Yin and yang is a concept that originated in Chinese philosophy and describes complementary forces in the world.
Yang energy is considered to be more male. I think of it as encompassing these sorts of traits — doing, busy, fast, pushing to the limit, competition, big, bold, loud, the sensation of hot, and spicy rich foods to fuel yang energy.
Yin energy is thought to be more female. Being, slow, rest, relaxation, cooperation, thoughtful action, quiet, understated, the sensation of cool, and simple light foods to enhance yin energy.
Most of us live in cultures that value the more active yang over the more receptive yin. I’ve never been a high energy person, and I always wondered why I couldn’t keep up with other people’s high energy levels. I’m just now beginning to realize that my energy style might be more yin than yang, and there’s nothing wrong with that!
My two indoor cats are good examples of yin and yang. They’re sisters, but they have very different energies. Cleopatra is always on the go, and needs to run, jump, climb and play every morning after breakfast. Penelope is more laid back and mellow, and prefers to rest, cuddle and lay in the sun.
Many societies encourage yang activity over yin, but one is not better than the other, and both are needed to maintain balance. We have gone too far to the yang side of life, and it’s time to reinstate the yin, both for ourselves and for the good of the earth.
In the spirit of yin, I’ve been working on a rust and leaf print piece with a lot of contemplative stitching — a simple running handstitch that requires me to stay present and doesn’t need much thought. This is definitely slow art!
I like the texture that the stitching adds to the piece. It’s 26 x 26 inches, and I’m thinking of placing it against a handpainted black background. Or perhaps something more high tech for contrast, like black industrial screening.
In other news, this Sunday I’ll be at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura annual Arts and Crafts Fair. I’m getting everything ready for the show, and here’s some of what I’ll be offering.
Leaf print silk scarves
Found object sculptures
If you’re in the area, stop by to see all of the marvelous creations made by the artists in this show.
Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura
5654 Ralston Street – enter from rear of the building
Ventura, CA 93003
Sunday, November 12th, 11am – 2pm
How do yin and yang manifest in your life? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.
With love and appreciation,