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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
Yes, I know that it's now considered un-PC to use the words "Happy Holidays" and it automatically connects me to the Starbuck's "red cup" controversy, but I'm going to use them anyway. Because that's what this issue is all about - finding a Feng Shui balance to help all of your holidays be happy. So, whether you celebrate (in chronological order to be totally PC here) Thanksgiving, Hanukkah (or Chanukah), Christmas, New Year's Eve, or any combination of the above, my wish for you is that it should be filled with family, friends, and fun. Please enjoy this November-December issue of the Feng Shui For Real Life Ezine, and watch for a new look in 2016!
Carol M. Olmstead
Feng Shui Master Practitioner

Feng Shui Tip of the Month – Take Feng Shui Home For The Holidays
Many of us have a love-hate relationship with holidays and the emotional family gatherings associated with them. We love the aromas and the bounty of Thanksgiving food, the colors of our Christmas and Hanukkah decorations, the fun of buying gifts for family and friends, but the strain of cooking at those meals, cleaning and decorating the house, and entertaining all those guests can sometimes result in more stress than harmony. The cause of this discord may not be only you and your family dynamics, but it could involve how you arrange your house during the holiday season.

As you get ready for the holidays this year, here are a few of my favorite holiday Feng Shui tips to balance the energy in your home and create more good will toward men and women - and a lot more fun. You can find more information in the links to my articles.

Thanksgiving: You Are What (and Where) You Eat
The colors, aromas, and tastes of food are strongly related to good Feng Shui. In Feng Shui we divide energy into yin (the dark, heavy side), and yang (the bright, lighter side). Since the winter months are the yin side of our energy, we need to balance this darker, lower, colder energy with strong yang energy in our food for the holidays. Cooked foods, spices, and hot foods such as chile peppers, ginger, and garlic, are the perfect yang choices for Thanksgiving. Foods like raw vegetables and fish are yin, and are better used in moderation during this period.

Use your dining room often during Thanksgiving because it is considered a place of wealth in Feng Shui. Choose a centerpiece of orange flowers to encourage conversation, or a display of fresh fruit and vegetables to symbolize good health and longevity. This is not the time to wolf down leftovers while sitting in front of the TV. Bring out your "good stuff" - the china, crystal, silver, and all the other pieces hiding in your cabinets and closets. What are you saving them for if not for the holidays?

Click here to read more about holiday food, seating, decorating to avoid family fights in my article “Thanksgiving Feng Shui"

Hanukkah and Christmas: Gifts to Give, Gifts to Avoid
In Feng Shui, what you avoid giving as a gift is sometimes more important than what you do give to friends and family. Consider these options:

Avoid giving an empty wallet, purse, or briefcase because it represents the lack of prosperity. Instead do give these filled with cash to send the message that your gift will always be overflowing with wealth for the recipient.

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.

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.

Avoid giving bonsai trees or other miniature plants because they symbolize stunted growth in the bagua area you locate them. Instead, give wind chimes to attract positive energy to any location.

Avoid giving gifts that show time, like clocks and watches, because they symbolize stealing time and a limited life span. Instead, do give precious stones to help attract health and longevity - like turquoise for healing, amber to protect health, hematite to enhance memory and concentration.

Avoid re-gifting something 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. Instead, only re-gift items that have positive associations rather than "white elephants" that you want to move out of your house.

Click here to read more Feng Shui tips for Feng Shui friendly gift giving in my article "Feng Shui Gift Giving Advice."

New Years 2016: Give Yourself Wealth and Prosperity
It's a good Feng Shui practice to start the new year with a gift for yourself as a symbol that the year will be prosperous, and especially gifts with the color red, a powerful symbol of wealth. Here are five Feng Shui friendly gifts to give to yourself to assure a prosperous 2016:

New Red Wallet. A new wallet symbolizes being ready to accept new wealth, and colors in the red family draw prosperity to you. Enter the New Year with a new red or burgundy leather wallet and it will help attract wealth and prosperity for you. Be sure to fold up a $50 or $100 bill and "hide" it in your wallet, where it will attract even more wealth.

Red Clothes. Wearing the color red is a symbol that you want to attract good fortune. Wear a new red outfit or accessory on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day to represent the wealth and prosperity what you want to attract this year. You can wear a red scarf, tie, earrings, or even red underwear.

Red Shoes. Treat yourself to a pair of new red shoes as a symbol that you are ready to "step ahead" in the New Year and "stomp out" any frustrations in the upcoming year. Any height heel will work.

Gold Jewelry. Gold represents abundance and wealth, so buy yourself a new piece of gold jewelry to signify growth and accumulation of wealth. It's best to buy a newly-created piece rather than consignment or resale jewelry, because you want to take advantage of its bright, new energy.

Large Tote Bag. A big tote symbolizes that you are expecting the year to bring many good things, and that you need a bag big enough to carry them. Buy the largest one you are comfortable carrying. [Checked that one off my list when I was in New York last week!]

Click here to read more tips to help assure a prosperous New Year in my article "Feng Shui For the New Year."

Clutter Clinic -- Wallet and Purse Clearing 101
This clutter-clearing lesson comes from Martha Brettschneider, a writer and photographer with a passion for finding beauty and meaning through mindfulness practice. Martha's book Blooming into Mindfulness: How the Universe Used a Garden, Cancer, and Carpools to Teach Me That Calm Is the New Happy, will be available early next year. If you've been in one of my classes or workshops you've heard me say that "a purse on the floor means wealth out the door." Well, Martha took that advice to heart. She said it had been a while since she did a Feng Shui "reboot," so she turned the spotlight on her purse and wallet in a symbolic effort to take better care of her money.

Here are some excerpts from Martha's blog post that chronicled her experience:

Opening my wallet to pay for something was simply embarrassing. The receipts seemed to come alive, trying to scurry out of their confinement as I was digging for cash or the credit card. "Back! Back! Get back in there!" Wait, had I said that out loud? Cashiers looked at me with concern. It took all of five minutes to clean out the wallet that had been sparking negative energy for months.
And as is so often the case, one small Feng Shui improvement in our lives often leads to another. I couldn't let my tidy wallet live in my pigsty purse. I could almost hear the wallet yelling "Get me out of here!!" when I dropped it back into the fray. So, a couple of days later, I dumped the entire contents of the purse out on the counter [see photo)]. Though the task looked daunting at first, the process was liberating. First, I found a whole lot of money-crumpled bills and loose change that I didn't know I had. I smoothed out the bills with gratitude and provided clean housing (aka tidy wallet) to the runaway money. And I found an un-deposited check from a photography client. Respecting my wealth seemed to make me wealthier on the spot! When the project was finished, I felt like I had taken a shower.

As with all things Feng Shui, I only do what feels practical for me. I have no idea whether cleaning out my wallet and purse will actually make me wealthier. It doesn't matter. Feng Shui for me is more of a game to use to nudge me into action in my clutter clearing and space management efforts. But, I have experienced palpable benefits consistently after clearing pathways for positive energy to flow into my home, garden, and even in my head in that it dissolves my garbage thoughts. The feeling of spaciousness that comes after I remove clutter of any kind makes me feel calmer, more mindful, and happier.

Click here to read the entire post, "Making Room for Wealth - Easy Feng Shui Purse and Wallet Fixes." I'll be writing more about Martha's book, Blooming Into Mindfulness, in a future newsletter.

Success Story – Renewing Feng Shui Corrections and Cures
A friend gave Bonnie and Kyle a copy of my book, the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office as a Christmas gift, and they were shocked to realize they had purchased a home that was missing the Love/Relationship Area. They called me for a home consultation, and the major correction I made was to recommend anchoring that missing bagua area to bring it back into their lives. They placed two bright red ceramic planters in the appropriate spot to make the correction, and grew lovely red and purple flowers in the pots during the warm months. A few years later they called me for a return visit because they were arguing more. Bonnie said it felt like something had broken in their relationship. The first thing we did was go outside to check whether their Love Area correction was still in place, and found that one of the pots had cracked from repeated freezing and thawing over several winters.

Here's what Bonnie wrote:
I'm still amazed by the symbolism of the cracked pot and the broken feeling in our relationship, and how you reminded us that Feng Shui cures need to be checked and renewed periodically. The message was clear. Both of those pots are gone now, and Brian replaced them with a pair of beautiful stone carvings to more permanently cure the missing bagua area and ground our relationship. Things are peaceful for us again! Thank you for the reminder that cures do wear out. We plan to check all of our corrections at the end of each year, and make adjustments so we can start each new year with a balanced home.

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

Ask the Feng Shui Maven
Q: I read that it's not good to hold on to broken things, but what does Feng Shui say about repairing broken things? I chipped a favorite serving plate that I always use for Thanksgiving dinner. I hate to get rid of it. Can I repair the plate and continue using it without negative consequences?
A: Yes, of course it is fine to repair an object, especially when it has pleasant memories associated with it. What matters most are the feelings you bring to the object after the repair is made. If you look at the plate and feel that a treasured object has been restored, you should keep it, but if you look at the plate and see only the damage, then you are better off getting rid of it. The image to the right of a beautifully repaired bowl says it all!

Q: My job feels pretty secure right now but there are major layoffs in my field. Can you recommend some Feng Shui changes to make to help increase my job security in the new year?
A: Make sure you are seated in the "power position" in your office or workspace, which is sitting with your back against a solid wall, facing the door so you can see who is coming into the room. Having your back protected relates directly to job security. If you can't move your desk into power position, consider investing in a chair with a tall back, which will not only give you some protection and also represents respect. You can also some tall plants to your office, or photos of tall trees, to symbolize career growth.

Q: I've been dating a guy I really like, but the relationship never seems to move beyond the "just dating" level. My friend said to check what I have in the areas of my home that are related to love and marriage. I have one chair in that corner of my bedroom and one small table in that corner in the living room. Now that she pointed it out, I'm thinking I'm sending the wrong message with these things.
A: The placement of single objects in the critical Love/Relationship area of these rooms could certainly be sending the wrong message. I recommend you add a second chair to the corner of your bedroom and add a pair of chairs to accompany the single table in that corner of the living room. If there's not enough room for a pair of chairs, surround these single objects with pairs of objects to balance out their single energy and send the message that there's room for two in your life.

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 – Holiday Office Party Etiquette
The holiday parties are starting and many of these involve professional relationships. Etiquette and protocol expert Cynthia Lett of The Lett Group shares these tips for assuring you are remembered - for all the right reasons - at this year's business-related holiday parties. Here are some of Cynthia's "do's and don'ts" for holiday parties:

Don'ts: Cynthia reminds us that holiday parties are not the places to gossip about other companies or other employees, complain about your workload or your boss or your boss's boss or brag about what you are doing over the break, lobby for a raise or promotion, drink more than one drink, kiss a co-worker, proposition a co-worker, eat like you haven't eaten in a week, take food home, stand on furniture, tell off-color jokes, or talk business.
Do's: On the other hand, holiday parties are the place to meet employees including executives in higher positions whom you have never met before, introduce yourself to others whom you have spoken with only by phone to put your face with your voice, learn about what your fellow co-workers enjoy in their personal time, share your experiences with others when you learn you have common interests, meet executives from other departments and learn about what you might have in common so that they will remember you when you next come into contact.

Take the time to relax and enjoy the music, the decorations of the season, the atmosphere and opportunity to show you are human and interesting away from what you do as an coworker. Share your off-time passions so perhaps you could find another employee who shares that interest. Keep in mind that holiday parties that are sponsored by your company or by any company are still business occasions and your responsibility is to treat them as you would any business appointment. Be professional and mindful that you will be watched and judged and remembered on Monday morning by how you behaved Friday evening.

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, 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