Feng Shui to the Rescue Newsletter
Helping you attract wealth, harmony, love,
and much more.
Stressed Out in a World of Screwed-Up-Ness
Are you more stressed than usual right now? You are not alone. I wrote this article earlier in the week, and by the time it came back from the proofreader, the world around us had taken a major shift. Our stress levels went into overload.
No, I’m not offering Feng Shui advice for stopping the spread of the coronavirus - I’ll leave that for qualified public health officials. Instead, this month my feature article offers Feng Shui tips for reducing stress. It’s an update of a piece I wrote a few years ago (oddly, that was also in March). Keeping your home as clutter-free as you can is a key part of reducing your stress level so you can be at your best to resist whatever comes your way.
If I had a nickel for every time a client asked if we could ignore the garage (or, substitute: basement, attic, spare room, guest room closet) because it was such a mess, I would start a foundation for the prevention of
screwed-up-ness. That's not my word; it comes from a client describing how stressed she is by what is going on in the world. The good and bad news is that no, you can't ignore any room, because they all count in achieving Feng Shui balance and harmony.
When you draw the floor plan of your home and lay the bagua map over it, you see how each part of your house relates to an aspect of your life. That means if your garage is in the typical placement in front of your house, it could occupy the Knowledge/Wisdom area of the home. Junk in the trunk, so to speak, would affect your peace and security. If you move those junky things to the room in the upper right hand corner of your home (the Love area), your relationship could be troubled. If the upper left area of your home is messy and filled with things you don't need, don't want, and don't use, you send a message of neglect in the Wealth Area of your life. Sorry folks, I don't make this stuff up, and it does happen. But, Feng Shui can come to your rescue. The tips in this month's newsletter offer guidance, and my
includes an entire chapter devoted to "Trouble, Chaos, and Clutter." (You didn't think I could publish another book without including clutter, did you?)
I'm getting so many questions about creating home sanctuary that I was planning another
"Modern Coping Skills For Women"
workshop for this summer. This training is one of my favorites because I meet wonderful women and feel good about teaching them stress-reducing strategies. I'm trying to stay positive and hoping to schedule the workshop for August in Santa Fe, but I'm also considering the option for a webinar if the world situation keeps people from traveling or gathering. Watch this newsletter for the details, or
and I'll put you on the list to receive more information about future workshops.
Happy March! Check out my article and
"Go Feng Shui Green"
for St. Patrick's Day. Wishing you a healthy month, with as little stress as possible.
Carol M. Olmstead, FSIA
Feng Shui Master Practitioner
Feng Shui Tips to Reduce Stress
"Screwed-up-ness!" That's how my client described what's going on in the world when she asked for tips to turn her home into a refuge from stress and anxiety. I'm also hearing more traditional requests like creating "serenity," "security," "peace," "harmony," and "balance" from my readers these days. The colors, furniture, and art you choose affect what you attract into your life, and the right Feng Shui combinations will help reduce stress. All rooms of your home are important when it comes to achieving Feng Shui balance, but you might get the most benefit from a Feng Shui makeover in these three: the entrance, your bedroom, and your home workspace.
Entrance. The front door is called the "Mouth of Chi" where all positive energy enters a home, and the foyer should spread that energy to the other rooms. Clutter in this area will make you feel like you can't settle down - it sends the message that you have so much work to do at home that you're running behind. It's especially important to avoid piling shoes near the door because this represent "walking away" from a peaceful life in the home. If you have to keep backpacks, briefcases, and totes in the foyer, keep them in the closet, or add closed storage options so you can keep them out of sight. Avoid locating a mirror directly across from the front door where it sends all the soothing positive chi right back out of your home. Choose artwork for this area that makes you feel grounded and happy to be home. If you enter your home through the garage, treat it the same as any other room in your home.
Master Bedroom. This is the room where we transition from public to private life - that is, from hectic to peaceful - so it's especially important to keep all work-related items out of here. If your home is small and you must have a work area in your bedroom, screen it off at night with a curtain, a standing screen, or tall plants. Keep your bedroom as free from electronics as possible. If your cell phone is your alarm clock, at least avoid checking your email last thing at night. The best wall color for a bedroom is a skin tone - from almond to chocolate and anything in between. Place the head of your bed against a solid wall for security and grounding, and add a headboard to symbolize support. Avoid keeping anything under your bed so the chi can circulate around you for an undisturbed sleep. If you must store things there, choose only soft things like out of season clothes or linens. Don't store your exercise equipment under the bed or you'll feel like you are "running away" from peaceful sleep.
Home Workspace. Whether you run a business from your home office, only pay bills there, or anything in between, you'll reduce stress by keeping office clutter to a minimum. That means filing things out of sight rather than piling them on every surface. Place your desk or work table in the Power Position, which is where your back is against a solid wall, preferably on an angle to the door. Avoid sitting with your back to the door where you can be "caught off guard" by things that go on behind your back. You can reduce stress in a home office by creating a balance between yin and yang, the two opposing forces in Feng Shui, and among the Five Elements. For example, a home office with too much yang - brightness, angles, electronics - can create a stressful environment. Similarly, having too much of the Fire Element - fiery red colors and triangular shapes - can make you feel overwhelmed by your work. Place a living plant within 3 feet of your computer to absorb some of the electromagnetic energy it generates.
Where Do You Have Clutter?
You've heard me say it before: in Feng Shui, clutter represents
postponed decisions and the
inability to move forward. But even more important, what clutter you accumulate, where you put it, and why you keep it says a lot about why you might not be moving forward. Studies show that of all the things we keep, we will only reuse one item in 20. That means most people "pile" rather than "file," cluttering their spaces with things they never use. If you are outwardly cluttered with stacks of magazines in the family room, disorderly files all over your desk, and old cans of dried up paint in the garage, there's most likely an equal amount of disorder going on inside your mind. The good news is that when you remove clutter, you open up the flow of positive chi into your space. You'll not only attract more positive energy, but you'll feel better.
Here are 10 common clutter locations and what they reveal about hidden aspects of your life:
- Entrance: Fear of relationships
- Closets: Unwillingness to examine your emotions
- Kitchen: Resentment of care-taking
- Desk: Frustration, fear of letting go, and the need to control
- Behind a Door: Detachment from others
- Under Furniture: Concern with appearances
- Basement: Procrastination
- Attic: Living in the past
- Garage: Inability to reach your potential
- Bed: Next to your bed, a desire for change or escape; under your bed; fear of relationships.
If you have clutter all over your home, it could represent anger and low self-esteem.
Take the Feng Shui For Real Life Clutter Challenge:
Clear the clutter from one drawer, one closet, or one room today, then tomorrow, watch what good things flow into your life to take the place of all that mess.
your results, so I can feature you in a future Success Story!
Q: I haven't begun your new book yet, so I don't know if this question is in there. My garage is detached. Should that be feng shui'd too as a separate building? And I have a second floor (first time in 45 years years) - should that be arranged so the staircase acts as the front door? Lastly, the house is the end unit of a townhouse, and I wonder how that common wall plays into this. I did smudge/clear the interior and exterior of the unit when I moved in and after I gutted and rehabbed the place.
Yes, you'll find that question in the book, and yes, you should use the bagua to map the garage as a separate building. The challenge is to avoid storing junk in there. And yes again, to map the second floor, you should stand on that level with your back to the equivalent of the front door and map it in that direction. The smudging and clearing should have taken care of most of the potential issues. If you don’t have problems with the neighbor on the other side of the common wall, don’t worry about it. If you do, the typical cures include hanging a rug or textile on that wall to block negative energy. Or, place a small mirror on the wall with the mirror facing toward the neighbor to send back any negative energy. You can find small quarter-sized or silver-dollar-sized flat mirrors at craft stores and online that you can hide behind art work. But again, if there are not problems you don’t need any cures. Enjoy the book!
Q: Quick question – someone gave me a fountain, which I know can bring good chi into a room. The two things I want “flowing” in my life are money (always!) and marriage (I really want my sweetie to ask me to marry him!). Decoratively, the fountain goes better with my home office, and that is the only place other than the kitchen with a three-prong outlet. If I put it in my office in the love corner, am I covering both money and love, or am I confusing the chi?
The complication with a fountain is that it is the “Water” Element, and if you place it in either your Wealth or Love areas the water could symbolically douse the “Fire” Element in those areas and therefore reduce what you are trying to enhance. And, placing a fountain in the kitchen can run the same risk of putting out the Fire that is naturally found in that room. The best location for a fountain is in the Career/Work area, (usually near the door or entrance). Flowing water in this area will help enhance the flow of wealth into your business. Or, place it near your front door to usher in a flow of abundance. If you need a 3-prong outlet for the fountain, you can find an inexpensive adaptor in most hardware stores. A better idea to help encourage your sweetie to pop the question is to decorate your Love/Marriage area with images of weddings and marriage, like wedding rings, a pair of champagne glasses, a couple sharing a wedding cake, etc., or whatever image feels like marriage to you.
Kim Takes the Big Purge Challenge
How much stuff do you need to achieve happiness and joy? That’s the question I ask whenever I suggest taking the
challenge. At least once a year, I clear out my filing cabinet in order to make room for new clients to find me. That always leads to purging and tidying up in other areas of my office. Last year, when I challenged readers to join me, one subscriber wrote to share her purging adventures. (Note: This is one of the Success Stories in my new book.)
Here’s what Kim wrote:
We move a lot. I don’t shop much, so the majority of my clutter is from gifts, both small and large. We also have become the family that gets items from family members who have passed away, and we end up with all sorts of things, including furniture. I am thankful to receive some of these items, but it has become overwhelming. Each time we move, we have three tag sales and then make numerous trips to donation centers as well as give things away for free. It never seems to be enough. With the last move, we did the usual donations and tag sales, and we still packed 9 pods! We took our time purchasing a new home and took up temporary living for a year and a half. We only took with us what we absolutely needed and only stayed at furnished dwellings. By doing this, it helped me to finally let go of more items. Being separated from them by choice released some of the fear of not having “enough,” and it let me release the need to keep deceased family members’ possessions simply because they loved those things. This time as I am unpacking, instead of finding a closet or drawer for most of those items, they are going directly into donation boxes. I am keeping the items I love and releasing the other things for someone else to enjoy. I have already donated 10 large boxes of household items and can’t wait for our upcoming tag sale! When the next move happens, I will still have plenty to release, but it will be much easier to choose what to keep. I am by no means a minimalist, but I enjoy the feeling of space and openness with less furniture and no small decorations. Not everyone can use this method of purging, but perhaps something in my story can be helpful to someone else.
NEW! NOW AVAILABLE FROM MY WEBSITE
Feng Shui to the Rescue: Rearrange Your Space, Shift Your Energy, Transform Your Life!
My new book
includes more than
to the questions that you - my clients, students, and readers - have been asking for the past 20 years. These are new questions, in addition to those I answered in my first book. I've also included
30 Success Stories
(also new!) and 24 sets of topic-specific tips I call
to help you avoid problems in the first place.
The book covers the most-asked topics, like these and more:
(finding it, losing it, finding it again)
(making it, keeping it)
(maintaining it, especially during the holidays)
Careers & Business
(finding jobs and clients)
(placing or removing them)
Bedrooms & Beds
(buying or selling a home)
To get a signed copy, order your books from this
link. The price is $19.99, plus a discounted shipping fee of $3.99. I can only ship within the US at this special price.
NOTE: Please be sure to include the name or names you want in the book in the
"Instructions for Personalizing Book" section when you place your order so I can personalize your books.
Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office: Secrets For Attracting Wealth, Harmony, and Love
This is my award-winning book that includes easy-to-follow basics, plus secrets to make the practical magic of Feng Shui work for you. This practical and easy-to-understand volume includes success stories from real people who followed these tips with big results. I've also included a tip-a-day calendar with
(there's one for leap year) to help you attract wealth, achieve harmony, improve relationships, advance your career, and clear clutter every day of the year. As a bonus, there's a month-by-month guide to clutter clearing.
This book is the
for everyone on your list: clients, colleagues, family, friends, and you. Plus, it's a great way for real estate agents to say "thank you" to sellers and to welcome buyers to their new home.
Do you have one room in your home or an individual office that needs a special Feng Shui rescue, but you're overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? This off-site
Feng Shui Room Rescue Consultation
is for you. This
service is designed to help you rearrange your space, shift energy, and transform your life.
For Your Home
- Is your guest room accumulating too much stuff?
- Does your bedroom need a relationship rescue to rev up your love life?
- Is your kitchen or dining room table so cluttered that you can’t serve a meal?
- Are the kids’ rooms so disorderly you close the doors and try to ignore the chaos?
- Is your family room so crowded with video games or toys that there’s no place to sit?
- Do you have a tired, overcrowded room that needs a fresh outlook?
For Your Office
- Is your work space so cluttered you can’t find files when you need them?
- Is your cubicle or workstation cold and impersonal?
- Is the furniture and art sending the wrong message?
- Is your home office intruding into your personal life?
- Do your spirits dip when you enter your office instead of soar?
- Are you moving into new space and want to make sure your business succeeds?
If you said “yes” to any of these questions, or if you have a space that is driving you crazy but you don’t know where to start, the off-site
Feng Shui Room Rescue
is for you.
Now Planning for August 2020 Session
Modern Coping Skills for Women Workshop
Using art, mindfulness, and Feng Shui to find inner calm
Looking for calm in a chaotic world?
This small-group workshop is for you!
Join Feng Shui Master Practitioner
and Clinical Mental Health Counselor
as we 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.
You'll 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 worldview
Find guilt-free self-care strategies
Participants are talking about the Modern Coping Skills Workshop:
Love the space to talk about my current situation. Carol and Nancy were fun and direct and were clear in their presentations. I felt inspired to clean & create and review my personal space.
Enjoyable - educational and well presented in a safe environment.
I enjoyed hearing ideas for how to keep calm. I loved hearing the others’ stories.
Register for yourself, or schedule a custom workshop for your group!
Grow Your Business with Feng Shui
My 90-minute, self-paced video 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.
People Are Talking About Carol's Videos and 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.
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.
Did You Know?
Carol M. Olmstead, FSIA,
is certified by the
Feng Shui Institute of America
and earned Red Ribbon Professional Status from the
International Feng Shui Guild
Articles in the
Feng Shui To The Rescue Newsletter
are copyrighted, but can be shared with credit to
Carol M. Olmstead
as author and link to
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.
©2020, Carol M. Olmstead