Co-written by Caitlyn Cook & Araminta Barbour.
We're humans. We feel. Sometimes, we feel BIG. And the tides of emotion that sweep us (and our partners and loved ones) can be difficult to deal with.
Many of us lack mastery in knowing what to do with BIG emotions when they arise. One of the many suppressed, denied and judged emotions is anger (and its cousin rage). Let's talk about this one because it also illuminates how we relate to our other big emotions like depression, grief, fear and shame.
When we are unable to hold such an intense emotion (like rage) comfortably, we usually resort to one of three strategies to dissipate the energy:
- We try to distract ourselves and bury it—giving it to our body to deal with (often resulting in illness later).
- We attempt to pass it on to others by spending time continuing in mental stories that justify the emotional frequency and encouraging others to feel the same too. When they do share our anger, we often feel release—not simply because we have someone colluding with our story and therefore a sense of justification, but because we have handed off the energetic vibration to them like a tuning fork.
- We act aggressively or violently (physically or with our words).
Alternatively, emotional release tools help us move emotions maturely and safely through our body using breath, sound, and movement. Consciously using these tools can build our capacity to hold power and channel our strong emotions wisely. These tools can support us back into being present. They support our inner and outer wellbeing (for ourselves and those around us!). This ‘Emotional Yoga practice’ expands our ability to hold all intense emotional states with full presence and gift us access to dynamic power to use for creative purposes.
What do these tools look like? In a safe space, you let yourself feeeel these emotions and allow breath, sound and movement to let them run through and out of you. Just like a zebra shakes after being chased by a lion (to let go of the adrenalin, etc. built up in the chase), we allow our bodies to shake, move, yell, cry, dance, throw tantrums, whatever. You allow the voltage to run through you and be absorbed by Mother Earth beneath you.
You stop giving a shit about what people think of you and you let yourself express, heal, release. So you're not storing these big emotions in your body, heart and mind any longer!
For many of us, meditation and analysis of the mind without an expression practice is not sufficient when the emotional waters are tidal-wave size. Spiritual bypass (using spiritual ideas and practices to avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished growth) is rampant in so much advice given today. This perpetuates the collective denial and unwlllingness to see reality directly.
While the mind may be able to jump into forgiveness, acceptance, big-picture peace, the emotional and physical bodies often move at slower cycles and require different practices to come back into alignment.
What if rage is your ally and your ability to feel it a great gift of the human condition—often bringing wisdom to boundary violations and the energy to stand up and be couRAGEous enough to speak your truth? And for other big emotions, it's your ally in being able to share vulnerability, take a rest, connect truthfully with people.
And if you're never an 'angry person’? Or a person who feeeels things? Anger and feelings are a human experience. You are human! You have the whole spectrum of human experience within you. If you don't think you ever get angry or feeeel, consider how you may have armoured your heart so as not to feel the challenges on this planet and cut yourself off from a vital source of energy.
Part of the path of spiritual sexual shamanism is to fully integrate the power and intuition of ALL colours of the emotional body. By untangling our conditioning and judgment that any emotions are negative in and of themselves, we can begin to reframe our relationship with this aspect of self (often associated with the feminine side in each of us).
Mastery is how we respond, not a state where we don't feel emotions at all. Anger itself IS, and needs not to be feared. What we are healing from is immature expressions of aggression, sadness fear. For a Buddhist perspective on right relationship to anger and contrasting it with aggression see this article.
A key focus of many of Caitlyn and Araminta's private sessions and workshops we facilitate, is providing emotional release containers to those who have numbed out and disassociated from past traumas, heart-aches, abuse and overwhelm.
The good news is they are sitting on volcanoes of power and they can quickly learn to how to move that energy themselves safely and transform their blocks into life-force sources.
As we trust ourselves to move powerful emotional energies we step into expanded freedom, we stop micro-managing our loved one’s emotional bodies and aren’t manipulated as easily by collective emotional outbreaks and the storylines associated with them.
To explore these (and other!) concepts deeply and see how they apply in relationships, join Araminta for Co-creating New Paradigm Relationships: workshop + talk in Melbourne on Thursday, 10 May.
About Araminta Barbour
Founder of The Sanctuary in Guatemala, Araminta is a Certified Red Tent Women’s Guide, Speaker, Coach and International Sacred Sexuality Workshop Facilitator. Part of the ISTA Lead faculty team, the Institute of Conscious Sensuality faculty based in Hawaii, and the Online University of Love & Sexuality, Araminta has a Master’s Degree in Indian Religions from the University of London (SOAS), 5+ years experience in the sexual reproductive health non-profit sector and over 20 years exploring numerous holistic health modalities and esoteric traditions.
Araminta’s core passion is the process of radical self-acceptance—the inner marriage of love with power. She's here to support humanity’s evolution as liberated, heart-centred creators. Araminta offers emotional release guidance, transformational workshops in tantra and conscious intimacy coaching.⠀