Monday, April 23, 2012

We've Really Gotta Slow Down

It was so beautiful the last couple of weeks in the Northeast. Perfect weather, clear, low humidity, skies so blue they hurt, sun shining. But the ground was so dry. Like cocoa powder. And even well-established plants were starting to look a little unhappy. Streams were getting low. lawns weren't greening up the way they do at the end of the winter.

Then it rained. We are lucky it did. Now it's gray and cold and damp; Irish summer weather, my friend calls it. Somewhere in that statement is just a little bit of the fatalistic humor I love about the Irish. But much as I was practically high from the constancy of the sun, and air so clear it nearly shimmered, I worried. This weather is fine for other climates, but we need rain--yin--to keep stuff growing and our reservoirs full. We can't rely on mountains for snow runoff.

The rain is also nature's way of balancing things out. Rain=yin=nurturing=rest & recuperation. We can't have too much yang, all the time. There has to be a balance.

This is important to note, because it's literally the biggest problem facing mankind. It has led to all kinds of cliff edges, as diverse as climate change, unemployment, auto-immune diseases and war. I use the term cliff-edge, because I think until a problem is so obvious as to be critical, people are loathe to look at it.

Which means, yang energy is expanding all over the place without enough yin to mitigate the effects of unrestrained yang. Like when there's too much sun and not enough rain. Or when a business keeps eliminating employees and expects the remaining ones to absorb the workload. When prices keep going up and wages don't. When people drink too much coffee to keep on top of crazy schedules.

Too many of us think it's normal to work ourselves into the ground. We think it's okay to leverage ourselves via credit cards and 'have' everything we desire. Everything we do in this culture gets turned into a contest, has to be improved upon, made bigger and better than the next guy. Anything that is ever-expanding is out-of-control yang.

We really gotta stop.

We gotta let a little yin into our lives. Yin isn't the bad guy blocking out the sun. Because the sun needs to go down at least once a day.  Just like people.

We need to do less, spend less, stop being imperialists in our own lives. Almost everyone could stand to sleep more, and spend a little time day-dreaming, free-associating, wandering around in our heads with no specific goal.

Yang energy is nice, gets a lot done, moves mountains and feels good and powerful.

Yin is what we need to keep breathing.

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