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I believe that all of life’s answers are already all around us in nature. I was thinking today about the nature of what 2019 promises as the Three Year, and that 3’s represent harmony where 2’s represent balance. I’m constantly amazed at how deceptively simple the vesica piscis is in sacred geometry, two whole yet disparate circles that overlap to create a third space. That is the symbolism of interdependence, right? That third space could not exist without the independence of the two. That space is generative. And now that 2018 has forced all of us, even the civilians, to re-examine our motives and values and seek out communities that support us as we are today, how do we make those relationships stable and sustainable? 

For me, the Three Year can best be summed up by the flamingo. If 2017 was an eagle (bold moves and taking new risks), and 2018 was a condor (learning receptivity and seeing setbacks as opportunities), then 2019 is definitely a flamingo. 

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The flamingo is a marvel in that it is uniquely engineered for its environment. Long-lived, opportunistic, resourceful, resistant to disease, and as long as nothing happens to their legs, their ability to endure allows the flamingo to occupy land, water, and air. Its neck twists underwater upside down to scoop up food using its bill as a shovel. What it eats turns it pink. In fact, because they tend to socialize a lot (and get into a lot of squabbles) they choose their pecking order, so to speak, based on color not size (more pink means a flamingo has access to more food).

And its legs? Still kind of a head-scratcher. Flamingos can literally run on water because of their webbed feet to gain momentum for flight. Standing on one leg regulates their body temperature but does not require additional musculature, so they’re also conserving energy. Apparently, a flamingo’s legs don’t lock so much as they stay which means they are at any point poised to move. But miraculously, this ability to stay indefinitely if need be is so integral to their composition, scientists can stand up a flamingo cadaver and its one leg will still stay put. And when it’s nesting season, they focus on one egg at a time in a kind of sloppy yet functional nest (which isn’t so much a nest as it is a mound), the parents taking turns to look after the egg (which, coincidentally, has a pink yolk). 

If we transpose the flamingo onto what we’ve accomplished individually and collectively in the last couple of years and what conclusions we’ve come to about stepping more fully into our life purpose, that it’s not enough to just post on the ‘gram or update folks as to our political beliefs anymore, more and more of us are unsettled, realizing we can’t walk through the world anymore as it is. We have to become more adaptable because hybridity is the future. Adaptation is at its best in communities. What can people who don’t look like me or think like me do to diversify my worldview? Who shares my values? Who gets my vision? Who has patience with me while I change gears and my mind? Who encourages me to expand? Am I using my life force to just maintain a sense of self preservation or to thrive?

Not everyone is going to get the memo on this one. As always, there are some who will continue to stay sleep standing up. Takes all kinds. If there weren’t rests in music, there’d be cacophony. It’s not everyone’s season. But for those of us who truly, desperately want to leave the world in better condition than the way we found it, right here, right now, and are prepared to do whatever we need to to make that happen, there will certainly be a learning curve re: communication, walking the talk, and not taking it as a character indictment if someone isn’t automatically picking up what we are putting down.

But the nice thing about new, vibrant, generative partnerships that revolve around interdependence, is that just like flamingo parents, power struggles can mercifully be brought to an end in partnerships, professionally or personally, if we allow the people with more acumen in a given area take lead while the rest of us take notes. We take turns minding what we’ve created between us. And even if the nest containing new life ain’t much to look at, it’s ours. But to be sustainable, whatever we tend to this year has to be a strong enough shared vision between people to make it through the seasons and changing hands. So, there is an emphasis on picking the right people with the right motives who understand their own limits and are open to learning more. After all, what comes of 2019 will one day be able to move through the world all on its own—poised to walk, run, and fly.