This is not something I’m proud to tell you, but on my wedding day - yes, my wedding day! - I actually got into a fight with a cyclist on the Brooklyn Bridge.
I kid you not!
There we were: my Wife, her parents, my parents, and a very expensive photographer, standing on the Brooklyn Bridge taking photos that would memorialize this magic day forever.
I mean, this was supposed to be the happiest day of our lives. Right?
Well, everything was going swell until this cyclist had the audacity to be passing by this special moment.
In that moment, with no warning at all, I felt my rage erupting like a volcano.
This was MY moment, after all.
And it was MY Brooklyn Bridge!
And this person had the gall to not bow down to honor us on this special day and instead, just rode past us on his bicycle.
If you’ve ever been on the walkway on the Brooklyn Bridge, you know that it isn’t all that wide. And with this small entourage, of course, the cyclist didn’t have much room to pass.
But that didn’t matter to me.
Nope. I had to teach this guy a lesson.
So I found myself jogging after this guy, in my tuxedo, shouting and threatening him, while my Wife, parents, and in-laws stood with their mouths hanging open watching me.
The image of this guy, turned back towards me as he rode away from me, holding up the angriest middle finger I’d ever seen, is forever burned into my memory.
Looking back, I am so embarrassed for my Wife and I cringe when I think of her struggling to find something to say to the photographer.
That’s a true story.
Sad. But very, very true.
But that’s the way it is with anger, right?
It’s like anger is always standing right behind you, like your shadow.
It’s just looking for the opportunity to take over.
And it’s impossible to escape.
We know it’s not good for us. We can feel it in our body, right? I mean the headaches alone are enough to show us that this can’t be healthy, right?
Yet, there we are, time and time again.
To me, changing this part of me - the angry and annoyed part of me - felt about as easy as changing my skin.
But I have good news for you:
While it seems impossible to avoid anger, there is a way to TRANSFORM this powerful emotion into something useful.
And it’s possible for YOU to live a life of harmony and joy.
I know you don’t believe me.
I wouldn’t have believed me that day on the Bridge or on so many other days.
I thought I had tried everything there was to try to stop being angry all the time.
And it seemed the more I tried, the angrier I got.
Does this feel familiar to you?
Well, I want you to know that it’s not your fault.
In fact, there is a reason all the things you’ve tried in the past haven’t worked.
Trying to ‘fix’ the problem of chronic anger on our own is a little bit like a heart surgeon trying to operate on herself.
Better yet, there is something you haven’t tried yet that will finally get you to that place of calm and allow you to live your life on your terms without all this anger and reactivity.
Once you get this, it will be the last thing you ever have to try!
Believe it or not, life can happen without any anger at all.
It’s true. (And no, I’m not crazy!)
You see, anger is a lot like stress: it’s very useful in appropriate times and appropriate intensities.
But when it becomes overwhelming and chronic, this useful emotion becomes dangerously damaging to our bodies and all our relationships.
Here’s another quick story for you:
A few years ago I was riding my bike in downtown Denver.
As a former NYC bike messenger, I can assure you I was not in anyone’s way.
Well, a ragey driver decided to get right behind me and blast his horn at me anyway.
Normally, I would have challenged him to pull over and settle this “man-to-man.”
I might have actually steered in front of him and slowed down, daring him to be as tough as his horn (because that’s what anger does to our sense of logic. Am I right?)
At the very least, this would have made me turn around and find creative ways to flip the bird and insult this person.
These are not exaggerations.
This is who I’d always been. Even on my wedding day!
But not this time.
It felt like I was watching someone else as I simply stayed calm and kept riding through the intersection, even as the horn blared just a few feet behind me.
It wasn’t like I was chanting something to myself to keep from losing it.
It was as natural as opening my eyes in the morning.
I simply didn’t react.
In my mind, the first thought was that this poor person must be in such pain to be doing this.
Did you see what I did there?
I realized the behavior of this person was something he was doing to make himself feel better.
His behavior had nothing to do with me.
I literally pulled over on the next block (Angry Driver had turned at the intersection) and asked myself: ‘Who was it in my head that didn’t get angry???’
And this was not some kind of fluke.
It was the product of a ridiculously simple practice I’d been doing that has changed the way I process the world.
It was simple, but not easy.
I realize now that I had been practicing anger for my whole life and the key to unlock this mental prison cell was to simply practice not being angry.
And it took a lot of trial and error. But the final result, for me, is a life completely free from the eruption of rage.
I still feel anger in appropriate times.
But now I process my anger in a healthy way that allows me to see the true causes of my anger and address those causes effectively and easily.
And no, the cause of my anger is not and never was the driver, the cyclist, or the distracted barista at Starbucks (yes, I used to get angry at them as well).
What I really want you to know is this:
Through my trial and error, I have developed a way to streamline the process that took me years, and deliver the same results to you within a matter of weeks.
I help people break free from the grips of anger and reactivity and restore calm in their lives so they can be happy for no specific reason.
Because the thing that you don’t get from the Shelf-Help books, the podcasts, and the YouTube videos is the simple, yet crucial support to get you through those first few weeks before this becomes automatic and habitual for you as it has for me.
Why do you need this support?
Because even though you have decided to stop your reactivity to learn new skills and habits, life will keep going:
You’ll still get cut-off on the road… You’ll still get stuck in traffic… You’ll still experience distracted baristas at Starbucks.
The key is to get past all these triggers while doing the work to change the way we deal with them.
And that’s what my group coaching program is all about.
Introducing:How to Be Happy for No Reason, an 8-week program based on the science of the brain and nervous system that supports you through the crucial first weeks to transform your anger to make happiness your natural response to life.
Starting on April 11, I will be taking 10 people through an 8 week process of doing just what I’ve described here: developing the skills to process your experience and the people around you without succumbing to the rage and reactivity that hijack the day every time.
Community: Learning in a community is not only shown to be the most effective way to learn, but you will also learn from other people’s questions and experiences.
Clear and Convenient Resources: You’ll receive easy to follow written modules so you can refer back to them any time you want to.
Sessions that are yours to keep: We record the coaching sessions so you can refresh your memory and be free from the fear of not making a session or two.
Blanket of Support: During the 8 weeks, and beyond, you will have access to me via email for any personalized instruction or support you might need.
Facebook Community: We have a private facebook group where you can always come to share wins and commiserate losses. (So when someone in your fb feed posts a meme that makes your head explode, you can come to the group for support and compassion from people just like you.)
Convenience: All coaching calls are held on Zoom, so you can join from anywhere in the world. (You can call in via phone, when necessary.)
Ready to transform your anger and experience what it’s like to Be Happy for No Reason?
Once you click the link you’ll choose the day and time that works best for you and secure your spot with a deposit. After you’ve registered you’ll receive an email from me with our meeting information.
I’m on a mission to help as many people as possible to live free from the anger and reactivity, the way I do now. Because life is supposed to be happy! And I want you to be happy!
But I can only hold a group of 10 people at a time. Believe me: I’ve been doing this long enough to know that this is the magic number where the group dynamic still feels intimate, yet offers all the benefits of a community.