FEP21 Exploring Anger

In this episode, we discuss the tricky topic of anger. Like all emotions, anger has a message and needs to be heard. In the season of Spring, this issue is particularly prominent, and we view it through the lenses of Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine.

Flower Essences discussed during the show:


Karla McLaren, book The Language of Emotions

Show Transcript

Kathleen Aspenns [00:00:42] Welcome back, everyone. I am looking forward to this topic. Spring is definitely in the air in my neck of the woods in Northern California. We’re having a very early spring and all of the energies are rising very strongly, even though it really is quite early in the spring and we could still definitely have a lot of frost. But there’s been sunny days and spring like weather and all the birds are going bonkers and all the animals are thinking, it’s time to go, go, go. Spring energy rises really strongly in the body and spring is affiliated with the Liver. And one of the energies and emotions that’s attached to this is anger. Last episode we talked about the energy of spring, and I want to talk a little more specifically this time about the energy of anger. Anger is the emotion affiliated with the Liver, which is the organ system associated with the spring. So anger is a tricky topic and I think there’s a lot of ground that we can cover with this. And shall we just dive in? 

Rochana Felde [00:01:48] Yes, we should dive in. Cool. And yeah, it is over 80 degrees in some parts of the county, today as we’re recording. What is it, March 3rd? I mean, that it’s just unheard of, these temperatures. So it’s interesting that we’re talking about this because heat is a big part of anger and liver imbalance as you’re going to talk more about. And then spring is automatically the time that our liver and our organs want to.. The energy is increasing so they can do more detoxification. And so this is really odd that we’re having this weather and all that is happening. And I wonder if that could potentially increase anger and the tendency for anger at this time of year. What do you think about that? 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:02:43] I think that that’s probably the case. And I’ve certainly seen that and experienced that. The energies right now are really intense, sort of in the grander cosmic sense of what’s going on in the world right now. And a lot of people are feeling a lot of pressure and tension. And then we have this spring energy rising. And so you combine these energies and elements together, and it can definitely create a bit of a pressure cooker for a lot of people. So I certainly think that the energy of anger emerging and it’s starting to hit some things that we’ve got stuck. So the Liver qi starts pushing upwards in the same way that the sprouts and sprigs start popping up. And, you know, you see that energy of the bulbs coming up above the ground and they’re pushing and stretching into the sunlight. And that same energy rises in our bodies as well. So we have to recognize that if there’s a rock on top of your energy, when there’s something that is holding it down, that force underneath is going to come up really strongly and push against it. And we’re going to feel frustrated and stuck and cranky if that energy isn’t allowed to flow. So this is where we start to see the effects of anger, when it’s just that energy getting stuck. I’d love to just start with a discussion of anger because anger is such a, you know, everybody hates on anger. It’s, you know, it’s a negative emotion. So therefore it’s bad, right? I mean, obviously. And if you’re a good person, then, you know, you don’t have bad emotions. Right. So I think that we really have an issue with anger. And especially as women, we’re not really allowed to show any anger. We’re not allowed to express any anger. And culturally, we see anger as being a really bad, negative, destructive force, when in it’s own self, it’s not at all a bad or destructive force. When I talk to clients about this topic, I bring up the work of Karla McLaren because she’s done such a beautiful job of talking about the emotions, as all being useful, and all having valid information for you. And the energy of anger she describes as being your righteous protector. And anytime you feel anger, it’s probably because there was a boundary violation of some sort. So if you really dig into every time you feel anger, you’ll realize it’s because something happened and you got stomped on, or somebody did something that was a violation of some sort. And so that energy rises up, but it’s just rising to protect your boundary. It’s not a destructive force unless it’s used inappropriately. So, you know, unboundaried anger, anger used inappropriately, is not OK, but anger just rising up, giving you that energy to hold a boundary and say, “excuse me. No, that’s not acceptable behavior”. That’s really what anger’s for and all about. 

Rochana Felde [00:06:06] Yeah, that’s so interesting, and I definitely resonate with that, especially for women. And I notice a big difference with the time of the month, with the menstrual cycle. And I always have noticed that if there is excessive PMS and anger during the cycle, that it typically is a reflection of what’s happened during that past month that has gone unchecked. Basically, if you allowed yourself to be walked on all month, or didn’t speak up for your boundaries or your rights, or suppressed emotions, or suppressed the anger that may have come up earlier in the month, it sort of bottles itself up and then explodes when the hormones do their thing. And that’s a really common scenario, I think. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:07:00] Oh, really common. And, you know, it’s really too bad that we see that as being, oh, she just has PMS when it’s a little bit more like you just aren’t able to suppress it during that time of month. You just can’t stop, not express yourself, at that time of month. And unfortunately, it can get a little unboundaried and messy and awkward. And then, you know, you feel like such a horrible person when in fact these emotions are there to teach us things and there to inform us that we’re not setting a boundary. We’re not giving ourselves the respect of, you know, being an individual that is allowed to say no, who is allowed to express ourselves fully, even the things that other people might not want to hear. 

Rochana Felde [00:07:56] True. Yeah. And when channeled in a productive way, I guess for lack of a better word, there’s so much that you can do and get done. I know that I’ve used that energy to write my political representatives about certain issues or the local board, whatever is going on that somebody needs to say something about. It’s funny because most of the time when I sit down and actually do that truth telling is when I’m right about to start a cycle. And I know that my body.. It’s great. I mean, I appreciate it because there’s other times during the month that I might not have had the energy or the willpower to follow through with something like that. And so I think that it absolutely has its benefits. As long as we don’t get hung up on this thought like you said, that it’s bad to be angry, or we don’t get into a circular anger spiral that we can’t get out of. So this is where we haven’t been paying attention to ourselves. We haven’t been conscious of what’s been happening with our emotions. And then it builds up. It builds up. And then we are just walking around, ready to just bite somebody’s head off at any little thing. And that’s where we want to do some of this work. 

Kathleen Aspenns [00:09:28] Yeah. Like all forces, you know, appropriate use and inappropriate use. These two things both can exist. And yes, we’re certainly not advocating for going full rage demon on the poor shop person that you might interact with when you’ve been building all of this stuff up. It’s appropriate to recognize these energies rising, take that information and say, oh, where in my life am I not setting a boundary? Where is the action that needs to be taken? And I’m really sure that action is not ranting and raving at some innocent passer by,  that’s not appropriate use. Do the work. Go find out where it really belongs and you do that. And I love what you’re saying about that. This energy is what helps us stand up for the rights of others, too. It’s not just about a selfish action. It’s about righteousness. It’s about something that really needs to be said and somebody really needs to be held to account. 

Rochana Felde [00:10:28] So true. And then also in the Ayurvedic viewpoint, you know, there’s certain personality types. Well, this isn’t just Ayurveda, we know that there are certain personality types that are more prone to anger management issues. And in Ayurveda, it usually signifies an imbalance of the Pitta dosha, an imbalance in the Pitta type. And so Ayurveda looks to treat these imbalances. So again, not trying to suppress or pretend that anger is not something we should have, but to appropriately deal with it. A big part of Ayurveda is not just your physical health, for example, digestion, but your mental digestion. And then when you’re cycling in these negative emotions, it looks to be a cause of what they can consider mental indigestion. It is really interesting. And I think it’s fascinating because the liver also deals with digestion. And so we want these cooling digestive herbs or flower essences to deal with the liver. And that crosses both of these viewpoints. And then in Ayurveda, we also look at the calming flowers, and gems for just promoting calm. And it’s not just what you take into your body, but it’s everything around you. Your what you see, what your eyes see every day. Are you watching a lot of violent movies, t.v., media, all of the things that can just keep that aggressive and inflamed energy in your consciousness? It’s the sounds that you hear. It’s the colors that you surround yourself with. It’s every little part of our sensory experience as a human that impacts what we internalize. And then in turn, what comes back out of us as what we express. So flower essences once again are going to be a great way to be part of that sensory experience. And part of how we can mentally digest, and emotionally come to terms with what’s happening. To be aware of our own emotions and how we are reacting to things, and then impacting how they come back out of us in expression. 

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[00:41:55] This podcast is meant for educational and entertainment purposes only. We are not physicians and do not diagnose, prescribe or treat medical conditions. Please consult with your own physician or health care practitioner regarding the suggestions and recommendations made by the hosts and guests of the Flower Essence Podcast. 

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