Contrary to what we’ve been taught, anger is a powerful, valid and needed emotion – the key is in how to use it correctly for the results you want. Anger and rage are protective allies that show us where our boundaries are and they stand for what’s right… but if they aren’t worked with in a healthy way, they can wreak havoc in our lives.
When we are children, we cry when we are sad and throw a tantrum when we are mad, but soon enough we learn that anger is not the most well-received emotion.
Even though anger is healthy, it is a trigger for people that can cause negative consequences.
Most of us have suppressed anger due to it’s cultural taboos that lead us to believe that if we express our anger we will be seen as crazy, a bitch, unreasonable, or worse. Instead of releasing it in healthy ways, many times we bury it as to not ruffle any feathers. Or we go the opposite direction and end up projecting it onto others in an unhealthy way (blaming, shaming, yelling, manipulating, disconnecting, sabotaging, etc.).
Some fears around anger are valid, as we can scare others with our anger, and we can even lose jobs, or people if we speak too harshly.
Sometimes we are afraid that the anger is so big… that if we allow ourselves to feel it maybe something horrible will happen. It feels like we might explode! Or implode. Or be carried off to the looney bin. Or lose people we love, if we really let it loose.
The problem is… buried anger doesn’tt serve us, our bodies, or in making a change around what we feel angry about. It creates disharmony and dis-ease in the body, and always ends up coming out in sideways anyway. (fights with your partner, random triggers, bad moods, self loathing, etc.)
We all have suppressed -collective- anger about what’s happening in the world, weather we choose to look at it or not. We know that war, starvation, illness, sexual abuse, and destroying the planet are unnecessary and not right. Today, our opposition is not in front of us. We are not battling eye to eye with swords or bow and arrows. Today’s culprits are in suits in high and well guarded places backed by CIA, FBI, and military. They are destroying the earth, poisoning our food, starting wars, lying to the public, and controlling manipulating media, economy, politics, and monitoring all that we do from clean offices.
Our inner warriors and warrioresses who want to fight for what’s right in the world have had to take back seats to ensure our social acceptance, and survival. We have had to keep going, and to choose our education, our jobs, and taking care of our families.
But a part of us still longs for justice in the world, and also resolution for what happened in our past.
There is a lot to be angry about in the world, and most of us had some pretty intense stuff to be angry about in our past. I feel a lot about my life and the world. And I have had to ask myself time and again… What do I do with this anger?
Am I supposed to keep smiling? Cook dinner? Work?
When we reclaim our suppressed anger, and channel it in a healthy way, we reclaim powerful pieces of ourselves that are capable of amazing things, and actually creating the change that our souls yearn to see.
The question I have asked myself is… when will anger be welcome at the table? When will we be able to express it passionately and freely and have it be a well-received catalyst for change? The conclusion I have come to… is when we are able to make peace with it ourselves.
Change happens when we feel. When we admit something isn’t right, and we have the courage to do something about it. It doesn’t happen when we silence ourselves, shut our mouths, hearts and wombs down to the soul-fire that is longing to blaze again.
Here’s how we can start;
6 Healthy Ways to Express
and Direct your Anger:
- Love it!
When we stop resisting our feelings, we can love them back into wholeness. We give space to the part of us that felt hurt, betrayed, violated, or taken advantage of. We all know, that when we feel recieved, our trigger dissipates. Receive, love, and accept your anger. Give it value and validation. You had, and have every right to feel that way. The breakdown leads to the breakthrough, so go for it.
TIP: To get fired up, ask yourself… What are you angry at?! Why are you angry!? How were you or someone else wronged, hurt, betrayed, or violated? What do you want to say or do about it?! You can put on a video or music about the topic you are angry about, to stimulate the suppressed emotion to come up and out.
Find a safe and private place to growl, hiss, spit, or scream. Try the yogic breath of fire. Breathe and sound have the power to move energy very efficiently, and when we can deeply listen to our bodies, they will show us how. Where can you do this? Wherever you feel most safe and private. In the car, into a pillow, in the woods, at the top of a mountain, under water, or in your room. It feels very empowering!
3. The “No!” Exercise
Find a large pillow, and sit on the ground with it in front of you. Rock forward, hit the pillow and say “NO!”. Repeat getting more loud and intense each time, eventually shouting. It may feel weird and fake at first, but soon your body will follow and begin to release your real anger. You can put angry music on, to help get your angry juices flowing. I like Korn, Rage Against the Machine.
Release the stuck energy through moving your body. Run, punch a punching bag, a pillow, or dance vigorously or just spaz out for a few minutes! It’s actually pretty fun. I’ve put on rage against the machine before and danced around my room hitting pillows… it was so fun it was actually hard to stay angry, LOL!
- Ask someone to hold space
Talk to a friend, or a practitioner experienced in dealing with triggers and emotions, who would be understanding and/or have healing or tools to offer. If it’s a friend say that you just need a space to vent without judgement. Or schedule a ceremony with a trusted practitioner or community. Some indigenous tribes used to create group ceremony around releasing emotions such as grief and anger. I co-facilitate group releases such as these in my retreats and workshops… they are life changing for people.
I love to paint my anger, dance my rage, and write poems about social change. I find that when i can release it in this way, it leads to major incites and turns into passion. It could be wisdom as to how to resolve a situation with a friend, a creative passion or a solution to a cause. Speak up, create, and be of service to the cause you are angry about. Use your voice, passion and talents to create change. Write a letter or poetry, paint, start a blog, a business, a movement or a foundation. Almost every successful person creating positive change in the world, does it by positively channeling their pain into passion to create.
“Today, I choose my rage. I choose to wield my fury with a pen. I choose to use my blood as the ink of inspiration for finding better way. I let the rage burn through me, and destroy what no longer serves. It turns to ash, making room for the new. It informs me of what I value and find important, and what my purpose is in creating change. This is where the solutions lie.
Our pain is our Our passion, our passion is our purpose.
They are one.
Let it rip.”
By Naia Leigh
Naia’s mission is to create sacred space for women to reunite, heal, and empower one another to be all that they are, and support a new feminine leadership in the world. She is an international women’s empowerment coach, writer and artist, and guides both the individual and collective process of women’s empowerment. She is the founder of Boundless®, a modality that clears the root causes of blockages, and she leads international retreats and Boundless trainings.
Join me in Hawaii at my upcoming retreat! Where we will get in touch with our bodies, release our primal anger and pains of the past, and embody the beauty of sacred sensual sisterhood. Learn more here!