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Welcome to the Feng Shui For Real Life Ezine, a monthly e-magazine with tips, success stories, and clutter-clearing advice to help you rearrange spaces, shift energy, and transform your life.

Carol’s Message for October
I cleaned my closet this weekend, bringing out my wool and suede (I'm a sucker for black suede boots) and donating and consigning a lot of things. It's Feng Shui friendly to get rid of things you don't need at the start of a new season, and it's even better not to bring some things into your home to begin with. That's why this month's Clutter Clinic gives you tips for keeping stuff out. But, I have to admit there are times when it may be more important to keep a gift, especially family heirlooms.

Here's my own story...
When my parents retired and moved out of state, my mom always brought me a gift whenever they came back to visit. The gift was unnecessary to begin with, and since our taste in home décor had grown apart, I often didn't ever use the items. Then I came up with an idea: if I couldn't stop her from bringing something, at least I could asked her to bring me an item that she no longer used. Each visit yielded something I hadn't seen since my childhood - from a cake server, to the silver holiday platter, to my favorite cobalt blue glass candy dish that was always on my grandmother's coffee table. These are still cherished possessions that I display and use, and one day will pass them along.

Are there gifts you just won't give away? Share your stories! I always love hearing from you, so please let me know what you think of the ezine, and especially what topics you want me to write about in future issues. Click here to reach me by email.

Keep in touch between issues of the ezine.
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  • Take my online video class at
  • Submit your questions via e-mail.
Carol M. Olmstead
Feng Shui Master Practitioner

Feng Shui Tip of the Month – All About Orange
If we associate colors with months, then orange is the natural color to associate with October. Think orange leaves, the blood moon, and of course, Halloween. Orange may be the new black in pop culture, but In Feng Shui, orange is known as the "social color" because it helps draw people together and encourages communication. On the fun side, that means using lots of orange decorations for a Halloween party can help encourage conversation and connection. On the more serious side, in Feng Shui and in color therapy, orange is used to overcome abuse, shock, depression, and codependency. People either love or hate orange. Some color therapists believe that if you don't like orange, it's an indication that you need it for healing. Surrounding yourself with the color orange can make you feel energized, creative, and motivated.

You may not need to produce drama with your use of the color orange, but you can add the color to your home and workplace in both dramatic and modest ways:
  • • Orange represents the Feng Shui Fire Element, so use it to power up a space located in the Fame, Reputation, or Love Areas of your home.
  • • Choose orange, terracotta, or peach paint for the family or great room, where you need to bring people together.
  • • Orange in combination with other warm desert colors can stimulate collaboration in small offices.
  • • Add some orange to your studio space when your creativity feels blocked.
  • • Wear orange when you are meeting people for the first time and it will make you seem more approachable, especially if you are in a communications profession.
  • • Surround yourself with the color orange if you are recovering from an accident, surgery, or a dental procedure.
  • • If you are a family therapist or work with family groups, add orange accents to your office to symbolize joy in relationships.
  • • Display orange flowers like gladiolus or begonias when you need to boost the energy in any commercial space, especially in a restaurant.
  • • Throw orange pillows on the sofa or armchair, or hang artwork with orange accents to bring energy into a windowless office or dark room.

And how could I write about the color orange without including any Feng Shui tips for Halloween. Click here to read my article, "Feng Shui Colors and Symbols of Halloween" in the articles section of my website, http//

Online Feng Shui Video Class – Grow Your Business with Feng Shui
This 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. The modules in the video include:

ALL ABOUT FENG SHUI: In the first video, hear how I discovered Feng Shui and how by making a simple rearrangement in my home office I changed my career in an unexpected and wonderful way.

THE BAGUA - CAREER GUA: In this video you learn all about the bagua, or mapping tool, that Feng Shui uses to find where the nine life energies fall in your home: Wealth, Future, Relationships, Creativity, Helpful People, Career, Harmony, Health, and Grounding.

ACTIVATE THE CAREER GUA: This video teaches you how to use Feng Shui cures and adjustments to activate the energies in your Career Area for greater success.

SIX AMAZING TIPS: Watch this video to learn six amazing tips that will help you create a space that supports you and your business.

ARRANGE YOUR WORKSPACE: We have so much information to share to help you arrange your workspace for success that we split it into two parts so you won't miss a thing.

HANDS-ON TRANSFORMATION: Watch as we 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.
Click here to watch the introductory video and register to take the class.

Clutter Clinic -- 5 Ways to Pare Down Your Stuff - Before It Gets in the Door
Do you have trouble refusing freebies? Do you display the gifts that your friends and relatives gave you even though you don't actually like them? If this sounds like you, check out these five tips from Laura Gaskill writing for They can help keep your home cleared of things you don't like and don't use, while keeping friendships and family harmony intact.

1. Just say "No, thank you" to free stuff. Do you really need or even want another free T-shirt, mug, or recycled shopping bag? If not, just smile and say no thanks and move on. Remind yourself that once it comes into your house - and especially your garage or basement - it's hard to get rid of.
2. Give yourself a shopping mantra. Know which stores tug on your willpower, and prepare yourself to be strong when you face them. It can help to come up with a powerful word or phrase that gets to the heart of how you want your home to feel. Gaskill suggests "clean and spacious," and I suggest something as simple as "clutter free." Repeat these words to yourself while you are shopping. Is that metallic gold horse sculpture you just plunked in your cart going to help your home be clutter free? If not, put it back.
3. Politely discourage gift giving. If your home is small or you are trying to pare back and simplify your life, share this information with your family and friends. When they know more about the goals you are striving for, and how important they are to you, they are far more likely to keep them in mind when choosing gifts for you.
4. Set a good example. You set the tone for the type and amount of gifts that others give you. If you are always giving tons of presents, your friends and family members may feel that's what you expect from them, too. If you want to receive fewer gifts, scale back your own giving first. Start a tradition of giving experiences, consumables, or donations to charities close to your heart or those favored by the recipient, or any option that can be enjoyed without being displayed in the house.
5. Express thanks for the sentiment behind a gift. When someone gives you a gift, the appropriate response is a heartfelt "thank you." What you are really thanking the giver for is thinking of you and taking the time to shop for, select, and wrap a present just for you. The confusion comes in when we start thinking we must always love the item itself, but that's not necessary. If you have warmly received the gift, you aren't required to display and care for the item forever. If this sounds a bit harsh, remember that the person who gave you the gift cares about you and wants only to bring you happiness. If the gift is causing feelings of guilt and resentment, it can be far better to donate it to a charity so someone will be able to appreciate it.

Success Story – Picturing Success
Marissa was having difficulty moving ahead in her career when she contacted me for an office consultation. She felt stuck in a rut in her job, couldn't understand why she was continually overlooked for a promotion, and had lost the ability to visualize herself succeeding in her career. There were three things that I noticed immediately in her office: she was sitting with her back to the door, which is considered a vulnerable position, she was starting at a blank wall, and the few pieces of art she had were uninspiring and were hanging in a straight line, symbolizing lateral rather than upward growth. I recommended a few strategic changes, and a few months later received this email from Marissa:

Here's what Marissa wrote:

The first thing I did was move my desk so I could see out the doorway, and I couldn't believe how much more "noticed" I felt when colleagues would walk down the hallway and smile or acknowledge me. Then, I found a picture of a mountain to hang behind me to represent support as you suggested, and replaced the horizontal line of bland prints that had been hanging in the office when I moved in with a photo of a beautiful sunrise and a print of a landscape with lush trees. As you suggested, this is what I thought represented career growth for me. Out of the blue I was selected to be part of an ad hoc task force, which has given me greater visibility and respect in the company. Finally, I can picture my prospects for moving up in my career.

I would love to share YOUR success story. Email Carol Olmstead or call 1.800.652.9038 to schedule your home or office consultation.

Ask the Feng Shui Maven
Q: We're considering buying a condo but our hesitation is the spiral staircase from the living room up to the loft. What do you think?
A: A spiral staircase can negatively affect feelings of safety and security, especially if there are no risers, because it feels like you could fall right through. Plus, it's like a corkscrew cutting through the bagua area where the stairs are located. If you decide to buy the condo, carpet the stairs and place soft busy plants at the bottom to ground you.

Q: I have a desk in my home-based business that came from my late father's accounting office and I love it because it reminds me of him, but I have to admit it's too huge for the room. Sometimes I like sitting behind it but sometimes it makes me feel small because it's so big, and it's the wrong height for my laptop. Should I get rid of it?
A: In Feng Shui the size of your desk influences your success at work, so it's important to choose the right size. A desk that's too big can make you feel you aren't up to the challenges of your business, while a desk that's too small makes you feel overwhelmed by the work you have to do. Just like Goldilocks, you need the find the desk that is "just right." I recommend you honor your father's memory by keeping the desk but moving it to another room where it can be a showpiece instead of a workspace. Then treat yourself to a new, appropriate size desk as a symbol of business success.

Q: We live in a gated community and have been happy with our neighborhood, until I read somewhere that it's bad Feng Shui to live behind a locked gate. What does Feng Shui say about this kind of situation?
A: The quick answer is "it depends." Feng Shui is all about intention, so what intentions are you setting for your life in the community? Do you feel that being behind the gates feels secure, protected, and comfortable or do you feel like you are locked away and nothing and no one can reach you? Your answer will reveal whether this is a good location for you.

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

Did you know...? Carol Olmstead is an ordained minister, qualified to perform house blessings and other Feng Shui ceremonies to assure harmony and good health in your home. Email Carol for details.

Feng Shui For Real Life Blog
My latest post for the Eco Lifestyles & Home Newsletter is all about "Feng Shui and Food." The ability to feed people with sumptuous, balanced meals represents wealth in Feng Shui, and you can achieve this balance by varying the colors, aromas, and even serving dishes for your meals according to the Feng Shui Five Elements.
Click here to read the article.

Feng Shui For Real Life Bookstore
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 at Kindle and iTunes.

Custom Feng Shui 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.

Here's what people are saying about Carol's workshops --
Carol rocked it with her powerful workshop, and how great to have the entire day to soak it as she covered so much. Everyone really LOVED it! Carol's fresh take on Feng Shui is invigorating yet light enough to actually make changes and see immediate results in a space. Her book is additional reinforcement to her live trainings. Carol makes the process fun and yes, anyone can do this! -- Jennifer Ashton, Jennifer Ashton Interiors

I have enjoyed Carol's lively and informative Feng Shui presentations, and I always leave with new insights and tips that I can immediately put to good use in both my home and office. I’m excited to have Carol create a custom workshop for my group.
-- Lainie Grimmer, CPCC, ACC, Creating Clarity Coaching

Thank you for a great presentation! Really great stuff.... you are a whiz. -- Val Romero, Founder, Women Make a Difference

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, and Skype.

On-Site Consulting
I will visit your home, office, or business and help you rearrange your space, shift energy, and transform your life. 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, and Denver). Nationwide, I consult on request throughout the US.

During the consultation I will teach you Feng Shui basics, then we'll go through your space and I'll make suggestions for changing the placement of furniture and objects and dealing with color. We will move what we can at that time and I will leave behind a written step-by-step Feng Shui Makeover Plan of recommendations for you to follow, a ToolKit of information to help you make the remaining changes, and a copy of my award-winning book, the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office: Secrets For Attracting Wealth, Harmony, and Love. All sessions include 30 days of free Feng Shui coaching to help you continue to make changes and move forward.

Here's what clients are saying about Carol's On-Site Feng Shui Consulting:
You stood here in my family room and said, "Now that the renovations are done and no more fixes are needed, there are no more excuses, it's time to write." And that's what I'm doing. Your consultation was a big factor behind this exciting time for me, and you can tell everyone that I said so.

I am love, love, loving my Feng Shui'd home. I have added red to many of the rooms, like you talked about, and what a difference. Thank you again for coming and doing your magic.
J.P., Executive Coach

Appointments fill up fast, especially on weekends Click here for details and to schedule.

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.

Here's what clients are saying about Carol's off-site Feng Shui consultations:
Thank you for the advice you provided during our Room Rescue consultation. You are the instrument to help me achieve tranquility and peace of mind.

The floor plan analysis told me everything I need to know. I especially appreciate the Hotline Coaching Package so I can continue to check in with you and ask questions as I move things around and before I make purchases. Loved your suggestion for art in my bedroom.

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 – 8 Thought-Provoking Questions to Spark Creativity
I'm always urging clients to use Feng Shui to open up space in their homes and workplaces so the things they are passionate about can find them. But sometimes we need help recognizing our creative passions. In his book A More Beautiful Question, Warren Berger collected the provocative questions that designers, tech innovators, and entrepreneurs asked themselves to spark creativity. What are your answers to these questions?
1. What is your tennis ball? According to Dropbox founder Drew Houston, the most successful people are obsessed with solving an important problem that matters to them, which reminds him of a dog chasing a tennis ball. To increase your chances of happiness and success you must find your tennis ball - the thing that pulls you. What do you find yourself doing and where does your attention pull you?
2. What am I doing when I feel most beautiful? This question from Jacqueline Novogratz, founder of The Acumen Fund, is about identifying what draws you in and makes you shine. Think about a time and place where you feel most alive, identify what made you feel that way, and try to find a way to do more of it.
3. What is something you believe that almost nobody agrees with you on? This question from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel is designed to do help you figure out what you care about and whether it's worth pursuing based on uniqueness. It's tough to find an idea or belief that isn't shared by many others, but if you can find a problem or challenge no one else is tackling, you can carve your own niche and create value.
4. What are your superpowers? The idea behind this question from filmmaker Tiffany Shlain is to "unpack the combination of personality traits and aptitudes you bring effortlessly to any situation." Sometimes by looking back into the past you can get a glimpse of who you really are and what you loved doing before others started telling you what you should do.
5. What did you enjoy doing at age 10? The things you loved as a child are probably still the things you love, says psychotherapist and author Eric Maisel. He suggests drawing up a list of favorite activities and interests from childhood to see what still resonates with you today, and update those loves. You may have loved something that doesn't even exist now, or doesn't make sense in your life now, but you may be able to find a new version of that.
6. What are you willing to try now? One of the best ways to find your purpose and passion is through experimentation. Author Herminia Ibarra says there's a tendency to devote extensive time, research, and planning to figuring out the ideal path before taking any action, but in truth we actually learn who we are by practice and testing reality.
7. Looking back on your career, 20 or 30 years from now, what do you want to say you've accomplished? LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner often asks prospective employees this question, and he's amazed how many don't have an answer. What would you include on your list of achievements?
8. What is your sentence? This question helps you distill purpose and passion to its essence by formulating a single sentence that sums up who you are and what you want to achieve. The question comes from author Daniel Pink, who acknowledges it originated with journalist and Congresswoman Clare Booth Luce. While visiting John F. Kennedy early in his presidency, Luce expressed concern that Kennedy might be in danger of trying to do too much, thereby losing focus. She told him "a great man is a sentence," meaning that a leader with a clear and strong purpose could be summed up in a single line, like: "Abraham Lincoln preserved the union and freed the slaves." If your sentence is a goal not yet achieved, then ask yourself how you can begin to live up to is.
Click here to read more in Warren Berger's post at

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 when you print the article or use it online.

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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

Email Carol Olmstead

Carol M. Olmstead, FSIA, 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.

©2014, Carol M. Olmstead

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© Copyright 2018, Carol Olmstead