Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui for Sensitive People

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Feng Shui cures for HSP/empaths. How can a very sensitive person create a haven of peace, calm and beauty to sooth his/her overwhelmed senses?

Giuliana G., Lille, France

Hi Giuliana,

Thank you for your question; it's a great one. Undeniably there are many different types of people, each with different tuning levels to their emotions and the emotions of others. Highly sensitive persons (HSPs), also known as empaths, are gifted with the ability to feel almost all emotions in their immediate surroundings, often picking up the energy of others as well, whether positive or negative. With a trait like this, settling down and finding calm can be a bit difficult, as spending time around others in any capacity often results in an overwhelming collection, and range, of emotion.

Thankfully, some aspects of feng shui are excellent for use in creating a safe, calming space for a HSP, and I can suggest a few simple cures for an overactive emotional field. One of the most important characteristics of feng shui is awareness of one’s environment, and this is especially necessary for empaths. While it may seem self-explanatory that HSPs are aware of their environments, this applies to the physical space surrounding them in addition to the emotions and energy they pick up from others.

Two major focal points for empaths when creating a personal healing area are neatness (lack of clutter) and privacy. Having a clutter-free space, as you may know, is important in any balanced home, but even more so for empaths, as they are already overwhelmed by emotional clutter. As you’re likely to pick up a wide variety of energies outside your personal space, it is especially vital that you create a clean personal space free of clutter and dedicated to positive energy.

One great way to do this is by regularly smudging the space in which you choose to relax. Whether you use your own separate space or the family den on off hours, take care to ensure that your area is clean of all energies so that you do not pick up any additional emotional sludge. You can use any of the methods I’ve discussed, palo santo, sage or orange oil to smudge a space.

Another way to make the most of your personal space as an empath is to incorporate daily meditation, even if only for a few moments. After being flooded with the energies of others, it is very important to spend some time alone to clear these energies and define your very own mood. Consider also including the elements Earth, Fire and Water in your space, as these elements are able to convert negative energies to something better.

Finally, look into healing crystals, stones and essential oils. These products are all very beneficial in balancing emotions and energies, and if you’re willing to take time to find the right stones and oils for you, they can be incredibly helpful in preventing overload for an empath.

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: Tips for Spiritual & Healing Providers

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What are some basic tips for people who provide spiritual or healing services to reflect a fun, sacred, zen-like atmosphere to spaces/venues that are already designed?

T.F, Stamford, CT

This is a situation that many face: how to create a holistic space with what you have. It’s a little like life, right? We come into this world with our cultural and environmental conditioning and limitations. My teachers would say that if you’re born a Honda you’ll never be a Mercedes, but you can be the best Honda you can be! Similarly, we can work with what we’re given. Most feng shui is remedial - we make adjustments after the fact. With my clients I actually incorporate feng shui into the architectural design. But not everyone has that luxury or foresight.

Space Clearing

My first suggestion is space clearing. In feng shui we use different rituals involving mantras, sometimes rice, sometimes oranges and others. If you want to do this yourself I recommend getting some orange essential oil and placing 9 drops in a bowl of water. With this bowl, walk around clockwise from the entrance sprinkling the essence throughout the space. Lately I’ve also been burning palo santo, a Peruvian wood used to smudge (or clear) a space. Remember when you clear a space, always put positive energy back in.

Commanding Position

Second, use the commanding position to layout the most important areas in your space. For a spiritual or healing provider, this may be your desk or the position in which a client receives your services. The commanding position locates us in an advantageous place so we can feel relaxed and in control of our environment. This position is that which is furthest back from the door, while not in line with or behind the swing of the door.

Five Elements

Third, use the five elements to create a balanced and harmonious space. Take a look at this previous Holistic Spaces blog article or explore our five elements series on the Holistic Spaces podcast.

Bring in Nature

Finally, for a healing and zen-like space be sure to have some green plants. Use non-toxic cleaning products and add fresh flowers when possible. The plants not only improve the indoor air quality, they add life energy to the space. Plants promote kindness and flexibility. Fragrant fresh flowers bring joy and improve energy flow.

There is also something my teachers call “method of minor additions” which involve the use of feng shui adjustment objects such as crystals, mirrors, windchimes, colors, etc. Unfortunately that’s where the feng shui expert comes in. This depends on the particular location, situation, and person.

Good luck with your space, and kudos to you for providing such beautiful services to help others.

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!


The Incredible Healing Power of Palo Santo

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It's not news that we at Holistic Spaces love to use palo santo as a space clearing tool during feng shui adjustments and in general, but what's so special about this South American material that makes it so popular for this use and others? As it turns out, palo santo isn't just a better smelling alternative to sage smudging. Its meaning and uses have rich history and have been around for centuries. 

Palo santo, scientifically called Bursera graveolens after the tree from which it is derived, is a Spanish term meaning "holy wood." The Bursera graveolens tree grows in various parts of the South American coast, including Mexico, Ecuador and Peru's Yucatan Peninsula, and one of the things I love most about this tool is that it can only be harvested from dead trees or fallen limbs. The Peruvian government even has regulations to ensure this sustainable measure!

Palo santo has been used in spiritual ceremonies for years by folk practitioners and shamans and is widely recognized for its spiritual connections. The smoke of palo santo during a space clearing ceremony is thought to enhance creativity, bring good fortune, clear negative thoughts and evil spirits, and raise vibration. In fact, it is also used with meditation for all these reasons!  

While it is often used as a space clearing technique and insect repellant, the properties of palo santo are also beneficial in essential oil form. Palo santo is from the same family as frankincense and myrrh and can be helpful in treating colds, flu symptoms, depression and even some cancer symptoms. It is known for stimulating the immune system and fighting inflammation and, in Peruvian tradition, is used as a powerful oil for mental clarity 

Burned palo santo sticks can be reused (green living, anyone?), and the essential oils can be diffused or applied to the body directly with a carrier oil and as massage oil. It seems that the perks and uses for palo santo may be near endless! Have you used the sticks or oil in your holistic spaces?

by Anjie Cho


My Favorite Things: 6 Space Clearing tools

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.

March is a month of new beginnings as we welcome Spring (finally!). One of my favorite ways to welcome the new season is to clear my space. Space clearing is useful almost any time of year, but it can be especially beneficial during new beginnings to provide a fresh slate and welcome new, positive energy. In fact, we even have an upcoming podcast where I'll talk more in depth about space clearing. Be sure to check it out on March 27! For now, here are my favorite space clearing tools! 


Palo Santo for Space Clearing

Though it isn't traditionally used in feng shui, palo santo is one of my absolute favorite ways to clear space. 

Derived from the palo santo tree (but only after it dies!), palo santo has a much more pleasant smell than traditional sage and is a lovely, effective space clearing tool. 

Just light the sticks until they produce a thick smoke, and circumambulate! Here are more tips on using palo santo.

Available at: Holistic Spaces


Handmade Pottery Bowl

Another of my favorite ways to clear space, which is often used in feng shui adjustments, especially around the Chinese New Year, is orange peels! 

Part of this ritual involves placing the peelings of nine oranges in a beautiful, clean bowl. This bowl from NellHazinskiPottery is a great example! I stumbled across Nell's pottery on etsy and love all her ikebana vases.

Not only is this a beautiful, handmade piece of art, its glaze is non-toxic as well!

Available at: NellHazinskiPottery


Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamp

I've mentioned the lovely ladies at FlowLife NYC before. I met them a few years ago and love their wonderful online shop.

There, you can find Himalayan salt lamps, which are incredible for clearing the air of negative ions and EMFS (we could all use that!). 

Tammy and Maria offer square shaped lamps and pyramid shaped lamps for whatever suits your style (or if you need to add Earth or Fire element to your space!).

Available at: FlowLife NYC


Tibetan Buddhist Tingsha Bells

You can also clear your space, as well as welcome the Metal element, by using Tibetan tingsha, which are small metal cymbals. 

As you walk around the exterior of your space, gently ring tingsha or bells. The vibrations cut through darkness and invite joy into your life. 

Make sure the sound of your bells is pleasing to you and your intentions are clear!

Available at: TerrapinRed


Radiant Energy Mist

Of course you can clear your space at any time, but there are some situations that can be much more draining of our energy. For this, I love to carry Lotus Wei Radiant Energy Mist!

This aura mist is great to use after flying, traveling or spending a length of time near computers and other technology, including x-rays!

Radiant Energy Mist stimulates the immune system, revives energy and even helps to clear your personal space of energy you may have accumulated from others. 

Available at: Lotus Wei


no.3 Space Mist

Holistic Spaces also has a spray made just for space clearing. Our newest mist, called no.3 Space, has been very popular and can be incredibly helpful in clearing spaces where you may not have the luxury of using palo santo, sage or orange peels. 

This clearing blend contains white sage and amethyst and is created with fair trade essential oils to be extremely effective as aromatherapy.

Grab a bottle for your travel bag, office space, car...anywhere, really!

Available at: Holistic Spaces



This Week on Instagram

my favorite  wood flooring : natural quarter sawn white oak or american walnut  #love   #woodflooring   #hardwoodfloors

my favorite wood flooring: natural quarter sawn white oak or american walnut #love #woodflooring #hardwoodfloors

what would i do without  #palosanto  it's my absolute fav  space clearing tool . and it smells delicious!  Palo Santo  is recommended for daily  #spaceclearing  to refresh your home. available at  holisticspaces.com

what would i do without #palosanto it's my absolute fav space clearing tool. and it smells delicious! Palo Santo is recommended for daily #spaceclearing to refresh your home. available at holisticspaces.com

currently reading (again!)   #healingspaces   by Esther Sternberg MD "Implicit in an understanding of the mind-body connection is an assumption that  physical places that set the mind at ease  can contribute to well-being, and those that trouble the emotions might foster illness"

currently reading (again!) #healingspaces by Esther Sternberg MD "Implicit in an understanding of the mind-body connection is an assumption that physical places that set the mind at ease can contribute to well-being, and those that trouble the emotions might foster illness"