Tears, Anger, and Qi Gong

Hot tears glide down my face as I feel in my body that my power, my true power comes from within. Not from what I do or don’t do in my career…not from the size of my waist or bust…not for how friendly or unfriendly I am to others. But truly from myself and strength within. This all comes to me in a flash, an instant even, then I open my eyes. I am in a class of about 12, standing in a circle, standing right hand over left in meditation at Qi Gong. My first reaction was to run and not be judged, my second was anger at myself for being so vulnerable, and my third was to settle into what I was doing because no else seemed to notice but myself. Breath,focus on the inner power I felt growing, feel some anxiety, breath. Repeat.

I couldn’t stop the anger it kept coming. The more I tried to damper it and hold it down the more it flared up and it seemed to be what was producing the tears. I wanted to rage, to throw things, to hear plates smash. No sobs, no sniffles, just silent hot tears that flowed despite my attempts to hold it back. Then I remembered, I didn’t have to be afraid of this anger, it didn’t have to consume me. There was a place for it, “a fire place” my friend and teacher Amira says. “The anger can flare up out of control unattended and burn down the whole house OR attended with intention can act to heat the house and therefore be of use.” So as I  was doing the Gathering Heaven and Earth exercise, I started to build that fireplace, that intention. The tears stopped and my breathing became more relaxed. I started realizing  how  continue to feel even more confident and fierce in my body. I wasn’t used to that, I was accustomed to anger causing me to loose my temper or lash out. I felt during this that my boundaries were clear and any “yes” or “no” I stated would come out as fact and not negotiable. I felt solid, unmovable, and ready for action at any moment. Powerful.

Far too often I have allowed myself to give this power away or allowed others to take it. Either by inaction, i.e. not standing up for myself  or by reacting, i.e. lashing out, there for have become afraid of my anger or expressing  and stepping down or shying away from other’s anger. Trying to compensate either way has left me burned or burnt out. So now I work on building my “fireplace”, allowing the fire to burn brightly and allow me to see and sustain the power within. Burn baby burn.



Looking Inside

We don’t give ourselves the permission to be still with the thoughts that make us uncomfortable. Instead we push them away, seal them in a box, and perhaps make a mental note that we will look at them someday when its “safe” or “when we have time.” We carry these around and make stories of them to suggest we’ve processed them or we are not affected by them , but in all reality they are there weighing us down and gathering the emotional dust of avoidance.

What boxes are you carrying around? You don’t even need to look in the box, just acknowledge they are there. One by one name the boxes…failed marriage, rape, trauma…Realize how you’ve been carrying them or ignoring them…drinking, saying to yourself “look how strong I am, this doesn’t affect me”, lying…Once you’re ready you can softly brush off the emotional dust (defensiveness, stress, anger..) and look inside the box. No need to pull everything out, just look. You may realize that the box is empty, time has diminished all the details and you’ve been carrying around an empty box that to you has felt really heavy. It may be putrid and rotten or be hiding a hidden gem of knowledge. But give yourself permission to just look, no need to take it out yet (to be honest I haven’t been able to do that part yet). We’ll get to that in time. Just sit with it, know its there.

Do you feel lighter? Do feel overwhelmed, joy, anger? Just be with it, know that what ever you are feeling that moment is part of the process of acknowledging those boxes, of dusting of the emotional dust, and looking inside.