Monthly Archives: February 2017

Year of the Yin Fire Rooster

rooster“A rooster crows only when it sees the light. Put him in the dark and he’ll never crow. I have seen the light and I’m crowing.” – Muhammad Ali

On January 28th – the Lunar New Year – we said goodbye to the capricious unpredictable Yang Fire Monkey and welcomed the more placid and practical Yin Fire Rooster. For many this calmer energy will be a welcome change. Roosters are characterized as organized, practical, decisive, territorial and particular. They posses strong ideals, are honest and critical, and value fidelity, punctuality, and proper behavior. They are leaders, who’s proud crow at dawn is a daily call to action, tirelessly commanding us to wake up and rise!

Because this is a yin-fire year there is an undercurrent of volatility, though it will not feel as chaotic as last year. Emotions will rise and reactivity will be heightened, but due to the changeability of fire, these bursts will be short-lived. Because there is a yin or feminine aspect to this fire, the change it provokes has the potential to be warm and healing. This symbolic light will help to illuminate unresolved conflict and hidden truths, allowing us to confront the darker aspects of ourselves and grow as a result. If we can fine-tune and articulate our own principles and ideologies while remaining open to others, there is great potential for personal elevation and social transformation.

Personally, this will be year of enhanced intuition, heightened communication, and emotional sentimentality. The flash of the fire element can bring on quick change of emotions, short-lived anger, fear and anxiety. We need to be wise about where we spend our energy and choose our fights with care. On the whole, people will be more warm-hearted, charismatic, and charming and it will be easier to find happiness in simple pleasures. There is an optimistic aspect to the fire element that encourages playfulness and joy. In this coming year, individual prosperity will come in the form of self-realization, group-oriented action, and small, quiet acts of kindness.

Socially, this will be an important year for community. As clashes in values and beliefs come the forefront we will start to see a restructuring of institutions and a shift in thoughts, actions and influence. Chickens are social animals, so during this time people will feel more connected to one other and find comfort in the gathering of like-minded individuals. There will be power in masses and change will come through collaboration and assembling together. Charismatic leaders will emerge and with them a revival of hope and renewal of strength.

Cock-a-doodle-do!

Information for this post was obtained from the following sources. Check them out
for a more in-depth look at the year ahead:

https://lotusinstitute.com/blogs/news/year-of-the-red-rooster-2017

http://shifting-vibration.com/2017/01/shifting-the-fire-rooster/

http://foreverconscious.com/chinese-astrology-year-yin-fire-rooster-2017

 

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Pratipaksa Bhavana: Turning Negative Thoughts Around

yin yang rocks sand“If you can sit quietly after difficult news; if in financial downturns you remain perfectly calm; if you can see your neighbors travel to fantastic places without a twinge of jealousy; if you can happily eat whatever is put on your plate; if you can fall asleep after a day of running around without a drink or a pill; if you can always find contentment just where you are: you are probably a dog.” – Jack Kornfield

In The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Book 2 Pada 33 states: “Vitarka Badhane Pratipaksa Bhavnam: When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite [positive] ones should be thought of. This is pratipaksha bhavana.” In his discussion of this pada, Sri Swami Satchidananda gives the example of replacing the thought of hate with love. This allows negative thoughts to come to the surface but helps to train us not to ruminate too heavily upon them. He expands on this idea, saying if this is not possible, we can surround ourselves with those we love, in effect helping us to forget the negativity that is burdening the mind. He says we can also attempt to to thwart the negative thought by stopping to think what the ultimate outcome would be if we let it take control.

I’ve been thinking about this principle a lot lately as the quiet of winter sets in and my internal dialogue is amplified. “Vitarka Badhane Pratipaksa Bhavnam: When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite [positive] ones should be thought of. This is pratipaksha bhavana.” It’s not as easy as it seems. While we can’t always invoke the inverse thought to settle the mind, we can at least change our focus to something better. What makes you smile no matter what? I personally can not think about the silly antics of my niece and nephew without grinning ear to ear and chuckling a little to myself. This is not an act of disconnecting from the harder realities, but rather a prioritization of a more valued connection to take me out of a destructive negative spiral. When we invoke feelings of love, others feel our love, causing a cascade of positivity. This not only helps us, but creates a bigger, more global opportunity to uplift those around us. Replacing a negative with a positive – even if it’s just in our minds – is a small step, but one we can strive for every day.

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