I want to try and tell you quickly about something I learned this week.
On Thursday I was invited to act out my rage at a session. This was a revelation to me – I don’t generally think of myself as an angry person, but the point being made was that everyone has RAGE and it comes out somehow. It was absolutely awful! Being confronted with those feelings full-on for the first time – it was really hard to take. I was quite wrecked afterwards. But being on my own with how it felt and being forced to deal with it as an adult for the first time was just one of those experiences that really changed me. I was feeling really terrible and completely alone with it; my first instinct was to eat (obviously), second was to get very very very drunk. But then it occurred to me, that however I chose to cope with those feelings, it was completely on me, no-one else’s responsibility, and I would probably be coping that way for some time to come. So I thought about better choices I could make and the only thing I really felt like doing was playing some piano. I managed to get myself home on that basis but by the time I got there I knew I needed to get out and RUN. I got changed and headed straight out again into the cloudy evening, and ran as hard as I could – HR up around 160. Guess how long it took me to start feeling better….?
I ran for 12 and then I was DONE. I started feeling AWEEEESOME. Like I could conquer the world. I was just completely on top of everything. I walked home, got a shower, and saw my reflection in the kitchen window – and it was like all the parts of me I’d forgotten or lost or had been missing were right there, staring back. I had nothing but love for myself.
And so I’ve started learning, about this process of accepting and even learning to enjoy ALL of my feelings, and that makes me feel complete. Being able to feel my rage and confront it and sometimes even us it – that makes me feel really strong, and that’s where my missing energy has been hiding. By denying myself that I’ve been disenfranchised and incomplete. I’m not at the point of being able to control which feelings come when yet, but when I get MAD I know I don’t have to be scared of it because once I face it, it moves through into this magical feeling of utterly empowered bliss, and it’s the only way to get there.
This morning I was feeling a little bit mad again, and this time I did actually play the piano. I’ve been trying to learn this Rachmaninov piece which is just too many notes needing too much strength and it’s only when I am MAD that I can really play it. I also noticed that with all my pieces, my accuracy is better when I’m mad, and on top of that, the new passages I learn stick much more quickly than in my normal practice time. I’m super-focused and determined to hit the notes. I was trying to spin it out and stay mad for longer (9 minutes doesn’t get you very far!) to see how much else I could learn!
I’m wondering now what else I can accomplish when I’m mad – I know it helps with my workouts, my playing is technically better, and I learn faster. Can I apply this to other kinds of learning? Other physical activity? Other skills? I know I don’t have to be scared of getting angry any more because I can use it, I know just how quickly it passes, and I know that embracing it is the key to feeling totally awesome about myself. That’s completely life-changing.
I’m up to 21 days of consecutive workouts and starting to love feeling stronger and how I feel afterwards, the total love and acceptance and feeling at one with myself. Workouts and unavoidable obligations aside, I’m not scripting my days any more – I’m just living my life. Doing the things I enjoy, what I feel like when I feel like, doing the things I need to do and want to do. It’s completely different and extraordinary, but most of the time it feels pretty amazing. And this is just the start…!