Heart of a Leader

Leadership Matters

Yin and Yang – Profoundly Simple

yinand-yang

Probably you have seen this symbol before. It’s the Chinese symbol that is commonly referred to as Yin and Yang. As I was reading this morning, I was struck by a realization that everything that is definable is contained in this symbol.

All the experiences of life are either in the black or white. These experiences carry with them the seed of their opposite. We are living in a world that is filled with polarity. Say I am feeling happy. The sun is shining and the temperature is just the way I like it, the air smells fresh and the birds are singing. My emotions swell and my happiness soars. As it soars, the seeds of its opposite, despair, have been cast.

There will be a moment, maybe today, maybe a year from now, when I will feel what is commonly called the dark side. Like the Yin and Yang and its feeling of a wave, I will be fully tossed into my despair and sometime in that experience the seeds of happiness are sown.

A question may arise, “Well, what’s the point of happiness if it is invariably followed by despair?” Good question, for we have accepted that the ups and downs are inevitable. This “in and out” of the wave of our emotions comes from living outside the present moment. For the seed that is planted is a longing for something to continue. We like to live in the familiar. Even when I am in pain, I am often hesitant to leave its embrace because the next feeling is not known. I have made a friend with this darkness and I am afraid to walk away.

What would it be to just experience the moment. Not put any label on it such as, oh, this is good or this is bad or this is beautiful or this is ugly. What if I just feel the moment and not allow myself to label it or put it into a smaller box than is really fitting.

I can also see in this symbol in the fullness of anything that I encounter. For instance, if I am feeling that my current financial situation is totally desperate, this desperation is all I can feel. I can use this symbol as a tool and reminder. I can stop the depressing thoughts for a moment when I realize that all I can see of the Yin and Yang is black. I have come too close to see the whole picture. In my mind’s eye, I walk back until I can see both the yin and yang. I allow myself to see the wholeness of life and where this current moment fits in. As I watch my mood shift, what’s possible will be altered.

Seems simple, doesn’t it? What I find, over and over, is that life is profoundly simple, and it’s me that is running around making it complex and chaotic.

Until later,

Thomas

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