I have long been fascinated by my relationship with anger and our cultural beliefs surrounding the expression of anger. What follows is a story about my relationship and experience with anger on my journey of personal growth and a recent unexpected experience of releasing some anger. In January 2021, I had an intuitive/channeled reading and was told by the channeler that I would at some point have an experience where I would have a release of anger and I would then be excited to do more anger release work. This came up as work I would need to do in relation to a question I had about my long-time struggle with weight. When I get awareness about something like this, I usually jump into action fairly quickly. So when I moved to Vernon in February I had an expectation/hope that I would be able to do this work at the local Men’s circle. I believe that I even vocalized this intention at the first circle I attended. As a side note, when living in Squamish I facilitated the Men’s group there for 7 years and struggled to find an opportunity to do meaningful anger work. Partially due to the inability to find a suitable location to do that type of work and what I believe is an unconscious resistance to doing so.
Lost at 40 (ish) happened for me, a few weeks before my 41st birthday. As a side note this can happen at 20 (ish) 30 (ish) etc. I had been on the path of personal growth and awareness for many years. At the time, I was working for Starbucks as a manager, I walked into the store like I had done so many times before, but this time was different. I experienced an intense feeling of anxiety in my heart and a deep knowing that I was done.... I could no longer continue on the path of working there; in an environment that I now know and understand, was completely overwhelming for my nervous system. I imagine that for others the only choice would have been to keep going, regardless of what my body was screaming. Luckily for me, in previous years I had been able to experience the contrast of following my heart vs. following a career.
I've been hearing about this thing called Self Love for years and to be honest it seemed like a bit of a mystery to me. In hindsight, this makes total sense because in reality I was really just stuck in a battle with my inner critic. My Mom always said for years that it was important to love myself but what in fact did that mean. I found it easy to love others and my kids and experiences but love myself? I understood the concept but putting it into practice was a different story. Then recently I was listening to a podcast and I think it was https://www.instagram.com/adam.roa/ Adam Roa that defined self-love as; "the end result of the relationship you have with yourself".
I imagine that everyone can relate to having the desire to do something or even the inspiration to do something and yet be frozen and unable to step into action. Alternatively, there may be a difficult decision that you need to make. The common word that often shows up with either dilemma is procrastination. The moment we step into the realm of procrastination we also are inviting fear, guilt, and shame to come out and play. The other thing that happens here is a dance of extreme opposites. One side is the action steps needed and the other side is all the data that supports you not getting into action. This dance is unfortunately all too common for those of us who want to be creative and share this creativity with others.
Perhaps you can relate to trying to establish a boundary and then it gets crossed, which puts you in a position of needing to respond. As a reformed "Nice Guy" I believe I have more examples of this than I can even remember. I would put the value of preserving the relationship before my values and needs. The result would be an inability to respond appropriately when my boundaries were crossed. It also meant that I wasn't even certain of what my boundaries actually were.
Have you ever had that moment where you stop and ask yourself, "Why is this happening to me"? For me, this moment of pause would occur when I noticed that what was happening in my life had happened before, but with different characters. Why do we tolerate people, situations and things that cause us to struggle and contribute to our anxiety and stress?
I was recently reflecting on why I am a big proponent for taking small steps towards goals. When I reflect on my own life experience as well as what I witness with my clients. What I notice for myself is that as a sensitive empathic soul, I can easily get overwhelmed when looking at the big picture. While this has its benefits it can also make it challenging to step into action.
I have recently had several conversations with folks who are really not enjoying aspects of their lives. Most of the time it revolves around lack of joy in the workplace and not being treated fairly. On a deeper level, there is a gentle voice with a vision for something different, the voice of your soul calling you towards a different life. The lack of joy in the workplace is merely the symptom of a spiritual calling.
I recently went to see the Chiropractor and amongst other things she noticed that I was very blocked in my upper back and shoulders. As I physically released all the energy stored there, I was drawn to have a look at this as a metaphor for how I support others (on my shoulders). I like to think that I have developed boundaries over the years in terms of what I do for others. What I noticed however, is that I continue to hold energy for others in small ways. I worked as a Manager in foodservice for over 27 years. I excelled by putting others first and in the process I struggled to get my own needs met.