Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui in Any Environment

You to Planet

How does one live a feng shui lifestyle if the environment is not "good feng shui?" Steps are being made towards a feng shui inspired environment, but how do I create good feng shui without changing/renovating the physical architectural elements. Thanks for your help!

Charlene R., Pacifica, CA

Although I am a professional architect and incorporate feng shui principles into my architecture and design, we always still work with existing environments that cannot be changed. Beyond the actual built architecture of your home or office, there’s also the natural environment, the street, the city, the country, etc. See the image above. We are all influenced by these concentric circles, or degrees, of the environment that we can’t just go and change. I own an apartment in New York City. The bathroom and kitchen have to stay where they are, as does the front door, the relationship to the street, etc. You can do your best to pick the most advantageous location, but nothing is perfect.

Luckily, I practice BTB Feng Shui. This school of feng shui is influenced greatly by intention and offers many solutions that can work with your existing environment. Most feng shui is remedial, and we work with what you have.

If we go back to the concentric circles, you see the green center area is YOU. Start with changing your energy and your personal feng shui. Then work outward. I think the steps you're taking and even intention to start making shifts are great first steps. From here, work on changing the feng shui of your bedroom. Put your bed in the commanding position, which means either moving the bed or placing a mirror so that you can see the door.

Take a look at my other tips, and take it step by step! And by starting with yourself, you’re already creating a good feng shui environment. 

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!

Why You Should Give Yourself the Best You Deserve

Deserving the Best.jpg

For those of you who read my newsletter, I promised that I’d write a blog post about Deepak Chopra’s Creating Affluence. And if you’re not signed up for the newsletter, sign up HERE! I write about things there that I only share on my newsletters!

You can read the first part of what I wrote on knowledge and prosperity by looking at the newsletter archive HERE. The second part that I wanted to share is the idea that we always deserve the “better and best." Deepak writes: “People with wealth consciousness settle only for the best. This is also called the principle of highest first. Go first class all the way and the universe will respond by giving you the best.”

I sometimes forget that I deserve the best. The best doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive, but I see it as meaning the best that you need at that time. What it doesn’t mean is settling for something that’s mediocre. I see how I used to do this with clothing, for example. I would fill my closet with many inexpensive items that weren’t the best. The quality and styles were not ideal, and it showed! The items would either never get worn, or not complement my look. Now I try to buy one thing that I love, rather than a handful of pieces that are mediocre. We can apply this to food, too! Perhaps eating a modest amount of something delicious is preferred to eating a lot of something that’s average. With books, even though I want to get everything, I’m trying to be patient and first finish the book I’m reading before I purchase another :)

If we translate this into our homes, we are able to create more SPACE! We have less clutter and, as Deepak says, the universe will respond by giving us the best. It’s true! If you make some space in your life (and your home!) you will attract even more of the best. And we all deserve the best. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that. We deserve the best within our means. More isn’t always better!

Is there something you can let go of to create some space in you home? Can you remember to settle for only the best?

by Anjie Cho

This Week on Instagram

how to draw a tibetan buddha eye, from Carmen Mensink, my tibetan thangka teacher  #buddha   #thangka   #tibetanart

how to draw a tibetan buddha eye, from Carmen Mensink, my tibetan thangka teacher #buddha #thangka #tibetanart

welcome the month of the rooster! as most of you know  there's a chinese zodiac animal for each year.  they also have corresponding months. today is the start of the rooster month. Roosters are best friends with Snake, Ox and Dragon. If you're a Rabbit, Dog or Rooster - be careful this month. (two roosters in a room don't get along too well!)  #chinesezodiac  read more on my blog!

welcome the month of the rooster! as most of you know there's a chinese zodiac animal for each year. they also have corresponding months. today is the start of the rooster month. Roosters are best friends with Snake, Ox and Dragon. If you're a Rabbit, Dog or Rooster - be careful this month. (two roosters in a room don't get along too well!) #chinesezodiac read more on my blog!

Give yourself time to be.   #TODAY   #ChogyamTrungpa      #lojong     #shambhala

Give yourself time to be. #TODAY #ChogyamTrungpa  #lojong #shambhala

bring some winds of change in your life, add a pinwheel to your  holistic spaces  to stir up the qi!  #fengshui   #pinwheels

bring some winds of change in your life, add a pinwheel to your holistic spaces to stir up the qi! #fengshui #pinwheels

Just finished  #shriyantra  the yantra of the cosmos

Just finished #shriyantra the yantra of the cosmos

Relax in Your Own Spa Retreat

A chance to slip off the demands of your to-do list and relax is just what your spirit ordered. Yet, if you’re like many of us, your schedule hasn’t got space for a spa day. What if I told you that you could create a spa in your own home? It’s true! A few simple updates will transform your boring bathroom into a peaceful retreat. 

Bathrooms are often given the utilitarian treatment. To create a sanctuary in your home, however, this space needs the same stylish eye you’d want to bring to any other room in the house. Take a good look at the space you’ve got and consider what elements you can introduce to welcome tranquility and rejuvenation. Here are five design elements to consider:


Think warm and cozy. Matte finish tiles are a good foundation to begin with, especially when combined with the right rug. Look for textiles that exude comfort but also hold up well to moisture. Cotton and bamboo are great natural materials that handle the damp environment well.


Look for a classic hanging chandelier and go for the dimmer switch. Your bathroom has different lighting needs at different times. When you’re dressing or primping, a strong light is necessary. However, when you’re settling in for a spa-like retreat, low lights are the way to go. A dimmer will allow you to select the right glow for the right mood. 

Don’t forget to make space for candles. When you slip into the tub, lighting a bevy of candles transforms your space from bathroom to luxury retreat.


What is a spa experience without lilting music? You don’t need built-in speakers to create the spa-like mood. Keep a music player or Bluetooth speaker in your bathroom – away from the water, of course. 


Remember, we’re talking about pampering and relaxing. Select lush towels for your in-home spa retreat. Use attractive bottles, jars and baskets to display your collection of bath salts and other pampering accoutrements. Be careful not to clutter the space, however. Simple and organized is your goal.


As you’re inhaling and exhaling in peace, the right calming scents are essential. Look to aromatic essential oils to create your own personal favorites. Coordinate the aroma you’re creating for your space with the candles and bath salts you’re using. If you’re not sure where to start, try the calming scent of lavender.

by Anjie Cho

Sunshine Makes Us Happy!

SUN yantra Mandala, available at  holisticspaces.com

SUN yantra Mandala, available at holisticspaces.com

I've said it before, and it's pretty believable during summer months, but sunshine literally makes us happy. Think back to the last time you spent some time in the sun. When you step into the natural light and feel the warmth on your face, how do you feel? Do you feel content, maybe even blissful? I sure do! 

As it turns out, this happiness we get from spending time in the sun isn't just psychological. The presence of sunlight actually physically makes us happier! Here's how. 

Sunlight helps us produce serotonin, which is the chemical in our brains responsible for keeping us positive and happy. In many people who experience depression, serotonin levels are lower than normal, which results in a lower level of happiness. This also explains the phenomenon, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), where people seem to be more depressed in the winter. What don't we see a lot of during the winter? That's right, the sun! Sunlight can help us all to produce the right amount of serotonin to keep our spirits high and our smiles wide. 

Based on studies across the world, sunlight can actually help to combat certain diseases, like high blood pressure, diabetes and even cancer. Of course, spending TOO much time in the sun can actually lead to skin cancer, but getting natural Vitamin D in smaller doses can help prevent certain cancers. In addition, being in warm sunlight can loosen the body's muscles and tendons, which can be helpful in easing the pain of certain conditions like arthritis. 

Sunlight gives us more energy. Spending time in the sun also affects another of our brain's chemicals, melatonin. If you've never heard of it before, melatonin is the substance our brains release when it's time to calm down and go to sleep. The sun suppresses this chemical, making us feel more energized, and therefore happier! 

There are countless other perks to spending time in the sun, but it's very clear that one huge benefit is that natural sunlight can make us happy. In fact, without it, many people tend to become depressed and suffer from low energy, so it seems that the sun is actually an integral part of our happiness. So get outside and soak up some healthy rays!

by Anjie Cho