The yin yang symbol has been popularized and stylized over time but I will be the first to admit that I didn’t know much about its’ real meaning. So, I decided to do a little research, beyond being the cool accessory to wear in the 90’s.
The yin yang is meant to provoke and appreciate balance in life. Complementary, interdependent, pushing and pulling of polarized forces. The yin can mean a variety of things but one in particular is its’ exemplification of feminine energy–the nurturing and nourishing side of life (think: gentle and kind-like). And, subsequently the yang representing masculine energy (think: strong and controlling). The idea is a true balance of these two opposing forces for a holistic approach in life.
Recently, it was brought to my attention that most of my life (my work, the types of exercise I do, how I make decisions, how I socialize, etc.) are very yang in nature. And, that I need to work on balancing with more yin.
So, she asked me, “what are things that are soothing to you?”
I looked at this person like they had three heads. Wait, what? Soothing? Like…I’m a baby?
Truth: I’m not a person who relaxes easily (see: creation of this blog and most recent blog post). So, I’ve had to ruminate and marinate and turn this question over and over again in my mind. And here’s what I have so far of things that soothe me wholeheartedly:
A hot water bottle on my belly.
The feel of the sun on my skin.
The rocking motion of a perfectly creaking rocking chair.
The softness of a well-loved blanket.
The loud ticking of the second-hand on a clock.
The first notes of my favorite songs.
Deafening rainfall in a quiet room.
Slipping into my well-worn sweatpants at the end of a long day (can I get an Amen on this one?)
I realized this: I take the things that “soothe” me completely for granted. Perhaps a different way to practice mindfulness–to take a step back and bask in the act of being soothed.