Rant noun 1. a long, angry, and impassioned speech.
Vent verb 1.give free expression to (a strong emotion).
Why Do We Rant?
We have all had those moments when we just can’t hold it in anymore and we let it rip. It has become commonplace to find rants, or its cousin “venting” on social media. We sometimes preface it with “I just need to vent.” And other times we find ourselves unleashing a diatribe on unexpecting people around us, or as a general projectile vomit into the digital world. When we rant, we offer a strong, likely angry monologue about what is wrong with someone, something or some issue. Or perhaps everything! We are not interested in conversation, we want to be heard!
And you have to admit…it feels good in the moment.
Why do we feel the need and desire to do this and why does it feel so good?
Ranting gives us access to life force. By railing against something we can feel ourselves, and we activate desire as we turn up the volume on energy (lifeforce) moving through us. We aren’t thinking, instead we are expressing and feeling the movement. We feel more alive. We feel powerful.
When ranting becomes our habitual way of communicating, like anger it becomes a problem. We just keep letting off steam until it builds again and then we do it all over again. This might feel good in the short term, but it doesn’t get us to any kind of progress or movement. When it becomes our default, it can actually increase stress over the long haul because we don’t ever get to the root, and in fact we develop a habit of ranting that perpetuates the addictive “hit” that motivates us to get angry more often. There are studies suggesting that habitual ranting makes us feel angrier, more often.
There is also another big problem with unconscious ranting.
We can impact others negatively, even when we think we are just “venting.” I think it is safe to say that all of us have been on the receiving end of an unexpected rant/vent. And well, trying to dodge and ignore rants on social media has become like running a medieval gauntlet. We often don’t realize that when we are angry, ranting or venting…our words have energy to them. They have vector, direction and force behind them. Think of it as an arrow that hits and impacts very differently than the nerf ball of everyday conversation.
That very lifeforce that feels so good, means we also have more lifeforce fueling our words and giving them directionality. We are literally throwing energy at others.
So why not avoid ranting all together?
When we consciously work with rants and venting, we can use it as a tool to help us get unstuck, activate desire and create movement without negatively impacting others. It is a way to change from a posture that is power-over (to aligned power. Being in aligned power gives you information about how you can more consciously impact the situation or person.
Conscious Ranting and Venting
Ranting and venting allow us to feel ourselves by pushing against something that we don’t want. We define ourselves as NOT THAT. But the real power comes when we use it to then direct us to what we DO want.
Similar to fear flipping, at the core of every rant, is desire. The advantage of using the rant is that the lifeforce it generates helps us to feel it more strongly. Remember, lifeforce (Growth) when it moves through us (Expression), generates desire. It also helps us to feel our uniqueness, and sense of self more strongly.
Using ranting/venting as a tool we can work with questions like:
- What do you really want?
- What is it pointing to that maybe we have repressed?
- What is underneath the anger or frustration?
- How can we turn it into usable information and possible action?
There is another part to ranting/venting that feels good and is one of the benefits. We want to be witnessed and heard. We want someone to feel us. It wants to be seen and feel that someone is receiving it. It can be a really powerful practice to do with others when we ask the other person if they are willing to witness for us.
What is super interesting, is that it doesn’t always have to be another person. It can be a part of us that just needs to be acknowledged and seen by the conscious mind. A part of us needs us to pay attention to it. That part needs to be heard!! It wants to be witnessed. We can witness that part ourselves.
When we rant consciously, there are a few outcomes that can happen:
- When it is witnessed it changes. By speaking it out loud, and giving that part of us a voice, it doesn’t need to exist anymore. It can be released.
- We access new information, trauma, or parts of ourselves that may be in the shadow or afraid to come forward. When we are kids for example, it can be dangerous to speak our mind. It can feel like we are going to lose the love of our parents or quite literally like it is a matter of life or death if we live with a violent parent.
- We get lifeforce moving and discover what we are passionate about. We are able to reframe what we don’t want, as a deeper desire that moves us and that is fueled with lifeforce so that we can create it.
Ranting as a conscious tool an be used when you are already fired up about something and want to get clarity, channel it and move into desire. It can also be used when you feel apathy, powerless or a lack of lifeforce.
How to use Conscious Ranting as a Lifeforce and Desire Tool:
This exercise can be done by yourself through journaling or by speaking out loud. If you are doing it out loud, allow yourself to move around the space and use your body to express as well as your words.
- Pick a topic, or notice when you are having a reaction to something that you want to be different. It can be something that you think was wrong, unfair or shouldn’t have happened for example.
- Give yourself permission to say whatever wants to come out. Just because you say it, doesn’t mean its true beyond that moment. Let yourself flow with whatever wants to be said in the moment.
- Let go and Go for it – Notice what you notice. Let yourself explore and go where the feeling leads you. If you find you are having a hard time, do a brain dump and see if anything starts to generate the feeling of passion, or charge. Explore what thoughts or words charge you up more? What parts feel true as you are saying them? What parts get you really riled up? What feels like a surprise? What brings up emotion? What feels the most alive? What brings up sadness or grief?
- What does it inform? After expressing through writing in your journal or ranting out loud, sit down and explore the following questions:
- What new information came up? Where there any surprises?
- What part made you feel most alive, or charged up?
- What is the desire underneath the rant? What are you wanting?
- Take each of the insights from the rant, and turn them into statements of desire.
- What wants to happen next? What steps can you take to move and take action on the passion and desire that you are now feeling?