We know January can feel like a bit of a slog, but it's also a great time to stand back and take stock of where you are and what you want to achieve this year. If you feel like your home is in need of a re-design, big or small, now's the time to make sure your environment is supporting and nurturing you as much as possible. We spoke to Anjie Cho, architect, feng shui consultant and author of Holistic Spaces, about how to maximize the potential of your space and get 2019 off to the best possible star. New Year, New Home!
Hi Anjie! So what are holistic spaces?
Space is physical, emotional, energetic, and so holistic spaces is a way to look at all the space around you in an integrated way. When you can begin to see that your inner and outer spaces are connected, it gives you insight and joy. it's a mindful way to work with the environment around us, so that we can see the magic in our everyday life. Every moment and every space has a gift to offer.
When did you first become interested in feng shui?
In my late twenties I was pretty miserable and looking for happiness outside of myself. On a trip to the Buddhist country of Thailand, I had an epiphany during a Reiki session where I realized that when I returned to New York City I would begin a journey to find contentment within myself. So, I started studying meditation, yoga, and naturally next came feng shui. I was an architect so I wanted to bring this mindfulness into my work as well.
Where in the home should someone begin if they want to create their own holistic space?
It's always helpful to work on yourself first, what's closest to you - this means your bedroom. It's kind of like on the airline where they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on before trying to help others. The bedroom is where you spend many passive hours asleep and resting, so that's the space that affects you the most. It's the first space you see in the morning, and the last before you fall asleep. One simple way to work on your bedroom is to take care that the pathway to and from your door to your bed is clear, spacious and easy to navigate. Blocks, clutter and narrow passage ways to and from your bed set the tone of your entire day. If you wake up and dodge challenges and difficulties (of your own making probably!) in your own bedroom, what does that say about your entire life?
How can we promote focus and clarity in our daily lives?
A simple way to promote focus and clarity is to keep the windows of your home sparkling clean! Windows symbolize the eyes of the inhabitants of the home. We want to be able to clearly see how to relate to the world around us, and to be able to see the truth.
Do you have any advice for making a home office a more effective work space?
Although beautiful views are nice, they can be distracting for an effective work space. Better to position your desk with the view to the side, rather than directly in front.
And finally, what are your top tips for ensuring a positive start to the new year?
3. Create a gratitude list of 9 things or people, and a list of 9 aspirations for the new year. Fold up the list, place it it in a small envelope and fasten it above the door (on the inside of the house). Every time you walk through the door you activate the gratitude and the aspirations.