Feel the Anger

Have you ever felt angry?  Then have the crazy thought it was wrong to feel this way?

I was talking to a friend today.  She made huge changes in her life recently.  Changes that was necessary.  Fortunately, she’s grown quite a bit.

A lot of the things she went through, I witnessed some of it, angered her.  Anyone in her position would definitely feel obligated, entitled to be pissed off.  Then she said it was wrong to feel this way and tried to think positive thoughts.

That gets me.

One of the most annoying things the self-help industry has tried to push is thinking positively.  It’s on the level of losing weight and getting six pack abs through electrodes. Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to jealousy.  OK...should be suffering.

Damn you, Yoda!

Sorry, Mr. Lucas.

First of all, humans are like...people.  And people feel things.  They want to feel things.  If they didn’t, then why write stories that have drama?  Conflict?  Why does reality TV only show stuff that gets our blood boiling?

Cuz we be addicted to emotion.

Feel the the fear, the anger, the hate, and, my oh my, feel the jealousy.

Whenever you feel these emotions, it feels good in the beginning because you’re letting steam out.  It’s like letting out the pressure from a boiling teapot.  But dwelling in these emotions is like turning up the fire until all the water is vaporized.

DWELL on any of these, then you’ll go to the dark side.  Dwell means live in.

Now you’re empty.

As humans go, we tend to want to fill the emptiness with something.  For example, we buy things because we think it’ll make us happy.  And because once an object in motion stays in motion, we’ll fill it with more of the same stuff.  More fear, anger, hate, jealousy.

So don’t live in these emotions.  Feel them and let it go.  Turn your attention to something you like or love, something that you enjoy without being destructive.  Another words don’t eat your way to happiness.  Don’t inject your problems away.  Don’t fill your life with meaningless material things.

I tend to go to the gym when I come up against a wall.  Women in tight clothes tend to fill me with glee.  Yes, I'm a dork.  Or I’ll read a good book, watch a good movie, or talk to close friends.

Your question now should be:  Does feeling these emotions tell me anything?

If you feel fear, maybe there’s something to it.  Like if a guy approaches you and you have a creepy feeling about him, it’s time for you to leave.

If someone slaps you, and you feel angry, then it’s obvious you don’t like being slapped.

If you hate something, then maybe you don’t like it.

Or if you see someone approach your significant other, and you feel jealous, then maybe it shows you how much you love them.

No need to complicate things.

I delved into this a lot because several of my main characters deal with guilt.  So I did a lot of research about it.  And, man, we all need to let go.

Neverending Karate Kid

When I was a kid, I loved movies.  But there were certain ones that I've always connected to but never knew why.  Now, as I'm wiser, not necessarily more mature, I know why I loved certain movies, why I kept watching them over and over. One day I was rummaging through a fantasy book store and came across The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende.  The book was first published in 1979 in German.  Ralph Manheim translated it to English.  I must have seen the movie dozens of times.  I loved the characters, I loved the story within the story, and I totally loved the soundtrack.  So when I saw the hardcover, I bought it.

For parents and children, this is totally appropriate.  It's an allegory on life, and if you watch the movie with your kids, ask them what the movie means.  It's the one thing that I don't see parents doing is asking their kids what things mean to them.  Do it and you'll be surprised by what you find out.

When I mentor students, I always ask what things mean, or how they feel about the experiences they're going through.  It's also my main tool in getting them to open up.  Eventually, they spill the beans about anything that I ask.  I need to know what they're thinking, feeling in order to help them out.  Click here if you want to read more on talking to your children.

If you read to your kids, read The Neverending Story.  If not, then watch the movie.  Don't have the money to rent movies, well the whole movie is on youtube:  Part 1.

While I was perusing youtube at work, don't tell my boss, I came across the Karate Kid.  This is an interesting movie.  Not because of the awesome cat-like choreography.  To me the hero is interesting.

A normal underdog story goes something like this:  hero enters new world (town, school, wizard school), is overwhelmed by bad dude (love interest's ex, bully, the most evilest powerfulest wizard), gets a gift (learns the way of love, learns how to fight, learns he's a great wizard), and, voila, hero wins.

Most of the times, the bad buy is an actual bad guy.  Not in The Neverending Story or Karate Kid.  The antagonist is the hero's disbelief in themselves.

When we look at Neverending, Bastian, the hero, must follow his inspiration, his love for books, fantasy, and story.  It isn't until he fully gives in does he overcome the antagonist, self-doubt.  In Kid, Daniel must believe in himself.  He never got stronger, faster, or learned more karate then the bully.  The bully was never the obstacle, just the opportunity.  His teacher guided him to trust in his ability, to let go of his self-proclaimed weaknesses.  In doing so, Daniel prevailed, or what I like to term kicked ass.

I've always loved stories that have this undertone.  When I look at the characters I've written in my book, all of them at some level must deal with self-belief.  It's the one thing I hone in on when I mentor people.   I use stories to open conversations with children, to guide them toward their passions in life, their truth.

Collecting Golden Nuggets of Inspiration

My first post in Writer's Journey talked about where I got the idea for my hero of my book.  He's single handedly inspired me to create the world he lives in. In my bio, I talk about recurrences that happen.  A lot of self-help teachers call these inspirations, nuggets of gold, moments of genius.  Over the twenty or so years, bits and pieces of ideas have come and gone, all pertaining to this particular story.   Then someone in my imagination said, "This would be cool for your story."  I might need to seek some help.

I've mentally collected different nuggets of gold and stored them  in my noggin.  When I got serious and decided to write this book, I bought a tiny notebook and wrote down every single nugget of inspiration.  To my surprise, I've used most of them.  About a quarter of the ideas I threw out.  That's fine.  Better to have more than you need.

When I read or hear other artists talk about where they get their ideas, a lot of them use this method of collecting, writing them down.  JK Rowling did this.  I saw a special on her where she would write on napkins, cards, anything that would take ink.  I think if I tried to write this story early on in my life, I may not have had the opportunity to gather the ideas that I need.

Get a notebook.  For me ideas come when I do the most mundane things.  I'll be walking and all of a sudden, pop.  An idea.

A word of caution.  These ideas are fleeting.  There have been a number of times when I'm taking a shower, I get an idea, I take a moment to remember it, and poof.  It's gone.  Take the time to write these golden nuggets down.  It's these gold pieces of ideas that may change your writing, project, life.

Happy gathering.

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If you've read my bio, you'll know that I've taught martial arts since 1993. A long time. Most of the classes that I taught were kids classes. For most schools, kids make up a large percentage of the population. Parents think it teaches them respect, discipline, self-defense, and a whole slew of stuff.

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Kicking Someone's Balls Takes Little Skill

If you've read my bio, you know that I've taught martial arts for some time. I've even had my own business of privately teaching children sexual assault prevention. This came about when I realized that the crap we were teaching was crap. One thing they did teach that was useful was bustin' balls. I usually say this with a New York accent, but it's hard to mimic that in type.

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