Clean Your Stove for Inner Calm
by Lauren Long
Can you change your life by changing your environment? Feng shui practitioners believe you can.
The Chinese art of feng shui treats the home as a living entity, in which furniture and décor can be arranged to create balance and harmony. This, say feng shui experts, helps the occupants achieve health and prosperity.
Feng shui is more than mystical, Eastern interior decorating. More than 3,000 years old, it predates Confucius.
The practice of feng shui can include precise floor plans designed to enhance energy through layout, furniture arrangement and color. All are taken into account to create a beneficial flow of chi, a Chinese word that means "vital energy."
Think this sounds a little out there? "Feng shui is not a woo-woo, New Age, spacey, astral thing," asserts Terah Kathryn Collins, a leading feng shui teacher and author of The Western Guide to Feng Shui: Room by Room. "It has produced amazing results for a lot of people by creating an environment that works for them."
The basic components that must be harmonized to cultivate chi are the five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. With chi in your corner, you can improve your health, relationships, business and career opportunities.
When it comes to health, the wood element is the most influential. Décor using the wood element includes plants; flowers; wood furniture; paneling; plant-based cloth such as cotton; floral upholstery; linens and draperies; any art that portrays landscapes; paper; and green and blue tones.
If you feel like you're low on chi, maybe it's time you redecorated. Try these tips for attracting health and prosperity through improved energy in three important rooms in your house: the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.
A Prosperous Kitchen
The kitchen is related to the wood element, which can be enhanced with bowls of fruit, pots of herbs, fresh vegetables, wooden utensils and vases of flowers.
The stove, where food is prepared, is a symbol of health and wealth and must be kept clean. "Every time you look at a dirty stove, it causes a drop in your vital energy, and that tends to affect your health," says Collins.
If you're like most people, you probably favor the front burners on your stove over the back. Start spreading the energy around, says Collins. Use all stove burners evenly to activate an energetic flow through the appliance.
The position of your stove also may be a problem. According to feng shui principles, you need to be able to see the entrance into a room or house. If the stove's placement prevents you from seeing the kitchen entrance when you are cooking, hang a mirror or shiny objects like stainless steel utensils behind the stove to create the impression of more space.
A feng shui-fitted kitchen should keep you feeling relaxed whether you're making a soufflé or macaroni and cheese. "This is important because we want for the cook to always have a nervous system that is calm and centered while preparing food," says Collins. "It is necessary to the health and well-being of the body."