What does it mean to have balance in our lives? Is it possible to find balance while living in a fast-paced and goal-oriented society?
The Chinese describe balance with an elegant and simple shape, the yin yang symbol pictured above. The dark side represents masculine, active, and energetic qualities. While the white stands for the female, receptive, and calming attributes. These opposing energies are found all around us and within us.
Notice how the symbol demonstrates how nothing is all yang or all yin by including a small circle of white in the black area and visa versa. As yang or action grows, yin or reception lessens. They flow naturally and wonderfully together in harmony.
As the sun rises in the morning and finally reaches it's full height in the middle of the day, the energy of the earth warms and movement is encouraged as we get out of bed and take action. During the later part of the day and into sunset, the energy begins to calm and stillness is felt; this is the yin energy entering and coming into full force in the middle of the night.
Life itself begins with birth, a yang quality, and continues to strive, grow, and expand. Ideally, after reaching midlife, yin begins to take over and we slow down coming closer to and finally reaching death of the physical body. In America, the mass majority does not honor, and definitely not look forward to, the yin slowing of activity. Some of us fight it tooth and nail with face lifts, botox, and power yoga practices far into the later parts of life.
Humankind is part of nature. We're an animal like any other. Yet we attempt to fool ourselves into thinking that because we have the ability to reason and analyze that we can stop aging. Our so-called civilized culture can take a lesson from the past Native Americans who honored, even revered, their elders for their spiritual knowing and years of experience. Wisdom and insight comes with age only if we let it. If we continue to deny the natural cycle of life--yang to yin--then we miss out on one of the greatest gifts life has to offer. The gift of wisdom and knowing that comes with embracing our later years, is a gift America and much of our world is missing.