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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
Usually I write my newsletter in pieces throughout the month, but this time I'm writing straight through without a break, and that's why I'm including a mention of studies about how playing with gadgets at your desk can help "spark fresh thinking." Study participants said they "reaped benefits from clicking, stretching, twirling, flipping, squeezing, stroking or fiddling with everyday objects," and some talked about being able to squish something really hard or knock it on the table to ease tension.

There have been days when I definitely needed a gadget to "squish and knock," but today the gentle rainstorm is making it a "stroke and fiddle around" kind of day. So I took a break and started playing with the heart-shaped glass paperweight that's part of a collection of memorabilia I keep in the upper left corner of my desk, the Wealth/Power Area. It's clear glass with a iridescent cobalt blue inner heart. It was a birthday gift I gave to my mother many years ago, and now it's mine. I specially selected the items for my Wealth Corner collection to activate my power and abundance. There's also a small red pyramid shaped box where I keep fortune cookie fortunes (well, some of them do feel empowering), a large chunk of citrine (the Feng Shui wealth stone), a small wooden monkey with moveable arms and legs who I've had since I was a little girl (I call him either Barney Google for his huge eyes or Vinny Van because he's missing an ear), a tiny onyx turtle inlaid with turquoise, malachite, and lapis (a longevity symbol), my business cards, and a few icons like hearts and stars with motivating words like "abundance," "love," and my personal business mantra, "There's no place like home." They're all also good for twirling and flipping.

Sometimes it's good to have a collection of things because they can raise your spirits, especially if they're as meaningful as my alter-ette of mementos. But sometimes, we keep too many things and that pulls down our chi and stifles creativity. That's why my Clutter Clinic article this month is about downsizing, even if you don't have any plans to move. Clutter continues to be the biggest issue for many of my clients, and this article will help you distinguish the clutter from the keepers. What do you keep, admire, and play with, stretch, or knock at your desk? Email your thoughts.

Happy reading everyone. Be sure to go all the way through to the end and you'll find out why I'm shutting down and when the rain stops I'm venturing out in search of a Slinky!
Carol M. Olmstead
Feng Shui Master Practitioner

Feng Shui Tip of the Month – Feng Shui For Dorms and Small Apartments
I can't believe it's already time to write about back-to-school themes. But if you're a student moving into a dorm room, small apartment, or studio, or if someone in your family is making this big move, it can be a quite a shock to realize just how much you'll have to give up - like your big bed - to fit in all the essentials.

These easy Feng Shui tips can help ease the transition to life in a smaller space and help assure successful studies:
Position your Bed Correctly. It's best to avoid sleeping with your feet facing directly out the door, which is considered the most inauspicious position for getting a good night's rest. If you can't move your bed, place a small screen or plant near the end of the bed for privacy, or throw a shawl or scarf across the foot of the bed for symbolic protection.
Clear Clutter. In Feng Shui, clutter represents postponed decisions and the inability to move forward, so be careful where you pile and file things. Excess "stuff" prevents the flow of positive chi around you and makes your room feel cold rather than welcoming. If you have the opportunity to add your own furniture to a dorm or a furnished apartment, look for pieces that double as storage space.
Add Plants. Place a living plant within 3 feet of your computer to help balance any electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) that it generates. Choose plants with rounded leaves since this represents wealth, but avoid cactus and other spiky plants that repel energy. If you can't grow natural plants, silk is an acceptable fabric alternative. Avoid displaying dried flowers since in Feng Shui they represent dead energy.
Clean Your Windows. Windows are considered the "eyes" of a building, so when they are dirty your vision is clouded. It may sound radical, but cleaning the inside of your windows occasionally will help you see your future clearly. And be sure to open your windows frequently to let in positive chi.
Decorate with the Five Elements. The Five Elements is the name used to describe colors and shapes in Feng Shui, and each is distinguished by a set of attributes. When you include a mix of all of these Elements in your dorm or small apartment your space will feel more balanced and comfortable. For example, red is the Fire Element color that adds passion; yellow is an Earth Element color that helps ground you; white is a Metal Element color that gives you focus; blue is a Water Element color that will keep you relaxed; and green is the Wood Element color that helps your knowledge expand.
Personalize. It might be rented or borrowed space, but the more you display your personal things according to the Feng Shui bagua, the more your space will support your studies. For example, in the Future Area of the room hang images of the career field you're pursuing.

You can read more about using the Five Elements and the bagua to rearrange your surroundings for success in Chapters 5 and 6 of my book, the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office.

Clutter Clinic -- 9 Ways to Downsize Even If Your Aren’t Moving
I was getting ready to have my carpets cleaned, and as I moved things off the floor I realized that I have been accumulating a lot of stuff and it was time for some of it to find a new home. In Feng Shui terms, having to make choices about what is truly important in your home and what represents "excess baggage" can give you clarity about what you want to attract into your life. You don't need to be planning a move to downsize your living space, but when you get rid of thing you no longer like, want, or need, you make space for new and better things to find you.

To help determine whether an item is clutter or a "keeper," ask yourself these nine questions:
1. Can I live without this? If you really love an item then you should keep it, but if you've been keeping it around "just because" or you don't like it anymore, now is the time to let it go.
2. Can I borrow or rent this item when I need it rather than own it? For example, do you need to keep all those folding chairs for the annual holiday dinner, or can you borrow or rent them as needed?
3. Am I keeping something with sentimental value, even though it doesn't fit my home? Offer the item to your family members, and if no one wants it, take a picture of the object as a keepsake, and then donate it.
4. Am I keeping too much of my children's artwork? Sometimes our kids get embarrassed when we display every drawing they have ever brought home. Keep a few selected masterpieces and then scan in the others so you'll have a permanent record.
5. Am I tired of looking at my decor? Sometimes you get tired of looking at the same thing hanging on your walls or displayed on your shelves. Try rotating what you display seasonally so it will always look fresh and interesting, and eventually it will become clear which pieces you no longer need to keep.
6. Do I get rid of at least one item before I bring in another new item of clothing? Avoid holding on to "skinny" clothes you're saving for when you drop a few pounds, because when you do lose the weight you'll want - and deserve - new ones.
7. Do I have the storage space to buy in bulk? If you don't have the storage space, don't even go into big box discount stores so you won't be tempted to buy in bulk.
8. Do I keep clutter out of my home? Stop taking free samples of products you don't really want, and turn down freebies at expos, conferences, and hotels.
9. Do I really need all of my holiday decorations? After the holidays, get rid of the ornaments and decorations that were left in the box and never found their way onto your tree, mantle, or holiday table. You won't miss them next year!

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

Success Story – Jo’s Apartment Miracle
My client Jo was living in an apartment that wasn't being maintained by the landlord, she was suffering from smoke rising from her neighbor's apartment, and there were issues with a low-hanging ceiling. All of this negative energy was making it difficult for her to attract the wealth, harmony, and love she was seeking. I gave her a Feng Shui plan that started with simple things like replacing the old-style harsh CFL light bulbs that were zapping her energy, to moving her bed to a location more conducive to sleep, to asking the landlord to remove the rotted wood trellis and decayed vines that surrounded her front door. We also did a dowsing of her apartment to clear the "predecessor chi," or energy from previous occupants. As soon as she started down her Feng Shui path, Jo began to see changes immediately.

Here's what Jo wrote in a series of emails starting the day after our consultation:
All the light bulbs are changed and my eyes are more at ease I must admit. The bed has been moved and the mirror removed from the dresser across from it. My significant man is scoffing at Feng Shui, but I notice he is more attentive and affectionate. How does this work? Really?

Another interesting development: I moved the old iron table and chairs from my patio to the smoking neighbor's yard as a contribution to the smoking community. He has become more diligent about avoiding smoking near my windows because he has a place to sit now way over across the way. It's opening up the patio area.

Forgot to tell you that I immediately moved the ashes and trunk of related memorabilia out of my bedroom and it improved my sleep immediately.

The convex bagua mirror was installed on the back porch facing the school this morning at sunrise and already I feel a general flow of good energy. Thrilling. How does this work?

Just letting you know, Carol, a miracle is afoot -- seven people showed up and cleaned up the mess around the storage shed. In addition, I met with the head office manager and now they are tearing out the dead wood, trimming back the rose bush, and adding a wood colored lattice all around. This is really difficult to believe, but most welcome.

Share your own Feng Shui Success Story on my Facebook page.

Ask the Feng Shui Maven
Q: My daughter has been engaged to her fiancé for over a year now, and I was wondering if there is a Feng Shui cure to move this along? She wants to do the deed, but he is very slow-moving about everything (he's a lawyer!). I know that they are very much in love. Could it have something to do with de-cluttering their house? Thanks for taking the time to ponder this.
A: Your question is actually one I get frequently, either from the would-be bride or from her mother! Clutter clearing will always help, especially in the bedroom and in the Love Area of their home. Also, make sure she removes any images that appear single, solitary, or alone and replaces them with images that show paired things. She can also place a few objects in pairs in these two areas. It's important that pairs of objects are kept together - for example two candles on the mantle should be kept together rather than at opposite ends. Take a good look with your "Feng Shui eyes" and you might see more single images and "split" placements that you realized. She could leave a copy of a bridal magazine in the Love area - unless you think that might be too over the top for her fiancé. A good question for you to ask your daughter is what's keeping her from talking with her fiancé about this? Maybe she could simply ask him to help her set a date.

Q: Do you have any recommendations for quick action in attracting a desire job. I plan to purchase your book from local store on tomorrow. I recently just began graduate school.
A: Take a look at what images, furniture, and objects you have in the rooms that occupy the Future, Knowledge, and Helpful People areas of the bagua for your home. Make sure everything is future oriented and represents where you want to be going with your career, and remove anything that is broken, dirty, damaged, negative, or relates to the past. If there is a specific company or industry you want to work for display images that specifically relate to them in your Future Area. You'll find more information about arranging the different bagua areas in my book. Good luck with your studies and job hunt.

Q: I really want a new front door that is mostly glass. I live in a split foyer house so you really can't see anything beyond the stairs. I just love the look and feel of a glass door but I have heard that it is not good Feng Shui to have a door like this installed.
A: The front door is called the "mouth of chi" because it's where all positive energy enters your home, and a glass front door is considered inauspicious in Feng Shui because it represents weakness and lack of protection. This weakness can also affect your wealth because you can literally see through the door into your house, even in a situation such as yours where you can only see the stairs. There are some adjustments that can be made for an existing glass door but it's always better to avoid a problem rather than need to fix it. Plus, split foyer homes have a special set of Feng Shui issues so a glass door is definitely not recommended because some of these adjustments to balance a glass door can't be made in this style house.

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 – The Power of Tiny Distractions
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, certain kinds of hand movements have an impact on cognitive functioning, improving focus, or sparking fresh thinking or faster learning. Researchers at New York University's Polytechnic School of Engineering are exploring how fiddling with desk gadgets might yield some of those benefits on the job. Playing with a geometric puzzle or stress ball at your desk can seem like idle diversion, but it may also spark clearer or more creative thinking.

The research holds clues to how people who feel restless or confined by computer work might find the physical stimulation and stress release they need in the fidgeting behavior that they would have been scolded for back in elementary school. The gadgets ranged from infant chew toys to Slinkys, gobs of adhesive putty, mini sandboxes, and ballpoint pens, to help focus, ease anxiety and jump-start creative thinking.

"The hand can operate as a director of consciousness, a tool or agent for the mind in achieving a mental state in which people will be able to get the outcome they want," says Frank R. Wilson, a neurologist, lecturer and author of a book about on how the interplay between the hand and the mind cultivates intelligence. Manipulating a smooth stone or a string of beads that are pleasing or soothing to touch can evoke "the timeless, ancient human practice of meditative ritual" and screen out extraneous stimuli, Dr. Wilson says. Holding objects that spark pleasant thoughts can ease tension or build confidence.

Participants in these studies often say they reap practical benefits from clicking, stretching, twirling, flipping, squeezing, stroking or fiddling with everyday objects. "Being able to squish something really hard or knock it on the table" can ease mental and physical strain, and may help people break through feelings of being stuck, bored, confused, distracted or restless.

So, while you click here to read more in the article Get Creative at Your Desk With a Little Playtime by Sue Shellanbarger, I'm shutting down my laptop and setting out in search of a Slinky!

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, 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