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January

Welcome to the Feng Shui For Real Life Ezine, 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 ezine.

Carol's Message for January 2015
Happy New Year!
I think 2015 is going to be a great year for everyone. The Fire Element dominated last year and many of us felt overwhelmed by all of that heat. This year will be a more enriching Wood Element year that should be characterized by growth for most of the animal signs in the Chinese Zodiac. This will be an especially good year for the Ox (me) and the Rat (my husband), which works fine with me. This year will also be about regaining balance, so I've included articles this month about how to restore yours - whether it's by getting rid of all of that stuff you've been promising yourself you'll throw away or by fixing those money leaks.

Did you make New Year's resolutions? Did you already break them? Let me know whether you think resolutions actually help you move forward. Click here to email your thoughts about the coming year.
Carol M. Olmstead
Feng Shui Master Practitioner

Feng Shui Tip of the Month – Prepare For the Year of the Sheep
In Feng Shui, 2015 is the Year of the Wood Sheep. Will it be a good or bad time to start a new relationship? Will conflicting countries reach their boiling point? Will your career or business thrive? The lunar year doesn't start until February 19 (great omen, that's my birthday!), but I like to take an early look at the predictions so we can prepare now with some Feng Shui adjustments.

The Sheep is the 8th sign in Chinese astrology and the number "8" is considered a lucky number because it symbolizes wisdom, fortune, and prosperity. For some, this year is known as the Goat or Ram because of different regional pronunciations of the Chinese word, but the predictions are the same whichever animal you prefer to use.

According to the Chinese Feng Shui masters who follow these things, 2015 is going to be better than 2014 because we'll experience the unusual phenomenon where all Five Elements are present - Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood - instead of one predominating. That means the year will bring more balance. Last year was an aggressive one because of the extreme Fire Element, but the balance of Elements in 2015 will help everyone move forward.

Here are some of the general Feng Shui recommendations for this Wood Sheep year:
· Wear the color green (Wood Element) to attract wealth luck. Some masters are suggesting that you need to wear green underwear. I'm not sure where that comes from but I guess it can't hurt.
· Add green accents to your office to boost your career or business.
· Other lucky colors are pink, red, orange, and yellow to enhance influence and power.
· Businesses that are expected to boom are real estate, food and restaurants, electronics, technology, and the export-import industry, but not industries that involve water like shipping.

Which Chinese Zodiac signs will be lucky this year? People born under the Horse and Monkey signs are predicted to get the blessing of the "prosperity star" that's associated with good fortune. Other animal signs that are predicted to be fortunate are the Rat, which will have the "wealth star," and the Tiger and the Ox, which will receive "unexpected gifts" in 2015. The Rabbit is also expected to have a great year ahead. But Roosters might be more likely to experience misfortune in the coming year, and Dragon and Snake signs might be more vulnerable to illness. But hang in there - these are just predictions, and instead of focusing on the negative of what might happen, the Feng Shui recommendation is to move forward by making some adjustments to balance your surroundings.

Since this is a year of balance, my main Feng Shui suggestion is to conduct a home and office audit to assure you have a balance of the Five Elements in each room. You can use the color or shape of each Element, or an object that represents the Element's characteristics. Click here to read my article about the Fire Elements.

Clutter Clinic -- 7 Permission Slips
A house is a place to keep your stuff, while you go get more stuff, until you have so much stuff, you have to go get a bigger house.

January is National Get Organized Month, and a great time to take a look at all that "stuff" you don't need, like, or want, but hold on to because you think you should. In Feng Shui, clutter represents postponed decisions and the inability to move forward. What do you accumulate, where do you put it, and why do you keep it? The answers say a lot about your ability to achieve balance.

We all have to deal with some amount of clutter, but in Feng Shui terms, extreme clutter holds you back and keeps you from making progress. One of the basic tenets of Feng Shui is that nothing new flows into your life until you make room for it. Therefore, clearing clutter is the key to shifting energy and transforming your life. Feng Shui is about attracting abundance into your life, but clutter blocks abundance from reaching you. When I help my clients clear clutter, I find that many people need permission to get rid of all that stuff they are holding on to. If you fall into that category, here are seven "permission slips" to get rid of things that could be holding you back.
  1. If something reminds you of how much weight you gained or lost (unplanned), you have permission get rid of it.
  2. If something makes you sad or unhappy, you have permission to get rid of it.
  3. If something brings back bad memories, you have permission to get rid of it.
  4. If something makes you feel out-of-date, you have permission to get rid of it.
  5. If something is broken and it costs more to fix then replace, you have permission to get rid of it.
  6. If something from your past would embarrass your loved ones after you're gone, you have permission to get rid of it.
  7. If something doesn't mean anything to you any longer, you have permission to get rid of it.
Do you have clutter-clearing and organizing tips to share? Click here to email Carol Olmstead.

Success Story – Getting Unstuck
Allison felt stuck between "a rock and a hard place" when she contacted me to set up her Feng Shui home consultation. A relatively new real estate agent, her finances were strained because of a lingering downturn in the market in her area. She had sold only a few of her listings and had not received a commission in months. To make matters worse, her roommate had moved out to live with a boyfriend and Allison couldn't afford to pay the rent on the pricey loft by herself. She was happy for her roommate, but was hoping that she, too, could find love. Complicating the situation even more, Allison's aging car was no longer appropriate for chauffeuring her clients around to see houses, and she needed a new one. Allison was afraid her limited finances would make her choose between getting a new apartment and buying a new car. To get her career and her life moving forward, I outlined a year of Feng Shui changes for Allison, starting with a thorough clutter clearing of her home to get rid of any negative energy and removing the "single-girl" stuffed animals from her bedroom, followed by powering-up her office with images of high-end homes and properties to symbolically attract more listings and sales.

Here is what Allison wrote about her year of Feng Shui changes:
Since I put Feng Shui to work for me last year, I have paid in full for a new car, moved into a new fabulous apartment, and have fallen madly in love with a guy I met in the fitness center of my new complex. And to think that when I began this process, I thought I would have to choose between a car and an apartment! I felt so stuck when I first started making daily Feng Shui changes, but with slow and steady implementation of a day-by-day plan, I was able to gradually make things happen that I previously thought were impossible. Share your own Feng Shui Success Story on my Facebook page.

Ask the Feng Shui Maven
Q: I'm a Realtor and I have bought five pricey knife sets to give my clients as closing gifts. There are two knives in the set, and my name, phone number and the name of the real estate company I work for are on the bright red handles. I was hoping giving a gift with my information would bind me to my clients, but now I'm wondering whether a knife will cut the relationship.
A: I wish I could give you the answer you want to hear, but in Feng Shui giving knives as a gift symbolizes cutting a friendship, so it's not the best Feng Shui choice if you want to continue the relationship with your clients. Also, I would be concerned about having your name on the handle, because if you ever move to a different company your clients would have the name of your previous agency. Red represents the Fire Element and is good for many Feng Shui applications, but in this case it brings too much hot energy to an already "sharp" and cutting object. Many realtors give gift certificates for Feng Shui consultations as a symbol that they want their clients to continue to grow, thrive, and prosper in their new homes.

Q: Where in my house should I keep statues of elephants, and should I choose the ones with the trunks lifted up or pointed down?
A: I loved reading this question because my mom collected white elephants with uplifted trunks when I was young, which she thought would bring us luck - way before I ever discovered Feng Shui. She bought one every time we went into Chinatown for dinner! Elephants are auspicious symbols of good fortune. With their trunks up they are said to protect a home and are best placed in your foyer flanking the front door. With their trunks down, they are said to bring "descendants luck" to the family. If a couple is trying to conceive, these elephants are placed on both sides of the master bedroom door as you enter the room.

Q: What do you think about an enclosed back porch that we use nine months of the year? Should it be treated as a room when I use the bagua to map my home? We use the porch frequently except in the really cold months
A: Yes, a porch that you use on a regular basis is considered part of your home and should be included in the bagua. To keep the positive chi flowing in your home all year long, try to "visit" the porch on a regular basis during the winter months, even if you only step out there to dust off the furniture. You could also keep silk plants on the porch in the off-season to bring some life to this area.

Do you have Feng Shui questions?
Email Carol Olmstead, then watch this newsletter for the answers.

Feng Shui Video Class - Grow Your Business With Feng Shui
It's a great year to start or expand your a business! My 90-minute, self-paced course includes tips for activating the Career/Work bagua area, along with simple changes you can make in your home that will advance your career or business.

Among other things, you'll learn 6 amazing tips that will help you create a space that supports you and your business. Watch as I use Feng Shui principles to conduct a hands-on transformation of a client's workplace and create a dynamic home office that gives more clarity, less clutter and distractions, and ultimately, more success.

Buy One Class For Yourself, Buy Another To Give to a Friend
Click here to watch the introductory video and register to take the class.

Feng Shui For Real Life Bookstore
Check out my two critically acclaimed Feng Shui books --

365 Feng Shui Secrets
Announcing my new e-book, 365 Feng Shui Secrets. Want to earn more money? Yearning to rev up your love life? Looking to create family harmony? Need to control clutter before it controls you? Or do you just need a good night's sleep? The simple Feng Shui tips in this e-book can bring all of this and more. Includes Feng Shui basics to get you started and a tip-a-day calendar to help you make Feng Shui changes seasonally. The tips cover all of the seasons, holidays, celebrations, adventures, and misadventures of your life. Also includes new success stories from my clients to illustrate how everyday people used these Feng Shui tips to improve their lives. Start the calendar on any date and work through a full year of daily advice.
365 Feng Shui Secrets
80 pages
Web Only Price: $5.99
Click here to download your copy.

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 for Kindle.

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.

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

Beyond Feng Shui – How To Plug Financial Leaks
Whether or not your New Year's Resolution involved saving money, it's always good Feng Shui to stop any money leaks in your home. Money Magazine offers these solutions to the most common financial leaks that they define as "...completely unnecessary waste, extra money we could have if we just reached for it, fees we could avoid if we just made a little effort, and other stupid easy stuff."
• Your savings barely earns interest. With a little shopping around, you'll see that many institutions pay close to 1%, which can earn $100 a year on every $10,000 in savings.
• You don't admit your money mistakes. You haven't been to the gym in months, but you don't cancel your membership because doing so would mean acknowledging that you made a mistake. Continuing that unused membership can cost $500 to $1,000 a year.
• You leave your heat and AC running for no reason. Using a programmable thermostat to adjust your home's temperature - it can lower the heat at night and when you're at work, for example - could shave 5% to 15% off your heating and cooling bills.
• You pay your bank to hold your money. Americans spend $7 billion on bank fees each year. But many banks will waive their monthly checking account fee if you set up direct deposit from your employer.
• You spend more on your car than it's worth. Once your car is 10 years old, the cost of repairing it after an accident is very likely more than the car is worth. Dropping collision coverage for your wheels and covering just injury and property damage could save up to 40%.
• You pay too much for auto insurance. Drivers who have stayed with the same insurer for more than eight years could save 19% by switching, according to a recent study.
• You don't bundle your policies. Insuring your home and auto with a single company can save up to 25% per year, which is $300 a year for a typical home and auto policy.


F Y I
Do You Want to Use Articles From This Ezine? While articles in the Feng Shui For Real Life Ezine 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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Check the Ezine Archives. If you missed any previous issues of the Feng Shui For Real Life Ezine, you can download them from the “Archives” page on credit Carol M. Olmstead as author and include my website address or link to http://www.FengShuiForRealLife.com.

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 email 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

Email Carol Olmstead


Carol M. Olmstead, FSII, 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 Ezine 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.

©2015, Carol M. Olmstead


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© Copyright 2017, Carol Olmstead