Photo courtesy of Fernando Gomez/Trunk Archive
How to Give Your
Business a Spiritual Tune-Up
Every summer from the time Vanessa Kandiyoti was five years old, her mother took her to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. That’s where she found spices and rugs, handwoven scarves and calligraphy prints. And jewelry. Turkey’s jewelry trade dates back to the beginning of the Ottoman era (700 years ago, give or take), and at the bazaar, the craftsmen’s talents—as well as the power of the stones—are on full display.
Over the years, Kandiyoti’s eye for picking beautiful pieces drew attention from her friends and eventually gave her the idea to make a jewelry line of her own. She started with a diamond-and-sapphire-studded evil eye—a classic Turkish symbol to ward off intended harm from onlookers. And from that one eye, her line has grown into a range of delicate spiritual symbols.
The spiritual nature of Kandiyoti’s jewelry line is not incidental. She spent a decade practicing meditation, which she says gave her the confidence and intuition to, for example, walk into a Notting Hill boutique and pitch the line. (If you’re ever in London, we highly recommend dropping in for a one-on-one meditation with Kandiyoti.)
Maybe mixing business and spirituality isn’t easy, and maybe it’s not always (never) perfect. But to balance the aspects of work that lead to more anxiety than joy, Kandiyoti suggests treating your business as a spiritual being in its own right. She wrote The Jewel Process as a guide to building a business with your spiritual integrity as well as your bottom line intact. Using the ancient Hindu chakra system as an organizing principle, each chapter illuminates a core tenet of a healthy business practice. The health of your ventures is usually a direct reflection of your inner alignment.
A heads-up: Kandiyoti’s method requires giving up a little control. And that’s hard when building a business—it’s your baby. But, as she points out, the universe has bigger plans in store than our minds can imagine.
The Jewel Process
The First Chakra: Lay the Foundation.
The first chakra is about your sense of safety, not just in relation to the rest of the world but in relation to your personal security as well. Basically, the stronger your foundation, the higher and more sustainable your growth, so if you don’t feel safe and comfortable within, it’s difficult to go outside and start attracting what is right for you. In spiritual terms, it’s about checking in with yourself and finding a daily ritual that grounds you. Try building a gratitude practice to rejoice in what you already have instead of dwelling on what hasn’t shown up yet. See whether you can feel good and comfortable in your home, and think of how to improve it so that your nervous system is not so easily triggered. You want physical safety, and you also want the space within you to relax and start building.
The Second Chakra: Spark Creativity.
The next step is about getting into your creative flow. Allow the flow of emotions to guide you into what you want to create. Emotions are waves of energy moving through our body, and our mind likes to label them as good (joy) or bad (sadness or anger) instead of looking at them without judgment. A meditation practice can help you get centered and listen to your true feelings, without attaching a past story to an emotion that is familiar.
The Third Chakra: Be Confident.
The focus of the third chakra is self-esteem and the value of the service or the product you want to bring out into the world. It’s time to silence that little voice in your head making you doubt yourself. I use a tool by Byron Katie called The Work, which takes a look at the limiting beliefs inside our heads and forces us to question which ones are true. As you free yourself from the false narratives that have been holding you back, you start building a brand that’s authentic to you. The other upside of higher self-esteem is it frees you up to calculate prices that resonate with the true value of your offering. Sometimes we’re afraid to ask for more money, as if we don’t deserve it. It’s beautiful to share, but at the same time you need some kind of return.
The Fourth Chakra: Offer Compassion.
Are you being kind to yourself? Trying something new or branching out on your own typically means facing a lot of rejection. It can be hurtful, but we must hold space for every part of the adventure, and that space often comes from the heart. Learn to trust that you’re doing what you feel called to do. The more you trust, the more you start attracting everything that you need to build. Try writing out an acceptance manifesto where you list everything you know about yourself—likes, dislikes, worries, aspirations. Learn to accept everything on that list as a declaration of unconditional love for yourself, whether your business takes off instantly or not.
The Fifth Chakra: Trust Your Communication.
The throat chakra connects your mind and your heart. As you build off of the compassion of the fourth chakra, there is less room for negative self-talk in the mind. Negativity is going to deplete you and block you from all the magic that wants to come into your life. Think about how you talk to yourself and how you talk to others because it’s going to manifest in your business. If you are too accommodating and afraid to voice your truth, you may want to start a daily journaling practice as part of your morning or nighttime ritual.
The Sixth Chakra: Get Intuitive.
Now it’s time to settle into your seat of intuition and reevaluate all your hard work to see if anything needs to be tweaked or adjusted or if something is still missing. Do you still have a daily practice? How have you been replenishing your energy? Do you feel good in your home? Take a deep breath as you reconnect to the indigo light in your third eye, and set your intention with the following words: May I be able to see beyond my physical eyes and their limited interpretations. May I be guided to trust what comes my way and rise to my true calling. May I become the person I know myself to be in my heart. Amen.
As you clear your third eye, you’re able to clear some of your preconditioned visions and welcome new tools to help you.
The Seventh Chakra: Embrace the Divine.
As you do the work to center yourself, calm your mind, and keep your feet on the ground, feel free to embrace the unknown. At the end of the day, we don’t know anything about what’s going to happen or how things are going to manifest. When your seventh chakra is open and balanced, you feel present and you trust the unfolding of your life, conscious that everything is energy and that everything is indeed interconnected. The best way to open that chakra up: more meditation. If sitting meditation is not for you, why not try a movement practice such as walking meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, or Qigong.
Vanessa Kandiyoti is a jeweler, a mindfulness teacher, and an author. She lives in London, where she works with clients who are looking to connect to their true purpose. Her first book, The Jewel Process, draws on her experience building a successful jewelry brand and later coaching other women seeking to use meaningful business practices.