Holistic Spaces 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

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It's already that time again! We've curated another Holistic Spaces Holiday Gift Guide to help you find the perfect gifts for everyone in your life. Lots of us go into the new year with resolutions for self-improvement, so this year's gift guide is tailored to help achieve those goals! From meditation to essential oils to yummy teas and more, we've chosen 12 amazing options for anyone seeking to find peace and holistic wellness in 2018. We also recommend giving a listen to some of our favorite podcasts, including Episode 051: Creativity and Feng Shui with Laura Morris, Episode 048: Essential Oils and Feng Shui, Episode 024: Creating Holistic Spaces for Inspiration and so many more! Feel free to share some of your favorite self-improvement tools and Holistic Spaces posts in the comments!


Essential Oil Necklace Diffuser

Essential oils can be wonderful tools for self-care and self-improvement. This necklace can be paired with an essential oil for an amazing gift. Listen to my friend, Andrea Giordano on podcast Episode 048: Essential Oils and Feng Shui, for some inspiration on different essential oils.

Essential oils can help in a variety of areas, from improving focus to lifting mood, treating headaches and much more. This personal diffuser is the perfect introduction to using essential oils for healing, inside and out. Add a drop of your selected oil to the porous lava rock inside, and enjoy personalized olfactory treatment for hours! You can even carry drops in the vial that comes along!

Available at: Amazon


TheraBox Subscription

With box subscriptions more popular than ever, I'm excited to see a box set geared toward happiness and self-improvement! TheraBox is curated by therapists and filled with research-backed activities and goodies to enhance your mood and life! 

Each monthly box includes one happiness-boosting activity and "5-7 consciously crafted, natural, organic, or artisan self-care wellness goodies to promote relaxation & wellbeing!" Past boxes have included mud masks, incense, journals, planners, aromatherapy inhalers and many more incredible self-care items! 

Available at: CrateJoy


Analog Alarm Clock

The type of clock you use in your space, may seem trivial, but an analog clock can be symbolic. An analog clock represents the idea of time as a cycle that starts over anew each day, giving us continuing hope. 

I love this simple, elegant analog alarm clock from Amazon. It's made of real wood, silent, battery operated and is a perfect fit for any space. It's also small enough to travel with and serves as a nightlight as well as a clock. What a great way to carry the feeling of hope throughout your own holistic spaces and those you visit!

Available at: Amazon


The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook

One of my favorite hobbies is the Japanese art of Sashiko, needlework quilting. I've received many compliments on my projects recently! This sourcebook is my go-to and is ideal for those interested in getting into Sashiko or starting a new hobby.

Susan Briscoe's guide includes an introduction to Sashiko, a list of what you'll need to get started, step-by-step patterns for your projects and beautiful inspiration by Japanese textile artists! It's the perfect gift for readers, crafters and learners, and Sashiko can easily serve as a way focus your mind and gain a little clarity around whatever is going on in your life!

Available at: Amazon


Zafu Zabuton Meditation Cushion Set

It's difficult to talk about improvement and self-care without mentioning meditation! This practice has been life changing for me, whether on a cushion or in more active styles like Ikebana

One of my recommendations for meditators is to create a holistic space dedicated to meditation. You can include altars, special items and more, but don't forget the meditation pillow! This set from Samadhi is the ideal combination, featuring a sitting cushion as well as a larger, flat cushion to protect the knees and ankles. Not sure if your gift recipient would like meditation? Read up on it here and here and listen in here

Available at: Samadhi Cushions


Wonder Walking Deck

Another of our favorite people is artist, Amy T. Won, who creates stunning paintings in her beautiful holistic studio. Amy's art is based on her observations of the natural world, and she's even created a 12-week online course for reigniting creativity! 

This set of cards follows that train of thought, aiming to reconnect with nature and creativity. Amy's Wonder Walking Deck "features intuitive mood paintings and explorer notes from the pages of my personal sketchbook, inspired by Spring and Summer’s wonder-walks."

The deck makes an incredible gift for artists, art lovers or anyone seeking to rekindle the fire of creativity. 

Available at: The Curio Shop


Eco-Friendly Journal

Whether you're experiencing challenges or just hoping to get to know yourself better, journaling is an excellent way to fill your own cup and keep track of your goals and achievements. 

I love this eco-friendly journal, handmade in Nepal! Each page of the notebook is created through an ancient process of cooking and drying the fibers from Himalayan Lokta bushes, and the cover is colored with varying vegetable dyes! Not only does this journal provide a beautiful place to capture and explore your thoughts, it contains rich Nepali history and supports individual artists in the Himalayas!  

 Available at: Amazon


Rubber Plant

I love adding plants to holistic spaces. They bring the wood element and nature into your space and are excellent tools for increasing indoor air quality

In his book, How to Grow Fresh Air, Dr. B.C. Wolverton lists 50 houseplants proven to reduce VOCs and other harmful pollutants in our indoor spaces. The rubber plant is one of the highest rated plants due to its ease of care and ability to remove airborne toxins.  Affordable, effective, healing and easy to care for, a rubber plant makes a beautiful, loving gift that keeps giving!  

Available at: SpecialGreen via Etsy


Ketu Yantra Mandala for Spirituality & Healing

For friends and relatives dedicated to, or experiencing, personal growth, the Ketu yantra mandala is an incredible, meaningful gift and a beautiful addition to any space. 

This mandala relates to spirituality, healing and introspection and connects directly with the New Beginnings and Knowledge (or self-cultivation) bagua areas. Perfect for New Year's resolutions! The Ketu mandala actually has a yin, meditative energy, so it's also perfect for a meditation space

Available at: Holistic Spaces


The Furoshiki Handbook

Another beautiful Asian tradition I love is Furoshiki. Furoshiki is the art of Asian fabric wrapping, rich in symbolism and making its way to the western world. Furoshiki uses cloth to wrap a variety of objects, and the ties in the fabric represent ties between the individuals giving and receiving the items. 

Furoshiki is a way to offer great care and detail in how we present our gifts and feelings to others. It is even touted as a great communication tool. This book teaches basic Furoshiki tying as well as more intricate and elaborate styles of tying, including specific examples like bottles, books, scarves and more!

Available at: Amazon


Wellness Tea OF THE MONTH

I don't drink coffee often, but tea is a different story! I keep a collection of teas in my kitchen, and each of them serves a different purpose, much like the tea selections in The Republic of Tea's Wellness Tea of the Month.

Perfectly curated to soothe whatever ails you, these blends are ideal for relaxing, finding energy, fighting sickness and even getting back on your feet.  

Available at: The Republic of Tea


Feng Shui Inspired Malas

My good friend Susan Chan has just launched Amà designs: Feng Shui inspired malas! Malas are meditation beads and intentional reminders encouraging growth in specific areas of your life. Worn on the body or hung in a living/work space, each mala is blessed with a sacred intention and mantra.

New York-based artisans knot the malas and make each tassel by hand. Susan even provides feng shui directions on how to infuse it with your specific intention. Our favorite is the Unconditional Love Mala, what everyone needs when starting the new year. Be loving and compassionate with yourself when taking steps toward your goals. 

Available at: Amà

My Favorite Things: 5 Meaningful Mother's Day Gifts

Welcome to My Favorite Things! Each month, we highlight products to help you create a holistic lifestyle that inspires and nurtures you, so that you can be happier and feel supported.

This month is the month of moms, since Mother's Day is this weekend! If you're still wondering about the perfect gift for the perfect mom, we've got some great ideas for meaningful options that go past a beautiful bouquet (but check out our suggestions if you prefer flowers!). From spiritual art to sustainable beauty products, there is something here for almost any mom!


Abundant Tranquility Mala

One of my friends and favorite clients, Satya Scainetti, has a beautiful collection of jewelry, any piece of which makes an amazing gift. 

Satya does mala workshops, which I highly recommend as a wonderful experience, but if you missed last week's, you can still find meaningful, beautiful malas online. This one represents unconditional love, joy, good fortune and creativity and is one of Satya's choices for Gifts of Love!

Available at: Satya Jewelry


Moon II Yantra Mandala for Nourishment and Creativity

The Moon II yantra, which depicts feminine colors like light blues, pinks and purples, is associated with femininity, nourishment, creativity and emotions. 

This mandala represents self-nourishment and self-care and corresponds to the Relationship area of the feng shui bagua, which is also related to the Mother, making it an ideal gift for the upcoming holiday!

Available at: Holistic Spaces


Warming Herbal Neck Wrap

Being a mom can be tough work, and it's not always easy to find time or money to relax or take a spa day. These warming herbal neck wraps from Savor Beauty, sustainably created from flax seeds, are an easy way to get a little relaxation without having to take an entire day!

They come in various designs, can be used as hot or cold and are great with essential oils! Just pop in the microwave or freezer and soothe stress! You can order wraps online or check in at their newest location in the Upper West Side, designed by Anjie Cho Architect, PLLC!

Available at: Savor Beauty


Feng Shui Consultation

Sometimes the best gifts are actually experiences, and feng shui can be a wonderful, guiding experience for any mom! Feng shui can be helpful on many levels in matters spiritual and mundane. 

I offer a variety of feng shui consultations, including online services, so even if you're not in NYC or LA, helping your mom improve her feng shui and create a personalized holistic space is a possibility!

Available at: AnjieCho.com


7-Free Vegan Nail Polish Set

Another popular gift for Mother's Day is a trip to the nearest salon for a manicure and pedicure. Nothing quite relaxes like being treated to a massage and some nail upkeep!

This year, instead of relying on traditional nail polish, opt for ella + milla, an eco-friendly nail polish option free of seven nasty chemicals in addition to being vegan and animal cruelty-free. ella + milla comes in many colors and is even PETA approved! 

Available at: ella + milla



My Favorite Things: 5 Ways to Bring the Earth Element into Your Spaces

Welcome to My Favorite Things! Each month, we highlight products to help you create a holistic lifestyle that inspires and nurtures you, so that you can be happier and feel supported.

For March, our theme is 5 Ways to Bring the Earth Element into Your Spaces. The Earth element is about self-care, nourishment and stability. Be sure to listen to our most recent podcast, Feng Shui and the Earth Element, for more about the Earth element!


EARTHY YELLOW RUG

I love this Distressed Rococo Wool Rug in Horseradish by West Elm. Although a square shape is slightly more earthy, this rectangular rug has a subtle large square pattern.

Rectangular or square yellow rugs add earth element to your spaces because of the shape and color. Rugs also create boundaries, which are often an issue to look at when working on Earth imbalances. 

Available at: West Elm


KUAN YIN STATUE

Kuan Yin is the bodhisattva of compassion. A bodhisattva devotes her entire being to supporting the enlightenment of others. For me, she exemplifies the Earth element.

I have a Kuan Yin statue in an Earth gua of my desk (in the Relationship area) to remind me to have compassion for myself and for others. This keeps my Earth element in balance!

Available at: PhenomeGnome on Etsy


FANCY JASPER MALA

Some of you may know that Satya Jewelry is not only one of my favorite jewelry designers, but Satya is one of my favorite clients. We designed her two most recent stores in NYC.

Satya is truly an amazing woman, and her jewelry is such a beautiful way to bring spirituality, intention and change into your everyday life. 

This mala is created with Fancy Jasper. "Tranquility is within your grasp. Fancy jasper encourages gentleness, ease of mind and repairs that which is broken to a state of wholeness. Wear this Mala, a traditional necklace of 108 beads, as a reminder that when you let go, you achieve peace." This is a wonderful way to bring the Earth element into your personal qi space.

In general, Fancy Jasper is a wonderful way to add focus, creativity, and grounding to bring some Earth element into your spaces.

Available at: Satya Jewelry


FOCUS BLEND & CARNELIAN MIST

The Holistic Spaces store offers a room mist called Focus. It's a blend of essential oils and 18 pieces of carnelian. 

Our formula no.2 FOCUS is a blend of rosemary, cedarwood, frankincense and other essential oils with carnelian crystals for clarity, precision and direction. 

  • Rosemary supports mental precision
  • Cedarwood is grounding
  • Frankincense provides meditative focus
  • 18 pieces of carnelian in each bottle for grounding and stabilization

This room mist is perfect to ground and provide some more Earth in your spaces!

Available at: Holistic Spaces


Jizo BUDDHIST statue

"Jizo is one of the most beloved figures of Buddha, Buddhism and is the protector of children, expectant mothers, travelers, and most significantly, of deceased children. It is told that Jizo hides children beneath his robes to protect them from demons and other such evils." 

A spiritual statue, like with Kuan Yin above, can bring Earth element into our spaces. The weight provides stability, and I really love Jizo for family homes.

Available at: WestWind Home Garden



This Week on Instagram

@stiggly  cleared out the qi under her bed after listening to my  #fengshui   podcast!  👍🏼

@stiggly cleared out the qi under her bed after listening to my #fengshui podcast! 👍🏼

hello  #MantraMonday !!  ganesha  leads us to the awareness that we're always safe. remover of obstacles and easy to please.  mantra: om ganapataye namaha om   #mantra   #yantra   #mandala   #ganesha   #vedic

hello #MantraMonday!! ganesha leads us to the awareness that we're always safe. remover of obstacles and easy to please. 
mantra: om ganapataye namaha om
#mantra #yantra #mandala #ganesha #vedic

Love my new amethyst for intuition and happiness  Mala  that I made yesterday at the  @satyajewelry  workshop at the  @rubinmuseum

Love my new amethyst for intuition and happiness Mala that I made yesterday at the @satyajewelry workshop at the @rubinmuseum

Painting sample boards and hanging them on the wall with Timothy. Better than painting a swatch!  @shambhalanyc   #painting   #refresh

Painting sample boards and hanging them on the wall with Timothy. Better than painting a swatch! @shambhalanyc #painting #refresh

How to Harness the Wisdom of the Planets with Vedic Art

Most of you know that I have been studying Vedic yantra and mandala painting since 2008 and I just got back from a retreat at ananda ashram with my teachers, Mavis Gewant and Pieter Weltevrede. You can see some of my newest work here.

Over the years I’ve painted dozens of planet yantras, but it’s only this year that I started incorporating the wisdom of the planets in my everyday life. Did you know that each day of the week is named after one of the planets?

The names for each day of the week have slightly different meaning, depending on the culture, but the names we use in America are derived from the Roman culture. In selecting names for the days of the week, or the time it takes for the moon to move between phases, the Romans chose the names of our sun, moon and, at the time, the five known planets (Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn). As a note, these planets were already named after Roman deities (in Latin, of course), so not only are the days of the week named after planets, they're name after Roman deities as well!

Sunday SUN radiant and bright orange

Monday MOON light feminine blue

Tuesday MARS fiery red

Wednesday MERCURY emerald green

Thursday JUPITER expansive yellow

Friday VENUS soft whites & pastels

Saturday SATURN introspective dark blue & black

I started wearing a piece of clothing or jewelry for each planet on their day of the week. For instance, today is Wednesday, so I often wear this green jade mala that I made with Satya Scainetti.  

This is from the vedic tradition, but I also connect the colors and planets with feng shui principles. For example Mars and red can relate to the Fame and Recognition area of the feng shui bagua map. I find that it helps me to understand the feng shui colors on a deeper level to connect the planet and god/goddess associations.

Wearing the color of the day can help you invoke the power of that planet to give you a little more support on that particular day. Or if you want more of a particular energy, you can wear that color. For instance you can wear orange for more radiance. It’s interesting to see how people will start to respond to this. For instance, my ascendent is the sun, and when I wear orange on Sunday, I just get so much attention!

Try it out yourself and see what happens!

by Anjie Cho