Too much Yin and not enough Yang #22 #cong21


The concept of Yin and Yang (two contrary forces working in unison) needs to become a priority in the way we live, By doing so, we naturally become better leaders, making more conscious decisions.

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Key Takeaways:

  1. Humankind acting as a unified, dynamic whole seems to be a forgotten concept.
  2. I am because we are.
  3. Leaders can’t be leaders without followers.
  4. Feminine energy needs to be given more opportunity to express itself

About Zanya Dahl:

 Formerly an owner of a design agency, I packed it all in 2 years ago to become a full-time artist. I working primarily in oils and specialising in figurative painting.

My focus is around the theme of connection – the absence and discovery of it. I am fascinated by how we connect within, with each other and with our environment.

Contacting Zanya Dahl:

You can connect with Zanya on LinkedIn and Facebook or see her work on Instagram and her website.

By Zanya Dahl

Thanks to ancient Chinese philosophy, we’re familiar with the term Yin and Yang – two contrary forces working in unison – winter/summer, masculine/feminine; expansion/contraction; passive/active; leaders/followers. Despite being opposites, they are bound together – two sides of the same coin. Their interactions are complementary and give rise to a unified, dynamic whole that is greater than its parts.

Humankind acting as a unified, dynamic whole seems to be a forgotten concept.

How much better would life be if we behaved as a team, rather than a mass of self-serving competitors. If that sounds a little idealistic, here’s a lovely story to demonstrate the concept of acting in unison:
“An anthropologist showed a game to the children of an African tribe.
He placed a basket of delicious fruits near a tree trunk and told them:

“The first child to reach the tree will get the basket.”

When he gave them the start signal, he was surprised that they walked together, holding hands until they reached the tree and shared the fruit!

He asked them why they did that when any one of them could have had the basket only for themselves?

They answered with astonishment: “Ubuntu”…that is, how can one of us be happy while the rest are miserable?

“Ubuntu” in their language means: “I am because we are”.

Only now are we realising how symbiotic our relationship is with everything around us. The ripple effect of every self-serving leadership decision – – in politics, healthcare, pharma, retail, law, education, industry, community – reverberate around the globe causing discord and destruction.

We are living in a 24/7 high-performance culture where every effort, every act is towards personal gain – the now is never enough. We are always looking ahead and rarely looking around. We commoditise and automate to accelerate the pace. We must continuously reach higher and go further. To sit still is to stagnate, to fall behind.

And yet the greatest leader of them all, Mother Nature, has been showing us all along how it should be done. She understands the need for yin and yang in all her cycles: there’s a time for germination and growth and a time for hibernation, shedding and renewal. Each opposing force fuels the other.

We’re only living on one side of the coin – forgetting that it’s just a component of the unified whole. We’re blazing our own trail of Yin and leaving Yang to suffer in our wake. We can blame leaders for poor decisions, but we all have our part to play in this co-created rat-race to an illusory utopia.

Leaders can’t be leaders without followers.

There’s so much expansion and so little contraction; so much action and so little reflection. Put doing and being at either end of a see-saw and which way would it tip?

Everything is off kilter – our planet is depleting and we also are depleting. Understanding we’re a small part of a unified, dynamic whole should be at the core of every decision, for both leaders and followers.

“Today more then ever before, life must be characterised by a sense of Universal Responsibility, not only Nation to Nation and human to human, but also human to all forms of Life.”

– The Dalai Lama

One of the yin and yang combinations I’d like to give attention to is that of masculine and feminine energy. Masculine energy embodies qualities of leadership, action, logic, confidence, focus, and efficiency while feminine energy represents qualities of intuition, creativity, compassion and understanding.

The masculine pursues, plans, and follows a direct path forward. The feminine enjoys creating, dreaming, passive acceptance, nurture and letting things unfold.

Every person, regardless of gender is made up of both masculine and feminine energy. But do we have opportunities to comfortably express both at school, in the workplace, in social contexts? I argue that we don’t.

To be a leader requires masculine energy but to be a GOOD leader requires both. It’s a tricky balance to get right – too much masculine energy, there’s no empathy or compassion. Too much feminine energy, there’s no purpose or drive.

When feminine energy is given permission to express itself, it doesn’t seek to overpower, compete, or dominate – it’s is all about interconnectedness, nurturing, surrender, imagination, creativity, intuition and feeling. Living life at such a ferocious pace, there is so little time to pause and reflect and give space to feeling what’s around us. Any available opportunity for feminine energy to express itself is minimal.

As soon as we discover and express the balance within ourselves, as leaders and as followers, we’ll manifest balance and unity in our external world.


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