What does all of that have to do with the Year of the Ox?
Purpose, passion, play, priorities, progress, pacing, and patience…,
And that is just the P’s.
If you are unfamiliar with the ancient Chinese Zodiac, the Twelve Animals, your birth year Animal Sign, then I encourage you to stop here and do a quick search – including how the year of the OX is likely to affect you specifically.
I love Chinese Astrology because it is mostly about your inner nature and unconscious instinctual drives. It is not often taken literally but meant to encourage reflection on how to navigate your inner life and relationships.
The Year of the OX
Chinese Astrology guides us to look at the strengths and challenges of being an ox. Traditionally people born in the year of the ox are strong, reliable, fair and conscientious, inspiring confidence in others. They are also calm, patient, methodical and can be trusted to be honest and follow through on their promises and commitments. Those are all personal characteristics that would help almost anyone live a more centred and ease-filled life.
What about those challenges? People born in the Year of the Ox are also known to be emotionally stoic while holding very passionate and personal beliefs and opinions. An Ox may feel strong in themselves or may feel that no one else is willing to help. They can embody the classic, “If you can’t trust others to help, do it yourself!’, to a self-destructive degree.
This can make people born in the year of the os, or all of us during the year of the ox, more likely to resent people who interfere with our growth or success – especially ourselves.
Resenting others and resenting ourselves is futile. It can happen to anyone if the cart you are pulling gets stuck.
The Year of the Ox invites us all to remember to balance Purpose, Presence, and Flow.
Imagine being an ox…
Almost every day, you will be harnessed to a plow or a cart and nudged (or whipped) to keep pulling.
You are well fed, given a warm place to rest, have friends (image a kids cartoon), and have come to realize that you are in the perfect situation to cultivate a conscious relationship with your ‘practice’ – and potentially the time to explore the nature of existence.
If you practice Qi Gong, Yoga, Meditation, eat consciously, have a fitness goal, or need to have the disciple to resolve a complex health challenge, you face a long-term commitment.
Remember all of those P-words?
Purpose, passion, play, priorities, process, progress, pacing, and patience…,
Most Spiritual practices have a purpose, guide you through an ancient process, and support your journey with a sense of tangible progress.
Some traditions also say, with a behind the hand whisper, “Why bother trying so hard, you are simply the universe – universe-ing a universe.
Be patient, be present, be playful, and simply celebrate the passion of your aliveness.
Whether you experience your journey as water flowing down a mountain, or a seeker climbing a mountain, every day you are moving in a direction, and every day you can choose where your attention goes.
All forms of life have goals or priorities. Plants live every day reaching towards the radiant beauty of the sun while reaching deeply into the unknowable mystery of the Earth.
Every single day of their existence…
If you were an ox, reaching and pulling would be the same. If you were an ox, would your attention be on how nice it will be to be in a warm barn, or would it be on taking the next step, feeling into the soil, shifting your weight, enjoying the dance of efficiency and momentum?
Would you feel impatience if your harness broke and needed repair, or rest deeply into stillness until it is time to return to flow and, with Tai Chi like grace, gently reaching into the next step?
As a practitioner of any of the ancient arts, as modern people hoping to improve your health, and as life reaching towards efficiency and flow, and as potential teachers to guide others on such paths, we have a few other life-lessons and marriage advice to learn from our quiet and powerful friend, the ox.