I’m sure if anyone caught me in the act, they would swear I was having a full-blown, adult-sized, hissy-fit. At least that’s what it feels like but in a super-cool, releasing kind of way.
Every ounce of my energy was focused on whacking my bed like my life depended on it. My rolled up towel creating the perfect baton for whacking inanimate objects so as not to cause any damage. And boy does it feel good!
In many ways, this exercise feels like a tantrum for grown-ups. You can kick and scream and swear and really let it rip. I know you’re probably thinking… this girl’s off her rocker (and you may be right) but hear me out on this one.
For as long as I can remember, I have pushed my uncomfortable feelings away. Isn’t that what we’ve been conditioned to do? I’ve learned somewhere along the line that it’s not cool to delve into our negative emotions nor express them. Feelings like sadness, anger, grief can be too painful to deal with so it’s easier to avoid them. And I’ve never learned how to express them in a way that is socially accepted or doesn’t cause harm to others.
I’m sure like many others, I have learned to push my feelings away. Hoping they will disappear so I don’t actually have to deal with them.
So what happens to our emotions when we refuse to feel them?
Slash & Burn
At the age of 49, I have now had two diagnoses of breast cancer. I don’t say this to impress you but rather, to establish the context behind my absolute motivation to discover a cause and cure for cancer.
You see, I believe we have an epidemic of breast cancer on our hands with one in seven women being touched by this unwanted terrorist. And this statistic continues to rise. The tragedy is that after billions of dollars have been raised in pursuit of a cause, we still don’t have answers. And after an incredible amount of research, the best indicator of getting breast cancer is our gender, yes, being a woman! I’m not sure about you, but this gives me little comfort. And if I had invested a truckload of money into research, I’d be wanting my money back!
So after millions and millions of dollars have been spent (invested) in finding a cure, we continue to slash, burn and poison (lumpectomy, radiation and chemotherapy) women in the hopes of returning them to optimal health.
This has been one of the things I have struggled with most in my treatment. To willingly receive chemo into my veins knowing it will burn my skin, destroy my gut lining and toxify my septic system. Shouldn’t healing work to boost our immune system rather than hamper it?
Getting to the Source
I’m not sure where my cynicism for western medicine came from but when I read ‘Mind over medicine’ by Dr Lissa Rankin, I breathed a sigh of relief. I felt validated and curious to learn more from doctors and teachers who thought outside the box. Our medical doctors may be well educated and well intentioned, but even they have gaps in their knowledge base.
I was watching an interview of Dr Bruce Lipton who is medically trained and a pioneer in some radical thinking that could change medicine forever. He said two things that really stood out to me. First, that we are our own best healer. He states that our mind and body are incredibly resourceful and when empowered, have the capacity to work miracles in our healing journey.
And second, that repressed emotions, namely unresolved anger plays a key role in the development of cancer. Wow! Imagine for a moment, that freeing up repressed emotions was actually more effective than any drug or radiation treatment available on the market today? If this were true, I would choose this healing pathway any day of the week.
Now I’m not suggesting for a minute to abandon the current approach to cancer treatment. But, if the slash, burn, poison highway leads to a possible 90% survival rate, what might tip my odds to over 100%?
If taking some time to focus on identifying and clearing some repressed emotions, particularly anger is going to ensure a better outcome, I am prepared to do what it takes. I believe that traditional western medicine practitioners should embrace a holistic approach to treatment of this horrible disease.
So I started to ask myself some deeper questions:
Where do I have unresolved anger in my life?
How does anger feel within my body? Where is it in my body?
Does it feel hot or cold? Or does it have a sensation?
Does it resemble anything? Does it have a colour/texture?
What does it want to tell me right now?
What are some ways I can release my anger?
When the Student is Ready…
I’ve dabbled in therapy and coaching over the years and they have had their benefits. As well as their limitations. Especially when I have approached these practitioners with the intent to tap into unrepressed emotions and find ways to release them.
Recently, my girlfriend Mel suggested that I should do an anger experiment. I was to roll up a towel for a baton and start expressing the feelings that sit dormant within me. At first, I thought it sounded a bit crazy. But it would only take about 5 minutes so I eagerly accepted a week-long challenge of allowing my anger to be expressed a bit each day.
What an experiment it has been. Being fully present to my emotions and allowing their authentic expression in an adrenaline pumped, 5 minute session with myself has been one of the most powerful and freeing activities I have ever done. And far more effective than any session I could’ve paid for.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the week-long anger challenge. It has helped me to be present with my emotions, to honour them and have a healthy way to release them, forever. Who knows… maybe my cancer diagnosis was my messenger to dig deeper and do some excavation of unresolved emotions. And maybe, my insights could spare others from a cancer diagnosis too.
Love + wisdom,