On a recent visit to a new gift shop in town, I passed a woman who was just leaving with a big shopping bag in hand. “This place has great Feng Shui,” she beamed. My curiosity piqued, I asked her, “What exactly do you mean by great Feng Shui?” “Oh, you’ll feel it right away,” she said, smiling over her shoulder. “It’s the whole atmosphere.”
And indeed, the store did have a very inviting atmosphere. Inviting enough for me to buy something so I could take a little piece of that great Feng Shui home with me… So what exactly is “great Feng Shui?” As an Essential Feng Shui® consultant for
over fifteen years, I liken it to the favorite meal you create with just the right ingredients. When you know the recipe, you can make magic happen and in this case, an enchantingly irresistible retail atmosphere.
The recipe begins with three fundamental ingredients, or the three foundational principles of Essential Feng Shui:
1. Everything is Alive ñ Essential Feng Shui® observes that all things are essentially alive with the thoughts and feelings we associate with them. Every thing triggers internal dialog, memories, and associations. The trick is to create a shopping environment that prompts the chatter inside shoppers’ heads to say things like, “I really love the lighting in here; oh, I love that color; this reminds me of being on vacation, what a soft chair …” Not, “I look awful in this lighting; what an ugly color; that looks like my kid’s messy room; there’s nowhere to sit in this place …”
Creating an environment that encourages feel-good mind-talk is a gift – a gift that shoppers purchase and take home with them. Instinctively, they know that every time they look at their purchase, the pleasing memory of their experience in your store will come alive again.
2. Everything is Connected -Essential Feng Shui® views all parts of an environment as connected. For storeowners this means that areas such as the “employees only” bathroom, the storeroom, and the back office are just as connected to the store’s success as the showroom. Whether it can be seen from the front entrance or not, clutter and disorder can push prosperity right out the door. Every square inch counts and it’s all connected.
What’s more, your personal connection with your business is crucial. The more you really love and feel connected to it, the more you’re ready, willing, and able to pour your essence into it, and to address clutter and maintenance issues as they arise. This principle also applies to your connection with every customer who walks through your door. Serving customers with the “just right” balance between harassing and ignoring them is the holy grail of customer service. People respond best to soft landings, where no one barks a pseudo-cheery “Hello!” at them as soon as they enter the store and yet they can connect with someone helpful when they’re ready.
Feeling stuck in your personal life, career, finances, relationships or health is an important sign. Unfortunately, most people try to change themselves, not recognizing the impact of the spaces where they live and work. These spaces hold energy, which can stagnate, impacting everyone in the home or building.
by Terah Kathryn Collins
‘Tis the Season when short days and cool temperatures beckon us to spend more time indoors. Winter is the time when the Sun, Nature’s primal source of the Fire element, offers the least warmth. To maintain our elemental balance, it’s the time to illuminate our homes with enhancements that bring the comfort of the Fire element’s warmth indoors.
Candlelight is an archetypal symbol of Fire. A room can be transformed by lighting it with the luminous magic of candles. With safety always in mind, group pillar candles, tea lights, votives, and tapers to create multi-tiered arrangements of illumination. Choose any hue of red, the color of the Fire element, and add reflective trays and holders to multiply and magnify the light.
Soft lamplight accentuates the warm ambiance of any room. Turn glare into glow by installing rheostats or dimmers that let you adjust your lighting to fit every need and mood. Consider replacing fluorescent lights with more versatile and appealing track or recessed lighting. Or, add task lights, ornamental lamps, and other alternative lighting so that the fluorescents are rarely needed.
The fireplace or hearth symbolizes the heart of a home and inspires the timeless feelings of comfort and safety. Keep a wood-burning fireplace at the ready with fresh logs for the next fire as this connotes continual warmth and light.
In the Nourishing Cycle of Feng Shui’s Five Elements, Wood feeds Fire. When you combine them together, you can create a particularly welcoming wintertime environment. Interestingly, their color associations – red and green – correlate with the classic Christmas colors. Arrange evergreens, ribbons, candles, flowers, ornaments, and other seasonal decorations in reds and greens to create your own beautiful displays.
The element of Fire is also enhanced by your relationships with your loved ones. Include “mementos of the heart” that remind you of your favorite people and display photos of them from previous holidays, as well as ornaments made by or given to you by them.
Winter is the time to create an environment that invites us to renew ourselves and deepen our kinship with friends and family. We seek places to settle into deep introspection and meaningful conversation. Let’s light the candles, cozy up around the fire, and share good times with those we love. With our home fires burning, we open our hearts to winter’s essence and celebrate the returning of the light.
(c) 2013 Terah Kathryn Collins