January is the month of the ox that pulls the plough to prepare the soil for the seeds of creation to take root. There is a great deal of elements that combine this month to set the wheels in motion for 2019! The temptation to set lofty goals, albeit admirable, can work against the natural flow of things. Instead, align your intention to your soul's mission, and then release it. In yoga we refer to this as a Sankalpa. The intention is formed by the heart and mind. It is a heartfelt desire or affirmation that harmonizes the mind, body and spirit.
Patanjali explains that suffering is caused by attachment. By and large, when setting goals for the new year, there is a tendency to become attached to the outcome. This year, why not step into your power and suffer less by lowering your expectations. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but if you look at it from the perspective of not expecting too much from someone or something that is not capable of giving that, then you avoid the attachment and suffering that goes along with it. In 2019, decide to shift your attachment and linger in the present moment. This will help you navigate the bumps along the spiritual path.
Elevate Your Consciousness!
Be Strong, Be Creative and Find Your Roots!
Strong wood (yang) is present this month in the LoShu Grid. Each month there is a new element that shines and releases its qualities into the atmosphere for all living things to absorb. If you refer to the tree image to the right, it is easy to notice the graceful stretch of the branches high into the sky, and as it soars, guidance is present. The roots reach deep into the ground and find strength. Think of this support system as a family's dynamic. It provides roots so you may know strength and develop the ability to grow, thrive and meet your potential.
This energy teaches us to develop strength of character, build a strong body and sound mind. It provides fertile ground to plant the seeds of our creativity, manifest our desires and put ideas into action so they may blossom and bear fruit in the world.
The strength of the ox this month assists in the process of creating new things because it is willing to do the work that is required of us. The ox perseveres no matter what obstacles may arise, and does it with a helping hand. This is much like the legendary goddess Durga who can help empower your aspirations and tap into the leader within.
Environmental Accents to Support Roots and Creativity:
1. From the center of your home, locate the east portent. Remove any clutter, items you no longer like and anything in disrepair.
2. Place a few family photos, especially of elders. Use qualities of three when positioning photos or other décor accent pieces.
3. Include a cultural piece or item depicting your heritage. You may also add artwork or photos of trees, water or landscape scenes.
4. Add a few healthy plants and accents of blue or green with a splash of fire. Columnar shapes are perfect for this area.
5. Add a water feature such as a fish bowl or water fountain provided it is not a kitchen or bedroom.
6. Add upward light source and place a notebook or journal that is easy to access so when an idea comes to mind you can write it down.
7. Wake early and take notice of nature, especially trees and repeat this affirmation: I cultivate and live a dynamic life of strength and purpose.
The Winter Water:
This is the time of year when water is strong. In 5 element theory, a system used in Chinese medicine and Feng Shui, the element of water prospers in the winter. It refers to our life path, belief and the journey ahead. It is a promise of one's life path and a bringing forth of one's dreams. There is only one journey, and that is to go inside yourself. It is through the inner work we find the courage to reveal our true self and be authentic.
Without the element of water, there is no fuel to feed the creative process. Water pulls us in so we can reflect, contemplate and meditate. The result is flowing ideas for strong wood to propagate so we can take action. This is why it is important to have artwork with water scenes or actual water features in your environment. The aforementioned bode best in the East, Southeast or North directions, as long as these areas are not the kitchen or bedroom.
Water ignites the second chakra (Svadhistana) where our creative resources lie. It is the dwelling place of the self. As humans, part of our nature is to create. We create in many ways from giving birth, gardening, writing, art, cooking or when we find a solution to an old problem. Anytime we take raw materials, and transform them into something new, we are using our creative energy.
3 Yoga Poses to Assist Water Energy:
- Seated Pelvic Circles
- Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose)
- Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
I personify the attributes of strength and courage. I am in the flow.
Earth - The Element of Stability:
Earth is the stabilizer. It revolves, centers and provides a strong foundation for whatever we decide to venture into. In Feng Shui, it represents the aspects of inner knowing and how we relate to others. It is a point where all else revolves around including our roots, blessings, soul's mission, joy, heavenly spirit and life path. Without the earth we have no reference point of matter.
From this place of stability, we are able to create and let our ideas root deep giving us confidence and strength. The element of earth awakens the root chakra (Muladhara), a reminder of the power of grounding. It's our core connection to the Mother and humanity. It is helpful to anchor the root by having strong earth elements in your environment, especially in the center, Northeast and Southwest directions. Accents such as a stone pillar or statue bodes well. Carrying grounding stones like black tourmaline in your pocket is also advantageous.
3 Yoga Poses to Awaken the Root:
- Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
- Janu Sirsansana (Head-to-Knee Forward Bend)
- Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2 Pose)
I rejoice and live in peace, freedom and joy. My path is enlightened with clarity and wisdom.
Putting It All Together:
Your focus this month is to create. Rely on the wisdom of elders and true-self. That's it! Nothing fancy or expectations that pull you from your dharmic path.