Extremely hard work can be extremely unproductive. In fact, popular words used to describe success, like “massive," “supercharged” and “extreme,” can actually be what are blocking your own process and prosperity!
It's not uncommon to see people pushing really hard to get what they want in ways that even to them seem unnatural. Many of us are taught that to get things we need or want, we must compete, perform and run faster and harder than anyone else. What's most frustrating is that when you force things, they tend to force you back! For all the intense energy expended, there isn't always a reward.
If you work like mad and feel you're accomplishing very little, it's demoralizing for sure. If you're always hyper-energized, yet all that energy doesn’t seem to bring you what you need, no matter what methods you try, it becomes maddening and confusing. If you find yourself becoming sour toward your passions because they’ve been “tainted” with lots of pushing and brute force to try to make things happen in your life, your relationships or your business, you're not alone.
A Yin/Yang balance is one of the main factors in determining whether or not you're bringing what you desire into your life.
Yang energy: The loud, active, hot and even forceful; this is prized in our world. Yang energy is the energy of “giving.”
Yin energy: The quiet, cool, still and gentle; this is often forgotten about. Yin energy is the energy that “receives.”
Ideally, we should have both in our lives in good measure.
Do you have a Yin/Yang balance?
Here are a few Yes/No questions (maybe is not an answer, so just be intuitive!) that can help you find out.
1. Do you speak in a loud voice?
2. Do you prefer to lead a conversation?
3. Do you raise your voice often?
4. Are you quick tempered?
5. Do you prefer cooked food to raw food?
6. Are you a light sleeper?
7. Do you work a ton (ie: are you a workaholic or work in a demanding field)?
8. Do you take care of other people before yourself?
9. Are you fixated on your goals to the exclusion of much else?
10. Do you get muscle tension, indigestion or headaches often?
11. Are you always hot?
12. Do you push yourself to do things, even when you are exhausted?
13. Is there never enough in your life (money, love, success, health)?
14. Are you competitive?
If you answered NO to more than half of these questions, you probably too much Yang energy is likely not your problem. In fact, you may benefit from a bit more heat. While today is heavily focused on those of you who have too much Yang action going on in your lives, here’s a quick tip for those of you who are heavy on the NO answers here: you can add some more fire to your home and life (colors like red, orange, pink… more bright, the loud and dynamic music, patterns and even abstract art) to catalyze some action!
If you answered YES to more than half of these questions, you are probably super-motivated and passionate… but if you're not seeing the rewards of your labor, you may be running heavy on the Yang energy in your life.
If you're heavy on the Yang, becoming more receptive can revolutionize your life. If you're willing to chill out a bit, you may find that all the pushing isn't necessary, and the extra hours of plugging away aren't productive. You may find you can rest more and actually have more of what you need and want. You may find you can slow down and actually speed your progress in personal endeavors. Being receptive is a great big revolution, especially for hyper-achievement-oriented people!
Here are some simple feng shui tips to cultivate more Yin in your life:
1. Spend time by the water if there is some nearby.
If not, take more baths or quick showers to keep the water flowing around you.
2. Get a fountain.
A tabletop fountain creates big Yin energy, and the bigger the fountain, the more energy you stir up. (tip: Leave giant fountains for outside. It’s too much motion for enclosed space. Bigger is not always better!)
3. Turn off lots of your lights.
Rather than flipping every switch in your home, turn on just the lights you need, especially when your life is heating up. Dimmers are a very good thing to install!
4. Meditate and visualize.
Close your eyes and envision nature. Picture yourself in beautiful places feeling incredibly luscious. Take a meditation class, and dive into breathing and becoming more still.
5. Eat a bit more raw.
Raw food is cool in temperature. Mix more raw food, especially leafy greens and raw veggies, into your day.
6. Set an hour to unplug.
For me, it is 10pm. No phone, Internet, nothing electronic after 10pm. I'm in bed by midnight. Give yourself at least two unplugged hours before bed if you can. All these brilliant gifts of technology make us smarter and more connected — but also keep our minds running.
Enjoy getting more of what you need and want, and feel good doing it!