reading on a benchI take a deep breath and let it fill me with the Love and Peace that is Life.  In this moment I know that I need more yin in my life.

I’m having one of those yin moments. One of those moments of deliberate silence. Because my life.  My beautiful life is wild and crazy!

I absolutely love that it is that way.  I thrive off of the chaos, but that doesn’t make it any more yin.

So what is yin anyway?

I could say that it’s the opposite of yang.  And this is true.

But it is calm.

It is peace and stillness.

It is the river with few waves.

It is the still of the night.

It is the cool night air of summer.

For me yin has become the place that I meet myself during meditation.

There is a reason, why the yin yang symbol is a circle. One side effortlessly flowing into the other. Both sides embodying a piece of the other.

There can be NO darkness if there is no light.  Likewise we can only know coolness if we have experienced heat.

This is the point of the symbol.

I, like many of my Western friends, have bought into the notion that life is about going, going and more going. Some people say they will sleep when they die, so why spend much time sleeping now?

But this is a grossly imbalanced way to experience Life.

Life is about balance.  For every exertion of energy there should be an equal time of rest and stillness.

This is a truth that has taken me years to realize and practice.  Even now it is difficult for me to live.

We (especially moms) still believe that rest equals laziness.  Even though my EXPERIENCE tells me that the more rested I am the more effective I am when I exert my energy.

But still my stomach goes in knots when I’m caught taking a nap in the middle of the day.

Incorporating more yin into your life is NOT a luxury.  It’s a necessity. It is a vital part of our being. To be a whole and complete being, we need both sides of the symbol equally as much.

So how do you get more yin?

1. Be unashamed.

It’s our ego as mothers that says “Rest later. You’re super woman”.

So don’t be ashamed to take a nap in the middle of the day.  Enjoy it.  Love it. And see just how revitalized you feel afterwards.

2. Plan it in.

I’m talking about scheduling a time for deliberate SILENCE and peace.  I actually have to schedule my prayer, meditation and reading time.  I also plan “days off” where I do nothing while my kids are at school, and retreats to places The Himalayan Institute.

3. Communicate your needs.

Trust me when I say that your kids may be clueless to the fact that you could use some peace and quiet. But I’ve found that even a three year old will leave you alone to rest if you tell him honestly that mommy needs a timeout.

4. Decide what yin is for you.

I like to read and write so this is a part of my yin.  The quiet space required for these activities is the peace the balances and centers me for my other “less” peaceful activities.  This may not be your cup of tea, so find the calm and quiet thing that is.  Sitting or walking in nature?  An actual yin yoga class? (We’re doing one of those this week on Yoga Wednesday’s! Sign up here if you haven’t already). Those all work too.

5. Just be.

Once you’ve arrived to your yin activity just be there.  Don’t worry if the kids are dirtying the house.  Don’t obsess over the way your husband changes (and sometimes doesn’t change) the baby’s diaper.  Don’t even think about that project you’ve got on your plate.

Give yourself permission to be right where you are. In that moment. Enjoying it!

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