I recently found myself juggling a family emergency and a complex work project, all while trying my best to not completely fail in my role as a husband and father.
It’s in moments like these that I have found Tara Brach’s RAIN method especially helpful. Tara is unique in that she combines eastern spiritual practices with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. RAIN is the acronym of Tara’s four-step process for ‘practicing mindfulness and compassion’ when in a challenging moment and is one of the exercises featured in this month’s Resilience Guide.
Here are the steps:
R - Recognize what is going on
Acknowledge your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Step outside of yourself and recognize any signs of a harsh inner voice, feelings of embarrassment and dread, or noticeable physical manifestations created by anxiety.
A - Allow life to be just as it is
Allow the experience to be there, just as it is. Do not attempt to alter or avoid it. When defaulting to self-judgment, let the negative emotions exist. It does not mean you are unworthy, it means you recognize painful feelings created by a stressful moment.
I - Investigate with interest and care
Lean into your natural curiosities to discover the truth. Ask yourself, “How is this experience manifesting in my body? What is it that I think I believe? What does this vulnerable place want from me and what does it need most?”
N - Nurture with self-compassion
Once you identify the wounded and hurting place inside you, offer a gesture of kindness that might address it. Ask yourself, “Does it need a message of reassurance? Of forgiveness? Of companionship?” Sincerely spark self-compassion and even if it feels awkward, it will start to soothe and strengthen the heart.
Take time to explore RAIN as a stand-alone meditation or return to this exercise the next time you face a challenging moment.
Begin your day feeling grounded and inspired.
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