We live in this digital age where everything is just a finger tip away. Questions on anything and everything can be answered instantaneously. Want to know a meaning of a word? A good restaurant? directions? title of a song? artist? history? Immediate answers have become the norm.
From an Asian philosophical perspective, as a society, we have become extremely “Yang“. This translates to being dynamic, active, and out there. People are going, going, and going at tremendous speeds. Through the media, it seems such extremes gain attention, as we tend to praise and value bigger, louder, stronger, and actions that are more dynamic. We are peaking with Yang energy.
As my master teaches us, in Asian philosophy nothing in nature in linear. We can’t keep going up and up and up. Just examine a plant. There is birth, life and death, then the plant returns back to soil. Nature breaks it down and again the cycle repeats itself. Yes, nature is cyclical. Once Yang is achieved, it slowly turns into Yin and the cycle repeats itself.
What happens to us as a Yang society? Too much Yang with no Yin creates imbalance. Just as we push ourselves harder and harder, we find that something begins to give. Cracks start to appear and if we don’t change the pressure it slowly falls apart. Many times this can lead to mental, physical, or emotional issues. We all know that too much stress can cause illness, so we must change the root of the problem. To do this, we must assess the balance of our Yin and Yang.
How do we help balance our Yang society and lives? What is the Yin to this Yang? Yang is a dynamic force, while Yin is passive. The Yin we need in society and our lives is to look inward. Maybe its solitude, silence, and meditation. Maybe it’s softer and slower music. Maybe it’s doing activities that are not instantaneous, such as gardening, walking, building, arts and crafts, reading, and spending time with people instead of being in front of a monitor. Do something that is the opposite of what you normally do. Don’t think that this is wasting your time, but instead know that this is healing time to balance the Yang in your life and society. With changes in our actions on an individual level, we are changing society as a whole at the same time.
For me, I have found that my Yin time is doing ikebana, tea ceremony, cooking, eating, and spending time with friends and family. Such simple pleasures and gestures are times when I enjoy the moment. What fuels your energy and heals your soul? What puts a smile on your face? What makes you all fuzzy inside? Take the time to find and check your emotions to implement your Yin time. This will help find harmony in your life, bringing more well-being. In harmony to all.