This blog was inspired by a woman called Rebecca I recently worked with. In it, I reflect on how we become unbalanced in ourselves and so in our lives, and I take a look at simple ways we can improve our balance.
You can read the detail of the shamanic work I did with Rebecca by clicking here
The short version of Rebecca’s story is that she was struggling to face a recent fear that had its roots in humiliating experiences in childhood. The understandable fear that these experiences could arise again now was blocking her from taking the necessary actions to improve her situation.
Of course, the struggle she was grappling with is a familiar one. It is a very human experience- the struggle to move forward in the face of fear. Fear can arise because of a prior experience that was difficult; and because of fears that have been passed to us by others, usually family, that have not been processed, so they appear ‘irrational’. Fears also arise when we are out of balance in ourselves and are unable to access those aspects of ourselves that can move us forward- our drives, motivations, and actions.
These latter aspects could be termed positive masculine energies or yin, and they are the forces that enable us to take action in our favour. In many cultures, they are too often associated with actions by men, but really they are essential to everyone. Having ‘get up and go’, ‘taking firm action’, and ‘seeing things through to the finish’, are all different aspects of this positive energy force.
Equally, in order to be balanced, we need positive feminine energies or yang. They are the forces that enable us to be receptive to information and ‘give care’ and this has very broad application. It can mean to tune in to subtle information, to nurture living things and life itself, to give care to the many hidden aspects that underpin complex situations. Insufficient energy or blocked energy here can manifest as lack of awareness of feelings, ignoring bodily distress, and taking precipitous actions. Again, ‘feminine energy’ is over-ascribed to women in many cultures, but these qualities are essential for men too. ‘Masculine’ and ‘feminine’ could equally be called expressive/receptive or external/internal.
Being slap-dash, ruthless, impulsive, over-thinking, inattention to own needs, and dithering are further examples of unhelpful masculine and feminine energies at work. In the reign of Donald Trump, we have seen how over-reaching masculinity in the form of narcissistic action, disregard for the needs of people, and reckless and entitled behaviours, have left the nation broken and badly unbalanced. For a modern world that is full of complexity and nuance, the capacity to care through thinking deeply has to well- matched by appropriate and timely actions.
It is a challenge for us all because life can seem too fast to allow us time to care for our thoughts and ideas, and too quick to demand ready decisions and actions from us. Yet, without time and care taken, we find our decisions can be poor.
How to achieve balance
Achieving balance takes time and conscious effort. It is essential maintenance work for the human system to work effectively!
Take time on a regular basis to tune into your feelings and thoughts about important things in life. Rather than taking in more stimulation via social media, we can take quiet time to walk in nature, meditate, sit in silence, write a journal, or draw. For me, writing blends the masculine and feminine aspects of my nature well- I think carefully about a topic and then action it in the form of a blog or post.
Begin to notice when you are out of balance. How does that mostly manifest for you? Are you, like Rebecca in the example, struggling to action your wishes? Or, are you trying to push too hard to make something happen, rather than stopping and reviewing? Take time to go over your experiences and consider how you might have done things differently.
What lies behind? Always, always there is a fear or an unexpressed aspect of ourselves that is pushing us too far in a masculine or feminine direction. A fear of failure can lead us to press on with actions that are doomed to fail, for example. A fear that we are not worthy or good enough can lie behind our inability to put ourselves into action. Sometimes we can clear these fears all by ourselves, just by noticing them and tracking them to their source. If they are pervasive and affect us much of the time, it is worth thinking about getting help to shift them. Therapy, hypnotherapy, energy clearing can help, but so too can the love and support of good friends and family.
Ultimately, we are best when we are in balance. We flow, feel good and harmonious, and we succeed.