Nature itself is the best resource to watch how the balance of yin and yang energy plays out. Yin and Yang are two terms created from Chinese science that define the movement of energy we see around us and within, they are depicted in a symbol of a circle that has a curvy line separating the two halves, one side black and one side white. Each have a small dot or circle of the opposites color within. The meaning behind the image is that the polarities need each other to complete the whole.
As soon a woman finds out she's pregnant one of the first questions she'll hear ALOT is "do you know if it's going to be a boy or a girl?" or something referring to the sex of the baby. This is likely the very first moment that masculine or feminine definitions are formed. From this moment forward it's common in American society to begin sensing masculine as "blue" color, feminine as "pink", masculine as "liking trucks, dinosaurs, and tough things" and feminine as "liking soft, fuzzy, dolls, and kitchen sets." Whether the child itself is attracted to certain colors, different kinds of toys etc is not usually taken into consideration and right off the bat the child receives the input of what they "should" like to fit into what our society says is "normal". This is where the natural flow of Yin/Yang that is within us may get off balance with masculine/feminine. Yin does contain the feminine essence inside of it just as Yang contains the masculine essence, however both have a broader spectrum of other qualities that fall outside the narrow "lines" of delineation that our society teaches us. Both are more balanced within themselves beyond the sex we are born into.
On the outer edges of the roles that we take on from our family and society as "normal" there is an essence of our nature, seen in nature, that takes on more subtle cues of balance and it is something we can notice about ourselves and does effect everything around us. If you look at the body and it's design, there are two halves to the heart, the lungs, the two sides of the body, ovaries and testes, the brain etc. These two halves are working harmoniously when they are BOTH used in a balanced way. For instance, though we can function without both sides of the brain being utilized in a full way, we THRIVE when we come closer to balance. The same goes for how the muscles of the body work. We need to have muscles that contract and to expand fully of the movement to have grace and coordination. The heart needs a consistent beat and a function of filling up and pumping out for health.
This essence of yang as penetrating, outward, expressive, pushing ahead, achieving, moving forward is similar to the hearts pumping oxygenated blood outward. The essence of yin as receptive, open, empty, potential within, space, stillness is similar to the heart filling up. Now going forward to looking at what the world as a whole deems as valuable and the scales of yang get heavy. However, in order to be "successful" and "sustainable" and to THRIVE it's necessary, and essential that one takes time "out", "resting", a "pause" or the length of your career and health is cut short.
In relationship with another person, whether you are two men, two women, or man and woman, a healthy balanced relationship needs both people to recognize and navigate this energy of yin/yang between the two like a dance. If the "roles" that society has taught become the only definition of male or female there is a very limited choice to navigate true health and happiness between the two. It's like only knowing ONE DANCE STEP and thinking that will keep you and the other engaged. For instance, if a man is deeply embedded with the "masculine" typical behaviors he's going to look for a woman who has the equal opposite in the "feminine" traits. He'll lead ALL the time, she will back down ALL the time. Eventually he gets tired and she gets restless, both may get bored, as the body it's self will seek balance in these energetics and without understanding what the other truly needs it's a dance that can exhaust and eventually may not sustain.
This awareness of yin/yang can be a useful tool of an intimate relationship where he nuances are subtle yet the results tangible.. For example, in an intimate partnership a man who has a balanced Yin/Yang energetic style meets a woman overly "yang" ( and boys, this is VERY COMMON in the world today....most of us men and women have bought into the overlying push to succeed and get ahead philosophy we were raised in, and are overtly YANG). He may want to connect on different levels, in different ways intimately...and she will only connect if she's in charge and often over time is successful at de-masculinize-ing the man. Even if both people truly want to be together the dynamics of yin/yang will have to get negotiated out or they are headed for trouble.
Both yin and yang are valuable and needed to have a dance in life that feels balanced, is healthy.
Here are some tips for bringing more balance to your relationships and within:
1. Notice your thoughts on masculine and feminine that you were raised with and which you believe to be real and true. You may have been raised with beliefs that don't match what you choose to believe at this stage in your life. Get clear and align.
2. Practice shifting into the opposite while in relationship with another. For instance....if your partner is feeling more outward towards you, practice receiving....and visa/versa.
3. Start within yourself......notice how you move and rest, how your do/be, and open to more subtleties....like how you use your eyes energetically, how you breathe, sleep, eat, and listen or talk....all are cues about your inner balance of yin/yang
4. Notice where in your body you resist, harden up or armor yourself. This is a yang way to being in charge, not showing emotion, and feeling like you've "got it together". Practice softening, surrendering and letting go. Let go of the need for control, let go of having to "know" information, let go of ideas that keep you stuck in a way of being.
5. Take a note that often the part of you that you'll gravitate toward will be the side you are over abundant in and you'll need to go into uncomfortable places to shift it to the other. ( This means if you are an overly internal type of person, you need to challenge yourself to get out there and be SEEN, HEARD, and FELT)
As you move towards being more balanced in Yin and Yang you'll feel more radiant health, more balanced perspective of masculine and feminine ( less judgement, less blame, more harmony), and you will attract more balanced people to you. Balancing both is an ongoing practice. Showing up in the world as a balanced man, or balanced woman is a path that is not easy and is a SACRED act that the world needs modeled. The trick is honoring BOTH without naming one BETTER. Sensing balance in your body serves the whole.