Feng Shui in the Kitchen
In the Chinese feng shui system, the kitchen is considered one of the key rooms in a home, and being the place where food is prepared to fuel and sustain us, the kitchen represents nourishment and prosperity. The design, placement and setup of the kitchen is said to influence prosperity and health.
It's important that the cook be in a commanding position while working at the stove, preferably facing out into the room toward the door. Many kitchens, however, have stoves facing the wall, so in order to correct this, feng shui consultants often recommend hanging something reflective like a mirror or some decorative aluminum over the stove. Also, if your kitchen is very small, a properly placed mirror can bring in more light and visually expand the space.
Another solution is to use a cooking island, as this will put the cook in a position to see what's going on around her and also opens up the work surface available to prepare food. I often recommend buying a rolling butcher block with shelving if there is not an island in the kitchen and positioning it so that the person preparing the foods can engage in what is going on around her.
I was once so adamant about just using a gas flame to do my cooking that if I was in a kitchen that only had an electric stove, I would buy a small gas camp stove to cook on. However, with all my travels and cooking in so many different kitchens, I've mellowed out a bit and realized that the love and good energy I put into my dishes can alleviate any negative energy it may pick up, so I will use whatever heat source is available. I got to cook on a solar oven a couple of times, and even though I love the idea of using natural heat sources, it's not really practical to have to wait till the sun's at the right angle to boil my water!
My preference is a gas stove for the obvious reason that a flame is so much easier to control and it is a more natural element to work with. Whatever stove you're using, in feng shui, it's recommended to rotate the burners you use as the stove represents prosperity and this will ensure your money supply will come from various sources—I'm down with that!
Your kitchen should be an inviting place, but not overwhelm you with bright colors. Fire and water elements are active in the kitchen, so it's best to stay away from fire colors like red and orange and create balance with cooling colors like white, pale green or blue. I also find pale yellow brings in a little touch of sunshine, which is always uplifting. The color yellow corresponds to the solar plexus chakra, where a major part of the digestive system is located, so it can promote healthy digestion.
Light has a huge influence on our health and sense of well-being. Of course, natural lighting is always optimum, but it's important also to bring in light in the healthiest way possible. Good lighting is essential in a kitchen—as well as being functional, it can also add ambiance. I love dimmer switches, as I can have my lights bright when needed, then can turn them down to create a more romantic atmosphere. It's a good idea to have lighting fixtures on various levels, like under-counter lighting for local areas. Being subjected to fluorescent lighting for extended periods is not optimum, as it tends to flicker and can cause eyestrain, headaches and stress the nervous system. If using fluorescent lighting, it's best to use full-spectrum bulbs.
Fix It or Dump It
I have seen people hold on to old pots or pans that are scratched or have handles missing or kitchen gadgets that have outlived their use-by date. Broken items create negative energy and, if they can't be repaired, are best replaced. Keeping your kitchen clutter-free is vital for health and easy workflow, so get rid of anything you don't use. The kitchen is not a place for memorabilia. This is especially true if your kitchen is small.
Fresh plants or flowers create a good energy—even just a bowl of fresh fruits on the kitchen counter. If you don't have a space to have an outdoor garden, it's a great idea to create a window box with fresh herbs growing. As well as giving you the satisfaction of adding something that you've grown yourself to your dishes, it creates a nice, fresh energy in your kitchen.
Set up your kitchen in a way that's comfortable for you to work in and allows for easy workflow. Make sure the items you use most are accessible and items that you just use on occasion can be stored in shelves or cupboards that are harder to reach. I like to have a little stepladder or something I can stand on (being quite petite) so I can reach the higher shelves when necessary. I always have a tub of sea salt close to my stove and seasonings and utensils that I use regularly within easy reach.
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