Tags: self improvement, spirituality, yin and yang
The yin and yang symbol is one of the well-known and ancient symbols across the universe, but just a few truly understand its meaning. Though it has been commonly used in media and fashion, it’s in fact an old Chinese symbol which expresses a scholarly philosophy. According to this philosophy, all contains both yin and yang—which explains why we see a spot of black in the white area of the yin and yang symbol and vice versa.
These symbols are utilized in several disciplines and Chinese arts. In Chinese medicine, illnesses and healing are classified as either yin or yang, and even Chinese cuisine considers these two properties of various foods and then tries to balance yin and yang in just one dish. In T’ai Chi and the traditional martial arts the movements are continually contracting then expanding, and practitioners are trained not to place themselves in extreme positions to prevent being caught off balance.
Yin and yang interprets the twin poles of existence that are totally opposite yet complementary, and that actually exists in everything. The yin represents all that is feminine, dark, receptive, passive, withdrawn and things which move in and down. Yang, on the other hand, symbolizes the masculine, forceful, expansive and bright, and the motions up and out.
It also signifies that as something reaches an extreme it will always become its opposite. This is depicted in nature in so countless of ways, yet also related to everything else: cold replaces hot replaces cold in the nonstop cycle of the seasons; a fierce storm is preceded and followed by a serene stillness; a balloon would explode if overinflated; an organization which is very stern and authoritarian would result into a rebellion when the rules or policies become too stringent.
These instances and examples may seem trifling, but an individual that could spot yin and yang occurring in the world could foresee the outcome of events. Therefore the ancient Chinese Taoists already accepted that things change and progress steadily, moving first one way and then another. Modern day Taoists meanwhile, still try to make use of this belief, and among other stuff it could aid in minimizing stress by not feeling worried or upset whenever hard times or problems arise—knowing that things would improve eventually.
The key is in balance and harmony. In each and every area of life, being between the extremes typically makes for a smoother and less stressful life, because neither excessive yin nor excessive yang is normally good. For example, a couch potato who never leaves home and TV and never have any dreams or ambitions in life is way too Yin and might also suffer from depression and bad health.
But then again, a person who is a workaholic and highly motivated and always rushing is way too Yang and would soon be suffering from burnout. Ideally, a middle way between these 2 extremes is healthier and easier. By understanding, observing and anticipating yin and yang influences the Taoist could bring better balance and harmony into their life.
About the author
The author of this article, Amy Twain, is a Self Improvement Coach who has been successfully coaching and guiding clients for many years. Amy recently published a highly successful home study course on how to boost your Self Esteem. Learn more about this Quick-Action Plan and have a Fabulous Self Esteem.
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