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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 make simple Feng Shui changes to attract wealth, harmony, love, and much more.

Keep in touch between issues of the ezine.

Carol's Message for the Month
I got back from vacation last week and now I'm at my desk rested and relaxed. I'm lucky that my bedroom at home is as inviting as a luxury hotel and the evenings are mild so we can open the windows and sleep in the fresh air. That got me thinking about why so many people find it easy to sleep when they are in a hotel but hard to sleep in their own bedroom. Of course you guessed that I have a Feng Shui answer for that question, and that's why this month's lead article is all about creating a sleep sanctuary. A master bedroom should be reserved for rest and romance only. When I visit clients who are complaining of sleep and relationship problems I find rooms that are filled with laundry waiting to be folded, a bed facing the wrong direction, stacks of reading on both night tables, and boring and uninspiring art on the walls. No wonder they're having problems!

If this sounds like your bedroom, try some of my Feng Shui tips for rearranging your bedroom and see if your sleep improves. If you need even more help, watch my YouTube videos about bedrooms, or email me and I'll send you my fact sheet "Why Can't I Sleep.”

My blog has taken a vacation while I was out of town, but watch for new blog posts this month on topics that readers have sent me.

Wishing you comfortable summer nights of restful sleep!
Carol M. Olmstead
Feng Shui Master Practitioner

Feng Shui Tip of the Month – How To Create a Sleep Sanctuary
You would be amazed at how many clients call me for a consultation because they can't sleep. Sometimes they've already spent a lot on a new mattress with the perfect magic number that's supposed to take care of all of their sleep problems. But from a Feng Shui perspective, the arrangement of the room is most important in assuring a good night's sleep. Here are 10 things to consider in creating your bedroom sleep sanctuary.

1. Bed Placement. The ideal location for a bed is positioned so you can see out the door without directly facing it. This makes you feel grounded in the room. Avoid placing a bed for two people in the corner, against two walls, where one partner feels "trapped" and literally has to climb over the other to get out.
2. Linens and Mattress. Treat yourself to luxury sheets, and always buy new sheets after a relationship breakup. Avoid sleeping on a mattress from a failed relationship because it represents sleeping with all of the problems from your former partner.
3. Headboard and Footboard. The Feng Shui recommendation is to use a solid headboard for protection. If you absolutely hate headboards, hang a rug or fabric artwork on the wall behind the bed. A footboard is only essential if your bed is located directly across from the door to the room, which is considered the most inauspicious location. If your bed must be placed in this location, you can also place a small piece of furniture at the foot of the bed to help you feel more secure.
4. Room Color. The most restful colors for a bedroom are warm "skin tones," ranging from creamy beiges and butter cream to pinks, reds, coral, raspberry, burgundy, aubergine, and chocolate. The least restful colors are pure white, black, gray, and cool blues and greens, since they will make the bedroom chilly and less inviting.
5. Artwork. Art for an adult bedroom should feel romantic, coupled, and paired - the definition of "romantic" is up to you. Display a current photo of the two of you if you're in a relationship, or of a romantic setting if you're not. Don't display photos of your children, parents, friends, because you don't want them "watching you." You should also avoid hanging heavy pieces directly over the bed - heavy in theme or heavy in actual frame weight. Avoid any art with sharp edges pointed at the bed.
6. Night Tables. The Feng Shui recommendation is for two night tables to represent equality in a relationship, or to invite a partner into your bedroom if you are not already in a relationship. The tables don't need to be "cookie cutter" matches, but they should be equal in stature and height. Keep only the book you are currently reading on your night table, because a stack of unread books symbolizes "falling behind" and can negatively affect sleep.
7. Rug. Choose a rug that fits under the bed so that both partners have something soft under their feet when you get up in the morning. If you can't fit a rug under your bed, choose matching area rugs for both sides of the bed.
8. Electronics. The Feng Shui recommendation is to keep computers, cell phones, and anything electronic out of your bedroom so you can avoid negative electromagnetic energy. I know this is impossible for many people, so my more realistic request is that if you must have electronics, try to keep these items as far away from the bed as possible. And try to avoid having a huge TV in your bedroom.
9. Work-Related Items. Remove all work-related items from your bedroom. If the bedroom is the only place for your home office, then screen off your work area before you go to sleep with a floor screen or natural "wall" of standing plants. It's especially important to avoid keeping work items on your night table.
10. Under-Bed Items. Avoid storing anything under your bed because it restricts the positive chi from flowing all around you. It's especially important not to store exercise equipment under your bed or any sharp metal objects. If you absolutely need the storage area, store only soft items like out of season clothes or linens under your bed.

Want more information? Watch my YouTube videos: Feng Shui Bed Placement, Feng Shui Bed Selection, and Feng Shui and Bedroom Art.

Clutter Clinic -- Where Do You Have Clutter?
You've heard me say it before: in Feng Shui clutter represents postponed decisions and the inability to move forward. But even more important, what clutter you accumulate, where you put it, and why you keep it says a lot about you. Studies show that of all the things we keep, we will only reuse one item in 20. That means most people "pile" rather than "file," cluttering their spaces with things they never use. If you are outwardly cluttered with stacks of magazines in the family room, disorderly files all over your desk, and old cans of dried up paint in the garage, there's most likely an equal amount of disorder going on inside your mind. But, when you remove clutter, you open up the flow of positive chi into your home and workplace and consequently into your life. And you just feel better.

Here are some common clutter locations and what they reveal about hidden aspects of your life:
Clutter at the Entrance of our Home: Conceals fear of relationships.
Clutter in your Closets: Reveals an unwillingness to examine your emotions.
Clutter in the Kitchen: Represents resentment of care-taking.
Clutter Next to Your Bed: Symbolizes a desire for change or escape.
Clutter Under Your Bed: Represents a fear of relationships.
Clutter on a Desk: Reveals frustration, fear of letting go, and need to control.
Clutter Behind a Door: Means detachment from others.
Clutter Under Furniture: Represents concern with appearances.
Clutter in a Basement: Reveals procrastination.
Clutter in an Attic: Symbolizes living in the past.
Clutter in a Garage: Reveals the inability to reach your potential.
Clutter All Over: Reveals anger and low self-esteem.

Take the Feng Shui Clutter Challenge: Clear the clutter from one drawer, one closet, or one room today, and tomorrow watch what good things flow into your life to take the place of all that mess. Email your results so I can share them in a future newsletter.

Do you have clutter-clearing and organizing tips to share? Click here to email Carol Olmstead.

Success Story – Natalia’s New Art
Natalia called me because her relationship had been on the rocks since she moved into her new condo. Everything had been fine in her previous apartment, but soon after buying the condo her relationship with her long-time boyfriend Rob went down hill and he stopped coming over as often. Natalia said she bought new artwork to fill up the walls of her larger space. When I arrived at Natalia's home the problem was immediately clear: she had hung too many "single" images on the walls. There were prints of solitary, lonely-looking woman in almost every room. Making this solitary message even stronger was the large painting of a woman that Natalia had hung above her bed. All of this "single" art was sending the message to her boyfriend that there was no place for him in Natalia's life. I recommended that Natalia remove the single art and replace it with romantic scenes and paired images.

A few months later I received this e-mail from Natalia:
I removed all of the solitary artwork from my condo, especially the painting from over the bed. Rob and I picked out some replacement picture together. We hung a picture of a scene in Tuscany over the bed. That's where we want to go for our honeymoon because...we just got engaged! Thank you for your simple Feng Shui solution. Share your own Feng Shui Success Story on my Facebook page.

Ask the Feng Shui Maven
Q: We're considering building a new house on a street that goes up a hill and we have our choice of lots. We're considering the lot at the very top of the hill because the view is fantastic but I've read that this is not a good Feng Shui location. How do we decide which lot to choose?
A: The phrase "top of the hill" has positive connotations, but unfortunately not in Feng Shui because there is too much chi directed at the house making you overly exposed. Think about how some people always want to "knock off" the guy at the top, well, that's the same situation with the house, plus there is nothing behind you for protection. The better Feng Shui location is mid-way up because you have some hill behind you. The house at the bottom of the hill is considered the least auspicious. Choose the higher side of the street if that's an option.

Q: I ordered a pair of fu dogs to place near my front door for good luck. Which one goes on which side?
A: In Chinese Feng Shui, fu dogs are those statues that look like a cross between a dog and a lion, and they are considered guardians and protectors when placed at the front door or entrance. As you stand facing your front door from the outside, place the female dog - which has her paw on a small cub - on the left, and place the male - which has his paw on a round ball - on the right.

Q: Are antiques and consignment objects OK from a Feng Shui perspective? I've been collecting antique teapots for years and I love them all, but recently I began wondering if they have good or bad Feng Shui mojo.
A: Antiques and other previously-owned objects do carry what we call "predecessor chi," or the energy from their previous owners. But, my guess is that if that predecessor chi is negative you wouldn't be attracted the object to begin with. First, avoid buying a teapot or any object that is cracked or chipped. Second, give the objects a good cleaning with distilled water and sea salt before displaying them in your home.

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

Feng Shui Video Class – Grow Your Business With Feng Shui
It's a great year to start or expand your a business! My 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.

Among other things, you'll learn 6 amazing tips that will help you create a space that supports you and your business. Watch as I 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.

Buy One Class For Yourself, Buy Another To Give to a Friend
Click here to watch the introductory video and register to take the class.

Feng Shui For Real Life Bookstore
Check out my two critically acclaimed Feng Shui books --

365 Feng Shui Secrets
Announcing my new ebook, 365 Feng Shui Secrets. Want to earn more money? Yearning to rev up your love life? Looking to create family harmony? Need to control clutter before it controls you? Or do you just need a good night's sleep? The simple Feng Shui tips in this ebook can bring all of this and more. Includes Feng Shui basics to get you started and a tip-a-day calendar to help you make Feng Shui changes seasonally. The tips cover all of the seasons, holidays, celebrations, adventures, and misadventures of your life. Also includes new success stories from my clients to illustrate how everyday people used these Feng Shui tips to improve their lives. Start the calendar on any date and work through a full year of daily advice.
365 Feng Shui Secrets
80 pages
Web Only Price: $5.99
Click here to download your copy.

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 for Kindle.

Feng Shui Workshops
Custom 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.

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, FaceTime, and Skype.

On-Site Consulting
Nationwide, I schedule On-Site Feng Shui Consultations for homes, offices, and businesses. 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, Phoenix, and Denver). All consultations include written recommendations, a ToolKit to help you continue to make changes after the session, and a copy of my book, the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office.

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.

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 – 5 Ways to Boost Your Brain Power
Five Ways to Boost Your Brain Power

We all get a little lazy in the summer, but that doesn't mean we can't find some time to improve our brainpower. Check out these five easy ways to help your brain stay sharp and fight aging.
1. Drink Coffee. In 2009, researchers tracking more than 1,400 adults for 21 years (most were around age 50 when the study began) reported that avid coffee drinking is associated with a lower risk of cognitive decline. Two possible reasons: Coffee contains magnesium, which decreases the chances of type 2 diabetes, an illness correlated with dementia. And a cup of coffee is loaded with antioxidants, which help protect brain cells from free-radical damage.
2. Eat Fatty Fish. Two recent studies revealed that senior citizens whose bloodstreams had higher levels of certain types of omega-3 fatty acids, nutrients that are abundant in fatty fish, demonstrated fewer signs of cognitive decline than did those with lower levels. They performed better on problem-solving and multitasking tests, too.
3. Walk. Taking a walk a few times each week can increase the volume of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for long-term memory, by 2% each year, according to a 2011 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That's a significant gain, given that the hippocampus in older adults typically shrinks by 1-2% a year.
4. Learn a New Language. In an Annals of Neurology study published this year, bilingual elderly adults whose native language was English scored higher in reading-comprehension and intelligence tests than did their monolingual peers, even if they had had lower intelligence-test scores back when they were 11 years old. It didn't matter whether they had learned the second language as kids or later in life; almost everyone in the bi­lingual group reaped the same cognitive gains. Research suggests that learning a new language might create new neuron-to-neuron pathways in the brain.
5. Meditate: Daily practice of meditation and other mindfulness techniques increases the volume of gray matter in the hippocampus. "More gray matter is often associated with enhanced brain function," says Sara Lazar, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the lead author of a 2011 study on the topic published in Psychiatry Research: Neuro­imaging.

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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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, FSII, 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.

©2015, Carol M. Olmstead

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© Copyright 2020, Carol Olmstead