January 28 ushers in the Year of the Rooster, a wake-up year! The only bird included in the Chinese zodiac, the Rooster is number ten of the twelve animals. Roosters wake up early in the morning to rouse everyone into action with their enthusiasm – not just for one person but everyone – so the call to action is for a group effort. Collaboration, Precision and Clarity are fundamental characteristics of a Rooster year.
Those born in the Year of the Rooster have many exemplary characteristics, including honesty, ambition, and intelligence. Rooster people make loyal and devoted friends. They are communicative and independent and don’t like to rely on others. While enthusiastic about new things, Rooster people can soon become indifferent. This means they need to practice faith, perseverance and patience to follow through with their plans. People born in the Year of the Rooster are deep thinkers and very observant. They tend to see things in black and white – which can make them perfectionists and, thus, appear arrogant.
In this Rooster Year – no matter which Chinese animal you are – you can benefit by tapping into these Rooster traits: precision, clarity, independence, capability, warm-heartedness, self-respect, and quick mindedness. However, you must also avoid its weaknesses: impatience, criticism, eccentricity, narrow-mindedness and selfishness.
2017 is the year to create yourself! It has never been more critical to follow the perennial wisdom that life is not about discovering yourself, it’s really about creating yourself! To that end, it is important to use this wake-up year energy to clarify what it is you want to manifest in 2017.
We usually begin by creating specific intentions/resolutions. For example: “I will go to the gym three times a week!” The pitfall, unfortunately, is that the resolution typically becomes a command to which our inner voice tends to resist: “How I’m going to work THAT into my schedule!” Or the intention begins with enthusiasm but loses momentum in the third month and the excuses and self-sabotaging begin! I recently read an interesting article presenting research proposing it’s better to ask yourself a question instead of telling yourself to change your behavior to achieve a goal. “Will I exercise in 2017? If the answer is “Yes” then ask, “How can I make that happen?” “Well, maybe I can start by signing up for a yoga class, or an aerobics class once a week.” “Will I sign up this week?” “Yes!” And so on. You now have begun a respectful dialogue with yourself that can lead to reasonable and realistic outcomes.
Using the Feng Shui Bagua map as a guide to create your vision board for 2017 brings greater focus. Write your intentions or find images that represent them and then find their locations on the Bagua. If your intent is to have a loving relationship, for example, then that written intention or symbolic image can be placed in the upper right hand corner of the vision board, which represents love and relationships. If it’s about traveling more, than an image of a dream destination can be placed in the lower right hand corner, the area representing helpful people and travel; going to the gym is symbolized by the Health area, and so on. Because the Bagua embodies all areas of our lives, it is a powerful and intentional tool for setting intentions!
The Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar, rich in traditions, folklore and rituals. It is not exaggerating to say that its importance is equivalent to our Western Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year holidays combined. Preparations begin a month before when people start cleaning, buying presents, decorations, specific foods and new clothing.
Special foods represent happiness, good luck, prosperity, and long life: fish to increase prosperity, dumplings and/or spring rolls for wealth, sweet rice balls for family togetherness, and long noodles for happiness and longevity. It is an auspicious time!
And there is much meaning and preparation associated with the energy of each Chinese New Year in the practice of Feng Shui, as well. In Feng Shui philosophy, cleaning one’s home is considered a ritual that honors our sacred space and its inhabitants. Cleaning metaphorically clears out any negative energy or bad luck that found its way in during the year and makes way for incoming good luck. This is cleaning with intention!
My wish for you is that this wake-up year brings new reasons to celebrate, exciting adventures to explore and the ability to embrace any challenges! It is a year to crow with clarity, conviction and creativity!