Fire Monkey 2016This year is going to be full of opportunities, synchronicities, possibilities, and dreams realized for everyone who welcomes creative change. Monkey years are times of new beginnings which happen quickly. Chances appear out of nowhere, fall into our lap, and kick us into high gear. Intuitive leaps surprise us, things we thought would be long slogs happen in a blink, and what we thought we knew gets turned on its head.  This is the year for “ah ha!” moments, light bulbs turning on, and curtains being pulled back.

It is also a time to pay attention because Monkey is a bit of a trickster. Sleight of hand and shell games are going to be common.  If we don’t pay attention to what shell the pea is under we could be left with nothing but thin air for our trouble and the enlightenment we receive could come from our finding what we thought was the truth was just tales spun out of clouds and dreams. As we’ve all experienced at one point or another, the Monkey Mind is a problem solver who will make problems to solve if it can’t find one already existing. It will make things difficult which don’t need to be, find another shoe to drop even if it has to borrow one from someone else, and refuse to look at what needs to be done in favor of figuring out how not to do it if that feels safer. Monkey is opportunistic, a cunning tactician, and not altogether trustworthy so we need to be discerning about what it tells us concerning a situation and allow other aspects of our nature to help us decide a course of action.

The key to working with the energy this year is to be in a balanced frame of mind. There are two different ways I use to describe this.  One is to think of our Monkey Mind, whether its problem solving or wildly creating castles in the sky, as one of the four people on a long road trip. The others are Soul, Emotions, and Body.  Mind is great as a navigator helping us figure out how to go where we choose to go, but it shouldn’t be the driver.  To be honest, it sucks at driving.  Mind uses all the wrong criteria to make choices, gets us into trouble, never allows us to have any fun, and for most people we end up never leaving the driveway. If we let Mind do what it does best, think of possibilities and keep us from getting lost or going over a cliff, then the trip becomes a great deal of fun. The second way I describe this is about moving from Monkey Mind to Present Mind. Monkey Mind happens when we center ourselves either in Chokmah (right brain) or Binah (left brain) or we are bounced between the two like an arguing couple.  Present Mind is when we hold ourselves gently cupped between these two. It’s not about struggle or will power or forcing anything, but instead allowing ourselves to be completely open to both and yet not centered in either. It’s about being fully immersed in Kether inspiration like the moment in Yoga’s corpse pose where we are challenged to fully relax but not fall asleep and not let the Monkey Mind take us out of the present. We are asked to be fully in the moment and fully awake while not taking any action.  Being in this space as we move through 2016 allows us to be in Present Mind and so access the best of what the mind has to offer as we create this next cycle of our lives.