It’s been a few weeks now, and the change in the Chinese zodiac is palpable. Just like the change of the seasons bringing about a predictable new energy—winter is introspective, spring is new and energized, summer is vibrant, and fall is abundant – the Chinese zodiac is a rotating calendar cycling through 12 different animals, each bringing a different energy to that year. Every two years is associated with a different element (wood-fire-earth-metal-water), and every year alternates between yin and yang. I always enjoy learning a little bit about what type of energy each new animal is anticipated to bring to the following year, and reflecting upon how the previous year lined up to its predictions.
Earlier this month we said adieu to the mischievous monkey. I wonder, how many folks witnessed the rambunctious absurdity that the fire monkey brought with it? It was a time to take big risks, but be aware of the circus as it unfolded. For me, it was a time to sit back and watch some of the chaos, but not get too swept up in it. It’s always a challenge to stay calm and collected during a monkey year, as not to allow your qi to become uprooted and chaotic.
As we welcome the not-so-subtle rooster into our midst, we can watch the chaotic upheaval of the monkey shift into a connected focus. I am reminded of my years living on a small organic farm in the redwoods. We had over 50 chickens, and about 3 roosters, each looking over a flock of chickens. Roosters are strong willed and committed to protecting their flock. I once witnessed a rooster get in a fight with a bob cat and win.
While I think of the rooster as loud and ostentatious, a quality you’ll definitely see this year, as a yin rooster year, the energy takes on the quality of the brood. Working in community to clean out all the bugs and create order within a thriving society rather than focusing on the individual, attention is given to the entire flock as one living being.
So how does this relate to us as individuals? Well, roosters are punctual, intense and driven. A rooster year is easiest for those who can follow their heart’s passion, and stick to it. Roosters like strong opinions and good work ethic. Now is the time to be focused on long-term goals. It’s important to step back and see the big picture, rather than get caught up in the details of every scuffle. Change will happen this year through hard work, and now is not the time to step down if you have a strong opinion. Furthermore, if your long-term goals benefit your community rather than only yourself, this is the year for you!
Take time this year to step back, look at the big picture, and take effective steps to reach your goals. Follow your heart and stay committed to your convictions. And remember, the more love and kindness a community encourages, the more smoothly it will run.