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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 November
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my US readers! I'm grateful that you invite me into your lives each month. Thanksgiving always makes me think about tablecloths, and specifically that I don't use them anymore but find it hard to give them all away because they have such pleasant memories. There's my mom's lace tablecloth with the red wine stain from when I squirted seltzer into my wine glass and it ricocheted off the chandelier and dripped on my cousin's head (don't ask, it's a long story). There are the cross-stitch tablecloths my grandmothers and aunts made and I ended up with all of them. And of course there's that French linen cloth from Paris that isn't going anywhere. (See, even the Feng Shui Maven sometimes has trouble getting rid of sentimental things.) That's why I was fascinated to read a post about "Conquering Sentimental Clutter" and feature it for this month's Clutter Clinic. It's easy to get rid of stuff with little emotional attachment, but when there's family and ritual involved, things get a bit more complicated. But fear not, I am making progress - I put two tablecloths in my sewing room this week to repurpose the fabric.

Do you have family "heirlooms" that you don't use anymore but have trouble giving away? Share your story and I'll feature it is a future ezine. 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.

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Carol M. Olmstead
Feng Shui Master Practitioner

Feng Shui Tip of the Month – Feng Shui Holiday Gift Do's and Don'ts
Like it or not, the holiday gift shopping season started early this year, with many stores displaying their Christmas decorations the day after Halloween. You may not feel ready to jump head first into holiday shopping (I certainly don't), but if you mix a little Feng Shui planning into your gift list at least you can reduce some of the stress. Whenever you're ready to venture into the crowded stores or to start your cybershopping for those perfect Hanukkah and Christmas gifts, be careful what you choose because your gifts may have hidden meaning in Feng Shui terms. Here are my top five Feng Shui holiday gift giving "do's and don'ts," plus some ways to turn around any negative Feng Shui meaning in gifts you receive.

Feng Shui Gift Giving Dos and Don'ts #1: Avoid giving an empty wallet, purse, tote, or briefcase because it represents the lack of prosperity. Instead, do give any of these filled with cash to send the message that your gift will always be overflowing with wealth for the recipient. I especially like the idea of giving a new red wallet with a $50 bill - or the largest bill you can afford - tucked inside.

Feng Shui Gift Giving Dos and Don'ts #2: Avoid giving knives or sharp objects because these represent cutting a relationship. Instead, do give a gift card and a picture of the object. If you receive a sharp object as a gift, hand over a coin to the giver to symbolize that you bought the object, and restore the bond between you.

Feng Shui Gift Giving Dos and Don'ts #3: Avoid giving cactus, spiky plants, and roses with the thorns still on the stems because they symbolize piercing a relationship. Instead, do give a living plant, especially one with rounded leaves in a red pot to symbolize prosperity. If you receive roses be sure to remove the thorns to symbolize a smooth romance or relationship.

Feng Shui Gift Giving Dos and Don'ts #4: Avoid giving bonsai trees or other miniature plants because they symbolize stunted growth in the bagua area where you locate them. If you receive one and feel you have to keep it, display it surrounded by other plants that have colorful, sweet-smelling flowers. A better gift choice to attract positive chi to a home is a wind chime to hang by the front door.

Feng Shui Gift Giving Dos and Don'ts #5: Avoid giving gifts that show time, like clocks and watches, because they symbolize stealing time and a limited life span. Here is another chance to give a gift card and a photo so the recipient can pick out his or her own watch. A better alternative is to give precious stones to help attract health and longevity, especially turquoise for healing or amber to protect health.

The Feng Shui of Regifting. I am often asked how Feng Shui principles view re-gifting. Re-gifting is definitely Feng Shui-friendly because it removes things you don't want from your home and sends them to a place where they are welcome. Just be sure to avoid re-gifting if you have negative feelings about the gift or its original giver, since you might be passing along your negative thoughts to the next recipient.

Are you are one of those people who likes to get an early start on the holidays?
Click here to read my article about the best Feng Shui location for your Christmas tree.

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 -- Conquering Sentimental Clutter
It's easier to get rid of "stuff" when it has little or no emotional attachment, but it's harder when you have strong feelings associated with an item, even though your head tells you it's time say goodbye. These three types of "sentimental clutter" are the most difficult to deal with because they remind us of a person, event, or memory:
  • • Things handed down to us from previous generations,
  • • Gifts received from important people in our lives,
  • • Souvenirs and memorabilia.

A short-term emergency measure for dealing with these sentimental items is to box them up and store them. But in Feng Shui terms, that just moves the clutter from one area of the bagua to another and doesn't solve the problem. Sorting and organizing sentimental clutter can be emotional, so only do a little at a time. And it can be helpful to find a friend to help you sort so you can share the stories behind your sentimental items. If you are having trouble letting go of an item ask yourself these three questions:
1. If you had to purchase the item yourself, at full price, would you?
2. If someone you didn't like gave you the item as a gift, would you still keep it?
3. Does the item invoke happy memories?
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, consider getting rid of the item - quickly. If the items are destined for charity, take them the same day or ask a friend to take them for you. If the items are designated for other family members, box them up and tape the box closed.

If you feel really bad about giving up an item, conduct some kind of ritual or ceremony where you talk about the importance of the item had in your life, and then let it go. Take photos, scan, and write stories to capture an item's significance in your life. Or, make and display photomontages instead of keeping souvenirs. If you've inherited a collection of items, keep only those you like best and let the rest go to family or friends. For example, if you inherit grandma's china, one grandchild could have the dessert plates, another could have the platters, and another the gravy boat. Be sure to display your items so they bring you joy throughout your home, because if it's worth keeping, it's worth displaying.
Read more in "Going on a Sentimental Journey" by Jacki Hollywood Brown for

Success Story – Jen’s New Love
I'm thankful for all of my clients, and I'm especially grateful that you share your success stories with me. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to repost one of my favorite success stories that shows just how the power of Feng Shui can attract things into your life that you didn't even know you wanted. I included this story in my book, the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office

When I came to do her home consultation, Jen was recovering from a bad breakup and was adamant that she didn't want a man in her life. She had arranged her bedroom in a way that was certainly sending the message that she wanted to be alone. I gave her advice for rearranging her home, and included some changes for her bedroom for whenever she decided she really was ready to attract a new love into her home.

Here's what Jen wrote:
I wanted to update you on a positive change in my life. When you came to my house you made suggestions for me for my bedroom that related to the intention to have a romantic relationship. I thought I wasn't ready for a relationship but I reluctantly followed a few of them anyway. Within a couple of weeks a friend set me up with a really nice guy. I knew he wasn't "the guy," but it made me realize that I really did want a relationship. So I incorporated even more of your romance suggestions into my bedroom and set the intention to have a relationship. I have since met the most wonderful man I could dream of. We are committed to spending the rest of our lives together. I truly believe that my Feng Shui changes were instrumental to being available for my beloved to come into my life. Watch your mail for the wedding invitation!

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: My question concerns a friend who is getting injured a lot and can't do her regular exercising. The injuries don't happen while she's working out, but when she's just walking or doing normal things during the day. When I asked what she has in her Health Area she said that her apartment was pretty bare and needed help figuring out where to make changes. My first thought is to put a couple of living plants there, but I defer to your awesome knowledge!
A: Yes, the first thing to do is to help her use the Feng Shui bagua to locate the Health Area, plus I would pay attention to the Helpful People and Grounding Areas as well. Next, of course, clear the clutter and remove anything that is broken, malfunctioning, cracked, etc. She should avoid storing crutches or other medical devices in these areas that she needed when she was injured. She can add plants or images of lush, growing plants with rounded leaves in these areas, and obviously no cactus, other spiky plants, or bonsai with their stunted growth. Plus, she can add Earth to the Grounding Area in the form of images of mountains or earthy things, and/or pottery, clay, terra cotta objects. Start there and let me know what happens.

Q: We bought a house that has a bathroom right in the center on the first floor, which I know is considered negative in Feng Shui. We're doing extensive renovations before we move in and I want to convert the bathroom into a closet. Will this remove the negativity or will the plumbing underneath continue to be a problem?
A: Water represents wealth in Feng Shui, but in a bathroom that water is symbolically contaminated because it goes down the drains as dirty water and is flushed down the toilet as waste. Therefore, we make adjustments in bathrooms to symbolically dry up some of the water. If the room is no longer a place were water is flowing down the drains and where waste is going down a toilet, then there's no reason it should have a negative effect on the house. Paint your new closet in an Earth Element color (brown, yellow, terracotta) to balance any residual effect from when it was a bathroom.

Q: How does an attic affect the Feng Shui of a room below it? The entrance to my attic is a pull down stairway in ceiling in my bedroom. Is there something I need to do?
A:What's in an attic weighs down on the occupants of the house, so the entrance to the attic is not much of a factor as long as you paint it the same color as the ceiling. What is more important in Feng Shui terms is what keep in the attic. An attic that is crammed full of items that are unneeded, unused, and unloved not only represents stagnant and stuck chi, but it represents the weight of the past on your shoulders. This is especially negative when the attic is located above a bedroom. Clear the clutter in your attic and you'll lighten your load and make room for new things to find 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 Articles
My latest article for the Eco Lifestyles & Home Newsletter is all about "Creating Thanksgiving Harmony." Thanksgiving is a wonderful food- and fun-filled time for most Americans, but sometimes when families come together around a holiday table it can also be stressful. Read my 10 tips for creating a harmonious Thanksgiving, ranging from where to seat overbearing guests, to table shape, to colors, to avoiding arguments. Click here to read the article.

Also, my Thanksgiving article will also be reposted in the informative newsletter ”Transformation: Creating an Exceptional Life” from Gale O'Brien. Click here to subscribe and read Gale's posts about transforming your life with tips on food, health, fitness, work, travel, and art. Click here to read the post and subscribe to Gale’s blog.

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 – Adding Greenery to Your Workspace
"Lean and mean" describes the business philosophy that clear desks and plain walls streamline operations and maximize productivity. However, new research reporter in shows that sprucing up an office with a little greenery may actually enhance employee involvement and boost performance. In a series of experiments, scientists found that workers who had plants in their offices not only reported higher workplace satisfaction, but also showed higher productivity. The research questions the widespread conviction that less is more.

Plants may have a positive impact on workers' performance because people know that plants can improve air quality and may feel that they're breathing cleaner, fresher air and working in a healthier environment. An enhanced office space may also give employees the sense that management is attentive to their well-being.

Three weeks after placing leafy plants throughout one half of an office, the researchers found that employees working in the "green" half reported higher levels of concentration and productivity and a sense that the air quality had improved. A second experiment found that the positive effects of office greenery may be long-lasting. Workers on one floor received enough plants so that each employee had at least one large, leafy plant in full view from his or her desk. Two weeks and 14 weeks after the plants were set in place, the participants were given a questionnaire to rate their workforce satisfaction, ability to concentrate at work, sense of disengagement, and perception of air quality. Compared to their "lean" office colleagues, those in the "green" condition reported higher levels of workplace satisfaction and lower levels of disengagement, as well as feeling like the air quality had improved.

In another experiment, the researchers assigned participants to complete two tasks in either a plain workspace or one with a plant, and results showed that those in the green office space completed tasks faster and without any accompanying rise in errors. The researchers concluded that a green working environment is consistently more enjoyable for employees, more conducive to concentration, and more productive for the business than its lean equivalent.

Want to choose a plant for your workspace? Click here to read my article "Feng Shui Friendly House Plants."

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.

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 and 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

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