Cute cartoon bull representing 2021 Chinese New Year of The Ox

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“Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draws it.
Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves.”

Gautama Buddha

February 12th was the Chinese New Year of the Metal Ox! Last year was the metal rat (the beginning of the 12-year zodiac animal cycle), this year is the metal ox, and 2022 will be the tiger’s year. The 2021 Year of the Ox (or Buffalo) brings to mind words like big, powerful movement, discipline, hard work, loyalty, consistency, routine. It has the pioneer’s characteristics, understanding that life is not fair but doing the hard thing anyway materializes reality. Today is the result of yesterday’s efforts. What we do today creates tomorrow.

My February newsletter focused on failure as a vital component to positive outcomes. Do you think an ox worries about failure or even processes the concept? Whether they do or don’t, they work hard, and hard work is full of moments where you wonder if your efforts are worth it and question if you have failed. 2021, the Year of the Ox, is sure to be a year of hard work and plenty of obstacles to overcome as we come out of this COVID-19 pandemic and focus on priorities with respect for others and the environment around us. It’s a good year to focus on routines and realistic strategies, practical processes that are real and concrete, learning from our mistakes along the way. Let your theme for the Year of the Ox be “Fail Forward Fast!”

Change is hard, and growth requires a particular type of courage, courage to move forward into unknown places, trusting that by doing so, even better things will manifest than our current expectations. Expectations are tricky to let go of. Most of the time, we aren’t even aware that we have them. Instead, we get angry at others, lash out, and block our hearts from the disappointing hurt when things don’t go our way.

This year stay moving, especially when it’s hard. Take healthy action before your negative thoughts invade and give you all the reasons not to. Let change during the Year of the ox come through slow and steady routines. Wait until next year for pouncing into more radical, fast pace change actions. This year dare to step into a state of impeccable self-responsibility. Discover creative ways to heal past wounds, especially when experiencing great upsets this year. Like an ox face difficulty head-on, only use more mindfulness – take a breath, let go, and have faith to see the truth within guide your next move.

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