Kitchens are stressful. They always seem to be the messiest space in the house, and they always have bustling energy coursing throughout, especially with many kitchen's being the heart of the home. They almost always having competing fire and water energy (sink and stove/oven) and can very easily feel overwhelming.
My kitchen always stresses me out. I want new counters, new cabinet hardware - a trusty dishwasher... but kitchen renovations can be costly, and they're definitely one project in your home that really needs to be completed properly. But whether your budget is big or small, there are a couple easy and effective fixes you can implement that will make your space more efficient and less stressful (or energy sucking).
Besides, the kitchen's vibe has an impact on everyone who lives within the home, and an unhealthy kitchen space can cause quarrelsome relationships between siblings and even spouses. So maybe it's time to show it some love.
FIVE EASY WAYS TO
BOOST YOUR KITCHEN'S VIBE
The colour you paint your kitchen has a lot of power, and depending which methods of feng shui you follow, there are sometimes competing rules among different schools. Traditional feng shui deems it important to find out the direction your home faces, so you can tell which direction or quadrant your kitchen falls in. This is sometimes called Feng Shui Compass, as it is very important to read your home's direction specifically (right down to the degree on a compass!). I love Lillian Too's book, 198 Feng Shui Ways to Transform Your Life, because she lists examples of the 24 directions associated with the Feng Shui compass.
For example, there isn't simply one "north" direction; there is North 1, North 2 and North 3. They are different and dramatically impact the home's spirit.
Stand in the centre of your home to find your rooms' orientation. Once you know your home's direction and what direction your kitchen is in using the Feng Shui Compass, you can determine which colours will be effective in that area. Typically, colours with more white added to them will be more yang, and colours with more black or darker shades will be more yin. I would argue that a kitchen should be more yang than yin because you shouldn't be sleepy and overly chill while you're cooking. We typically want a lot of bright light in our kitchens which is also yang energy.
Your dining room can be yin to help you slow down and enjoy your food, but the actual kitchen requires focus. If you're dining room and kitchen are one unit, see if you can get creative in influencing your space's energy.
Here's an easy little list to let you know which directions and colours are best depending on where your kitchen falls in your home: (According to Lillian Too's, 198 Feng Shui Ways to Transform Your Life)
NORTH KITCHEN: White or blue (yellow and green are exhausting)
SOUTH KITCHEN: Brown or red (white is exhausting)
EAST KITCHEN: Blue or green (white and red are exhausting)
WEST KITCHEN: Yellow or white (red is exhausting)
CENTRE KITCHEN: Red or yellow (green and white are exhausting)
SOUTHEAST KITCHEN: Blue or green (white and red are exhausting)
NORTHWEST KITCHEN: Yellow or white (red is exhausting)
SOUTHWEST KITCHEN: Red or yellow (green and white are exhausting)
NORTHEAST KITCHEN: Red or yellow (green and white are exhausting)
To find a list of the 24 directions so you can know your home's specific direction, check out this link.
Our kitchen's are vulnerable to accumulating stagnant energy. A pile of dishes or crumbs on the floor just beg good healthy energy to trip up and grow stale. Since we cook in this area, it's important to keep the energy healthy. We don't want to be cooking our healthy and nutritious food in a stale environment, because this can transfer to each member in the family.
A great way to rejuvenate the energy in your kitchen is through an effective salt scrub. Natural rock salt holds powerful earth energy, a grounding and rejuvenating cleansing method according to multiple cultural spiritual practices, including feng shui, wicca, and some indigenous cultures.
Once per moon cycle, season, or year, give your kitchen a salt scrub by placing a damp cloth in natural rock salt, and wiping down your floors, cabinets (inside and out) and counter tops. Envision any stagnant energy clinging to the rock salt, trapping it inside, leaving sparkly healthy free-flowing energy in its space.
If you're ready to combine your traditional and modern/intuitive feng shui prowess with some folk wisdom, add some fresh lemon juice or zest to your natural rock salt for an extra purifying treatment.
FIND YOUR SEAT AT THE TABLE: NIEN YEN DIRECTION
The Kua formula in feng shui helps identify feng shui principals that are beneficial to you specifically. Learning your Kua number and the Kua number of others in your home, can help you plan for a well rounded home environment.
For example, there are certain directions that will be more auspicious for you, and there will be other directions that are more auspicious for your spouse. Is there a particular spot you always sit in on the couch? Do you have a specific side of the bed? We tend to naturally gravitate to our auspicious directions without even realizing it.
However, sometimes we can wind up in directions that aren't in our best interest. Maybe you've recently moved your office around, and coincidentally you're facing a lot of writers block, or are unable to communicate as effectively with your boss or coworkers. Maybe it's not a rough patch or coincidence, but maybe you're not channeling your best possible energy due to a less than stellar direction.
Identifying your Kua number can help you learn your best directions, and your best colours to wear and surround yourself in, and even things like which jewellery or symbols are lucky for you.
Applying this to your kitchen is best when looking at your seat at the dining table. Do you sit in the South, looking into the kitchen? Are you on the right, next to your child? How do we land in our seats at the table? Does your position at the table rotate? Finding your Kua number can tell you which spot is best for you. This is called your nien yen direction in feng shui, and it creates a really happy and harmonious family dynamic when it's applied to the dining table.
HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR KUA NUMBER
1. Add the last two digits in your birth year together until you get one single digit. For example, I'm born in 1988. I would add, 8+8=16, and then 1+6=7.
However, if you're born in January, you will need to adjust your birthday for the new lunar year by deducting one year from your birth before making your additions.
2. Your gender dictates the next step.
If you are MALE, subtract the number you derived in step 1 from 10.
EXAMPLE: 10-7= 3,
If you are FEMALE, add 5 to the number you derived in step 1.
EXAMPLE: 7+5=12, 1+2= 3 (OK weird, coincidence)
3. Kua numbers 5 are unique. If you happen to land on a five, apply the following:
MEN: read Kua number 2
WOMEN: read Kua number 8.
1. Best direction: South
2. Best direction: Northwest
3. Best direction: Southeast
4. Best direction: East
6. Best direction: Southwest
7. Best direction: Northeast
8. Best direction: West
9. Best direction: North
Go the extra step and find out your family's Kua numbers as well, and then you can each pick your best potential spots to sit in for harmonious meal times.
BALANCE THE FIRE AND WATER ENERGY
The fire and water energy in the kitchen is really powerful and unstable. These two energies are competing, making the kitchen a potentially volatile space. An auspicious kitchen layout will have a water source (sink and dishwater, etc) away from the fire source (stove, oven, etc). Sometimes this isn't always the case, but it's still good to know.
Try not to have anything reflective near these areas, as the reflection will amplify the fire or water energy. Any mirrored tiles or hanging pots will bounce the energy, doubling its power.
If you're redoing your backsplash, try to use a matte, non-reflective tile or treatment, and be mindful of how the tile or treatment will move the energy around your space. If your tile is reflective, are you placing the tile up and around the fridge? Is it travelling around the room? Behind the sink? Be mindful of where you're helping the chi travel.
These spaces should also be kept tidy - maybe to the point of annoyance. I know, I'm rolling my eyes, too. But because the energy around the fire and water sources are volatile, keeping them dirty causes chi to accumulate and you may find there are more problems in these areas because of it: a leaky faucet, a rickety element on the stove, a strange ticking in the dishwasher pipes, etc. Or maybe the glasses always fall out of the cupboard near the kitchen sink. Maybe there is one drawer you just can't keep clean. Is there amplified water or fire energy near these places?
Any sort of fire or water features will enhance the energy in the space (lighting, candles, etc, or fishtanks, fountains, water jugs, etc).
MAINTAIN HEALTHY YANG ENERGY AT NIGHT
When you're not in the heart of your home, and it's sitting spick and span, it's important to keep the energy yang in your kitchen. Overnight, there is more yin energy prevalent. Our home is asleep, the darkness falls, and our sacred space becomes more yin.
Try to keep a light source activated in your kitchen to rekindle the fire energy within the home during the nighttime hours. This will keep the home's spirit warm, guaranteeing the yang chi in your kitchen never dies.
This can be done with an under cabinet set of lighting, or even a gentle nightlight placed properly. And while you don't want to leave the overhead lighting activated, see if you can arrange some sort of glow to emanate from the kitchen in the evening until dawn.