Nourishing the Yin
Where I live, near the San Juan mountains, each day is a constant reminder to continue the journey inward with the Autumn season. I have watched the leaves in their brilliant color fall and the skeletons of the trees are beginning to show. The cold wind blows and the creek behind my house is dried up. The balance of dark and light are moving towards shorter days and longer nights. I feel the changes deep in my bones as nature reflects the deep transformation.
Autumn is a time of change, of taking care of loose ends. It is a time to assess and integrate the movements of the year and let go of that which no longer serves you. It is time for us to gather our resources and prepare for the coming darkness of winter. It is time to slow down. It is time to slow down. We are transitioning from the hot, expansive summer into the cool, contractive seasons. Our bodies do the same. Humans are extensions of the earth and can find much insight into ourselves as we observe the patterns of the animals, the trees… our relatives. We can observe how things move as the contractive energy settles in to attune ourselves to more harmonious living.
The journey inward begins. YIN energy lies inherent in all things. It is… The shadow. The feminine. The quiet. The moist. The darkness. Emotion. The moon.
It’s up to us in how we choose to invite balance in our lives. It is a consistent work in progress. We can attune to the seasons and the cycles within nature to prevent disharmony or dis-ease from arising in the body. We can hone in our observations and live accordingly to the season. We can educate ourselves on how to do this. We can make the choices for a more harmonious lifestyle. Seasonal changes can be a huge dis-empowerment to people due to disconnection or seeing ourselves as separate from the natural world. We can remember how to navigate the transition gracefully.
This is what Doug teaches throughout all his classes and his walk of life. He teaches the basic foundation for walking in balance with the rhythms of nature and how to invite plant medicine’s to support a harmonious lifestyle.
We live in a culture which honors achieving a goal rather than embracing the process of life. When always seeking to achieve the goal, it is much easier for the body to become a container for the imbalance. In a yang driven culture, we are consistently faced with the opportunity to make unhealthy choices to accommodate for “working hard” to achieve that goal. We seek out fast food/convenience food, we forget to breath deeply, we compromise the quality and amount of water we drink. There is audio and visual stimulus everywhere. We are continuously moving fast. To me, it is apparent why we as a culture have stepped in to a rampant era of specific dis-ease’s. In the sense of western culture, yin energy can and often is seen as a weakness. In my opinion, it is the long forgotten essence of life by some. It is the essence which brings the fullness of being to our amazing gift called life. The yin and yang energies exist in all things. They are interdependent. The yin and yang energies of the universe hold the fabric of the universe together. We need them both.
There are so many ways to nourish the yin in ourselves. It is just taking the time to do them. Soak in the hotsprings, wear a kidney wrap, dress in darker clothes during the yin seasons, go for a long, slow walk alone, drink and eat kidney building and liver nourishing teas and food, practice slow yoga, meditate. Take time to soften, nourish and invite balance for yourself.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”
What do YOU do to nourish the yin?