yin and yang: receptive and creative

One of the meanings of yin and yang is the receptive (yin) and the creative (yang). This is elaborated in great detail in the I Ching.

Here is a simple exercise to experience the receptive and the creative.

With a paper and pencil begin doodling. Don’t try to draw anything, just be interested in how the pencil behaves. The colour of the marks it makes, whether it is soft or scratchy. How the colour of the marks can vary, what happens when the pencil goes over marks that are already there. Just spend time playing with this pencil on this piece of paper.

Now begin to draw a line that you like. (You can be more ambitious and draw a figure if you are experienced but a line is enough). Keep going while ever you like the line. When you stop liking the line stop drawing. This may have flowed easily for you, but don’t be surprised if you find it difficult.

Try doing this a few times alternating receptivity (yin) to the materials of paper and pencil and the making of something with them – a line that you like. This is the yin and yang parts of the creative process. There are other aspects to – receiving inspiration (yin) and making it on the paper (yang) is another part of the process.
Once you are familiar with this process you can examine other aspects of your life from this perspective.

  • Where do you feel comfortable being receptive?
  • Where are you comfortable being active?
  • Are there some people you like just being with?
  • Others you prefer to do things with?

Would you say there are parts of your life where you need more yin or more yang?

If you do find an area where you feel you need more of one of these qualities, then see if there is a complementary area where you need more of the other quality.

Seeing the dynamic of yin and yang in our lives can turn our lives into one long creative act – our life can become a work of art.

2 Responses to “yin and yang: receptive and creative”

  1. He had decided to live forever or die in the attempt — Joseph Heller

  2. Tanja Boocks says:

    That was really interesting, thanks. I’ll try to add you to my rss reader if I can work it out. By the way, I found a new theme for my own blog recently from this free wordpress themes site, maybe you can find one there too for a new look!

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