This is part of a series on experiencing positive results from your anger. If you haven’t already, I recommend you start with Part 1, here.
It’s helpful if you can try the following exercises before an opportunity of spontaneous anger occurs, so that you first have a deeper experience of both your anger and of yourself before in the throes of fiery emotion.
1 : : Meeting your Anger
.* Take a 5-10 breaths to ground into your body by inhaling deeply into the lower belly through the nose, and exhaling through the mouth with a sigh or a sound, while softening the belly, chest, throat, and jaw on the exhale. Sit or stand with your feet on the ground if possible, and relax into a straight spine with the shoulder blades gently pulling down the back and the chin slightly tucked into the throat, lifting the crown of the head toward the ceiling.With your body and breath in natural alignment, you are now ready to ask. You can either say the words out loud or quietly inside, but most important is to relax and receive a response without trying to make one happen. Be ok with an empty space of silence after asking a question, and the answer will often float into that listening space. You will not be able to go find or grab an answer with your mind. If you notice this happening, just come back to your deep breaths after asking a question, and set the intention to listen to your breath and let go of needing the “right” answer. *
Now ask your body, What does anger feel like?
Then, give space + allow space for a response.
Repeat the question again. And then again, until an experience of your anger becomes very present for you.
What sensations are involved? Is there any heat, or a rushing sensation? Or maybe there’s some tension. What is there for you?
Next, notice where these sensations occur? Are they happening in your belly, hands, or chest, for example? Are there any words, images, colors, or other qualities that go with this experience?
With these sensations present, take note of any natural tendency or reaction to this anger. Is it to push it down to get rid of it? Or, maybe it’s to burst outward to be free of it. Or, do you feel both directions of reacting possible?
*Next, go ahead and imagine that you and your personal space around you are encapsulated by golden orb of light. This protective boundary of gold light extends a couple feet around you in all directions. Inside of this safe boundary, accessible by and existing for only you, go ahead and allow all of these sensations to pour and circulate around. Knowing it is safe to allow these feelings to move, feel them pouring into your personal space, moving freely while remaining aware and responsible for them. When we allow our anger to move in this way, we can get a little space from it, feeling more stable and able to see its message more clearly.
Now that you have a little distance from the often overwhelming sensations, and are hopefully feeling more centered, is there something your anger is trying to tell you?
You can practice this both when you are already feeling aroused with anger, and before the dragon awakens in order to get more comfortable and confident feeling your anger.
2 : : Anchoring in Healthy Shame
– – Now, go ahead and return to another round of deep breathing- clearing your mind and preparing to ask your body a new question.
Now ask your body, What does healthy shame feel like?
Then, give space + allow space for a response.
Ask the question as many times as you need to have a clear experience of healthy shame in your body.
Again, what sensations are involved here? Where do these sensations occur? Are there any words or images that go with this experience?
Get to know your healthy, functioning shame right here, right now. You might even be meeting it for the first time. It has a magnificent purpose of keeping you from unnecessarily hurting or stepping on others, which works wonderfully when kept in check. Only when shame grows toxic and out of control does it keep us repressed, unexpressed, and feeling unworthy of love.
*With this clear embodied experience of healthy shame, anchor right into the sensations, here. Relax deeper into it, follow it just a little deeper in.
For example, if the sensation is a pouring down of energy through the legs, follow it all the way down into the earth. If the sensation is a softening and a quieting, turning inside feeling in the chest, follow it in to an even quieter place. Anchor into this feeling now. Having a relationship with healthy shame is..well, healthy.
Each time you try these exercises, you may get a new answer. Or, you may not. Either way is perfect. Simply, keep breathing and keep asking. Trust the strand of each of your body’s responses. May you open to full appreciation of your beautiful anger.
.* Part 3, coming next week, will include some movement, release, and expression exercises for you to get more comfortable moving more playfully with anger.
Until then, xo!