How to Live in the Yin and Yang of Life

yin_yangYesterday I was blue. Not dark blue…more like a gray, powder blue…like a light drizzle on an overcast winter day (which would actually describe yesterday’s weather). Does that ever happen to you? You just wake up and feel blue…no real cause for it that you can see. I looked to my heart for a sign that would tell me what the cause might be, but there was none. I got that it just was. I just was. Maybe you’ve felt this way too. A feeling shows up like an ache in your heart or a pang in the pit of your stomach. It’s always there somewhere in the body. For me it was a sadness that showed up like a lovely ache in my heart. It felt like an expansion. Like a good stretch to tight muscles taken right up to that edge between pleasure and pain.

Yesterday I was at that edge…stretching, holding, breathing and stretching some more. I wrote in my journal, “how can we all be so connected and yet feel the divide at times so deep within ourselves?”

I invited the powder blue to fill my heart as I moved in and out of my average, regular day. I kept my eyes open for messages from the day that might speak to my heart. And of course they came pouring in. The universe is good to us that way…when we listen.

The first was a reading from Henri Nouwen in which he explores the idea that joy and sorrow travel together, never very far apart. A favorite topic for me…the yin and yang of life. His words described perfectly how I was feeling. I further embraced my blueness.

Henri Nouwen:

Joy and sorrow are never separated. When our hearts rejoice at a spectacular view, we may miss our friends who cannot see it, and when we are overwhelmed with grief, we may discover what true friendship is all about. Joy is hidden in sorrow and sorrow in joy. If we try to avoid sorrow at all costs, we may never taste joy, and if we are suspicious of ecstasy, agony can never reach us either. Joy and sorrow are the parents of our spiritual growth.

Then the song “Yellow” by Coldplay came over the radio. “Look at the stars and how they shine for you…and all the things that you do….”. Cool. Yellow. And I imagined yellow powder sprinkling in into my blue. Swirling round…the blue and the yellow making a beautiful design. And as they mixed, a lovely shade of green began to emerge. Green- the heart chakra…love. And slowly my blue had turned to green.

If you are feeling blue this day, or any day, embrace it. Let it fill your soul and be. Invite the messages of the day to come to you…and they will. And finally, allow the colors to swirl and fold together until another shade is formed. Live in the yin and yang of life. If you are happy, remember, sadness is there too. And if you are joyful, joys friend sorrow is not far away. In all things exists a little bit of its opposite. The yin and yang of life.


Suzanne, aka Zen Mommy
In addition to mommying to two magical girls born in 2000 and 2003, Suzanne owns a holistic health center in St. Louis, Missouri where she practices as a physical therapist, Certified Infant Massage Instructor and health education teacher. Certified in a number of healing and life education approaches, Suzanne offers life coaching as Zen Mommy Coach.



  1. I’ve recently read something like this. You can’t just have just beauty, or you won’t appreciate it if you don’t know ‘ugly’. 🙂 So instead of fighting the ‘bad side’, better to treat the two ends of the spectrum as equals and essential to our paths in life.

    Thanks for the good thoughts today. 🙂

  2. Nice, ZM. Have you heard the story of Solomon and his minister Benaiah? Solomon sends him to find a magic ring, which will make the sad man happy and the happy man sad. Many versions of the story exist, but the crux of all is, Benaiah finds a ring on which are inscribed the words, “Gam zeh ya’avor.” This too shall pass. Yesterday I saw on twitter: @jonathanfields “No such thing as a one-sided coin. If you can’t find it…look harder :-)”

    Ketut Liyer: “Universe is a circle, Liss…To up, to down–all same, at end.”
    Liz: “So, if heaven is love, then hell is…”
    Ketut Liyer: “Love too.”

  3. joy and adam…i love your stories!!! so many ways we all experience one truth. beautiful sotries…each of them. thank you for sharing them here. anyone else know a way this truth is told? how many images of this one concept we can find…

    if heaven is love then hell is love too…amen to that.

  4. have been feeling a particular shade of blue myself since the passing of the holidays and slowed down pace…couldn’t find a particular reason for it, it just arrived. so true that you can’t have one without the other…i often remind myself
    at times of immense joy that it won’t always be that way…makes the joyful times even better….and makes the sorrowful/sad times less sad.
    and agreed if heaven is love, then hell is love too! everything is love…love is everything…at the core.

  5. Adam, you reminded me a few months ago that BOTH wolves come from God. 🙂