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October

Welcome to Feng Shui for Real Life, a monthly e-newsletter that provides Feng Shui tips and other information that can help you bring simple Feng Shui changes into your life. Feng Shui for Real Life is available by request. To subscribe or unsubscribe, visit: http://www.FengShuiForRealLife.com.

Carol M. Olmstead, FSII


Feng Shui Tip: A Quick Course in Mirrors
I recently recommended that a client remove the numerous convex mirrors hanging in almost every room in her home. She had read somewhere that hanging a mirror will bring in good energy. While that can be true, the convex mirrors she used were doing just the opposite, deflecting the positive chi she was trying to attract. Mirrors are sometimes called the "aspirin" of Feng Shui; but like aspirin, I believe they should be used sparingly and only when necessary. Mirrors are used to attract, move, or re-direct energy, so it is important to choose the right mirror and right location for what you want to accomplish. Here are some situations where I recommend using a mirror.

• On the outside of a house, hang a convex mirror to deflect negative energy directed toward your home.
• Use a flat, rectangular mirror on a wall that you need to symbolically "move out" to correct a missing bagua area.
• In a dark room, hang a mirror (any shape as long as it is not convex) to attract in light.
• Hang a small round mirror on a column or pillar to make it symbolically disappear.
• Place a mirror behind a stove to symbolize wealth.
• In your foyer, hang a mirror on the right hand side to attract opportunities into your life.
Avoid using a mirror at the end of a long hallway, anywhere it reflects an unattractive view, or directly across from a bed.

Clutter Clinic: Test Your Organization IQ
How organized is your home? Better Homes and Gardens Magazine has put together a quiz to help you determine whether your home organization system is working for you. Here are a few of the questions. You can find the answers at the end of this newsletter, or go to the website and take the entire test first:
http://www.bhg.com/bhg/quiz.jhtml?quizId=/templatedata/bhg/quiz/data/organization_10082001.xml&catref=cat4720002&_DARGS=/common/quiz/answerBody.jhtml.5_A&_DAV=6

1. What are two commonly overlooked storage spaces in the home?
2. When organizing a clothes closet, how much hanging room should you allow for long dresses?
3. For more closet space, how can you create a screen to conceal a freestanding clothes rack?
4. What should you avoid storing in a basement or attic?
5. How should you store opened paint cans for long-term use?

Success Story: Setting the Intention to Find Love
This e-mail from a client reminded me that Feng Shui is all about setting an intention for something to flow into your life:
I wanted to update you on a positive change to my life. When you came to my house, you asked if I wanted a romantic relationship in my life. Clearly what you saw in my bedroom seemed to indicate I did not want one. And in fact I told you that I was not interested. You made suggestions to me for my bedroom that related to intention to have a romantic relationship anyway, and I reluctantly followed them. Within a couple of weeks a friend set me up with a really nice guy. That made me realize I did want a relationship, so I incorporated even more of your romance suggestions and set the intention to have a relationship. I have since met the most wonderful man I could dream of. We are committed to spending the rest of our lives together. I truly believe that your consultation was instrumental into my being open to and available for my beloved to come into my life! Thank you.
Feng Shui Q & A
Q: We live in a center hall colonial where the front door is positioned directly across from the stairway, which I have heard is not good Feng Shui. We love the house, but certainly don't want "bad Feng Shui"
A:
Your house doesn't automatically have bad Feng Shui if you have a stairway facing the front door. But it is not considered the most auspicious positioning because the good energy comes in the front door and runs right up the stairs. The traditional "cure" is to hang a crystal from the ceiling between the bottom step and the door. The modern application is to hang a crystal chandelier or cut glass light fixture in the foyer. Another option is to place a plant in the foyer or hang artwork prominently in the rooms off the foyer to direct the chi away from the stairs and into the other rooms.

Q: Is it a problem if you have more than one entrance to the house?
A:
It is only a problem if the main entrance is not clearly defined. Even if you most often enter your home from the back door, garage, or porch (the "working entrance"), the front door that the architect designed as the main entrance to the space is known as the "mouth of chi." This is where the positive energy enters your home. Keep this door clean and neat, place healthy plants in decorative planters on either side of it, and add a fresh doormat at this entrance to clearly designate it as the front of the house.

In the News: Bad Feng Shui for the Kennedy Home?
According to The Hill newspaper in Washington, DC., one of the area’s premier homes was back on the market because of Feng Shui issues. The owner, Hong Kong billionaire businessman and philanthropist Eric Hotung, originally bought the 11,000 square foot house from Senator Edward Kennedy but later complained that the home had bad Feng Shui. Hotung planned to use the home as a base for an institute to foster better U.S.-China relations. But he spent little time living in it and even considered tearing it down after his caretaker reported being "pinned to the wall" by an unseen force. Hotung purchased the house with a winning bid of $5,888,888.88, the unusual number stemming from the fact that eight is considered an auspicious number because it sounds the same as “prosperous” or “fa” in Cantonese. In fact, three-digit numbers like 888 are popular with the Chinese because they sound the same as “business will easily prosper” and “thrice prosperous.”

Consultations and Workshops
Upcoming Workshops Open to the Public
October 24, 2:00pm-3:30pm

Santa Fe Design Week, Santa Fe, NM, El Museo Cultural
Feng Shui Design Innovations for the Workplace
I will be speaking about Feng Shui at the Workplace as part of Santa Fe Design Week. What do many of the most successful Fortune 500 companies have in common? They use practical, contemporary Feng Shui design innovations to increase their business bottom line. At this session I will explore how your can incorporate contemporary Feng Shui is the design of your workplace no matter how big or small. For more information, check out the Design Week website: www.SantaFeDesignWeek.com

November 9, 2006, 7-9pm
Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore, Owings Mills, MD, Feng Shui For Real Life with Carol Olmstead, AKA The Feng Shui Maven.
Join me for a two-hour, hands-on workshop to learn the basics of Feng Shui and to create a plan to change your home to sustain health, wealth, happiness, and love in your life! Bring a sketch of the floor plan of your home or a room you want to analyze. The cost is $25/members, $35/nonmembers, and advanced registration required. To register, contact Miriam Abramovich at the JCC of Greater Baltimore at 410-356-5200 x320 or mabramovich@jcc.org.

January 23, 2007
Capitol City Business and Professional Women (BPW), Santa Fe, NM
Feng Shui and Relationships
Join me at the BPW dinner meeting to learn the basics of Feng Shui and how you can use them to sustain and nurture the relationships in your life. This is a great opportunity to hear more about Feng Shui and network with the terrific women and men who belong to the Capitol City BPW. Members: $20, Guests: $23. To register, contact me directly at 505-690-1814 or carol@fengshuiforreallife.com.

2007 Feng Shui Getaway Workshops
Alta Mae Heritage Inn, Edgewood, NM
Enjoy a Feng Shui Getaway at Alta Mae's Heritage Inn in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains in Edgewood, New Mexico. I will be conducting full-day Feng Shui workshops that include a morning session on the practical applications of Feng Shui, a gourmet lunch, and a hands-on afternoon session where I will analyze your floor plan or room layout. You can choose just the Feng Shui workshop and gourmet lunch, or add a stay at this cozy inn and enjoy a gourmet dinner and room package.

These are the currently-scheduled workshop topics and dates at the Alta Mae, which you can reserve with or without room packages:
January 13, 2007: Feng Shui for the New Year: Turning Resolutions Into Reality
April 14, 2007: Spring Clearing with Feng Shui
May 19, 2007: Feng Shui and Love
October 6, 2007: Introduction to Feng Shui

Private Workshops Customized for Groups
My Feng Shui workshops are customized to meet the needs of individuals, organizations, and groups. Here are some of the most popular topics I have presented:
Introduction to Feng Shui
Bedroom Feng Shui
Feng Shui Clutter Clinic
Feng Shui for Children's Rooms
Home Office Feng Shui
Feng Shui Goes To Work
Look Twice, Buy Once for Home Buyers
Sell It Fast with Feng Shui
Feng Shui, Love, and Relationships
Feng Shui in the Garden
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Themes (May)
Holiday Luncheons (December)


Contact me directly to set up a presentation for your group: carol@fengshuiforreallife.com or 1-800-652-9038.

Home and Office Consultations
On a regular basis, I offer consultations for homes and offices in the Northeast (Washington, DC Metro Area, Baltimore, Annapolis, Northern Virginia, New York, New Jersey) and the Southwest (Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Los Alamos, Las Cruces, Phoenix, Scottsdale). Appointments do fill up fast, especially on the weekends.

Do you want a consultation or workshop in your city? Please e-mail me (carol@fengshuiforreallife.com) for details about scheduling a consultation in your location.

Beyond Feng Shui: Organizing Your Closet For Fall
It's that time of the year again, when you have to change over your closets from Summer to Fall. Of course you are going to open up space in your closets by donating or throwing away anything you didn't wear during this season. Here are a few additional tips for simplifying the process of making the changeover.

1. Empty all of the pockets before you store your clothes, then wash or dry-clean everything to avoid invisible stains that can set.
2. Store clothes in a cool, dark, and dry place, but not in a garage, attic, or unfinished basement. If you don't have room in your closets or dressers, consider storing out-of-season clothes at the dry cleaners.
3. Repel moths by using cedar rather than smelly mothballs.
4. Heavy garments, cashmere sweaters, and beaded gowns should be folded with muslin or acid-neutral tissue paper to prevent creases.
5. Fabrics need to breathe, so choose cloth garment bags rather than plastic for long-term storage, especially for leather and fur. If you don't have cloth bags, hang a sheet over your clothes.
6. Avoid wire hangers since they result in misshapen shoulders, and use plastic or wood ones instead.

Answers to Organization IQ Quiz
1. Utilize the storage space under cabinets and between studs. Build shallow drawers into the toe-kick space beneath base cabinets and carve out shallow display shelves between wall studs.
2. Allow a minimum of 69 inches in your closet for long dresses.
3. Hinge bi-fold doors and paint or cover with wallpaper to provide extra storage space.
4. Avoid storing wood furniture in a basement or attic, because changes in humidity and temperature can cause wood to expand and contract. Other items that should not be stored in these areas include fur and leather, books, stuffed toys, photographs, and formal dresses.
5. Seal opened paint cans tightly and turn them upside down; the paint will form a seal against oxygen and stay fresh longer.

My Client-Centered Approach to Feng Shui: When I recommend cures for a home or office, I consider each client's goals. I try not to recommend anything that you will find unattractive or unacceptable. Rather, I suggest practical, appropriate, and workable cures that are based on solid Feng Shui principles and fit in with the way you live. I try to recommend several practical solutions that are appealing to you and fit your decor and your budget.

Carol M. Olmstead,
FSII Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
1-800-652-9038


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© Copyright 2017, Carol Olmstead