The beginning of the Wood Horse year is characterized by youthful exuberance and unrestricted energy. It’s an undisciplined, unfocused, pure flow of life force. Think wild pony or rambunctious child.
In keeping with the practical nature of the horse, the guidance for success this spring is practical as well. There’s a need to focus and harness the vitality, without becoming distracted or drained. Think training a pony, or offering appropriate limits to a 3-year-old.
Here are three key secrets to success this spring. (And a fourth “bonus” secret.)
Secret #1: Practice the Zen of Daily Life
The Horse Year is all about practical details and the dignity of work. You’ll most easily find the Divine this year by being in your body and attending to the simple practices of daily life. Think “Chop Wood. Carry Water.” Embrace your work. Embrace the care of your home. This is a path to joy and one of the best ways you can participate in the limitless possibilities of the spring.
Secret #2: Embrace Something New
Another way to access the chi of the year is to find “Beginner’s Mind.” Education is a key theme for the year, as it is a prime way to harness and “train” the unlimited creativity that is available. When you focus your energies on learning something new, you access vitality in a special way. Indeed, brain research shows the importance of new learning for maintaining vitality throughout our lives.
This is the perfect year to practice “new thinking.” Take on a creative project. Enroll in a course of study. It doesn’t need to be practical. Your focus will lead to new growth in all of your life. The creative focus of studying something new will help you return to beginner’s mind and see the world in new ways every day.
Secret #3: Nurture Your Physical Vitality
This year, especially the spring, is all about youthful energy. The more you can nurture your physical body the more you’ll be able to “keep up” this year. (Have you spent time with a 3-year-old lately?!) Habits of good food, sleep, and exercise are a priority for the year if you want to be fully available to all of the opportunities.
Another key aspect to the year, if you haven’t already discovered it, is that it will be easier this year to set healthy habits. If you found it hard to follow-through last year, take heart. The Horse energy responds to training, and that translates to support for your own practices of good health. The habits you anchor this year will serve you moving forward.
The Bonus Secret: Showing Up to What “Is”
This principle of “showing up” can be summed up in the word Reciprocity. Reciprocity is a way of living that embraces all of life’s circumstances. There is no “good” or “bad.” No “heaven” or “hell.” No victim thinking. There is only the present moment and your capacity to respond. When you live fully in the moment you are truly on the “leading edge” of creation. From this place your potential is limitless.
To sum up the secrets to success, this year’s practices are all about embodiment.
The last two years have washed away the past and taken us deep, in preparation for what is being born. It’s as if we have emerged from the last two years into a brand new world. It’s very young and fresh and hasn’t yet come to form. This year we will begin to discover what is still waiting beneath the surface.
I invite you to embrace the adventure of the year. Reconnect with your inner three-year-old, the “pony” within. Set up play dates. Explore your ordinary life with the eyes of a young child and you’ll find magic in every moment.