where there's a yin, there's a yang

YIN ~ soft, slow, yielding, passive, receptive, feeling, feminine

YANG ~ hard, fast, focused, active, initiative, thinking, masculine

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The Yin & Yang of Chinese philosophy has me captivated right now. What a stunning idea that these two equal, but opposite energies must flow in a balanced way within our beings for health to occur. 

Now I don't pretend to know more about this than anyone else. My "education" consists of mostly google-searches and expands to the extent of the cyber-catalogue that is Wikipedia.

What I do know... what I may have even mastered, is the "art" of creating the imbalance of these two energies and thus, knowing the havoc this plays on the body.  

I'm an actress and athlete, A teacher. An entrepreneur. I'm a go-er. I'm a doer. A "Let-me-do-it-I-can-do-it-better-er." A to-do-list-maker. A task-master. I measure my success by the number of items left on the to-do list at the end of the day. Did I do enough? Of course not. Impossible. 

That's a lot of Yang. 

And I know I'm not alone.  So many actors, artists, musicians, entrepreneurial and creative-types that I know have a similar story: a cross-country-with-nothing-trip to pursue their dream kinda story. Active. Initiative. Focused. And when they arrived in LA they hit the ground running-- get the job, make rent, pay for training, hustle to get an agent, hustle more to get the audition, book the job, write the show, get the money, go, go, GOOOO and make that dream come true! It's amazing. And I love it. It's exciting! Thrilling even. ALL. THAT. YANG. 

But what about YIN? 

For me, slow... has been synonymous with lazy. Soft with weak. Passive with apathetic. Yielding with passionless.  All negative judgements. And I have to ask myself how did I get these ideas?  Where did they come from?? Well, for one we're "America! home of the free, land of the brave where you can make all your dreams come true!" It seems to me that as a society we still lean heavily to the patriarchal end of the spectrum - the Yang end -  and the fact is, this society values Yang more than Yin.

All you have to do is turn on the television and watch a few commercials to see what our society values (and buys,) and it's a YANG world my friends: 

Faster cars are better!

Get more for less!

Make twice as much money!

DO more in less time!

This machine does 10 things at once!

You work hard, you deserve it!

And my personal favorite: Get your pre-baby body back in 6 weeks!

Efficiency, Initiative, active... of course, these Yang qualities are all good things in and of themselves, but when lacking balance with Yin, frankly.... $&it hits the fan.  I've experienced this firsthand. Usually the body and immune system starts to breaks down. And we get sick. I think "coming down with something" is the body's way of forcing us into Yin: Oh, you don't wanna slow down? No problem. BAM! The flu.

And when we take a wider view outside of our own bodies, into our communities, politics, government... I feel we are grossly deficient in Yin. When is the last time you saw a political broadcast where people were truly receptive of each others ideas? Where people spoke softly with compassion? Where people yielded their self-interest to a purpose higher than their own? Hmm. Sounds like qualities I would love my government, politics, communities and leaders to have.

Well, I'm starting with me. Embracing Yin. Embracing slow, soft, and yielding. Embracing the balance. Embracing health. And maybe my pebble dropping into the pool will make rings as more and more people give themselves permission to do that same. A Yin revolution. I like the sound of that.