There is an ancient game that I learned years ago while studying tai chi called “Push Hands.” It is all about feeling when you are in a yin or yang movement – while your feet are anchored in one place and you are palm to palm. The goal is to knock your opponent off balance to where he has to take a step to keep his balance. In the game, you either attempting to push your opponent off balance or are yielding to his moves to do the same. If you counter an attack by pushing back instead of yielding, chances are, you will get knocked off balance. So, even though it feels totally counter-intuitive, you must yield rather than push back.
I bring this little game up during this time of year as a reminder that sometimes, when getting together with family members and other people that feel like all they want to do is push you off balance, that can be a very powerful answer to their perceived aggression — to yield.
Your new counter attack to their loud, snarky, back-biting, and other unbecoming yang behaviors and expressions is to yield…and allow them to toss emotional grenades in all directions without so much as a twitch back in their direction…
…and as sure as ever, the one who yields best wins. The victory is to create the silence of one hand clapping – no opposition, the fight where there is no fight… now that’s freedom — to be consistently grounded no matter what is thrown your way.