This is Chair Therapy…

chair therapy, repressed anger, let it go

Chair Therapy.. It’s not what you think.. or is it?

When I hear the words “chair therapy”, automatically I think of sitting in a chair in some office with a therapist and talking calmly about feelings. This is NOT that. This story is about a completely new kind of therapy that appeared to me by complete divine intervention for lack of better words…

Here is my story:

When I was at the impressionable young age of 13, I made a commitment to never get angry with anyone… ever. At the time, I made this decision because I lived in a household that spewed anger from its foundation, from its walls, and even floated out of the windows and doors. The amount of anger in this space was enough for a whole neighborhood it seemed, and I did not enjoy feeling it constantly pushed in my face so to speak. So yea, I made this promise. And I kept it… for two decades.

Fast forward to now, and the realization that anger is not necessarily a “bad” or “undesirable” emotion as I had labeled it so many years ago, but instead can be a very healthy one when experienced appropriately.healthy anger, warrior spirit

Let me explain this with more background…

Oh so long ago, when I made this promise, it was because of my father misusing his authority and being unconscious of its effects on those around him, (but I can really only speak for myself) so mainly my interpretation of this projected emotion onto me. My solution was to never, ever make anyone feel the way I felt when receiving this anger, hence, the eating of anger began. I ate anger for 2 decades until one day I met someone who could “see” how in my eating anger, I was destroying myself from the inside out. “What? What are you talking about?”  I said. Completely unconscious of this pattern I had so meticulously spun within myself, and thinking that complete kindness is the only way to be, naturally, I politely argued with this person. I kindly argued until I got mad.. and I mean really mad. So mad that I spent the next three days stuck in the one emotion I had avoided for so long. Full on anger.

buddha quotes, buddha and anger

When I came back around, I felt a bit lighter, and more cooperative to listen to what this person had to say. Through a very enlightening conversation, I learned that eating anger can be just as unhealthy and unnatural as eating socks for breakfast. This realization came only 2 years ago and since that first experience with it, I have literally tip toed around the idea… not accepting it nor dismissing it, but not really giving it much more of my attention from that point on…

Until last week. On my birthday, (and ironically fathers day landed on this day as well this year), I was sitting at my computer, reading all the beautiful birthday wishes from my family around the world when I received a sweet breakbeat mix from a friend in Dallas, Texas. Naturally just listening to this music got me very excited and wanting to find a place to go dance to music just like this.. that is all I wanted as my birthday wish. I asked my partner in crime who was sitting next to me while I was blissing out to the beats if he would join me on a trip to Salzburg Austria to dance all night to this music. His response was all it took to reignite the repressed anger within me. It went something like this : (a heavy prolonged sigh from him) followed by a “Really? You want me to go to listen to that?! Uffff oh well, it IS your birthday so I guess I could go just for that”.

Bam. That’s all it took. I slammed my computer shut and retreated to my bed where I attempted to again eat the anger welling up inside of me. I laid there under the covers for a good 20 minutes hyperventilating and trying to calm myself when I realized that it was not going to happen. Somehow, I was unable to eat this anger, and not only that, but whatever anger I had eaten before was about to be regurgitated as well. Oh shit. What to do now? Take a walk… take a walk before someone approaches you and you knock them the f$%^ out with this energy that was coming up. So I did. I walked away from the house and towards the forest beyond.

I never made it to the forest because something caught my attention between the house and the trees. It was a stack of wooden chairs that were meant to be used as fire wood as they had been weathered for too long and were rendered useless for the guests here. One by one I tossed the chairs down the hill to the fire pit below, and then went there myself. I stared at the pile of chairs and the massive stones lining the fire pit, and without a further thought picked up the first chair. Holding two of the four legs of the chair and raising it high above my head, I screamed a primitive and completely unfamiliar sound as I slammed it into the stone below. With a loud craaaaaack! it broke in half and as quickly as I slammed it down I picked its remains back up and slammed them to the stone again. This onslaught continued on four more chairs, and many more foreign screams, until I collapsed in tears. The tears however, did not last long as I realized it was not sadness within me no. It was anger. Pure, relentless, hate filled, and repressed anger that needed to be released.

broken wooden chair

Again I grabbed another helpless chair and with even more power and intention I smashed it to the ground. I continued this process until I ran out of chairs to destroy (it took all 10 that were available) and sat down and looked around at the carnage that I had created. I sat there for some time just observing what was coming up within me, and I noticed that there was nothing left. I felt clear, clean, relaxed and somehow happy with this mess. I started to laugh. I mean really, really laughing a maddening uncontrollably hearty laugh. When this was done, I began to sort the broken pieces into piles… the legs go here, the seats there, the chair backs over there, and everything else in another pile.

Looking around at what had happened I sensed that some space had grown inside me. I noticed that releasing the anger did not kill me, no, instead it had created an opening within that did not exist before. I felt good. Happy even. Grateful that the chairs were there for me to pulverize, and that I was somehow not allowed this time to repress my anger again. After spending a few minutes admiring my destruction, I slowly walked back to the main house, floated really, and informed the team here that we now had plenty of firewood for future use, and that I might be needing a back massage to roll out the knots that were surely to appear after all that effort.

Everyone cheered for the firewood and even burnt a few of the mangled chairs that very same day, and I have been offered assistance for the knots in my back in the form of energy work – and by that I mean working with energy, not actually massaging the mess out with their hands on my body, no. The healing would be done without touching… this should be interesting in the very least and will be up next!

Do you have any unorthodox ideas or ways to safely release repressed anger or something to share? Don’t be shy, we are all friends here. Use the comment section below!

Also, do subscribe to the blog if you are enjoying the journey and gaining something (even if it’s a laugh, disgust, confusion or intrigue) by adding your email address at the bottom of the page! (As always, your email address WILL NOT be misused) I intend to share more of this experience as it unfolds and you can have first dibs by signing up!

4 Comments on “This is Chair Therapy…

  1. Back when I was suffering depression and aggression when I was doing all those high heel paintings I wanted to do an ‘anger’ painting. I wanted a piece of hardwood for my canvas and I wanted to take all my paints, the hardwood, brushes, tools and anything else that could apply paint to the board outside and just let go. I wanted to force my anger out of my body onto the board even if it meant throwing the board at the ground and stomping on it and throwing it at the brick wall that enclosed the back yard. I wanted to scream at it and kick it and throw it and apply paint all at the same time and see what the result would be. I never had that opportunity but I had one similar. I was living in Salt Lake with my brother and he was at work. It was a two bedroom apartment and there was no yard to use for my project…and there was no hardwood canvas either. So I took a piece of canvas board and went to town and I didn’t care what the neighbors downstairs thought. So in my bedroom I threw it around and stabbed the paint onto the board with all my deep inner anger, frustrations and anxiety and aggression. Yelled at it and punched it and slammed it into the wall. As the paint was brutally applied to the board carelessly, an image began to appear and then as I continued to focus my aggression on the image it got a little more defined and then I realized it was becoming a self-portrait. I finished up with a little tear mixed into the paint and then signed it and framed it. I felt good after that. Well, at least for a day or two. I was so far submerged in depression that I had a breakdown soon after that and then decided I wanted to become a filmmaker. So I moved back to Arizona and lived one of the best years of my life. (The self-help and motivational books helped a lot). The End

    • That sounds like quite an intense experience Tony! I like the idea of using art as a creative outlet for releasing anger and frustration.. I may have to try that one myself! Do you have a pic of that painting? Also interesting how it turned into a self portrait… poetic in a way no? Thank you for sharing with us 🙂

  2. Wow! That is such a fucking awesome story! You go girl! Great job! You can’t turn back now to your old habits. Your body will not allow it. Good luck and lots of love!

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