Dear XXXXXXXX,    

Every year around the Lunar New Year, a certain infectious energy spreads throughout the community. Chinatown appears extra red. Its residents seem a little happier. Street vendors sell red envelopes, new year snacks, extra fresh fruit to gift to family and friends.

2022 is the year of the Water Tiger according to the Chinese zodiac. In Chinese mythology, the Tiger represents vitality and strength. Water represents intelligence and wisdom, as well as flexibility and softness. I’m quite a fan of this duality for the year of 2022. This year, I’m working on channeling the strength of the Tiger in my creative pursuits while also maintaining the mutability of water when it comes to trusting you. Work hard but also be open to the changes that may come throughout the year is my motto, I think.

I spent new year’s eve and new year’s day at mom and dad’s place. Mom decked out the house with handmade red paper lanterns. Boxes of pineapple tarts, fried pork floss rolls, and peanut crackers stacked on the kitchen table, ready to be gifted to some lucky friends. And of course, when I arrived home, she was already holding down the kitchen. She is, after all, the goddess of the kitchen.

While Mom was preparing our new year’s eve dinner, I spent some time with Nicole. She told me about how she’s been practicing her tarot card readings by doing a weekly spread at the start of every week. Feeling the new year’s energy, I asked her if she would give me a reading regarding my prospects for this upcoming year.

Unfortunately, I’m a firm believer that if I share out my manifestations, they won’t come to fruition. But the cards were good. You already know how everything will turn out, though.

After the lovely tarot card session, Mom told us it was time for a classic new year’s tradition. I believe this is a strictly Chinese-Malaysian tradition known as “Lucky Shower.” Or at least that’s what I call it.

She buys special flowers called, 七色花, or seven-colored-flowers. They’re supposed to symbolize luck and prosperity for the new year. After we shower, we fill a bucket with these flowers and water. As we “wash” ourselves with the floral water, we think about what we want for ourselves in the upcoming year.

In the past, I used to poke fun at this tradtion. I didn’t take it seriously at all. This year, and I’m still not sure why, I actually tried to visualize what I wanted this year to look like as the floral water washed my body. I closed my eyes and pictured the water shedding all the pain from 2021 and renewing me for 2022.

It was in the middle of my floral shower this year that I realized just exactly what this was. This was yet another form of manifestation. Just the Chinese-Malaysian version of it. I had just taken serious advice from random cards from a deck. Why not also take these flowers seriously?

And then it was time for new year’s dinner! We gathered around the dinner table and ate together for the first time in a while. As you know all too well, I am still working out my relationship with my family. But for this dinner, I tried to embody radical acceptance and gratitude. I think I succeeded. I felt fortunate to be around my loving family. We talked about our hopes and dreams for each other for this year. As we nourished our bodies, I think we also nourished our souls by embodying abundance and prosperity mindsets for one another. 

With the strength of the Tiger and the softness of Water,