As a kid, I was fascinated by the adventures of the Monkey King.
He was fierce, mischievous, and bold. He crouched on ledges of mountainsides and measured the plans of his enemies. The Monkey King wielded the powerful cudgel. With it he struck dark lords and scheming villains to their deaths. Bold lines of red and blue decorated his white face. Humor glinted from his dark eyes. His fearless smile never ceased. It shone through moments of compassion as well as justice.
You may be a Monkey by birth (in the lunar years of 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, and this year, 2016). Mythology presents the Monkey as smart, quick-witted, and irritable. The Monkey can be optimistic and adventurous, as well as stubborn and haughty.
Not everyone considered a Monkey by birth year is singularly defined by these Monkey tendencies. And many who are not born in the Monkey years do exude such personality traits. The point is that these things exist within all humans. We can learn from ourselves, recognize who we are and who we can be, and embrace our nature.
In the Year of the Monkey, the Fire Monkey to be precise, let’s hold dear the qualities of being ambitious, adventurous, and irritable. Yes, all tendencies should be seen with acceptance. There are many times we feel irritated with people, including ourselves. How we behave in the presence of this feeling is up to each of us.
We can build mindfulness of these instances of emotion through meditation and practice. By creating stronger actions for each time we feel, we are being responsible to ourselves and to our world. We are committing to be better and make our world more amazing.
When I feel adventurous, there’s a tendency for me to want to shrink back from it. If I talk with this stranger, what will my wife think? If I learn a new martial art, what if I get hurt? If I dance in public, what if I get embarrassed? By acknowledging that fear I can then grasp the adventure and bring the world with me to a new place.
Each of us comes to these moments. You can’t foresee them. You’ll suddenly step into the frame when it just pops into your hands. You can catch it and run, not knowing exactly what will come next. Or you fumble it because you’re scared of getting hit.
We all have experienced both. This year is a good time to explore that mischievous side. Have fun. Be bold. You may lose, you may get hurt, you could be really embarrassed. But so was the Monkey King.
Be one with the Monkey this year. Here’s how I’ve been monkeying around recently:
- Start sharing with people who have a common passion with you. See if MailChimp is right for you.
- Celebrate openness to discovery and the courage to try something new. Throwback to Curious George. New Valentine’s Day episode!
- Watch Monkey King: Havoc in Heaven (English Subtitled) It’s free with Amazon Prime!
- Practice moving on your hands and feet with the “gorilla walk“. I know, not a monkey, but let’s do ape.
To powerful living!
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