How I learned to use hummingbirds for instant state or mood change to let go of anger
Over the past several years I’ve had a lot of problems with anger. I’ve lashed out at loved ones, screamed at roommates and potential lovers and discovered I tended to go through life as a grump.
My hunch is a large part of the current anger surfaced because I was taught so thoroughly to be a ‘nice girl.’ Along with that came the idea that nice girls aren’t ever angry, so I had a lot of suppression going on that exploded when I finally felt safe enough to let anger show.
Meditation has been a big part of my healing as human being but when it came to the anger, it seemed the more I sat the angrier I got. I now see that was the result of getting in touch with the nice girl suppression. A few years ago I switched my meditation practice from mostly formal Zen sitting to listening to Joe Dispenza meditations on Youtube. I added Dispenza’s approach because his goal is focused on helping me change my mind so I’m happier as I begin to get over myself. In contrast, Zen includes a fair amount of apologizing for things I’ve done in the past which can turn to guilt — guilt doesn’t seem very helpful. In my opinion both approaches are probably necessary.
Along came a humming bird
I often water the central garden we have in our small community, and turn on the fountain every morning. I’d gotten to watching our local hummingbirds closely most mornings — did you know a group of hummingbirds is called a ‘charm’? It’s true,
One of Dispenza’s ideas, and he’s not alone in this, is that moving into gratitude may be the best way in the world to begin to move toward love and happiness. One day while happily spraying water every which way, a couple of hummers showed up as they often do. This time, however, I noticed that almost every time I saw a hummingbird I felt grateful for the experience. That had been going on for sometime without me noticing. Hummingbirds produce sudden gratitude in me!
“What if,” I thought to myself, “I trained myself to think of these wee charming flyers every time I started to get even annoyed? If the switch to gratitude held, might I not have found a way to pattern-interrupt myself into feeling better?”
With a little practice I’ve found that it works. What a sweet way to move from depressing rage to feeling grateful and a whole lot happier?
My hunch is that any of us can use this legerdemain to change our state or mood. Hummingbirds may not do it for you, but something will. I’ve found that a baby’s smile, the purr of my cat, a rainbow, the first sunlight after a storm, all these things and more help me find gratitude and gratitude is a pretty high and happy state to be in. I’m betting that you can find something that brings gratitude to you too.
It’s hardly even a technique I’m suggesting. It’s more of a willingness to notice when you move to gratitude and notice how good gratitude makes you feel. Then find a thought or an image or something to anchor that so you can access it any time you need it.
I’d truly like to hear how this works for you. You can reach me through the website under my signature — send me an email. If I start getting a few I’ll publish the list every now and again.
Write well and often,