Your Inner Alchemist
In my last post – The Potent Alchemy of Love – I wrote about Love as an alchemical force to create the kind of fundamental, deeply fulfilling change we long for on our journeys of personal transformation. If you haven’t yet read it, I hope you will; it provides a helpful background perspective for what I’m offering now.
The alchemy of Love is not a mere concept but an actual means through which we can effect change. It’s particularly helpful and relevant in the realm of emotion. Through this alchemy, we can learn to harness the power of strong negative emotion and direct it toward the life-enhancing experiences we want, rather than suppressing it or projecting it on others.
Alchemy, or transmutation, is the changing of one state of being into an entirely different state of being. On the journey of personal transformation, we can learn to transmute the expressed quality of anger, which significantly diminishes our quality of life, into one of empowerment.
That’s because anger is, essentially, creative life-force energy that has been distorted or transmuted by fear. And the good news is, it can be transmuted back again.
Fear transmutes our powerful, creative life-force energy into anger.
Love transmutes anger back to its pure, powerful essence: creative life-force energy.
Love is the most potent alchemical force in the universe, perhaps the only one. It changes everything. But as I wrote last month, this potent alchemy cannot be realized simply by thinking about it or talking about it. It has to be intentionally directed by our minds, guided by our hearts and experienced in our bodies.
In last month’s column, I shared with you a mind-blowing, life-altering experience I had as a sophomore at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing (BBSH), during which I directly experienced the transmutation of rage into joy. It was, to put it mildly, incredible.
Over the years I have reflected and meditated deeply on the experience, and I’ve experimented with re-enacting it on my own. I have also shared my insights and experiments with clients, and over time I’ve developed a basic process through which anger can be harnessed in a healthy, life-enhancing way.
As promised last month, I’ll share it with you here. And although I’ll describe it in a linear, step-by-step way, I hope you’ll read this with a relaxed mind and an open heart, allowing your inner wisdom to guide you toward the alchemical core of it.
How This Inner Alchemy Works
The key elements of this process express several distinct aspects of Self-Love, which has become the foundation of all my work:
Here is the basic process with respect to harnessing anger:
When anger surfaces, triggered by thoughts about or experiences with someone else, take a deep breath and fully acknowledge it. “I feel angry!”
You are honoring yourself by acknowledging your emotion rather than judging it, dismissing it, trivializing it or suppressing it.
Shift your focus from whomever or whatever made you angry to your own heart. Keep breathing evenly and deeply. Place one hand on your heart and intend for your heart to open. Say silently or aloud, “In Love and through Love I gather my power to me.” Keep repeating it as a mantra with your breath, rhythmically and powerfully. Stay with it until the emotion has crested and begins to subside.
Another effective mantra to use, especially when the emotion is particularly strong and Love seems out of reach, is this: “This energy is FOR ME.” Or simply, “This is FOR ME.”
If space and privacy permit, embody this declaration by using your right hand and arm to make counterclockwise circular movements as you repeat the mantra.
You are taking responsibility for the power of your emotional energy by gathering it to yourself rather than projecting it on someone else.
When the strong emotion has subsided, ground yourself and see if you can identify the quality that seemed to be missing from the experience that triggered your anger in the first place. Perhaps someone ignored you or otherwise diminished you and you felt disrespected. The missing quality is respect. Say to yourself silently or aloud, with quiet conviction, something such as, “I am worthy of respect.” Say it until you feel an inner shift, perhaps a sense of relief or spaciousness or even peacefulness.
You are validating yourself.
In this example, as you continue to strengthen and stabilize the vibration of self-respect within you, you naturally begin to think and speak about yourself with more respect. And you vibrationally invite others to treat you with more respect, as well. The power of your own emotional energy, aligned with self-respect, naturally shifts your experiences toward what you want.
The three steps I’ve described can’t always be done in the moment the emotion is triggered, but a modified version of them can be done internally in just a few seconds. As soon as you feel the negative emotion arise, ground yourself by focusing on the soles of your feet as you acknowledge your feeling. Shift your focus to your heart, then slow and deepen your breathing as you say to yourself silently, “In Love and through Love I gather my power to me” or “This energy is FOR ME” or more simply, “This is FOR ME.” Give yourself whatever time you need before responding, or excuse yourself and go to a place where you can be alone, even if it’s the restroom. Finish the practice there.
You can also do this alchemical practice later, when you have time and space and privacy. Take just a moment to recall the experience until the emotion is triggered again, then go through the steps. Speaking out loud generally creates a more powerful experience than speaking silently to yourself, so practice using your voice.
Stay Focused and the Magic Can Flow
I have personally enacted this alchemical process during moments of explosive anger and moments of mild frustration, and I’ve taught it to many of my clients. It works.
And when I say it “works,” what I mean is that it transmutes anger into a sense of peaceful empowerment and, with it, the ability to both think more clearly and feel your intuitive guidance more strongly. From there your responses are more respectful and creative. They are constructive rather than destructive.
Another possible and wonderful outcome of this practice is that the other person makes a shift that is more loving, fair or peaceful without you having to say or do anything else. I’ve experienced that many times. And it can happen because, interconnected as we all are energetically and given the Law of Attraction, the shift in your energy, if it’s stable enough, can influence a shift in theirs.
Note that I used the word influence, not manipulate or control! Please don’t take this on with the specific goal of changing the other person; that isn’t yours to do. And in truth, if you think you need the other person to change in order for you to be okay, then you’re still disconnected from your own power.
Take it on with the intention to change yourself – to come into alignment with the best of who you are – and let Infinite Intelligence orchestrate the specifics of the resulting change in this attraction-based universe.
Perhaps the most challenging step in the process is shifting your focus from whoever triggered your anger to your heart. It’s very tempting to make this all about the other person, to keep feeding your anger with reasons why he or she is wrong.
And yet, inflaming the anger and projecting it outward, which initially feels satisfying, is ultimately depleting because you’re literally giving your power away. Be very committed about this step! It doesn’t have to be hard; just focus gently on your heart while the strong feelings are coursing through you.
Energy follows attention. When you focus on someone else in anger, you project that anger – your life-force energy – to them. When you focus on your heart as anger arises, you gather your emotional energy to you and, with an open heart, transmute it back to the creative life-force energy it truly is.
Like most things that are worth doing, this takes practice. You don’t need to be perfect at it. In fact, your simple willingness to practice – and your intention to harness your own anger in service of what you want, rather than using it to oppose what you don’t want – are more than enough to begin the alchemical process of reclaiming your heart-centered and creative personal power.
And from that more empowered place of peace and clarity, you can better understand, accept and appreciate some essential things:
• People who act in ways that are hurtful to others are, in those moments, disconnected from Love and from their own sense of creative, life-enhancing personal power.
• Angrily pushing against those people, or any conditions we don’t want, disconnects us from Love, too. It draws us into a fear-based game of volleying blame back and forth, where no one wins and everyone loses.
• Anger that has been transmuted back to its essential nature as our creative life-force energy is a potent force for creating the positive change we desire.
This alchemical practice I’ve evolved from that long-ago experience at BBSH is just one way of embracing and embodying your intention to be a positive force for change in your life and in our world. I hope you’ll experiment with it. My clients and I have experienced welcome shifts in perspective and surprisingly positive outcomes when we use it.
As with any technique, of course, its real power is in the love and sincerity with which you infuse it. And I know you’ve got a heart full of that. Direct it toward what you want and see what kind of magic you can create.
Never doubt the potent alchemy of your own great Love to change the world.
Copyright © 2018
Suzanne E. Eder