Come, let’s talk.
Who is with me on the pissed?
For me these days, it’s the misogyny, racism, and plain vanilla closed-mindedness that makes me want to explode. There are so many good reasons to be mad. What are you angry about, sisters? Self-serving leaders? The oceans filling with plastic? The cost of prescription drugs? So-called “women’s magazines” and what they say about the wrongness women’s bodies? How much work there is to do to get through a day? The electric bill? Your partner who can’t put socks in a hamper? The parents of the kid bullying your kid? Your best friend’s cancer? Aging? All of it? There is so much to feel angry about.
The culture teaches women to shut down our anger, stifle our rage, and conceal our displeasure at all costs.
We all learned early that it was our job to swallow. And without other apparent options, so often, we do.
Because if we got angry, really angry, instead of swallowing it, it might swallow us. Right? And then who would pick up groceries, get everyone fed, and log back in late at the office?
You won’t be swallowed though. You won’t lose yourself there. I know. I’ve been. And back. And back again. In fact, it is my conviction that we as women can, and must, use our anger and learn the tools and technology to move it through so it takes us higher. This is so central to the way I teach and live.
And the key to using our anger for creative good is choosing to turn on to the feelings, rather than turn off. When I notice I am pissed, I remember that, as my pal Omo says, anger without turn-on is like fossil fuel, like coal. It will fuel you, but only for so long, and it pollutes the environment and destroys the earth and humankind.
Anger with turn-on is like clean, renewable energy – it is solar, wind, and water power. It’s needed and necessary and good.
Often when we think of “turn-on”, it’s in a sexual sense, that it’s about pleasure. And that is one expression of turn-on. But at its heart, turn-on is about feeling fully ALIVE. Real, raw, pulsing alive.
So how do we do this with anger? What does it even mean to anger with turn-on?
Here’s what I do:
I sit with it and feel like shit.
I find the anger and outrage and fury in my body. Is it in my belly? My throat? The base of my skull?
I give it my full attention. I don’t try to distract myself. Is it prickly? Is it oozing like tar? Burning like tequila?
I ask what it needs. Often the answer is movement, so I may stomp or dance. Or it could be sound, so I may howl or drum. Sometimes, it is tears.
I do this until I feel the next feeling, the one after the anger.
When the anger shifts – and left to run its course it will – I put my hand on my pussy (stay with me, you knew we’d be going here…) …and I listen. The wisdom always comes.
From that connected place, I take right, aligned, inspired, creative action.
Anger that doesn’t receive this care and attention becomes leaky.
It oozes out at the too-slow grocery store clerk, or in traffic, or at the kids, or the dog. It’s toxic… to our environments and to ourselves. And it makes us destructive and depleted, which goes against our nature as creative beings. So we don’t want to do that.
And when it does receive this care and attention?
Your anger becomes your wisdom. Your anger tells you how to create an extraordinary and meaningful life on your own terms, and it gives you the energy to do it. Your anger can change everything. For you, for others, for all of us.
When the mood strikes, rage until that rage becomes fuel for something true and holy.
This is so important to me that my Womanly Arts Mastery curriculum devotes hours to the deep practice of expanding our emotional range, marrying our anger with our intuitive wisdom, and – most of all – feeling strong, powerful, and beyond the system that is designed to keep us small.
In the comments below, tell me about your anger.
What are you angry about?
What does your anger want you to change?
Does it feel clean and compelling to turn on your anger?
With love and fire,
Regena Thomashauer, aka “Mama Gena”
The School of Womanly Arts
Regena is a feminist icon, a teacher, a speaker, a mother, a best-selling author, and creatrix and CEO of The School of Womanly Arts.