Yin and Yang

“If we never experience the chill of a dark winter, it is very unlikely that we will ever cherish the warmth of a bright summer’s day. Nothing stimulates our appetite for the simple joys of life more than the starvation caused by sadness or desperation. In order to complete our amazing life journey successfully, it is vital that we turn each and every dark tear into a pearl of wisdom, and find the blessing in every curse.”

~ Anthon St. Maarten, Divine Living: The Essential Guide to Your True Destiny

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Today’s morning Maui swim included an encounter with the concepts of yin and yang — in coral. The surf was a little rough today, but I kind of like being jostled about, churned up. As I was surrendering to the ocean’s push and pull, I found myself sliding into a landscape of tumbled coral and volcanic rock. I was drawn to the lightest of light pieces and the darkest of dark pieces. I held these ocean remnants in my palm and was struck by their duality — but also of how essential they are as complementary forces.

In my life, I feel I am mostly yin, with accents yang. Mostly, I live in a place of the divine feminine, of introversion, introspection, moonlight coolness, and of forays into the shadow side. Those dark pieces of volcanic rock appeal to my need for shade, for self-protection, for ease, and for silence. But that white coral appeals to the side of be that wants lightness (freedom from anxiety), brightness (the sunshine of Maui!), and clarity (a clear vision about my life’s work). The yang side wants action (get ‘er done!) and visibility (hey, look at me!) and enthusiasm (the glass half-full perspective).

As you think about yourself and your life, what aspects of you are clearly YIN and what are YANG? You have both aspects inside you as they are interconnected. What parts of your life or your personality like to gleam in the sunshine and what other parts of yourself or life prefer the comfort of the shade?

What lightness inside you knows it is light because you have felt darkness?  What feels cool now because you once felt the heat?  What delight do you know because you have felt loss or sadness?

We cannot know yin without yang and yang without yin.  What are your coral and stone like within?

peace and balance,

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About Courtney Putnam

I first came to healing work through art and writing. Creating collage art and poetry in particular allowed me to deeply understand the benefit of self-expression in the healing process. But, I also began to see the benefit of bodywork (manual work in the form of massage and energywork in the form of Reiki) as keys to unlocking the emotional stresses we hold in our bodies. I became a Reiki practitioner in 2002, received an MFA in Creative Writing in 2003, received my massage license in the spring of 2006, and became a Reiki Master in 2010. In my practice I bring together these three areas -- the body, the mind, and the spirit (or energy body) -- so others may experience profound and positive change in their lives.
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