Tag Archives: rage

Healing the Hungry Ghost

When I am triggered to engage in an activity that is harmful to myself or others, to do the habitual thing that always leads to suffering, how do I refrain?

First, I need to identify the trigger. For me, it’s usually an impulse, a thought with a juicy, seductive nature that lures me in. I call her my hungry ghost. She wants poisonous foods, or to be angry, to be perfect, or to engage in a loop of negative self-talk and toxic judgement.

First, I need to pause and breathe; be an unattached witness; bring mindfulness in….turn to my star.

Where is my star?

My star is within.

What will bring me toward my star?

Being fully present.

What is my real need that’s not being met? What do I really want in this moment?

Be a witness…. What am I really feeling underneath the impulse?

I’m feeling bored, lonely, tired, overwhelmed, sad or angry.

Will engaging in this harmful activity really satisfy my underlying needs?

No, it never does.

What will satisfy my needs?

To feel connected, loved, purposeful, engaged, worthy.

How is feeding my ghost going to bring that about?

It won’t.

What is the inevitable result when I feed her?

The continuing loop of shame and self-loathing.

How do I break the loop, the habit?

Embrace my hungry ghost. Meet her with loving-kindness and compassion. Hating my hungry ghost only strengthens her power over me.

Be a witness. Be present. Take a moment to breathe and ask myself the questions above.

Then go do something else.

Take a walk, meditate, tell someone I love them, eat something alive with nutrients, get off social media and pick up that book I’ve been wanting to read, take a nap. Do anything that truly feeds my soul.

This is the practice to heal my hungry ghost. I vow to nurture myself this year and to find balance.

What is your vow for the year to come?

Blessings. 🌈🕉

Note to self….

Note to self:

This past year has kicked your ass, ripped you open

and left you bleeding in the street.

Fear has left you feeling unloveable,

unworthy and overwhelmed.

You’ve been unkind to yourself

and allowed anger into your heart.

You’ve been manipulated and lied to by your ego.

Forgive yourself for all the mistakes you’ve made;

for unfairly judging yourself and others;

and for all the times you didn’t stand up for yourself.

Forgive others, even when they’re not sorry.

See the best in people,

even when they show you their worst.

Believe in yourself.

You have been through worse times than this

and came through them wiser and more resilient.

Believe in others and risk being let down and hurt.


Remember….vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness.



“If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”  ~ Henry Longfellow ~

The holiday season is among us and I’ve really started to feel the amped up anxiety in the air.  Everyone (myself included) is running around just trying to get everything done.  The only excited energy is coming from the kids.  For the rest of us adults, we’re just stressed. 

With this added stress, I’ve noticed the road rage increasing.  Just yesterday, I was driving exactly the speed limit through town as there are cops and speed cameras everywhere with their radar out and a zero tolerance.  I had this guy behind me driving right up my bum.  He was so close I was afraid he’d hit me.  He suddenly jerked his steering wheel to the right and crossed the center line to pass me, barely escaping a head-on collision.

As he was passing, I could see he was screaming at me and giving me the Finger.  The intense rage was all over his face.  For the first time ever, my initial response was not one of indignant anger.  It was actually a feeling of sadness.  I was overcome with compassion for this man who was obviously deeply unhappy.  His suffering must be so great, he could do nothing other than vent it out to everyone around him.  The passenger in his car was a woman who was also clearly unhappy and fearful.  He went on to tailgate and dangerously pass several cars in front of me.  I sent him as much loving energy as I could and hoped they got home safely.

I was suddenly profoundly aware of my knee-jerk compassion response and felt quite uplifted.  It was honestly a first for me.  In the past, I’ve been able to get to the compassion… eventually, but it was never my first reaction.  When faced with an angry bully, I usually go unconscious and mirror that hostility back.  Having this opportunity to see my own growth and an opening heart, was such a wonderful gift of awareness.

I encourage you to look for opportunities to give the gift compassion to others this holiday season.

Blessings, Jana