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Interview with Tess Whitehurst

An Interview with Author Tess Whitehurst

1. The Art of Bliss is your third book in a small span of time (The Good Energy Book came out in January, and Magical Housekeeping last year). Where do you find your inspiration?

With each book, it feels like it is part me, but also like it is something that comes through me, sort of like wind flowing through a chime. And it all adds up to something that is entirely its own thing. Basically, my process is to start with a framework that feels fun to me, and then to sit with my spine straight and my hands on the keyboard and be open to whatever wants to come through.

2. You focus on Feng Shui in each of your books. Do you feel that this practice is a connecting force between our personal energy and our state of happiness?

Yes, exactly. Before I discovered feng shui, it was like my rituals and meditations were divorced from the rest of my life. It was sort of like I lived two lives: the magical/spiritual one and the mundane one. In time, the mundane began to feel like more of an illusion than the magical, so this just didn’t feel right. Feng shui turns this around by making your entire home, and everything in it, into a charm, so that there is a seamless merging of magical and that which was formerly known as "mundane."

To say it another way, in this life experience that appears to be characterized by duality, we feel dis-empowered when we begin to believe that the world of form and the world of spirit—i.e. our bodies and our minds, or our outer and inner environments—are separate. And in my experience, nothing helps you stay grounded in awareness of the connection between these worlds like feng shui. When we position our homes and workspaces so that life force energy (or bliss!) can flow through in the most ideal of ways, we are honoring both form and spirit simultaneously, as well as the vital, meaningful connection between the two. Then, since we spend most of our lives in these environments, almost everything we see constantly reminds of this connection.

3. The Art of Bliss features nine chapters, each focusing on a particular "life key," from Serenity to Synergy. How do you define "life key," and why are these nine aspects of particular importance?

I first learned about these life keys when I began studying feng shui, and they’re derived from areas of the bagua, or the tic-tac-toe type thing that in Magical Housekeeping I call the "magical floor plan." The bagua is derived from the wisdom of the I Ching, which transcends the written word and honestly feels as if it’s been in existence for at least as long as humans have been present on earth.

When I began working with the bagua, I soon discovered that there isn’t an aspect of life, or a magical intention, or a component of holistic well-being, that isn’t contained within one of these nine life keys. So each one is not just a place in your home, but an aspect of your life experience. And it’s an experiential thing: once you begin working with these teachings, they’re something you begin to directly feel and know. Your personal relationship with each life key can deepen throughout your lifetime, with or without the assistance of books or external teachings.

What’s more, they all interact with each other. So in effect, the nine life keys comprise an organized, dynamic framework for harmonizing both our inner and outer experience of the world. Knowing about them can greatly enhance not only your spiritual practice, but also your holistic wellbeing and everyday life. Oh, yeah—and the beauty of your home!

4. How can we create the life we have always wanted, simply by re-connecting with our life-force energy?

When a hope or dream is authentic, it’s not something outside of us, but an aspect of our true self. Or, since linear time is an illusion, you might say it’s a true vision pointing us in the direction of our most ideal future. And each of our lives may be thought of as a river, through which life force energy wants to naturally flow in a particular way. So, when we become conscious of the areas where it’s flowing ideally, and the areas where it’s perhaps a little congested, clearing the way will help activate our true, fully realized self—authentic hopes and dreams included. When we open up to this flow, we feel bliss.

Of course, everything is always changing and moving and growing, so living the life we’ve always wanted doesn’t mean things start to seem static, like "happily ever after" frozen in time. It means we feel like our life is meaningful and satisfying in the present moment—regardless of where we are in the process of manifesting any given dream. We feel like we have a more sustainable perspective, like we can navigate the twists and turns of life with gratitude and grace. In effect, the life of our dreams might be seen as a positive energetic momentum, a constant spiraling into an even greater level of joy.

5. What do you hope readers will take away from The Art of Bliss?

I feel so happy just contemplating this question. The wisdom in The Art of Bliss, for me, has been transformational in every single way. It’s given me a compass and a calibration tool for my entire life experience, and it continues to inspire me and guide my spiritual unfolding every moment of every day. I hope readers will feel the same.

The Art of Bliss
The Art of Bliss
Finding Your Center, Getting in the Flow, and Creating the Life You Desire
Trade Paperback  |  $16.99 US,  $19.50 CAN
$8.50 US,  $9.75 CAN On Sale!  |  9780738731964  |  September 2012
Live the Life of Your Dreams! Bring harmony and balance to every area of your life with this gentle and loving guide to beautiful living. Use the energy of bliss to transform yourself, healing your... Read more

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