Find the Yin in This Yang Life

Courtesy of Anders Sandberg (Flickr CC0)

People are familiar with the yin and yang symbol. It’s a graphic representation of the balance between negative and positive energy, darkness, and light. But how does one find that balance in their own life? The truth is, it’s not so easy. If anything, people live in a world that pushes them to be more one than the other. Things like social media profiles can make it seem like everyone else has the perfect marriage or relationship when really they’ve only put up an illusion for everyone to see (because let’s be honest: No one wants to post pictures of fights or arguments). So if individuals want to achieve a healthy state of being, how do they start? By looking at how this principle plays out in nature around us—and by seeing what happens when things fall out of balance.

Yang is all around. It’s the sun, it’s your favorite pair of shoes, it’s one’s favorite food, it’s the person who just cut another off on the freeway. Yang cannot be avoided.

Courtesy of Scouse Smurf (Flickr CC0)

But what about yin? Unfortunately for many people, especially those with a penchant for order and organization, yin seems to be elusive — and once found, rarely appreciated.

Don’t worry too much if you’re struggling to find a little peace in this chaotic world; we’re here to help. Lucky for us all that yin and yang are opposite yet complementary forces that can bring balance into our lives — and can even complement each other in some pretty surprising ways.

So what exactly do we mean when we talk about these two forces? Let’s break down some examples of how they work together:

  • The Seasons – as each season changes it reveals a gradual transition from yang to yin energy from brightness and heat to coldness and dark, then back again.
  • Day and Night – The cold darkness of the yin night gives way to the warmth and light of the day.
  • Music – New age and classical music fall in the yin category. Hip hop and heavy metal are in the yang. Musical artists can be both yin and yang with their songs or with their high-energy ditties.
  • Ocean Waves – As the water crashes against the shore, they show yang energy. When it is pulled back it represents yin.

Finding the balance between the two can be problematic, however, it can be done. You have to find a balance between two extremes — and that can’t happen if you’re too extreme yourself. But if you can find the right mix of both, then maybe you can find a way to live in that sweet spot where everything is just right.

Some of us are yin and some of us are yang, but we all need a little bit of both to keep our lives balanced. This is why the symbol itself has a bit of the other in it. Without one, you can’t have the other. One of my favorite sayings is: “Without the bad, how would we know when something is good?”

Written by Sheena Robertson


Britannica: yinyang
Love to Know: The Meaning of Yin and Yang Symbols Revealed

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Anders Sandberg‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Scouse Smurf’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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