I’m a pretty dang chilled out yoga teacher, and not much pisses me off.
I work at this.
I’ve got my daily dose of yoga and meditation, plus other fun practices that keep me aligned and intentional with my energy. I’ve been working on this for over 20 years; however recently, something really got to me and I shifted that energy—and not with more zen or a groovy crystal grid. Nope. Not at all. I shifted it by being foulmouthed and unapologetically authentic with my anger.
But it took me a while to get there. Here’s the skinny on the saga:
I was redoing my website in order to expand what I offer and improve how I connect with people, and the original platform I had in place was super limited. So, I had a new WordPress website in the works and an incredibly patient developer/designer who had created the skeleton and was training me on it.
There was this little migration task that needed to be done regarding my booking system that required specialist skills, but my developer didn’t have time to do it and wasn’t familiar with the program. So, I decided it would make sense to hire a VA (virtual assistant) from a private Facebook group that I trusted.
Someone replied to my post and she seemed super “on it” when we spoke. I checked references and provided a very detailed brief. The contract we settled on seemed perfect, and I was pretty darn excited to have some help since I’d been finding the project pretty tough! I paid in full (as I have for other VAs in the past) and felt adult and clever about the whole thing.
I chased down my VA, and all I heard back were more freakin’ crickets.
I chased again.
And then came the extreme and dramatic excuses and promises from the VA. And then more deadlines passed, with nada getting accomplished. More chasing, more crickets, and more excuses later, with nothing completed, you can imagine how frustrating it was.
At the start of the less than professional behavior, I trusted the timing of the multiverse and felt compassion for the VA—who seemed to be having a tough time—and I just cracked on with other tasks.
Then, after six weeks of this, I reached out to some amazing sisters in business and asked for advice. At this point, I was sort of blaming myself, and thankfully, they were extremely clear and supportive: it wasn’t my fault. It was sh*tty, and I needed to move on and do what I could so it wouldn’t happen to someone else. They advised me on how to pursue a refund from PayPal.
So I followed their advice—which resulted in more crickets, more pursuit, more excuses, and then more crickets.
I started to get pretty resentful of the space this was taking up in my day and in my head. I also reverted back to a smidgen of self-blame (again). The whole experience was triggering some yucky stuff. Old wounds and previous low vibe experiences were brought back to the surface, and I felt unseen, unheard, disempowered, foolish, and not “businesslike” enough…and I was still feeling sorry for the VA bandit. And I was still waiting for my refund.
I really didn’t want to get into a toxic situation with the VA, so I continued to pursue, while keeping communication clear and calm—but I’d also changed all my passwords, and I was actually simmering inside.
Then, just two days ago, something changed.
I allowed myself to express my anger.
Even after meditation, even after yoga, even after feeling happy, grateful, and matcha’d…I was angry.
This sucked, and I’d had enough!
Yet, I was resisting the yucky, resisting the anger. Little did I realize—it was just going down to the basement to lift weights so it could rise up stronger. But, until that happened, I wasn’t allowing myself to “go there” with my anger.
This is a big topic—the unacceptable “angry woman.” How much crap must we put up and shut up about to get through daily life without looking like “angry women?”
I’m not going to veer deeply into the #metoo movement and feminist debates, but I am going to share how healing expressing my anger was for me when I finally let loose. How healing it was to be there for myself during a (seemingly) disempowering experience, and how expressing myself, my anger, my disappointment, and my frustration is something I should allow myself to do.
I should note that this did happen privately, in my “cloffice”—that’s a closet-sized office. (I’m not quite ready to do this as performance art…) Anyway, it started slowly.
As I checked PayPal for the bazillionth time for the promised refund, the c-word slipped out. I heard myself say it quietly.
Then I repeated it, and then I said it again. It sort of turned into a chant. (The dog was looking a bit puzzled at this point.) Then it got louder, and louder still. (The dog slinked away.) And then it sort of turned into a song and became quite comical.
And that was that.
I felt awesome.
And the next morning, after weeks of not getting anything whatsoever from the VA, I’d finally gotten my refund…with an apology.
Here’s to the magic of being there for ourselves—while not diminishing our street cred as decent human beings.
Author: Meredith Gunderson
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Copy & Social Editor: Nicole Cameron