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August

Welcome to the Feng Shui For Real Life E-zine, a monthly e-magazine with tips, success stories, and clutter-clearing advice to help you make simple Feng Shui changes to attract wealth, harmony, love, and much more.

Keep in touch between issues of the e-zine.
  • Connect on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FengShuiForRealLife.
  • Follow my blog at www.FengShuiForRealLifeBlog.com.
  • Check out the latest articles on www.FengShuiForRealLife.com.
  • Watch my videos on YouTube.
  • Submit your questions via e-mail.
Carol M. Olmstead
Feng Shui Master Practitioner

Feng Shui Tip of the Month – Back to School Feng Shui
August is “Get Ready for Kindergarten Month” for the almost two million American kids who will be entering kindergarten this year, which brings up images of sweet little children with huge backpacks marching bravely each morning into the grownup world of school. But whether your children are just starting school, entering their last year of college, or anywhere in between, the creative use of Feng Shui in their rooms can help them effortlessly transition back to school.
  • Create a study area in your child's room. Position the desk so your child can see the door to the room, and avoid locating the desk where your child must sit with his or her back to the door, which is considered a vulnerable, insecure position. If there is no room in your child's room for a desk, create a separate area in the house for studying, rather than scattering papers on the kitchen or dining room table.
  • Position electronics correctly. Position the computer or tablet away from the bed and shut off all electronics at night to reduce any EMF (electromagnetic field) issues. If the room is too small to do this, place a living plant near the computer to absorb some of the EMFs.
  • Control Clutter. Clutter represents the inability to move forward in Feng Shui, so include enough storage options, like attractive boxes and baskets, to encourage your child to put things away when it's time to study. Some amount of clutter is normal for any child, but excessive clutter will distract from educational pursuits.
  • Decorate for Success. Hang a bulletin board or create a display area near the desk to showcase achievements. This is the ideal place to hang your child's awards and citations, as well as artwork, report cards, and special papers to remind your child how he or she is succeeding and moving forward. Display a globe to symbolize curiosity, a map to help ground your child, and charts of the stars and planets to expand horizons. Add a fish bowl or aquarium because fish and shells are symbols of educational success in Feng Shui, and maintaining the aquarium encourages responsibility for your child. Place photos of parents, grandparents, and happy family gatherings in the room to help communicate love and security to your child.
  • Encourage a good night's sleep. Avoid storing anything under your child's bed, especially shoes, because this represent "walking away" from peaceful sleep. If you must store things under your child's bed, make sure they are soft items like out of season clothes or linens. Avoid art and objects that show images of flying, falling, driving, or running, and instead, choose scenes that are tranquil.
  • Clean the windows regularly. Feng Shui considers windows to represent the eyes; dirty windows represent cloudy vision, an obvious deterrent to academic success. When you clean windows you symbolically open up your child's vision of the world. Even dorm dwellers can occasionally give their windows a quick cleaning.

Click here to read more Feng Shui tips for arranging children's rooms in the "Articles" section of my website, www.FengShuiForRealLife.com.

Clutter Clinic -- Five Ways to Clear Overstuffed Bookshelves
I'm going to start with a disclaimer - I love "real" books! Even though I read e-books on my iPad when I travel, I still love the feel of the pages of a printed book and how lovely their spines look when they're displayed on my bookshelves. That being said, too much of a good thing is simply too much, and sometimes you just need to purge your book collection. In Feng Shui terms, when your shelves are stuffed with books there's no room for new knowledge and wisdom to find you. What do you keep? What do you toss? When is it time to get rid of that unopened copy of the complete works of Emily Dickinson? Sara Nelson, O Magazine's books editor, says you have to be both careful and ruthless when reviewing your book collection. Here are her questions to ask as you decide what's a keeper and what you can give away:
  1. Have you owned it without reading it for less than two years? If so, move to a temporary location for another year, and if you don't read it during that time, out it goes.
  2. Was it a gift with an inscription? If so, keep it as a kind or diary or road map to your past. But the Feng Shui advice is to avoid keeping books from old lovers or people who had a negative impact on your life.
  3. Would you recommend it to a friend? If so, Nelson says it's acceptable to keep one copy for yourself and one to give away.
  4. Will you really read it? Are you keeping books you're not really interested in? If so, it's time to move them out of your home. Are you keeping your college books for your children? The truth is they couldn't care less about your notes in the margin. Having been assigned something in school, or having loved it in college is no justification for clutter.
  5. Does it complete an author's body of work by an author? If so, keep it with the rest of the collection. But be sure you're keeping the books because you love them, not because of what you think, or hope, the title says about you.
Read more at Oprah.com.

Success Story – Adele's Whole House Makeover
One of the joys of my work is getting to help people all over the world. Adele, who is in the UK, first contacted me about her missing Love/Marriage Area, and our emails conversations led to changes in many other bagua areas of her home.

Here's what Adele wrote:
I want to send you an update on how your book has helped me. I have made a number of changes and I have been absolutely amazed at the results. I found making small changes had big results, simply by having a thorough understanding of how it all works. I targeted the areas where I most needed support, which was feeling grounded, stable and calm, and everything in my life now seems easy, whereas before I struggled with conflicts, back-stabbing at work, lack of recognition, and my emotions were in turmoil. My life is the complete opposite now. Before I found your book I got it so wrong. I had left the main room in my house neglected, which in turn I realised was the centre of my home, the grounding area. It has had the most beautiful face-lift now and I can't believe I left it the way I did and wondered why I struggled so much! Most interestingly, I have left my love area until very last. This was an area I thought I was desperate to sort out but for some reason made no changes to it until last week. That's when I finally realised that I would like love in my life. I think before that I was wishing for love to make me feel better and for all the wrong reasons. I have now completed all of the corrections you advised for the missing Love Area, and it's now full of life, wind chimes, windmills, plants, lights. It looks taken care of now, while before it was full of weeds, dirty and empty - a place where my cats even avoided. I am currently having my living room, hallway and bathroom decorated professionally - most of it has all been chosen to correspond with your advice - then my kitchen is being renovated. It's amazing how I seem to have found the money to do all of this! Isn't it fascinating how making a big change to the centre of my house could have such a huge impact on my well-being. A bit like the Fable of the Magic Geranium in your book about the lady whose colourful plant changed her whole house. I always knew something was wrong in my house, and now it just feels peaceful, with a very happy and content owner...finally.
I would love to share YOUR success story. Email Carol Olmstead or call 1.800.652.9038 to schedule your home or office consultation.

Ask the Feng Shui Maven
Q: Most bamboo plants are sold in small containers of stones rather than dirt in order to slow their growth. So doesn't that send a message of slowing the growth of wealth? In which case wouldn't it be better to have an artificial bamboo in the wealth area as a symbol, or just a picture of bamboo?
A: People seem to have different reactions to lucky bamboo plants, some thinking it is the "Feng Shui" wealth plant, and others don't like it at all. Personally, I can never get them to grow so I avoid them. If you look at lucky bamboo and think of it as stunted, then I would recommend you don't choose to display it. Silk plants are an acceptable alternative to natural plants as long as they are kept clean and replaced if they fade. A picture of growing bamboo is also acceptable.

Q: The door to my powder room is directly across from the front door. I read that this is bad Feng Shui and that I should hang a mirror on the door, but I've also read that I shouldn't have a mirror directly across from the front door. Major confusion going on here.
A: The front door is called the "mouth of chi" where positive chi enters your home, so when you have a bathroom directly across from the front door the concern is that this positive energy goes right into the bathroom and gets "drained" or lost before it reaches the rest of the house. A mirror on a bathroom door is thought to stop that drainage. But, you are right that a mirror across from the front door is negative because it sends the positive energy right back out the house, so hanging a mirror on the bathroom door is not a good choice for you. The simple solution is to keep the bathroom door closed all the time. Also, you can create a diversion or focal point near the bathroom door to direct the energy away from that room and toward the rest of the house. This could be something like an especially compelling piece or art or a floor plant.

Q: We are building a new house and just started working with an architect who is open to Feng Shui. Where is the best location for bathrooms?
A: The ancient Chinese who developed Feng Shui didn't have indoor plumbing so there wasn't any question where to place the bathrooms, but no one is about to go back to that. The contemporary answer to your question is to draw the floor plan of the house and then divide it into the 9 guas or sections of the bagua, then locate the bathrooms somewhere on the line between the guas so they are not totally in one gua or the other. It's also good to think about any areas of your life that are weak and try to avoid placing the bathrooms in the gua associated with that aspect of life. In general it's best to avoid locating a bathroom in the center of the home, which is the Grounding Area that's activated by the Earth Element. Click here to download a bagua from the Basics section of my website, www.FengShuiForRealLife.com.

Do you have Feng Shui questions?
E-mail them to Carol Olmstead, then watch this newsletter for the answers.

Feng Shui For Real Life Bookstore
Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office --
Secrets For Attracting Wealth, Harmony, and Love
"Move your stuff, change your life." The Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office includes Feng Shui basics, a monthly guide to clutter clearing, hundreds of Feng Shui tips, and success stories. This is the book that will help you learn how to attract wealth, achieve harmony, improve relationships, advance your career, and clear clutter. Highlights include a month-by-month guide to clearing your clutter and a day-by-day calendar of fast fix Feng Shui tips, and links to download free bonus articles. The perfect gift for everyone on your list - clients, colleagues, family, friends - and a great way for real estate agents to say "thank you" and welcome home buyers to their new home.
Voted "Best How-To Book 2010"

Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office
254 pages
Retail Price: $15.95
Special web price: $12.95
Click here to purchase your signed paperback copy.
Also available at Kindle and iTunes.

Feng Shui Workshops
Custom Workshops
Bring one of my workshops to your city. I will create a custom presentation for your business or group to help you make simple changes to attract wealth, harmony, and love. From keynote speeches, to "munch and learn" workshops, to half-day or full-day seminars, my interactive sessions are full of practical advice, tips, and fun. Feng Shui workshops make great fundraisers because they always sell out.

Here's what people are saying about Carol's workshops --
Carol rocked it with her powerful workshop, and how great to have the entire day to soak it as she covered so much. Everyone really LOVED it! Carol's fresh take on Feng Shui is invigorating yet light enough to actually make changes and see immediate results in a space. Her book is additional reinforcement to her live trainings. Carol makes the process fun and yes, anyone can do this! -- Jennifer Ashton, Jennifer Ashton Interiors

I have enjoyed Carol's lively and informative Feng Shui presentations, and I always leave with new insights and tips that I can immediately put to good use in both my home and office. I’m excited to have Carol create a custom workshop for my group.
-- Lainie Grimmer, CPCC, ACC, Creating Clarity Coaching

I received great feedback about the Creating Home Sanctuary "munch and learn" Feng Shui workshop you gave at our design studio, and what an engaging person you are. You did a terrific job! -- Lisa Samuel, ASID, Samuel Design Group

Thank you for a great presentation! Really great stuff.... you are a whiz. -- Val Romero, Founder, Women Make a Difference

I welcome your referrals. If you know of a group or organization that would be interested in scheduling me as a speaker, e-mail Carol Olmstead or call 1.800.652.9038.

Feng Shui Consulting Services
I work with clients nationwide, either on-site in person, or remote by phone, e-mail, and Skype.
On-Site Consulting
Nationwide, I schedule On-Site Feng Shui Consultations for homes, offices, and businesses. On a regular basis, I work with clients in the Northeast (DC Metro Area and Maryland Suburbs, Baltimore, Annapolis, Northern Virginia, New York City, and New Jersey) and the Southwest (Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Phoenix, and Denver). All consultations include written recommendations, a ToolKit to help you continue to make changes after the session, and a copy of my book, the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office.

Remote Consulting by Phone and Skype
When an on-site consultation isn't possible, I offer Off-Site and Remote Feng Shui Consulting in the US and internationally for homes, offices, and businesses. There are two options, either Whole House Consultation or the new Room Rescue Package for one room in your home. You will receive advice for re-arranging furniture and accessories, selecting and hanging artwork, choosing the right colors, clutter clearing, re-purposing what you already have.

To schedule your on-site or remote Feng Shui consultation, e-mail Carol Olmstead or call 1.800.652.9038. I welcome your referrals

Purse Hangers From the Feng Shui Store
Where do you put your purse? There is a Feng Shui saying that "your purse on the floor means money out the door." You carry your money, credit cards, and checkbook in your purse, and in Feng Shui, putting these on the floor represents disregard for your wealth and income. Plus, scientific studies also show that your purse can be contaminated with numerous bacteria when it comes in contact with the floor. The Feng Shui remedy is a Purse Hanger that lets you hang your purse safely from a table or desk. I have found folding purse hangers that fit neatly in your purse. It's the perfect gift for all the women on your list. The 2" disk opens to a sturdy 3" hanger. I stock them in elegant black and silver, plus I have a few available in assorted colors.

Click here to order a purse hanger for yourself and for your friends at the Feng Shui Store at www.FengShuiForRealLife.com.


Beyond Feng Shui – Saving Money in the Summer
There's still a lot of summer weather left in most of the US, so I took notice of a post in the Women & Co blog from Citibank that offered solutions to costly summer problems, like soaring AC bills and the rising cost of eating out. Saving money is always good Feng Shui, and here are a few of the suggestions for keeping more of yours this summer:
1. Stay cool for less. Air conditioning costs American households almost $375 in electricity annually, but you can slash your bills by investing in fans around the house, closing the blinds during the day, and replacing the AC filter monthly for maximum efficiency. You can also cook outdoors or use the microwave rather than the stove to keep the house cool and require less AC.
2. Eat out at home. Pack a picnic lunch every now and then and head to your nearest park, or even your own backyard. Instead of going out for a full meal, have dinner at home and then go out for only dessert or drinks. Check out www.MyKidsEatFree.com for days of the week when restaurants offer free or reduced price meals for your kids.
3. Resist the lure of new party clothes. If it seems like you're always invited to parties in the summer, that doesn't mean every occasion requires a new outfit. Instead, purchase accessories to change up the looks that are already in your closet. If you do buy something new, check for promotion codes online or track the price of the item you want using a website like www.couponcabin.com.
4. Don't go overboard on the sunscreen. Dermatologists consider "one ounce, enough to fill a shot glass" as the amount needed to cover exposed areas. So before you slather on the SPF and buy several new bottles, picture that glass first and judge how much you'll need. And if your sunscreen doesn't have an expiration date, you can safely use it for up to three years according to the Mayo Clinic.
5. Save on gas. Fill your car earlier in the week when prices tend to be lower, and check mobile apps like GasBuddy to the cheapest gas in your neighborhood. Clean out the trunk to lighten your load and use less gas.

Click here to read all nine tips for summer savings from Women & Co.

F Y I
Do You Want to Use Articles From This E-zine? While articles in the Feng Shui For Real Life E-zine are copyrighted, I encourage you to reprint them and link to my website. I ask only that you credit Carol M. Olmstead as author and include my website address or link to http://www.FengShuiForRealLife.com when you print the article or use it online.

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Need a Space Clearing or House Blessing?
Carol Olmstead is an Ordained Minister specializing in Feng Shui house blessing ceremonies and space clearing. Call 1.800.652.9038 or e-mail Carol for details.

Schedule a Consultation or Workshop. If you would like to set up a home, office, or business consultation, or schedule a customized workshop, contact:
Carol M. Olmstead, FSII Feng Shui Master Practitioner
1.800.652.9038
www.FengShuiForRealLife.com

E-mail Carol Olmstead


Carol M. Olmstead, FSIA, was certified by the Feng Shui Institute of America, and awarded Red Ribbon Professional Status from the International Feng Shui Guild (IFSG) and was elected to the IFSG Governing Board.

Feng Shui For Real Life, LLC, and the Feng Shui For Real Life E-zine serve as a reference and guide for the principles of Feng Shui and as such bear no responsibility for results a client or reader experiences. Individual results may vary based on the client's participation and intent.

©2013, Carol M. Olmstead


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© Copyright 2017, Carol Olmstead