In modern culture, there are three main bad feelings - anger, fear and sadness - and one good feeling - joy.
In modern culture, the bad feelings and joy are mutually exclusive. The idea of celebrating your sadness, your fear and your anger makes no sense.
And, because those three feelings are bad, problems with those feelings are considered problems of excess.
For example, if someone's got a problem with anger it's because they were too angry.
So, if you've grown up in this culture, chances are you manage anger by keeping anger quiet, hiding it from others and from yourself.
You reason your way out of it. You play the nice girl or nice guy. You don't say what you want and what you don't want. You don't set healthy boundaries. You don't ask for the clarity you need. You don't challenge the status quo in meaningful and effective ways. You don't assert your personal space. You are taken advantage of. You recede into the background while you try to keep these forces inside you at a safe distance. You are not taken seriously at work because you won't make any demands.
It might be that you have sometimes let your anger out in ways that you have regretted. Perhaps you hurt people. Perhaps you got results you didn't like, and swore you'd never make a mistake like that again.
Or perhaps you saw someone else (it could even have been me!) being irresponsible with anger, and swore you'd never be like them.
These experiences seemed to confirm the idea that anger is itself a problem.
The only trouble is... anger is. It just is.
And when we turn away from it and make it a problem, we don't just walk away from the bad stuff. We walk away from all the good stuff too.
Modern culture's rejection of anger is a connection mindfuck.
It says "come and connect with others while keeping huge parts of yourself out of the conversation."
It says "It hurts when you say 'no', so protect the people you love by faking your enthusiasm, your joy, and your orgasms."
It says "you can never afford to make mistakes with your feelings. Don't risk it."
This is not true, and it does not work.
Anger in itself is neither good nor bad. It just is. It is a force of nature.
On the other hand, the choices we make with anger can be very good or very bad.
Problems with anger are not problems of excess - they are problems of skill, discernment, responsibility and awareness.
I'm not naive about the risks of anger - I have personally known someone who was murdered when someone's anger went wrong.
If you think I don't appreciate how bad people's choices with anger can be, you are mistaken. I've lived most of my life terrified of anger, denying it, and avoiding it.
Eventually though, I realised that the costs for me, and for others, have been painfully and needlessly high.
This world needs responsible adults with powerful anger, and clear discernment in how to use it.
Introduction to Rage Club is an extra-ordinary space. A rare and precious place to practise and become skilful with a crucial part of your life force.
Will you be there?
Rage Club is held online via Zoom.
Rage Club is available as a one-off introductory workshop, and as a series of four workshops.
The series provide the space to go deeper into the work; explore higher-intensity states; and share experiences, feedback and lessons with a consistent team of other raging learners. Each series is supported with a WhatsApp Group for questions and feedback during the time between sessions.
You do NOT need to attend an introductory workshop before you attend a series, but you are free to do so.
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