Environment

A Win for Yin

Yin and Yang energies always exist together, are constantly in a state of flux and maintain balance and harmony.

Even before the election results were in and Kamala Harris addressed the nation on Saturday night, I could feel the tide changing. Like a rubber band stretched to the extreme, I could sense the swelling Yang energy pushing towards its breaking point. The outcome was simple physics. The band would either snap, ripping apart our nation, or move back in the opposite direction.

Like many of Americans, I was relieved at the election outcome and excited to hear Biden and Harris’ dream for the future. I knew it would be uplifting and hopeful. What I didn’t expect was the magnitude of Kamala’s message, particularly the impact of electing a woman of color to the office of Vice President.

Harris talked about “generations of women, black women, Asian, white, Latina, and Native American women who throughout our nation’s history have paved the way for this moment tonight.” She emphasized the “black women who are too often overlooked and so often proven that they are the backbone of democracy.”  These statements produced a swell of emotion because they hit a vein of truth, struggle, and desperate need. 

I grew up in a single parent home with my mother and sister. My father died early and my mother was left with two small children to raise in a world that undervalued powerful women. This brought forth many challenges but also a unique perspective. I am grateful for my unwavering belief that women possess the same abilities, intellect, and power as men (thanks, mom). I have never felt otherwise, and I have never doubted that one day (I hoped it would be sooner) we would elect a woman as President or Vice-President. A woman of color makes it that much sweeter. 

The feminine Yin energy that Harris was touting in her speech has been suppressed for far too long. 

According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation, “The theory of Yin-Yang tells us that at a macro level-the largest scale imaginable-all things are always balancing and rebalancing into a state of perfect harmony. Yin and Yang are the two energies that embody Universal law, which ensures that all things remain in harmony.”

For as far back as I can see, we have been focused on the male dominant Yang energies of expanding, activating, doing, constructing, producing, seeking, and consuming. These qualities have helped us to grow and evolve. They have been essential to the building of  our country. However, the results of carrying this energy to the extreme and for too long have been detrimental.  We are experiencing an injured environment, perpetual inequality, and the pursuit of money and power at all costs.  

I believe Universal laws are always at play. The Coronavirus, for example, has forced us into Yin activities such as slowing down, reflecting, resting, listening, contracting, and healing. These qualities seem to be needed in order to produce a healthier world. This week, the election has reflected the need for a more compassionate agenda that focuses on all people and our environment.

It should not be a battle of opposites. Polar energies will always exist together as part of the whole. The degrees of each will fluctuate and continuously seek balance. Just as our sexuality takes on varying levels of feminine and masculine, our tides ebb and flow, and our time moves between night to day, the democratic system will continue to shift between conservative and liberal and now, I am hoping more Yin will begin to resurface.

As Kamala ended her speech, I could feel the band of energy release and the direction begin to change. It has been a long road, a spectacular moment in history that speaks to the endless possibilities of real and love-based change in the coming years. It also reinforces an understanding that no matter what we do as humans, the Universe will make corrections as needed in order to restore the balance.

Yin Energy and the Changing Tide

Life Coaching: MySoulPurposeProject.com 
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Cape Elizabeth, Maine

A couple of week’s ago, my daughter asked me to do a tarot card reading for her. She had been on a few dates with someone new and was feeling uncertain about where the relationship was headed. She wanted to know what he was thinking and feeling and if her intuition was correct. She believed they were no longer clicking, that he was pulling away, and she wasn’t sure what to do.

After drawing the cards, the message came forward. The man, who had seemed so promising at first, was dealing with a number of personal issues. The cards suggested that my daughter give him the needed space and although she didn’t have to push him away, she also didn’t need to get involved. If and when he was ready, he would come to her. 

Her job was to focus on nourishing and growing herself, separately. That way, no matter what happened with the current situation, she would be evolving into a more beautiful and self actualized person who would inevitably attract the ideal partner when the time was right. 

I thought it was wise advice and realized that I had been nurturing my own growth in much the same way recently. 

Ever since Covid arrived and we have been forced to social distance, a lot has changed. I am no longer able to get together with family and friends in the way I used to. My band cannot perform live. Restaurants are limited or closed. I can’t work out at the gym. There haven’t been any concerts or fairs and a limited number of sporting events. In essence, there isn’t much to do.

This has become increasingly frustrating. However, there have been a number of silver linings. I have been offered the time and space to slow down and reflect, to sleep more, to read, to take daily walks, spend more time outdoors, cook healthier meals, and rest. In essence, the pandemic restrictions have allowed me to embrace the Yin energy which is often overshadowed in our modern lives.

“Yin energy is considered feminine,” says an article on peacefulmind.com. “Yin is very contracting, passive, languid, inward, and heavier. Unlike Yang, Yin is slow moving and contracts inward.” Some common properties of Yin include: earth, moon, darkness, water, female, space, matter, rest, growth, and contraction. Yang energy, in contrast, contains the elements of sun, light, fire, activity, male, and expansion.  https://www.peacefulmind.com/project/yin-energy/

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation, “Everything contains Yin and Yang. They are two opposite yet complementary energies.” and “ Although they are totally different—opposite—in their individual qualities and nature, they are interdependent. Yin and Yang cannot exist without the other; they are never separate.”  https://www.tcmworld.org/what-is-tcm/yin-yang-theory/

The more thought I have given to this concept of Yin and Yang, the more I can see its relationship to what is happening in the world right now.

The Covid crisis is perhaps Mother Nature’s way of rebalancing her energy. Our planet and its inhabitants have been heading down an unhealthy road for quite some time. As a culture, the pace of our lives has continued to increase to an almost break neck speed. We can’t sleep. The rates of anxiety and depression are at staggering levels, and we constantly feel rushed. We take more medication than ever and we spend less free time with our friends and loved ones. 

The earth is also suffering as our outwardly aggressive energy and lifestyles demand too much and give too little. It’s as if we’ve been stuck in Yang energy for much too long and can’t reverse the inertia on our own. No matter how devastating this pandemic has been, it seems to be a necessary step in the healing and rebalancing process. 

The tide is turning, as it always does, and we are being forced towards a more passive and reflective approach in order to survive.

As fall quickly descends into winter, I have had feelings of dread.  The virus is not yet under control. People are fed up with restrictions just as the weather is forcing us indoors. Covid cases are rising. The darkness and cold are lurking, and yet, I have felt an increasing sense of peace and joy coming from a deeper level. 

Perhaps it is my inner wisdom assuring me that all is as it should be, or maybe, like my daughter, I am getting the message that now is the time to focus on myself, to slow down, to grow, to create, and to heal. I do believe that within this contracted state, I will have the opportunity to envision, plant and nourish the seeds of a brighter future.

What to Keep

LA SkylineAs the world struggles through the Covid-19 pandemic and begins its slow recovery, there seems to be a need to shed all that is no longer serving. In order to heal, we need to reflect on our current condition and define that which is harming us and that which makes us stronger. We need to let go of old practices and patterns that are holding us back and build upon the things that work.

I believe this to be the case with the Earth, with the global economy, and with each of us individually.

Ever since the human lockdown in mid March, the Earth has felt substantial relief. With an enormous decrease in the use of fossil fuels, the carbon footprint has been drastically reduced and as a result we have seen less pollution and a re-emergence of wildlife. 

Many believe that we are being offered a unique opportunity to use the reduced levels of CO2 output as a starting point and find ways to maintain this lower level in the coming years. However, many also fear that as we re-emerge into the world, it will be easy to fall back into our old habits without earnest intent and strict discipline.

The good news is that we have been given another chance. What remains to be seen is how we choose to move forward.

Economically speaking, there is an overwhelming need to re-evaluate as well. With many businesses being forced to shut down (albeit temporarily), consumers have explored alternative ways to satisfy their needs.  

We have cooked more of our meals or done takeout and curbside pickup.  We have turned towards alternative forms of exercise such as walking, biking and online workout classes. We are seeing the benefits of internet shopping as we enjoy the safety and convenience of having food and products delivered right to our doorsteps, and as additional people work effectively from home, we question the need for elaborate office space in expensive locations (or any office space for that matter).

Many of these new practices will permanently replace the old ways of doing business. We may see fewer restaurants, gyms, office buildings, and storefronts. We’ll see a difference in the way food is distributed and how we work. In an attempt to survive financially, we’ll rid ourselves of the practices that no longer work in favor of those that do.

On a personal level, I have been consumed with a similar thought process. My life and habits have changed drastically over the last few months and I’m realizing some of the new ways may be working better. I have found that coloring my hair once a month is easy, looks almost as good, and is much more time and cost effective. I have found that I can cook a meal just as well if not better than most restaurants at a fraction of the cost and that the scope and variety of workout options online may be all I need. I have realized that I don’t have to travel long distances to find adventure and outdoor activity, and I have seen the advantages of being able to work virtually.

The overall trend is towards scaling back, becoming more efficient, spending less, choosing quality over quantity, having a decreased impact on the environment, reducing meat intake, and adopting a healthier lifestyle (which values less as more). In other words, shedding what I don’t really need and building on the rest. 

As the world begins to re-open and we evaluate our new and old habits, I urge everyone to give careful consideration to what is working and what is not, for the earth, for our economy and for ourselves. I hold hope that we will let go of the habits and practices that are harmful and decide wisely what to keep.