I really believe in SECOND CHANCES and the CHINESE NEW YEAR which starts on January 25, 2020, and ends February 11, 2021, is just that. A second chance to kick-start this year in a new and intentional way.
The Chinese have been celebrating the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival for ions and it is the longest holiday of the year, lasting about 2 weeks in total and there are many rituals that are done on each day as they have a very complex and detailed system of how they believe in the energy of the year and how to navigate it for the best possible upcoming year. Some of their rituals include cleaning the house (to remove any impurities and start fresh) and to have feasts or set up their home altar with feast-like offerings (for honoring ancestors and deities to ask for guidance, help, and protection).
Now maybe you are thinking with your Western brain that you do not really believe in this astrology stuff and that it is not really important. I only suggest you ponder the fact that this culture has been practicing this for a long time, and think what you may, they represent about 20% of the world’s population and they are quickly becoming one of the superpowers of the world.  It just may be worthwhile to start paying a little closer attention to how they do things. I know that the more I have become aware of their systems, the more I understand how complex and scientifically orientated they are which is often not recognized at first glance.
The Chinese have created a very complex system of predictions and ways to review the energy of the year so they have some ideas on how to navigate their lives and the decisions they need to make with more information. Making educated and informed choices sounds like a good idea to me so I follow and do my own analysis of these ancient practices, listen to my mentors and study, read and listen to my own inner voice to come up with the main tips for what I feel the overall energy of the next year will best be met with.
It is a combination of Earthly Branches, Celestial Stems, Five Elements, Yin-Yang theory, the Twelve Animals as well as Feng Shui. These are combined in a complex structure to help organize the energy of the world in a pattern that provides insights and probabilities for the future. This is not fortune telling nor is it a hard-factual crystal ball telling you exactly what is going to happen. It is just a good indicator of possibilities based on the information at hand that is evaluated over time and then translated into our present condition for future predictions. Wall Street investors do the same thing with money as well.
This year is the WHITE METAL RAT.

Do you want to hear what the Chinese say this Rat will bring for us all?
Well, in simple terms it means it is a very active year with the yang energy and the metal element brings in a level of clarity and creativity as well as focused energy, and the Rat itself is a creature that is high-spirited, sensitive, practical and very much a planner. So these are the main qualities of this Year that we enter into now.
Of course, this is a general overview and each of us has a much more complex set of variables to consider, both from an elemental perspective as well as from an experiential and cultural view to consider.  However, I find remembering the general energy of the year acts as a guiding light for me when I start to lose my own inner picture and it brings me back towards the main path I desire to be on.
Everything is pointing towards a year of new beginnings and a chance to let go of past patterns. With this, there are always challenges so you need to be cautious to not pick battles you can’t win or that aren’t important.
It is a year that has potential for growth if you are willing to work at it and not seek immediate results but willing to ride the waves. With all rocky paths, it is easy to get discouraged, but it is in your interest this year to not let the bumps stop you but just remain steady and true and you will reap the rewards eventually. Also remember to keep on going, as it is the year to take action and not sit on the sidelines. New beginnings are keys.
Remain close to your family, if not literally then figuratively. Plan to take the time to nurture your love partnerships as this is necessary to maintain the long-term closeness we all seek. We will benefit from this as we often get what we give but do not go in with this expectation. Remain kind and calm as much as possible and do not get overstimulated or overactive as this will lead to health unbalances.
Create collaborations and teamwork.
I have felt this coming for a while and especially in the latter part of 2019 that it was becoming more painful to be flying solo, at least in the working environment. Coming from my background this was a real wake up call and required a major mindset shift. Asking for help and wishing to partner up was not the way we were taught how to do things to get ahead and succeed. But let me tell you this is #1 for a reason. It is IMPORTANT to start working together as we are stronger as a team than we ever will be alone. This is very true when it comes to fighting climate change as it will be in building your own business as it will be to make a difference in your charity work. Work together and the results will be triple or more.
Long-term vision on planning life, managing money, and all relationships.
We need to stop being focused on the short-term, immediate gratification results. Planting seeds and nourishing them will be the best way forward. With this, you will need to gain patience and break all sorts of bad habits our society has helped us to develop like fast food, immediate deliveries, and high-speed internet. Slowing down will be necessary to do this. However, let me share that from my own experience the fact I have slowed my life down considerably when I moved from NYC to Spain a few years back, my results have been significantly more. It is like slowing down has actually sped up my results. Amazing.

Stay active but not too active. Balance health.
I am a big believer in action. I am a Fire Horse (Chinese Astrology and Zodiac) and therefore I am always prancing along at a mighty speed.  Yet this year I predict we must all be very careful to not OVERDO IT.  It is a transitional year, the beginning of a new decade and the Rat’s energy is super active but very vulnerable so be careful and remember that too much (even of a good thing!) is often a bad thing.
Put order into your paperwork. Organize your home.
Somehow this message feels very important and I am even personally reluctant to share it as I have to do these steps myself.  And I hate dealing with my paperwork almost as much as a dislike cleaning. What needs to be done is not only organize it, but also get rid of the unnecessary papers, let go of and shred things from your past that do not serve you and set up a system where you can find what you need easily. This may take you the whole year to get through it, but I am certain that if you do this during the Rat Year, that you will have a very positive result. Remember long term vision is required here. Giving up weekends now to do this is not a lot of fun I know, but energetically it is draining you and on some level, you know this. Put an order in your papers!

Add color into your home, clothing and personal belongings.
Color is the new black!  No more neutrals!  We need to add spice, color, and some interest in our homes to raise and balance our energy. This can be done in many ways, such as adding accessories, a new rug or painting a wall. Also, you can start to brighten your own way of being with your wardrobe with colorful jewelry or scarfs, even shoes or bags if you are not up for a whole new colorful wardrobe (and remember second hand is the way to go shopping in 2020!). Color is the power which directly influences the soul.


There are 12 zodiac signs in the Chinese Calendar; Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig.
This is the first of the 12 -year cycle and as it is also the beginning of a new decade, it is believed it has extra energy to bring forth new things. But with all these things there often is a shadow side and things can be more or less complicated depending on your own context of your animal, your element, plus your culture and life experience. It is a very complex analysis for understanding your own energy in relation to the Rats.
I have created my own method of Feng Shui Design predictions to help you navigate this year. If you are interested in a personal reading, reach out to me.  You can book a session with me here: Feng Shui Review
As part of my own Chinese New Year ritual and celebration, I have relaunched my website http://www.HolisticInteriorDesigns.com and relaunched my BLOG http://www.sleew1.sg-host.com
Designed to provide you with more tips, greater ideas, tools, and insights on how you can Change Your Space to Change Your Life.