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.

Mike Radparvar
Co-Founder, Holstee

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This article is part of our series on the theme of Resilience.

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Our Themes

Distilled from our Manifesto, positive psychology, the science of mindfulness, and ancient philosophic studies we have identified twelve themes core to living both fully and mindfully. We mapped these twelve themes to each of the twelve months in a year. Together with our community we explore one each month.