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  • Writer's pictureVictor

The Yin and Yang Cycle

Updated: Jan 3

Take a look at a yin-yang symbol. Look at the head of the yang (white) and you'll see the tiniest part of the tail of the yin (black) starting to form. And as you follow the increasing size of the yin energy, it will end with the tiniest tail of yang energy to continue the cycle again. Having a basic understanding of this dynamic can change your life and how you operate, so let's continue.

A yin yang symbol
Pssst...Yang is the white one and it's pronounced "yaahng", not like the "wang" of the 80's band Wang Chung

Let's look at an example of a young boy in school. Let's say he's a good kid, but perhaps a little on the shy-side (yin side) though. And let's say that one day, a bully in his class starts picking on him. Eventually he withdraws a bit more (he becomes more yin meaning the size of the small black "tail" is getting thicker) and is scared to walk down certain halls or speak his truth when confronted by this bully. This continues on and on until the young boy is so traumatized and withdrawn (he is at the head part now which is the strongest manifestation of yin) that something magical happens. He snaps. He has become so withdrawn and quiet that the natural cycle pushes him to become yang. His blood starts to boil (he is now at the thin, white tail of yang). His anger starts to grow with every taunt and new trauma that is inflicted (the amount of white increases), he loses his shit and beats the shit out of the bully with all of his pent-up rage (yang has fully manifested). And then once that yang energy exhausts itself, the natural cycle continues and he becomes his yin-self again.

Here's an interesting story to help you further conceptualize the yin and yang dynamic. During my intensive, month-long NLP training more than 2 decades ago, I recall a story about Richard Bandler addressing a physical impairment that none of the other doctors could fix. The patient had a type of paralysis (I believe monoplegia) where his arm was locked at a 90 degree angle and all attempts (for years) to pull the arm/straighten it didn't work because the arm involuntarily resisted (a yang manifestation). The exact details escape me, but essentially, rather than pull the arm out to straighten it, Bandler chose to push/bend the man's arm and go in the direction that the arm had been going when it resisted. Once the man's arm had been completely bent, it released and Bandler was able to gently straighten it out, much to the surprise of everyone present. What Bandler unknowingly did was continue the cycle where yang turns into yin. This is no different than someone trained in Aikido using the existing energy that an opponent is using to attack - the energy isn't blocked, but redirected back to the opponent.

Keep this in mind as you go through your day. Look for moments when yang becomes yin and yin becomes yang and then ponder how to escape or lessen that cycle. Here's a hint: When a pendulum is forced to one extreme end of the spectrum, it has to balance itself out by swinging to the other side, which then needs to balance itself out by swinging back to the original starting point, which then needs to balance itself out on the opposite side, etc. Each time, the energy diminishes a little until finally, the pendulum can reach the center. The balance point.

So how can you reach the balance point faster? Here's another hint: The more intensely you swing to one side, then the more intensely you'll have to swing to the other side. So it's ok to have a reaction or response, but you can control the intensity of it so there isn't such a huge "distance" between the swings. In time, you will be able to greatly minimize the distance the pendulum swings, minimize the number of swings it takes to get back to balance or ideally minimize the distance it swings AND minimize the number of swings, thereby conserving your energy by not feeding this cycle.

The term for this is equanimity which is essentially being able to maintain your equilibrium. You can't control what happens to you down here, but you can control how your respond to it. And yes, it's much easier said than done.


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