2011 Forecast: Year of the Rabbit

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Welcome to the year of the Rabbit! For almost 20 years I have given yearly forecasts based on the ancient Tao system of the Five Elements energetic phases, which predicts the global trends that affect us on a personal level. How do you benefit from this forecast? By taking note of the predictions for health, relationships, and finances, you can make some positive changes to dodge any potential negative effects.

This ancient system has its roots in the I-Ching, known here as the Book of Changes, system of predictive probabilities based on nature’s cyclical rhythms; the Taoist sages of China observed and practiced, and eventually gave the modern world the binary language of 0’s and 1’s—the basis for computer language. In other words we don’t need to look any further than the universe to predict our future. So what’s in store for 2011?

Get Ready for the Rabbit

The Year of the Rabbit officially begins on February 3rd, 2011 and the elemental energies are again metal and wood, similar to the Tiger year we’re leaving behind. Therefore, some of the unpredictability and conflicts of the Tiger year will carry over to the New Year; however, Rabbit years are usually calm, creative, and positive — a much-desired change from the volatile Tiger! Rabbit is a peace-seeking symbol, and we can expect that there will most likely be more effort at diplomacy politically. But don’t expect everything to go smoothly, because any accord is always underscored by discord.

The focus of this year will orient towards reviving the arts and culture, getting our financial house in order, cultivating intimate relationships, and building family and community. As a result, industries that will likely benefit include entertainment, finance, energy, especially alternative energy, commodities like metals and agricultural products, mining, shipping, transportation, and hotels. Industries that will continue to lag include forestry, textiles, media, newspapers, and magazines. Due to the still-weak economic conditions of the West, environmental protection may unfortunately take a backseat to economic priorities. Because of the inward focus on the Rabbit, domestic agendas at home will trump those outside of the border and the appetite for playing Big Brother internationally will assuredly wane.

Prediction for your health

Chinese calendar year 2011, like last year, is represented by the elements metal and wood. The metal element corresponds to the respiratory and immune systems, while the wood element correlates to the digestive and nervous systems. These organs and systems will be vulnerable for breakdown so be on the lookout for frequent colds and flu that turn into bronchitis and pneumonia, digestive disorders including acid reflux, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, diverticulitis, liver and gall bladder diseases, and injury and pain related to the neck and spine.

Here are some tips to keep you in tip-top shape!

1. Stay Healthy with Healing Foods and Herbs

Chinese medicine is based on the concept that you can prevent illness from occurring in the first place by eating foods and taking herbs that possess healing properties.

• Defend against assaults on your immune and respiratory systems by eating plenty of antioxidant-rich vegetables of all colors every day, and eat grains like amaranth, quinoa, and brown rice.

• Keep your digestion flowing with herbs that settle the stomach. Drink a digestive tea an hour after meals: mint, gentian, ginger, chamomile, and licorice are excellent choices.

• To prevent diseases and counteract imbalances in the above organ systems, I suggest staying away from smoking and pollution, avoid consuming alcohol, caffeine, sugar, dairy products, deep fried, fatty foods, overly spicy foods, and gluten grains like wheat, barley, rye and oats, and processed refined foods.

• Traditional Chinese herbal formulas like Breathe Ease, Immunity, Acid Stomach, Colon Clear, Internal Cleanse, and Calmfort may be helpful as part of a health supportive program.

2. Exercise tips for Year of the Rabbit

Be sure to exercise regularly to increase lung capacity, strengthen the immune function, and reinforce the core abdominal and back muscles to protect your spine.

• I especially recommend learning and practicing mind-body exercises like tai chi or qigong. These gentle, but powerful exercises engage deep breathing to increase your lung capacity, lower your stress hormones, and help strengthen your core muscles. To learn Tai Chi and Qigong, you can work with a teacher or use instructional DVDs.

• Practice meditation and other calming body-mind exercises to reduce tension on the nervous system. Start small if need be: For five minutes every day, close your eyes and take deep, slow breaths.

3. Focus on Art, Family, and Finances

Now is a good time to start your art and spend time exploring cultural opportunities. Because it is also a good time to focus on relationships and family, consider bringing your special someone(s) along to an art show, on a historic walk, or perhaps try a culturally themed meal together. Strengthen your personal financial foundation by laying your finances all out on paper as they are now. Make a realistic saving goal and a reasonable paying off debt goal; then keep weekly track of your evolving financial picture.

In summary, the year of the Rabbit will be considerably calmer from the volatility and conflicts of the past Tiger year. You will still need to be on guard, like the rabbit, for sudden, unexpected changes that may throw you off balance. The good news is that peace, love, and family are the natural traits of Rabbits. Defend against assaults on your immune and respiratory systems and take care to keep your nervous system calm and your digestion flowing. Finally, work on your inner self spiritually so that no matter what challenges occur, you shall be connected to your unshakable faith in the positive, constructive, and creative energies of the divine universe as expressed through you and manifest in your life.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy all year long!

Courtesy of Dr. Mao