Walking toward the Apple store at Perimeter Mall a couple days ago, my husband pointed to two store signs, juxtaposed with irony. That is the sort of thing he notices-irony and juxtaposition and this day they came together. We laughed, good enough, right? Nah. The signs were for … The Sleep Store and Starbucks. He thought it so funny that the signs were one atop the other. Yep, funny alright. But there is more-these are polarities and those are profound.

The Sleep Store is all about, yeah, sleep and Starbucks is all about awake. We humans are so wired to see things as opposite, having little to do with one another. It’s this or that. The tendency to create dichotomies, real or false, is powerful. It is the “OR” syndrome-is it this or that? Is the cause this or that?

When I was a Resident at the Medical College of Georgia, we frequently received referrals from physicians with the question, “are these symptoms of organic cause or psychological?” We joked amongst ourselves that we desperately wanted to reply “Yes.” Why? Because thing are not this or that as often as we wish. It would be cleaner, simpler, if that were the case. It isn’t.

Sleep and wake – ying and yang. We need both. We need them in varying quantities at different times. Sick? Sleep. Jazzed about a new project? Be awake, work long hours, burn the midnight oil, rock on!

Perfect balance has no energy, no dynamism, no creativity. Dynamic balance has energy derived from tension. The tension is a source of creativity not a problem to be solved.

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