February 12th is the Chinese New Year. It’s the start of the lunar year, and is the second new moon of the Western calendar year. 2021 is the year of the Metal Ox. Through my study of classical Feng Shui, I’ve developed a real interest in learning more about the different animal signs and the rituals around the Chinese New Year. As part of the Feng Shui training I am embarking on, we are learning all about the animal signs, and how they can influence someone’s life. I am learning the Four Pillars Astrology, which takes into account the year, month, day, and hour someone was born. With that information, I have learned how to calculate someone’s chart to know which supportive elements (water, wood, fire, earth, or metal) into someone’s home. In the future, I’ll do another blog post about how the Four Pillars can be helpful in terms of home organization. As a Professional Organizer, I’ve always had an affinity for January 1st, as the New Year brings in all kinds of optimistic and fresh energy. The Chinese New Year brings a similar sort of enthusiasm, with an added sparkle of Chinese metaphysics, which makes it even more exciting!
Marlyna Los is a Vancouver based Four Pillars Astrologer who is highly regarded in the Feng Shui community. I watched her video on the Metal Ox, and wanted to share a few of the things I learned so that I could put the Chinese New Year into the context of home organization, plus I added some tips of my own. The Ox represents stability and a steady and consistent energy. The Ox is well organized, disciplined, diligent, hard-working, and motivated. If you embody those qualities, this will most likely be a great year for you. If you are lazy, unfocused, procrastinate, and don’t take work seriously, you may have some trouble this year. This is the year to really get serious about what you want and to take responsible for exerting the effort to achieve your goals. Don’t allow yourself to get drained. Fix any leaky faucets. Surround yourself with supportive people. Take care of yourself so that you don’t get burned out. This is the time to really get grounded within yourself so that you can be in energetic alignment with your goals. How can you be more of yourself, rather than people pleasing, or acting how you think people want you to act? The best way to get grounded is to get out into nature. The metal element represents organization and discipline, so if you’ve been wanting to get organized, this is your year to finally get it done! Here are some tips to help inspire you to have a successful Metal Ox year:
- Feng Shui is very goal driven. Commit to your goals. Write them down. Be clear and specific. When you are clear on your goals, you can easily let go of the “to-dos” that aren’t bringing you closer to your goals. Your actions will be in alignment with your desires for the future, so you will have less of a struggle with the decision making process of what unfinished projects or “clutter” to keep and what to let go of. I’m a fan of having a vision board (that you actually look at!), so you can be in conscious alignment for what you want to bring into your life. In addition to that, you could have some fun with using Flying Wish Paper to set your intentions into motion.
- Raise your vibration and let your creativity flow. Paint, take photos, dance, sing, play music… do whatever you do that makes your heart sing. This will allow you to experience more expansiveness, curiosity, play, and joy. When you are in a contracted state, you will feel a sense of lack. You will worry that you might need something someday, rather than trusting that the universe will provide you everything you need. The more time you can spend in an expanded state of joy, the more uncomfortable it will feel when you allow yourself to drop into a hoarding type mentality where you keep way more than you need.
- Finish any unfinished business, such as completing projects, or saying things that need to be said. This could be as simple as doing a simple home repair, such as getting new shelf brackets for that shelf that keeps falling down. It could mean finally giving a key to a neighbor just in case you get locked out. It could mean taking that bag of stuff to Goodwill that you’ve been meaning to drop off. Or it could mean sending off a greeting card to a loved one.
- Infuse freshness into your home. Fill your home with fresh flowers. Peonies are especially auspicious. You may also want to update the interior of your home with a fresh color of paint, new pillows, or rearrange your furniture.
- Get strong. If you want to have the endurance of the Ox, you need to make sure your physical body can support all the mental and emotional work you’ll be doing this year. But have you ever noticed if you’ve started an exercise routine, if your posture isn’t correct, you’ll end up doing more damage than good? It’s because you need to organize your muscles, and retrain them to be able to support you with your new endeavors. Naturopathic Doctor, Eric Hughes, specializes in Revolution in Motion. The type of exercises he teaches will not only reorganize how your muscles fire, but will also regenerate the nervous system and even tune up your brain! My body is so thankful to be working with Dr. Eric! We just did a virtual session today, and it was exactly what I needed.
- Reflect and Celebrate. Many of my clients have ADHD and suffer from perfectionism. If you have trouble with perfectionism, you probably know what it’s like to have too many open projects at once, to never feel like you’ve researched something “enough”, or may even have trouble starting something because you think it will never be as perfect as you’d like it to be. Reflect on how far you’ve come in life, and celebrate all the wins you’ve had, no matter how big or small they’ve been. I love to create “before and after” photos for my clients so that they can see how much progress they’ve made. Celebrate yourself, whether it’s lighting a sparkler, treating yourself to a massage, or allowing yourself to indulge in a really good book or movie. By acknowledging yourself and celebrating, it helps prevent the burnout cycle, so that you’ll be able to keep up with all your goals for the year.
- Most importantly, to really shift the energy in your home, DO A MASSIVE CLEAN UP. Clear clutter. The Chinese even have specific dates for cleaning certain areas of your home. Clutter represents stuckness. Think of it as grudges that you’re holding onto, or emotions that you keep burying. By allowing these thoughts and feelings to move through you, you will notice that the clutter in your home will seem like it just magically disappeared! Conversely, by actively working to clear your clutter, your thoughts and emotions will finally get processed. Create a place for yourself not just to survive, but to thrive! Make space for the new things that you want to bring into your life.
To learn more about the Chinese New Year, the rituals surrounding the New Year, and to learn more about how your animal sign will interact with the year of the Ox, watch this video by Marlyna Los.
What would you like to bring into reality during the year of the Ox? Send me a message , I’d love to cheer you on!
By Jean Prominski, Certified Professional Organizer
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