Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 Year of the DOG: Loyalty and Friendship

New Years is often associated with parties, celebrations, gatherings and socializing, however the new year can also be a time of internal reflection, and looking back upon all the good and bad that made the previous year what it was. The new year is also a reminder that our time here is limited; what we do now has an impact upon who we become and what we will leave behind. Looking back at your life is not always easy to do, and it may take some getting used to if you find yourself avoiding certain aspects.

Each new year gives an opportunity to prioritize the most important aspects of our life that may or may not have been given adequate attention. These priorities can be influenced by surrounding factors which largely go unseen. This is where the Chinese zodiac plays a role in encouraging us to look deeper within ourselves. 

The Chinese calendar seeks to recognize the more subtle aspects by associating animal types to each new year as a means for a person to reflect upon its qualities and apply them to their own life. Based on ancient stories passed down throughout the ages, the Chinese zodiac is just as much tradition as it is a complex life-reflection system. The Chinese zodiac is not based merely on a yearly calculation, but also narrows itself down to the month of the year; day of the week; and hour of the day. To prioritize our focus however, we will look at the animal associated with the year 2018. 

This year marks the year of the dog: an animal of loyalty, friendship, trust, and protection. Dogs are also typically social animals and enjoy getting attention from those that they love. Simply put the dog helps you to connect with the qualities within yourself that may need some attention; or the areas that will be challenged. Last year was the rooster's year, and this may have meant new beginnings; early changes; daily (often routine) commitments. Goals that were set in the beginning may have needed some further care in order to be tackled later on.

As the dog is the animal of loyalty, a true heart-centered focus will need to be given in your work this year. Dogs can also be territorial, so be careful of not sharing your talents with others. A true heart-centered life is one which gives back while also taking time for itself. And since the Chinese new year does not officially begin until February 16th, you still have some time to think about and reflect upon your 2017 accomplishments and where you may need improvement.

The Chinese zodiac may not secure an ever-prosperous outcome, however it can help us to look at our own lives as a means to give back even greater to our loved ones, society, and ourselves. When we seek to do better we help those around to see what is possible. The dog is also this way in a sense by providing joy and love without judgment to those around him or her.

The Chinese zodiac has a way of simplifying the way we may look at things, and to help us to realize that simple gestures of appreciation make all the difference. Just as a dog appreciates a simple home and a loving owner, we too can think about the little things that may be lacking attention in our lives. I think 2018 will be a special year, one of seeing things in a different way and facing challenges with an open heart. But beware of the dogs aggressive nature, and seek to work through any harshness when communicating with others.

I wish you much success this year and always. Happy 2018!