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!

Home Notes: featured in Country Homes & Interiors

featured in Country Homes & Interiors by Vivienne Ayers

UK readers, I’m featured in Novmeber’s issue of Country Homes & Interiors! Take a peek at the Home Notes and head over to Amazon to grab your own copy of “Holistic Spaces: 108 Ways to Create a Mindful and Peaceful Home.” Don’t forget to snag a copy of Country Homes & Interiors too!

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: Feng Shui and Pregnancy

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Is there any sort of feng shui I should pay special attention to if I'm pregnant?

Stephanie C., Washington D.C.

Hi Stephanie,

First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy! 

There are a few things to consider when we look at feng shui and pregnancy. For one, I would encourage you not to do any kind of house renovations during your pregnancy. Your home represents your body, so during a pregnancy, you don’t want to do any renovations or move things around or rebuild things. Not only does this disturb your body's natural chi, any chemicals or substances that become airborne during a renovation can be harmful to an unborn baby. 

Since your body, for the next nine months, is your baby's only space, do your best to keep this space healthy, both emotionally and physically. Avoid high-stress situations and instances where you might come into contact with anything physically harmful for your baby's growth. Check out my recipes for DIY non-toxic cleaners and laundry detergent, and if you feel the need to nest (which you most likely will!) aim for a green cleaning approach, natural space clearing and the like. And don't do any painting yourself, but check out how to create a relaxing atmosphere, use the color wheel and incorporate other feng shui aspects into your baby's space

Don't forget to take time out for yourself to eliminate stress too! Meditate, use essential oils or do any other activities you can to calm down without changing the overall chi of your baby's temporary space. 

In feng shui, there are also some important factors to consider before you get pregnant, when you are trying to have a baby. One of the most important is to avoid cleaning out from under your bed during this time. Though feng shui recommends keeping space beneath your bed clear, it is important to understand the concept of "ling particles" as it relates to pregnancy. 

Feng shui practitioners believe that there are what we call "ling particles" in the air that help create and support life. When a baby is conceived, a ling particle gives the embryo life, and these particles are said to collect under the bed. For this reason, if you're hoping to become pregnant, you don’t want to clean under your bed. I would also encourage you not to do any renovations when you’re trying to get pregnant.

For the most part, feng shui advocates creating a healthy, positive space for your baby. This means not making any drastic changes to the environment you've already created, and doing what you can to maintain a stress-free, healthy lifestyle. This will also help to create a holistic space in which for you to welcome your baby to the world!  

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!


5 Ways to Add More Relaxation to Your Home

After a day jam-packed with full-speed busyness, (and let’s face it, for most of us that’s pretty much a normal day), slipping your shoes off and melting into your favorite, comfy spot at home is likely high on your evening to-do list. That is, until you get home and that transition from ‘doing’ to ‘unwinding’ isn’t as smooth as you’d hoped. Don’t give up. Try these five simple steps to convert your home into a more serene, relaxing sanctuary.

Dedicate a space.

There are areas of your home that are ideal for work and for play. Set aside a space dedicated to relaxing, too. It doesn’t have to be an entire room. Create a nook or corner dedicated to relaxation. Folding screens can help differentiate the space from the rest of the room. If a good book is your ideal way to unwind, add comfortable seating, a shelf of books or a small table to hold your current reads, and proper lighting to the space. If music or movies are more your style, design your space accordingly.

Get organized

It’s hard to relax amidst clutter. Set-aside some time to organize and properly store your stuff. Look for storage solutions that complement your personal style. Look for baskets, bins and other containers that work as décor accents, as well as functional pieces. 

Light matters

Sunlight is a natural pick-me-up, but too much can be more stimulating than calming. Use light filtering shades for some privacy, as well as to create a softer, more tranquil effect. In the evening, use dimmer lights and candles to create a spa-like ambiance. As an added bonus, use a lavender scented candle to help promote relaxation. 

Colors count

Bright colors energize; soft, earth-toned shades soothe. If you’re looking to add more peacefulness to your home, incorporate tranquil blues, greens, and neutrals like gray, tans and white into your sanctuary spaces. Keep this in mind when you’re looking for accessories, too. Whether that peaceful space is a nook or whole room, stick with serene hues for your furniture, pillows, rugs and other accents.

Unplug

Your dedicated downtime space should be free of high-tech distraction. Learn to leave the phone, tablet and laptop aside. That reading nook we talked about above should be device-free to eliminate the urge to check your email just one more time or to count how many likes your last Instagram post garnered.  

Above all else, make your space yours. The best way to relax and unwind is to create a space that you feel most comfortable in.

by Anjie Cho


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:

Flooring

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.

Lighting

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.

Sound

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. 

Accessories

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.

Scents

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