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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: Behind Open Doors
What is lurking behind your doors? When your doors do not open fully, what is lurking behind them is stagnant energy. And when energy is stagnant, opportunities will not open for you. This is especially important for your front door—which is known as the "mouth of chi" where the good energy enters your home—and it also applies to your back door, your room doors, and your closets. A hook on the back of the bathroom door is fine if all you hang a robe or a towel, as long as the door can still opens all the way. But it is time to get rid of the ironing board, piles of magazines, folding chairs, and other assorted objects that I find behind my client's doors. Remove objects from behind your doors and watch your future prospects open.

Clutter Clinic:
In the Spring 2006 issue of Hagerstown Magazine in Maryland, I was quoted about clutter for an article on Feng Shui design:
Carol includes one very practical application of Feng Shui in every consultation: clearing away clutter — something present in nearly every household. To Carol, 'Clutter represents postponed decisions and the inability to move forward.' But don’t just take her word for it. Clear out a closet, and see what flows into your life. When your house is full of clutter, Carol says, you end up in conflict with your home environment. And 'fighting your environment can take up all of your energy' — energy which can be better spent in other areas of your life, including your health, wealth, love life and career.
You can read the entire article at:

Success Story: Feng Shui For Children's Rooms
I received this encouraging note from a client who was having trouble getting her daughter to go to sleep in her own bed:
Thank you for the fact sheet on children's room. I started making some of those changes in my daughter's room to help her sleep better, and my efforts had an immediate payback—she is going to sleep earlier and sleeping later! I bought a storage unit with doors, and each night we make it part of her routine to put away the toys she has been playing with. It worked! I appreciate all the information you gave me, especially the tips for arranging children's rooms. I can't tell you how excited I feel about the next steps. Seeing my house through your eyes has finally given me direction on what to do. I am looking forward to moving on.

Feng Shui Q & A:
Q: My family does not talk…we argue. Are there any quick Feng Shui tips to help improve our communications?
There could be something about the objects, colors, and images you have around you that is blocking conversation. But without actually seeing your home, it is impossible to say for sure. Try making some changes in color and see if that helps. The color orange encourages communication, so try adding orange accents (flowers, placemats, an orange ceramic bowl to the kitchen or dining room table) and eat your meals at the table! Food brings people together so if you are all eating in various places around the house, start eating together at the same table. A round table encourages equality in a family.

Q: I read that displaying masks are not considered a good thing from a Feng Shui perspective. What do you think?
Masks are not considered to be an auspicious symbol in Feng Shui because they represent hiding or covering up something. So, it is best not to accumulate them. However, if you have masks that have pleasant associations with them (you bought them on a vacation, etc.) and you don not want to get rid of them, avoid displaying them in the Love/Relationship and Family/Health area of your home.

In the News: New At Home Magazine
My bylined article, Using Feng Shui to Make Your House Your Home, appears in the current issue of New At Home Magazine, a publication aimed at new home owners. In the article, I describe my consultation with a young couple settling into their new home. Many of the tips I gave the new homeowners are universal, and apply to the process of making your house your own in any part of the country. You can read the article by going to ( and clicking on the entry for New At Home Magazine.

Hagerstown Magazine
The March/April issue of Hagerstown Magazine is now online. I am quoted in the article titled A Functional Art -- Decorate with Feng Shui, which includes the Feng Shui Elemental Quiz that appeared in a previous issue of my newsletter. Many thanks to writer Emily Dolly for coming up with the perfect description of my Feng Shui practice: Carol Olmstead, a certified Feng Shui practitioner, brings the lofty concepts of Feng Shui down to earth for her clients with her appropriately named practice, Feng Shui for Real Life. You can read the complete article online and take the quiz at:

Consultations and Workshops
UPCOMING WORKSHOP: Santa Fe Design Week, October 22-29
Plan ahead to be in Santa Fe in October for the second annual Santa Fe Design Week. This year's events will be held in conjunction with the prestigious UNESCO Creative Cities Summit. There will be more than 50 events focusing on design as form and function, and I will be hosting at least one Feng Shui workshop during the week. Mark your calendar and watch this newsletter and the Santa Fe Design Week website for more information:

Do you want to schedule a Feng Shui consultation or workshop in your home city?

Home and Office Consultations: On a regular basis, I offer consultations for homes and offices in the Northeast (Maryland, Northern Virginia, Washington, DC) and the Southwest (Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Los Alamos, Phoenix, Scottsdale). Appointments do fill up fast, especially on the weekends. If your city is not on my travel list this month, please e-mail me ( for details about setting up a session or consultation in your locations.

Workshops and Seminars: My Feng Shui workshops are customized to meet the needs of individuals, organizations, and groups. Here are some of the most popular topics I have presented:
Introduction to Feng Shui
Bedroom Feng Shui
Feng Shui Clutter Clinic
Feng Shui for Children's Rooms
Home Office Feng Shui
Feng Shui Goes To Work
Look Twice, Buy Once for Home Buyers
Sell It Fast with Feng Shui
Feng Shui, Love, and Relationships
Feng Shui in the Garden
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Themes (May)
Holiday Luncheons (December)

Beyond Feng Shui: Personalizing Your Workspace
A survey by the Steelcase Workplace Index found that 85 percent of workers personalize their offices, and that 68 percent believed personalizing their space improved their overall attitude at work. The survey revealed that nearly half (47 percent) felt their company encouraged decorating their workspace, which they attributed this to the company's desire for employees to have positive attitudes. Workers surveyed most frequently decorated their offices with photographs (69 percent), radios or CD/tape players (50 percent), paintings and posters (47 percent), and flowers or plants (42 percent). Men and women were equally inclined to decorate their work space, but those individuals ages 35-44 were most inclined to do so (90 percent) and those 18-24 were least inclined. Given the changes taking place in today's workplace, including telecommuting and downsizing, surrounding themselves with personal effects is one way office workers can create their own sense of security and stability. And it's good Feng Shui! You can more about this study at:

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