By Lara Alexiou
Happy Chinese New Year! Saturday January 28, begins the celebration of the Spring Festival of Chinese New Year. Each year takes on one of 12 animals from the Chinese Zodiac and one of the 5 Chinese Elements, making this new year a Fire Rooster Year.
So let's remember that we are continually subject to 3 types of Karma: our own, other people's, and Universal.
Our own Karma is the one we have the most control over. Lao Tzu is quoted as saying:
Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
Simple enough, right? While being mindful of our own words, actions and thoughts, we can also make choices about the company we keep and so manage the influence of other people's Karma on ourselves as best we can. Many sages throughout the ages are credited with the saying:
Show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are.
So that leaves us with Universal Karma and back to the Year of the Fire Rooster. What can we expect to see this year?
Picture a Rooster in the Hen House: he keeps order, is diligent, loyal and protective. According to ancient Chinese texts, a Rooster has five virtues: literary, military prowess, courageous, benevolent, and trustworthy.
A Rooster Year is a great time to clean out your house, closet, car, attic and basement - get rid of clutter and chaos and bring your living space back into order. We are leaving behind the more chaotic Year of the Monkey, so take advantage of the universal energy toward bringing order and even a little comforting predictability back into your life. Of course, yoga and meditation to clear out the clutter and regain peace of mind is always a good idea!
A few more fun facts about Chinese New Year: pineapple, oranges and the color red are all considered lucky (note the Feng Shui oranges we've had at the studio!). And family feasts and lots of fireworks usher in the new year.
To end on a more personal note, these photos are live from Chang-hua City, Taiwan, courtesy of my best friend Rayne who lives there and will be joining us on our Costa Rica Retreat in April/May.
Happy Chinese New Year everyone!