Blog: 2016 Year of the Red Fire Monkey

2016 Year of the Red Fire Monkey

- by Della Valenzuela

The year of the "red fire" monkey begins on February 8, 2016. I am a monkey, born in 1968. What does it all mean?

Red Fire Monkey
"A particularly auspicious time for new inventions, the Year of the Monkey is for taking risks and being rebellious, a year where agile, inventive minds, sheer guts and bravado will win out. Now is the time of courage, action, anarchy, and true devotion to even the wildest of schemes, a time to start new endeavors, for they are destined to succeed under Monkey’s influence. But a word to the wise: those who can hang on for the wild ride, outsmart the confidence-trickster, and bluff their way through will come out unscathed. Those who are dull or slow witted, and can’t handle the stress will come unglued." (quote from 
This description of what is to come this year makes me anxious and excited. Things could change in the biggest of ways - with me at the helm pursuing the most heftiest of outcomes. It makes me think anything is possible. No filter, no rules - just doing. I will start slow and then begin taking on my dreams, goals, chances, relationships, and then even, perhaps the world. 
This is a year for taking risks. Okay. Perhaps I have become complacent in my every day, I could use some risk taking. Where is the nearest bungee jumping place? This is a year of being rebellious. What does being rebellious look like to a 47 year old…getting in the "10 items and under" line, with obviously 14 grocery products? A year of sheer guts and bravado. The phrase "speak your truth, even if your voice shakes," stands out for me here. I have a lot to say, especially in this year of election. I think this isn't a time in history for anyone (no matter your stance) to not speak out and make sure you are heard, even if your voice shakes. Courage. I have a fifteen year old son, who wants to learn how to drive. Action. Me off the couch. That's the easy one. The harder look at this is taking a stand for something I believe in. Just me, making my little ripple in the world. Every ripple matters. Anarchy. Me and the Sex Pistols. True devotion to new endeavors. "I wish I was doing…" Taking a class, making art, helping those in need. This is the year for change and taking chances. Big change, big chances - and why the hell not? What is there to lose? Safe is comfortable, but oh, so boring. 
So there is the beginning, a new attention to life, every day life. Pushing the rules, the politically correct, the boundaries and my safety zone. In my twenties, I wanted to impact the world but was too self absorbed to make a dent. My thirties brought the realization, sadly, that big lofty wishes for all the problems in the world, could not be solved by me, and that instead I had a baby to raise into a man, and that was the best effort I could make. Now my forties allow me a place to step back from all the worries of what other people think, cliques and popularity, doing the expected, and being good. I don't really care about all that anymore. I do what feels fair, honest and kind. I speak from my gut and my heart. I may make mistakes, but now I am the first one to admit them. I like where all this is going, and where it could go if my monkey year brings me the courage and bravado to push forward. To be a person who stands up for what she believes in and sits down when she needs to listen and learn. I want to be a smart anarchist, well informed. 
So, happy "Year of the Fire Monkey" to you. I hope it brings you a sense that anything is possible, and that you could step out of your life and take it to the next level. We all have the power. The fire monkey just gives us a helping hand.