As I shook my body out to Lady GaGa's "Born This Way"and my inner shakti reveled, I realized just how easy it is to disconnect from our bodies and from our internal fire.
We are not often taught how to experience, feel and share anger, angst, rage and other fire-y feelings. We can end up pushing them down or relegating them to the shadows where they fester and eventually explode. We can believe that they are 'bad' feelings and refuse to experience and f e e l them. But, here's the thing, when we don't consciously feel or explore all our feelings, they have a funny way of expanding until we do. It is my experience that anger particularly can show up in a whole array of other forms if we are not willing or able to explore it.
For me, refusing to feel or express anger has often resulted in an internal angst that has manifest as self loathing or backache or migraines or resentment or all manner of not particularly helpful or kind expressions of an energy which is essence is just hot, intense, powerfully charged atoms. When I have channeled that energy into something creative the outcomes have been beautiful and rewarding.
I have found that connecting with my body by moving it is the best way to harness that energy before then focusing it on something creative.
So, here are five ways that I have found really beneficial in turning my angst into creative fuel.
- Dancing: Dancing has without doubt been the absolute best way for me to really explore all of my fire-y feelings, and move them in my body, exploring how they feel emotionally, and physically and shifting what originally felt heavy and unwanted into something light and desirable. Finding a place to explore uninhibited sober dancing is just the best best best!! I'm a fan of The 5 Rhythms© and there are many off shoots like Ecstatic Dance, Biodanza, Movement Medicine.
- Kundalini Yoga Practice: The first time I did a kundalini yoga class I had no idea what had just happened. I went expecting an asana based workout. I left feeling uplifted, energized and exhausted all at the same time. That was many years ago and since then I have had the opportunity to be taught by some absolutely magical teachers. I love how most of a class is done with eyes closed allowing you to really connect with your own body and internal world.
- Weight lifting (exercise that clears all other noise): I am a huge fan of lifting weights. Something happens to me when I am lifting weights. I have to concentrate. All my energy centres in on what I am doing. My body, mind and breath become synchronised. Its hugely powerful for calming, grounding and enabling me to feel more me. There is a unity that happens between all aspects of myself. I am able to find that fire like angst and transform it into something powerful and tangible. I was talking to a friend recently about the experience she has when Muay Thai boxing, another friend when running, another when climbing and another has found it when swimming - it seems to me that you may need to try a few different disciplines til you find what lights you up. All of us have a shared feeling of physical exertion transforming into something else.
- Painting/Drawing/Doodling/Coloring: I'm a doodler, when I am on the phone to someone, even when on a Skype call to clients, I doodle. I am listening, in fact I feel as though I am able to listen more fully with a pen in my hand, whilst it free-forms on the page. I know people who paint or draw their feelings and swear by it being the best way to get their creative juices going. It may start off as an angsty explosion but often transitions into something really very beautiful or becomes the seed of a new idea for a project. There is a trend for adult coloring books and mandala meditations at the moment, and I think these are a wonderful way to move feelings and to harness your creativity. It isn't about creating something fully formed, you don't need an idea, you just being the pen or push to the page or canvas and move it. Let it flow.
- Journaling/Free Writing: is just such a great way to connect with your inner angst without judging it, or having to share it. Sometimes we can't voice or articulate what is going on, and by just writing whatever comes, with no expectation or guide or structure we can release what is going on inside and allow it out. This has been great for me, for many years I was too shy to dance in public and too fearful and ashamed to go to a gym and move my body, but writing felt accessible. These days I can disappear off into 'the zone' when writing and have no idea what I have written until I read it back. This is not about crafting something beautifully articulate, it's about using written word to get out what is inside. I have found that what starts off as a whine or incomprehensible often turns into something I might later use in a blog or a book or something, but that isn't the initial plan for it at all. Much of my book was written from diaries and journals I had kept from my teens.
I'd love to hear what other ideas and practices you have for turning your angst into creativity- - please leave me a note in the comments and share this with anyone who may be feeling stuck or angsty!