Inquirer Super

Your Super Guide to the Year of the Golden Rat

By: Irene C. Perez

By Irene C. Perez

Feng shui specialist Patrick Lim Fernandez

The Year of the Yang Golden Rat ushers in a new cycle in the 12-year Chinese zodiac, meaning it’s time to stop procrastinating and do what you really want to do.

Yin & Yang Shop of Harmony’s feng shui expert Patrick Lim Fernandez shares with Super a practical feng shui guide for all signs.

(READ: What’s in store for your animal sign this year)

The universe’s gotchu this 2020—it literally starts from 0.

“It’s not just a new year, it’s a new decade with a lot of new energy,” Fernandez said. “It ends in ‘0,’ so it means gold, not metal, same with the year 2000 which is the Year of the Golden Dragon.” 

There will be a lot of creative energy, he said. “If you’ve been thinking of doing something that you’ve been holding off in any aspect of your career or relationship, it’s the most auspicious time to begin.” This includes purchasing property, migrating, getting married, having children, even simple things such as a hair makeover or buying a coveted gadget.

Start fresh in 2020 with these reminders. Gong Xi Fa Cai! 

1. Make a list with deadlines

“Everyone is multitasking and wants to do everything at the same time—which is good—but also how to focus, or else you’ll get exhausted,” Fernandez said. “Prioritize. Set goals with a deadline and hold yourself accountable. Target to tick off the bigger tasks first.”

“Be specific. Don’t just say ‘I wan’t to move or study abroad.’ Say, ‘I want to be in Vancouver by the third quarter, doing this,’” he said. “Same with getting fit. Instead of saying ‘I’m going to be healthy,’ set measurements such as normal blood sugar, cholesterol or weight for your body type.”

2. Be social, ask for help

Rats are associated with dirt and despair, rat race, buhay daga, but once you get over the musophobia, Fernandez wants us to look at what the rat symbolizes in the Chinese zodiac through a legend: “The Buddha called all the animals that he will include in the calendar. The rat came up with tricks and outran all the other animals and arrived first.”

“Rats are smart and social. So take the chance to push the envelope, brainstorm with colleagues and take advantage of the abundant creative energy. Ask for help. Don’t try to do everything on your own.”

Fernandez advocates mindfulness, and to “surround yourself with people you enjoy hanging out with.” 

“There’s been a general feeling of tiredness after the end of the 12-year cycle, and it’s time for renewed connections,” he added. 

But what about introverts? 

“This is a chance to loosen up and be an omnivert.” 

Fernandez said it’s very hard to be an extreme extrovert and introvert. “Find out whether you get the energy from being alone or being with other people, then balance out your me time—that’s the golden mean.”

3. Stick to lucky colors

Classic Blue is the Pantone Color of the Year, but for special occasions, Fernandez suggested wearing shades off the fire pallete: red, orange, rust, yellow, green and of course, gold. It does not have to be the entire outfit; colors believed to bring luck can be channeled through accessories, nails, makeup, even phone cases. 

Lucky pouches

(READ: Red nail polish, sticky food and other treats that bring good luck)

4. Try to discipline yourself

Feng shui is all about living in harmony with one’s self and nature, and it centers on discipline, Fernandez said. “Way before Mari Kondo started advocating things that spark joy, feng shui has been around directing people in choosing what feels right,” he said. “You get anxious and have a hard time when there’s an imbalance, and feng shui helps you sort that out.” Fernandez worked in a tech company in the United States and knows how screen time can cause stress. “It’s not easy, there’s going to be Fomo (fear of missing out), but try to set a limit with phone usage if you get too distracted and agitated. Know when to stop.” 

5. Consider crystals

“Crystals give off energy,” Fernandez said. “The earth is really one big electromagnet with its own frequency, same with crystals and human beings. When these frequencies are in harmony with each other, a person gets a sense of peace and calm, and crystals can provide that. Crystals are very personal, you can’t just buy everything and hope one works. There must be a spark and a purpose when you buy it. For clarity of mind, lapis lazuli is good.”

6. Practice positivity 

There will always be toxic people, so try not to be one. “Instead of being frustrated and exasperated, be aware of triggers which lead to confrontations. When upset, take a step back and make a choice: Would you allow yourself to become too emotional, or would you respond in a calm and collected manner? Try also to see things from the other person’s perspective so that you could understand why they act in a certain way or say certain things to you. Consider the situation a trial in achieving inner balance and peace.”

Tray of Harmony

7. Declutter!

“You don’t need a thousand things to be happy,” Fernandez reminded. This includes not just material things, but also apps, emails and digital files you have to let go. 

8. Eat auspicious food

Share with your loved ones food that represent unity, prosperity and long life: noodles, dumplings, lechon, whole fish (but don’t flip it, pick the bones out), chiffon cake (must be sponge-like, not mousse, cheesecake or tin cake). New World Makati Hotel will be holding “The Year of the Dashing Golden Rat” Chinese New Year’s Eve party on Jan. 24, copresented by ODV Creative Media Inc. and The Yin & Yang Shop of Harmony. Ticket is P4,888 per person, inclusive of forecast, token, food and drinks.

Yin & Yang Shop of Harmony is at New World Makati Hotel; tel. 0917-9892294, email yinandyangshopofharmony@gmail.com