Embracing anger as my super power
How does anger help me?
I appreciate the ability of anger to show me where a boundary needs to be set with shiny sharp edges. I’ve learned to watch and feel the transformation of red-hot anger that knows no bounds to the most incredible crystal clarity – resulting in the ability to see with great precision what needs to be done in a particular situation.
I love the movement of anger once I accept it, the energy it provides as a force for change or getting something done. Anger I’ve found, like everything else that feels very uncomfortable, is only a problem when it is not accepted.
When I don’t allow anger it comes out in resistance, draining my energy through passive-aggressive responses, irritability, cold and heavy silence, saying no to life and lightness.
Anger keeps me very honest because I can’t pretend with it – the force is too strong.
How meditation can work with anger
Through meditation and retreat practice I’ve learned some different ways to work with this force:
- A damn good whipping of a beanbag
- Screaming POW! at full volume while bashing a pillow
- Primal screaming in the bush – best done when surrounded by acres of vegetation
- Creative convulsion – allowing my body to express anger in any way it feels like – best done in retreat conditions
- Visualisation – allowing rage to go where it will in meditation. I’ve let in images of strangling snakes with my bare hands, stabbing things repeatedly, tearing limbs from intensely annoying people, kicking and screaming and howling. The end result is always the same … deep calm, absolute clarity and hilarious laughter. Through this process I’ve learned that the result of any emotion tracked through to the end, no matter how engulfing, is simply calm. At Lifeflow we call it finding the beach.
For me agitation and irritation are the first indicators that I’ve been knocked off balance so it’s an important warning of something amiss. This is always an invitation – to feel, to acknowledge, to explore, to look deeper.
Meditation can be a game changer
Through years of practice with anger, I’ve learned to respect the lessons it brings, to use its driving energy to good effect. It’s allowed me to confront bad behaviour, face tough situations, make big changes in my life, and clean a house in record time!
In retreat I’ve observed how quickly emotions pass through when you don’t cling to them or indulge them. Accepting that every feeling, thought, sensation and emotion that I experience is completely OK is a game-changer, but something I have to practise every day. I still regularly catch myself thinking ‘I shouldn’t be feeling this’ or ‘I should have a handle on that by now’. How much easier it would be to instantly accept everything that is happening and just let it roll!
Until that day comes, I’m going to keep embracing anger as my super power.