If I had a nickel for every medical intuitive that’s pulled the “Liver/Anger” card on me over the years…well I’d have a lot of nickels. My kinesiologist, acupuncturist, theta healer and even my remedial masseuse have all gazed into their crystal balls and seen the same angry little liver. (For those who are uninitiated into the world of non-Western medicine: In many healing traditions the body’s organs are connected to specific emotions- and the liver is often associated with anger.)
Initially I didn’t get it. “Don’t got no rage ‘round here,” I’d assert (with a high-octave accent and an elbow-singing jig to prove it). What I hadn’t considered was all the stuff my 16 year old self had swept under the psychic rug. Had it not been starting to smell a little (psychosomatically) funky, I might never have revisited and cleaned up the mess. So what to do with all that unaddressed anger bunging up my liver?
STEP ONE: RAGE
Boxing was the business. I started punching my way to peace. I’d tap into a memory or something I’d repressed and channel that energy out. To be clear, there’s a difference between cardio boxing and cathartic boxing. Cardio is superficial and sustainable – light little, love-taps. Cathartic is raw, primal, animalistic e-motion (energy in motion). The kind that can only be sustained for a few minutes before you’re on the floor – an exhausted pile of bones, sweat and tears.
To help me dig deep into this cathartic zone, I’d sometimes dialogue in my mind, “that’s for…(Bam!) and that’s for… (Bam. Bam!) The thought was was rarely attached to anything specific. It simply opened the communication lines. My mind started the question…my body instinctively knew how to finish it.
STEP TWO: RINSE
According to Sarah Wilson, when we meditate our pores produce an oily film that is apparently “REALLY good for the skin.” I make a point of not washing my face after a meditation for this reason. Like some kind of natural wellspring of a magic elixir, you want to let all those anti-ageing properties to re-absorb.
I hate to think what kind of weird ju-ju my pores are producing when I’m boxing (anyone else sweating swear words!?). The idea of that demonic discharge soaking back into my skin isn’t really appealing so I’ll usually rinse my body by jumping in the ocean straight after or bathe in epsom salts. The salt element is intentional as it represents rebirth (for more on that check out this blog post).
STEP THREE: RE-WRITE
After actively emptying my cells of anger I return to the scene of the crime and edit the story (the one I’ve been telling myself). I’ll vent, rage, release and express a physical ‘fuck you!’ and once I’m spent (and ocean dunked) – I’m done. Empty. Clear as quartz. There’s no animosity-tinted afterglow, just a sense of spaciousness, room for something… more elevated.
I close my eyes, invite the source of heart-rage back into a meditation and imagine that same person offering me kindness and care. I let that gentle quality of energy sink down into the places that (energetically) ache, soothing old wounds like a warm, golden salve. In this way, I have been able to trade Toxic for Tonic. Weaving positive messages, feelings and mental states into the fabric of those memories. Bit by bit, synapse by synapse, building new neural structure. Laying down new memories and replacing negative feelings and beliefs with positive ones.
As Anne Lamott writes, “what seems true is that something in life, on the highways or in our hearts, is always being installed, or being repaired, or being torn down for the next installation.” To me, this is higher living. Building and developing alchemical infrastructure. Churning dusty, half-remembered nightmares into gold. Try it at home sometime. Rage, Rinse, Re-Write…and Repeat. Even if you’re adamant you don’t have an angry bone in your body you’ll feel oh-so-light, so fresh and so free on the other side of a good ol’ heart rave.
P.S. You don’t need someone holding focus pads for you. In fact, their presence can be distracting. Find a punching bag, bolster and pillows, anything firm with a little yield. Aaaand go nuts!
Love, Brieann x