I’m listening to Scott Orr’s song, “Slow Down”— a wonderful complement to the Tao oracle card I chose for 2019: RECEPTIVE. It’s a message to allow the “yin” in moments of uncertainty— to just breathe, give some space, and realize that there are (unseen) things still happening in response to the next moment. In times when I am exceptionally busy, it’s a reminder to give myself self-care, set boundaries, and be at ease in the flow. It’s easy to default to the patterns of my ego— wanting control, certainty, for everything to work out perfectly, for things to happen efficiently. I mean, come on universe; I don’t have all day!! :) This not only neglects the inquiry, learning and growth in my experiences, but also ignores other parts that are involved in my journey— intuition, timing, the universal and systemic elements that exist but are unknown to me.
I recently spoke to someone who arrived to Chiang Mai three weeks ago. His was a familiar story of quitting his job, selling everything he owned, and starting his journey. He was excited, overwhelmed, and ... impatient. I could certainly relate to this when I first moved here! It’s like a combination of being retired and being a freelancer. All the possibilities are in front of you to the point that it’s overwhelming. Searching for something but not clear on what that is. When I heard him share his frustrations, I smiled. There was nothing to do, change or fix. He was exactly where he is meant to be. Some days, weeks, or months simply need time for yin. And from that, there might be a somewhat nagging feeling of deeper inquiry. In that intuitive space, we are able to feel more into the next step and observe what is guiding our choices or resistance.
Of course, when there is too much idleness or feeling stuck, movement can be a catalyst. A great amount of yin energy might not work well in a job, an unsatisfying relationship, or self-discipline towards a goal. At a weeklong meditation retreat, my teacher said: "If you're one of those people who is in the habit of 'doing', maybe skip a session or two. If you're one of those people who is kind of a slacker, try to show up for all the classes." This is a great example of balancing the yin and yang.
Whether it's your body, mind, emotions, behavior, relationships, work, or lifestyle, where can you allow more yin or yang?
Tammy is a location independent yogi.