This week on my facebook page and instagram page you may have seen my “Room Of The Week” posts that have been focused on The Kitchen. While our modern kitchen is a far stretch away from our ancestor’s kitchens, we can struggle to see it as the “Hearth” of a home. Without the open fire, is the kitchen still a Hearth? My answer is yes. Much of our daily life is still centered around this part of our home where we store food, prepare food, and wash the dishes. Some people might feel that the Oven is their new Hearth, while others may find it to be the Kitchen sink – or even just the kitchen as a whole. For someone who is spiritually minded (meaning spiritual but not pinning this down to just one religion or spiritual path) The kitchen can be seen as a room of nourishment and healing, as well as alchemy and devotion. We find nourishment for our bodies (and also for those cravings that feed our spirit) We can cook up a batch of soup for a sick family member, or comfort food to take to someone who is grieving. We watch as magic-like alchemy takes place in pots on the stovetop and rising dough on the countertop. We can also express a form of devotion and commitment to our home and family by cleaning the kitchen.
I asked everyone on Sunday to determine what their kitchen needs most in order to begin feeling like a sacred space. Does it need to be Decluttered? (That’s where I am starting and recommend If you have too much stuff in your kitchen or many things that don’t belong there.) Or you could be at the Organizing Stage, where “too much stuff” isn’t the problem as much as “where does it go”? Finally, if your kitchen is already clutter free and organized, you can move on to Deep Cleaning – these are the tasks you don’t do every day like cleaning out the fridge, cleaning the small appliances and backs of cabinets, etc.
When your kitchen is cleaner and more organized it is much easier to connect with it as a sacred space. Clutter or mess causes stress and blocks our intuitive guidance.
Here is part of a blog post I wrote in 2015 (from the post titled “Starting Over”
“Confession Time; I’m a horrible housekeeper.
Ironic, since my Matron Goddess is Hestia – Keeper of the Hearth. But this is exactly why She’s my Matron; I return to her when I need the motivation to care for my home properly. She reminds me that caring for my household is a great act of Love – for myself and for my family.
In mythology, Hestia volunteered to keep watch over the Fire of the Gods. Instead of returning to Olympus with her brothers and sisters to reign and rule, she chose a life of service; keeping the Fire of the Gods lit and tended. In ancient times it was important to keep the hearth fire of the home lit and ready at all times. It was the source of heat, light, cooking, and other preparations and activities that went on through the day. If the fire went out or was untended and dwindled – precious time would be needed to get it going again; time that could have been used being more productive. One never knew when the fire would be needed, so it was best to keep it steadily going. As Hestia watched over the Fire of The Gods in this way, she became the Goddess of The Hearth and Home, representing the service of the housekeepers that blessed the household and kept it running smoothly.
In our modern world, we don’t need to keep a fire lit in our homes at all times. Yet we do take actions that keep the household running smoothly and keep our family safe, fed, and protected. Paying the electric bill. Preparing the meals. Cleaning and Maintaining the home. Hestia reminds me that these acts of service are a loving choice I make for my family – not an evil chore that I am tied down to or required to do as a slave, but an act of love.”
….. and continued….
“My starting point is the Kitchen Sink. As I mentioned, we don’t really have a “Hearth” in modern homes. Even homes that have a fireplace – that fireplace Hearth does not necessarily play the role of center of the home. So what place in the home does serve as the central focus? For me, it’s the Kitchen Sink. This is probably because of FlyLady’s teachings of Starting with the Kitchen Sink. Her theory is that if you keep your kitchen sink shiny, the rest comes easier. It’s easier to keep up with the dishes if you’re not letting them pile up. It’s easier to be motivated to keep the rest of the kitchen clean and shiny if the sink is clean and shiny. It’s easier to be motivated to keep the other rooms of the house clean if the kitchen is clean. Then the other things you need to do come easier too, because you don’t have to clean before you cook, or you don’t have to clean up the living room just because you want to sit down and relax. In theory, if you keep your kitchen sink shiny, the rest will fall into place (it still takes work, but that’s the basic idea) You can read FlyLady’s Kitchen Sink lesson HERE.
So for me, the kitchen sink is becoming my “Hearth Fire”. It is the place to focus on, it is the place to start and the place to end. Hestia is considered ‘The First and The Last” and it was traditional to honor her first thing every morning and the last thing every night. Incidentally – FlyLady says to shine the kitchen sink first thing every morning and the last thing every night. So this just works! ”