Galloping into the New Year

As we shed our old skins, the year of the snake slithers into history and we welcome the galloping horse. According to the Chinese Zodiac. January 31st marked the Chinese New Year signifying the beginning of the year of the horse. I don't usually read into this kind of stuff much, but I can't help pay attention because I've resonated deeply with the year of the snake inside myself and everything that is going on around me.

Slithering Snake

This year has been marked by cathartic transformational change for me and all I've been involved with. I've shed my old skin, am relinquishing old patterns that no longer serve me and I am embracing a fresh set of eyes. I'm celebrating a new beginning.

My previous term with Experience Institute led me on an epic Odyssey through Australia and the Philippines exploring what it means to become the barefoot businessman.  I don't think I completely realized or understood it at the time, but I was seriously challenged during my time in Australia. I found myself working in very close proximity with folks who mirrored habits I was trying to break for myself. For example, I worked closely with someone who shared a habit of starting things and not following through. This sparked a blue smoldering flame inside myself to finish things. I learned to inspire others to realize that they can follow through.

After Australia, I went to the Philippines for 10 days to work on what I thought was going to be a little storytelling gig for a sustainable relief project using permaculture and eco-village design thinking. Those ten days turned out to be one of the most incredible experiences of my life where I started to see and act through my new set of eyes. With all the momentum and excitement, it was tough for the opportunistic adventurer in me to leave, but I've made a commitment to finish Experience Institute and I'm going to follow through.

Children Smiling

I came back to the polar vortex of Chicago after not having worn a shirt and shoes for months and leapt right into meetup #2 of Experience Institute. Our soul family reunited and we picked up right where we left off, continuing to fill our five buckets of self awareness, community building, storytelling, operations/finance and design thinking. Words can't begin to describe the profound connection that happened in these two weeks and it became obvious that we're supporting each other in shedding old skins.

I saw this time in Chicago as an opportunity to step back into 'the matrix' in a new way, discarding old attitudes and maintaining my newfound perspective amidst a sea moving in a different direction. Translating a divergent way of being into a persona that is accessible and relatable to corporate executives, my friends at home or even my parents is a tall order. This is my opportunity moving forward as the year of the horse comes galloping through. According to Astrologer Foon,

Since 2014 is a Wood Horse, the Wood element is about reaching onwards and upwards, planning ahead. Will your grand plans come to fruition? Be somewhat circumspect when it comes to formulating your blueprints for the year ahead. Whilst the Wood element may influence you to move forwards, the Fire in the Horse, which sits beneath the Wood, can burn up some of your designs, if you are not careful.

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I'm back in the Philippines now to support the Earth Village Project working on rebuilding a village in the most sustainable way imaginable using design inspired by nature. I've engaged a few mentors to help me along the way; I'm looking forward to their insights and observations. It's sure to be a wild ride, especially since I'm riding this horse bareback. I couldn't be more excited for everything I'm going to learn. Onwards and Upwards!

Shoot for the Stars!