Balancing Yin and Yang

What is Yin/Yang? The yin/yang symbol is a metaphor for the constant dance between the masculine and feminine energies within each one of us. Yin is the female energy, the intuitive, receptive, nurturing side of ourselves that is in connection with the Divine. Yin is the energy that yields to the forces around it, flowing, and smooth -- the force that allows a seed to germinate in winter and makes water flows smoothly around a stone in the creek.

Yang is the masculine energy -- the strong, action-oriented, forceful side of ourselves that gets things accomplished. Yang is the force that makes a seed sprout in the spring and makes strong flowing water move or sculpt the stones in a creek.

Each of us, whether male or female contains both of these characteristics. In a healthy balance yin (the female energy) receives intuition and inspiration from our souls and the Divine, while yang (the masculine) acts on these inspirations.

If you feel out of balance--either uninspired, inspired but not taking action, or active without any inspiration at all, then your yin and yang energies are out of balance.

Why are we out of balance? We are out of balance, simply because we have been trained to be out of balance! For centuries, the yang or masculine energy has been honored in men -- act but do not feel. The yin energy has been honored in women, up until recently -- feel but do not act. With the onset of the woman's movement, women were encouraged to get in touch with their yang energy as well -- to become active in the world, not merely nurturers and caretakers. And only recently, men have been encouraged to get in touch with their yin (feeling) side.

I believe we are out of balance because many of us have been trained with an ill example of the yang energy.

In some cases we have been taught to use the masculine (yang) energy to suppress the female (yin) energy. If you have been taught to allow the masculine (yang) energy overpower the feminine (yin) you are likely to mistrust feelings and intuition, to doubt yourself, suppress your emotions, or push them aside. You may feel as if you need more soulful qualities such as love, rest, creativity, or adventure, but you can easily ignore these in the name of practicality or duty. You are likely to be an intelligent, successful, overachiever. You may be satisfied with the adrenaline addiction or you may be tired of the rat race and wonder, "When is it my turn to have a life?"

Others have been taught to mistrust the male side of the energy. If this is you, you are likely to be intuitive, sensitive, and caring but wonder why you never seem to achieve your dreams. You help others achieve greatness but it is hard to get motivated on your own projects. You know you have talent but you often wonder why you cannot seem to express it or profit from it.

How do we get back in balance? Proper Yin/Yang balance is achieved when we allow the male side of our energy to support the female...when our actions support our feelings and heart's desires, when we neither suppress these feelings nor abandon them.

In practical terms proper yin/yang balance means you pay attention to your needs and desires and make time to act upon them.

In proper balance, you ask for help when you need it. You rest and take care of your physical needs. You make sure you have creative and emotional outlets in life, and you make yourself an equal priority with the others in your life. In this perfect balance, the Divine speaks to you through your feelings and you act upon these inspirations. You are in the Divine flow of your life, living according to your soul's blueprint and in harmony with all of creation.