I did it, made it through 40 days…
What I learned from the Handle Your Heat 40-Day Practice that anger, like any of my emotions, can serve as an ally if I am willing to face it as a teacher and a trusted friend who has something important to tell me about myself – as opposed to some kind of character defect.
However, like any practice, the benefits are only maximized and sustained if I make sure it is a “daily” 40- day practice. Discipline and steadiness can be difficult, but daily discipline when it comes to my spiritual practice has been the key to my results and my growing freedom.
When I started out on this 40-day meditation, I would struggle to keep my arm up. When I started accepting the sadness, pain, frustration and rage that arose through my forceful breath, I heard my anger asking me to think about the many times in the past I have gotten angry. So angry at people, situations, perceived slights… And how I made myself – and sometimes others – so miserable and hurt through my outward reaction to the anger…
And then I heard anger say, “Yet, here you are, and you’re ok. So how bad could any of it really have been?”
After having this experience over the first few days of the practice, I realized my anger had taught me to feel it, learn from it, and utilize the energy for positive action – not rage or knee jerk reactions. Slowly but surely, my arm started staying up without me even thinking about it. I’m still learning, but day-by-daily practice, I’m becoming more peaceful.
There is a Ray Bradbury quote I love: “You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” I agree, and also feel that it sure does help if you have some wing building materials when you jump! That is what a daily practice gives me. It allows me to live in the moment while being prepared to face the wonder and mystery of each of those moments as the spiritual being I long to be.
– Dan Erickson