Anjie Cho – Feng Shui, Design & Sustainability
Words: Ferina Natasya Aziz
Anjie Cho on design, sustainability and spirituality: The author of the book,108 Ways to Create Holistic Spaces: Feng Shui and Green Design for Healing and Organic Homes, Anjie Cho is also the Founder of Holistic Spaces - integrating beauty, spirituality and green design. Anjie creates balance in designing spaces with understanding of sustainability, practice of Feng Shui and creating spaces that is supportive and thriving for that individual.
Green design looks to connect our individual lives to the environment as a whole. Spirituality shows us there’s more than what we can visually see. Beauty makes us smile and cry, and inspires connection. - Anjie Cho
Not that IKEA is not your place for one stop solutions but perhaps we should all level up a little because not only it feels good investing in a good furniture but having a piece that creates an inviting and a place that inspires will always uplift your mood but more importantly a physical space to thrive in daily. That simple tweak/s around our house so as to boost our moods etc could just be the key to having a great day, week or life!
We love that you mix green design, spirituality and beauty, what was the reason for this? I have a holistic approach to everything in life. I’ve found that, when things begin to interconnect, I’ve truly found something meaningful, and when your design is inspired by spirituality and meaning, we find true beauty. It’s easy to make something look pretty—more challenging to create something that resonates and supports you.
Ooo, that's a great thought! What do you think all three (green design, spirituality, beauty) have in common? They all seek to create harmony. Green design looks to connect our individual lives to the environment as a whole. Spirituality shows us there’s more than what we can visually see. Beauty makes us smile and cry, and inspires connection.
Harmony. We agree. Ok, (apologies if i sound like an ignorant twart!) is it just woo-woo or does Feng Shui really have an affect to our lives? Feng Shui is definitely “woo-woo” but also affects our lives! Much like many things in my life, I followed what the universe presented, and it led me to Feng Shui. Before that, I was like most people, “What is this woo-woo stuff?!?” But I’ve incorporated Feng Shui philosophy into my life and never looked back. I have created a unique career for myself, study all the things that I love, and help others along the way. I am where I am now, because of Feng Shui.
When I sit to practice meditation, I also create space, or gaps, in my heart and mind (and body).
How can we (on a low budget, financially-struggling-not-complaining-though) change or improve the environment of my space? For more Focus: I have a focus spray on my website that’s my favorite to use at my office when I need extra support.
This formula no.2 FOCUS is a blend of rosemary, cedarwood, frankincense and other essential oils with carnelian crystals for clarity, precision and direction.
- Rosemary supports mental precision
- Cedarwood is grounding
- Frankincense provides meditative focus
- 18 pieces of carnelian in each bottle for grounding and stabilization
In this day and age, we could probably all use a little more focus, and especially as a blogger, the Focus spray can help you create more centered, meaningful and effective posts.
You can also use a 3” round mirror fastened to the ceiling right above your head when you sit to channel and focus your qi. The mirrored side faces down.
For more Abundance: I carry a piece of tumbled citrine in my wallet. The Abundance area of the Feng Shui bagua map is related to wealth, prosperity, and self-worth. Citrine is particularly effective at generating and attracting the same things! This natural crystal supports abundance especially well when placed in the corresponding area of the feng shui bagua map in the bedroom, desk, home or office.
Citrine is invigorating and promotes joy too. You can also carry the stone with you, in your wallet, to attract more wealth. Set of 3: Make it triple effective by placing one stone in each of the abundance areas of your bedroom, your desk and inside your wallet/pocket.
For more Love: If you’re lonely and looking for companionship, activate the Relationship area of your bedroom. The bedroom represents you and also your future partner. One powerful adjustment (and one of the easiest) is to place two pieces of rose quartz in the Relationship area, the back right corner, of your bedroom.
Rose quartz heals the heart chakra, which encourages emotional healing, so even if you’re already in a relationship, they can promote trust and harmony. You might also consider placing the rose quartz in the opposite area, the Self-knowledge and cultivation area (that’s the back left). When placed here, rose quartz can help learn to love and appreciate yourself, and we’ve all heard that’s the first step to attracting real love!
Alternatively you can shift your environment to create changes inside. We are not separate from nature and the world around us!
Aside from Fengshui, what other daily rituals (sayings, etc) do you incorporate to your life and living space? I practice shamatha vipassana meditation from the Shambhala tradition, which is basically silent sitting meditation, eyes open. You focus your mind on something, for instance your breath. I also incorporate dharma art from the Shambhala tradition, such as calligraphy, into my daily rituals. I have a blog post about that, and I’m actually taking the Shambhala art teacher training in Jan 2016, which teaches contemplative art practices. I also practice Kado, a contemplative flower arranging using ikebana forms from the Shambhala tradition. And finally, I always chant the heart sutra mantra every morning “Gate Gate Para Gate Para Sam Gate Bodhi Swaha”. This translates from Sanskrit as “gone gone, gone completely beyond to the other side, I am enlightened”.
Your clients or us included might see fengshui as a magic pill. What do you think about such misconception? There are some magical aspects to feng shui, and things can shift quickly. However, my teachers have always taught me that we must also do the mundane work as well. The mundane is more important than the transcendental. If you want to see change in your life, you need to take some action. The feng shui adjustments can focus your intention and provide more energy to help achieve your goals. My teachers also have said that if your energy is strong enough, you don’t need the mundane… but I think most of us aren’t there yet.
Because our environment is a reflection of ourselves!
We love that in Yoga we are creating space in our body and mind. Where do you see yourself creating space every day? Everyday when I sit to work at my desk, I create physical space! I clean, tidy and put things away. I recycle things that no longer serve a purpose, etc. When I sit to practice meditation, I also create space, or gaps, in my heart and mind (and body).
Somewhat a symbolic relationships we have with spaces - where are some of your inspirational spaces that you go to? I love water. I live in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, right along the East River. I walk there almost daily with my dogs, and it’s so inspirational to me. My four pillars astrology is wood, so the water nourishes and feeds me. I love the colors and the peace those surroundings create. I also look out over the water of the most amazing city in the world, and it almost makes my heart hurt a little thinking how fortunate I am to be living the life that I do.
I also sometimes visualize or visit my room at my parent’s home in Los Angeles. My parents always created a safe and nurturing space for me, and I can just think of it and feel taken care of as well as inspired.
If you could design a perfect yoga studio and meditation space, how would it look like? I’ve never designed a yoga studio, however, there is no perfect space! I design based on the needs of my clients (functionally) as well as the physical constraints we’re presented with. But because I’m an architect and my numerology is metal, I love white! I would probably make it super modern and all white, with beautiful white washed floors and simply decorated, with lots of space and light. I love clean lines and harmonic gestures.
Why is it creating the environment that encapsulates balance and harmony important? Because our environment is a reflection of ourselves! What happens in your space is a metaphor for what’s happening inside. Alternatively you can shift your environment to create changes inside. We are not separate from nature and the world around us!
Support: Get yourself one or more beautiful mandalas (10% of the proceeds from each Holistic Spaces Mandala will be donated to support Tibetan refugee children at Bon Shen Ling's Menri Monastery in Dolanji, India), aromatherapy mists for your space and items for space clearing like mirrors or sage.
Image credit and courtesy of: Anjie Cho, Holistic Spaces