From the Yin to the Yang

People today seem to be in search of balance. Balance in their lives, juggling work, school, kids, parents, social media, spouse, the list goes on and on. We are in search of this cosmic ideal which we call balance. Webster’s dictionary defines balance, as a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. That is a great definition when it comes to something material, like balancing a paperweight and gold coins on a scale, but what about the immaterial or the intangible? How does this basic definition become applicable in our lives’ today?

I don’t have the answer. I don’t have a list of specific goals and objectives for you to set out a plan, to create a perceived state of balance. To me, the answer lies within you. Only you can know when balance has been achieved in your personal universe.  As a student of Traditional Chinese Medicine, I believe we are energetic beings consisting of Yin energy and Yang energy. To many, this will evoke an image of the yinyang symbol in which most imagine the complex interaction between good and evil. In Chinese Medicine Theory, however, Yin and Yang energies are not just conceptual ideologies. YinYang balance is a reality, a dance between two sets of energies that can be shifted and effected by our differing lifestyle’s. In school, our studies began with Yin and Yang. To give you some perspective, I’ll share with you the four main aspects of the YinYang relationship, afterwards, I’ll share what I believe it means for our lifestyle balance and share an idea on how to shift you into a creative state to create balance for yourself. 

  • Yin Yang are opposites

  • Either on opposite ends of a cycle, like the seasons of the year or opposites on a continuum of energy or matter. 

  • Their opposition is relative and can only be spoken of in relation to each other. 

  • Yin and Yang are never static but in constantly changing balance.

For example the seasons ( for those of you who don’t live in Texas and actually experience seasons) are always shifting into each other. Realistically, the season shifts almost imperceptibly into another season and whenever we talk about weather we refer to the season in relation to its opposite. Winter can only be Winter as long as we have a Summer. 

  • Interdependent: Yin Yang can not exist without each other. Nothing is totally Yin or Yang. they constantly transform into one another. 

For example, there can be no day without night. 

  • Mutual Consumption of Yin Yang

  • Relative levels of YinYang are continuously changing. Normally it is a harmonious change and when they are not in harmony, dis-ease can occur. 

Notice I used dis-ease because that is what disease is. We focus on this word often, using it as a badge of our suffering yet we don’t understand its origin. Dis- is a prefix,  denoting reversal or absence of an action or state and ease which can denote the absence of difficulty, discomfort, etc. Broken apart in this way, it is easy to take away the power and mystery of the word and take control over our state of being. 

  • Inter-transformation of Yin and Yang

  • One can change into the other.

For example, winter transforms into spring. Night gradually turns into day and back into night. As we begin to understand the nature of Yin and Yang we realize that we cannot simplify one or the other to labels such as good and evil. The energy of beings is much more complex than that.  Still with me? Good. Now that we understand that Yin is not evil just as Yang is not good, we can move forward. How does knowing this information help anyone? Start to pay attention to your body, your emotions, your spirit, your mentality. Do you feel your YinYang energies out of balance? Maybe you have been overusing your Yang energy and putting in too many hours at work, or overusing your Yin energy by nourishing your loved ones but not refilling your own cup? 

Maybe YinYang is out of balance because you are not sleeping enough or not nourishing your body with good quality food. Ask yourself, Why am I not balanced? Grab a pen and paper and sit by yourself. Ask the question aloud, Why am I not balanced? Write it down on the page and then write the answer that immediately comes to mind. I am sure the answer will be enlightening. Once you’ve taken a step back, a moment to acknowledge that something needs to change, you will become the arbiter of your own life. You’ll see the solution and begin to create the change to balance your energies once again. This energy is you, it is me, it is everyone and it will create the life you want. 

Once you’ve acknowledged the imbalance and have decided you’re ready for a change, I recommend seeing a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor to sit and talk with. They will be able to help you discern the imbalance and offer lifestyle change suggestions to bring you back in balance. Changes such as nutrition, self-care, herbal remedies to help build up your energetic stores, etc. In the meantime, begin to journal. Lovingly interrogate yourself by writing questions to yourself and then writing down the first answer that comes to your mind. Be kind to yourself and then write down the first answer that comes to your mind. Be kind to yourself through this process as it will only help you grow. I’ve added an example of questions that I’ve asked myself. Look them over and try it for yourself.  Balance is yours to create. Love you all, XOXO.

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