The yin-yang symbol in martial arts represents balance.
Positive and negative, darkness and light, male and female, and so on. Some yin-yangs have just a dot of white in the black and vice versa, symbolizing good in all evil and darkness in all light. So where do we need balance in our lives?
Obviously, there’s the physical aspect of balance – very early we draw our tiny selves up on our feet and carefully balance our weight as one foot tentatively moves in front of the other. Physical balance evolves next, such as learning to ride a bicycle, do gymnastics or perform challenging moves like elevated sidekicks or pole vaulting. But balance goes much deeper than this.
There is balance we strive for in our diet: fruits, vegetables, proteins, milk and carbohydrates in healthy proportions. Our personalities must also be balanced, not wildly energetic all the time (manic) or lethargic constantly. A balance must be struck between activity and rest to be healthy. Not everyone needs the same amount of activity and rest. But all must find their way to what personally works best, which is easier said than done.
America is at its heaviest in history, with more than 30 percent of the population not just overweight but obese. Children represent a significant proportion of this epidemic.
Why? Because we are out of balance. We spend too much time watching TV, playing video games and not enough time playing softball or swimming. We spend too many nights eating fast food en route to myriad places we all “must” go and not enough time sitting down as a family to enjoy a healthy, balanced meal together.
There’s also been increased emphasis on academics in our schools and less focus on good, old fashioned physical education. Exercise is often seen as drudgery or something to be endured.
I can relate. Lifting weights to me is a mind-numbing bore, and jogging is worse.
The key to finding balance in our lives is to practice really doing what we are doing. Huh? We must take a deep breath and concentrate on doing one thing at a time.