Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui for a Difficult Roommate

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My roommate is unbearable. She speaks to me in the most condescending tone and reprimands me about things like I'm a child. I've spoken to her about this, and she doesn't seem to see a problem - therefore isn't changing her behavior in any way. 

I'm saving up for a new deposit and hoping for an opportunity soon, but I am maxed out time-wise, and it might be a while. This situation is wreaking havoc on my emotions. I cry most days and feel worthless, and she often increases my anxiety and makes focusing difficult. I have tried to keep most things in my room and have stopped using the shared areas unless I have to. Is there a feng shui adjustment I can use to help deal with this until I am able to move to a better situation?

(P.S. I do see a therapist and am on meds.)

Megan D., New York, NY

Dear Megan,

Thank you for your question, and I’m really sorry to hear about this difficult situation. 

You know, when I lived with roommates, I think I was an awful person probably like the one you live with. This was before I became Buddhist and when I was just starting to study feng shui. I was really super unhappy and was very controlling about my space. I think I am probably still a little bit like this with my husband, and it’s something I’m working on. 

And you’re totally right; if your roommate doesn’t think anything is wrong then she’s not really going to change. So, what I’m getting at is that she’s probably got a lot of other things going on, and it does sound like you’re handling it as best you can. Your plans to move out are wise!

My feng shui teachers also taught me other healing modalities and information, including the Huna tradition, which comes from Hawaii. There’s a healing and clearing practice Ho opono opono, which is about forgiveness. It may push your buttons, because you would be asking anyone that has possibly wronged you for their forgiveness. 

From the Huna philosophy, there is a belief that we are all interconnected and that each individual in the community is responsible for each other person. So for instance if there is a crime, the whole community takes the blame and not just the person who committed the crime. Forgiveness has to happen on all sides. So, one way to work with this difficult person is to practice Ho Opono opono. There are different versions, but a simple one is to just recite this mantra, with your roommate in your heart.

Thank you [roommate].

I’m sorry.

Please forgive me.

This is a healing practice for both of you. You can recite this every morning and night 27 times for 27 days.

While doing this practice, another thing you can do is to take baths with orange peels to help to strengthen your qi during this challenging time. The vibrant life energy of the orange peel with refresh and support you.

Finally, there is also a Buddhist practice called Tonglen, which works with taking in the pain and suffering of others and breathing it in while giving out light and love. If that interests you, Lion's Roar has a great description of the practice here.

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!

Holistic Spaces 2018 Gift Guide

Happy Thanksgiving! I can’t believe it’s already holiday season again! This year I’ve spent a lot of time really working on self-care, which is such an important part of feng shui and living holistically. Self-care is part of the Kun (Relationship) area of the feng shui bagua map, which is represented by the color pink, and was especially important for me this year, because it relates to my Nine Star Ki for the year. I’ve been traveling a lot this year and have started to teach (Mindful Design, and flower arranging with Marcia Shibata), so I’ve focused on opening up my sound current, communication and moving into a teaching space so I can expand my business and help more people.

So in the spirit of sharing positive qi, we've curated self-care gifts in this year’s Holistic Spaces Holiday Gift Guide. These gentle, loving gifts are perfect for the incredible people in your life who may forget to treat themselves (including you!). From books to sheet masks to slippers and aromatherapy mists, there’s something here for everyone who could use a little rest and relaxation, including a Black Friday treat for you!

From now until Monday at 11:59 pm PST, use code HSGIFT at the Holistic Spaces store to enjoy 30% off!

Hydration Sheet Mask Bundle

Taking time for yourself and self-care is important, and I've super been into sheet masks this year. It's my little weekly (or sometimes daily) spa me-time where I can rest, and maybe listen to an audio book and take a mini break.

I also love these sheet masks as a way of adding hydration. Our bodies are so dehydrated from processed foods, chemicals in the air, electronics and low water intake. It's a nice little ritual to take care of yourself and your largest organ!

Available at: Peach & Lily

Holistic Spaces Cleanse Mist to Harmonize and Balance

I never travel without my cleanse mist! It's especially useful during the holiday season when we're hosting guests or staying away from home, since it’s a space clearing that doesn’t involve smoke.

The first thing I do when I get to a hotel or place I’m staying is feel the energy of the space, and it's always useful to refresh and cleanse the area with this palo santo room mist. If you have guests staying over or parties, it's also great to mist to space clear the energy when guests depart.

Holistic Spaces Cleanse is light and pleasant enough to use several times a day, and there is a small 2oz travel friendly version!

Use the coupon code JOY10 for 10% off the entire store (expires Dec 31, 2018 at 11:59PM).

Available at: Holistic Spaces

Burgundy Starling Slippers

As I’m getting older... my heels hurt all the time! In feng shui, the feet are related to the New Beginnings area of the bagua map (Zhen), and since I’m moving into the year of Spring and New Beginnings in my Nine Star Ki, it makes sense that my feet are more sensitive!

As I’m moving forward and taking a new path, it’s an important time to take care of my feet so I can move in a mindful and healing way, paying attention to self-care. I love these slippers from Birdies Slippers. I love the Starling in burgundy. They're so comfy, and the red color is auspicious in feng shui. I've been wearing them everywhere; they're so chic.

Use the link below for $20 off!

Available at: Birdies Slippers

GUIYING Décolletage Treatment

I recently met Ervina, one of the founders of 5Yina, and not only is she elegant and delightful, the GUIYING Décolletage treatment is amazing. It's absolutely reduced any PMS related breast tenderness, and it's so luxurious. Ervina is a breast cancer survivor, and she and her partner Angela developed these products with TCM (traditional Chinese medicine). I highly recommend their products as a wonderful gift.

The neck area is so often ignored or neglected, similar to the feet, and this is a wonderful way to work on paying attention. The neck is also related to the heart area, and I love the correlation with the opening of your heart.

Ervina has even provided us with a code for a gift with purchase!

On the 5Yina site, place both the GUIYING Décolletage Treatment and the Divine Balm in your basket and use code HSgift to get the Divine Balm for free!

Available at: 5Yina

Holistic Spaces: 108 Ways to Create a Mindful and Peaceful Home

One of the most important ways to practice lasting self-care is through creating a holistic space for yourself to come home to. My book, “Holistic Spaces: 108 Ways to Create a Mindful and Peaceful Home” is now on second print and available at Amazon. The Holistic Spaces book includes tips and guidelines for making small, easy adjustments to your space to create a calming, relaxing and nourishing sanctuary for constant self-care.

Released this year as an expanded, updated version with full color photographs and new copy, this beautiful hard cover book makes a great, affordable gift. If you have questions about anything in the book, feel free to submit a question for Q&A Sunday! I read and answer all the questions.

Available at: Amazon

Ohm Store Singing Bowl

Another thing I’m working on with my self-care is my sound current and aura. 

The owner of Ohm store recently reached out to me to review their singing bowl, and it has a nice resonance and is compact enough to keep on your desk. Mine is in the Relationship-Self-Love area (Kun, feng shui bagua map) of my desk to reinforce healing and exploration through sound.

Available at: Amazon

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Mo Mi Discovery Kit

My friend, Diane, is the founder of Modern Minerals, a vegan cosmetic and hair care line. This discovery kit is not only luxurious and gorgeous, I love that the Mo Mi products are infused with Lotus Wei flower essences, specifically Korean Pink Lotus Flower and blush Rose Quartz - a combination created especially for Mo Mi by Lotus Wei!

The kit has been invaluable while traveling (which i did so much this year). The products not only make me look beautiful, I feel beautiful too. 

Diane has graciously partnered with us to offer 10% off with code HSgift

Available at: Modern Minerals

Let It Out

I included Katie Dalebout’s book, “Let It Out”, on my gift guide in 2016, but this year I attended one of Katie’s workshops, and the journaling bug finally bit!

One of my favorite things I learned in this book and from Katie that I’ve also employed is to buy legal pads for journaling. Katie Hess, from Lotus Wei, also recommended using markers to promote thinking big. Check out the Pentel collection below!

Available at: Amazon

Luxe Series Bed Linens

I received a set of these sheets for review. They're a good price, and although not organic cotton, they are certified Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex, which ensures sustainability of chemicals and quality of performance, and LEED Gold certified, as they are produced in a sustainable, socially compliant factory in India that supports local families.

They come in three solid colors and are a great way to refresh your bedroom and build a relaxing environment for sleeping. You can pick a color that relates to the mood you want to inspire by using feng shui color theory. For instance, red for more passion, pink to attract a partner, white for purity and clarity, black for wisdom or blue/green pastels for healing.

Available at: Amazon

Pentel Markers

To go along with my journaling suggestion, or if I just want to doodle, I love Pentel markers. I even travel with this set. I love selecting the color I’m most attracted to at the moment, and you can even look up the color meaning in feng shui.

I also love that, because the tip is thicker than a pen or pencil, it gives the writer/artist more freedom to put down bigger ideas, a concept introduced to me by Lotus Wei’s Katie Hess. Markers offer a gestural looseness that you don't get with a very precise pen.

Available at: Amazon

The Artist’s Way

Katie inspired me to also work through the Artist's Way this year. I'm halfway through. But along with Katie's book, this one is invaluable! I highly recommend it for self-care!

"The quality of life is in proportion, always to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention. The reward for attention is always healing."

Available at: Amazon

I have been also really into CBD oil. It’s definitely help with anxiety, sleep and overall relaxation. I highly recommend it. I have a few favorite brands, one of which is Pure Relief. They’ve so kindly offered us a 20% off code “anjiecho”. Be sure to check out the mint flavor. It’s delicious, like a piece of mint chocolate! yum!

Available at https://starter.purerelief.com/anjiecho

Q&A Sunday: What To Do When Feeling Stuck in Your Life

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I spoke to you back in the summer and I fixed my lamp and got a job. Any more I can do to declutter my home? Where can I look to free the space more? I'm 25 and still feel so stuck. I'm a bit worried. How do I make more money and unstick my life? Can you give me another suggestion?

Stella I., Forest Hills, NY

Dear Stella,

Thank you for your email and question. That’s wonderful that you incorporated some of the suggestions we spoke about, including fixing your lamp. And congratulations on the job! Amazing!!!

Although you have seen some progress, you’re indicating that you still feel stuck, worried, you want to make more money, and you want to free up space. These are very human and real problems that I think every person is facing in their lives. Without knowing more than what you’ve written in this email, my first thought is to suggest that you work on your self-cultivation

There are many factors in life, which Professor Lin Yun (founder of BTB feng shui) called the “Art of Living”. You can read more about this in my teacher’s book “The Modern Book of Feng Shui” by Steven Post.  

  • Fate or destiny, which is what we were born with, like our astrology

  • Karma, the sum of your actions, cause and effect, what we did and what we do

  • Feng shui, or your physical and energetic environment

  • Luck, which we can adjust with feng shui and karma

  • Education, what you do with yourself while you’re here

Again, with not much to go on, my best advice is to work on your self-knowledge and educate yourself in spiritual matters. This may mean to work with training your mind. All of these factors in life affect us, and de-cluttering your home or more money may create some relief, but it sounds like your discomfort is much deeper. 

I recently attended a workshop about journaling. My friend Katie Dalebout walked us through the values of journaling, which she also outlines in her book, Let It Out! Katie was so inspiring that I purchased some legal pads that evening! And I've been journaling every morning since. This practice might be helpful for you to look at your life and see yourself with clarity. For a feng shui twist, you can sit in the Self-knowledge or New Beginnings area of your bedroom or home to give yourself some extra umph! Here's a blog post where I interview Katie about journaling.

Maybe this isn’t what you wanted to hear, but I sensed you want a quick fix, a magic pill, and I challenge you to dive into your stuckness and worry, and see what is underneath. Yes, feng shui can truly help with this, but you can also go deeper and look inside of you!

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 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! 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!

Visit the Holistic Spaces Store

Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui for Love?


A friend of mine is not having any success in finding love and has been down about it lately. Is there any Feng Shui that can help her?

Kristina O., New York City, NY

I’m sorry to hear about your friend, and it’s kind of you to ask for her. Feng shui can definitely help with finding love, but I need to know more about the situation. Based on my intuition about this given situation, and as a general suggestion, take a look at KUN which is the Relationship area of the feng shui bagua map. Then look diagonally across from it, you will find GEN which represents KNOWLEDGE, specifically self-cultivation. The first suggestion I would make is that if she works on improving the GEN/self-cultivation area, it indirectly improves KUN/relationships. This is actually more effective than going directly to KUN/relationships.  

Feng shui is not a magic pill, but it can help improve areas like love, relationships, and “feeling down." It requires some work! My suggestion in this case is to work on self-cultivation by placing a feng shui crystal (available in the Holistic Spaces shop here) in the GEN/Knowledge area of her home to enhance, clarify and focus self-love and self-care. 

In addition the what I’ve mentioned above, there are some other basic feng shui adjustments your friend can do in her bedroom. I was actually single when I started learning about Feng Shui, and it absolutely helped me to bag my husband! The first thing I did was make sure I had open space on both sides of my bed. It’s also important to have a nightstand and lamp on each side, if she has the room.  This tells the universe that she’s ready to create some space for an equal partner to come into her life.  

Good luck to your friend!

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!

Note:  To locate the KNOWLEDGE or RELATIONSHIPS areas of your home, please refer to the Feng Shui Bagua Map here.  New blog post to come soon discussing the Feng Shui Bagua Map!

Q&A Sunday: I Ching Divination for Moderation and Self Care

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What would be the most effective way to bring, health, protection, and prosperity to our home? My 87-year-old mother lives with us. My husband is struggling, and his mental and physical energy is very low. Can you help prevent him from forgetting so much and struggling to concentrate and increase his mental and physical energy?

Eliane B., Coral Springs, FL

Hi Eliane, 

Thank you so much for your question! It's a little complicated and there are a lot of things going on in this question. I understand you're having problems with health, protection and prosperity and with your husband forgetting a lot and having mental health issues. My intuition guided me to an I Ching reading for this question, so I'll share that insight with you.

The I Ching is also known as the Book of Changes, and it's a way of divination based on Taoism. As is the I Ching practice, I threw coins for your question and received what is called Hexagram #39, which is Water over Mountain. This hexagram represents obstacles. One thing the I Ching tells me is that right now you have a lot of stumbling blocks in your life, and that's obvious in your question. It feels like you may have a lot of confusion there as well. I Ching reflects that as you're experiencing these obstacles, now is not a good time for you to push ahead into the danger. Imagine you're like a rushing river, but you have a lot of snags in your way. If you wait and build up your strength, you will push through these difficulties naturally, much like a river makes its way through a mountain.

So my suggestion would be to not use force right now. Instead, just sit and be patient. The I Ching suggests you don't have the strength to move past these obstructions yet, so focus on building your power and vigor. The second hexagram that comes up is 15, which is Moderation. This confirms that now is a time of moderation, not stubbornly moving forward. Practice moderation in your eating habits, how you spend money and in everything you do, and be careful not to go to extremes, because that could actually create more problems for you. 

As for a feng shui adjustment that could support this path, you may begin to cultivate patience and moderation in your journey to gaining the might you need for this task. I recommend working on a few opposite areas of the feng shui bagua: Self-Knowledge and Relationships, which is also related to self-care. Both of these areas are Earth elements, so nurturing them is not about doing anything, but about taking care of yourself, moving slowly and implementing self-control as you build strength. Since this is an issue between you and your husband, I suggest activating these bagua areas of your bed. To do this, place a nine-inch long red ribbon under your mattress in each area, Knowledge and Relationships. When working with a bed, set the bagua at the head of the bed so that the headboard runs along the Abundance, Recognition and Relationships areas, and the foot borders Knowledge, Path in Life and Benefactors. 

Facing your headboard from the foot of your bed, the left corner closest to you would be Knowledge. Put a nine-inch long red ribbon there. The far right corner, near the headboard, would be where you place another ribbon to activate Relationships. That's my advice for now. Make these small adjustments with intention and keep the idea of moderation in mind. You are experiencing setbacks, but instead of focusing on that, really take care of yourself and actively work on your self-cultivation and self-care right now. Good luck!

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!