Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Alternative Healing Modalities for Anger

When I was a child, my mom always utilized natural methods for healing. Fevers were treated with cold compresses to the forehead, sucking on frozen juice pops, and cool baths. Burns were treated with ice, colds with chicken soup.  Rarely was medication given to restore health. 

Even when we are emotionally unwell, we can utilize many natural modalities to balance our energies and restore wholeness. Music, aerobic exercise, nature, prayer, meditation, and massage are just a few than can calm our anger, fear, sadness, hurt, stress, and more. By incorporating these into our daily routines, we can lower our starting point of anger. On a scale of one to ten, if I normally respond to anger with a seven, by practicing calming behaviors I may find myself responding with a four or five. Ultimately, I may even discover that I am relatively unaffected by those triggers that previously had the power to disrupt my serenity and ignite my ire. 

I have always been a proponent of healing troublesome emotions rather than simply keep them under control. Given a choice, would you not want to heal a cancer rather than simply get it under control? 

About twelve years ago, I adopted a dog that had been used for medical research for the first seven years of her life. When Halle joined our family, she was suffering from a host of medical as well as emotional issues. Although anger did not appear to be one of them (she was the most loving and sweetest dog I've ever had the privilege of "mommying"), she did struggle with issues of extreme fear and anxiety (root causes of anger). A search online revealed the benefits of precious and semi precious stones. Gemstones are not only rare and visually beautiful  but each contain unique properties that can benefit people in a variety of ways. For Halle, one of the stones I chose was blue lace agate, known for its calming abilities. I also utilized rose quartz and rhodocrosite which I subsequently sowed into her collar to maximize exposure to their energies. Hematite was used to keep her grounded as she had a tendency to disconnect from her current situation. In time, I noticed a significant difference in her demeanor. She was more calm and relaxed and her anxiety had subsided significantly.

I have clients who use prescription medication to keep their anger under wraps. About five or six years ago, I had a woman come to my office. "I have trouble keeping friendships because of my anger. Even my family can't stand me at times. My doctor has me on a combination of six different medications. It helps somewhat but I always feel 'drugged up' and I hate being on them. Can you help me?"  By helping her to understand where her anger was originating (the root causes) and addressing each of those emotional issues, we immediately saw a considerable improvement.  Added to that, I  had her choose some of the above mentioned behaviors and incorporate them into her daily routine. Within a few short weeks, she called to tell me she didn't feel that she needed her meds any longer. I strongly urged her not to take herself off of any of them without her doctor's consent. Her physician became irate at the mere suggestion and informed that she would be dependent on them the rest of her life. So she left his office and found another doctor willing to wean her off. A few weeks later, she called to tell me that for the first time in more than ten years she was making it on her own and never felt better. We continued to work together for a short time until I felt certain that she had make enough progress in healing her anger. With the proper understanding and through the use of some natural alternatives she was able to achieve the success and inner peace she so rightly deserved.

There are times in all of our lives when we may need the assistance of trained professionals and/or prescribed medications. I'm very cautious of ever becoming dependent on anyone or anything for my physical or emotional well-being. I prefer to  rely on God and nature and all things natural. They've worked for me every time.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Debunking Six Common Myths About Anger

I've been presenting seminars on healing anger for twenty years and it never ceases to amaze me how much misinformation is circulating about one of life's most powerful emotion. I've decided it is time to debunk some of the most common myths. So without further ado, let me begin with...

Myth #1. Anger is a bad emotion. It's wrong to get angry.
Truth: All emotions have purpose and value. They are great tools that enable us to learn more about ourselves - why we react to certain stimuli the way we do, what matters to us and what's unimportant, where our expectations and judgments lie, and what circumstances we take issue with that need work to correct.  It is not the anger that is bad - it is the way in which we manage (or don't manage) it and express it that can cause serious damage. 

Myth #2. When you feel angry, it's best to let it out and get it off your chest.
Truth: Yes and no. Sometimes it's not necessary to express how you feel. Many issues can be resolved internally without ever verbalizing your displeasure. Sometimes it's not wise to convey your feelings. Blatantly telling a police officer that you're livid that he pulled you over for speeding could cause him to become irate and rather than simply issue you a warning you are slapped with a hefty ticket. However, there are times when it is perfectly acceptable and advantageous to let the other party know that you are upset with them or with what has transpired. Sharing feelings invites open dialogue that can clear the air, gain deeper insights, and strengthen relationships.

Myth #3. You can't help the way you feel.
Truth: Anger is a choice. I decide if I want to be upset about a situation or just let it be. All emotions originate in the mind with a thought. And since I alone choose my thoughts I also choose the corresponding emotion. When my best friend fails to return my call after a week's time, I can tell myself she's being rude or consider that she might have simply forgotten. One evokes anger, the other compassion. Either way - my choice.

Myth #4. Other people/things make you angry.
Truth: People or events (outside stimuli) are triggers, not causes. Whenever we experience an event (something occurs, someone says/does something that does not meet our criteria for what should happen) we become agitated. Pay careful attention to the expectations and demands you place on yourself and those around you. Expecting that there be no traffic at 7 am when I leave for work, is likely to cause me to become irate when I find myself in bumper-to-bumper congestion on the freeway. A simple readjusting of one's expectations to what is reasonable for the situation alleviates any potential anger from manifesting. 

Myth #5. Anger is hereditary. If you have a bad temper you can't help it - it's in your genes.
Truth: Anger is a learned behavior. Claiming that it is inherited is an avoidance tactic - a way to circumvent taking responsibility for your attitude and subsequent behaviors. Under the right conditions, anyone can control their anger. If the consequences are too high (perhaps you run the risk of getting fired for an explosive outburst at work) you will contain your feelings until you are in a safer environment where the dangers of expressing it are far less. A bad temper can be healed with the proper knowledge, tools, and commitment.

Myth #6. People with anger issues yell, scream, throw things, hit, punch, etc. Those who don't react with aggression don't have a problem with anger.
Truth: Not so. One is simply more apparent than the other. Many people are afraid to openly express how they feel and keep their anger bottled up inside. This can lead to depression, health issues, relationship problems, addictions, somatizing (inflicting harm upon oneself such as self-mutilation), self-loathing, and more. Others resort to sarcasm, the silent treatment or other covert behaviors. And there are some who are in denial of their anger believing that it is wrong and/or that they will be judged because of it. Either way, suppressing anger can have potentially deadly consequences. 

Anger is a normal, healthy, useful, and necessary emotion. Acknowledge it when it arises, get to the root* of what is bothering you, heal those issues, and let it go. Anger directed appropriately can yield positive benefits for you and those around you. Choose your emotions wisely for they direct the course of your life.

*Learn more in The Secret Side of Anger
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Redefining Victimization - A New Approach

"I'm a victim of domestic violence." That's one phrase you'll never hear emanating from my mouth. Even though I spent three years engaged to marry someone who verbally and physically abused me, I never once entertained the thought of myself as a victim. Perhaps it's because I define a victim as one without power. True, in some circumstances we are unprepared or momentarily ill-equipped to protect ourselves from the unexpected disturbances life presents us. Driving home from work along the same roads you've traversed for the past ten years you're suddenly broadsided by a drunk driver running a red light. Even with the deployment of the airbag and the seatbelt securely anchoring you to the driver's seat, you suffer substantial injuries that forever alter the way in which you are able to function. I know of no one who would be so callous as to not see that individual as the victim of a dwi - with the possible exception of myself and perhaps a few others. Let me explain. 

No matter how exemplary one has lived their life, no one is immune to life's surprises. Things happen - to all of us. Well, let me correct that: things happen for us. One if the major flaws of a victim mentality is that they believe they are being targeted, that for some unknown reason the forces of the universe are out to get them. They suffer from a condition I call PMS (no, not that PMS): Poor Me Syndrome. They feel sorry for themselves as though they are undeserving of the  unfairness's the rest of the world must endure. 

Victims tend to share certain characteristics:
  • They believe they are or were powerless in the situation (the very definition of anger).
  • They fail to see how the collective choices they've made in life brought them into their current situation.* They believe they are completely without responsibility.
  • They were unfairly targeted.
  • They use their position of victimhood to justify their prolonged anger.
  • Being victimized garners sympathy and attention from others.
  • Others support them when they seek justice and/or revenge.
  • It excuses them from living fiercely and fully embracing life while relying on others to protect them from further harm.
Each of us is granted three universal attributes: intellect (the ability to gather information), free will (the right to make our own decisions) and choice (the application of free will). In the event I am ambushed by life, I choose to either graciously accept my experience and utilize it for my own good or to be held hostage to it. 

The Dalai Lama says that there are no victims in life, only students. It is essential that we have certain experiences in order to fulfill our life's purpose.  We have the option of seeing ourselves as a helpless victim or as a student of the experience. Although some events arrive wrapped in unpleasant and damage coverings, we all have the ability and responsibility to extract the contents and uncover the hidden value. In that way, whatever appears to be tragic can ultimately prove to be one of our greatest blessings.

So the choice is yours. Victimization exists only in the mind. Trust in the process of life; have faith in God. All is exactly as it must be for your higher good. Be at peace. You are not helpless - you have all the power you need within. 

*I chose to attend a retreat that included my future abuser. I chose to engage in conversation with him. I chose to continue a friendship with him after the retreat ended. I chose  to fall in love with him. I chose to stay even after the first red flags appeared. Personal choice after personal choice which ultimately lead to a dv relationship. In what way was I a victim? 

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Forgiveness and Inner Peace - the Connection

Forgiveness: so many misconceptions and misunderstandings; so many who believe forgiveness is reserved for a chosen few or must be preceded with an apology. Still others feel at times that it is impossible or worse, that there are those not deserving of its graces. And so they suffer...all of them, when healing is clearly within their reach. Please take a moment and reflect on a letter from the Father expressing the importance and necessity of His sacred gift of forgiveness.

A Letter From God With Love

My dear children,

When I created you, I gave you the gift of free will.  I knew that you would sometimes misuse it and make poor choices.  I also knew that your actions would cause pain and suffering to others.

Know that mistakes are a part of the human experience. Do not hold your brothers and sisters hostage to their imperfections.  Allow them the freedom to be human without judgment or condemnation.

I ask you, “What purpose does it serve to hold on to your anger?”  You carry within you the internal scars from past hurts and then refuse to heal the wounds.
At times, you have even sought revenge on your offender.  Does this not only add to your own suffering and the suffering of all humanity?  How does vengeance profit any of you?  This does not please me at all.

 So I say to you, “Put to rest all thoughts of retaliation.  Turn your hearts instead to matters of healing. You have all suffered enough.”

For which one of my beloved has not felt the sting of harsh words?  Who among you has not shed tears brought on by feelings of isolation, rejection, loneliness, humiliation? 

And who among you can stand before me and say “But Father, I have never offended another”?  Whether intentional or not, have you not at times exposed your dark side to your brother?  As I have instructed you to forgive, so do I instruct you to ask for forgiveness. 

My children, you all act out what you feel.  Do not judge or criticize others for their actions. Respond instead with understanding and kindness.  Be gentle with one another.  Choose behavior that is life-affirming.

This is why, my beloved, I have given you with the gift of forgiveness, the power to heal all wounds.

 To forgive is to allow for human imperfection without judgment or retaliation.”

Forgiveness allows for a healing of the self.  It removes all residual traces of anger from your heart. It replaces hurt with acceptance.   It restores serenity and harmony within. It is a gift of love you give yourself.

To choose not to forgive only perpetuates suffering for all.

Be kind to one another.  Do good to all whom you encounter.  Forgive all of my children, all of them, even the difficult ones.

For you do not decide who deserves forgiveness. I alone have dominion in this.

As often as I have forgiven you, so are you expected to forgive one another.

I have set the standard by restoring grace to those who fatally wounded my Beloved Son.  I expect no less of you.

This I promise you: that those who choose forgiveness will be granted my favor and be rewarded with the gifts of everlasting peace and joy.

In the final analysis, this is the only true path to peace.

With love,
From God

Please enjoy the accompanying video on the healing power of forgiveness at

To order a copy of The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth visit

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