I've noticed there seems to be a collective rage building, bubbling and in many cases bursting. In one of my recent classes a student came in looking visibly frustrated. I asked her what she wanted to cultivate, what intention did she have in coming to yoga?
She replied that she simply needed a distraction.
As a yoga teacher and coach I deeply feel it is part of my dharma to help others witness and experience their feelings. To not take the path of fear, where we suppress, avoid, or attack. When we "avoid" the issue, the feeling stays, as soon as we are finished with our distractions it is still there lingering, perhaps bigger and in many cases it now has us in fears grip. What we resist persists.
ANGER, OR ANY OTHER FEELING FOR THAT MATTER, CARRIES WITH IT A VIBRATION. I AVOID LABELING CERTAIN FEELINGS GOOD OR BAD, INSTEAD TO ME IT IS ALL ABOUT ENERGY. THE FEELING OF ANGER HAS A LOT OF ENERGY, A LOT OF POWER. THE RESULT OF ANGER LEAVES A MASSIVE IMPACT AND DEPENDING HOW WE CHANNEL THAT ENERGY IT CAN EITHER HARM OR UPLIFT.
Think of the last time you got angry... or maybe you have some anger in you right now. How did you react? How did you feel as a result? Be honest with yourself.
See this anger through the lens of love. Fear can be blinding, it does not want to be seen. It may tell you that you were in the right, that the other person deserved it, etc. But ask yourself, was it an act that stemmed from love or fear? How do you feel about it now, that is a big clue in to it's origin.
As humans who have fear ingrained in these physical bodies, when we get angry our subconscious fear takes hold and we react. We lash out, we blame others, we pass judgment, we compare, we fight and the list goes on. Some of us press it down, only for it to explode at a later date. We all have our reactions, it is the nature of the ego. These fear based reactions are the cause of self inflicted harm. When we are hurt we tend to hurt others. We leak our energy into any seemingly receptive outlet regardless of the damage. Hurt people, hurt people. It's a vicious cycle.
MY STORY WITH ANGER
When I was younger I would get so angry I would go into what can be described as a black out rage. I couldn't think straight, I would become aggressive, screaming, yelling, breaking anything in sight and lashing out on anyone who was in the vicinity. It felt unavoidable, it felt good to project all the hurt I was feeling onto the outside world.
Then the emotional hangover would set in and I would start to drown myself in remorse, guilt, shame, ect. These feelings ended up being my excuse to self sabotage. When I was 16 I had my Mom bring me to the emergency room, I was terrified, I had become a life threatening danger to myself.
The days following my time in the ER I felt absolutely nothing. I was numb. It was if my soul had retreated from my body and I lay lifeless watching the world pass by. Nothing had a hold on me. not fear, not faith I was completely disconnected.
I remember very little from this time, but I do remember the relief of not having to feel. I also remember the nothingness, when I felt nothing there was nothing to do. No motivation, no drive, no passion, no joy. As I began to heal and come back to life I started to miss the sensation of feelings.
I was terrified of going back into depression and at the same time I had an inner knowing that I had hit rock bottom, the only place to go was up, it was the only choice I had, it was that or death. I had looked death in the face, considered it and picked up the phone, I had committed to life, with all of the feelings it brings.
It took me years of healing, facing suppressed memories and feelings one after the other but little by little I opened myself back up.
If we wish to feel the ecstasy, bliss and joy of life we must also allow ourselves to feel the heart wrenching pain of loneliness, the despair of loss and the fist clenching sensation of Anger.
As a coach I encourage and ask my clients to welcome all feelings. The ones we want and the ones we don't. Allowing ourselves to feel all without fear. To just witness the sensation. What are you feeling right now? Can you allow yourself to just feel it? Without judgement of it being "good" or "bad". Just notice. Where do you feel it in your body? Does it have a color? What else can you witness about this feeling.
UTILIZING THE ENERGY OF ANGER
Anger is a build up of energy. Energy can never be destroyed only transmuted into something else. We get triggered, something happens that disrupts us, causes our mind to race into thoughts of fear. One thought leads to the next and soon the emotion of anger sets in.
The desire to react comes next, the ego says "yes, you must protect yourself," after all fear's one job is to keep you safe. It is here where you have the greatest chance of overcoming fear.
Pause, take a deep breath, ask yourself where is this energy better placed? Do I want the instant satisfaction of unleashing no matter the damage it does, or do I want to take advantage of this, use it for the highest good.
Transmuting the energy of anger can look like passion, creativity, even sensuality. We take all that build up and pour it into a poem, a novel, a business idea, etc. Many times its not until we get angry that we finally take the massive action needed to make that dream come true or realize what it was in the first place. This anger energy becomes the fire to burn up any obstacles, fears, and resistance. When we harness the fire it destroys the illusions keeping us stuck and playing small. Any time we notice something we don't want on the other side we can become aware of what's wanted. We get clearer on our desires.
Anger can be the energy needed bring momentum to your life. Think of the ones you admire, some of the greatest leaders of our day, in most cases something finally got them angry enough that they decided to do something about it. When we utilize the energy of anger, this high intensity emotion and channel it through love we become a force of good in the world.
There is another way. Anger does not have to result in internal and external damage. When we get honest with ourselves, when we let ourselves feel the anger and transmute the energy we can make massive change. As you continue to choose love over fear, fear looses its power and you can have true freedom.
Invoke the Goddess Kali Ma
The Goddess of the darkness, our shadow side, ask her to be with you to guide you as you stoke the flames of yogic fire. May she aid in the destruction of all that is of illusion.
Bring your awareness to the Manipura, the chakra right above the navel. The place of personal power.
See the blazing yellow light. Feel the anger and rage. Breath into it, fan the fire. Channel the flames up into your heart chakra the anahata. Watch the flames filter through the heart taking on the color green. Feel the transmutation of anger into love, just as powerful yet now these flames only destroy that which is not of love. Feel the fire burning up through the body. The flames destroying all that is of fear, of illusion.
Breath for a few minutes and continue to visualize the flames. Any time a thought of fear or resistance comes to mind, burn it up, take back your power. Commit to your freedom.
When you feel complete bring your palms together and bask in the freedom you created. Send gratitude to Kali and to your higher self.
If you wish to learn more about fear based emotions and how to successfully transmute them for your highest good, check out my Custom Alignment page to work with me one-on-one!