Little Pink Spoon #15 from The Wheel of Creativity
This post is part of a series of excerpts from my forthcoming book, which is coming this month to Amazon. You can read all the excerpts in the Little Pink Spoons category. You can get advance notice of my book by subscribing to my Creative Adventure Journal over there to your right.
A World of Opposites
Yin and Yang
Buddhists, and particularly Taoists, celebrate the world of opposites with the ancient symbol of Yin and Yang. They see life as an eternal and harmonious cycle, unifying two complementary opposites without merging them. Yang is the light, active, positive principle, associated with the Masculine, while Yin is the dark, passive, negative principle, associated with the Feminine. The two are in continual dynamic relationship, maintaining balance through constant change.
Feminine and Masculine
Over the years, I have come to recognize that the Feminine Yin force, referred to as negative, is as important in the creative process as the positive Masculine force of Yang. Without the destruction or dissolution of the old form, no new form can come in. Recycling the past can be imaginative and exciting if we are mindfully engaged with the process, or it can be counterproductive and draining if we are unconscious of our participation in it.
The Human Brain
The human brain itself is divided into two connected but separate cerebral hemispheres (right and left), each controlling complementary but separate functions. In his research in 1861, French physician Paul Broca was one of the first to identify brain functions as being two-sided. Most recently, neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor has beautifully illuminated the individual powers of each hemisphere from the inside out, through her vibrant description of her own stroke in her best-selling book, My Stroke of Insight.
The left brain processes information in a linear, sequential, logical and analytical way. The right brain processes information in a holistic, simultaneous, intuitive way. The left brain is verbal, while the right brain works in images. The left-brain is oriented to the past and future, while the right brain focuses on the present moment. In mathematics, the left brain counts and measures, while the right brain perceives form and movement. In language, the left brain works in words and patterns, while the right brain works poetically in tone and context. Either, without the other, is an incomplete experience of life. But when the two are working together as they are designed to do, the whole brain emerges with the integrated experience of life we have come to recognize as normal.
Which of the two creative energies comes more naturally for you? Masculine or feminine? Active or receptive?
• If you’re always out there making things happen, carve out five minutes to listen for the inner voice you tend to ignore.
• If you’re always waiting for perfect inspiration to strike, take one effective action (on anything) before the sun goes down.
Living a successful and fulfilling creative life is a matter of harmonizing these two energies. We all are stronger in one and need to develop the other. The Wheel of Creativity shows you how to balance and integrate these two creative principles of life.
Whatever you do or don’t do, just stay connected with yourself. And live creative!