As a soul-centered leader and entrepreneur, as a healer, as a mother and a daughter and wife, as a friend, as a woman – I will be the first one in line to tell you the importance of love and compassion and patience and forgiveness. In this day and age, with all of the wonderful spiritual and self-development teachings we have, the idea of cultivating Love (with a capitol “L”) is nearly a given. Of course, of course, of course – this is a vital Woman Wisdom principle that is essential for success, forward movement and happiness.
However, there is another Woman Wisdom principle that is foundational when it comes to being happy as well as highly successful in your business, not-for-profit, artwork, or anything else you’re pursuing.
The principle: Connect in with your Anger, and let if flow.
Now, this Woman Wisdom principle is, unfortunately, often overlooked. It’s barely spoken about in all of those books about self-development, spirituality, and success. And if it is actually mentioned, it is shunned, rejected, and judged. Anger has become the hidden step-child, veiled in the shadows of Love. But in actuality – and most successful soul-centered leaders know this – Anger goes hand in hand with Love, and learning how to connect in with your anger can actually help you become more calm, grounded, and cultivate love that much more quickly. Learning how to connect with your anger will make you a much more effective business owner, leader, and parent because it allows you to know yourself and love yourself deeply, and be very clear on the boundaries you set up for yourself.
I know this might sound radical (and indeed it is), so let me explain a little more: Anger, just like Love or Joy or Peace, is a natural emotion and energy that all human beings experience from time to time. And just like any other energy – it needs to be expressed and allowed to flow through your body. So in fact, it is actually HEALTHY to get angry.
Healthy expression of anger allows you to:
- Be in touch with your emotions and impulses
- Set aligned & firm boundaries for yourself & others (for those of you who are yogis out there, think about Warrior Poses: they are all about setting healthy boundaries)
- Release self-judgment or shame because of the anger
- Unlock energy in your body that was getting stopped up because of the stuck anger
- Connect in with your innate power
- Create clarity so that you make decisions that are aligned with your highest self
There are circumstances that cause human beings to become angry. It’s just a fact. People mis-behave and sometimes betray or take advantage of you. Losses happen. Frustrating situations occur. If you don’t allow yourself to experience that anger consciously and allow it to flow through you, the anger just gets stuck in your body, and that’s when illness, self-sabotage, and self-destruction happen. Or, if you don’t allow your anger to flow, it festers and festers inside of you like a covered pot of boiling water, until it explodes all over the place, causing hurt feelings or destruction or pain.
Here are some examples of hidden anger that you might know for yourself:
- A good friend arrives late for meetings time and time again. Instead of letting her know that it angers you when she’s late and being clear about your time boundaries, you act passive-aggressively and end up in an argument about something unrelated.
- Growing up, your parents showed you love but they also did a lot of things to damage your sense of confidence and freedom in the world. There’s a part of you that’s angry about this, but you don’t acknowledge it because you fear it means you won’t love your parents anymore or you don’t want them to feel guilty. The result is that you end up parenting similarly to how they did. Or perhaps you unconsciously distance yourselves from your parents.
- You had a bad day at work. Everything went wrong, and your boss acted like a jerk. Instead of creating some private time and space to let off some steam, you stuff it all in. But it comes out without your control as you scream at the top of your lungs at the dog that evening for chewing your slippers.
- A colleague betrays you in a very terrible way. Instead of connecting in with your anger at this colleague and safely letting it flow through your body, you notice that you start berating yourself harshly for being “naïve”, “stupid”, “not good enough” and a “pushover”
So, why don’t we allow ourselves to get angry?
Because society has deemed Anger a “wrong” or “inappropriate” emotion – particularly for women, who are traditionally expected to be quiet, demure, and ever-compliant – it has become feared, judged, and hidden from view. As a result, we pretend like we’re not angry, or we become angry but are too embarrassed to let others know we’re angry, or we don’t even realize we’re angry, but take it out somewhere else.
Now, just to be clear: when I invite you to “Let Your Anger Flow”, I don’t mean to scream at someone else or to physically hurt someone else or yourself. Allowing yourself to connect with your anger and experience means doing it in safe and sacred ways – alone or with a group of supportive individuals, and creating a space where you can release the anger from your body, spirit, and mind in transformative, healing and protected ways. If you don’t have a practice of allowing your anger to be expressed and flow, I recommend working with a coach or other professional who can help you unlock it in safe ways that support you in opening up your body and energy level, get clear on your boundaries, and help you make aligned decisions for yourself.