Feng Shui to the Rescue Newsletter
From My Feng Shui Window
I've been thinking a lot about sha chi, or negative energy, that happens when we are surrounded by things that are broken, torn, stained, ripped, or in any way damaged. I worked with a client earlier this month who had the worst old paneling in her garage. It was warped and splintered and stained. She had remodeled several rooms in her house that were now attracting great new energy, but she couldn't move forward on the garage makeover. She couldn't decide between drywall and a higher-priced metal wall system the contractor was recommending. The garage occupied the Love, Creativity, and Helpful People sectors of her home. The symbolic collateral damage was obvious. My advice was simple: just do something. The act of removing the damaged paneling (sha chi) will bring positive energy into that part of her home and make room for good things to take its place.
My son and daughter-in-law recently their back fence, and this past weekend I saw it for the first time. It runs across the "power wa
ll" of their backyard (Wealth, Future, Love areas)
. There's something about a clean, new fence
that symbolizes hope and renewal in the future. Of course, even the finest wooden fence will eventually weather, but right now their backyard is bordered by this lovely stretch of fresh fencing. The strong new gate symbolically both invites good energy into their property and keeps out anything negative. They had the contractor clear out
several feet behind the fence, and this helped make room for good things to find them. It looks and feels wonderful.
When I met my husband, the second thing he did around my house was to replace the ratty old fence around the trash can area outside the kitchen door. (The first thing he did was tile the kitchen backsplash for me, but that's a story for another post.) This was shortly before I discovered Feng Shui, but it was obvious that as soon as he knocked down that horrible fence, he immediately improved the property value - even before installing the new fence. The door it flanked was in the Family/Harmony area of the home - so I guess it's no Feng Shui surprise that I married the guy!
Where is your
located (you can't hide from the Feng Shui Maven - I know you have it)? The Feng Shui secret is to fix what's broken as soon as possible before it invites damage into your life. The changing season is an excellent time to work on fixing what's broken.
Damaged Book Discount
Speaking of damages, the USPS damaged the cover of several copies of my book. If you've never seen the book, you probably wouldn't notice the slightly bent edge or dented spine. I can't in good conscience sell them through my website or on Amazon, but I am selling them directly to you at a deep discount. The discount price is
$10 per book including shipping
. That's a 50% discount over the cover price of $15.95 plus $4.25 shipping. The supply is limited and you must
to purchase at this price.
Feng Shui Master Practitioner
Feng Shui For All Seasons
Tip for Fall: Transition with the Changing Season
Many clients tell me that autumn is their favorite season
because of the dramatic color change around them. But, as you start to spend more time inside, you can feel some negative effects from the shorter days and limited daylight.
That makes fall the perfect time to try a few Feng Shui adjustments to help transition into the cooler season.
As you find yourself spending more time indoors, begin some of those indoor projects you put off during the warmer months.
Removing what you don't need can have a profound effect on your life. Try these 10 simple ways to help you welcome the approaching season:
- Replace your doormat to help attract fresh new opportunities to come in your door.
- Make sure your house number is clearly visible from the street so positive chi can always find you, especially with the earlier darkness.
- Pull up dead flowers in your garden, which represent stale chi, and replace them with colorful mums or hardy pansies that will give you active chi until the first frost.
- Frequently remove leaves from your roof and gutters.
- Remove vines that are growing on your house. The image of an ivy-covered cottage may be romantic, but vines growing on your home symbolize something eating away at your life.
- Display a bowl of red apples on your kitchen counter to symbolize that your home will always have food and you can always afford to feed your family.
- Clear the cobwebs from the outdoor furniture before you cover it for the winter, because these symbolize being so wrapped up and stuck that you can't move forward.
- Even if the weather turns chilly, open your windows daily during the cooler months - even for a few minutes - to let in fresh air and circulate the chi.
- Rearrange your furniture - maybe only moving the sofa a few inches closer to the window or the lamp to a different side of the table - to bring new energy into your rooms.
- Burn scented candles to change your perspective for a new season: vanilla to make a room feel comforting, peppermint to curb your appetite, strawberry to boost energy and make you want to exercise, a floral fragrance to enhance learning, pine to enhance well-being.
What to Do With All Those Tote Bags
It's okay to admit you have too many tote bags; we all have a problem with them. Like cosmetic samples and hotel mini-toiletries, free tote bags are hard to resist. But, how many do you really need to keep around for your daily shopping and schlepping? And, as Jolie Kerr writes in the New York Times, while tote bags are useful, free, and "hold such promise for an imagined future," too many is still, well, too many. And that creates a Feng Shui clutter problem. (Hmm...I guess that means the "bag of bags" I put together in my trunk this weekend isn't going to solve my own problem with too many totes.)
Adam Amengual for
The New York Times
How many tote bags is too many tote bags? Ann Lightfoot, an organizer at Done and Done Home in New York, offers tough love for totes: "All totes are not created equally," she says. Some totes are shoddily made, the handles aren't long enough or the size of the tote is simply not useful. Why are you keeping those? Tote bag collections can take over closets, drawers, and car trunks, making them "clutter at best and actual garbage at worst," she advises.
Why do we bother holding onto them? Lightfoot suggests that because we get most of them for free, we think the bag doesn't have to be that great. "But this is a slippery slope of logic." She recommends keeping only the ones you regularly use, or totes that have some special meaning attached to them.
How do you get rid of the extras? The good news is that your unwanted totes are actually wanted. Here are some places writer Kerr says you can donate them:
- Use them to bring clothing donations to shelters, religious organizations, or Goodwill, and leave them as part of the donation.
- Bundle food donations for soup kitchens and food banks in reusable bags instead of disposable ones so the bags can be passed along to patrons.
- If your supermarket has a food bank box, donate extra grocery totes there.
- Donate a stack of clean totes to shelters, libraries, senior centers, preschools, or charities.
- Use them in lieu of gift bags when bringing gifts or food to friends and family.
- Totes that are no longer serviceable can still be donated to organizations - like ChicoBag's Pay It Forward program that distributes them to fixed and low income families or recycles them into new, useful products through partnerships with artists, crafters, and non-profits.
For those bags you keep, remember that they get filthy, especially those used for groceries. Nylon and lightweight cotton totes can be machine washed in cold water. Grocery totes that can't be machine washed can still be cleaned with antibacterial wipes or sprays. Air-dry your totes rather than throwing them in the dryer.
Simple Changes, Quick Results
We all have to start somewhere, so occasionally I like to share stories from people who took small Feng Shui steps that yielded immediate results:
We weeded and re-landscaped the front of the property to be much more welcoming to our friends and family. And what a change in our energy, too. My wife and I are communicating much better.
Ever since your Feng Shui consultation our lives have been fantastic: more prosperity, more wonderful adventures, more fun dinner parties at our house, and feelings of love and light in each room.
Nancy wrote (she's the proofreader for my new book!):
It's done, Carol! This was so fun. I realized it was taking me so darn long, because so many parts inspired me to do things! My kitchen is actually cleaner now, and I have repaired a couple of things that needed fixing. I am going to take more of what I learned to heart.
Your consultation was a real catalyst in getting me moving, especially in the basement. I have been going through lots of old crap and tossing it and cleaning out corners. There is still much to work through but I already feel like I have a firmer foundation. I look forward to reading your newsletter, but I assure you I will no longer be printing it out and saving a hard copy!
My house is looking so much better since I cleared al that clutter. I found I did have a dining room table under all that mess. The kids are doing their homework in their rooms instead of in my dining room, and we are actually able to have family meals there again.
Here's my quick, funny anecdote. Speaking as someone forever single, I totally revamped my bedroom according Feng Shui to see if I could bring some romance into my life. Within a month, a woman moved into the townhouse next door with a pit bull/black lab mix with a smile that reminded me of Ernest Borgnine. That dog fell madly in love with my leggy ginger-colored German Shepherd greyhound mix. So it worked, just not quite as I intended!
|Ask the Feng Shui Maven
Q: Is it bad Feng Shui to buy cast-offs and other second-hand items from a consignment store? My budget is strained these days so I'm trying to save money where I can.
The key word in your question is "cast-offs." If you have negative feelings about anything you buy, no matter what kind of store it comes from, you will bring that negative energy into your home. Buying second-hand can be positive Feng Shui as long as you feel good about the object you are acquiring. It will be negative if you feel you are accepting second-best because it's all you can afford. The one exception is bedding or a sleep sofa, where new is always the Feng Shui recommendation.
Q: I just moved in with my fiancé, and while I used to sleep soundly, now I can't fall asleep. He's been divorced twice, and we sleep on the bed he has had since college. Does that have anything to do with it?
When you sleep on a bed from past relationships, you're sleeping with all the negative energy from those relationships. It's time for you and your fiancé to get a new bed, mattress, and linens. Also, make sure there aren't any mirrors aimed at you when you're in bed.
Q: I read in one of your newsletters that fall is also a good time to "make sure nothing is growing on, or over, your house." We live in an old house, and there is lots of ivy growing near the front door. Does that mean I need to get rid of it? And we have a big tree to the right of that door with large limbs that do hang over the house.
The image of an ivy-covered cottage may be romantic, but in Feng Shui, vines growing on your home symbolize something eating away at your life. I recommend removing the ivy. I also recommend trimming large limbs that grow over the top of your house, because they symbolize heavy issues weighing down on you.
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People Are Talking About Carol's Feng Shui Consultations:
I followed your suggestions and cleared out everything that didn't remind me of success. Thank you for helping me to enjoy going to work again and for helping me to triple my income. --JP
Yesterday, a person came who worked for me a couple of years ago. When she walked in, she said, "Your house feels so good. It always was lovely, but it feels even better now." How about that? I have only started to make the Feng Shui changes you recommended during the consultation and already everything feels so much better!
Just wanted you to know the open house at my store was a huge success with the help of the changes you suggested at our consultation. Thanks again for all of your help.
Feng Shui Workshops
Modern Coping Skills for Women
Using art, personal energy, and Feng Shui
to find inner calm in a chaotic world.
Looking for calm in a chaotic world?
This workshop is for you!
Feng Shui Master Practitioner Carol Olmstead and Clinical Mental Health Counselor Nancy Olson will help you distance yourself from negativity, clear mental clutter, and achieve inner peace. The workshop takes place in a beautiful, healing setting, and includes a gourmet lunch option.
Your will learn how to:
... Identify your own "energy vampires"
... Distance yourself from negativity
... Reinvigorate your coping skills
... Use the support of friends and community
... Experience art as healing
... Create a Feng Shui home sanctuary
... Enjoy the power of place as relaxation
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... Develop a positive world view
... Find guilt-free self-care strategies
Feng Shui Media
Books, Videos, Classes, Podcasts
Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office:
Secrets For Attracting Wealth, Harmony, and Love
Winner, "Best How-To Book"
People Are Talking About Carol's Book:
Thank you for writing such a brilliant book. I have just finished reading it and thoroughly enjoyed every page. I am very much looking forward to trying out your tips. Although I am also a Feng Shui practitioner, I love that there is always more to learn and tips that I haven't seen or learned before. I will definitely recommend your book to my clients!
It's the first time in years that I carry a book with me just in case I can read another page or two at a stoplight or wherever! When I read it at home, I read a bit and then start scouting for places in our little loft that I can declutter!
Your book is my bible! I finished your amazing book and constantly refer to it. Currently I am listening to your video class, which I find extremely informative.
Video Class - 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. You'll learn six 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 opens the door to success.
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le Are Talking About Carol's Videos & Podcasts:
Carol, you're a rock star! I loved listening to the
of your interview with
"Law of Attraction Talk Radio with Jewels,"
so I took your class. You continue to be an inspiration to me and have forever changed the way I arrange each home I've lived in since I first heard you speak in 2012. Keep up the good work!
I took your class and watched several of your
. Excellent! You have an absolute warm and welcoming approach. No wonder you are so successful.
This video class is nothing short of a delicious treat for your career. I loved it! Great practical pieces of advice. Well-taught in a fun, inspiring way. --RW
Beyond Feng Shui
Motivation: Losing It, Finding It, Keeping It
For all of us who love the start of the fall season, there are as many who start to feel sad at this time of year. They find it difficult to concentrate and focus on what they need to get done.
"We have all been there," says therapist Kelly Chisholm. "You're exhausted, overwhelmed, and your body just wants to shut down rather than jump up and fly around the room getting everything done," she adds. You do what must get done, but you're left with no energy. You can't find the motivation to finish projects you brought home from the work, or even do things you love. What happened to your day? Kelly breaks this cycle into three phases, and offers some ways to help you work through them:
. The days at work are long and filled with too little appreciation and too many unfulfilling tasks. Nights are chaotic and never seem to offer enough alone time. Weekends are packed with chores and errands and before you know it, Monday morning is breaking and the cycle repeats. You never seem to have that spark anymore to do more than the bare minimum, let alone the things you truly enjoy. Where did that feeling go?
. Motivation can be an elusive beast, something that needs to be nurtured and tamed. The good news is there are a few lifestyle changes that you can implement to help coax it back out:
Having short-term, specific, and achievable goals helps keep you and your motivation focused. And when you reach a goal, reward yourself - you've earned it!
Sleep and Wake Up Well.
Before you go to bed at night, have a wind-down routine so you get a deep, good night's rest. Then when you wake up, try a simple 5-minute meditation to start the day with a positive vibe. Being out of alignment or exhausted all day from lack of rest does nothing to help with motivation.
Make a Routine.
You may feel like you have a routine now - go to work, come home, manage the chaos, go to bed, repeat - but that isn't the kind of motivation-inducing routine you need. Make sure you have scheduled time for yourself. Keep to set times for bed, wake up, and meals. Keeping to a routine can help, not just with motivation, but also with focus, energy, and and with anxiety.
. No matter what you do, you will still have days where the procrastination monster hits, and motivation is nowhere around to save you. And that's okay, says Kelly. "The goal is to have less of those days and more productive days filled with the spark of positive progression in your life." Keep in mind that everyone is different, so be sure to explore different ways to kick-start the motivation flame within you. You may need to change things up occasionally if you feel like what was working is starting to fall flat. "The key," says Kelly, "is to never give up, never let yourself slouch on the couch and accept defeat, or accept that the spark is gone, because it is never gone."
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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
Carol M. Olmstead, 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.
©2019, Carol M. Olmstead
Carol M. Olmstead, FSIA
Feng Shui For Real Life, LLC