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Anger Moves Me

A recent experience brought to light the physicality of my emotions. Specifically, the influence that "negative" emotions have on my body. From childhood I have felt driven by my emotional state- as a highly sensitive person I learned to develop an emotional relationship with my self through art expression. Anger and frustration have always propelled creative motion. The negative, socially unacceptable connotation of anger often represses our ability to allow its articulation. In my childhood, if I felt angry, I recall retreating to my bedroom and engaging in an intensely dynamic creation of visual art. The emotions within me moved out, emptying onto the paper through the motion of my arms. Recently I haven’t allowed myself the space to be angry, not wanting to invite this “negativity” into my life. Perhaps trying to resolve my emotional intruder through denial, suppression, or by immersing myself in the easeful distraction of the TV or social media. I thought- I don't have time to be angry, I don't want to waste my energy being agitated. The art or writing I created at that time seemed to only validate my anger without providing a sense of release, of distance. I learned to control anger by immobilizing my body- no motion= no emotion. After several months I felt an undeniable disconnect from my self. In my mental health books I read that holding in anger, aggression, and rage suppresses vitality and positive energy. Through dance movement I gave myself the opportunity to be fueled into motion by my anger and feel transformed by the physical externalization. One night I spent hours dancing with the agitated tension that was crippling my inner world. My movements felt raw, emotional, provocative, and powerfully authentic. Through the kinetic motion of my body I honored my pain and anger by allowing myself to express without judgment and without fear. I realized that I had been stifled by my own unconscious self-judgment and repression. It was only after the time I spent moving with my negative emotions that I felt I had freed myself of some of the anger holding me hostage. This vital personal lesson and preventative self-care reminder has been a life-long lesson that I will undoubtedly continue to practice. Whether through visual art or movement, allowing ourselves to access and safely express the full range of our emotions can release our mind and body from the burdens of our emotional blockage and allow ourselves to move freely through our lives with self acceptance and authenticity.

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