Sunday, July 29, 2018

6. Hooray, It's My Birth Zodiac Year! Time to Celebrate? TBD!

I hope you easily found your zodiac sign from the table of years, but there are always some exceptions.

A friend of mine was born in January 1957, but he's not a Rooster. One's zodiac sign is based on the Lunar calendar. Chinese New Year usually starts in late January or February. So even if you were born in the beginning of the year, your zodiac sign is from the previous calendar year.

Like my friend, he is still a Monkey. But since he is in between both years, he needs to check Monkey and then Rooster when determining his yearly fortune prediction.

2018 is the year of the Dog. Many who are born under this zodiac sign might think this would be a wonderful and lucky year for them. To tell the truth, it's not. In Feng Shui, when a zodiac sign is the sign of a particular year it is called "Tai Sui," which means "in charge" or "on duty."

Imagine. When you are on duty and in charge of an important mission, you are certainly much busier than usual. You have a lot of things to take care of, problems waiting for answers, difficulties seeking solutions. The burden of the whole world suddenly seems to be on your shoulders.

When a year with your zodiac sign comes up, the entire 12 months will probably slow down a lot. Even if it seems not as smooth as it should be, plans may be laying out but not moving ahead as quickly as expected. Some plans may even need to be altered.

Overall it will be a year of patience and often it is more difficult and challenging. Be sure to pay more attention to your health as well.

BTW, do you know who's born in the year of the Dog? Donald Trump.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

5. Where's the Kitty?

You may or may not have heard about how the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac were chosen. According to one legend, Buddha prepared a big race and asked all animals to join, but only 12 showed up. Buddha decided to name the cycle of years after these participants, based on the winning order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Hare, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar.

Pet lovers might ask, there's a Dog, but why no Kitty? Actually there's another version of the story: Cat was eager to race, but worried she would oversleep and miss the game. So, she asked her best friend Rat to remember to wake her up so that they could go together. Rat promised Cat, but then broke his promise, thinking it was a clever way to get rid of one competitor. Cat missed the chance to race, and was infuriated that Rat won first place! Ever since then, Cat always hunts Rat. And now you know why.

But in the Vietnamese community, they do have a Year of the Cat that replaces Tiger. The reasoning behind this is that Tiger is a wild and violent animal; and to some Chinese-Vietnamese, "Tiger" is pronounced similarly to "tough and difficult." Who wants a tough and difficult year? This could be the reason Cat was substituted.

It is interesting to note that one of Japan's cultural borrowings from China during the Meiji Period (October 23, 1868, to July 30, 1912) was the 12 zodiac year, using the same animal titles for each year. However, unlike China, Japan does not use the Lunar calendar; and begins each New Year on January 1st.

Do you know your zodiac sign? Here's a table to help you find it, based on your birth year.


Monday, July 16, 2018

4. Your Sign Is in the Stars

A professional energy therapist will state that there are energies all around us, and he or she just uses their skill to move them about. It's a tool for healing. How this works, of course, is a mystery. But in the world of Chinese Feng Shui, there are different types of energies which really can affect an individual's experiences every day.

Can these energies be used wisely? Absolutely.

First of all, I am not a Feng Shui practitioner. I am just an interested person with some intriguing experiences to share and exchange with you. Through what I have learned, and by sharing it with you, hopefully it will help to clear out the fog of indecision. To find an alternative to some of the challenges in your life with the goal ultimately being peace of mind.

Also, I would like to make clear that the objective of Feng Shui is not to change one's life.  Feng Shui masters indicate that clients often inquire if they can heal illness or save a loved one from a terminal diagnosis.  Their response:  a client might as well ask them how to become a millionaire.

Everyone's life is already set based on their birth year, month, day and hour.  Believing, yes, in manifest destiny -- rich or poor, genius or not so much, long life or early departure.  These aspects of one's life are already pre-determined. Feng Shui just helps us to do better at the right moment by opening up more opportunities. It helps to lessen bad choices when one is in a dark tunnel and prepares us to foresee and handle difficulties better.

Then what is Feng Shui all about?

Among all energies, there are a few key ones that one should always pay more attention to: money, relationships, health and career. These are the major ones that exert control on one's performance.  And, these energies move around with their influence shifting direction year to  year -- kind of like musical chairs. They change the direction every year based on the year zodiac. Like the year of the Dog, money energy comes in the East, year will be sitting at the Southeast corner; and how it affects you depends on the zodiac sign you were born into.

Next up: let's find out the Chinese zodiac sign under which you were born.

Monday, July 9, 2018

3. This Is Not Just A Chinese Thing

Life is no bed of roses. But how nice when we can sleep surrounded by a layer of rose petals.

After a couple years working at another advertising agency, I invited Danny over for an office visit to give me a Feng Shui reading. By then he had become a professional Feng Shui practitioner and was building a successful practice in Hong Kong.

He turned his Feng Shui compass around and told me there would be a lucky star sign entering my work space near the end of the week. All I needed to do was to place two jade Wu Lou gourd symbols on both sides of the entrance of my office. According to Danny this would make my office welcoming and instill more good energy into my work environment. It just happened that that Friday was our annual industry awards gala. You can imagine my amazement -- I took home eight awards.  It was a turning point in my career, which really took off from that point.

It was a sleepless night. My brain turning over nonstop, I kept wondering was it the power of Feng Shui and an unexplainable energy working behind me? Since then, I have started to pay more attention to the decor in other people's offices: a fish bowl with a precise number of gold/black fish; a mini water windmill situated on a window plane; a wind chime hanging in a corridor; a small mirror in a corner reflecting back to the outside.

This working with energies is not just a Chinese custom. I took a meeting at a conference table in the unusual shape of triangle at a regional office of a highly respected global brand.  And, so I heard, an international soft drink company brought in a top Feng Shui master from Hong Kong to execute a check up at their Georgia headquarters

How many people around the world follow this enigmatic concept of balancing and working with energies? Tell us your story and experience. We'd love to hear all about it.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

2. I Can't Explain It

Life is a circle, around and around and then it takes off way beyond. Is that how energies move, and why our cosmos always looks like a swirl?

Let's start with what captured my interest in energies and mysterious aspects that are difficult to explain.

In the early 1980's I was working as an art director where I snagged a hot job at a worldwide ad agency. But, it was also the most frustrating period in my career; I just didn't feel a fit between me and the company.

One day I noticed that the only plant in my office, an Iron Wood Tree, was in full bloom and its many flowers were emitting a very strong scent. This was a rare occurance for this plant, and I remembered hearing something about it when I was younger from people of my parents' generation. So I called my friend Danny who was studying Feng Shui. He told me that the flowering plant could somehow exert an energetic influence on my work situation with the possibility of two extreme outcomes -- either the best or the worst. No in between. He then suggested that I tie a red ribbon around the plant and place two red Chinese money envelopes at the base.  This for the purpose of blocking or lessening the negative extreme.

After a couple of months I was fired. How could the rare flowering of a plant foretell my fortune? I asked Danny to explain more. He gave me a palm reading and a brief fortune calculation based on my birth date. He told me I was in a year of misfortune.  And, based on the direction that my office windows and door faced, negative energies were all around me. Should I believe him or not?

I remembered a story my parents had told me from World War II way before I was born. It was the end of summer 1941 and in the Happy Valley area of Hong Kong a small stand of bamboo flowered -- a once in a lifetime event. Recalling people talking about this phenomenon reminded me of the flowering Iron Wood Tree and Danny's career prediction for me. On December 8, 1941, the same day as the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hong Kong was invaded by the Japanese Imperial Army who proceeded to wrest control of the island from the British by Christmas Eve.

There's a season of blooming, either in good or bad way; there's also season of antonyms ...

Monday, July 2, 2018

1. A World of Energies

Welcome to my world.  A world filled with all kinds of energies -- seen, but more importantly, unseen.  They are all around us:

positive and negative

loving and hate filled

healing and destructive

mysterious or devilish

good and evil

I've heard tell that many tarot card readers do not just read what they see in the cards before them, but they can also intuit the thoughts going through their client's mind. There is a similar exchange in Qi Gong, a form of meditative exercise from many years ago in China. It enables the exerciser to move one's inner energy - qi (pronounced chee) -- throughout their own body.  A skilled Qi Gong master is purported to utilize his or her own energy to send healing into another's body -- what might be considered a form of Asian shamanism.

These are just a few examples of relevant and very present connective energies that exist between all of us -- not just the practitioners -- as well as the natural world.  I invite you to join me in this space where we will share, explore and practice all forms of energy exchange -- those we have heard about and experienced personally.  And, we will also delve into the exciting process of discovery: what are the hidden secrets behind each case, those compelling stories, where energies played an important role?  Perhaps an outcome might have been different if energy had been acknowledged and respected.

Kendal Yim -- who am I?

I am of Asian Chinese descent, born and raised in the global capital, Hong Kong. I now make my living in San Francisco where I have lived for over 20 years after brief stops in Toronto and NYC. My homeland, Hong Kong, is actually a tiny island situated along the coast of southern China.  This is where all energy exchange practices originated such as Qi Gong, Feng Shui and the superstitious that are so often a part of a Chinese's daily life. I am a creative director in the advertising field, where, over several decades, I have encountered amazing exchanges of energy in numerous forms and with differing elements. Now is the time for us to share our experiences and communicate about the connective energies that have brought us together here at this very moment.