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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 December
Whichever holiday or holidays you celebrate, I wish you a joyous time with your family and friends. This is the season when we all tend to look back at the past year and think about gratitude. One thing I'm especially grateful for is you, my ezine readers. I love answering your questions, reading your success stories, and sharing Feng Shui insights with you. With this issue I complete the 14th year of writing this ezine, which is now read by people in 75 countries. I find that number astonishing, and it says much about the power of Feng Shui to unite cultures. My lead article this month is all about the ”Yin and Yang of Holiday Travel”, so wherever your holiday takes you I wish you "Happy Holidays", and look forward to sharing more Feng Shui tips and exchanging ideas in 2015.

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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  • Submit your questions via e-mail.
Carol M. Olmstead
Feng Shui Master Practitioner

Feng Shui Tip of the Month – The Yin and Yang of Holiday Travel
If you're planning to travel this holiday season you're not alone: the US Department of Transportation estimates that travelers will be away from their home an average of four nights during this holiday season. In Feng Shui, an occupied home represents active yang energy, but a vacant house can attract the quiet yin energy that can make it more vulnerable to burglary. A few Feng Shui tips can help you retain the yang energy in your home while you are away and keep it safe, and assure positive chi in your hotel room during your trip.

Before Your Trip:
  • • Put several lamps on timers and set them to come on and off during the evening to simulate your natural movements around the house during a typical evening at home.
  • • Connect a radio set to a talk station to another timer and schedule it to come on and off several times during the day so there is sound in your home.
  • • Stop delivery of your newspaper a full day before your trip. That way if it does get delivered before you leave you will have a second chance to stop delivery before papers accumulate.
  • • Clean your house before you leave, throw out all leftovers and food that will go bad while you're gone, and empty all of the trashcans and recycling bins. Trash that's left in your house symbolizes stagnant energy that stops the flow of energy. Arrange with a neighbor or friend to take out the can on trash day.
  • • Change your linens before you leave because whether you stay at a luxury hotel with 600 thread count sheets or at a relative's house on the sofa bed, you'll appreciate the freshness of new sheets when you come home.

At Your Hotel:
  • • Check out your room carefully and if it has any odors, immediately request another room.
  • • If possible, open the windows or door to the patio or balcony to let in some fresh air and new positive chi into your room to help remove any negativity from a previous guest. Unpack as soon as you can to settle in and bring in your own positive chi.
  • • Run the water in the shower and the sink for a few minutes to get the chi flowing in the bathroom. Keep the bathroom door closed throughout your visit so this positive energy doesn't get flushed down the toilet. This is especially important if you can see the toilet from the bed.
  • • Treat yourself to fresh flowers for the room, and replace them when they fade if you are staying for an extended period.
  • • If the mirror is directly across from the bed, drape a scarf over it before you go to sleep to help reduce the yang energy and encourage sound, restful sleep.

When Your Return:
  • • Unpack as soon as you can.
  • • Open the windows for a short while, even if it is cold outside, so the fresh chi begins to circulate.
  • • Run the water in the kitchen and use your stove to stimulate the positive, yang energy to flow.

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 -- 10 Things For Your "Will Not Do" List
Sometimes physical clutter goes hand in hand with mental clutter, and as you add projects to your "To Do" list your energy gets depleted. Next year, along with your list of New Year's resolutions why not consider a "Will Not Do" list for the things that cluttered up your life this year? Here are some suggestions:
1. I will not accumulate credit cards I don't need. If you have cards you rarely use, cancel them, and if you receive card offers in the mail, shred them.
2. I will not accumulate magazines that I don't have time to read. Cancel subscriptions to magazines that keep piling up and read the most interesting articles from them online.
3. I will not accumulate office supplies that I don't need. Instead, store them in your office's central storage room, donate them to a nonprofit organization, or sell them on sites like Craig's List.
4. I will not accumulate memberships in organizations that I don't attend. If a professional or networking group no longer holds your interest it represents mental clutter. Cancel your membership if you haven't attended a meeting of a group within the pa5. I will not keep books I will never read again. Are you keeping your college books for your children? The truth is they couldn't care less about your notes in the margin. Donate or sell them (the books, not your kids).
6. I will not buy items in bulk that I won't use in a reasonable time. If big box discount stores tempt you to buy in bulk when you don't have the storage space, avoid going in those stores in the first place and cancel your membership.
7. I will not keep clothes that are too small because I'll lose weight to fit into them again. If you do lose the weight you'll want - and deserve - new clothes in smaller sizes.
8. I will not bring home all of the free toiletries from the hotel. No matter how tempting, if you don't use these brands you'll only end up piling them in your guest bath. Only bring them home if you plan to immediately donate them to a local shelter.
9. I will not accumulate "just because" items. Just because a gift is valuable or others consider it to be beautiful, you don't have to feel the same way about it. And if you're keeping it just because you hope to appear on Antiques Roadshow with your junk store find, first check out the selling price of a similar item online or have it appraised.
10. I will not keep gifts I don't like. Even if you love the giver, that doesn't obligate you to keep a gift if your going to stuff it into your closets, bury it in your basement, or have it weigh down on you in the attic. If your family and friends thought enough to buy something, try visualizing that their love extends toward sending the gift out into the universe as a donation that someone else will enjoy.

"Where the feng am I supposed to put all of my shui?

Success Story – No More Shoes at the Front Door
Like so many people, my client Michelle kept her shoes near the front door instead of in the bedroom closet because it was more convenient to choose a pair as she left for work each day. I explained that not only did it add clutter to this important "mouth of chi" area that should be kept clear to allow the positive chi to flow into her home, but also the Feng Shui symbolism of shoes visible near a door is "running away" from something. She told me she had no other place to keep them. Michelle's primary reason for setting up the consultation was to find a new relationship.

Here is what Michelle wrote:
First, I placed a few masculine-looking hangers in my bedroom closet as you suggested, and made room for a partner's clothes. Next, I cleaned out my front hall coat closet. I removed so much junk that after I was done I had plenty of room to keep my shoe in there, out of sight, but still convenient. The front entrance looks so much better and clearer without all those shoes. Almost immediately after I finished my Feng Shui changes out of the blue I got a call from this guy I dated several years ago. Back then I told him I was "too busy" to date and broke it off. What you said about shoes at the door symbolizing running away from something really resonated with me. Maybe I was running away from a relationship. We went out for dinner and it's obvious the spark is still there. Coincidence or Feng Shui? Who knows, I'm just thrilled!

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: I have a large antique mirror in a beautiful frame on the wall across from my front door. I love the mirror and don't want to move it but I read in your book that this is negative Feng Shui placement. Are there any options other than removing the mirror?
A: The front door is called the "mouth of chi" in Feng Shui because all of the positive energy enters there and spreads out throughout your home. A mirror across from the front door mirror pushes this good chi back out the door rather than circulating it. If you can't - or won't - remove the mirror, one option is to place something in front of it - like a bushy plant with rounded leaves, a piece of furniture, or a sculpture. That way you'll still get to see the frame and get some reflected light. Mirrors double what they reflect, so before you cover up this one first see if you can find another location where it reflects something beautiful.

Q: What bagua area should I activate to help bring back my lost cat?
A: The Helpful People/Travel Area is the first place to start because it represents safe travel and returns. Place one of your pet's favorite items in that area, along with a picture and the name of your pet. You can download a bagua that fits the shape of your home from the Basics page on my website, Good luck!

Q: I don't have a problem keeping clutter under control at home, but my desk in my home office is a disaster. I love my work and I think I'm organized, but the stacks of paper just grow and grow. From now until February is my busy season when I generate the most paper. Are there Feng Shui tips to help me get a grip on this?
A: Office clutter issues usually relate to either having too much stuff, having too little storage space, or both. If your shelves, cabinets, and drawers are filled to capacity, clear out old stuff and make room to store those things that are on your desk but you don't use frequently. Another issue is the size of your desk. Is it adequate for the work to be done? If your desk is too small for the work that you do, it can make you feel overwhelmed and can lead to accumulation of piles of stuff. Read more about arranging your office in my article "Feng Shui Office Makeover." And this is a great time to take advantage of the holiday discount on my online video class, "Grow Your Business with Feng Shui," which includes a step-by-step office makeover.

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 post on the Eco-Lifestyles blog is all about "Holiday Gifts to Avoid Giving." If you are looking for those perfect Christmas or Hanukkah gifts for your family and friends, be careful what you choose because your gifts may have hidden meaning in Feng Shui terms. Click here to read my top five Feng Shui holiday gift giving "dos and don'ts," plus five gifts to give yourself to take into the New Year.

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 – 13 Reasons to Eat Chocolate
It's hard enough to resists eating sweets on a regular day, but you know you're going to eat chocolate during the holiday season when it's just about everywhere you go. So relax and enjoy - here are 13 reasons to eat some chocolate.
  1. Chocolate, cocoa, and cacao are high in magnesium, which is essential for heart health and muscle function.
  2. Chocolate may reduce the risk of heart failure, with one study showing that women who consumed 1-2 servings of high quality, cocoa-rich chocolate per week had a 32% lower risk of heart failure.
  3. Cocoa contains the plant nutrients that might protect against carcinogens and nervous system toxins.
  4. Dark chocolate can reduce high blood pressure.
  5. Chocolate helps support the production of dopamine, which not only makes us feel good, but also might be helpful in brain disorders like Parkinson's.
  6. Cocoa lowers LDL cholesterol and raises HDL cholesterol.
  7. Cocoa and dark chocolate may help protect the kidneys from disease.
  8. Eating dark chocolate increases the levels of endorphins and may help reduce pain.
  9. Raw cacao increases the neurotransmitter in the brain that may improve memory.
  10. Consumption of cacao may help with weight loss.
  11. Eating dark chocolate releases the hormones associated with love, helping us to feel happy.
  12. The concentration of potent antioxidants in chocolate can help eliminate free radicals associated with aging and inflammation.
  13. It tastes great.
Click here to

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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