A Japanese Connection

Do you ever notice certain themes showing up in your life?

For my birthday, two days ago, my daughter gave me a kit to grow three bonsai trees. I have never done such a thing, and have no idea if I have any talent for it. However, I thought it interesting because within the last month I was staring at a space in my house where I thought I needed to add an element of some sort. What came to mind was a bonsai. That thought surprised even me! A bonsai? And now a kit with three of them show up at my house.

And now today, two days later, I find myself talking with a friend who tells me that today is a very cool holiday she encountered while  traveling in Japan a few years back. February 3 in Japan signals the very beginnings of spring and is known as Setsubun. And happy holiday to those of you who follow that tradition!

I find the custom for celebrating this day to be quite interesting . The idea is to chase out the bad energy and spirits through a practice known as mamemaki, or bean scattering. People throw handfuls of roasted soybeans either at a family member wearing a demon mask or out the door of the home while saying “Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi,” which translates literally to “Demons out! Luck in!” or more poetically, “Out with the demons, in with luck!” Once they have driven out the bad spirits, they shut the door on them so they can’t reenter.

Maybe you, too, will feel inspired to throw some beans around in honor of this tradition.  This is certainly a good time to brighten up the energy in your home as we prepare for the transition from winter to spring.

So now, three references to things having to do with Japanese culture have shown up in short order in my life. Coincidence? A reason to ponder and explore?

I have been to Japan, and I have remembered a lifetime when I was Japanese, and now I am curious why it is showing up in my “field” at this time.

Our souls have traveled across many cultures and countries throughout our various lives, and it is not uncommon to feel a natural affinity with  the different customs and cultures we encounter in this present life.

If you find yourself inexplicably drawn to Japanese culture and customs, today might be a good day to get spontaneous and explore these connections by participating in Setsubun. Perhaps you, too, were Japanese in a past life. Participating in a cultural tradition just might elicit some fond past life memories.

So why not take a moment to ponder your personal (and past life) connections to Japan, and to welcome in that good fortune today?