What is the Master? | Ways of the Force

By:  Wescli Wardest

   It is always interesting to me to watch as people try to describe qualities or traits they assign to someone as they would a thing. I have seen and read people talking about masters being stoic or in touch with their emotional experience or wise or whatever.  Always seems to be the traits they wish to acquire or for others to see in them one day. In short, another mask.

jedi_master_by_artificialdesign-d7hi2pw

   Rather than assigning traits to something one obviously doesn’t understand ask yourself, “who” is the master?  I will tell you right now that every actual, real master I have ever met, read about or heard about knows that they are not “the Master.”  It is just a mask or role one plays for another that needs the Master in their lives at that point in time. One takes on the role. It is not some mythical state of being where one is endowed with some supernatural understanding or power.  It is a relationship. The master cannot assert his authority on another because the role has no inherent authority independent of the student or apprentice. It is the student or apprentice that grants that authority to the role.

There are people in the world, for whatever reason, will present themselves as wise.  They may be smart, experienced, clever, silver tongued, charming or seem to have some authority.   These are what I like to refer to as false gurus. There are many TV evangelist that fit this build.  They will tell you how they are just instruments and have no power or authority yet will condemn, preach and bless with absolute conviction with all the skill of the Accuser himself. Confusing those they prey on to joining their belief system and causes.  I would caution everyone… if someone tells you that they can give you and answer, show you the way or correct your path… tell you how you should see or view something or how one way thought or belief is right over another then buyer beware. If someone tells you the qualities a master should possess or what to look for to identify a master, they are most likely setting you up to buy something. Usually, justifying why you should believe them to be your master.

   Good examples of Masters can easily be found in Star Wars.  Go and look, see if Obi-Wan Kenobi ever introduces himself as Master.  Or Qui-gon Jinn? Or Yoda? Or any of the Masters! Others will refer to them as master.  And others will refer to Knights as Master. Anyone ever catch that? Sure, within the Jedi Order there is a rank that is called Master.  And that is bestowed on the individual by their peers. It is never something that is cast on oneself. And if one has this title or relationship, they do not flaunt it, refer to themselves by it or explain their qualities to others for them to associate them by the term.  I wonder why that is? Look at the Obi-wan Anakin relationship. Annikin calls Obi-wan master before Obi-wan is on the Jedi Council. And other Jedi just refer to him as Obi-wan. Again, this shows the relationship of authority and who is granting who the authority over them.

And now we need to look at ourselves and what is Master in our lives.  What is it that you give authority over you? What is your master? And, who are the Masters that you know of?  Are they “your” Master? Or are they master to someone else? And do they expect you to treat them as their student or apprentices do?  Would they be your Master? The world is full of illusion because of the masks people wear. See past the mask! Know yourself, and be aware.

About Wescli Wardest : I was asked to write, “An introduction about who you are and what Mook is about, just a few lines.”  So, who am I? I am really just a guy. I am… me! LOL I suppose people might want more than that though.  So I can tell you things that I have done and/or the position I hold at MOoK. First, what is MOoK? It is the Monastic Order of Knights. What is that you ask?  Well, it is an order that is similar (and different) from other Jedi sites.  We focus on the individuals growth through self-exploration and service to others.  Our beliefs are stated on our homepage

“In a unifying force, and the sanctity of all life.

In a society that does not discriminate.

In the separation of religion and government.

In a society governed by laws grounded in reason and compassion, not in fear or prejudice.

In the opposition to the use of punishments that are cruel and or excessive to include torture.

In an absolute morality not defined by the influence of ethics, culture, religion or changes over time.

In the importance of freedom, conscience and self-determination within all structures.

And the positive influence of spiritual growth and awareness on society.”

And this common belief is core to what we do.

Now, back to who I am.  Well, that can really only be determined by getting to know me.  But the office I hold at MOoK is Knight Commander. That is like the president of the organization. 

art: Jedi Master by Artificialdesign

 

 

 

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The Compromise of Grey | Ways of the Force

By Arisaig: an apprentice of TotJO offers an interesting insight into the fenomena Grey Jedi.

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“We’ve all seen them about. They come in saying they’re unique because of their Path, and that they do not fear the dark like the Jedi but are more restrained than the Sith. I am talking, of course, of those that proclaim themselves to be Grey Jedi” : Arisaig

 

Now, for a supposedly alternative Path, it is a clear majority of the Force community that claim the title of Grey. Why is this? What does it mean? And why do people choose this Path?

Right off the bat, we can account human nature. When presented with two options that are, supposedly well walked, a person can feel the temptation to be unique. And what is more unique than the middle path between two extremes? Sadly, people choose this Path for this reason despite the fact it is a popular path. In their attempt to stand out, they end up blending into the background. It’s a cruel irony.

Why else would a person be attracted to this Path? Well, to put it simply, because it is an excuse for stagnating and falling short.

The Jedi Path is hard. Impossible even. The ideals set forth aren’t achievable by a flawed human, and we are all flawed humans. We can only strive continuously toward those ideals, waiting on those four or five moments that define us. And some people find that impossible ideal, well, intimidating. People don’t like failure, so rather than fail alongside those striving towards the impossible ideal, they make their own ideal, or align themselves to an ideal they’ve already become accomplished in. We see this in the countless Grey Codes, each one slightly varied from the next, each with varying levels of embracing of “darker” emotions such as passion and chaos.

The Codes, both Jedi and Sith, are impossible ideals that one can spend a lifetime chasing after, perhaps never achieving it. They are akin to the Ten Commandments of the Bible. Impossible ideals that require the intervention of a saviour character. They point out how often we fall short but offer salvation through the Messiah. But the Jedi have no saviour. There is only the Force, and the Force resides within us. If we fail, we have only ourselves to blame. And fail we will, because we are flawed. The Jedi dedicated their life to the pursuit of these failures and to rise above them or, at least, to learn to live alongside them.

It is a process of evolution. We fail, and we can either die off, ending our personal evolutionary chain, or we can grow from it, creating a better version of ourselves, one that will not fail as quickly as the previous version. It is the miracle that creates the Jedi. We refuse to die out, to end the pursuit of betterment. But many, a majority even, will become discouraged in this pursuit and either give up. Or, in the case of the Grey, create their own ideal to reach for, one that is achievable, or they have already achieved.

So, why is this? Why do people feel this need to strive for these codes of compromise? Because they are unwilling to push themselves towards the impossible or they have become discouraged during their walk down towards the impossible? So, as previously mentioned, they create an ideal that they can reach, or even one that they’ve already reached. That is where the plethora of Grey Codes come into play. People can pretty much pick and mix the one they like, often lining up with their current views, so they can feel that they have achieved what others spend a lifetime working towards. They can say they are great Jedi because they become the epitome of their self-created ideal.

The Grey Path becomes a comforting lie that they can tell themselves. People do not flock to the truth, nor do they enjoy being told by anyone (including themselves) that they are far from perfect. This, the Jedi Path, is not meant to be easy. It’s not an overnight venture. It’s a lifelong journey, and one full of mountains and pitfalls. It is one where a person will fall and hurt themselves. It is one where one can experience the joy of accomplishment. The Grey Path allows for that last part, joy, without the hard work and the pain involved.

It is said a meal never tastes better after you’ve worked hard for it. That same meal, given freely and every day without any work becomes bland. That is what the Grey Path offers, bland rewards always. This, I believe, is a contributing reason as to why those that profess themselves as Grey do not stick around very long, losing their way. What is there to strive towards when you already personify the ideal? It’s like cheating in a video game. Yeah, you’ll have all you wanted, but at what cost? The joy of the game. The joy of overcoming bosses (even those within your own mind and soul). The joy of finally getting that rare item. The joy of finding yourself at the highest peak. Yeah, you could have cheated your way there, or even started there, but it takes the fun and challenge out of it.

Another parallel we can draw is the forging of a sword from raw iron. An excellent sword can take a long time to create, but a cheap sword is often easily constructed… and easily broken. The Jedi looks at their flawed blade, themselves, and see where they can improve. They find better materials to incorporate into their blade. They put the blade through the forge time and time again. They fold the billet, stressing out the metal. They quench the blade, causing it to flex violently, making it brittle, glasslike. Then they can put it through a tempering process to relax the crystalline structure of the metal, making is strong, but flexible, able to stand up better to the tests of the world and the battles it may face. The blacksmith refines out flaws or learns to best use those flaws to strengthen the blade. They make no excuses for a bad blade. The blacksmith knows they must continue to enhance their skills to ensure their blades are the best they can make, and that is a journey that can take a lifetime of practice to make excellent blades.

A third, and final, parallel we can draw is in that of the Hero’s Journey. An excellent story, and one that creates the greatest of heroes, are those that offer paths out. Several times the hero must be offered a way to escape, to go back to what their old life, or to stop where they are rather than continue climbing the unbeatable mountain. The Grey is akin to one of those alternate Paths. It allows for shortcoming, or to go back to where they started. There are four or five moments in our lives that allow for us to choose going back, to give up. The Jedi refuses to give up. They will choose the harder Path because it is right. They choose to continue walking the perilous and rarely walked Path, so they can be the best version of themselves they can be so to best be able to serve others.

Now some people like referring to a definition they’ve found online of “Grey” Jedi. One such definition applies to those that have learned of the Force outside an established Jedi Temple and another is those that go against the wishes of the Council. To this I say, well… haven’t we all learned of the Force before joining a Temple? Why would we join a Jedi Temple if we had not felt it before? By that definition, everyone is a Grey, as those learning of the Force only after joining a Temple reside (as of now) solely within the fiction. And what of the other definition, about those that go against the wishes of the Council? To that… well, would that not mean only those that are “proper” Jedi sheep? Nodding their heads and obeying blindly? Ideally, we would all get along, but flawed human nature gets in the way. We have disagreements. Some more than others. But some of those that are bolder in their stances, even if they go against their respective Council, identify as Jedi, not Grey Jedi.

So, to go back to the original questions, why is this? What does it mean? And why do people choose this Path? In summation, because it is easier than the alternative. It means that those following it are willing to take the quick and easy Path. And finally, because it is tempting. Humans are naturally lazy. It is because of that laziness that we have accomplished many great things to make life easier. The Jedi thrives on challenge and struggle. They do not wish to make their lives easier, but instead to learn how to more effectively climb the mountain. Where the Jedi takes weeks to summit a mountain, the Grey will helicopter in halfway, if not to the top. Where the Jedi summits one mountain and immediately sets his gaze on a higher vantage, the Grey settles for the mountain they find themselves atop of, if they ever start climbing to begin with.

The Jedi Code is a call towards the unachievable. We may not ever get there. But we do not walk this Path for the end goal, but for the journey. We detach ourselves from failure, learning to view shortcomings not as the end of the Path, but as a challenge towards a better tomorrow. The Grey Path offers an escape from that, an over-embracing of flaws rather than holding oneself accountable towards excellence.

 

This is not an attack on Grey, however. It is a wake-up call to those that have stagnated under the guise of the ironic “alternative” popular Path. I believe it to be part of the Path to encourage others to continue climbing, to abandon their camp or to get back onto the rarely walked Path towards the infinitely high summit. Many do not heed that call. But that is what separates the Jedi from whom we were before. The draw towards the simpler yesterday is strong indeed. The draw towards giving up on this impossible ideal is doubly as powerful. But the Jedi does not give up or compromise. And that, my fellow Jedi, is why one should avoid the Grey Ideal. Because it pulls one towards walking backwards, if not stagnating entirely. Resist the pull towards less, strive towards greatness, and never give up during the climb up the impossible mountain that is the Jedi’s Path.

 

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Help Others | Ways of the Force

“Doing the right thing for others means helping those in need. Being with them as equals in solidarity is important too rather than behaving in an one-up or superior position. While we perhaps are more likely to volunteer or help others during the holiday season starting with Thanksgiving, we might want to consider doing so year round. It’s the right thing to do for others and it’s the right thing to do for ourselves as well.” Thomas G. Plante Ph.D.,

helping others

I was very much drawn to this article by Plante in the Psychology Today magazine. Seriously wondering if i was of any use to anyone i started doubting if i was really being helpful or of service of those around me. And while i do voluntary work and take care of my mother as best as i can, i still feel that i fall short and i feel selfish when i do things for myself. Helping others feels good and very often makes me feel good about myself. But that should not be the motivation to help others should it? As altruistic is we want to be , we can only give so much. It’s important to reload and take good care of yourself.

One important aspect of helping others  is that it builds character , by doing the right thing for others you are also more inclined to do the right thing for yourself. But then, when do we help? A few days ago i found myself giving advice to a fellow Jedi who has been through a lot when she was younger and after i did that i wondered. Did i help , or did i make it worse for her? It’s often hard to say the right thing even if you DO the right thing, in this case standing by another Jedi. I wanted to help her make a decision and now i worry that i made it worse because the pain of her not being able to do that could well be flared up by what i said. It’s difficult. We want to do the right thing and often we do, but the incident has made me realise and made me aware to choose my words wisely and be more emphatic.

When you help others you become more emphatic when you show empathy to others. You feel better about yourself and others and you manage conflict situations a lot better. So even if your help is not appreciated and people tell you to bugger off and mind your own business, you are more able to deal with that because , well you want to do the right thing. And when the right thing is to leave someone be , that is fine as well.

When i was making a meal for homeless people and we were feeding them , some shouted at us , names that i will not repeat here. We fed them anyway , sometimes you have to do the right thing in those circumstances. Your perspective changes when you help the less fortunate , not only can you see the trivia that are going on in your  own life but even if you are worse of than the ones you are helping , you know you are not alone. We must be careful though that we don’t expect the ones that we help to share our views , to them , the world is coming to an end and they don’t feel well at all. It takes time and patience for them to deal with the disappointments of life. And that is where the Jedi can be of help because we have an abundance of patience right?

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Earth Day: Plastic Soup | Ways of the Force

Benjamin-Von-Wong-Mermaid-Plastic-8As i am unwrapping my cookie from the plastic wrapping i notice every cookie is wrapped individually as well. Everything seems wrapped in plastic , we have created a sea of plastic that is suffocating our Oceans , and when we take our kids to the Forest we can see the plastic there as well. We are all guilty , instead of buying beverages in a carton or bottle we buy them in plastic put them  in your plastic container with plastic wrapped cookies and other treats , sandwiches wrapped in plastic. How did it ever come to this?

In 1839 Eduard Simon, a German apothecary, discovers polystyrene , from there on ,the processes of developing plastic into what it is today have never stopped. Today a world without plastic would be unthinkable , and yet , we have to do something about the pollution it is causing , we are literally choking in plastic. So , and what has this  got to do with the Jedi Path?

It’s Ignorance.

When we look at the Jedi Code it clearly states:

Ignorance yet knowledge , meaning in this case we as Jedi need to educate ourselves on the use of plastic and how we can contribute to more balance in this as the code requires us. After all as Jedi we are beholden to protect this planet. In this case from Ignorance. We are to give the right example and encourage knowledge in others as well.

If we look at one of the 16 teachings it becomes a bit clearer.

  1. Jedi serve in many ways. Each action performed, no matter the scale, influences the world. With this in mind Jedi perform each action with peace, caring, love, compassion and humility. So it is that each Jedi improves the world with each deed they perform.

Each action performed , no matter the scale influences the world ! Every Jedi that decides that it’s enough with the plastic and decides to use glass bottles and a more durable way of preserving food is making an impact on the World. He handles his environment  with compassion and care, he is humble enough to realise that his action is a drop on a hot plate , but he is also aware that by giving the right example he can inspire other people around him. He is actively improving the world by his deed to lessen the use of plastic.

Another one of the 16 Teachings is touching on the subject of commitment to humanity:

  1. Jedi make a commitment to their cause and to humanity. Our ideals, philosophies, and practices define the belief of Jediism and we take action on this path for self-improvement and to help others. We are both the witnesses and protectors of the Jedi way by the practice of our convictions.

Jedi are both beholden to self improvement as improvement of the environment , it seems only logical then that they treat their surroundings with utmost care and dedication and that they are careful not to disturb the delicate balance that Nature is.  We only have this planet to live on , it would be a shame if our ignorance would destroy it , slowly but surely. There still a lot of work to do.

Happy Earth Day Jedi and take care of our planet  ❤

 

art : Von Wong: Mermaids Hate Plastic.

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Hi, i am new to the Jedi Path | Ways of the Force

apprenticeBy:  Sammy ( Silver Surfer)

As Jedi in the community we are often faced with the same questions over and over again, and we fall into this pattern of just simply spouting off the same answers over and over again. It can become taxing in ways, but we have to remember that we were once there ourselves. We shouldn’t kill their excitement, or bash their ideas and dreams simply because we have already tried to make things happen, or feel that we already have all of the answers.

Many members of the Jedi who have been in the community for awhile, can become stuck in this “everything has been done before” mentality. It can be very irksome for new members who have fresh ideas and want to convey them to these older members, but automatically get shut down by whoever is in charge. Or people who claim to carry the “Knight” or “Master” title. Rather than indulging a new mind and new perspective, often our leaders who set the example, the tone, the bar, reject this new input. It gives the mentality that one must follow your way, and only your way, because everything else has been done already. then this ideology that new members are much too ignorant and behind, for such a high esteemed member of the Jedi community to listen to them. This simply isn’t true at all. Anyone can watch the Jedi in the fiction and decide that they want to take what is actually applicable and make it part of their life; become Jedi. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. The amazing thing about our community is that every member brings something to the table, no matter how small, or new it is. We each have our own experiences where we find ourselves using our ‘Jedi minds’ to evaluate our situations and act according to the Jedi Path. Every Jedi is capable of bringing an idea to the community or an additional thought. In some cases they can look at areas where we have failed in the past and maybe take things to a much higher level.

For some, it can be infuriating when someone who is supposedly a higher rank than you, maybe even spent less time in the community than you, is given a high title, and then slams you down before you have really had the chance to convey your idea. No matter where you study, no matter how old you are, or how long you have studied, you really are no better than anyone else in the grand scheme of things. We all eat, breathe, sleep and die. Humility and respect is important, it’s how we learn and grow, once a person decides to stop listening, then they aren’t acting as a Jedi. Yes, a lot of this stuff gets repetitive, the code, our demeanor, the quotes, but if we get too caught up in “the been there, done that” we close ourselves off to new ideas and experiences.

Another problem we are faced with is a community full of ego. If a new member suggests that a member who has been around for years is not acting as a Jedi, those members act defensive. Instead of listening and learning from their mistakes they take things to unnecessary lengths. Arguing and bickering, or turning things around on the other person and challenging the other Jedi’s faults, instead of simply taking responsibility for their own mistakes and learning from them. When we watch the movies, and even read the literature, Yoda is constantly pointing out faults of knights, and fellow masters. We all make mistakes, even if we have been Jedi for awhile, and we all interpret things differently. It should be perfectly acceptable for a newer student to watch the demeanor of the fictional Jedi, and then point out that we are acting in a way that is completely opposite of the Jedi Path.  You watch the Jedi in the movies, they are calm and collected, they seek wisdom. Wisdom comes from asking the right questions, and actually listening to what you are told. Not spouting off answers and telling everyone that only your way is correct. They respect the input of others, and are adaptable and fluid when they need to be. The demeanor of the online Jedi is vastly different than the Jedi we watch in the fiction. Those are the Jedi some of us have worked most of our lives trying to emulate, then you watch a Jedi “master” be closed off to ideas, or belittle new members. It’s saddening. Sometimes it feels like the label of Jedi doesn’t actually mean anything, when our members don’t even aspire to live like the Jedi who inspired us. It makes no sense.

Having been around for awhile, sometimes the gloss of being a Jedi rubs off, and it can be very refreshing to see someone come in, who is freshly enamored with the gloss of the Jedi Path. It can be inspiring, and I find newer views easier to work with, and fun to discuss with. It can bring you back to your own roots and make you remember how you were so inspired to live as a Jedi. Some of the older veterans keep recycling the same mistakes, and the same material that creates those mistakes, and never learn.  Also, Jedi need refreshers, going back to the basics, making your foundation stronger-or possibly rebuilding it. It’s no shame to practice beginner lessons after you have been in the community for years. This takes work, and those who have stopped working, yet have taken a title, aren’t earning it, in my opinion.

In some of my own pursuits I have caught myself saying “I already know this,” “I have done this before,” or “I have done this for years.” I have to stop and think, “well maybe this person has different tools to show me that may be helpful.” “Do I possibly have more to learn on this topic?” “Perhaps it will broaden my understanding.” We have to fight the ‘I already know this’ with the willingness to be open and receptive to new experiences. And when it comes to new members, remember

“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”-Albert Einstein

Sometimes when we teach, guide, or show others, we have a better understand of things ourselves. However we have to be receptive to growth and understanding. I think a lot of Jedi take on students and instead of asking “what can I learn from this student?” They are too fixated on feeding them curriculum and giving them answers to pass a test some months later, and then that student is given an often unnecessary title. We should be asking: What was really learned? Is that student truly a full embodiment of the path? Can the student go out into the world truly capable of taking on anything they might encounter? Do they have enough tools? Is the teacher wiser?

Jedi training is a very personal experience and lifestyle. There is no quick path to mastery, and we each have so much more to learn, whether we just started, or have been here awhile.

 

 

 

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What’s in a name?

What does it mean to be Jedi? There is only a loose structure telling us what it is. The Jedi code, among other things. I was watching a tribute to Superman as he turns 80 on the 18th of April. They said what he stood for is noble “Truth, Justice, and the American Way.” Someone to that said “you could make a religion out of that.”  We have done that we have made a religion a community of people who practice together, who practice alone but identify themselves as Jedi.

For me nothing has ever fit to what I believe in, then Jedi. Therefore I am a Jedi. It is a religion that people can choose to be. Has been recognized in Australia and England in the census. Yet in the in end we are based on older religions, yes. We also are very individualized because we must conceptualize everything about the Jedi religion. Are we banned from being a religion? No. Shakespeare wrote “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. Meaning it does not matter what you call yourself. The path you walk is your own path even if you are walking together in a group. I’m just happy there are other people who identify themselves as Jedi.

Answers can be found in meditation. When the waters are still only then can you see a reflection of the world.

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Managing anger , before it manages you | Ways of the Force

isamira_jedi_vs_sith_by_strawberryloveu-d8r2o1r

We all know what anger is, and we’ve all felt it , be it as a few minutes of being annoyed at something or as  full-fledged rage. As Jedi we are overly concerned sometimes when we get angry , but then again , we are not our emotions so why worry so much about it?

Anger is a normal, healthy human emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems,problems at work, in your personal relationships, and it can damage the  quality of your life. It can make you feel as though you’re at the mercy of an unpredictable and powerful emotion and as Jedi we like to think we are above that.The most common way we express anger is to respond aggressively. Anger is a natural, adaptive response to threats It inspires powerful, often aggressive, feelings and behaviors, which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of anger, therefore, is necessary to our survival and should not be suppressed. So , when does anger become a threat to ourselves rather than helping us?

As children we learn that we  can’t physically lash out at every person or object that irritates or annoys us. In our development we learn laws, social norms, and common sense. We place limits on how far our anger can take us and our parents guide us through the emotions so we learn to manage our anger and learn that we cannot always get what we want. We use a few conscious and unconscious processes to deal with  angry feelings.

The three main processes are expressing, suppressing, and calming.

Expressing your angry feelings in an assertive, non aggressive, manner is the healthiest way to express anger. To do this, you have to learn how to make clear what your needs are, and how to get them met, without hurting others. Being assertive doesn’t mean being pushy or demanding; it means being respectful of yourself and others.

You can suppress your anger by holding in your anger , and direct your attention to something positive. Your aim is to hold in  or suppress your anger and convert it into more constructive behavior. But if your anger it isn’t allowed outward , your anger can turn inward, on yourself. Anger turned inward may cause hypertension, high blood pressure, or depression.

Unexpressed and suppressed   anger can create other problems. It can lead to pathological expressions of anger, such as passive-aggressive behavior ( vague complaining posts on facebook rather than confronting people head on) or a personality that seems perpetually cynical and hostile. People who are  putting others down, criticizing everything, and making cynical comments haven’t learned how to constructively express their anger. Not surprisingly, they aren’t likely to have many successful relationships. And it’s no surprise they try to get people on their side by complaining about others. In their world it’s about control , control over their own lives and the lives of others. But in reality , Anger controls them.

So what to do then? When you are aware of your emotions and you know they are a part of you , you can accept them for what they are and  you can find the peace to calm down inside. This means not just controlling your outward behavior, but also controlling your internal responses, taking steps to lower your heart rate, calm yourself down, and let the feelings subside.

Some techniques to manage anger are :

Relaxation :Simple relaxation tools, such as deep breathing and relaxing imagery, can help calm down angry feelings. There are books and courses that can teach you relaxation techniques, and once you learn the techniques, you can call upon them in any situation. If you are involved in a relationship where both partners are hot-tempered, it might be a good idea for both of you to learn these techniques. In the forum at Ways of the Force i have a 10 step meditation program that might be of help.

Breathe deeply:  From your diaphragm; breathing from your chest won’t relax you. Picture your breath coming up from your “gut.” Slowly repeat a calm word or phrase such as “relax,” “take it easy.” Repeat it to yourself while breathing deeply. Use imagery; visualize a relaxing experience, from either your memory or your imagination. Slow yoga-like exercises can relax your muscles and make you feel much calmer. Going for a walk helps as well , so when someone walks out on you when they are angry , don’t call them back , especially if you are angry as well. They probably need some space and don’t want to smack you in the face. Give each other breathing space.

Cognitive Restructuring: This means changing the way you think. Angry people tend to curse, swear, or speak in highly colorful terms that reflect their inner thoughts. When you’re angry, your thinking can get very exaggerated and overly dramatic. Try replacing these thoughts with more rational ones. For instance, instead of telling yourself, “oh, it’s awful, it’s terrible, everything’s ruined,” tell yourself, “it’s frustrating, and it’s understandable that I’m upset about it, but it’s not the end of the world and getting angry is not going to fix it anyhow.” Be careful of words like “never” or “always” when talking about yourself or someone else. “This ***** machine never works,” or “you’re always forgetting things” are not just inaccurate, they also serve to make you feel that your anger is justified and that there’s no way to solve the problem. They also alienate and humiliate people who might otherwise be willing to work with you on a solution. Remind yourself that getting angry is not going to fix anything, that it won’t make you feel better (and may actually make you feel worse). Remember that Logic is better than anger, its ok to be angry , it’s not ok to hurt others.

Problem Solving:  Make a plan, and check your progress along the way. Resolve to give it your best, but also not to be to hard on yourself if the answers don’t come right away. If you try your best and you make  a serious attempt to face your problems and conflicts , you will be less likely to lose patience and fall into all-or-nothing thinking, even if the problem does not get solved right away.

And last but not least , work on your communication , use words that resonate with the other party , dont expect people to read your mind. Use humor if you think it will lighten up the conflict,  be mindful of the feelings of others but don’t discard your own. Be honest about how you feel. Anger is a serious emotion, but it’s often accompanied by ideas that on closer examination can make you laugh and you see the absurd in what is going on. Someone called me a little Tasmanian Devil once when i got really angry. That still makes me smile and the fight did not last long , although i did want to hit him when he first said it….

Ilustration by : StrawberryLoveU

 

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