In Savor -- Mindful Eating, Mindful Life we explore caring for our negative emotions in order that we may transform them into positive, mindful seeds of peace. Here are a few of my favorite excerpts from the book, on working with anger.
It is very important to learn to observe our negative emotions. One common negative emotion is anger- a complex formation that is at the heart of so many people’s struggles with weight, relationships and life in general. Identifying the presence and absence of anger in us brings many benefits. Anger is like a flame blazing up and consuming our self control, making us think say and do things we will probably regret later…
When we observe that our anger is present and we mindfully identify our anger, it will lose its destructive nature. Only when we are angry and not observing our anger mindfully does our anger become destructive. When anger is born in us, we should follow our breathing closely while we identify and mindfully observe our anger. When we do that, mindfulness has already been born in us, and anger can no longer monopolize our consciousness.
Awareness stands alongside anger:
Breathing in, I know that I am angry.
Breathing out, I take care of my anger.
This awareness is a companion for the anger. Our mindful observation is not to suppress or drive out our anger, but just to look after it. This is a very important principle.
When we are angry, our anger is our very self. To suppress or chase away our anger is to suppress or chase away ourselves. When anger is born, we can be aware that anger is an energy within us, and we can change that energy into another kind of energy. If we want to transform it, first we have to know how to accept it.