One of my favourite parts of JoyRide, my membership program, is the weekly Q&A session that we have. It’s such a great platform for discussing the rich and diverse questions that come up in relation to our horsemanship and life and gives us an amazing opportunity to unpack the many and varied experiences that are a part of it.
During the last session of the year, I was asked:
Can you please share your thoughts on repressed anger?
Half an hour later, the discussion was still going on. After we wrapped up, a few people asked if I would consider sharing part of our conversation outside of our closed group. I’ll be honest and say that I’ve sat with this for a while. The JoyRide group provides such a safe container for discussion and I’m aware of the possibility of things being taken out of context or inferences being made that are out of alignment with the true nature of what I would like these thoughts to represent.
As such, posting this video makes me a little nervous… but that lies beside a strong feeling of purpose and conviction that we need to be having more conversations around emotions and experiences that are deemed unacceptable or not ok and blow apart the veil of fear and shame that we can have around them.
When I speak of mindful anger and emotions of that nature, I often receive messages and emails that blow me away. Stories of hardship, trauma, abuse. It breaks my heart. And within those stories, incredible experiences of courage and strength. Plus the words: I have lived with these feelings of anger or struggled with them for years. This is the first time I have heard the conversation around anger presented in this way.
Those words fortify me to keep having these conversations.
In the horsemanship world, we talk much of peace, relaxation, and harmony. This is obviously the aim. But all of those experiences are dynamic. And we can’t truly experience any of them without having a healthy connection to our own internal flame and backbone, which involves a healthy connection to anger.
Before we get into it, a couple of words about what this isn’t:
When I talk of mindful anger, I am in no way advocating the use of force or “power over”: of horses and humans. That lies in direct opposition to my practice.
This is instead a conversation about connecting to our internal strength and backbone and the role that healthy anger plays in that, and our responsibility to learn how to channel that in a useful way.
I would love to know what you think! Please feel free to share your thoughts.
Onwards (with a deep breath!)