If you have been following my blog for some time, you know the drill. You know you must feel emotions that come up on a daily basis, since preventing and thus storing them on your body generates tension and pain. Obviously, nobody will be perfect at setting feelings. However, I, like you, have the aim to feel as pain-free and healthy as you can.
This keeps me inspired to always allow myself to have feelings, albeit imperfectly. Every now and then, I fall back to the do not -feel mode. This usually means there’s something I truly have to sense, and I am busy convincing myself I’m fine, it is all good, and I’ll just attend to a couple more emails rather than stopping to feel. Last month, I noticed creeping tension accumulating in my spine, and I knew I had to feel something. I did some averting, then a few distracting, and a small amount of eating. Strangely, none of that eliminated my tension.
Finally, I took a deep breath and dove in my own mind. I should have known. It had been stored anger. For me, anger is the strongest emotion. I’ve worked for many years to permit sadness, and I will pretty much let myself a great cry whenever I want it. I’ve gotten much friendlier with dread, and I can let it be present for the most part.
I believe deeply in honoring emotions, the body, and the brain and the way they work together. I decided I wanted some help obtaining what was stored in my body. I booked an appointment show with my chiropractor, who also does extreme (by that I mean hideously painful) myofascial and deep tissue release. If I had some anger saved in my muscles and cells, he would definitely help it begin to flow.
After a week’s session, I drove home (blinking the tears of pain from my eyes – the guy has thumbs of steel) and got back to work. He’d done a new sort of fascial release that hurt so much I thought I’d pass out. He assaulted muscles on the top of my head which were highly offended by the attack. Yet, it felt strangely good afterward. I stumbled, typing away at my desk.
Suddenly, a tsunami of anger burst into my awareness. Wow. I did some Conscious Complaining, I believed it, I spoke to a fellow trainer. I thought I was doing pretty good, allowing the anger to flow. Yet, the muscle tension was still there. I was somewhat puzzled. A few days later, I was seeing my mother, chatting with her in the kitchen. I told her about the anger explosion, and she said, “Oh, yes, I like to have tantrums when that occurs.”
I’ve tossed around the term tantrum earlier, but I had a feeling something really good was going to be revealed. Sure enough, she started to demonstrate, and something indescribable came over me. It was a feeling of relief, a giant easing of years of anxiety. It was consent to let go. She actually got INTO the tantrum. She yelled. She mocked. She moved her entire body. It was magnificent, and impossible not to join in.
Pretty soon I was having a tantrum, too. I was trembling all parts of my body, I was being a three-year-old, and I was letting it all out. It was kind of like a tantrum dance, though lying down and kicking our legs was involved. The tantrum came to a natural close, since we could not last long without exploding into fits of laughter. It was possibly the funniest thing. I wish you could see my mother having a tantrum. She’s gifted. She’s a genius. She knows how to let herself possess the moment.
We like to think we are adults now, and tantrums are a 3-year-olds prerogative. Not so. There’s nothing more freeing than letting loose your internal 3-year-old. I imagine that, like us, you will have a hard time not laughing when you are finished with your tantrum, especially if you really let yourself get into it. I highly recommend grabbing a friend who is ready to learn more about the tantrum concept, also. It may seem absurd, but a tantrum done well is really among the most healing things you can do to help yourself. You get to combine Conscious Complaining (at the top of your lungs, no less, or in scathing, mocking tones – soooo fun) with moving your entire body.
There’s something enormously powerful about that. Second, you get to shake, punch, kick, and pummel the atmosphere, releasing real stored energy in the body. Third, you get to feel whatever you are feeling, and it is a lot easier to let it flow when you are really getting into it physically. Fourth, you get to laugh in the end, which is among the healthiest things you can do to help yourself in general. Not five minutes after my tantrum, my spine loosened up. I felt lighter. I felt happy. I felt awake. My body was alive, fluid, and powerful. I was present. I told my mom she’s a genius. She said she learned it from me, when I was a three-year-old.
When I had tantrums as a child, she was able to join in, because, well, why not? My mom GETS children, in a way that nobody else I know does. She understands that you have only got to have the tantrum, and trying to prevent it’s futile. She knows that a small company in a tantrum makes it that far better. Somehow, I forgot, as my adult self, this gem of wisdom. I’m grateful to have recovered it. I guess, for some reason, we always try to be so grown up.
Why is that? Kids have far more fun. They’re naturals at feeling and moving , no saved tension necessary. Whatever changed me and you from a publicly feeling four-year-old into a hold it in adult (yes, there are lots of experiences in life that, sadly, ease that process), it is time to recapture our child genius. I tried to get Mom to produce a tantrum video, but she was a bit shy. Maybe I’ll coerce her to give Tantrum Workshops with me. Somehow, I hope to communicate her genius to you, because I think you’ll benefit in a massive way.
For the time being, the written word is the best I can do. I’ve learned from the master, but I do not consider myself a fully trained tantrum teacher just yet.
- Queue up the issue you are upset about on your mind.
- Start moving. Wiggle your shoulders, shake your arms, make air punches – just do whatever your body needs to do.
- Start whining about whatever it is, or anything. Stoop to your lowest amounts. Say what you really need to say but are not letting yourself express. Use your bitchiest voice. Then yell. Get snarky. Mock. Whine. Judge. Channel your inner toddler.
- Feel whatever emotion is there. Say what you feel. Let your moves express what you are feeling in whatever way feels right. Be the drama queen. Go way over the top.
- Laugh hysterically on your own. I truly can not recommend this enough. I employed it while using a wardrobe meltdown.
I felt completely nostalgic about all my clothing, and spent a great several hours ruminating on how awful they look, before I recalled the Conscious Tantrum Technique. So, I encourage you to be a toddler if you will need to feel through something. Have the moment. Let yourself go there. Let it all hang out. Stoop to your lowest amounts. Then, you are going to rise up on the sweet wake, with bliss to take you home – to you.