Q&A Sunday: Easing Tension at Family Gatherings

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Could you suggest easy-to-implement tips on how to relieve tension at a family summer holiday gathering in a rented place? 

Guiliana G., Lille, France

 

Hi Guiliana,

Thanks always for your thoughtful questions that you send in and your diligent readership :)

Yes, tensions can run high during any family gathering, especially the extended ones, like a summer home, or during the extended end-of-year holidays. I have two suggestions for these challenging times. You can do both!

Clear the space with Oranges

Our Holistic Spaces store launched an apothecary section, carrying room mists. Happy | Orange & Clear Quartz Mist, for uplifting abundance and positivity, would be totally perfect for the summer vacation home or during the holidays, when you have a lot of guests over and family conflicts, to brighten and cheer up your home. or to just lift your spirits :) Oranges are used in feng shui to clear out any negative energy such as family tension. 

Harmonize the Family

Another feng shui adjustment is to activate the three harmonies of family-wood in the entire home, whether that be the rented vacation home or your home where you have many family members visiting you. If you also have family issues in general, activating the three harmonies of family-wood will also be very effective to perform in your bedroom.

The three harmonies of family-wood can be activated by locating three green living plants or 3" round mirrors in each area indicated on the image above. The mirrors can go on the walls, or the plants can go on the floor, wall or on a stand. Green plants are the most effective, because they represent the wood element of kindness, flexibility and open-heartedness. 

These three areas also relate to Chinese zodiac animals: Rabbit, Goat and Pig, which also relate to feng shui bagua map areas: New Beginnings, Relationships and Benefactors. Finally, it all ties back to support the family, because they also represent Family, Mother and Father.

I hope this brings some ease, understanding and joy into the holidays of all of my readers.

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: What Should I Put on the Wall by My Bed to Attract Love?

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What should I put on that wall by my bed? And I wouldn’t mind working on my love life!

Stephen, Brooklyn, NY

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for your question and the cute floor plan! Love the colors! Sometimes people are surprised to hear that even the execution of the floor plan can give me some content for the person’s Feng Shui.

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I’m not surprised you’d like to focus on love, because pink tones are associated with the Relationship area, and the grey is related to Completion and Joy. Maybe you’d like some more joy in your love life? And maybe some things need to end to make room for new love. I laid the feng shui bagua map on your bedroom plan, and two things stick out. The bed is the first.

The bed would ideally be rotated so the headboard along the wall that says “10 ft”. This puts you in the commanding position. But from your dimensions I see that you might not have enough room. If you can, I would advise it. If you can’t, the ideal thing to place on the wall next to the bed would be a mirror. It’s always a good idea to have space available on both sides of the bed. Even just a few inches will help. In regards to relationships, when you have that bed up next to the wall, there’s no space for a partner to come into your life. It’s important to have a space that is equal (or in your case, as big as you can make it), to attract an equal and balanced partner into your life. 

As far as what to put up on the wall in the bedroom, as I mentioned before, a mirror would be best if you can’t change the orientation of your bed. By placing a mirror on the side of the bed that’s up next to the wall, you can energetically and visually create that space. And since your bed is not in command, you can also place a mirror somewhere in the room so that you can see the door reflected in it when you’re in bed. By having the back of your head facing the entry, you’re not in command. This puts you at a disadvantage in many ways…one of which is that you may not be able to truly see all the possibilities for love clearly.

The second thing I noticed was that in your Relationship area you have your hamper! Yes, I know the hamper has to go somewhere, but maybe if you’re looking for a partnership, it’s better in a different bagua area! It may imply that you have old stinky laundry that’s keeping you from finding a partner! If it must be in that area, just be mindful to do your laundry regularly and not let it pile up. But if possible, best to move it anywhere else for now.

Finally, the last suggestion circles back to the colors pink and peach. In BTB feng shui, we have something called “peach blossom luck” which helps you to attract a partner. You can paint one or all of your walls pink or peach. But even pink or peach linens or pillows or other accessories will work. Find a large canvas at the art store and paint it a lovely shade of peach. It’s even effective to wear pink and peach.

Let us know how it goes! 

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 launched our program in September 2018. 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!


Brighten Your Apartment: 6 Simple Tricks

Not everyone has the luxury of having big windows that let in ample sunlight. Most apartments have at least one room or space that is continually dark. A dark room can cause accidents, eye-strain, and even a sour disposition. If you’d like to illuminate your space – without taking a sledgehammer to your walls – try a few of these apartment-brightening tricks. A brighter space will lead to a brighter mood!

Paint your walls a light color

Dark walls actually soak up the light, making the room seem darker – even when you put the lights on. But lighter colors have a higher LRV, or “light reflectance value.” LRV tells you how much useable light is reflected by a surface. Wall colors with a higher LRV help to spread light deep into a space. 

Use eggshell or semi-gloss paint

Flat finishes absorb light, while glossier paints reflect the light back into the room. One warning, though: Because of the light reflection, a glossy finish does call attention to any flaws in the wall.

Keep your ceiling white 

It’s amazing the difference that a white ceiling makes on a room. Even if you have dark walls, a white ceiling will help keep the darkness from overwhelming the space. My go-to color is Benjamin Moore Super White in a flat finish -- it's the most reflective for ceilings.

Add more lamps

Yes, this seems obvious. But many apartment dwellers rely solely on overhead lights to illuminate the rooms. Light needs to come from various levels – low, middle, and high. Combining uplights on the floor and lamps on tables around the room with overhead lighting will create a brighter, more comfortable space. In feng shui, uplighting can also lift your mood and energy.

Hang large mirrors

Large mirrors can act like windows, reflecting the light back into the room. 

Choose reflective surfaces 

Just like walls, other large surfaces can absorb or reflect your light. Opt for glossy countertops, add glass panes to your hanging artwork, and place mirrored trays on top of dark tables.

Light is important for your physical and mental health. So make sure your home is gets as much light as possible!

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.


Q&A Sunday: Mirrors in the Bedroom

Is it bad feng shui to put a mirror in the bedroom?

Angela M., Los Angeles, CA

Hi Angela,

I often am asked this question about mirrors in the bedroom. In BTB Feng Shui, we believe that there are no issues with having mirrors in the bedroom. In fact, we recommend mirrors in two situations. 

The first situation is if you cannot put your bed in the commanding position, located in such a way that you can clearly see the door while not being in line with the door. If this is not achievable in your bedroom, you can adjust this with the use of a mirror. I often recommend that my clients purchase a new standing mirror and position it so that when you are lying in bed, you can clearly see the door in the mirror.  The command position is absolutely critical in the bedroom because this is where you spend many YIN, or passive, time and you are more susceptible to the energies around you.  

In BTB Feng Shui, we also suggest a round or oval mirror above the bed for couples like in the photo above. The round shape symbolizes unity and wholeness within the relationship. The couple can see their reflection together within this circular shape, without any hard or sharp corners. This adjustment promotes continuity and togetherness in a relationship. Since this is above the headboard, be sure to fasten anything that goes above your head securely for safety. I would also recommend checking out our post on feng shui and headboards.

Note: There are other schools of feng shui that teach that mirrors add too much energy in the bedroom, or that mirrors should not face the bed. In BTB Feng Shui we respect and honor all other schools of feng shui. In fact, I agree that it may be startling to see your reflection while in bed in the middle of the night. If you use mirrors in the two ways I've suggested above, you can't see your own reflection while laying in bed. Remember, the goal is to create a relaxing and conscious environment that supports you and your needs.

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: When You Cannot Move Your Bed

How does one deal with a space (such as a small NYC apartment) where moving the bed or having two nightstands is not possible?

Sacha J., New York City, NY

In feng shui, the most ideal layout of the bed would be such that there is space on both sides of the bed with nightstands and lamps on each side of the bed. Your bed location is one of the most important things to consider in feng shui philosophy, because it's where you spend many YIN, or passive, hours sleeping. So where your bed is placed greatly affects you when you are most susceptible to influence.  

So, why does it matter if you have some open space on both sides of your bed? When your bed is pushed up next to the wall, the person sleeping on the closed side of the bed may feel constrained or trapped by life. Also, the side of the body that's facing the wall has less energy (chi) flowing around it, so it may become weaker. If you sleep alone, you also may have the issues with the side of the body facing the wall.  

What can we do about it? Well of course, the ideal situation is to change the location of the bed. If that's not possible, as Sacha suggests, you can try to safely and securely fasten a large mirror on the wall. This would be the wall the bed is pushed up against. The mirror will expand the space next to the bed to help alleviate the feng shui and energetic blocks. Now, I know this is going to bring up another question I often get asked: Isn't it bad feng shui to put a mirror in the bedroom? No, it depends! And in this case it's okay, as long as you make sure it is securely attached to the wall so the occupants feel safe. Take a look at this Q&A Sunday answer for insight around when mirrors in the bedroom are okay.

Thanks for your question, Sacha.

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!