And Peace, both inner and outer, supports physical and mental health, as well as the potential to optimize abilities, strengths, and energy in general. Today, I will share an exercise that will yield benefits, especially when practiced daily. It takes just a few minutes and will gradually help make life calmer, more harmonious, more meaningful, and more enjoyable.
Yin and Yang are considered to be opposites, yet, if you look at a Tai Chi symbol you see that there is some Yin in the Yang section and some Yang in the Yin.
This means that even though people or viewpoints may seem diametrically opposed, there are always commonalities. It is usually better to think of the “other” as complimentary rather than opposite. For example, Yang could be considered light and Yin dark, and yet one fades or merges into the other. In fact you cannot perceive one (Dark) without a previous experience of the other (Light) and vice versa. Each needs to other to exist. There is a reconciling quality, consciousness or energy that connects and harmonizes the two, and some people have sufficiently integrated Yin and Yang within themselves and do not need to rely on an “opposite” or “other” to function well in life or to feel Whole.
Here is an exercise to help reconcile differences and conflicts around and within us. Think of two things that you may consider incompatible and irreconcilable, say, Republicans and Democrats or Capitalism and Communism, or the United States and China or Christianity and Atheism or Vegetarians and Carnivores, or Pro-vaccine and Anti-vaccine folks, or even you and your destructive family or alienated spouse. Work on just one pair of “opposites” at a time. Now, imagine that you are inside the mind or consciousness or body of that “other”. Relax while connecting in this way. What possible positive, constructive motivation could that “other” have? Why are “they” voting as a block and preventing what you consider an important bill from being passed in Congress? Why are “they” protesting, blocking a highway or breaking into a building? Why are “they” outlawing a medication that you consider essential for the nation’s health or mandating a medication that you believe will harm you and your family? Sit or lie back, and imagine some possible constructive, positive reasons and motivations.
One example: maybe Democrats love the Earth and want to preserve Life and it’s miraculous bounty, variety and beauty, as well as to protect the Wilderness and the Animals and Plants that still live with some integrity on this Planet. Maybe the Republicans want to preserve the Country’s Constitution, which they value highly, since they rightly perceive that it was thoughtfully designed by the some of the most brilliant and courageous People living at that time.
Now, I know almost all individuals, groups, political parties, nations and other organizations are both selfish and unselfish, constructive and destructive, but remember, the point of this exercise is to find and focus on the positive and constructive aspects of each “Other”. You are already aware of the negative qualities – that’s why you would do this exercise. You might find this effective when you are relaxing for a few minutes during the day. Or you might prefer to do it first thing in the morning or before falling asleep. After a while, more and more positive motivations and qualities will come to mind, and these new perspectives can help you relax and be a little more accepting of that “Other”. Eventually, an exercise like this can help contribute to Inner Peace and also to living more peacefully and harmoniously in the World.
This blog’s offer: do this daily for a month and then feel free to connect with me. If you would like, I will give you some other ideas which might be helpful or might direct you toward some reading or other activities. As always, being structurally balanced and biochemically healthy can help contribute to positive and constructive perceptions and feelings about the World. Have a good month.