It’s inevitable that life will throw us curveballs. While we can’t stop curveballs from happening, we can control how we respond to them.
I want to share with you a great practice to build resiliency in dealing with any kind of difficult situation.
I went live on Facebook and Instagram to lead a session of this profound mediation process called R.A.I.N. Mindfulness Meditation. Here are key places to tune in:
R.A.I.N. is a great practice to bring to your students or clients.
To begin, scan your life and notice any places that might be a little sticky. Anywhere you’re feeling frustration or a growing edge. . .something that might be challenging you right now.
Choose one thing that’s mildly to moderately uncomfortable and bring it into your mind’s eye. Take a moment to draw forward this experience.
The first step is to RECOGNIZE – take a moment to simply recognize, acknowledge, and allow what’s happening without judgment.
Notice whatever is surrounding this experience. There might be words or images associated with it. It might be a voice of shame, blame, or any feeling of fear or constriction or anxiety. Note your emotions. Maybe you have anger, grief, resentment. Pay attention to this moment and what’s happening with your mind and body.
The first step out of our denial or our resistance or feeling of unworthiness is just to recognize, to become aware.
The second step in the R.A.I.N. mediation practice stands for allowing or accepting. You “let it be as it is.” Honor and respect any feelings, emotions, sensations, or thoughts that you might be having without trying to change or fix them. Allow things to be exactly as they are. You don’t have to like it, but you aren’t resisting it either.
You might allow yourself a simple phrase or an encouraging word during this stage of allowing. “It’s OK,” “Yes”. . .to show that you affirm or respect whatever you are experiencing and allowing it to be OK.
In this stage, I encourage you to investigate with interest the emotions you recognized and allowed. Become your own best friend and really inquire; ask more questions about what you’re experiencing.
Begin to walk around in this experience. . .and look at it from different angles. Do any images arise? Any memories or other associations connected to it?
Keep noticing your breath.
You might ask yourself,
“What am I believing about this? What most wants my attention?”
“Why do I feel the way I do?
“What does this tender place in me need? What do I most need? What do I most want?”
Simply inquire and investigate with interest and care and kindness.
The last stage is nurture — nurture yourself with self-compassion.
You are not your emotions or thoughts — you just bring awareness to them.
I encourage you to make some sort of gesture to yourself. It might be in your mind’s eye, a hand on your heart, one hand on top of the other on your heart, you making a positive/affirming statement such as “I’m sorry,” “I love you.”
This affirmation tells your body/mind that I see you and I hear you. This is not fair. You have a right to be upset. I understand.
You might visualize rose gold or glowing, warm light descending through your body or expanding out from your heart.
In whatever way works for you, bless yourself and offer a gesture of kindness and compassion towards yourself.
Finally, if this difficult situation you’re dealing with involves anyone else, you can offer them a gesture of compassion and release. Stay connected to your heart and begin to let it go; let the circumstance release.
One more thing: I want you to offer yourself a blessing, gratitude for showing up in this practice as you begin to practice reframing self-compassion, resilience to respond to the inevitable curveballs life is going to keep throwing.
The only thing we can do is control how we work with it in a very, very subtle ways. Learning to unwind our mental/emotional patterns and work more skillfully.
And that is yoga psychology. We learn to identify those triggering thought forms and patterns and reshape them back toward what the Buddhists call the heart/mind, compassion.
Anytime you’re feeling distressed or overwhelmed with difficult situations, try the R.A.I.N. method to build self-compassion.