Flames and ash!

This is the year of the fire monkey. We've been in the year of wood for the last 2 years, representing the enthusiasm and innocence of youth. Wood brings visioning without wisdom, and can be unstable and reckless. Fire makes wood commit to its plan! Fire wants you to stop dreaming and start doing with integrity, to connect with one another to express that vision. Fire is hard to control. You can burn out. I don't know about you, but this pretty much sums up my last 2 years and I've been thinking recently about how to manage my energy so I don't burn out and can respect my spiritual practice whilst maintaining my material life with authenticity. 

Here a few ways I have committed to work to over the coming months, and I mean it when I say commit because although it may sound like child's play, really committing to principles like slowing down, intuition and self care are much harder than working yourself to the bone, feeling overwhelmed and fearful. 

If you've been battling with fire energy this year - unexpected challenges, trying to keep your cool, and flitting between resourceful and erratic - then try the tips below to help you avoid turning to flames and ash. 

Connect to the feminine. Yes, even you, guys. The feminine isn't about being girly, it's in fact the exact opposite. The feminine in you is fierce and courageous - and it has to be! To live in a truly intuitive way, following your heart and moving at the pace your mind and body want to move at takes real courage in this manic busy world. 

Slow down. Seriously. Why the rush? Is everything you're trying to do REALLY that important? Does it HAVE to be done now? Does it really matter if you leave the washing up for one night, or if you don't get back to every email instantly? Trust me, I know how hard this is. I'm a doer by nature, set me a task, I get it done. Learning to slow down and find stillness is not my natural state. But oh my goodness do I need it. Slowing down can be drinking a cup of tea WITHOUT checking your phone. Yes, 5 minutes of doing one activity. Sounds easy? I dare you to do it. 

Trust. I've talked about this before, and I'll talk about it again, but trust is key. If you constantly live in fear how can you ever find peace? Living in a state of 'what if's' takes all the enjoyment out of the now. You are not alone. There is something bigger than you. Find your way to connect, be it through yoga, dance, song, art or anything else. Find it, and work to keep it. 

Respect. Such a big one. Are you truly respecting your body? Are you nourishing yourself? Do you indulge in things you love? Do you seek beauty and wealth or do you exist in survival mode? Respecting ourselves is not something we are usually taught to do. We have to learn it. Respecting your body - the place you live - is usually a good place to start. Meditation can be key for this, as can hatha yoga (so long as you can keep your ego in check - the amount of ego in yoga is a bit of an issue to be frank...) or any movement done with conscious awarness.

Give it a go, let me know you get on and better yet, keep a journal and let yourself know how you get on. Be open minded, kind and honest. And commit to what you say you're going to do. The energy of the fire monkey could transform your year - but as with all energy, we must take care of it wisely. 

To find out more about the fire monkey, I recommend this wonderful article here