Saturday, 28 January 2017

***Happy Rooster Year: Focus your Power***

With New Moon, the new beginning in the Lunar Calendar the Chinese (Taoist) New Year begins: The Fire Monkey swings away and the Fire Rooster crows in!

Yes, another fire year!... Fire creates, fire destroys, fire connects with the heart the place of love and compassion, impatience and hatred, as light and dark coexist.

"The Fire Rooster, specifically, is an already-intense sign with an extra side of focus and drive. Rooster years are rarely ever boring, so it'll be a year with a lot of action." 

But different from the monkey's unpredictability, the rooster is more predictable, so this brings some stability, indeed wrapped in action, which can be taken to be productive and fulfill accomplishment.   After all rooster is characterised by confidence, optimism, courage, hardworking, being observant, resourceful and talented. The Rooster is also sensitive, so drama can accompany the year; although I believe is not about what is happening but the way we respond to it. So if you make a priority in keeping yourself in a good space, which for me means keeping the inner peace in our heart and mind, feeling the harmony within, which will spread to our outer world, can really support you in managing your life and all the "arrows of outrageous fortune" much smoothly.

"The Rooster favours those who put in the hard work and stick to a plan. Also respects those with strong opinions and a good work ethic. Be thoughtful about what’s in your heart and go with it." Adopted from Chinese Astrologist Laura Lau

This Rooster year according to some Chinese Horoscope is Female Fire Chicken aka Red Chicken year. I'm bringing this up as I would like to mention the feminine, yin importance; as it's great to keep focus and organise to accomplish goals and all that, but that's pure yang, masculine, the rational and doing; so keep a good eye on equally relaxing, to be open without expectation, to cultivate the state of simply being. Otherwise you might find yourself out of balance or totally drained by exhaustion!...

How do you relate with these animals: the rooster and the chicken? Any experiences you have with them? What comes to your mind?
Part of tuning in into the energy of the New Year, is understanding the animal, and knowledge follows understanding, which gives you the support to make the most of it! How do you think Chinese Astrology started?...voilà! And specially when the energy in the air is strong, the better you understand it, the best possibilities you have to deal with it and even end up to ride it for you own advantage. But with misunderstanding and fighting against it, a hard time is guaranteed!...

Before I share some of my relationship with Rooster and Chicken, here some facts and interesting curiosities about them:

"Rooster is almost the epitome of fidelity and punctuality. For ancestors who had no alarm clocks, the crowing was significant, as it could awaken people to get up and start to work. In Chinese culture, another symbolic meaning is exorcising evil spirits."
Well, just not in in Chinese culture they are used to 'magical purpose': in Greek mythology Rooster was thought to have the ability of divining the future. In Africa and Brazilian-Afro cultures they are feared for their use in 'black magic'.

Recently in Bali I learned the feathers of the roosters are used in their sacred rituals, and each part of the island (east, west, north, south and center), uses different colours according the the feather coat of their local roosters. While there, one day my curiosity pulled me to a crowed of men shouting holding money in the air.  As I got closer I just saw a rooster jumping on another.  Shocked, I asked "Did he kill him?" The shock was from the men, as women are not allowed in rooster fights (which I didn't even know about it)! As you can imagine, being an animal lover, I was horrified; but this to say that this animal is indeed courageous, when it does stand for himself it does fiercely! Something to bear in mind (and not to be taken literally) for this coming year. I also had the opportunity to observe some wild roosters, I can definitely confirm that:

"Roosters are happiest when they are surrounded by others. They enjoy the spotlight and will exhibit their charm on any occasion". 

I had a special episode with this rooster you can see below, he was big and strong, and as I came close to him and asked to photograph him, he didn't run away as most of his fellows, but actually posed to the photos.  I chose the best two, but was literally a photo session; he loved it!
In ancient times rooster was regarded as a mascot because they ate harmful insects. 
The "Barcelos Rooster is the unofficial symbol of Portugal" originating from a Medieval legend from the lovely Minho, a region of the north of the country, where this Barcelos city is located. So:
Once upon a time a men was accused wrongly of committing a crime, stealing some silver from a
landowner. He was a pilgrim in his way to Santiago de Compostela (still today a route for the "caminho"). He was taken to this landowner who was holding a banquet with some friends, but even after pleading his innocence, he was condemned to death, so he shouted: "It is as certain that I am innocent as it is certain that this rooster will crow when they hang me." Well, with laughter they let him go, but afraid or not nobody ate the rooster. As the pilgrim was being hanged, the roasted rooster stood up on the table and crowed. The lord in panic for his misjudging ran to the gallows, and to his surprise and relief the innocent man had been saved from hanging thanks to a poorly made knot in the rope. The man was immediately freed and sent off in peace.
Besides being Portuguese I confess that I just learned about this symbol of "faith, justice and good luck" last Summer, as this location is just nearby where we hold our annual Qigong and Tai Chi Teacher Training in a manor house belonging to the same feudal family for hundreds of years.


And do you know the shape of China on a map is often likened to a rooster? 
My relationship with rooster and chicken started when I was a baby: we used to spend holidays in my grandfather's small village, a valley in a mountain surrounded by countryside, and he had many animals, including chickens and rare white roosters (they are not afraid to charge into humans if upset), so apparently when I started to crawl I used to disappear and be found in the chicken coop!... The problem was then to take me out of  there, as the roosters won't let it happen easily!...
A few years later I was given an Indian chicken (a small size chicken), which I remember very well to be my companion. I was to carry her everywhere under my arm, feed her and play with her.
Many years later, so just a few years ago, I encountered this same breed of chicken while camping in Hawaii, they lived everyday with us, we shared food with them, but they were really keen on my beloved partner Kris actually, as they always followed him wherever he went.  This was hilarious, and believe me we tested a few times, and they were many, as you can see in the photo below.


Rooster (or Chicken) ranks tenth among the Chinese zodiac animals.  This just reinforces the "1" in this year numerology: 2+0+1+7 =10 is 1+0= 1. The number one is the fresh start, new beginnings, rebirth, is associated with the sun: life force, creation, fire element!
"The most important themes during a “1” year are flexibility and resilience so that we are mentally, emotionally, and physically able to effortlessly accept and adapt to the continuous change that is constantly floating our way." Alex Myles
I wish you an amazing Rooster New Year: Focus your Power, cultivating the energy necessary to do so! Grab the opportunities and make the most of what this Fire Rooster/Chicken and 2017 brings you!***
 © Anamarta
 

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Pleasure List To Do

My suggestion just not for the new year, but for life, anytime you come across this article is:
A Pleasure List of Things to Do!!
Yes, I really mean it and highly suggest it, you know as well as me how good we are making these lists "To Do"...
And do you put yourself in the top of your list to do?
That comes up quite often at our Jade Circles.
This emerged when I was being pampered in a spa in India...
I was having such a pleasurable time and thinking "I really enjoy this...". The other thought that follow was: "What really gives me pleasure this life?... All levels pleasure: body, mind and spirit..."
So I suggest this for you:
  • In your mind go through everything that gives you pleasure. I can extend this to everything that makes you happy, really makes your heart smile and your whole being feeling great!  And this should really include everything! I know some things involve some cost* (my example of going to the spa), but others not (my example of being in nature...).
  • Then write down your Pleasure List To Do.
  • Next step is to everyday make sure that you do one of the things from your Pleasure List To Do (more, better; but keeping simple goals, make them achievable... everything else is a wonderful extra!)
*Just adding relates to the things that give you pleasure (make you happy) that involve a cost:
You can make them happen!
How?!
Put your intentions (this means believe you can do it!) to have the resources to do it so...
Also is about choices and the priorities in your life; which we associated normally with responsibilities.
But is indeed a responsibility to feel good and happy, to prioritise ourselves!
I found by choosing pleasure, feeling recharged and inspired, I get the energy and power to manifest what I need to take care of my responsibilities... The other thing that comes with it is trusting that the Universe provides everything we need at the time...

Another thing I found useful and relate to it, if not daily, every so often is to ask to myself these three questions:
*** Am I where I want to be?
*** Am I doing what I want to do?
*** Am I with who I want to be?

I'm quoting my beloved partner Kris Deva North, from his great e-book From Stress to VITALITY NOW! Secrets of Love and Life Mastery for Men and Women - definitely recommend it!

All to say my dears: to enjoy life, celebrate your beautiful and Divine Feminine self and be happy! And happiness is not to be wished but to be taken!... Carpe Diem! (the Latin to enjoy life as if it's your last day; or as in the dictionary "to make the most of the present time and give little thought to the future")
© Anamarta