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right kind of anger

The Power of the Right Kind of Anger

How do you get angry?

Do you let it build up and then blow up?

Smile through it? Common amongst women.

Do you clear your throat because you want to say something but find it hard to express what you truly feel and think?

These are all defences to anger. And at some point we’ve each experienced a defensive reaction in response to anger.

Now, let’s be fair to our defences. When they were initially formed their purpose was to protect us from being further hurt or overwhelmed either by a person, event or our own emotions.

But usually we end up having defensive reactions well past their initial need which end up hurting us.

Anger is a basic primary emotion and it’s important just like all the other emotions. It helps us to take action, speak up and make changes.

But anger is not aggression. People can often confuse the two which is part of the reason why some people find it hard to express anger: they associate it with a threat to their emotional or physical safety because of how anger was expressed, or not expressed, in their family home while growing up.

It’s challenging to feel into the intensity of our anger.

The power of truly feeling our anger is at the core of being able to feel into our passion, true identity and what we value and believe in. It’s acting on that and speaking from that place. 

Denying our anger is denying our identity, our voice, and passion for life. It is fuel for change.

So how do we feel into our anger? 

To feel our anger is to feel into the energy of anger. We need to sensations and the emotion itself.

We need to notice, feel and sense when anger arises, where it travels, where is expands and where and if it fizzles out. It means staying with anger and feeling into every bit of it.

You may notice that anger arises in your stomach, the solar plexus region. It may then expand into your chest and throat. Legs can also feel activated as can other parts of your body.

For some anger may stop in the throat and feel like it’s blocked which is why some people have the need to clear their throat. It helps them to manage this block.

Once we sense anger, the trick is not to try to get rid of it, push it out, scream it out, breathe it out vigorously or cry it out.

Although these tools can be helpful in managing anger they won’t help you learn how to purposefully use the energy of anger because the energy of anger would have dissipated. In other words, you would have lost fuel.

When we feel anger, the idea is to expand it into every part of our body. 

This  may seem initially counter-intuitive but when we use our whole body as a container for our emotions, rather than just one small portion of the body, it becomes easier to tolerate intense emotions and even stay with them for longer.

This approach is based on Integral Somatic Psychology developed by Dr Raja Selvam. I’m grateful for this training because it’s an accelerated approach to working with your emotions.

When we learn to expand our emotions, we notice that some situations don’t seem to affect us the way they one used to.

Initially, this expansion of anger, or any other emotion for that matter, positive or negative, can feel overwhelming. Essentially we are practicing gradual exposure to something which feels unpleasant or bad.

If you would like to learn more about this approach or even be guided through it to help you better experience and express your emotions, feel free to contact me and we can have a chat to see if this approach is right for you.

Remember, when we can be present in who we are we can truly be in our power and on purpose. Embodying our emotions will help us do just that. This is the way forward.

Managing the Transition

In this blog I spoke about how I could feel the movement of life happening beneath my feet. It’s an exciting time, but one that can cause a certain amount of anxiety.

Letting go of something that has been held so dear to you for so long is hard. Letting go of something that you’ve invested a lot of time or money in is especially hard. So how can we ‘go with the flow’ in this transition period to ensure that we are embracing the opportunities that lie ahead?

Embrace the emotion

This involves firstly being aware of the emotion and naming it. Is it fear? Excitement? Anger? This awareness brings the attention and energy focus to inside your body. With increased awareness comes a connection between our emotions, intellect and logic. And this is magic!

A healthy relationship with our emotions allows us to break behavioural and mindset patterns that occur in our life. It helps you feel the transition and go with it.

Practise acceptance

At the last Empowered Woman Retreat one of the participants said to me “what if I don’t agree with something going on in my life? How can I accept it?” She had become aware of the emotion attached with the situation, but her logic brain couldn’t accept it and therefore she couldn’t move past it.

My answer is you don’t have to agree with it, or like it, in order to accept it.

Radically accepting what you are feeling, experiencing or sensing will help you during this transitional period. This brings us into the present and aware of the opportunities that may normally pass us by.

Be open and conscious

Awareness, acceptance and then allowing the transition to happen automatically brings us into the present moment. When we are fully in the present, you are grateful, our enjoyment increases, the feeling of peace is more obvious, relationships improve. The list is endless! But most of all being present brings clarity which means that we are more open to seeing the possibilities that are laid out in front of us.

Transitional periods in our life can make us feel a little off balance or out of control. But by remembering to embrace, accept and be present we can bring back a sense of peace to the changes happening around and within us. And who knows where that may take you?

How Emotions Show Up In Your Body

Humans are intrinsically emotional beings. We are designed to express our emotions freely and openly, however many people tend to suppress emotions such as shame, fear and anger.

Whatever the reason, suppressing emotions can have an impact on your physical as well as mental health. It can show up in tense muscles in your neck and shoulders, inflammation, chronic health problems and even gut issues.

When we are emotionally triggered, or charged, we also end up projecting on to others unresolved or suppressed emotions. This is a missed opportunity for growth.

In my new 6- week course Master Your Emotions, Activate Your Brilliance we explore this notion further; of how negative emotions can manifest in our body if left unresolved.

I’m looking forward to our first group call for my new program Master Your Emotions, Activate Your Brilliance. This group call has been postponed for 18th September at 8pm AEST.  So it’s not too late to enrol!

Master Your Emotions, Activate Your Brilliance

This course is for you if you ready to:

  • Better manage your emotions;
  • Learn tools to deal with other people’s confronting emotions;
  • Stop feeling ’emotionally drained’;
  • Discover more about yourself through the powerful language of your emotions.

If you have any questions about the program, please feel free to reply to this email and ask away!

Or register for the course here: MASTER YOUR EMOTIONS – ACTIVATE YOUR BRILLIANCE

Look forward to helping you activate your brilliance.

Curiosity Doesn’t Kill You. It Makes You Stronger

Life is one big learning curve. We are constantly thrown challenges to overcome and obstacles to manoeuvre around. How we learn from these challenges and integrate them into our lives is entirely up to us.

Part of our challenge is consciously deciding how to use these lessons to embrace our unique journey. To do this requires curiosity and presence to the unknown.

If you’re feeling curious on how to step into your challenges and emotions, join me for an hour in my live Masterclass “Unlock the Power of Your Emotions“.

How can you be curious today? You may like to journal on or think about:

  • Who you are in this point of your life
  • What things are important to you
  • Why you feel the way you do
  • How to learn more about yourself from the challenges you face
  • The reason these changes are happening

Such big, hairy questions and answering them is easier said than done!

At the core of these questions is that knowing ourselves is an inside job. We can start on the outside of course, but it will all eventually lead us to the work that is needed to be done on the inside.

It is our responsibility to claim ourselves. No one else can do it for us. The question is though, how do we actually make a start? Make the first step towards change and a more purposeful life?

Unlock the Power of Your Emotions” will provide you with the knowledge and tools to learn to trust and connect with yourself and begin to feel more confident. You will get clarity on feelings or sensations you don’t yet understand to move towards a more purposeful life.

Join me at 8pm on Wednesday 31 July. You can reserve your spot here. I can’t wait to share your curiosity with you!

 

Are you a Mental Hoarder?

Have you heard of the term mental hoardering?

Mental hoardering is when we clutter our mind with too much worry or overthinking. We think about something which has happened or that which hasn’t yet happened and we mull over it for weeks on end.

This is how anxiety and depression are born.

Mental pressure, unreasonable expectations and a heavy sense of obligation can all lead to mental hoardering, as can an overwhelming sense of guilt which is the biggest drain of your mental and physical energy.

When there is hoardering there is no space for creativity, new ideas, insight and inspiration to emerge. This equates to lack of empowered action.

Think about it in terms of a cluttered physical space: it becomes stagnant, dark and overwhelming. It’s a room no one likes to go to. It becomes wasted space.  And unfortunately, this how potential is wasted.

As such one becomes blind to the beauty and opportunity that surrounds them. They miss the five year old that has just passed by and smiled at them, just because. Or they miss the opportunity that awaits them because they are blind to it.

To help us mentally declutter we must be at peace with nothingness.

What do I mean by this? Nothingness is about creating space for ourselves intentionally, to do nothing and just be. No agenda. Crazy right?

It can be a little scary when we give ourselves the permission to be in nothingness, that place where not much happens. Our ego find space, emptiness or void very threatening. Our ego likes to be busy.

It has taken me a while but I have finally succumbed to the art of surrendering to being by giving myself the permission to do so.

I tend to do this leading up to big projects or events such as retreats or presentations. This seems almost counterintuitive because a part of me says you need to get busy preparing but deep down I know that if I don’t do this I will create unnecessary clutter and worry.

I’ll go on long walks, have meandering kind of conversations with people I would not otherwise meet. And in these conversations something amazing happens. Once I got inspiration for a process that I used in my retreat. Another time, I met a woman who ended up coming to my retreat and turning her life around. This is worth surrendering for!

But we need to know how to be in nothingness.

How to let the waves of life carry us through the tunnel of nothingness and not freak out. Your first experience of coming into nothingness may not go well. It takes practice.

At first it can be like a running tap with so many things being released and washed out.

What I can say from practicing the art of surrendering to being is that it connects me to my presence, my power and my purpose which are The Empowerment Principles I teach my clients. This helps them step into their presence, power and purpose and live life in alignment with who they truly are.

I get surges of creativity, insight and clarity on where my life needs to go next. Decision making and action-taking are a lot more effortful.

I usually experience this urge to do nothing about once a month, or every two months. This doesn’t need to be long. It could be 2 hours a week or a whole day just dedicated to being. To pottering and letting myself be or even discovering what does this being look like or feel like. It usually coincides leading up to my menstrual cycle. Take note women because it’s your body’s way of letting you know that you need to stop and recharge.

It may take some time to acquaint yourself with this practice.

In our busy lives we are convinced that keeping busy and measuring our productivity brings more productivity, results, money and fulfilment. On paper maybe it does. But not deep down and I know you would agree with me on this.

I see people sabotage their life and the opportunity to experience fulfilment and meaning by remaining chronically busy, erratic and unfocused.

When we remain a slave to leading a busy life we lack a strong foundation upon which to enter the next chapter of our life. Wrong decisions can be made.

The next Empowered Woman Live Retreat is next Friday.  My biggest preparation for the retreat isn’t sitting down in front of the computer and organising my slides. (But yes, some of that does happen after I’ve allowed myself to get present and clear).

Instead, my preparation is focused on becoming a conduit of presence and connection so that I can open up to whatever needs to happen leading up to the retreat and at the retreat to guide women through their breakthroughs and transformation.

I encourage you to make time for nothingness in your life this weekend. Be present enough to connect to your needs and the wisdom that lies deep within you. Your truth.

I want you to try it, so you can emerge out of your busyness, confusion and overwhelm and be ready to embrace the opportunities that are waiting to meet you.

Power is not what you think it is

Power is an interesting word. Often when we think about someone who has power, or who is powerful we conjure imagery of someone who is in control, who has ability the do things the ‘average’ person can’t or has super human qualities.

What does power mean to you? Can you think of a time you felt powerful?

Power often feels like we’re in the driver’s seat of a situation or we have control over someone. I encourage you to broaden your thinking of power and find ways to incorporate it in a positive way into your life.

True power comes from within you. It stems from knowing exactly who you are, and what you stand for in any given situation. It’s not about control, it’s not about others. It’s about you.

To be powerful you need to be crystal clear on your values and understand how they impact your life. It’s about owning your flaws, your strengths and the accepting the unknowns.

When I think of powerful women, the movie Hidden Figures comes to mind. The women in this movie stand true to who they are no matter the prejudice they are faced. They know what they’re capable of but are also willing to be open to learn and stretch themselves.

From a leadership perspective, who do you think is powerful? Powerful leaders are not about the control they can wield. They show their power in beautiful, human centric ways. They are vulnerable. They are real and it is very clear exactly what their values are.

Jacinta Ardern is probably the most obvious powerful leader in current times. Her very authentic approach to leading her country, her compassion and ability to connect are powerful. There is no breast beating or manipulation in her version of power.

Feeling powerful is an individual thing and requires constant mindset work.

Do you accept your flaws? Are you ashamed of them? Does this lessen your self-esteem or power? In these times draw on the attributes of someone you think has power. Maybe it’s an aunt or uncle. Maybe a teacher. A media personality. When you’re in need of power can you embody that?

On day 2 of the Empowered Woman Live Retreat we focus on owning our power through thought provoking exercises. We also learn tools we can use in times that we need to centre and use our power.

I encourage you to watch this video if you’re interested in finding out more about what we achieve together on the Empowered Woman Live Retreat. Once we understand all the pieces to our puzzle, it helps us to live a life of purpose. You can join us in the journey here.

Dealing with Difficult People

The most common question I get asked about my work is: “Do you take your work home?”

The immediate answer is yes I do take my work home because my work is a part of who I am. But…

I don’t take my clients’ problems home.

This is what people really want to know. People are curious about how I deal with other people’s problems or pain. And this curiosity is symbolic of our need to learn to deal with our own shadows or sabotaging aspects of our psyche.

These are the parts that get triggered in our day-to-day life. Ones that make us angry, pissed off and bloody well-frustrated!

When I first started working as a psychologist in my mid-twenties I used to take my clients’ problems home – even if I wasn’t really aware of this at the time.

I was taking clients energy home without even realising it. In that energy were emotions, thoughts, beliefs and stories that clients held.

These were things that were left in the room. And yet somehow, like fluff that catches on to velcro, some bits stayed with me.

What made the fluff heavier over time was having high expectations of myself. I expected that I had to fix other people’s problems. I felt that I was somehow responsible for people getting better and realising their potential.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was merely a facilitator of change. I was the catalyst for change for those who were ready to change.

I had to learn how to set firm boundaries with myself and clients in order to be a strong catalyst for change.

The many times I tried to do fix their problems or take their pain away, my work felt heavy and hard. It drained and disconnected me from my own guidance and wisdom.

After a long windy journey, I’ve come to appreciate and love that my role as a powerful catalyst for change requires me to be present with clients.

Why do I love this now? Because when I’m present our sessions are more energising, uplifting, inspiring…and life-changing!

When we connect to our life-force we invite more life-force into every part of our life. This is when life starts to flow more and we start to get glimpses of joy. 

I disrespected this quality of loving presence because I felt that it wasn’t enough. And that I wasn’t enough if I wasn’t pulling tools out of my therapist’s box.

Little did I know at the time, that the most essential part of my work was being powerfully present with my clients – and of course myself.

Presence is the key to unlocking our potential. 

When people are given the chance to be heard and to feel safe they can dive deep into their own wisdom and find answers.

“Given appropriate support and the means for release through surrender of ego control, we have an inner radar that knows what issues, in what order and what timing is required for the healing of our psyche”. Grof (2000).

So back to dealing with difficult people and “the how of it”…

When you encounter difficult/challenging people here are a few guiding posts:

1) Become a vessel of presence.
Don’t seek to defend, protect, hide or have all the answers. Here, practice makes progress. See yourself in your mind’s eye as a solid tree with strong roots extending into the ground.

2) Be one with your breath. 
Breathe into your belly and all the way up into your chest – this may feel counter-intuitive at first unless you’re a baby. But this way of breathing allows us to open up and be available to the needs of the situation at hand.

Holding breath in any part of our body is holding out on life and on our trust in the ability to deal with a given situation.

Full breathing equates to presence and this equates to trust and confidence. 

3) Detach yourself from other people’s reaction. 
Come to see other people’s reaction as a reflection of them, not you. Having said that, we can learn a lot about ourselves by how we react to others’ reactions.

4) Communicate from presence. 
Do not assume the other person knows what you’re thinking. Name the elephant in the room by owning your point of view. For example:

“I feel….” “I think…” or  “I’ve noticed..”

This is true for you even if they don’t agree with it.

5) Address the issue in the here and now. 
Unhook from any dramatic stories or images you may have about the person or what you believe about them based on their past behaviour. Say what?!! I know! I agree. This is the most challenging part about dealing with challenging people. But unhooking in this way allows us to also unhook from our own reactions such as defensiveness which puts us on the merry-go-round of reactive emotions which become bundles of stress in our bodies.

6) Use an anchor point in your body to stay grounded.
When dealing with difficult people bring your awareness into your solar plexus region (belly button area) and speak from this place. It’s an area in your body which can feel very uncomfortable at first, but one that can help you stay grounded, focused and present.

So, don’t feel responsible for other people’s lives. Focus on being available, open and centered for responding appropriately to life’s curve balls and other people’s perceived dramas – including your own. 😊

If you would like to learn how to unlock your presence and finally start to embody who you are, so that you can experience more freedom, ease and trust in your life, then I invite you to have a 1:1 conversation with me to explore what that would look like.

This is for you if you are ready to invest in your own personal development.

In our 45min phone call, we will unpack the biggest sabotages to your presence and power and put steps in place to help you feel more grounded, present and in control of your life. As a bonus, I will guide you through a powerful “Unlocking Your Presence” guided meditation to help you start feeling more present, in your power and on purpose. Schedule your time with Suzi here. 

Integrating Emotions into your Body

Over the last few weeks I’ve experienced some intense emotions: grief, fear, anger and frustration. I could feel the tension in my body.

It’s hard to do, but I continue to learn to try not to make sense of what is happening with my emotions in the very moment that I am experiencing them.

If I do I will just try and look for evidence to confirm what I am experiencing and further reinforce whatever intense emotion I am feeling.

This is definitely not helpful if you want a better quality of life and feel less stressed – or at least have a healthier relationship with stress.

By trying to understand your emotions in the moment, you will also probably end up feeling overwhelmed and experience other secondary and tertiary emotions. Feelings like being anxious about feeling anxious which can potentially trigger a vicious cycle of anxious responses to anything that life throws your way.

Psychologist Paul Ekman suggests that this is because we are in a refractory state. In this state our thinking cannot incorporate information that does not fit, maintain or justify the emotions we are feeling. He says if we stay in this state for too long it starts to bias the way we see the world and ourselves.

Can you relate to this?

For example, you wake up feeling a little off, you’re not so nice to your partner and you find they are stand offish. You take this personally, and then you go to work and suddenly the very project that you were so excited and inspired to tackle, seems to have so many problems and issues that now you find yourself thinking that this project is unrealistic! And you don’t have the drive nor the motivation to see it through and yet you need to inspire your team to get on board and get it done. And because you stay in this too-hard-to-do bias then the whole day feels heavy, tiring and draining.

It’s normal and we all go through it. But what differentiates those who stay in a refractory state and those who move through it faster?

Those who tend to move through it and let emotions dissolve or be integrated quicker:

  1. are more emotionally attuned
  2. know not to overanalyse what they are feeling
  3. stay focused on the bigger picture and their why
  4. exercise
  5. use the power of their logical mind to stay present and grounded
  6. take time out to just be
  7. don’t make rushed decisions.

So, what should you do instead, when feeling overcome with intense emotional energy?

  1. Be present to what you are feeling. Name the feeling. If you don’t know the exact feeling that is ok. As long as you can give it something e.g. a ball of fire in my chest. This is important because the process of naming and even locating a feeling in the body helps with accepting it.
  2. Bring your awareness in to the spaciousness and the quiet in which the feeling sits in. Imagine the space which embodies and holds the feeling. Focus on that.
  3. Breathe into this space. This is a powerful reminder that no matter what is happening there is this presence, space and peace in which the intensity sits in. And this is reassuring because it brings us back to the core of who we are.

To continue to support you in this process of integrating emotions in your body you need to create a lot of space for them. Don’t hold others responsible for what you feel. Take that responsibly into your own hands and make time to be in the spaciousness of your emotions.

And this is part of the process of becoming more of who you. More You.

Giving our emotions space is something that you can learn more about at The Empowered Woman Live Retreats. Gift yourself the time and space to understand more about you, your mission and your purpose. Come and join a group of like-minded women at the next retreat in May. I would love to see you there.