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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

Feng Shui Tip: Using Color
Each of the five Feng Shui elements (Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood) can be represented by different colors. When you combine these colors in your home or office, you activate specific aspects of your life.

Here are a few examples of how color combinations can change what flows into your life:
• Need to encourage harmony in a relationship? Try mixing BLACK (water element) and WHITE (metal element) to balance the yin/yang aspects of your lives together.
• Looking for growth and longevity? Try GREEN (wood element) and PURPLE (fire element).
• Want to stimulate your children's creativity? Add WHITE AND METALLIC (metal element) colors to their rooms.
• Looking to expand your career success? Try mixing PURPLE (fire element) and BLACK (water element) in your office.
• Are you an author struggling with writer's block? Try BLUE (water element) or GREEN (wood element) for inspiration and growth.
• Want to encourage harmony and abundance in your life? Combine RED and GOLD (fire elements)

Clutter Clinic: Contain, Repeat, Repurpose
This month's tip, courtesy of Real Simple Magazine (, involves a 3-step process for clutter-busting:

Step 1. Contain: Enough storage space is a challenge in any household. But solutions can be found littering your closets and cabinets right now. Use boxes, wooden crates, fruit baskets, and empty jars to store anything including mementos, files, paper clips, or spices.

Step 2. Repeat: Transform extra containers or collectibles into a decorative display by clustering similar objects. Consistency makes a grouping look like art rather than a random assortment of objects.

Step 3. Repurpose: Although a sugar bowl with a lost lid and a wobbly chair no longer serve their original purposes, they are far from useless. You can give a second life to your possessions by giving them new functions. For example, the sugar bowl can become a flower container and the chair, an end table.

For specific suggestions on implementing this clutter-busting process, check out the magazine's website:,21863,1066039,00.html?nid=8517060303-1066039.

Success Story: Feng Shui and Love
I loved reading this e-mail from my client. It reminded me that with Feng Shui changes, you may not get what you think you want, but you always get what you need:
My house is so very different now from when you were here in the Fall, you probably would not even believe it! It feels great and filled with positive energy flow. And, while I can say I still don't have a love interest in my life (which as you know was my goal), my view of love, commitment and intimacy has definitely been evolving and thus allowing me to create the changes in my love relationships that need to be. I am convinced it has to do with all the positive Feng Shui messages, but it is hard to articulate. Oh, and there is one more thing: my housekeeper is off having a baby. The Feng Shui changes I made for intimacy obviously worked on one of us.
Feng Shui Q & A:
Q: We are considering buying a house where the master bedroom is located over the kitchen and the only place for the bed is directly over the stove. I read that this is not a good position. Should we pass on the house?

A: Positioning a bed above the kitchen stove is not the most auspicious location, but not as much of a problem as having the bed next to the stove wall of the kitchen on the same level. Since the cooking area is active (yang) energy, and a bed is quiet (yin) inactivity, placing a bed above a stove could affect your sleeping. The solution is to avoid putting any of the FIRE element in the bedroom (red, orange, deep purple colors; candles or triangular accents). Also, add the EARTH element (brown, yellow, or terracotta colors; granite and clay accents) and artwork with WATER colors (dark blues and black) to reduce the fire energy from the stove.

In The News: Take the Feng Shui Elemental Quiz
I was interviewed for an article that will appear in the Spring Home and Garden issue of Hagerstown Magazine. The article, A Functional Art: Learn How Feng Shui Can Bring Harmony to Your Life and Home, includes a Feng Shui Elemental Personality Quiz that I helped writer Emily Dolly create. You can take the quiz and find out which Feng Shui element controls your life and what objects to add to your surroundings to balance your personal element.

Here two sample questions:
1. Which color(s) do you most prefer?
reds or purples
shades of brown
grays and reflective colors
blues or black

2. Which personality trait describes you best?

You can take the quiz by going to this site:

The full article will appear on the magazine's website,, which is expected to go live by the end of March.

Workshops with Carol Olmstead
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APA), a celebration of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States, and I am already scheduling Feng Shui workshops as part of the celebration. If you are interested in a session, please contact me ( ASAP to reserve your date.

May was chosen as APA month to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. This year's theme is Freedom for All—A Nation We Call Our Own. You can get more information about events during the month at this site:

DO YOU WANT A FENG SHUI WORKSHOP OR CONSULTATION IN YOUR CITY? 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, please e-mail me ( for details about setting up a session or consultation in your location.

Beyond Feng Shui: Bedroom Lighting
Get rid of the ceiling fixtures in your bedroom to help encourage romance, says New York City interior designer Christopher Coleman. Because the bedroom provides a safe haven from your daily grind—and hopefully a lot of romance—Coleman recommends subtle lighting. “Ceiling fixtures don’t have a real purpose in a bedroom," he says, "and you don’t ever want the whole room to be lit.” Use table lamps on the dressers and floor lamps instead.

March Madness is Back
No, not NCAA basketball madness. I am talking about the Mercury Retrograde that we are currently experiencing through March 25. When this happens, communications go haywire. So this is a reminder that during a retrograde, we all need to watch out for communications snafus. Use the time to reflect rather than act, and start planning new Spring activities that you can launch after the retrograde.

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