I'll mention here a couple of other habits. One
of them is the anger habit. Tremendous energy
comes with anger. It's sometimes called the
anger energy. Do not suppress it: that
would hurt you inside. Do not express it:
this would not only hurt you inside, it would
cause ripples in your surroundings. What you do
is transform it. You somehow use that tremendous
energy constructively on a task that needs to be
done, or in a beneficial form of exercise.
The best way to talk to you about this is to
tell you what some people actually did. For
instance, one woman washed all the windows in
the house, another woman vacuumed the house
whether it needed it or not, and another baked
bread--nice, whole grain bread. And another one
sat down and played the piano: wild marches at
first, then she'd cool down and play gentle
things like hymns and lullabies, and then I knew
she was all right.
There was a man who got out his manual
lawnmower. Remember, the manual lawnmower has no
motor. You may never have seen one! And he mowed
his big lawn. I was staying next door to him.
Then one day he came over and borrowed his
neighbor's power lawnmower. I spoke to him about
it and he said, "Oh, without the anger
energy I could never mow that big lawn with a
manual lawnmower." You see, it's really
Then there was this man who saved his marriage.
He had such a bad temper that his young wife was
about to leave him and take their two small
children along. And he said, "I'm going to
do something about this!" And he did.
Whenever he felt a temper tantrum coming on,
instead of throwing things all over the house
which had been his previous custom, he got out
there and jogged. Round and round the block,
until he was all out of breath and the energy
was all gone--and he saved his marriage. It
worked. I saw him again years later, and I asked
him, "Well, are you still jogging?"
"Oh, a little bit for exercise," he
said, "but I haven't had a temper tantrum
for years." As you use the energy
constructively you lose the anger habit.
These techniques have also worked with children.
I recall one ten-year-old boy. I was trying to
help his mother because she was having an awful
time with him. He got temper tantrums and one
time, when he was not having a tantrum, I asked
him, "Of all the things you do what takes
the most energy?" And he said, "I
guess running up the hill in the back of the
house." And so we found a wonderful
solution. Every time his mother saw the sign of
a temper tantrum she would push him out the door
and say, "Go run up the hill." It
worked so well that when a teacher told me she
was having a similar problem with a boy about
the same age I suggested she tell him to run
around the schoolhouse, and that worked too.
Now I'll tell you about another couple. They got
mad at the same time, and they decided to walk
around the block. One walked one way and one
walked the other way, but they met at frequent
intervals. And when they could meet amicably
they walked home together and discussed what had
caused their angers and what could be done to
remedy it in the future. This was a very wise
thing to do. You should never try to talk to
someone who is angry, because that person is not
rational at that time.
I'll tell one more story about a young mother.
She has three children under school age, and she
said, "When I get mad I feel like running,
but I can't. I can't leave my three small
children. And I usually end up taking it out on
them." I said to her, "Have you ever
tried running in place?" And I could just
see her running in place.
She wrote to me: "Peace, it works
wonderfully well. It not only gets rid of the
anger energy, but it amuses the children!"