We often fear that the Revolution needed is too big for what we can give.
Too much change is required inside, outside.
And we are too small.
But all that is required is that you step into the truth of your life.
And speak it, write it, paint it, dance it.
That you shine your light on your truth, for the world to see.
And as hundreds, then thousands, then millions do this – each sparking the courage of yet more –
Suddenly we have a world alight with truth.
~ Lucy H. Pearce, Burning Woman
A little while back I mentioned that I had, for several reasons, given up alcohol. I originally intended to take an extended vacation from it until I reached my goal weight, and then found that in many ways my life was better without it. I sleep better, enjoy the early mornings more often, and I just feel better physically than I have in years. It has now been over a year (nearly 400 days) since I started my unintentional journey into the life of a teetotaler. I have learned more than I will ever be able to express in words about life, about myself, about the role of alcohol (food, social media, insert a myriad of things here) in my life, and the life of others (although, frankly, what others do is none of my business and I make a concerted effort to avoid judgments of any kind when it comes to the habits of others).
One thing that comes up continually is that smoking (something I quit 17 years ago), drinking, and a lot of other things (food, social media, insert a myriad of other things here), help to numb us, put up walls, keep us from the things we don’t want to feel or think about or experience. When you take away the walls, when you take away the things that numb, then life becomes much more vivid.
Several weeks ago, I posted this tweet:
Every woman I know has been storing anger for years in her body and it’s starting to feel like bees are going to pour out of all of our mouths at the same time.
~ Erin Keane
Lately, I keep circling back around to the quote and the image it brings to mind. I don’t mean that I am obsessing on it. It’s not something I think about constantly. But it does pop up from time to time, as does the idea and the reality of feminine rage. I can’t tell you how many articles, blog posts, talks, etc., that I’ve read or listened to recently about anger and feminine rage. Perhaps the universe is trying to convey some sort of message. Perhaps it’s just a matter of where I’ve been putting my attention.
Rather than push it away or ignore it, I’ve been exploring my own anger, my own rage, and how I’ve stored it in my body. I’ve been exploring, too, the idea that some of the anger I carry is not my own anger, but that of my mother, my grandmother, my great-grandmother, and generations of women in general. That might sound odd, but it is, in a way, something scientists have been exploring. Have you heard of epigenetics? There’s a short video about it here. The video explains it from the patrilineal side of things. I would imagine that experiences can also be passed on from the mother’s side as well.
The Dalai Lama says that the world will be saved by Western women. Not any women, perhaps not all women, but Burning Women. Women who have stepped out of silence and into the fullness of their power. Angry women who love the world and her creatures too much to let it be destroyed so thoughtlessly for a moment longer.
Burning Woman is the heart and soul of revolution – inner and outer. She burns for change, she dances in the fire of the old, all the while visioning and weaving the new.
~ Lucy H. Pearce, Burning Woman
I recently read a blog post by Karin L. Carlson of Return Yoga titled Kali and Feminine Rage. It is an excellent read so if you have the time, please go have a look. It is a long read, but worth it because it is beautiful and there might be something to be learned in it. It was Ms. Carlson’s blog post, along with some meditations on the element of fire, that inspired me to explore my own anger, past and present, big and small, individual and collective. I’ve been exploring it on and off the yoga mat and meditation cushion, and I’m surprised at what sometimes comes up.
I have discovered a lot about myself through this journey into a life without alcohol and into the anger I feel, the anger I hold, the anger I have repressed. Without the numbing effects of alcohol, I am unable to tamp down the fire of anger that comes up. For a while, I became what I call a “blurter.” Expressions of my feelings, in the form of words, would come tumbling out of my mouth before I had a chance to think things through. This is not, of course, a good way to live life with other people. It’s best to pause a moment, take a few deep breaths while acknowledging the anger, the sadness, the whatever, and then deal with it head on if I can. I am getting better at that although the blurting still happens from time to time.
I was not taught how to deal with anger (or any strong emotions, for that matter). I grew up in an age of “children are to be seen and not heard,” and anger was certainly not something I was encouraged to express or even acknowledge. I’m not parent-blaming. I don’t think my parents were taught healthy ways of expressing their emotions any more than I was. You can’t teach what you don’t know.
On a larger scale, there is a lot of anger floating around in the world, particularly in the U.S. right now. I think we need to acknowledge that and find ways of expressing it that is not cruel or hurtful to others. Some of that anger is being stoked to promote an agenda that, frankly, I don’t understand. It’s as if some folks want to burn down the world. I wish I knew how to help wake up the people who are raging at rallies. I wonder if even they know what it is they are angry about. Maybe if they understood their anger, they would stop supporting the people who are perpetuating it.
The mess we are living in is a deliberate one. If it was created by people, it can be dismantled by people, and it can be rebuilt in a way that serves all, rather than a selfish, hoarding few.
~ Reni Eddo-Lodge, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
Once again, I have no answers. Just musings and wonderings and my little soapbox.
Thank you for dropping by on this strange-weather day. There was a rainbow at sunrise this morning, followed by heavy downpours and sunny spells. The clouds, wind, and rain come and go, come and go. We might be able to see the sunset this evening. Let’s meet at the Point. Sunset is scheduled for 8:12 PM. Bring your rain gear, just in case. Or not. Maybe, like me, you’d prefer to splash in the puddles and let the rain wash over you.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 801) Morning rainbows. 802) Butterflies visiting the garden. 803) Summer soups (especially the cold soups such as gazpacho) and salads. 804) Fresh, juicy peaches from a local orchard. 805) Those moments when I feel like I’m in the rhythm or flow of life.