Within each person exists a flow of Life Energy. This energy has two main expressions–the outward flow and the inward flow (in Chinese Medicine this is known as Yin and Yang energy). The Yang is the expression of our masculine energy, while the Yin is the expression of our feminine energy. At the most basic level, Yang (or masculine energy) is the outflowing of creative energy. This is the energy you feel when you are moving your energy out into the world, focused on completing a task, and associated with the practical, logical thinking of the left hemisphere of the brain, as well as an extroverted personality. The Yin (or feminine) is the receiving, or inward flow of energy. This is the energy you feel when exploring your inner landscape. Associated with the right hemisphere of the brain, this energy engages your feelings and intuition, is active when creating intimacy with another person, using your imagination, and being at peace with what is.
Most of us oscillate in and out of these two energies throughout our day depending on what we are doing and who we are interacting with. Often times, however, through familial and societal conditioning, many of us learn to become overly identified with either our Yang or Yin energy. When we forget that we have both masculine and feminine energy within, imbalance manifests in our thoughts, emotions, and physical body. By understanding our energy system better, we can consciously change the way we flow our energy. Having a balanced energy system naturally allows for emotional healing, and is important for overall holistic health.
Signs of Imbalance
Signs of Yin deficiency (excess of Yang energy)
Anxiety, hyperactivity, frustration, overly controlling, feeling burnt out, anger, aggressiveness, feeling overly competitive, feeling overwhelmed and agitated, overly confident, inability to relax, and overly critical and judgmental.
When we cut ourselves off from the Yin/feminine energy we lose our ability to fluidly move and adapt to our circumstances, be receptive to others, and connect with our creative inspiration. Instead of feeling peaceful and rested throughout our day, we become rigid, agitated and overextended. There is a feeling of continutally needing to keep moving and keep doing.
Sings of Yang deficiency (excess of Yin energy)
Depression, stagnation, feeling overwhelmed, tired, listless, hopeless, confused, submissive, feeling weak and lifeless, feelings of jealousy, obsessive compulsive thoughts, lack of confidence, and feelings of low self esteem.
When we cut ourselves off from our masculine energy, we have a hard time creating the experiences that we want in the world. We lose sight of our goals, lose inspiration to create the things that we want for ourselves, and can slip into depression and hopelessness.
How to regain Balance
There are many techniques for developing greater balance between the masculine and feminine energy (which I will address in upcoming blogs). The first step to regaining balance is to begin a practice of mindful awareness. Begin paying attention to your thoughts. Notice the energy of your thoughts, and associated feelings and behavioral patterns. Whenever you are in a state of negativity or stress (either outwardly or inwardly) notice wether your energy is excessively Yang or excessively Yin. The first step is to simply take notice of what energy is flowing through you at any given time when you become imbalanced.
By paying greater attention to your internal state during moments of distress, and identifying the Yin or Yang energy imbalance, you can begin to make more conscious choices about what energies to focus your attention on. This first step of paying greater attention is very important, and can take some time as you deepen your self awareness in regards to the sometimes subtle distinction in the Yin and Yang energies within.
The Yin and Yang energies not only exist within the human energy field, but within all of life around us. These two energies are constantly moving in and out of flux, creating balance in the universe. Known as the Balance Point in Chinese Medicine, our internal energy seeks this same balance. We can see these cycles of energy within the human experience as we are constantly creating and destroying, birthing and dying, opening and closing. Often we externalize our masculine feminine imbalances in our relationships, attempting to balance out our partner (often the cause of much conflict in relationship). Beginning to understand your own masculine and feminine energy is the start of healing the divide within you. The Yin/Yang energy always seeks balance, and healing is the process of getting out of the way and allowing it to happen. As we do, we allow for our spiritual development, energy healing, and greater holistic health.
I am a holistic counselor in the bay area offering holistic counseling to those in Oakland, Berkeley, and the East Bay, California