The Contradiction of Anger: A Double-Edged Sword

Anger is an emotion that everyone experiences in their lives. It can surge through us with a powerful intensity, often making us feel justified and validated. There’s a peculiar sense of satisfaction that comes with expressing anger, as if we are reclaiming a piece of our power. Yet, this fiery emotion holds a contradiction within it.

There is a Hungarian band, Napoleon Boulevard, who poignantly sings, “My heart’s almost torn in half, my rage is tearing it apart, beautiful as a dream can be, too bad it hurts so much.” This lyric encapsulates the paradox of anger: while it can feel so right in the moment, it carries a heavy toll on our mind and body.

Anger’s Impact on the Sympathetic Nervous System:

When we get angry, keep in mind that anger can feel like the emotion of disappointment or “slight annoyance” we don’t recognize as anger, our body’s sympathetic nervous system kicks into high gear. This part of our central nervous system is responsible for the “fight or flight” response. It prepares us to face a threat by increasing our heart rate, tightening our muscles, and releasing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. In the short term, these changes can help us handle a dangerous situation. However, when anger becomes a frequent or prolonged state, it begins to wreak havoc on our physical and emotional health – our craniosacral system stops working optimally.

Chronic anger can lead to a host of health issues. The constant release of stress hormones can cause:

  • Cardiovascular Problems: High blood pressure, increased risk of heart attacks, and strokes are all linked to sustained anger.
  • Weakened Immune System: Prolonged stress weakens our body’s ability to fend off illnesses.
  • Digestive Issues: Stress can lead to problems like acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and other gastrointestinal disturbances.
  • Sleep Disorders: Difficulty in sleeping or staying asleep, leading to chronic fatigue and other related issues.

Emotionally, anger can be just as damaging:

  • Increased Anxiety and Depression: Anger and unresolved rage can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression.
  • Relationship Strain: Anger can drive a wedge between us and our loved ones, leading to isolation and loneliness.
  • Reduced Cognitive Function: Chronic stress affects our ability to think clearly, make decisions, and concentrate.

The Beauty and Pain of Anger

Returning to the lyric from Napoleon Boulevard, we can understand anger as both beautiful and painful. It is beautiful in its raw, unfiltered expression of our deepest emotions and desires. Anger can act as a powerful motivator, pushing us to stand up for ourselves, to strive for change, and to overcome injustices. It can fuel our passions and drive us towards our goals with an intensity that few other emotions can match. There is nothing wrong with this, however, our central nervous system is being affected in the fight or flight (sympathetic side) no matter what we are angry about, hence this beauty is accompanied by pain.

The physical and emotional toll of unchecked anger is profound. It tears at our hearts, much like the song suggests, leaving us fragmented and wounded. The key is to find our balance—acknowledging our anger, expressing it healthily by changing our perception about the very thing that triggered it, and then experience the new point of view with gratitude – this is what is normally called “letting go”.

Craniosacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release

As a wellness coach specializing in craniosacral therapy and somatic emotional release, I see firsthand how unprocessed emotions, particularly anger, can lodge in the body and disrupt our well-being. Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that helps release tensions deep in the body, allowing the entire body to relax and self-correct. This technique can facilitate the release of emotional trauma stored in the tissues, a process known as SomatoEmotional Release (SER).

During a CST session, I may gently palpate the client’s craniosacral system to detect and release restrictions. This not only helps alleviate physical discomfort, but also promotes emotional release with the use of imagery and dialogue. By working with the body’s natural rhythms and energy, CST can help clients process and let go of deep-seated anger and other  emotions that trigger the sympathetic (fight or flight) side of our central nervous system.

The Power of Curiosity: Shifting Perception

Talking about changing our perception, an important insight to consider is that we are often not upset for the reasons we think. Anger is frequently a surface emotion, masking deeper, unresolved feelings such as fear, hurt, lack or sadness. By approaching our anger with curiosity, we can uncover its true origins. This requires a willingness to look beyond the immediate trigger and explore the underlying issues that fuel our rage.

When we become curious about the root causes of our anger, we can begin to shift our perception. Instead of seeing a situation as purely aggravating or unjust, we can ask ourselves what deeper needs or fears are being activated. This shift in perspective allows us to address the real issues at hand, leading to more meaningful and lasting resolutions.

Cultivating Healthy Emotional Habits

In addition to CST and SER, adopting certain practices can help manage anger more effectively:

  • Mindfulness and Meditation: These practices help us become more aware of our emotions and reduce the intensity of our anger.
  • Physical Activity: Exercise is a powerful outlet for pent-up anger and stress.
  • Communication Skills: Learning to express feelings calmly and constructively can prevent anger from building up.
  • Therapeutic Techniques: Techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help in re-framing negative thought patterns that fuel anger.

By recognizing the dual nature of anger—its capacity to both empower and harm—we can take steps to harness its energy in positive ways while mitigating its detrimental effects. In doing so, we can move towards a state of emotional balance and well-being, where anger will no longer need to serve as a catalyst for growth or be a source of suffering.

In the end, anger, like all emotions, is a part of the human experience. “The degree of the emotion you experience does not matter. You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury.” – ACIM

It is how we handle anger that makes all the difference.

Finding Fulfillment in Stillness: Lessons from an EMT’s Slow Day

In our fast-paced world, the idea of productivity is often synonymous with constant action. However, an experience during my days as an EMT revealed a profound truth about productivity and fulfillment. One slow day, my partner and I found ourselves parked in our ambulance, waiting for a call. Hours went by, and a sense of anxiety began to creep in. I realized I was restless because I felt the need to be productive.

The Search for Productivity

To quell this restlessness, I began organizing equipment in the back of the ambulance. When that didn’t help, I took a walk and struck up conversations with people nearby. Despite these efforts, the anxious feeling persisted. It was then that I decided to sit quietly and meditate, seeking clarity on what productivity truly meant.

The Epiphany

During my meditation, I asked, “What does productive mean? What can I do to be productive?” The answer that came to me was simple yet profound: “Productive is feeling fulfilled without having to do.” This revelation felt liberating. It suggested that true productivity is not always about tangible actions or accomplishments, but can also be about a state of being.

Understanding Fulfillment Without Action

The idea of feeling fulfilled without having to do challenges our conventional understanding of productivity. It invites us to explore a deeper sense of fulfillment that comes from within. But what does this really mean, and how can we experience it?

  1. Presence in the Moment: Often, our sense of fulfillment is tied to future achievements or past successes. Being present in the moment, fully aware and accepting of our current state, allows us to find peace and contentment without external validation.
  2. Self-Acceptance: Embracing who we are, with all our strengths and flaws, helps us feel whole. This self-acceptance reduces the need to constantly prove ourselves through actions and accomplishments.
  3. Inner Peace: Cultivating inner peace through practices like meditation, mindfulness, or simply sitting quietly can lead to a profound sense of fulfillment. This peace is not dependent on external circumstances but comes from a calm and centered mind.
  4. Gratitude: Recognizing and appreciating the simple joys in life, such as a quiet moment, the beauty of nature, or a heartfelt conversation, can provide a sense of fulfillment. Gratitude shifts our focus from what we lack to what we have.

Moving From Idea to Experience

Awareness of this concept is just the beginning. To truly embody this wisdom, we need to practice it. Here are some steps to integrate this understanding into our daily lives:

  • Daily Reflection: Set aside time each day for reflection or meditation if you can. Ask yourself what truly makes you feel fulfilled and pay attention to moments when you feel content without external achievements. If setting aside time each day is not an option, use a minute or two while you are showering, using your bathroom break, washing dishes, or even when you are watching your child’s games or practices. Being aware and directing ones thoughts can even be done during conversations we are having.
  • Mindful Activities: Engage in activities that promote mindfulness, such as walking in nature, journaling, or simply sitting quietly. These activities help anchor us in the present moment.
  • Self-Compassion: Practice self-compassion by being kind to yourself, especially during times of inactivity. Remind yourself that your worth is not tied to constant doing. Turn your kind, encouraging, empowering talking skills towards yourself as well, not just towards others you love.
  • Embrace Stillness: Allow yourself to experience stillness in the presence of quilt or fear. Choose stillness to be the focus of your attention as quilt may remain in the background.  Understand that being still and present can be as productive as any action, as it nurtures your inner well-being.

Conclusion

The lesson I learned on that slow day as an EMT remains a powerful reminder that productivity is not merely about doing, but also about being. Feeling fulfilled without constant action is a profound form of productivity that brings inner peace and contentment. By embracing this wisdom, we can lead richer, more balanced lives, finding joy and fulfillment in the stillness as much as in the action.

Lao Tzu wisely said, “By doing nothing, everything is done.”

If you are struggling to find your fulfilled experience, let us explore stillness together. Contact me for a session for any of my services.

Embracing Guilt: A Path to Healing in Craniosacral Therapy

In the realm of CranioSacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release, the journey toward shifting our lives for the better encompasses not only physical well-being but also emotional and spiritual harmony. Within this holistic framework, emotions like guilt are not viewed as isolated occurrences but as integral aspects of our Spirit – Mind – Body connection. In this blog I am exploring how guilt can serve as a valuable guide in the context of CST and SER.

Understanding the Body-Mind-Spirit Connection

Craniosacral therapy acknowledges the interplay between the physical body, the mind, and the spirit. It recognizes that emotional and psychological experiences are stored within the body, often manifesting as tension, discomfort, or illness. SER, a technique within craniosacral therapy, facilitates the release of these stored emotions, allowing for profound healing on multiple levels.

Guilt as an Expression of Imbalance

In the context of craniosacral therapy, guilt is not merely an abstract emotion but a tangible expression of imbalance within the body-mind-spirit system. When we experience guilt, it can manifest as physical tension or discomfort, signaling a disconnection from our authentic selves – as Dr. Upledger called It; the Inner Physician – or a violation of our innermost values. Through SER, we can explore the root causes of guilt and facilitate its release from the body.

Cultivating Awareness and Compassion

Central to the practice of craniosacral therapy is the cultivation of awareness and compassion. When clients experience feelings of guilt, therapists provide a safe and nurturing space for exploration and healing. Rather than judging or suppressing these emotions, clients are gently encouraged to approach them with curiosity and self-compassion, fostering a deeper understanding of their underlying causes.

The Nature of Thought -Realigning with Authenticity

Our thoughts are the lens through which we perceive the world. They shape our beliefs, attitudes, and actions. However, not all thoughts are created equal. Some stem from a place of authenticity and alignment with our true selves, while others are distorted by societal expectations, fears, or insecurities.

When we experience guilt, it’s a signal that our thoughts may have strayed from their natural, authentic state. It suggests that we’ve acted in a way that contradicts our deepest values or principles. Rather than dismissing guilt as an unwanted burden, we can choose to embrace it as a signpost pointing us back to our true path.

Through the process of SomatoEmotional Release, guilt can be transformed from a source of pain into a catalyst for growth and transformation. As clients release stored emotions and integrate new insights, they experience profound shifts in consciousness and well-being. Guilt becomes not a burden to be carried, but a stepping stone on the path to healing and self-discovery.

Conclusion: Embracing Guilt on the Path to Wholeness

In the journey of craniosacral therapy and somatoemotional release, guilt is not something to be feared or avoided but embraced as a natural part of the healing process. By acknowledging and exploring feelings of guilt with compassion and openness, one of my clients uncovered profound insights regarding his teenage car accident that caused him to live with “survivor’s guilt” in his young adulthood. This thought pattern of guilt of living was shown to him as his young 4-year-old son got injured any time he was exploring the outside world; the playground, the woods, the ocean.  My client was searching for help for his son’s unexplainable accidents. During a session, his Inner Physician brought him to the memory of his own car accident and showed him that his wish is to hold that memory with self blame, hence quilt.  Once my client understood that the exact memory of his accident can be looked at with a different perspective a deep healing was facilitated on all levels of their being. Yes, their being. Both the father and the son received the release from burden. This took place about 6 years ago. The now 10 year old son is happy and active and had no recurring accidents since. The father received an unexpected promotion at work too in addition to his more peaceful mind.

Let us embrace guilt as a guide on the path to wholeness and authentic living, trusting in the innate wisdom of our Spirit – Mind – Body connection.

Imagination

One of the many things I love doing is translating my favotrite songs and poems from Hungarian to English.  The below poem is very close to my heart, and I would love to share with anyone who loves poems.  The author is Sandor Petofi and he wrote the original Hungarian version in August, 1845.

My Imagination

What is it they are saying!
That my imagination bound to ground
To the Heavens, I can’t soar It high.
It travels on the level of Earth
If that is what pleases It.
And what is more
Often it sinks below.
Like a diver sinks to the depth of the abyss
To the bottom of the deepest sea:
The heart that is.
Although, if I tell It
“Descend up high!”
It hovers in the breeze
And sings like a lark.
If at this time I encourage It
Fly higher up my image
I chase eagles into order with It
The eagles all tire out
As It remains tireless
It initiates a way
With the highest thunderhead
It does not socialize long with the clouds either
It roams up high
Straight to the vault of the sky
And if at this point
There is a solar eclipse
It slips by the darkened sun in a bliss
It slips by with a short glance at it
And it’s lost magnificence
returns to it.
My imagination still isn’t resting
It appears on top of a far away galaxy
Where God’s world ceases to endure
It creates a new world with
It’s Grandeur.