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March

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 the Month
Let's all agree that this endless winter is almost over and we can see spring on the horizon. It's time to think about getting rid of those winter jackets, putting away the snow shovels, and watching for spring flowers to start pushing up through the snow. People have long used specific flowers to convey secret messages, especially during the Victorian era when flowers were sent to reveal secret sentiments of love and affection. Known as floriography, this "language of flower" was so complex that hundreds of dictionaries were devoted to decoding these floral messages. In Feng Shui, flowers speak a special language to your home and workplace, and where you place them can be critical. In my lead article this month, "The Feng Shui Language of Flowers," I write about some flowers that have special Feng Shui meaning, and where you can place them to bring good things into your life.

Spring is also about holidays, and can you believe that Passover and Easter are right around the corner? Make sure you subscribed to my FengShuiForRealLifeBlog.com so you can read my post about how to keep family harmony around your holiday table this spring.

Happy Spring, everyone! We deserved it.
Carol M. Olmstead
Feng Shui Master Practitioner

Feng Shui Tip of the Month – The Feng Shui Language of Flowers
Spring. Flowers. Finally! Who doesn't love bringing fresh flowers into a home or workplace? When you match the Feng Shui symbolism of flowers with the specific bagua areas where you place them, it can be an effective Feng Shui cure to attract wealth, harmony, love, and so much more. The shape, color, texture, and aroma of specific flowers all speak a Feng Shui language to your home and office depending on where you place them. The attributes of a flower represent specific chi, and the stronger your connection to these attributes, the more powerful the energy. Here are several flowers with a Feng Shui message, and the recommended bagua area to display them:

Chrysanthemum. The chrysanthemum is a symbol for a balanced and easy life, and is an appropriate flower to display in the center or Grounding Area of your home. With its strong yang energy, the chrysanthemum is also associated with attracting good luck.

Hydrangea. Whether blue, pink, white, or purple, these fragrant flowers symbolize gratitude and enlightenment, and make an excellent thank you gift to an unsung hero in your life. Display hydrangeas in the Creativity Area.

Lotus. The lotus flower symbolizes perfection, and therefore helps create harmony in your household. Hang an image of a lotus in your Harmony Area to assure positive family communication.

Narcissus. The energy of the narcissus flower is related to the "flowering" of talents and is therefore can boost career success. Display a white narcissus in the Career Area of your home or workplace to help reap the rewards of your hard work.

Orchid. The orchid is considered a symbol of the search for perfection, spiritual growth, and purity in life. Place an orchid in the Helpful People area of your home to attract mentors, clients, and supporters. Orchids are also considered a symbol of fertility, so grow an orchid or display an image of orchids in your bedroom if you are trying to get pregnant.

Peony. A beautiful flower with a notable scent, the peony is used in Feng Shui to represent love and romance. A classic Feng Shui cure to attract or fix a relationship is to display a pair of pink peonies or hang artwork that shows a pair of peonies in your bedroom or in the Relationship Area.

Roses. The Feng Shui symbolism of roses varies with their color: red for love, yellow for friendship, white for purity, pink for admiration. Display red roses in the Love Area to strengthen relationships or in the Wealth Area to attract prosperity. Be sure to remove the thorns.

Tree Blossoms. Blossoming flowers are associated with freshness and new beginnings, especially cherry, dogwood, or peach tree blossoms. Display these blossoms or pictures of them in your Family Area.

It's always preferable to surround yourself with living flowers, but when that isn't possible you can use high quality silk flowers or pictures of flowers. Avoid surrounding yourself with dried flowers since in Feng Shui they represent dead energy.

Clutter Clinic -- Can Recycling Actually Contribute to Clutter?
Clearing clutter is good Feng Shui, and it feels especially good when you can sell, donate, or reuse some of your "junk" instead of stuffing it into the trashcan. The downside of all of this re-cycling, up-cycling, and free-cycling is that if you don't get rid of the clutter right away, you're just moving it from one location to another. Here are a few things we hold on to because we think it will save money, and options for dealing with them once and for all.

Saving things to make something new. Do you save paper and ribbon and yarn and ____ (fill in the blank) with the intention of making something crafty with them? (Yes, mea culpa on this one.) It's good Feng Shui to create something new out of what you already have, but unless you actually have room to store these materials, and you actually do spend the time to "upcycle" them, this stuff becomes clutter.
Instead: Be realistic and selective about the kind of scrap materials and the amount you keep and store them in one location. Donate what you know you won't use to a school or daycare center rather than keep it.

Buying in bulk. Bulk purchases can save you money, but these large quantities occupy space in your pantry, basement, attic, or garage. And each of these rooms occupies an area of the bagua that is affected by the negative energy of your static inventory.
Instead: Consider splitting the cost and sharing your bulk purchases with a friend. This will let you use everything you buy and still benefit from the cost savings. Also, designate a specific area of your home for storing bulk items and don't go beyond that limit. If there's no room, don't buy it no matter how good a bargain.

Returning recyclables for a reward. A recent New York Times article described the author's love of coffee and the clutter that came from it. She saved Starbucks coffee bags to exchange for a free cup of coffee. But because she didn't make it to Starbucks often, her collection of coffee bags turned into clutter and she ultimately just threw them away. Keeping coffee bags, plastic bottles, or soda cans out of landfills is an admirable goal, and you can make money for them depending on your location, but the storage issue can quickly overwhelm.
Instead: Pick a container for rebate-recyclables that's small enough to store out of sight. When the container is full, stop collecting and immediately take them to the store to get your reward. If your container is overflowing and you honestly admit you won't get to the store, put them out with your other recycling.

Saving things that need repairing. You can save money by doing your own repairs, but if you honestly hate to sew on buttons and fix torn hems, you could find your "sewing chair" overwhelmed with too many things that have been sitting around for a long time.
Instead: Determine if the manufacturer offers repair service for free. For example, Coach will fix or replace its wallets, Eileen Fisher has a "Secret Repair Program," and other companies have hidden fix-it programs that you can find out about by searching online. A good rule of thumb is to skip repairs that cost more than 50% of what it would cost to buy a new one.

Collecting things to consign. Clearing out closets on a regular basis is good Feng Shui, but if your clothes stay in bags instead of going out the door to consignment you haven't accomplished a thing. Remember, consignment stores can be choosy and what was once an expensive purchase for you may be too old to have consignment value.
Instead: Keep a basket or shopping bag in your closet for consignment items. The minute it's full, put it in your car and plan to stop that day at a consignment store. If after one week the clothes still haven't made it to consignment, drop them off at a nonprofit donation site instead and enjoy the tax write off - and a clutter free closet and car.
Do you have clutter-clearing and organizing tips to share? Click here to email Carol Olmstead.

Success Story – Michelle’s New Love
Michelle initially wrote to me that she had been single for many years, went out on lots of dates, but no one special was really coming out of the crowd. I often hear variations of this story from my single clients. My suggestion to Michelle, and to the other singles who ask me how to change this situation, is to check out what you have in two places - your bedroom, and the Love/Relationship area of your home. Make sure you aren't displaying something that is actually holding you back from finding true love.

Here's what Michelle wrote:
I wanted to share with you a Feng Shui success story. Following some of your online tips and those in your book, I made several changes, especially moving the photos of my family from the bedroom to the living room and cleaning out the closet. Boy, did I clean out that closet. I found a painting online that spoke to me of romance and passion and hung it next to my bed. Looking at your bagua map, I realized that my romance/love corner was occupied by the dollhouse I bought when I was 13, which was mostly gathering dust and serving as a nice perch for my two cats. Out went the dollhouse (to a high school friend's two young daughters, who love it) and up went two photos of pink and red flowers from my 2007 trip to Peru. Here's where the story gets interesting. Some time later, I met an amazing man on e-harmony. Where is he from? Peru. We have since moved to Peru, painted our bedroom pink, and hung up that same painting, which he also loves.
Share your own Feng Shui Success Story on my Facebook page.

Ask the Feng Shui Maven
Q: I would like to put a mirror in a black frame over our couch in the living room to bring in more light. The walls are gray and it's in the Fame and Reputation area of the bagua. We already bought the mirror, but I haven't put it up due to my understanding that mirrors represent Water and this bagua area is Fire. Water quenches Fire. Is there a way to use the mirror without harming the energy in the Fame and Reputation area?
A: You're right that the general Feng Shui recommendation would be to avoid hanging a mirror in the Fame/Reputation area because mirrors represent the Water Element, which would symbolically drown the Fire Element that should predominate in this bagua area. Plus, the black frame represents additional Water. My recommendation would be to hang the mirror in a Water area of the home rather than in a Fire Area. Try painting the walls a more neutral, earthy color instead of gray, and choose a light-reflecting paint especially designed to help disburse light throughout a room.

Q: I enjoy your monthly tips and reading about people's successes using Feng Shui. I'm trying to transition from a full time job to a part time position closer to my home. I have been clearing my home office to prepare for a new job somewhere else. While I have begun to again review your book, and to check each of my room to see where I have something that resists change, I'm wondering how critical are attics and basements for career moves?
A: There are a lot of issues rolled into your question about finding a new job. What's above you in the attic symbolically weighs down on you, and what's below you in the basement provides support, so if those areas are cluttered and/or filled with things that have negative meaning, it could symbolize being held back in your job search. If you haven't yet taken my video class that might be the first place to start to help you uncover what might need attention in your house, and specifically in your home office.

Q: Thank you so much for your book and informative newsletter. I'm a fan. My question is, which door is the primary...the front door we never use or the garage/laundry door we use all the time?
A: Thanks for your compliments, and I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed the book and the newsletters. The key phrase in your question was "never use" the front door. The bagua is oriented from your front door looking in to your home. That's the entrance that the architect designed and the builder created, and in Feng Shui it's the "mouth of chi" because that's where all positive chi enters your home. You might want to try using your front door even if it's only opening it in the morning to greet each day (with love and gratitude!). If you come home through the garage and laundry room, make sure that entrance is as pleasing as your front entrance. Paint the door between the garage and house the same as your front door, use the same door mat, and if you decorate your front door for holidays do the same with your entry door. An attached garage is considered to be one of the rooms in your house so decorate it with the same care as you do with the rest of your home.

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.

New on Carol's Feng Shui For Real Life Blog
My posts from last month included:
Birds Bouncing Badly
A Different Kind of Valentine’s Day TIP
What’s Behind Door #1
Click here to read these posts and more, and then subscribe to the blog so you won't miss a thing.

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

365 Feng Shui Secrets
Announcing my new ebook, 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 ebook 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 Restaurants Make Us Spend MOre
Even if you're immune to sales pitches like "Do you want fries with that?" restaurants keep inventing ways to push you into spending a little more. I was at Season's 52 last month and the waiter not only brought out the dessert tray of "mini-indulgences," but he set out a dessert spoon and little napkin for each of us at the table. "Rather presumptuous, aren't you," my friend asked him. But yes, three out of the four of us did indulge. Seems we're not alone, because this chain's presentation method has pushed its dessert sales higher than other restaurants. Check out some of the other ways restaurants get you to spend - and eat - more than you intended:
Drop the Dollar Signs. Restaurant menus are a complicated mixture of psychology, art, and sales pitches. Restaurants and fast-food chains are leaving off the dollar signs their menus because studies have shown that too many dollar signs make the food look more expensive. Without the dollar signs, we actually spend more.
Words Matter. Imagery and language can make prices "digest" easier. Vivid descriptions for menu items can make a standard dish sound special, and consequently make you pay more. So, while you may resist paying $19 for baked fish and the vegetable of the day, you do pay that for "flaky cod marinated in our house sauce, served with country peas."
Hand-Eye Coordination. The closer you are to something, the more likely you are to make an impulse buy. That's why the area by the registers at Starbuck's is so crowded with extras. No one goes to Starbucks to buy mints, but a lot of people do buy them along with their daily latte.
Controlling the Choices. Sometimes the choices available will push people to spend more. Drinks are a particularly ripe area for this "upselling" because people usually pay less attention to these prices as they do for main dishes. Paying 25 cents more for a bigger soda seems like a no-brainer to most people, even if they actually would have been content with the smaller portion.


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.

Make Sure You Receive Every Issue of This Ezine. I hate spam, but unfortunately sometimes spam catchers block the words “feng shui.” To ensure that your copy of the Feng Shui For Real Life Ezine does not get caught in your SPAM filters, please add my email address the domains www.constantcontact.com and ui.constantcontact.com to your address book, approved senders list, or white list.

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