Friday, July 20, 2012

The Art of Blissful Storekeeping

Dear Booksellers,

Does a business have an emotional center, a heart? Do you find that customers are drawn to energy that’s fueled by joy?

Tess Whitehurst, the author of Magical Housekeeping and The Good Energy Book, is an expert in creating and maintaining positive energy. We're excited about her fabulous new book, The Art of Bliss, that focuses on how to activate your innate life force energy for success and happiness. Here, Tess talks about how these principles also apply to a business. Check out how easy it is to activate key areas in your store to encourage creativity, productivity, and genuine bliss.

The Art of Blissful Storekeeping
By Tess Whitehurst

With just a modest bit of alchemy, you can benefit your business—and beautify your relationship with your business—for years to come.

The Art of Bliss
Tess Whitehurst
You may already know that your business’s floor plan has nine life areas as designated by the bagua, or the I Ching-derived feng shui floor plan. And if you do, as a business-minded individual, you’re likely aware of what’s commonly referred to as the “prosperity corner.” (Hint: it’s the far left corner when standing at the front door, facing inwards, or the upper left corner in the diagram you’ll be drawing below.) You might also know that to help activate your finances, you can do things such as keep the prosperity area clutter-free, place a citrine quartz or chrysocolla in this area, and/or hang a large mirror to bring in extra energy and symbolic space.

What you may not know is that there are two other areas that are exceptionally important when it comes to maintaining a business in the most sustainable, profitable, enjoyable way possible.

Almost as Simple as Tic-Tac-Toe
Before I reveal where these areas are and how you can make them work for you, take a quick moment to make a super rough sketch of your floor plan. Honestly, no measuring or artistry necessary—rough is totally fine. Just an outline of the place that is expressly designated for your business is all you need (if there’s a larger main area and little asymmetrical offshoots such as bathrooms or offices, you might just want to include the main area for this exercise). Now, if the outline of what you just drew happens to be something other than a square or rectangle, use dotted lines to make it into one by filling in the missing corners. Once it’s a square or rectangle, draw a tic-tac-toe board over it, dividing it into nine (roughly) equal squares. OK—done! (See I told you! Not too terribly tricky.)

Locate the Spots
To locate the important areas I’m about to teach you about, first locate your front door. Draw an arrow pointing straight at it, in the direction you would be going if you were entering the business. Now, if necessary, turn the paper so that the arrow is pointing up. In the bottom center square, write, “Life Path.” In the top center square, write, “Radiance.”

Aha! Now we can move ahead to the fun stuff.

Life Path
The Life Path area—traditionally referred to as the Career area—is the place in your business that has to do with a natural sense of flow and an authentic, joy-fueled direction. For you, and for anyone else who works at this location, when this center is activated and flowing, there is a deep sense of fulfillment that fuels creativity, productivity, and enthusiasm. Because everyone can sense the genuine bliss at the heart of the business, additional benefits include loyal, longstanding customers and employees, which consequently support financial flow and word-of-mouth publicity.

There are a number of ways to activate this area, and to balance it energetically in the most ideal of ways, and all of them have to do with the water element. (Think depth, natural nourishment and flow, and a fluid wellspring of joy.) For example, you might place an actual water feature in this area, such as a fountain, or you might place something here that represents water, such as a painting or photo of the ocean, one or more items made out of glass, or a large mirror.

Of course, you might also have items for sale that fit with the water element, such as water globes, seashells, or books about mermaids. It might be fun to activate the Life Path area by placing these in this area of the store.

The Radiance area—traditionally known as the Fame and Reputation area—is particularly important in businesses, as it has to do with how one is seen and known in the world. This area works synergistically with the Life Path area. You might say that each nourishes and balances the other: the Life Path area has to do with being in alignment with one’s own inner sense of purpose and joy, while the Radiance area has to do with generously sharing this joy with the outside world.

Again, there are a number of ways to activate this area. This time, most of them have to do with fire. (Think of how the sun and stars light up the sky from an incomprehensible distance, and how even fireworks can be seen for miles around.) And so, to activate and energize this area, you might want to add excellent or eye-catching lighting, candles, or artwork/items depicting red, pink, orange, stars, sun shapes, triangles, diamonds, or radial shapes (such as daisies).

Artwork depicting people or animals also brings in the fire element, and items that advertise or name your business—such as signs or complementary newspaper articles—are also excellent ways to visually affirm that your business is well-known and highly regarded.

And, of course, inventory relating to the fire element—such as candles, incense, lamps, brightly colored prayer flags—might be cool things to place here as well.

But What if it’s Missing from the Floor Plan?
The Radiance and Life Path are not commonly missing from most floor plans, but if one or both is missing from yours, never fear. You might symbolically bring in the energy of the area by hanging a large mirror or watery art with depth on one of the walls bordering the missing Life Path area, or a large piece of fiery art with depth on one of the walls bordering the missing Radiance area. This way, the chosen piece will be like a window looking into—and energetically holding the space of—precisely the type of energy you want to bring in.

For affirmations, rituals, and other fun stuff related to the nine life areas, check out The Art of Bliss: Finding Your Center, Getting in the Flow, and Creating the Life You Desire.


Tess Whitehurst is an intuitive counselor, energy worker, and feng shui consultant. She has appeared on the Bravo TV show Flipping Out, and her writing has been featured in Writers Digest, Whole Life Times Magazine, and online at The Huffington Post and In addition to The Art of Bliss, she is the author of Magical Housekeeping and The Good Energy Book. Visit her online.

Tess on her favorite bookstore:
Alexandria II in Pasadena, CA will always occupy a special place in my heart because it was the first metaphysical bookstore I ever had the pleasure of finding myself in. I’ll never forget how awestruck I felt as I explored it those first few times.


Do you have any feng shui tips to share? What are some of your favorite ways to create positive energy in your store?


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