Are you stressed out about this week’s tax deadline? You are definitely not alone. But as you cull through receipts at your kitchen table--spilling tea on your computer keyboard or tripping over notes to your tax preparer--look around.

The source of your problems might be right in front of you.

Your kitchen.

The kitchen is a vitally important room in your home because it represents the element of fire, which, in turn, fuels the energy force that activates wealth. The old adage “Your health is your wealth” is particularly true in traditional Chinese culture. The kitchen is viewed as a sacred place where the cook is revered and the “kitchen gods” are worshiped.

The kitchen itself is also the most energetically “loaded” room in the house. Like all other rooms, it will pick up the vibration of the energy that surrounds it. However, because it is where we prepare food, we then ingest that energy through the meals we eat. Food will pick up the vibration of where and how it was grown, the store where it was sold, the pantry where it was kept, the kitchen it was prepared in, and the energy of the cook who prepared it. If it picks up the vibration of pesticides, a dirty or chaotic kitchen, or a frustrated, burnt-out or angry cook, it will be spiritually and energetically depleted long before it reaches your table or stomach.

From a Feng Shui perspective, these beliefs emphasize the importance of the food we eat and its impact on the healthy energy, or “chi,” in our bodies, which in turn draws or magnetizes us to the people, places, and things that help us create a happy, prosperous life.

The kitchen is a great metaphor for how we nurture ourselves. The process of cooking, even if done infrequently, needs to become an active meditation ritual—and “eating” should be a spiritual experience, which brings in the powerful life force that fuels every aspect of our being. Change the way you look at cooking and food, and you will change the way you feed yourself emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially. Allow cooking and food to become an act of nurturing, and not a chore, and you will begin to see your abundance and prosperity grow.

Although, from a Feng Shui perspective, the energy of wealth can be generated from many other areas in your home, the kitchen is probably one of the most significant areas since it is a “fire energy” room. The stove is the main appliance that generates a flow of abundance because the fire energy enters the kitchen space through the burners, bringing with it the chi that draws in prosperity.

Just as the bed position in the bedroom is most significant for governing health and relationships, the stove position is the most important interior factor in the kitchen for wealth and abundance. Ideally, when at the stove, the person cooking should be facing the most frequently used kitchen entranceway. Facing the door is an important principle in Feng Shui because the “chi” of a room enters the space through its door and brings with it what we refer to as the “life force.” Life force carries the energy and the breath that fuels and nurtures your life.

Nancy’s Feng Shui Tips for the Kitchen

1. Cook’s station at the stove should face the doorway. Today’s popular center “island” or “peninsula” stove layout makes this possible and is much favored in Feng Shui design. A cooking position that doesn’t face the kitchen doorway can cause stress, anxiety, and exaggerate financial challenges. But if you’re one of the many people whose back is to the door and you can’t change your stove’s position, there are some Feng Shui cures for this problem. One is to place a mirror on the back wall of the stove, making sure that when hung, it doesn’t “cut off” anyone’s head. Another possibility is to attach a 3- or 5-inch convex mirror to the microwave door or overhead vent above the stove. This adjustment will allow you to look up into the mirror and see the kitchen door behind you. In addition, hang a metal wind chime over the “cook’s station” to offset any negative energy that may be coming in from behind you.

2. Create a kitchen that is warm and welcoming. Do you spend time in it? Do you like the room? Is it overwhelming to be in or conducive to entertaining and cooking? Let it reflect who you are. Try personalizing it. Display fun items, add color, buy new potholders or dishtowels, and then toss in a few special touches, like artwork or antique tiles and cookware that make you happy. This will make food preparation a pleasure and add positive energy to the cooking process.

3. Keep the stove in good working order. Your stove oversees your finances and brings in the prosperity energy or “chi.” Try to circulate your tea kettles, pots and pans using all the burners rather than one particular burner. Keep the stove and oven clear and clean! Make sure all burners and knobs are in good working order. When the fire is flowing freely thought all the burners, this means that the fire energy governing finances is working in your favor.