February 2016
A monthly e-magazine to help you rearrange your home, office, and business, shift energy, and transform your life with Feng Shui.

The View From My Feng Shui Window...

Later this month, the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe will launch "Sacred Realm: Blessings and Good Fortune Across Asia," a major exhibition focusing on how people from various cultures and religions seek blessings and protection. I was fortunate to work with Curator Felicia Katz-Harris and her team to incorporate Feng Shui principles into the exhibit design. It's an understatement to say that I was in good company, because in selecting exhibition objects, the team also worked with a Balinese Hindu Brahmin, a Tibetan Rinpoche, a Tibetan Lama, Thai Buddhist monks and spiritual masters, an Islamic Cultural Center, scholars of Asian religion, and three rabbis. Wow, I am humbled. 
How appropriate that "Sacred Realm" is opening during the month of the New Year in Chinese culture, especially since the exhibit reflects wide-ranging practices of belief that also represent the common human desire to attain balance and harmony. That strikes me as a good definition of the goals of Feng Shui. You can read more about the Year of the Monkey 2016 in the Clutter Clinic section of this ezine.
I've worked on many fascinating projects in the 18 years I've been a Feng Shui consultant, but this is my first museum exhibition. How exciting to watch as the gallery moved from an open space, through the process of selecting vivid wall colors to match bagua areas (although there was some disagreements about whether the color "pomegranate" was red enough to be in a Fire Element area), and to see the magic happen as the objects were placed to activate the various bagua areas.
"Sacred Realm" shows how people connect with higher powers of their own definition to bring stability to their lives, and to attract love, fertility, prosperity, longevity, and safety. What more can we ask as we enter a new year than blessings and good fortune? Seems like the perfect timing for this very Feng Shui-friendly exhibition. 
"Sacred Realm" opens on February 28, 2016, and runs through March 19, 2017, at the Museum of International Folk Art on Museum Hill in Santa Fe, New Mexico. If you're planning a trip to Santa Fe - or have been looking for an excuse to visit - let me know and we'll meet up on Museum Hill!

Carol M. Olmstead, FSIA

Feng Shui Master Practitioner

New In This Issue

Valentine's Day Tips For Your Bedroom
Read about the subtle changes that can rev up your love life.
--Feng Shui For All Seasons section

Cleaning and Clearing for Chinese New Year
Even if you don't celebrate the lunar New Year, these tips will work to usher in any celebration. Plus a preview of what to expect in the Year of the Monkey.
--Clutter Clinic section  

Putting Things Into Motion 
Read one of the many success stories I received from readers who moved 27 things.
--Success Story section  

Questions for February
What things to avoid when looking for a new home, changes to make when a loved one is deployed, how to energize a tree stump.
--Q&A section

Sarcasm Increases Creativity
It's no joke, research shows that wise guys (and gals) are actually more creative people.
--Beyond Feng Shui section 
Stay Connected
Feng Shui For All Seasons 
Feng Shui Tip for February - Valentine's Day Tips For Your Bedroom 
Hearts Need to heat up your romance this Valentine's Day - or attract love into your life? A few subtle Feng Shui changes in your bedroom can help rev up your love life. A bedroom should be a room reserved for rest and romance and nothing else, which means getting rid of the office work, family photos, clutter, and anything that distracts you. 
Here are my top five Feng Shui changes for your bedroom: 

  1. Remove the family photographs and replace them with a current photo of you and your spouse or partner. That means unless you're newlyweds, you need something that's newer than your wedding photo. I get more grief from clients over this suggestion than any other tip I offer. Of course you love your children, parents, and pets, but your romance will improve if they aren't staring at you when you're in bed.
  2. Purge the room of all work-related materials. That means moving the laptop and cell phone out of the room. If you have to use part of your bedroom as an office, screen it off at night with a floor screen or standing plants. If I can't convince you to leave your cell in another room at bedtime, at least try to keep it far away from your night table.
  3. Move out the stuffed animals, dolls, and the excessive number of pillows from the bed. This one is especially important if you're trying to attract a relationship because when you sleep with all that stuff on your bed it means there's no room for a partner to join you.
  4. Replace mismatched night tables with a pair. This doesn't mean you need a "matchy-matchy" set if that's not your style, but it does mean that you need two tables and that both should match in importance if you want to encourage equality and harmony in your relationship. When one partner has a beautiful piece of furniture on his or her side of the bed and the other only has a temporary folding table, it sends the wrong message.
  5. Hang romantic artwork and display objects in pairs. This symbolizes a committed relationship. Make sure that everything around you feels coupled and connected - by your definition, not mine - in order to encourage romance.
If you're worried about spending another Valentine's Day alone, invite a new love into your life by clearing out some space in your bedroom closet, medicine cabinet, and fridge to make room for a lover's possessions. 
You can find more tips of romance in these articles on my website:
The Clutter Clinic
Cleaning and Clearing For Chinese New Year
LuckyBamboo Chinese New Year begins on February 8, and "in with the old and out with the new," is the guiding principle In Chinese households to welcome the Lunar New Year. But you don't have to be Chinese, or even celebrate Chinese New Yearto practice some of this wise advice for cleaning and clearing in anticipation of any special day. Here are a few Feng Shui tips for clearing out old, stale chi to make room for new, fresher energy to find you.

Clear the Slate. Reconcile with friends, family, and colleagues and settle any pre-existing disagreements.
Clean Thoroughly. Dirt, dust, and trash represent negative chi, so give your home and office a thorough cleaning, and remove items that you no longer need or want. Remember to sweep toward the door rather than into the room.
Pay Debts. Pay off any debts before the arrival of the New Year so you can start fresh with no payments hanging over your head.
Buy New Clothes. It's customary to buy new clothes and shoes, preferably something in red, the auspicious Fire Element color that attracts positive chi.
Decorate with Flowers. Decorate your home and office with fresh flowers and plants, especially narcissus, azalea, orchids, or lucky bamboo. You can read about choosing specific flowers for their symbolism in my blog "Feng Shui and the Language of Flowers."
On the eve of the holiday, offer thanks to higher beings and ancestors for past good fortunes, and ask for their blessings for the coming year. Then, on the actual day of the holiday, be sure to open your front door to actively welcome in positive energy. 

About the Year of the Monkey...
The two prominent Feng Shui Elements for the Year of the Monkey are Fire and Metal. Read my blog "Swing into the Year of the Monkey" for a look at what some Asian Feng Shui masters are predicting, and my article "Predictions for the Year of the Monkey," for a peek at what your Chinese Zodiac sign can anticipate. Remember, these are only predictions from Chinese masters, but ultimately you have control over your actions and power over the kind of year you will experience.
Success Story
Putting Things in Motion  
I asked you to let me know what happened after you followed my January tip to "Move 27 Things," and boy, did you ever respond with your success stories. This story comes from Barbara Chatzkel, President of the New River Group. 
Here's what Barbara wrote:
SuccessStory Here's an update that even surprised me! Over the past several months I've been thinking about and discussing some changes in my business. I've been doing my coaching and consulting since 2001 and felt that my focus was changing, but I wasn't clear on the new direction.
I was being intentional about moving things, especially in my office. The first 27 items came quickly, since they were either out of place or clearly not something I wanted to keep. When I sat back and started thinking about where the next set of 27 would come from, I realized that I was feeling weighed down by technology. I went online and canceled 5 MeetUp groups, 6 Google Alerts, 10 LinkedIn threads, and 7 eBay watch notifications. I felt lighter each time I hit the delete button.
The next day I went to my computer drive where all my files are stored -- wow, what a heavy feeling! As I reviewed 11 years of files, it came to me: it was time to let go of some of these materials and subjects that had served me well but I was no longer excited about working with. I experienced a big sense of relief, happiness, and clarity. Hopefully, some of the materials will be useful to colleagues, but I know my files and bookcases AND my heart will be much lighter.

I am now working on structuring what my business will look like moving forward, and opportunities are coming in the door for new and interesting work. I can't wait until I get to move another 27 things. Thanks to your suggestion to move 27 things -- it put things in motion!

I would love to include YOUR success story in my next book.
E-mail me or call 1.800.652.9038 to schedule your home or office consultation. 
Ask the Feng Shui Maven
Q: I'm condo shopping. Is there anything that makes a home un-livable right from the get go?
A: In the Western, real-world approach to Feng Shui that I practice, there's almost always a cure for every negative situation in a home, but it's preferable to choose a home that needs the fewest number of cures. First, look at the floor plan of the condo - the closer the shape is to a square or rectangle the more balanced you will feel living there. Second, consider the location of the unit to determine if anything is blocking your view, like a dumpster or a taller building. It's best to avoid a location where a structure nearby monopolizes the chi, specifically a church or other religious building, a school, or a cemetery. Third, look for a unit where the bathrooms and laundry are not in the Wealth, Love, or Health areas of the bagua. If you're considering a place that needs a lot of repairs, be sure your budget allows you to finish the repairs quickly so you won't be surrounded by negative energy, also known as sha chi. I'll be happy to review floor plans for you before you actually put in an offer. Check out the off-site consulting options on my website.
Q: My husband has just been deployed overseas, what Feng Shui changes should I make to keep our life balanced at home while he's gone, and to keep him safe while he's away?
A: Place two current photograph of your husband in the Family Area of your home - one in civilian clothes and the other in his military uniform - to symbolize and safe tour and a speedy return home in perfect health. To help you locate this area, download a bagua from the "basics" section at www.FengShuiForRealLife.com that matches the shape of your home. Put the photos in dark brown wood frames - the composition of the frame is the Wood Element that encourages health, while the brown color represents the Earth Element that promotes grounding. Keep fresh flowers or a healthy plant in the same area, especially a philodendron that has shiny, heart-shaped leaves. If you can't grow live plants, use silk, but avoid dried flowers since they don't contain living energy. Also, go through your home and give all of your plants a good pruning, dust the leaves, and remove dead branches to encourage the new growth that represents good health. If you have silk plants, give them a good dusting.
Q: We lost a beautiful tree in our backyard after a storm, and now the view out my kitchen window is a tree stump. It's pretty bleak out there. What should I do? 
A: Your tree stump represents yin, or inactive, energy that should be balanced by the active, yang, energy of a living plant. The best option is to remove the stump and plant a new tree. If you can't do that, you can bring back the energy in this location by planting ivy or other climbing plants around the stump that will cover it with vines and foliage. You can also display a bright colored plant in a pot or a metal garden ornament, on top of the tree stump to give it more life. 
Do you have Feng Shui questions for the Feng Shui Maven?
Feng Shui For Real Life Blog
New On My Blog
Some of the topics I've been writing about include "Swinging Into The Year of the Monkey," which talks about the Asian predictions for the coming new year, and "The Big Red Purge," about what happened when I cleaned out my file cabinets.

Click here to read these and other posts.

People Are Talking About Carol's Blog 
Your blog post about moving really affected me, in a good way. I have been spending lots of time in my imagination in my childhood home and I realize from reading your post that I may be finally taking the time to say good-bye in a way I never did before. Oh, and I finally got my desk worked out in my office and I'm swamped with work.
Red Pen
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Feng Shui Consulting
Find out how my on-site and off-site Feng Shui Consultations for homes and businesses and offices can help you rearrange your space, shift energy, and transform your life.
Where will the Feng Shui Maven go this month?
I set up private consulting appointments with clients all over the country.
Contact me and I'll arrange to be there!
Appointments fill up fast, especially on weekends.


I welcome your referrals! 

Call 1.800.652.9038 or email Carol Olmstead to reserve your date.
On-Site Consulting 
I will visit your home, office, or business and help you rearrange your space, shift energy, and transform your life. During the session 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, moving what we can at the time. All sessions include 30 days of free Feng Shui coaching to help you continue to make changes and move forward.

Click here for residential consulting. 
Click here for commercial consulting. 
Off-Site Consulting 
When an on-site consultation isn't possible, I offer off-site and remote Feng Shui consulting for homes, offices, and businesses in the US and internationally. Off-site consulting package options include:
  • Feng Shui Hotline
  • 30-Minute Phone Consultation
  • Room Rescue
  • Floor Plan Analysis 
  • Whole House Consultation

Click here for off-site consulting. 

Feng Shui Workshops
Red Chairs Square
Bring one of my Feng Shui 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, love, and much more.  
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.  
People Are Talking About Carol's Feng Shui Workshops!
My three sisters and I attended your workshop, and I wanted to write to you and tell you how much we enjoyed it. It was packed full with such great information and the fact that you helped each individual at the workshop was incredible! The three hours went by so fast that everyone in the workshop thought you were just taking a break and we were all shocked that it meant the workshop was over. We all purchased your book and got several more copies for family members that could not attend because we love it.

Feng Shui Media
Quick Guide Cover

Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office: Secrets For Attracting Wealth, Harmony, and Love

This award-winning book contains all of my best Feng Shui advice in one place, including Feng Shui basics, success stories, a monthly guide to clutter clearing, and a tip-a-day calendar of 366 Feng Shui secrets.

Available in print and Kindle editions.

My award-winning book is part of the Amazon Matchbook program. That means when you buy the print edition, you get the Kindle edition for only $1.99, which represents an 80% savings.


Click here to get your copy!


Video Classes 
Grow Your Business with Feng Shui

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. It includes tips and advice for everything you need to succeed, from choosing a desk, to lighting, plants, and art.

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. 
Click here to watch the trailer!

Beyond Feng Shui
Sarcasm Increases Your Creativity
I couldn't resist sharing the findings from this study of sarcasm because I grew up in New Jersey where we learn to practice sarcasm as an art form. Yes, I know that there are just as many people who find sarcasm annoying as those who love it, but a recent study published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes suggests that sarcastic people are using parts of their brains reserved for creative and abstract thinking. And the research also shows that even if you're not a sarcastic person, you can share the same creative benefits as long as you're able to "get" the sarcasm. This means those who understand facetious comments may be capable of more creative thinking than their more gullible counterparts.
Participants in the series of studies were randomly assigned to have a conversation that was either sarcastic, sincere, or neutral. After a brief conversation, the participants took a test that measured their creativity. The study found that the people who had sarcastic conversations had more creative solutions to tasks they were given than those who had a nice, sincere chat.
According to Francesca Gino, one of the study's authors from Harvard, "to create or decode sarcasm, both the expressers and recipients of sarcasm need to overcome the contradiction (i.e., psychological distance) between the literal and actual meanings of the sarcastic expressions. This is a process that activates and is facilitated by abstraction, which in turn promotes creative thinking." That means sarcasm is basically abstract thinking that requires the speaker and listeners to stretch their imaginations.
Co-author Adam D. Galinsky added, "This suggests that sarcasm has the potential to catalyze creativity in everyone." Galinsky noted that it's possible that sarcastic people tend to be more creative in general.
In non-scientific terms: it's no joke, wise guys and gals rule!
Click here to read more. 

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Schedule 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 e-mail Carol Olmstead 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, FSIA 
Feng Shui Master Practitioner 
Call 1.800.652.9038 or e-mail Carol Olmstead  

Carol M. Olm
IFSGstead, FSIA, was certified by the Feng Shui Institute of America and earned Red Ribbon Professional Status from the International Feng Shui Guild.

Feng Shui for Real Life, LLC, and the Feng Shui To The Rescue newsletter serve as a reference and guide for the principles of Feng Shui and as such bear no responsibility for results that a client or reader experiences. Individual results may vary based on the client's participation and intent.

2016, Carol M. Olmstead