Q&A Sunday: Water-Themed Art in the Bedroom

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I read somewhere that paintings of water were bad feng shui. Is this true?

Magalie R., Los Angeles, CA

I have been taught that there are no feng shui issues with having images of water in the bedroom. Actually, I personally have a photograph of water in my bedroom above my bed. I am a water person and love being near and seeing water. It is calming. In four pillars I am yin wood, so water also nourishes me in five element theory.

I have been taught that water elements like fountains and fish aquariums are not ideal in the bedroom. Perhaps this is where the question comes from. The moving water may be too active for some people, and a bedroom is a yin space where we seek out rest and relaxation.

As with most objects in the bedroom, be thoughtful about what the images represent. If you have trouble sleeping, a painting of a rushing river or surfers riding waves might not be so calming. Use your intuition to determine if that piece of art is appropriate for the type of mood you want for your bedroom. A bedroom is there to support and nourish you while you sleep in a passive yin state.

If there is a particular piece of art you are looking to add to your bedroom, please feel free to submit it for Q&A Sunday!

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!


Healing Properties of the Four Elements

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As many of you know, in feng shui, we work with the Chinese five element theory. These elements include earth, fire, water, wood and metal. However, in other modalities, like Native American culture, Vedic or even Tibetan practices, there are many variations of the element system, sometimes including five elements and other times only four. In each of these approaches, the ultimate goal is to find balance with nature and the world around us, just like with feng shui! I often receive questions about the four elements, so this week we’ll connect these theories and view how to use feng shui and the four elements to find ways to heal your spaces.

Air

Air relates to the intellect and to space. In the Tibetan system, air is the color white and is related to what's called the "Buddha" family, so it has that similar open quality of accepting and loving ourselves just as we are. Without the breath, we have no life. In our spaces, it's the quality of openness and the ultimate idea of minimalism. You can activate the air element and clear some space in your home by removing nine items, since nine is an auspicious number in feng shui. I also love this idea of air because it reminds us that nothing ever has to happen; we can just be. We don't have to fill up our mental, emotional, and physical spaces with clutter, food, negative thoughts...we can just be with the magic in the world. 

Water 

In Western and Asian systems, water is connected to deep wisdom, emotions, connections and the flow of energy around us. In feng shui, we relate water to the colors of black and dark blues. Even the sound of water can be healing, as it connects us to nature. This is why fountains are such great additions to holistic spaces! Check out more of my favorite ways to add water to your home!

Earth

Earth connects and grounds us. It's about self-nourishment and self-care in Asian systems, and earthy colors create this healing for us. Surrounding ourselves with plants, soil and trees also heals and nurtures us. Think about Mother Earth: she's always there under our feet to support us, and she gives us a place to stand that is stable and dependable. You can bring some Earth energy into your life by getting your hands dirty (maybe with a small garden) or bringing a plant into your holistic space! Be sure to use pots that you love and take care of your plants!

Fire

Fire can be very healing in many ways. It is one of the five elements and is essential to leading a balanced life. Fire creates and invokes passion and inspiration, and affects how the world sees us. Fire can be used in the home symbolically with color (reds, fiery oranges) or shapes (triangles), or using lighting or candles, or even real fire. In the home, fire is especially healing when there's pain, dullness, or loss of spirit in your life. Last weekend, I was upstate with friends and family. We gathered around a fire pit and sang songs, and we couldn’t take our eyes off the fire... it was very healing. Singing even activates the fire element and touches your heart. Fire is also amazing because it creates both heat (transformation) and light (clarify and illumination)! :)

How can you use the four elements to bring some healing to your holistic spaces?

by Anjie Cho


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. Visit us at mindfuldesignschool.com.


Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui for a New Floor Plan

I’m looking for a second home and was wondering if you could give me a general idea of whether this layout would be accommodating for my husband and myself.

Diane R., Phoenix, AZ

Hi Diane,

Thanks for sending in your floor plan on this prospective home. I work with clients often when they are shopping for homes, so this is a good idea to check out the feng shui before you purchase. And yes, there are a few issues with this home, but all houses have problems.

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The feng shui I practice (BTB feng shui) is actually mostly remedial! If you really love this house, you can work with it. We very rarely tell someone that a house is bad for them, because our intention is not to define things as good or bad, but to figure out how to make things workable. So, how can we make this home work for you if you do purchase it? 

First, there may be some concern about the master bath being in the Abundance area. But again, it's doable! You can hang a mirror on the outside door of the bathroom to correct that.

I also see some issues with the garage, which is in the Relationship area. It looks like the garage is part of the bagua, since it’s under the same roof as the rest of the house. In this case, because the Relationship area is in the garage, it may indicate that you and/or your husband travel a lot, so there are things you can do in this room to create a bit more stability in your relationship. It's best to work with a feng shui consultant on this, however, even using earthy colors can be stabilizing.

My major concern here is that the Knowledge and Path in Life areas are missing. You can bring these areas back into the bagua energetically with landscaping or other feng shui cures.

I also note there is a lot of water (kitchen and guest bath) in Recognition. To work with this you could add plants or wood element (dark green, for example) to transform that water energy into fuel for the fire energy, which would balance water

Anyhow, if you keep looking for the perfect feng shui house...well, you might look forever! Sometimes we are attracted to homes that have some feng shui that corresponds to areas in our life we need to work on :)

If you're interested in this house, and you love it, I think it's feasible!

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: Beach Holidays and the Five Elements

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Hi Anjie. I would appreciate some Feng Shui tips for a beach holiday in terms of balancing the seaside environment, which seems to me water, earth (sand, pebbles) and fire (sun). I wondered if one should add the missing elements in order not to be too exhausted and overwhelmed.

Giuliana G., France

Hi Giuliana,

Thank you so much for always sending such wonderful questions! I previously answered this question on this blog post, but you sent me a follow-up and clarified that you were more curious about the five elements. A beach holiday can be at any time of year--a lot of times we go on beach holidays in the summer, but we often go during the winter as well because we want to go somewhere warm for a bit.

So what do we do to balance elements in a seaside environment? First, it’s really important to be in touch with what resonates with you. You can look at your Four Pillars or your Bazi, which is your Chinese astrology. You can see what your Day Master is, if it’s weak or strong, and what element you’re supported by. For instance, I’m a weak yin wood. Since my Day Master is wood, having water around me is really great. I’ve always lived near water; I grew up in Los Angeles, I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I lived right on the water in New York City. Because water is really supportive for me, I don’t really need to balance things when I’m by the seaside.

If you don’t know anything about Four Pillars or Bazi, we have some information on the website about how to figure out your Nine Stars. If you look at the Nine Stars and you’re a wood element, for instance, it may mean that the seaside environment is supportive for you.

But what if you are not supported by water? That’s what it sounds like, because your question implies that you become exhausted, overwhelmed, or depleted near the seaside. That’s the main thing to pay attention to; you can look at numerology and astrology, but it’s important to see what you’re personally attracted to. For instance, as I mentioned, I’m always really drawn to the water, whereas my husband is more drawn to the forest and the country. For me, going to the country is neutral, and if I was going to the country, I’d want to be by a lake or another body of water. You usually know yourself, so if you close your eyes and think about your ideal vacation, that would be a good indication of what element you need. If being by the seaside makes you feel exhausted and overwhelmed, and your ideal vacation is in the country, that’s the number one indication that you may not need more water.

You mentioned that at the beach the main element is water, and you also mentioned earth (sand) and fire (sun), so what’s missing is metal and wood. Metal actually creates more water, so if you’re feeling depleted, metal isn’t the best thing to bring in. And if you think about it practically, metal gets hot very easily, so I would recommend you bring more wood into the situation. That could be as simple as carrying more wood-colored things around you. For instance, you could bring blue or green clothing, or a blue or green beach towel or bathing suit. You also see the color blue in the water, so it may be very comforting to look at the water if it’s not too bright. You can also bring the wood element into the place that you’re staying. The wood element is also living green plants, so you may want to bring those into the place where you are staying.

Hopefully this will help you for your seaside beach holiday at any time of year. Thank you so much!

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!