Creative center 1/3: The Kitchen
Nourishment center of your home
In her cult novel Kitchen, author Banana Yoshimoto refers to this area of our home as one much more important than the functional space it's meant to be.
She depicts it as an area of communion, of heartfelt exchange, of deep conversations and connection mainly with her mother grandmother and sister
The kitchen is where life happens.
Indeed the kitchen is an area for nourishment, but that in turn also makes it an area of congregation.
It needs to be worshipped for its sacred nature as it is the main internal source of energy for a home. We are what we eat after all.
So it is important to pay close attention to the kitchen and handle it with care.
First, if you had the luxury of building your own home from scratch, the ideal positioning of the kitchen would be south-facing as it represents the fire element. You would also try to keep it away from the entrance doorway as the energy it creates could easily escape.
Having a kitchen near the doorway also doesn't allow the energy entering the home to be transmuted before reaching it. Remember in templemaking they favoured having long hallways which allowed us to purify our beings and reconnect to our higher selves before reaching the altar.
We also need to be mindful of the relationship between the kitchen and the bathroom as these two are both very important areas but with opposing energies, one of them being a fire area and the other a water area means they conflict.
The kitchen is where we create our nourishment it is an energy center, a source, while the bathroom on the other hand drains energy as well as all toxins which need to exit the home, and your life.
(There is also a conflict of smells but I'm sure you've figured that one out already...)
So you dont want the kitchen to be positioned undernearth or facing a bathroom, and it is especially not ideal to have their two doors facing.
If you do have any of these placements, they can be remedied quite easily, mainly using energy.
Otherwise there are many great ways to make sure you get the most nourishment out of your kitchen.
First of all, a spatial energy alignment is, as usual, the ultimate way to handle any of these issues. Again you can do it yourself, but for more potency do try to engage the help of someone who is trained in the field.
First, by bringing awareness to the fact that you have a placement which is not ideal for your nourishment, and calling forth a higher frequency energy, changes begin to happen. It is therefore crucial to bring these concerns into the field while you do your ceremony, asking Source for some support in rebalancing what may be out of balance.
Generally speaking, a spherical crystal is a good addition to your kitchen but especially to help remedy some of the above-mentioned issues.
First, in the case that your kitchen door is directly facing your bathroom door, you can place a crystal either in the kitchen facing the door, in the bathroom facing the door, or both.
Design-wise, you can work to create differentiation between the two spaces, amplifying the fact that they are separate. A great way to do so is by using Yang colours for the bathroom and Yin for the kitchen, by using the colours recommended by the feng shui bagua map, or simply by using what feels intuitively right for how you want to be feeling in either space.
You can also create a focal point for the chi to be drawn to nearby, for instance a large crystal on a shelf or a powerful artwork.
If your kitchen is right at the entrance of your home, create a divide with plants or a divider screen of some kind. You can also suspend a large spherical crystal to diffuse the energy around the home, or you can place a pyramid clear quartz prism crystal between the entrance and the kitchen, remember these have a transformative impact, transmuting it into energy which is useful for us.
Clear clean storage is essential to cultivate healthy chi.
Make sure to keep an eye on your produce and perishables and make sure to throw out anything which has past its expiry date. As many of us have guilt issues about throwing away food (all those starving children in Africa...) try to do so mindfully. Take a minute to do so in meditation and say thank you for everything you have been able to receive.
I also suggest keeping loads of the products that you use often. For instance if there are certain base foods, like healthy oils, or condiments that you use which are non perishable, get many of them and keep them stored. Having many on hand will keep an energy of abundance flowing through the space, as there will never be a sense of fear of scarcity or running out.
You will, however, want to be careful about what you keep in the kitchen.
For many of us, especially living in small flats, it is the most practical storage area we have, which means we often use it to store our most potent chemical products. This is a big no-no.
Chemical products are full of toxins which emanate and fill the air and will enter the food while cooking.
First thing to do is to replace all of your products with organic and toxin-free products. If you can't (As there are always some products which cant seem to be made in organic form) I suggest finding another area of your home to place them.
I have to hold my hand up on this one. When I first moved in to my flat I had some left over paint I didn't want to throw it away and the kitchen was the only place I could keep it. A kind friend gave me a not-so gentle reminder of this when she came by using the good old "And YOU do Feng Shui???"
So... they are now gone and I now have gone a step further, getting rid of all non-organic products from the kitchen, having placed the toxic products I absolutely could not do without in a thick plastic bag in a box on the outside terrace where the toxins can be breathed out. It is not ideal, and not the most convenient, but it will make a huge difference.
Also, use plants as they will neutralise some of the toxins in the products.
No microwave, ever ever ever, for many reasons but mainly because it will leak radiation levels which are beyond a levels safe for our use and may release dioxins which are poisonous to the cells of our bodies. If you don't believe it, do a test. Take 2 bottles of water, heat one in the microwave and place flowers in both. See which ones survive and which ones don't.
Try banning TV and arguments from the kitchen. You want to keep this area as a sanctuary which only transmutes energy of compassion to all the meals it creates. Remember, you are what you eat.
Incensing your home through your kitchen.
I suggest ceremoniously using fresh vegetables, spices via mindful cooking to transmit an energy of love to your home, your guests and yourself at least once a week.
Choose a recipe you haven't tried before that is mainly composed of vegetables.
Ottolenghi is a great inspiration and you can download his app for free.
Take the time to choose the vegetables mindfully at the market, and bring them home, washing them carefully and chopping mindfully as well.
As you connect to the food as you cook, do so in gratitude of the loving and nurturing energy of the earth which it contains and which is available to you. Also focus on intending to share your own energy of love in the food, to amplify this nourishment.
Think of cooking as making incense for your home and blessing the space. And remember that cooking and food is also about connecting to nature (assuming we aren't using only factory-processed food). Hence why a large spherical crystal is ideal in this area, as this is where we create the energy that we want to have diffused all around or home.
Below is a kitchen of a project I designed called Saint-Martins lofts, the conversion of the old central saint martins art college into private residences. We really got to play and have fun on this one, as we were working in the best conditions.
The kitchen is bright and airy, and fresh and is slightly lower than the rest of the home, allowing the energy to be lead there slowly and contained, which feels great.
The open, "American" feel allows for the energy produced to be shared through the space.
Most of us, however, are not famous music producers who can afford spending £4.6 million on our flat.Therefore it is more likely that you have a kitchen like the below (the current one in my Spanish flat).
The part of my home which wasn't photographed by Architectural Digest.
I had a major problem with the kitchen at first.
I found it clunky, old-fashioned and heavy.
But soon I began to love it for its hardwearing materials, it's solidity, reliability and I am proud of the fact that I keep it clean and healthy.
Which brings me to an important lesson:
In many cases when we are renting a home, we are "stuck" with a kitchen that we dont like and that doesn't represent us. The real work is to learn love it for what it is.
It is a part of your home you cant change, and since it has drawn you in to live there, it means it probably represents a part of you which you are not necessarily at peace with.
Let it be a tool for meditation on how you can love yourself entirely and fully.
Every. Damn. Part.
And THAT, will be the true key to your expansion.