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Tag: energy medicine

How to deal with anger


Buddhism also teaches helpful meditation techniques so we are not swept away by the force of conflicting emotions like anger. These techniques allow us to take advantage of the brief gap in the mind between impulse and action. Through the practice of mindfulness, we become aware of impulses arising and allow a space in which we can consider whether and how we want to act. We, not our emotions, are in control. –Melvin McLeod

For me, anger and a sense of injustice are a motivating force. –Chelsea Clinton, the Clinton Foundation

I believe that anger can be sacred. Anger is meant to lead us to protect ourselves by saying a clear and decisive No to those who would otherwise use or abuse us. Anger is meant to help us create clear and helpful boundaries. Anger is meant to lead us to defend the weak and helpless, and to seek justice and truth-telling. These are all very good things.

I want to mention the upside of anger right up front, because anger is often perceived and talked about negatively–no doubt due to its profane side, which is itself abusive. Learning the difference between sacred and profane anger can be quite difficult for anyone who, like me, has had extensive exposure to inappropriate anger.

I’ve written before about the moment I decided I was tired of being as angry as I was, and that something needed to change. With the work I’ve been doing on grounding over the past month or so, all these many years later I feel like I have finally gathered a complete set of tools to transform my relationship with anger, and so I wanted to write about the topic again.

This past week I read the Readers Write section of the July issue of The Sun magazine. The theme is Never Again. Many of the entries are heartbreaking–particularly one written by a mother who is the child of an angry parent, has now become one herself, and doesn’t know how to change. This, for me, has been the path to that change I decided absolutely had to happen. For me it has been the work of many years, but I don’t see any reason why the process couldn’t move along a bit faster! If you experience anger as a force that seems like it’s controlling you rather than the other way around, I recommend the following …

  1. Cultivate a sense of humor. I wouldn’t say I’ve had every advantage in life, but I have had some important ones. I consider having a strong sense of humor to be at least one of my top five, if not higher. There are definitely things worth getting angry about, but there are a lot more that are well worth laughing about. There’s nothing like a sense of the ridiculous to help you keep your perspective, and appreciate life here on Earth.
  2. Let go of the past. If you’re getting disproportionately angry about little things all the time, in my experience it’s because you’re actually angry about something quite large that you haven’t dealt with. First you have to deal with the elephant in the room. For me, this step was about releasing bitterness about the big things that were bothering me. Once I did this, it became unusual for me to blow up over nothing.
  3. Years later, I started to meditate. If you don’t already meditate, I hope you’ll begin today. People have given me lots of “reasons” why they don’t meditate–but they sounded an awful lot like excuses. If you’ve been making excuses–I can’t meditate because my apartment complex is too noisy; my dog won’t let me meditate; I have no talent for meditation (all actual “reasons” I’ve heard)–I hope you’ll recognize them for what they are, take a page out of the Nike handbook, and Just do it. What’s so important about meditation, you may be asking? Why do people talk about what is, after all, doing nothing like it’s the second coming? I’ve always known I became calmer as a result of meditating, but I’m not sure I could have explained why as well the quote above from the Shambhala Sun, which really illuminated for me the value of meditation as it relates to anger. The much-talked-about “gap” really does make a huge difference in everyday life.
  4. Recognize the ego for what it is. When you recognize your own ego–as well as others’, they’re all pretty much alike, after all–and you no longer have to be right all the time, you suddenly have a lot less to be angry about. You really get it that there’s so much that happens that you no longer “need” to respond to.
  5. The last step (so far!) has been the work I’ve recently been doing on grounding. My (Donna Eden) energy medicine practitioner realized that a) relatively slight stress, like recalling an unpleasant meeting, could cause me to become ungrounded, and b) even when I was grounded, it wasn’t a stable state. When I asked what could cause these issues, she mentioned trauma, and reminded me, “You didn’t have the best childhood, you know.” Well yes–there was that. Using the same meridians as Traditional Chinese Medicine, she determined where my trigger points were, and devised an exercise for me to do three times a day. (It took a bit more than 10 minutes at first, and now it takes a bit less.) As I understand it, this exercise allowed me to ground myself, break up unhelpful patterns, challenge my grounding, and then immediately re-ground myself. She suggested doing it for two weeks, and ideally 21 days. I scheduled an appointment after about a month, doing the exercise faithfully during the past month. My colleagues were so good as to challenge my grounding quite thoroughly just before my appointment. Whereas before I’d likely have responded appropriately, but felt (and probably also looked and sounded) rattled, after doing this work I was able to be calm both inside and out. My breathing changed, I was definitely irritated, but I stayed grounded throughout. I was able to express my viewpoint calmly and logically, and when I came in the next day, I found the person who’d been trying to weasel out of work in the meeting was actually doing some of it. I considered it a victory all the way around.

This post is illustrated with the SoulCollage card I started making in January and finished today called, So you think I have an anger problem. In January, my mood shifted before I could figure out how to make the card successful, and I ended up making a card for Courage instead.

If you’re interested in seeing a Donna Eden energy medicine practitioner yourself, here’s a directory.


The doctor is within

Inner Healer

This is the SoulCollage card I made today to represent my Inner Healer–and yours.

Whether it’s firing a surgeon who won’t listen and doesn’t value your opinion, doing your physical therapy or energy medicine homework, releasing your own toxic bitterness, or noticing whether a treatment is actually beneficial to you or not, I believe you yourself are the most important agent of your own healing.

I once had a surgeon who wanted me to take a drug used to treat both genders by cutting off hormone production. In my case, it would have put my body into an immediate temporary menopause–something that doesn’t occur in nature, where menopause is a gradual process. Some women have such severe symptoms that this treatment comes as a real relief. Post-surgery, I had no symptoms, and my symptoms had never been debilitating, so I strongly suspected the cure would be worse than the disease. And that wasn’t counting the real possibility of permanent cognitive side effects.

Additionally, nothing I read agreed with what my doctor said the drug would do for me. To the contrary, everything I read indicated that what he was saying was impossible–that it was, in fact, magical thinking.

When I went back for my followup appointment, I told him I had researched the drug as he requested, and that my thoughts were that I didn’t want to take it, or any risk at all to my cognitive ability, on which my livelihood depends. He pointed out a medical model in the exam room that had been supplied by “those nice Lupron people,” and seemed to imply that my lack of compliance with his advice was ungrateful. He also said he’d only ever had one patient who’d had a problem with the drug–and strongly implied that she was the sort of difficult person who would naturally have those kinds of problems. Well, perhaps I would be too–but I had no intention of finding out.

He was an excellent surgeon, but it became clear that he wouldn’t be able to accept my decision with grace, so within a matter of months, I had a new doctor. I’d asked my internist for a referral to a doctor who would consider me an equal partner in my healthcare. I thought it was telling that he referred me to a woman. Nearly 15 years later, I still see her at least annually.

Right now, I’m working at least three times a day to permanently shift an apparently deeply-rooted energy pattern to a more stable pattern that will better support me. Doing this has given me a strong sense of being my own healer.

Is there something in your body, or in your life, that requires healing today? Is there something you’ve been accepting that you don’t actually have to accept? How can you act as your own healer today?

This post is illustrated with the SoulCollage card I made today, Inner Healer.

How to optimize your energy

white infinity

Perhaps, like me, you’ve been finding your energy somewhat depleted by the holiday season and all it entails. Here’s a little trick that for me was life-changing … I’ve been using it myself this week.

I learned this technique from Sarah Owen, who practices Donna Eden’s energy medicine. The theory behind this is that a person’s energy pattern, instead of flowing correctly in an infinity (figure eight) pattern, can become homolateral.

What I know for sure is that when I started using this technique several times a day, I was able to significantly lift my overall energy level and accomplish more. I’ve also found that correcting the flow of my energy using this technique can also immediately improve my mood (major bonus!). I typically use the technique when I’m feeling tired. It allows me to determine whether I’m legitimately tired because I’ve been working my butt off, as we women do, or if my energy is simply out of whack.

So here it is: Using one or more fingers of my dominant hand, I trace a figure eight around my eyes, working clockwise to begin. I start between my eyes, go around my right eye, then my left. The key point is that when your energy is flowing correctly, you’ll take a deep breath or sigh–that’s the ‘hook up.’ Sometimes I’ll find myself taking the deep breath when I’ve only formed the intention to check my energy and haven’t physically done anything yet. That means it’s all good.

If my energy is seriously out of whack (which it hasn’t been in awhile now), it could take several minutes of tracing the figure eight before I get the ‘hook up.’ If you’re trying this and don’t get the hook up right away, don’t be discouraged. This simply means you really need it!

I found that it took doing this several times a day at first to retrain my  energy. What I learned to do is to use feeling tired as a cue to take a break and check in with my energy.

Getting and keeping my energy aligned properly has really made a difference in my life. I feel better, and I can get more done. I’m pretty sure I must also be healthier as a result.

I hope you find this technique as useful as I have (and many thanks to Sarah).

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