Mar 15

It’s always a good idea to balance out harsh living with something delicate. This can be any number of things that relaxes you and puts you in a different state of mind than that of work and stress. In feudal times the samurai would tend to gardens and were adept at flower arranging. Flower tending would be what they used to balance out the harshness of Bushido – the warrior’s lifestyle. The Samurai took great pride in their gardens; they were perfect, well-tended and treated with love.

While the modern day warrior, whose war is the concrete jungle and the offices of his building, may not have the wont or have the capabilities to tend to a garden, he can and should find others ways to wind down. I would urge that non-artistic personalities find something artistic to do in their spare time.  An accountant can pick up painting, drawing, sculpting, writing poetry, singing karaoke, dancing – any number of artistic expressions that isn’t meant for the purpose of show but for the sanity of one’s mind.

For every Ying, there needs to be a Yang

For every Ying, there needs to be a Yang for the balancing of our lives and to keep things circular in full 360 degree fashion.  Without your life being a continuous circle of harmony you may find that things are a little bit harder than they need to be. The late great Miles Davis who is one of the most legendary jazz musicians ever, was once heavily addicted to heroin. One of the most remarkable things about Miles is that he quit “cold turkey” and if you speak to anyone who knows anything about drugs, then you would understand the weight and amount of mental anguish it takes to quit anything like that without clinical help. But Miles quit heroin cold turkey and found his release through painting of all things. Him being an artistic person already, he found another art form to dabble in that made his life harmonious.

This shows us that we all need something to balance our lifestyles out. While Miles’ music may relax you – for him it was what he did, so it was necessary for him to find something else in which to release his demons. It is not healthy for a man to be hard all the time 24/7/365. Sometimes the necessary delicacy is found through the way he loves his woman, or the way he cares for his children – which are also good substitutes for the necessary Yang to a man’s Ying. But for a man who has neither, you cannot go through life just being completely hard, or it will be your undoing eventually.

Find something delicate, balance your life out, and you will be happy to have done so.  It is one of those things that the ancients did that we can learn a lot from. Not everyone is an artist, but in reality everyone is an artist. Art as I see it, is what you make of it and art can relax, it can be therapeutic, and it can set one’s mind free. If it’s not art, then it is something else that one finds great peace in that is outside of our normal activity. Look to your release and don’t be embarrassed by it.

If a samurai can tend to a garden and be considered one of the most deadliest and macho warriors of history, what is it for you to say that you are better than him if you are not finding something delicate to balance your life with?  Remember, we are only stressed if we let ourselves be, find your balance and embrace it.

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