Restoring your Voice
Restoring Your Voice: Healing from Anger and Rediscovering Power
In systems that weren't built by or for us, many of us have experienced overt and covert retaliation for daring to speak up against injustices. The collective oppression and silencing of women is something far too many of us know well and without safe, inclusive spaces to gather and process, it can be easy to lose our voices, our sense of self, and our power.
There has never been a more important time to heal from the imprints of the past, process our anger, and harness its transformative energy. Soraya Chemaly's new book, "Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger," brilliantly shines a light on the insidious ways women are socialized to stifle their anger, often to placate others—at the cost of their own mental and physical health. The book makes a compelling case for why women should embrace their anger and drive social and political change to correct injustices instead of "playing nice."
But here's an interesting fact: suppressing feelings of anger increases nervous system dysregulation, creates tension patterns in the body, and can eventually lead to chronic shutdown, freeze, and even burnout.
I've been there, and got the postcard.
Your nervous system is wired for "fight" in response to a threat. Mobilizing energy is released, compelling you to take important actions. If you're unable to follow through with that instinct and return to baseline, your nervous system remains "tuned" to excess fight energy
Over time, suppressing anger can lead to apathy, flatness, and even burnout.
When you close the window on feeling anger, you’re also closing off your inner resources that bring you strength, purpose, agency, and stress resilience.
So, how do you train your nervous system to release excess survival energy and restore wellbeing? One answer lies in somatic practices.
Reflections for Anger
Bring to mind a recent time when you got angry. Consider how you related to this anger. What do you notice happening in your body? What postures do you take on?
Notice what the sensations inside your body feel like. You might place a hand where the sensations are and imagine that you're keeping them company, just like you would a friend. Do they shift or change when they're no longer labeled as wrong or bad? What is it like to allow feelings of anger, irritation, or frustration to be here?
Shift your body to an open posture and allow your breath to be deep and full. Try using these statements to address the feeling and notice how your body responds:
I allow my feelings to be here
I lovingly accept these feelings
This is how it is
I surrender to the truth of how I feel
What comes up for you? We'd love you to share your experience with us and join us in the Empowered Women's Circle to continue learning and growing alongside our community.
Remember that healing from the wounds of the past is an ongoing journey. Each step you take towards acknowledging and embracing your anger is a step towards empowerment and healing. 🌿 - Lisa Burchartz