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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:

Carol M. Olmstead, FSII

Happy New Year!

I am starting the new year with a new logo, which you can see at the top of this newsletter. My new design incorporates the Five Elements of Feng Shui, which are so much a part of my practice. Here is what each symbol represents:

• The red triangle for the Fire Element represents passion and power.
• The earth-tone square for the Earth Element represents grounding and stability.
• The silver circle for the Metal Element represents strength and focus.
• The green rectangle for the Wood Element represents growth and expansion.
• The blue flowing lines for the Water Element connect all of the elements and represent movement, relaxation, and the flow of abundance into our lives.

Feng Shui Tip: Move Something
I rearranged my office on New Year’s Day. Usually, I clean out a closet or a file draw on New Year’s, but this year I just got carried away. I reversed the position of my desk and sofa, and moved the bookcase. Now I look up the driveway instead of down, and good things have been flowing in ever since, including new clients and new opportunities from unexpected sources. Rearranging a complete room may be more than you can undertake, but why not just move something in your home or office and see what happens? In fact, why not try to move 27 things?

Here, back by request, are the instructions for my Feng Shui Fling:

On trash day, get a bag and move quickly through your home or office and fling 27 things into it—things you don't need, don't want, don't know why you are keeping. Open drawers and cabinets. Dig down under the sink. Don’t think, don’t analyze, don’t hesitate… just fling. Then take the bag right out to your trash can before you change your mind. (Three is an especially auspicious number in Feng Shui, so because 27 includes multiple sets of 3, your flinging will be prosperous.) Then stand back and watch the good things flow into the open spaces you have created.

Clutter Clinic: Getting Organized
Did you make a New Year's resolution to get organized? If you did, you are not alone. 85% of Americans make them each January, and according to the website, "Getting Organized" is the #6 resolution on the top ten list.

Here is a simple plan from Cynthia Leespring of Imagine Organizing! to help you carry your January enthusiasm throughout the year:
1. Get a notebook and calendar.
2. Choose 2-4 realistic goals and write each on a separate page in your notebook.
3. Set a deadline for reaching each goal and visualize success.
4. Write down the major steps to each goal; then, break each one into smaller steps.
5. Assign a date to each step.
6. Write each step in your calendar—a task a day—no matter how small.
7. Check your notebook often to see how far you have come and whether you are still on track.

Success Story: Angie and Jason's Front Porch
When Angie gave me directions to her historic Victorian house, she cautioned me to come around to the back door because the crumbling front porch steps were too dangerous to use. My "Feng Shui meter" went into alert mode, because the front door is the "mouth of chi" where all of the good energy enters a home. When I arrived I found a board across the walk to prevent visitors from approaching the front door. The Feng Shui message was one of danger, do not enter. Since this porch is in the home’s career and work area, some changes were badly needed. I urged Angie and her husband, Jason, to have the repairs done quickly because the blocked entrance was symbolically blocking their careers.

Just a few weeks later I was delighted to receive this e-mail from Angie:
"We finished the repairs to the steps and have started to use our front door again. Two days after we finished the steps, Jason was surprised by a big promotion at work. We were delighted, and are quickly working through the rest of the Feng Shui checklist. Thanks, again, for your insight and help."

Feng Shui Q&A:
Q: I finally got an office with windows, and I arranged the furniture so I can look at the view. The problem is my back is to the door when I am working at my computer. A colleague told me this position is not good Feng Shui. What do you think?
A: Sitting with your back to the door is considered the most vulnerable position in Feng Shui. Since things go on "behind your back," you can actually and symbolically be "caught off guard" by your competitors and even your colleagues. The ideal location is to sit at a desk that is positioned diagonally across from the door so you are in the command, or power, position. If you can't (or won't) move the desk, place a small mirror or reflective object near your computer monitor so you can see the door when your back is turned.

Q: I recently remarried and moved into the house where my wife lived with her 8-year-old son. My relationship with my stepson is good, but I would like to make it even better. Are there any Feng Shui changes we can make?
A: One way to help create a blended family is to take a recent family photo of the three of you doing something you love to do together, and place a framed copy in your stepson's room. Choose a wood frame to represent the Wood Element, to encourage growth in your relationship. Also, hang another copy of the photo in the Family area of your home.
(To locate the Family area, go to my website:

In The News:
On January 25, from 6:00pm-7:00pm Eastern time, I will be a guest on "Talking Change with Ane Powers" an Internet radio show focused on the how's, why's, and what-to-do's when faced with business and organizational change. This is a live, call-in show. You can listen to the show by going to and looking for "Talking Change with Ane Powers," and call in questions on 1-866-233-7861. If you can't listen at that time, the show is downloaded two hours after the live broadcast and can be accessed at Ane's website,

Workshops with Carol Olmstead:
January 26, 5:30-7:00pm
"Feng Shui Tips for Buying, Selling, or Enhancing Your Home."
Lecture and Cocktail Reception at 1st Metropolitan Mortgage

Hosted by GO Realty Santa Fe and 1st Metropolitan Mortgage
Workshop is free, but registration is limited.
To register, contact either:
Aysha Griffin, Go Realty Santa Fe (505-995-0195)
Michael Piotti, 1st Metropolitan Mortgage (505-988-1048)

I offer consultations for homes and offices and conduct workshops and seminars in many areas of the country. Appointments do fill up fast, especially on the weekends. If your city is not on this list, you can e-mail me at or call me at 1-800-652-9038 for details about setting up a session or consultation in your location.

Beyond Feng Shui: The Most Popular Color in the World Is?
Blue! That's the answer from a survey conducted by three global marketing firms. In Feng Shui, blue represents the Water Element, which brings movement and flow into our lives. The second favorite color is purple (one of the colors of the Fire Element), and the least favorite color is white (one of the colors of the Metal Element).

Here's more color trivia: What color do women see differently than men? Red, the Fire Element. When a woman sees red, she sees variations of crimson, burgundy, and tomato. When a man sees red, it is just red. Why? Researchers found that the gene that allows us to see the color red sits on the X chromosome. Women have two X chromosomes and so have two copies of this gene, compared with only one for men. The gene aids women's ability to perceive the red-orange color spectrum. You can read more about color and gender studies at the University of Maryland website:

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

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© Copyright 2018, Carol Olmstead