Feng Shui to the Rescue Newsletter
From My Feng Shui Window
What the feng am I going to do with all this shui?
The manuscript for my next book is with the proofreader! I had to stop rereading it, because every time I did, I added something. After 20 years of answering questions about Feng Shui, there's always something more to say. The last thing I added was about what happened when I took my own advice to move 27 things.
Big Purge blog post
, I wrote about how I moved far more than
27 things, and I had to have a yard sale. I was in a constant state of exhaustion from all the bags that
t to donation sites and consignment shops, and from the heavy recycling cans dragged out to the t
rash. So now that I'm looking forward to our major downsizing this month from a large home in the southwest to an apartment in Manhattan, we hired an estate sale company instead of doing it all ourselves. But, while som
eone else will be handling the organizing and selling part of the sale, I still have to make decisions about what to keep and what to sell.
It seems practicing what you preach as the Feng Shui Maven is not always easy.
I've loved what I've acquired, and I've tried to use it with gratitude and thankfulness. Some decisions
were obvious because they didn't fit our new lifestyle - especially that huge hand-carved Mexican dining room table that's not going to fit into any dining room I can foresee in Manhattan. It was easy t
o thank the table for happy gatherings and put it on the estate sale list.
The hard part was getting rid of the items that had been passed down from my mother and grandmothers. When you have extra cabinets, and drawers, and pantry shelves, you hold on to silverplate, china, and crystal - even if you're never planning to use it. And, don't get me started about all the tchotchkes. Why is it so hard to get rid of all this? Why are the memories so much stronger in these legacy items than in my own things? Just what is the different joy heirlooms spark that makes them so hard to release? I'll report back after we're all settled to see what I couldn't let go of and added to the storage unit.
Happy March! Even though it snowed here last night, the temperature is rising and it's almost all melted, a sure sign that spring is on the way.
Feng Shui Master Practitioner
Feng Shui For All Seasons
Tip for March: Go Feng Shui Green
The wearing of the green is the traditional thing to do in March to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but it is also a powerful Feng Shui tip because the color green stimulates creativity, growth, and expansion.
Green is the color of the Wood Element. In addition to wearing green, you can surround yourself with objects in its shape (rectangular) and composition (wooden objects and plants) to help grow your wealth.
Green represents growth, health, and good fortune. Since green is nourishing, use it in living rooms and family rooms. Green can help restore mental equilibrium and reduce stress and tension. Surrounding yourself with healthy, living green plants can activate your chi.
Here are a few other simple ways to go Feng Shui green this month to improve your overall well-being:
- If you feel blocked, place a bushy green plant on your desk to get your creative juices flowing.
- If you want to encourage family harmony, add green accents like pillows and throws to your family room.
- If you want to find a new job, place a beautiful wooden box on your desk and place a positive affirmation inside.
- If you need to feel energized on a cloudy day, wear a green tie or scarf, clothes made from cotton, or floral patterns.
- If your family is prone to arguments at dinner, set the table with green napkins to promote harmony.
- If you are surrounded by a lot of electronics, place a living plant within three feet of your devices to balance any negative energy, especially in a home theater or home office.
10 Habits of People Who Never Have Clutter at Home
How hard is it to contain your clutter? Writing for MindBodyGreen (MBG), Sustainability Editor Emma Loewe shares 10 hacks and habits from experts who teach clients how to keep their spaces tidy and neat. Some of these organizing tips come from my colleagues in the International Feng Shui Guild:
- Be nice to your produce. Take the stickers off every piece of fruit and produce you buy. Welcome them in. You'd be surprised how different it feels when you treat everything else in your home with the same amount of attention and care. --Lisa Viscardi, professional organizer.
- Make a weekly date with donations. Hold yourself accountable for gathering nine items a week you can donate and drop off on your way to an appointment. --Anjie Cho, architect and Feng Shui expert.
- Designate a drop-off zone. Have a place for items that can't be put away right now, like a basket in the kitchen for mail, a bin for miscellaneous toys, etc. Empty it when you have more time. --Bonnie joy Dewkett, organizing expert.
- Keep your things in plain sight. Have everything out on display to help make you accountable and "shamed" into putting things back in the right place in a timely fashion. --Carrie Farrell, MBG event director.
- Take a minute every day to sort through the important stuff. The 1-minute rule lets you do things like go through the catalogs, junk mail, and other stuff you don't need and put the valuable mail in a drawer. Your life is better when you deal with things like that every day. --Gretchen Rubin, happiness expert and author.
- Put your dishes away. Clear the sink of the evening's dishes every night, then first thing every morning, empty the dishwasher and replace all the items to their rightful place so the day can begin to unfold with clarity. --Maureen K. Calamia, Feng Shui consultant.
- Make a jacket rule. When you return home after being out and about, put everything away before you take off your jacket or coat as a signal to your brain that you're not done entering the house until you've unpacked and put everything away. --Kyle Quilici, declutterer.
- Make the floors and counters off-limits to storage. Pick up anything from the floor that doesn't belong there, and refrain from keeping baskets on the floor. --Amanda Gibby Peters, Feng Shui consultant.
- Think of cleaning as self-care. Look at cleaning and clearing as a form of self-care, because a mess creates stress. Organizing creates space for fresh energy, creative inspiration, and strong intention to thrive. --Dana Claudat, Feng Shui designer and MBG class instructor.
- Give everything a home. When you have a home for the things you use and love, it's easy to keep your home clutter-free, so even a messy day is only temporary. --Maeve Richmond, organization coach.
Linda Turns a Negative into a Positive
Linda is a long-time reader of this newsletter who shared her clutter-clearing story. It all began with my tip to move 27 things in her home to make room for new things to enter her life. Linda was heartbroken after the loss of her German Shepherd who was her constant companion. A senior who lived alone, she said her family was concerned about her safety after this loss, but she didn't think she had room for a new pet in her life.
Here's what Linda wrote:
I was hesitant to even think about getting a new dog because of the pain I was feeling
for my departed pup (he was a senior, too). As fate would have it, I was in the pet store with my daughter when we were introduced to two kittens. A brother and sister who were only 10 weeks old, they were from the Humane Society and were the last two from a litter. I held the little boy and the tears began. Long story short, I left there with both. I was coming from a quiet lifestyle with my senior dog and now transitioning to two very active babies in a compact apartment, so I moved 27 things immediately to kitten-proof my living quarters. I haven't stopped moving things to this very day. Plants had to go except for one, anything glass that didn't have a purpose was put away or sent away, etc. The end result was no clutter, which makes cleaning so much easier. I still feel grief over losing my pup, but I now have two youngsters who gave my heart a boost, and keep me on my toes for what is safe and what is necessary. They show me how to enjoy the moment and not dwell on what cannot be changed. Hope you enjoy my story as much as I am enjoying my reasons for moving 27 plus things.
|Ask the Feng Shui Maven
Q: I have trouble falling asleep since I moved into my new condo, so I am constantly tired. It's a small unit and I don't have as much storage space so there are lots of things like the laundry that don't have a place yet that end up in my bedroom. Any suggestions?
Without seeing your space, it's impossible to determine exactly what is contributing to your sleeplessness. But there are three classic problems I find in bedrooms that have a negative effect on sleep: piles of laundry, stacks of books, a mirror at the foot of the bed. Since you have at least one of these sleep-stealers, remove the laundry and see what happens. A bedroom should be a place reserved for rest and romance, with no distractions.
Q: Greetings! I'm new to Feng Shui. When arranging the bagua, do you orient it with the "front" door, or the most used door? At my home the side door is the one we use most of the time. Also, my home isn't exactly a square or rectangular shape. It has an attached laundry room/ breezeway and garage so it's like an "L".
In my contemporary Feng Shui practice, I orient the bagua from the true front door, because that's where the architect/builder designed the home to be entered. The majority of houses I work with are not complete squares or rectangles, so it's necessary to correct for the missing areas. You do that by drawing the floor plan, then finding the point where the walls would come together if the house were complete, and mark that area. That way, you symbolically return the attributes of the missing bagua areas to your life within the house. You can find detailed directions for making this correction in Chapter 6 of my book, the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office.
Feng Shui Consulting
Home, Office & Business Consulting
NEW! Feng Shui Bedroom Consultation
This new off-site consultation works whether you are looking for a new love, revving up the relationship you already have, moving forward after a divorce or breakup, or improving your self-esteem. A major focus of the consultation is the art and decoration in the room.
Find out how my Feng Shui consultations can help you rearrange your space, shift e
transform your life. I offer on-site consulting for home or office and business.
My off-site co
lting options include phone and Skype consultations, floor plan analysis, and the popular Room Rescue, designed for one room of you
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rove your relationships, whether you are looking to find a new love, improve the relationship yo
have, or enhance your self-esteem.
All sessions include 30 days of free Feng Shui coaching by phone and email to help you continue to make changes and move forward.
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
... Thrive despite troubled times
... 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.
Watch the class preview.
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
Why Supermarkets Bring Out Our Bad Behavior
What about the grocery store enables bad manners and entitled behavior? In an article for
NBC News online, Nicole Spector writes about research showing that shoppers are not only taste-testing products and parking badly, they're storming express lanes with more than the 10-item limit and leaving their empty carts anywhere.
"Even though we live in a country where the options are endless, there might be an instinctual sense of urgency to make sure we have 'enough' food to survive," says licensed clinical social worker Katie Krimer. Supermarkets are generally not calm, soothing places, and they're overflowing with products. Krimer adds, "Having too many options can make us feel overwhelmed and frenzied."
Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a licensed clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist, thinks some of our anger and entitlement in supermarkets stems from a deeper unease over the rising cost of living. "As more and more people see the price of groceries increase while their salaries haven't in the last 20 years, they feel uncared-for, unsupported, devalued and angry," he says.
The scientists recommend these behaviors to help us be better, more considerate shoppers in the fluorescent chaos of the supermarket:
- Practice mindfulness before you go to the store. Build awareness around how being in a store makes you feel and how it makes you behave. If you experience anxiety or stress, or know that while you're there you often struggle with dealing with impatience (whether it's with your children or with other shoppers), take the opportunity to lower your anxiety and stress levels before you go shopping.
- Practice mindfulness when you're there. If you find yourself getting over-stimulated or agitated, try pausing and taking a deep breath. Or, you could leave the store for a short break.
- Remind yourself that this isn't a high-stakes situation. Keep in mind that you can come back to the store if you forget something, and that nothing will make or break your experience of creating a meal.
- Do some strategic planning. Go to the store at a time when there are likely a lot less people, or go a little out of your way to go to a store you know isn't as packed or as overwhelming. Have a list and commit to sticking to it.
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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