Birthdays and Fire Monkeys

Being my birthday, I decided to reflect today on what I wish this year to be for me. What I’d like to open up more in my life and what seeds I’d like to plant and see come to fruition? Earlier this week we celebrated the Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey. This is the Chinese year whose focus is about letting go, shaking things up a bit and transformation. It bodes of possible chaos, tumultuous turn arounds and the need to go with the flow more than anything else. I suspect for many of us we’re thinking, “Wasn’t that the last five years?”

One of the key notes for the year is letting go of things you’ve held onto for too long. There’s that part of my mind that wants to rise up with, “Ugh more personal work. More changing things and less having fun.” But I thought, “How often have I cleaned out my closets and gone to the Salvation Army with all that I’ve collected and felt that awesome feeling of release? How wonderful it’s been to come back home and see all that space now available for something new. How much more lies within me I could jettison for that delicious feeling of release. That wonder at what new might come in.”

Maybe that’s the trick of this year. The monkey antics we need to embrace. Instead of feeling daunted by work, see ourselves as wild chimps tossing things out of our tree. Swinging from vines and laughing uproariously at what we thought was so important. Maybe the story is not one of chaos and turmoil, but stepping into the wild dance that is unfathomable and letting ourselves go with it.

So this is my Fire Monkey Chant for today and all the year long:

Bring me storms and bring me rain
Bring me flash floods that wash away my dams
Bring me turmoil that exposes my tenderness
Bring me chaos that shows me my stillness
Bring unexpected turns that I fly around, a monkey girl on her tree
Bring me exposure that I might laugh at what I did not see
Bring me whip cream pies in the face and slips on banana peels
Bring me surprises that I might remember this is all such a wondrous farce
Bring me chimps, macaques and marmosets, sniggering giddily at my flaws
Bring it all down on me until I cannot help but laugh.
Bring me so much that I laugh and laugh until my belly hurts.
Bring me storms and bring me rain.
Bring me flash floods that wash away my dams.

Bring me the Red Fire Monkey Year that I am left at the end, completely changed, for this is what I wish for my birthday this year. The chance at an adventure that leaves me empty and entirely new.

47 thoughts on “Birthdays and Fire Monkeys

  1. Happy Birthday Noelle. I love your post today. It is exactly how my life is unfolding this year, rejuvenation and dying to those parts of self that I have held onto far too long. I feel myself saying “enough, let go!!” “The chance at an adventure that leaves me empty and entirely new.” Wise and beautiful. Thanks Noelle.

  2. Love the wild and reckless abandon to go with the flow in this, and also the quiet centre of stillness amidst all the chaos. Hoping you had a wonderful birthday my friend and sending you much love and best wishes on the journey for the year ahead.

      • Just picturing you in company with the bunch of fire monkeys in the picture in the post. You’re doing well out of this strange streak of my imagination. They seem to be captivated by the light in your hair, winding it gently around their fingers, and offering you grapes and figs on platters. Maybe soon you’ll all be dancing round the forest like Mowgli and King Louie and PImo and I can come and join you. (Love Sundays, more time to play in my mind like this!)

  3. This seems so Brave!! Something to aspire to as I sit here entering the contributions to our church for income tax purposes, to take me out of this dreariness of responsibility. Thanks for the re-focusing of my energies.

  4. HAPPY Belated BIRTHDAY NOËLLE!!! Hope it was merry and bright. My mama is a fire monkey, turning the B-I-G 6-O next month. I’ll be sure to pass this along. May we laugh ourselves light and free. HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR!!! LOVE!!!

  5. Happy Birthday, Noelle! I loved your Fire Monkey Chant, and look forward to a chocolate cream pie or two, inbound. I hope it is a year that takes all of us to some wonderful places. There is a line from A Course of Love that your writing here brings to mind: There is no loss, only gain… It relates to negating our doubts when standing on the near side of transformation.

    I am limbering up to engage in this year of “antics”…!


    • I do believe wholly, my friend, that nothing is wasted. Absolutely nothing and what we perceive as disaster and destruction is really our cracking open the hard shell of our seed.

      Bring on the antics, bring on the vaudeville, bring on the mayhem of water gun lapel pins!!!

  6. While I’d been aware that this was the Chinese year of the Monkey, but I did not know it was the Fire Monkey, and I did not know all the details. I’m going to read your Fire Monkey Chant every day this week and use it for inspiration.

    • I and several friends are doing a “divest for lent” 40 day purge of things in our home. I don’t keep a lot of stuff, generally, but decided to pair down further. You never know what you are inviting in when you have the courage to let go… even of star soccer players!!

  7. Hi there dear Noelle. First of all, how interesting to learn about the meaning behind this Chinese year of The Monkey…
    I am nodding with you as I read your words, letting go is the main step amining to change one´s life… Leading to transformation and recreation of oneself…
    The first image of the monkey is eloquent in this way as it reminds us of the ouroboros, which is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent aiming to bit its own tail… It is said to symbolize the cycle of life and death, meaning transformation somehow… maybe we also need to change-let go our flakes as most reptiles do… Sending much love and best wishes. Aquileana 😀

    • Love the reference to the ouroboros. Had not thought of that but see what you mean. You being an expert of myths, isn’t if fascinating how cultures the world over develop all manner of stories and systems to describe the ebbs and flows of the human experience. When I was in Thailand I was there during the year of the angry Buddha which was how they were explaining the poverty and downed economy. Centuries have past but I don’t think we’ll ever lose the need to explain our lives in images, icons, symbols, myths and stories.

  8. Pingback: Your Most Important Relationship Is the One You Have with Yourself – delving deep within

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