The dance of yin and yang


Yin and yang are opposite states of expression contained in all of life.

Yin represents the polarity of passivity, while yang is the expression of the activity.  Many other opposites can be used to demonstrate this principle such as light/dark, up/down/ inside/outside etc.  This paradigm can be found everywhere, everything has an opposite, with a multitude of expressions in between.

To observe this transformation or movement within ourselves allows us to see our own unique song as we change notes, hit highs and lows and integrate that each note contributes to the whole - the inner meaning of healing is just that - to make whole again. We see the representation of this in the  yin/yang symbol.  Each side contains an element of the other. The white has a portion of black, and the black a portion of white. The expression is in constant motion but always contains the entirety or wholeness as it moves between phases or extremes.

Sometimes in our human experience, we forget or lose sight that we are always whole and contain all parts of our divinity at all times.  We are never separate from that even when we may be out of sync.  When we can express our yin (form and receptivity) in equal portion to our yang (activity and function-service) we find our balance point, the center, or homeostasis. When we balance our physical form with our divine function or purpose, we become the embodiment of the Taiji.

This dance can easily be understood by witnessing the change of seasons.  The full yang of summer slowly and gradually gives way to autumn until it reaches the ultimate yin of winter.  This transformation process is part of our nature as well.  Just as the seasons move through this expression of polarities, we experience change and growth and continuous cycles.

A tree doesn't question when it begins to lose it's leaves in the fall., doesn't worry or fret that it worked so hard to develop them, doesn't fear rejection or feel failure in their absence.  It just moves with the phases because the tree essence remains unchanged.  It's divine expression includes all phases of "tree-ness" From bare branches to full bloom and back again.  It's in the holding on or resistance to change that interrupts the natural order of things in our lives and can cause a misunderstanding of the grace and divine order of all things.  It's not so much the changes in our lives that cause suffering but how we interpret them.

The yin/yang theory can be observed in just about every aspect of life.  Science tells us that energy cannot be destroyed, only transformed.  This speaks to the very same principle.  Everything in life is in motion and we are in constant interaction with everyone and everything around us.

Given that, we can put attention towards cultivating the quality of this constantly moving force or Qi.  In our bodies, Qi comes in through the breath.  To nurture the balance internally, we can look to the breath as one method or practice.  The inhale is the yang of the breath, the exhale is the passive yin aspect.  Even in a very short amount of time of conscious breathing we can re establish harmony within.  This simple practice sounds a signal to the rest of the body that balance is being restored on a physiological level.  This yin/yang balancing act is also the foundation of Chinese Medicine.  Either polarity can be adjusted through activation of the meridians with acupressure.

In our environment, we can also seek to restore harmony through Feng Shui.  Qi is likened to the forces of wind and water. The wind moves the energy (yang) and the water contains and supports it. (yin) That is the literal translation.  Observing the arrangement of furniture or architectural structures (yin ) with the interaction we have within these spaces (yang) can give us an indication if an imbalance exists. In other words, is there a balance between form and function? 

Clutter is a very quick illustration of this principle.  In a space that is very cluttered (overly yin) it is hard to function (yang) or feel productive.  The energy gets stuck from the over abundance of yin.  Yin is receptive, contemplative, and nurturing in energy however in excess can become stagnant, overly reflective, depressive, without movement, dark. There is not enough yang to animate the space and maintain that balance of equal yin to yang.

If we can begin to see all of our experiences through this lens, it becomes much easier to move and adjust with the natural order of things, both internally and externally, which also allows us to embrace our own divine expression without judgement. We are all simply moving through the cycles of our unique landscapes, and every change has a perfect purpose of bringing us back to center.

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