I overheard a woman at the gym say, “I can’t do too much yoga. Yoga is all about deconstructing yourself. You can’t always take yourself apart. Sometimes you have to build your life.”
So what does that mean?
Earlier this year, someone gave me an amazing gift, a 1 on 1 session with Sean Stephenson.
Sean was born with osteogenesis imperfecta. Most of his bones were broken during delivery and his parents were told he’d have 24 hours to live.
Sean’s first piece of advice. “NEVER believe a prediction that doesn’t empower you.”
Now he is 38 and the very best speaker you’ll ever see. He’s 3 feet tall, spends much of his day in a wheelchair…
…and when he rolls onto the stage and tells you what he’s been through, it hurts. He has broken his bones over 200 times.
But then he says, “I have chosen a life of strength! And the moment you feel sorry for yourself, you are hosed, you are frozen in potential.”
If this man can find strength, after all he’s been through, then YOU, and I, have NO excuses.
So Sean and I spent a whole day together and here’s what I got out of it.
After 20 years of yoga and meditation, I’d begun to think anger was an “unevolved” emotion. And I always found a way to dodge or duck from my anger.
Sean taught me it’s important to feel your anger. It’s ok to be mad sometimes.
Since that session with Sean Stephenson, I have found a new way to unleash my anger.
It’s called BoxUnion, it’s like Soul Cycle for Boxing, and it’s a place to spend 50 minutes, hear amazing music and LET ER RIP!!!!!!!!!
Most of you reading this don’t live in LA so it’s not an advertisement for BOXUNION, but rather an advertisement for a healthy release of ANGER.
The things and people and feelings that make you mad are not supposed to be suppressed or ignored or denied. They are supposed to be explored and given a healthy channel through which you can unleash.
At Box Union, the instructors shout out combinations, “1,2,5,6!”
That means two jabs and two uppercuts. There’s no contact with people. It’s just shadow boxing at first, and then punching the bag at the end. Again, no contact with people. It’s all LOVE…and ANGER!
With music pounding in the background and the instructor shouting stories about a boxing champion who was sent away to ballet school for 4 years to learn true footwork, I am hooked mentally while I deliver my left hook physically!
There are times during one of these boxing classes that I am surprised by how much anger I have stored up inside.
“3,4,3,4” BAM BAM BAM BAM!!! I can hear the bag now.
Some of you reading this might be thinking, “Dave, you have issues.”
But what human being on the planet doesn’t have anger?
And yet, how many human beings take their anger out on a spouse or a co-worker or God forbid a child?
And then, the BoxUnion class winds down, the instructor’s voice calms to a whisper, the music fades, you do some stretching and breathing, and you are back into the flow of your day, heart open, breath flowing, living in the moment.
In addition to boxing, I’m doing more yoga now than I’ve done in many years. It’s a great balance.
And balance is key.
As that woman at the gym said, you can’t always deconstruct your life. But there are times where it’s good to break it down, explore, go within.
And there are times when you are backed into a corner, when you are afraid and anxious, and fed up! And those are just the times when a healthy release of anger would do you right.
Whether boxing or whatever helps you scream and unleash and expunge…I didn’t go there for 20 years and while yoga made me fulfilled and happy, something was building up inside. How you deal with your emotions determines whether you feel weak…or strong.
As Sean Stephenson says, “I get stared at everywhere I go, and the moment people meet me, if they don’t know a thing about my résumé, they automatically, just by the human nature, think to themselves: “Oh, it must be so difficult to be that man! If somebody pities me, they’re wasting their time, because I have chosen a life of strength.”
That’s a choice you and I make every moment of every day.