The Lunar New Year is one of the few holidays I really dig in to, albeit in my own western-white-Buddhist cultural flavor. I missed it this year due to illness (the whole house had COVID, despite our maxxed vaxxed status) and loss and illness of loved ones. I gave myself some grace about not getting the bad vibes from last year swept out of the house. I settled for healing and reflection and telephone calls with beloved humans who were burying people they loved. It was all imperfect, but fully human. During it all, the most optimistic vase of tulips arrived on my snowy porch from a beloved human. Each day of being sick in a house dusty with the remnants of 2022, I got to admire both the flowers as well as reflect on the friend who delivered the gift. However we care for our donors, or our loved ones or our non-so-loved ones, if we can focus on the bigger picture of relationship we will find our true work. I am COVID-cootie sick, bummed out at my isolation and my house unprepared for the luck of the coming year, but I am so rich in my relationships. When I align myself with the relationship the gifts take care of themselves in a way. I’m not saying that as fundraisers, or as family members, that we don’t ask for what we need, I’m just saying that when we are in relationship it matters less what is received at any given time. We are in a longer conversation, about shared works and vision. It is a tender realignment toward love, toward being loved and being loving. It matters less that I’m a bit late to prepare for an expansive 2023 because my relationships transcend any given moment. We are knit together in a series of moments, all making the moment past and the moment to come stronger, more resonate, more resilient.
We are entering the year of the water rabbit. The energy of the symbol is gentleness, peace, flow and tranquility. 2023 is also considered “yin” energy – dark, quiet and retreat. It evokes in me the idea that while this year is rest, it is also flow. Things move around us, through us, with ease if we don’t fight against it. There is something graceful and soft about taking that into my 2023 of practice. I hope you are inspired by it as well!
“The rabbit in the Chinese zodiac also speaks to the power of empathy. At one point in the race, the rabbit found itself stuck in the water. The dragon, who was flying overhead, opted to finish behind its woodland friend, blowing a heavy gust of wind to help send the rabbit across the finish line. The act speaks to the importance of both giving and receiving compassion.” ~Jonathan H. X. Lee, an Asian and Asian American studies professor at San Francisco State University, as told to NBC News