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It Took a Little Courage

Tue Feb 27 2018 | Author: Carol Olmstead
In his new book, College Success Stories That Inspire: Lessons from Inside and Outside the Classroom, author Steven Roy Goodman shares college-days anecdotes from many professionals - including me. My story is in the chapter called "It Took a Little Courage," and it describes an experience during my college internship taught me the value of unorthodox decisions.

CourageStones250
In the summer of my junior year as a journalism major at the University of Maryland, College Park, I won a coveted spot in the Magazine Publishers Association college intern program. There were thirty of us from across the country, each assigned to magazines in New York City. The participating publications included Newsweek, Time, and what for me would have been the prize assignment, (The New Yorker. What did I get? Woman's Day Magazine. It was 1970 and I couldn't believe I had to work for a "housewife" magazine that featured articles like making your child's Halloween mask from a plastic bleach container. (Yes, that was not only an actual article, but one that I wrote that summer as well.)

The first day I walked into their editorial offices, I was surprised to find that I had entered a hotbed of feminism. The staff was young and hip, rather than the stuffy group I had expected to find. I ended up loving every minute of the five weeks I worked there.

One of the typical intern jobs I had was answering the phone for my editor. I especially remember a phone conversation with Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco to set up an interview with my editor. "Hello, this is Grace Kelly," she said in her regal voice when I answered what I thought would be a typical phone call.

And the surprises kept coming.

Toward the end of my internship, Editor Geraldine Rhoads took me to a publishers' luncheon in a private club on Madison Avenue. When we checked in, the receptionist said that we had to enter the dining room through the kitchen because this was an all-male club.

"I will not go through the kitchen," Geraldine replied. She grabbed my hand and, with head held high, she marched us through the library into the dining room. A few men looked up and scowled, but most didn't even notice.

We sat down at our table, and my heart was pounding. "Did we just do that?" my former naive self asked.

"We just did that!" my new, more self-assured self replied.

My world was forever changed as I realized I didn't have to follow what was expected of me and that I could make decisions that were outside the box, no matter how bold.

Fast-forward many years, past the expected writing and public affairs jobs to my current "odd job" as a Feng Shui practitioner. I was always happier editing than writing so it all makes perfect sense that I'm now editing people's surroundings to help them live better lives. While it may be an unusual career choice, it's surely one that Geraldine influenced, and I'm happy being the "odd" woman out in a cutting-edge field.

Posted in: Career & Office | Tags: feng shui, career, college, internship, College Success Stories


Feng Shui for Peace of Mind at Work

Sat Jan 27 2018 | Author: Carol Olmstead
This week, I'm posting excerpts from my interview with Carole Jakucs, BSN, RN, PHN, for NURSE.com. While she was writing specifically for the nursing profession, these tips apply equally to all high-stress professions and situations. The practice of Feng Shui, Carole writes, can take your self-care plan to a new level. She included a link to my "Elemental Personality Quiz" to help nurses and others identify the Feng Shui Element that influences their personality.

Here's what Carole Jakucs wrote:

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Nursing is a high-stress career that requires its professionals to maintain their overall health in order to prevent exhaustion and compassion fatigue. Adopting an exercise regimen and healthy eating habits are well-known to benefit both body and mind, but there are other practices out there that can add more depth to a self-care plan - including meditation and Feng Shui.

Carol Olmstead, FSIA (a certification from the Feng Shui Institute of America) and Feng Shui master practitioner, adds "Nurses also can also practice Feng Shui on the job by clearing clutter at workstations and in patient rooms." Also, opening blinds and curtains to let the daylight in whenever possible creates a better environment by relying less on fluorescent lighting, which is harsh on the eyes," she says.

If having fresh flowers or plants at work isn't possible, silk flowers work since silk is part of nature, she added.

Olmstead said if you only have time to do one thing to get started with Feng Shui, begin by clearing clutter. "Clutter blocks the flow of Chi," Olmstead said. "Chi is energy. Anything that holds back the flow of Chi is a negative in your environment. Clutter represents delayed decisions and the inability to move forward."

When removing clutter, think of the 3 Rs - remove, repair or replace. Also, if you don't like it, love it or need it, why hold onto it, she asks her clients.

Olmstead agrees that the goal of Feng Shui is to create a balanced, harmonious environment indoors that makes you feel like you're connected to nature, and she shares Feng Shui basics on her website Feng Shui For Real Life.

"Think of how we feel when we're outdoors with the breeze blowing, sitting near a body of water and feeling the warmth of the sun," she said. "We're trying to create these same feelings when we're indoors."

Olmstead, who offers tips sheets on her website on ways to start practicing Feng Shui at home and at work, says knowing which Feng Shui Element they are can help nurses create a more relaxed environment for themselves.

Posted in: Career & Office | Tags: No Tags


Odd Jobs

Thu Apr 09 2015 | Author: Carol Olmstead
I was pleased when a Feng Shui colleague in Vermont got TV airtime on her local station because that’s good for our profession, but I winced at the title of the feature: “Odd Jobs.” Really? I’m entering my 18th year of Feng Shui and working with a Fortune 100 company on the interior design of 23 floors in their new headquarters, and the media is still calling Feng Shui an odd job?

The great timing is that right after I read that my profession was an odd job I was approached by a college placement professional to contribute a story for his book about how choices in college affect future careers. How could my journalism degree possibly relate to my current Feng Shui career, you ask?

In the summer of my junior year I won a coveted spot in the Magazine Publishers Association college intern program. There were 30 of us from across the country, each assigned to magazines in New York City. The participating pubs included Newsweek, Time, and the prize assignment The New Yorker - oh, how I wanted that one. What did I get? Woman’s Day Magazine. It was 1970 and I couldn’t believe I had to work for a “housewives” magazine that featured articles like making your child’s Halloween mask from a plastic bleach container.
WomansDay175
Yes, that was not only an actual article, but I wrote it that summer.

The first day I walked into their editorial offices I was surprised to find I’d entered a hotbed of feminism and I ended up loving every minute I worked there, especially a phone conversation with Grace Kelly (yes, that’s how she introduced her royal self in her beautiful voice.)

Toward the end of my internship, Editor Geraldine Rhoads took me to a publisher's luncheon in a private club on Madison Avenue. When we checked in the receptionist said we had to enter through the kitchen because this was an all-male club.

I will not go through the kitchen, Geraldine replied.

She grabbed my hand and with head held high she marched us through the reading room into the dining room. A few men looked up and scowled, most didn’t even notice. We sat down at our table and my heart was pounding. Did we just do that? my old naïve self asked. We just DID that! my new self replied. And my world was forever changed as I realized I didn’t have to follow what was expected of me, and that I could make decisions that were outside the box, no matter how odd.

oddjob275
Fast-forward many years, past the expected writing and public affairs jobs to my current “odd job” as a Feng Shui practitioner. I was always happier editing than writing so it all makes perfect sense that I’m now “editing” people’s surroundings to help them live better lives. While it may be an unusual career choice, it’s surely one that Geraldine influenced, and I’m happy being the “odd” woman out in a cutting edge field. Maybe I’ll start wearing a hat like the original Oddjob.

Posted in: Career & Office | Tags: feng shui, career, odd jobs, college, magazine, journalism




© Copyright 2018, Carol Olmstead