re feeling depleted, metal isn’t the best thing to bring in. And if you think about it practically, metal gets hot very easily, so I would recommend you bring more wood into the situation. That could be as simple as carrying more wood-colored things around you. For instance, you could bring blue or green clothing, or a blue or green beach towel or bathing suit. You also see the color blue in the water, so it may be very comforting to look at the water if it’s not too bright. You can also bring the wood element into the place that you’re staying. The wood element is also living green plants, so you may want to bring those into the place where you are staying.

Hopefully this will help you for your seaside beach holiday at any time of year. Thank you so much!

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!


Mindful Design: Reset and Manifest for 2019

I recently shared a Feng Shui New Year guided meditation Mindful Design Blog .

In this video, Anjie will walk you to a quick but powerful Feng Shui manifestation meditation. This will help you see and visualize what do you want to manifest or reset this 2019.

Check out the video here and on the Mindful Design blog! Happy New Year!

And PS, we’re taking some time off for the holidays, so the Q&A sundays will resume in a couple of weeks!


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.


Mindful Design Feng Shui: All About Mirrors

I recently shared a few feng shui tips on mirrors on the Mindful Design Blog.

Have you got a feng shui emergency that needs fixing fast? As our teacher Steven Post says, “Take two mirrors and call me in the morning”. Mirrors are one of the most versatile feng shui adjustments used by feng shui practitioners. In this video, Anjie goes over just some of the ways you can use a mirror to move, correct, and activate qi!

Check out the video here and on the Mindful Design blog! Happy Holidays!

And PS, we’re taking some time off for the holidays, so the Q&A sundays will resume in a couple of weeks!


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.


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.


Holistic Spaces 2018 Gift Guide

Happy Thanksgiving! I can’t believe it’s already holiday season again! This year I’ve spent a lot of time really working on self-care, which is such an important part of feng shui and living holistically. Self-care is part of the Kun (Relationship) area of the feng shui bagua map, which is represented by the color pink, and was especially important for me this year, because it relates to my Nine Star Ki for the year. I’ve been traveling a lot this year and have started to teach (Mindful Design, and flower arranging with Marcia Shibata), so I’ve focused on opening up my sound current, communication and moving into a teaching space so I can expand my business and help more people.

So in the spirit of sharing positive qi, we've curated self-care gifts in this year’s Holistic Spaces Holiday Gift Guide. These gentle, loving gifts are perfect for the incredible people in your life who may forget to treat themselves (including you!). From books to sheet masks to slippers and aromatherapy mists, there’s something here for everyone who could use a little rest and relaxation, including a Black Friday treat for you!

From now until Monday at 11:59 pm PST, use code HSGIFT at the Holistic Spaces store to enjoy 30% off!


Hydration Sheet Mask Bundle

Taking time for yourself and self-care is important, and I've super been into sheet masks this year. It's my little weekly (or sometimes daily) spa me-time where I can rest, and maybe listen to an audio book and take a mini break.

I also love these sheet masks as a way of adding hydration. Our bodies are so dehydrated from processed foods, chemicals in the air, electronics and low water intake. It's a nice little ritual to take care of yourself and your largest organ!

Available at: Peach & Lily


Holistic Spaces Cleanse Mist to Harmonize and Balance

I never travel without my cleanse mist! It's especially useful during the holiday season when we're hosting guests or staying away from home, since it’s a space clearing that doesn’t involve smoke.

The first thing I do when I get to a hotel or place I’m staying is feel the energy of the space, and it's always useful to refresh and cleanse the area with this palo santo room mist. If you have guests staying over or parties, it's also great to mist to space clear the energy when guests depart.

Holistic Spaces Cleanse is light and pleasant enough to use several times a day, and there is a small 2oz travel friendly version!

Use the coupon code JOY10 for 10% off the entire store (expires Dec 31, 2018 at 11:59PM).

Available at: Holistic Spaces


Burgundy Starling Slippers

As I’m getting older... my heels hurt all the time! In feng shui, the feet are related to the New Beginnings area of the bagua map (Zhen), and since I’m moving into the year of Spring and New Beginnings in my Nine Star Ki, it makes sense that my feet are more sensitive!

As I’m moving forward and taking a new path, it’s an important time to take care of my feet so I can move in a mindful and healing way, paying attention to self-care. I love these slippers from Birdies Slippers. I love the Starling in burgundy. They're so comfy, and the red color is auspicious in feng shui. I've been wearing them everywhere; they're so chic.

Use the link below for $20 off!

Available at: Birdies Slippers


GUIYING Décolletage Treatment

I recently met Ervina, one of the founders of 5Yina, and not only is she elegant and delightful, the GUIYING Décolletage treatment is amazing. It's absolutely reduced any PMS related breast tenderness, and it's so luxurious. Ervina is a breast cancer survivor, and she and her partner Angela developed these products with TCM (traditional Chinese medicine). I highly recommend their products as a wonderful gift.

The neck area is so often ignored or neglected, similar to the feet, and this is a wonderful way to work on paying attention. The neck is also related to the heart area, and I love the correlation with the opening of your heart.

Ervina has even provided us with a code for a gift with purchase!

On the 5Yina site, place both the GUIYING Décolletage Treatment and the Divine Balm in your basket and use code HSgift to get the Divine Balm for free!

Available at: 5Yina


Holistic Spaces: 108 Ways to Create a Mindful and Peaceful Home

One of the most important ways to practice lasting self-care is through creating a holistic space for yourself to come home to. My book, “Holistic Spaces: 108 Ways to Create a Mindful and Peaceful Home” is now on second print and available at Amazon. The Holistic Spaces book includes tips and guidelines for making small, easy adjustments to your space to create a calming, relaxing and nourishing sanctuary for constant self-care.

Released this year as an expanded, updated version with full color photographs and new copy, this beautiful hard cover book makes a great, affordable gift. If you have questions about anything in the book, feel free to submit a question for Q&A Sunday! I read and answer all the questions.

Available at: Amazon


Ohm Store Singing Bowl

Another thing I’m working on with my self-care is my sound current and aura. 

The owner of Ohm store recently reached out to me to review their singing bowl, and it has a nice resonance and is compact enough to keep on your desk. Mine is in the Relationship-Self-Love area (Kun, feng shui bagua map) of my desk to reinforce healing and exploration through sound.

Available at: Amazon


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Mo Mi Discovery Kit

My friend, Diane, is the founder of Modern Minerals, a vegan cosmetic and hair care line. This discovery kit is not only luxurious and gorgeous, I love that the Mo Mi products are infused with Lotus Wei flower essences, specifically Korean Pink Lotus Flower and blush Rose Quartz - a combination created especially for Mo Mi by Lotus Wei!

The kit has been invaluable while traveling (which i did so much this year). The products not only make me look beautiful, I feel beautiful too. 

Diane has graciously partnered with us to offer 10% off with code HSgift

Available at: Modern Minerals


Let It Out

I included Katie Dalebout’s book, “Let It Out”, on my gift guide in 2016, but this year I attended one of Katie’s workshops, and the journaling bug finally bit!

One of my favorite things I learned in this book and from Katie that I’ve also employed is to buy legal pads for journaling. Katie Hess, from Lotus Wei, also recommended using markers to promote thinking big. Check out the Pentel collection below!

Available at: Amazon


Luxe Series Bed Linens

I received a set of these sheets for review. They're a good price, and although not organic cotton, they are certified Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex, which ensures sustainability of chemicals and quality of performance, and LEED Gold certified, as they are produced in a sustainable, socially compliant factory in India that supports local families.

They come in three solid colors and are a great way to refresh your bedroom and build a relaxing environment for sleeping. You can pick a color that relates to the mood you want to inspire by using feng shui color theory. For instance, red for more passion, pink to attract a partner, white for purity and clarity, black for wisdom or blue/green pastels for healing.

Available at: Amazon


Pentel Markers

To go along with my journaling suggestion, or if I just want to doodle, I love Pentel markers. I even travel with this set. I love selecting the color I’m most attracted to at the moment, and you can even look up the color meaning in feng shui.

I also love that, because the tip is thicker than a pen or pencil, it gives the writer/artist more freedom to put down bigger ideas, a concept introduced to me by Lotus Wei’s Katie Hess. Markers offer a gestural looseness that you don't get with a very precise pen.

Available at: Amazon


The Artist’s Way

Katie inspired me to also work through the Artist's Way this year. I'm halfway through. But along with Katie's book, this one is invaluable! I highly recommend it for self-care!

"The quality of life is in proportion, always to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention. The reward for attention is always healing."

Available at: Amazon


CBD OIL
I have been also really into CBD oil. It’s definitely help with anxiety, sleep and overall relaxation. I highly recommend it. I have a few favorite brands, one of which is Pure Relief. They’ve so kindly offered us a 20% off code “anjiecho”. Be sure to check out the mint flavor. It’s delicious, like a piece of mint chocolate! yum!

Available at https://starter.purerelief.com/anjiecho