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Iron and Ice [Oct. 8th, 2006|08:26 pm]
Yarrow
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bellamagic had a recent post that mentioned an iron bar of energy: "By nature I am outwardly stoic. Inwardly, the energy is so intense that it has formed into an iron bar." Here's a letter from the ensuing conversation:

You wrote:

Talk to me about the iron bar... how is it for you?

Probably more often ice than iron -- what I hold inside is usually fear rather than anger these days. (I do get furious too. When I was in my twenties I'd do the scream and shout and run out of the room thing, which always surprised folks who hadn't seen it before -- me, the calm serene one! Running out of the room! These days I don't do that so much -- Marsha's probably the only one who really sees me mad.)

Fear's a big one -- fear of making mistakes, of not doing it right, of screwing things up for Marsha. Some of it realistic, some of it not.

What resonated most for me in your post was "outwardly stoic. ...[i]nwardly ... intense". When I get these excruciatingly painful states of fear, or fear/anger, or paranoia, they don't (usually) cripple me as they did years ago and they don't (usually) last as long as they did. But just because I've developed the power to be outwardly stoic (mostly!) doesn't mean they are any less intense. So there I am with this bar of iron or ice through my heart and through my brain, thinking obsessively about whatever it is, and maybe if I'm lucky I remember Pema Chödrön talking about how such times are a wonderful time to practice and it still doesn't help a bit (except in the long run, probably) and I just want it to stop and it doesn't. Until eventually it runs its course.

And in some ways I think all that is just life, and I'm grateful that usually I don't whack somebody else with my burning iron or freezing ice; but it's not the kind of thing that gets talked about much, either in the mundane world or in Reclaiming or Feri. So I was grateful to read your post.

How is it for you?

Much Love,
-Yarrow

P.S. That's one thing to be said for the Buddhists, some of them do talk about it, and how to deal with it.
linkReply

Comments:
From: (Anonymous)
2006-10-16 04:07 pm (UTC)
quoth thou:
>but it's not the kind of thing that gets talked about much, either in
>the mundane world or in Reclaiming or Feri

FWIW, the culture (take your pick of any of the above) discourages that
sort of discussion. A couple of weeks ago i was at a Feri workshop and
the teacher brought up a subject that quite naturally led into "negative"
sub-topics, and after abit of that the teacher quite pointedly chopped the
discussion short because it was "dwelling on the negative". I wish i could
remember the exact details to make this more clear, but i was rather
preoccupied with clamping down on my own stuff--joint pain, mostly.

How to manage anger and fear is an interesting question. Dealing with
this in highly generalized terms, it seems to me that the options are to
ride it through, numb oneself to it, or to grab it by the horns, so to
speak. The nervous energy that comes with the fight/flight response can
be dissipated by physical exertion; at times i regret not having any real
occasion to literally go out and chop wood.

euclid
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: angelweed
2006-10-23 01:45 am (UTC)
the options are to ride [anger and fear] through, numb oneself to it, or to grab it by the horns, so to speak. The nervous energy that comes with the fight/flight response can be dissipated by physical exertion; at times i regret not having any real occasion to literally go out and chop wood.

I think the Buddhists want to grab it by the horns without dissipating it by exertion. I first got turned on to Pema Chödrön when Reya passed me her advice to let go the story line about the anger or fear, but stay with the energy. And I think I did that by walking madly down the street. Staying with the energy when I'm sitting is a lot harder for me, but I can do it a little.

(This is a replacement for my previous comment, eliminating the snarky second half after Reya correctly read me the riot act about it.)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2006-11-14 01:49 pm (UTC)
>(This is a replacement for my previous comment, eliminating the
> snarky second half after Reya correctly read me the riot act about it.)

??? Well, if it makes you more comfortable. Personally, i think if folks
can't handle the airing of a rather mild caricature of the religion of
their choice, then they are taking (something) waaaaaay too seriously.

euclid
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