Happy Solstice!

Yin-Yang Golden Ring and Blue Mosaic - computer generated image//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Happy solstice! If you’re in the northern hemisphere-

Reflect, take the inward journey, nest, hibernate, eat bolstering foods (root veggies are always a great option) keep warm, enjoy a comfortable solitude, cultivate that inner wonderful quiet.

If you’re in the southern hemisphere-

Get out there and get your yang on! Play, grow, expand yourself (as in life experiences), eat light, delicious foods, stretch your fingers up to the sun, travel and try new things!

 

Winter Solstice Is The Yin-est Yin

 

2117622450_42ecb79231

Awww, could there be a cuter way of illustrating the taijitu (aka the yin/yang circle)? Yesterday was the winter solstice, meaning the biggest part of the dark part of the yin/yang circle. Happy Yin time of the seasons! Enjoy all the benefits of the dark kitty time of the year!

Yin And Yang Again And Again And Again

Hibernating

Hibernating Bear by glazedangel101
Hibernating Bear, a photo by glazedangel101 on Flickr.

Always around the beginning of the year I get a few questions about cleansing.Wanting to do a cleanse at this time of year does make sense in some ways, new beginnings and  holiday indulging among other reasons. Ultimately though, Traditional Chinese medicine would say not to do a cleanse in winter . Here’s why: we’re still supposed to be “hibernating”. Even though we’ve turned the corner on the winter solstice, we’re right in the middle of the “dark” time of year, meaning the most yin time, when we’re meant to be quiet and at rest. Because of this, anything “moving” should wait for spring when, just like the bears looking for skunk cabbage to clean things out at the end of winter, we can employ cleanses to prepare for the coming yang time (summer) when things are supposed to be active and move.

Let’s talk about cleanses this spring shall we?

Everyday Yin-Yang

Yin-Yang by ryankboyd
Yin-Yang, a photo by ryankboyd on Flickr.

Today, I’m making sure that my wood element is appropriately flexible. I originally had an entirely different post planned but having just finished reading Everyday Einstein I changed my mind because it gives a GREAT example of the yin and yang all around us. Just substitute yin for the potential energy and yang for the kinetic energy.
Have fun with it!

Everyday Einstein

The Things We Don’t Do

We’re a doing culture here in the U.S. If something isn’t right we want to DO something to make it better. That’s certainly one way to bring about change; if you want change, the thinking goes, action is required. It’s a very yang way (of the yin/yang balance) of problem solving and it often works perfectly! Even so, it’s still only half of the equation as far as Chinese medicine is concerned. In keeping with the concepts of yin/yang, not doing can be just as powerful as doing.

Sounds crazy? Hardly! Finding yourself gluten intolerant? Don’t eat gluten. Fatigued perhaps? Don’t stay up until 3am and don’t run that marathon if it isn’t going to work towards your greater good. Feeling stressed? Don’t fret about what you can’t control and don’t add more onto your plate of must-dos. Is adding more distractions to your daily existence no longer working? Try sitting in silence instead.
When has non-action worked better than action for you? Let us know in the comments section.
Thanks!

The Yin Of Yin

Happy upcoming winter solstice! December 21, 2010 at 6:38pm ET will be the official solstice and the darkest day of the year for those of us in the northern hemisphere. The shortest day with the longest night means that seasonally, we will be at the most yin of yin times. Yin is the winter, quiet, dark, still, female, moon, silver, inward, downward, potential energy, slow, soft, yielding, cold, wet and nighttime energy. Autumn is the time we are sliding away from the yang time of summer (the most yang of yang time) and moving toward winter; the most yin of seasons. But just as a tree, seemingly dead in the winter, is hiding the life force which will allow leaf buds to appear again, there is that small “dot” of yang within the yin energy of the yang/yin symbol that tells us there is never complete and static yin (or yang) and that the promise of spring, the return of yang energy, is assured.
I hope we all have some time to reflect and celebrate the pause and quiet of winter.