Winter’s call to Honouring the Yin while balancing Yang

I bang on about Yin, the Divine Mother or the feminine essence all day every day. And how undervalued and unnourished it goes in our western culture. I spend my days writing and researching and working with others to help them feel more at home in their yin, to remember how beautiful, potent, nourishing and essential it is that we embody and embrace this quality of ourselves. 

This quality that naturally nurtures, connects and includes.

To me it’s abundantly apparent that a giant piece of the feminine soul has been lost and is begging for us to please welcome Her home. And to please stop faffing around.

And yes I do work a lot with women and write a lot about things from a woman’s perspective, and I’m also aware the failure to honour, embrace & embody the feminine is actually a devastating experience for everyone – all genders and this earth. One day I hope I can find a way to write this kind of post without using the word masculine or feminine but for now excuse my limitation with the English language, this is the best I’ve got for now!

So just for a moment take a breath and see if you can feel that inside of you (and every other living being) there are BOTH masculine and feminine principles that need to be nourished. Then check in with how comfortable you are with the YIN…the slow, the subtle, the emotional, the winter, the water, the sexy, the sensual, the creative, the intangible, the untouchable, the chaos, the heavy, the raw, the unpredictable AND check in to see if there are any ways you (or you can see in this culture) have prioritised Yang over Yin??

Nothing like a little self enquiry to lighten the current mood of the world 🙂 

Anyway I digress a little, the point of this post wasn’t just to advocate for YIN – the Feminine principles of life, I suspect I’ll have more to say on this later. For now what I want is to acknowledge that I don’t speak directly about cultivating the masculine principles very often or how. important I believe this is too. I talk about loving the masculine. But not cultivating it. My silence on the topic doesn’t mean I don’t think cultivating masculine principles in our inner and outer worlds isn’t important. I just know my voice is most passionate and effective in the realm of embodying the Yin.

But as I sit in front of my fire I thought it might be time to whisper a word or two about the cultivation of healthy masculine qualities like awareness and protection and motivation so we don’t all end up like Yin jelly babies lying on the floor unable to function, participate or contribute to this beautiful (and somewhat heartbreaking) world that we live in.

A key part of being able to embody the Yin in a functional healthy way – is to ensure we can keep our feet firmly grounded here on this earth even in times when it feels like the rug has been pulled from underneath us, or when we’re placed under great stress or responsibility. And for that we need some Yang. To know that even through the most challenging of material world circumstances there is a higher purpose or an inherent goodness in life that is guiding us, holding us and loving us (the great Father you might call it!). 

Practically that means having a deep trust and reverence for our inner masculine, to tend to, provide, protect, motivate and take action when that’s what is needed. Which means especially in the winter months when we might move (yang) a little less and our focus is naturally focussed more internally (yin) – it’s so important we also turn our attention towards cultivating our Yang. In a seasonally aware way! That we keep our fire burning in a healthy way.

Too much Fire (Yang) depletes and dries out the Water (Yin), but too little fire means our system can become flooded, overwhelmed, drowned by the watery world of our emotional and sexual bodies. 

In Celtic traditions they really honour the role of the elements and our cyclical nature. One aspect we’re journeying with through our 6 week Winter Yin Nest is the connection to the Hearth keeper, the one who keeps the fire burning in the Home. From an external perspective we might see the Home as where you find the heart and soul centre of a family, or from an internal perspective your own connection to light, divinity, spirit or soul.

And while we don’t live in an era where every home has a fire at the physical centre of the building the concept of the Hearth Keeper is still essential as it honours those who keep the fire of the heart and soul of a family burning. And from an inner perspective, honours that place inside each of us that is our own keeper of the Hearth. The one who will make sure we do the things that need to be done – or ask for the help that we need to do the doings, but also the one who will keep turning their mind towards God, Grace, the Great Mystery, the Absolute (whatever word resonates for you to remind you of the Higher Purpose you trust in), and the one who will keep our life force moving so it doesn’t get stagnant, die or go stale through the quieter, colder months.

As a woman who has journeyed through periods of deep Yin in her life, and who has a predominantly Yin or Feminine Essence – and at one point also lived an overly Yang Corporate lifestyle, I know that at times I’ve struggled to keep the balance between Yin and Yang in a way that was healthy for me. In times of crisis or the darkest of my own nights the way through for me has always been to dig deep to reconnect to my own inner Mother AND Father…to light my own fire again AND make sure I receive the nurturing I need physically, mentally and emotionally.

Through my own journey with Yin I have come to understand deep in my belly that balance doesn’t mean 50% yin and 50% yang, balance means whatever allows you to be the WHOLE beautiful being that you are. 

So take some time to check in, be honest with yourself about where you are in this moment in relationship to your Yin and Yang. What does balance mean for you? Could your fire do with a little stoking? Or maybe it’s time to let the water flow a little more.

On this beautiful Cancer New Moon night  (a moon notorious for her emotional volatility) if you find yourself drowning in emotions, put a hand on your heart and belly and see if you can find the wise, well resourced place inside of you that can hold the depth of your watery emotional experience, glean the wisdom from the emotion while also feeling the warmth of your own fire (and awareness) to keep you in balance. Then from that place ask your soul for guidance on what serves you best right now.

PS…I don’t in any way mean ‘shut your emotions down’ or shame them or deny them…but I do mean listen in to the wisdom of your body and soul…and if they’re asking you to turn your attention elsewhere – take notice! 

That’s my rant over for the night. My fire is calling me…and then my bath 🙂 Happy New Moon lovers, let me know what your relationship to Yin and Yang is, and how do you keep your own fire lit during the winter months?

With Love

Lani

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