Sunday, November 23, 2008

Feng Shui your Kitchen

The Kitchen

The kitchen is sometimes called "the heart of the home," and with good reason; in ancient cultures the hearth was a sacred place representing the life-giving sustenance of Earth's bounty. Feng Shui recognizes the kitchen as one of the most important rooms in the house because it is where we connect with the energies that nourish us physically (food), financially (money), and emotionally (family). It reminds us to see the kitchen not just as where we put the groceries away and dish up dinner, but also as a place where we receive blessings and express gratitude for the gifts of life, health, and prosperity.The kitchen is a source of nourishment for you and your family. 

Because of the close connection between health and finances - financial stress may contribute to or aggravate health problems, and poor health can seriously harm your financial wellbeing - the kitchen is associated in Feng Shui with both money and health issues.

The Stove

Feng Shui reminds us that in order to prosper, we need to be healthy. The Feng Shui of your kitchen - especially the stove can have a big influence on your financial situation, even if you rarely or never cook. In Feng Shui, the stove is your "wealth generator". It is the most important symbolic factor in your ability to prosper financially, so make sure it works the way it should.

Any problems with the stove can indicate problems with money or limitations to your ability to bring home a good income. A burner that doesn't heat could be a sign of fruitless effort, and an oven that runs too hot could be burning up your money. Dirt and grime are also signs of negative energy, so be sure to keep your stovetop and oven clean.
One easy way to activate money chi is to use your stovetop at least once a day, rather than always relying on the microwave to boil water for tea or heat up a cup of soup. Because the stove represents health and wealth, you want to use the burners on the stove top equally, rotating their use rather than habitually using a particular burner -- this represents getting money from multiple sources. If you don't use your stove, or use the same one burner all the time, symbolically you are limiting your ability to benefit from financial resources.When the stovetop is not in use, put all pots and pans away. Unused pots stored on top of the stove can squash prosperity chi, especially when they cover the rear left burner; if you visualize the Bagua over the stovetop, with career in the center front, the rear left burner is in the Wealth position.

The stove is symbolic of wealth, so it is important to keep its fire energy strong. Wood feeds fire, so plants or plant imagery (or again, the color green) are all good to have around and near the stove. The old-fashioned stove, as opposed to a microwave, is often preferred because it is more in keeping with the way that Feng Shui encourages one to slow down, to become more conscious of each activity, and to do activities with intention. Heating a quick meal in the microwave is certainly convenient, but it may not lead to the most serene state of mind. Obviously, each home and family will have to find their own balance between modern conveniences and optimal Feng Shui practice.

The Kitchen Elements

The kitchen is dominated by the fire element (the cooktop/oven) and the water element (the sink and refrigerator), which clash with each other. Use the wood element in your d├ęcor to link the two. You can incorporate wood in cabinets, furniture, accessories or flooring. Cork, a stylish new flooring option, also works.Feng Shui principles require that stoves and sinks and refrigerators should be at diagonals from each other, forming a triangle with the corners at least six to eight feet apart, to prevent conflict between the elements of fire and water.

Such conflicts are quick to inhabit the home, spreading discord among family members. To cure an unlucky placement of fire-producing and water-producing appliances in your kitchen, try placing a green rug or something representative of wood, such as a plant or a painting of a plant between the offending appliances to form a conflict barrier.

Of the five elements -- Earth, Metal, Wood, Fire and Water, the kitchen is both a Fire and Water room. In considering the Five Element Cycle, white mediates between the water and fire found in the kitchen.
The colors of the paint, cabinetry, flooring, countertops and other fixed surfaces in the kitchen should not be anything in the range of red, pink or purple. These are "fire" colors, and can portend arguments, so if you and your spouse tend to fight in the kitchen, see if the wall or floor color might have something to do with this. Good colors to use instead are cooling white, light green and blue. These colors also fit in with popular trends in kitchen appliances, as stainless steel appliances and hardware are very popular, and that doesn't show any signs of changing. Luckily, stainless is very easy to match with the lighter colors. In any room, fluorescent lights do not promote good health; they are constantly flickering, affecting the eyes and nervous system, and can cause hypertension, eyestrain and headaches. However, they do serve a purpose, as they provide bright light at low cost. If you decide that you do need fluorescent lights in your kitchen, use full-spectrum bulbs.

Kitchen Clutter

An excess of stored food in the pantry or freezer can become clutter if it far exceeds a reasonable amount for your family. Old, stale food has old, stale energy, even if the expiration date is still months (or even years) away. Clean out your food cupboards and refrigerator regularly. Keep your kitchen shiny and clean for the best possible energy. A cluttered, dirty kitchen will have stagnant, dirty energy, which interferes with your ability to cook and enjoy healthy, nourishing food. When you are poorly nourished, your ability to work hard and earn a good income will suffer. Another good Feng Shui tactic is to keep kitchen canisters and other containers more than half-full as much as possible. Every time you see these containers, your subconscious mind will register plenty rather than the implied lack created by an almost empty jar. Get in the habit of restocking your food supplies before you run low, and you will fill your kitchen with the energy of abundance.

The Trash Can

Kitchen garbage is a constant in every home. According to the Feng Shui principles, garbage is lifeless energy that robs the room of fresh uplifting energy. Take action in recycling even though it takes a little longer. Invest in a garbage disposal which should reduce your garbage by at least 25%.Place the kitchen garbage container under a cupboard or have a lid on the container to keep the chi from flowing throughout the home. Perfect for keeping trash out of site, there are many options including pull-out trash bins. As well, clean the garbage center thoroughly weekly and wipe down daily. Drop a few essential oils into the container to minimize the scent of the garbage.Garbage is a part of our lives, we need to minimize the impact it makes in our lives.