RAIN: A Mindful Way to Process Our Feelings

We know it’s important to deal with our feelings and enjoy ourselves. But how is impossible to do that when we’re feeling fix or devastated?

Amidst the stress of modern-day life, we often live in a cloud. Things happen at work or in relationships that we don’t have time( or take time) to process. Life happens, but we’re often not present for it. We might take better care of ourselves emotionally if we can find a structure or process for being with difficult or painful feelings as they start.

Healing R.A.I.N.

R.A.I.N. is an acronym coined by mindfulness coach Michele McDonald. It has been adapted by countless professors of mindfulness, including best-selling scribes Tara Brach and Rick Hanson. I find R.A.I.N. to be very compatible with Eugene Gendlin’s somatic approaching of Focusing. A center side of this approach is to bring a soothing, helping attitude toward our feelings and uncover whatever necessitates they may hold for us

I have here changed the R.A.I.N. process in such a way that dovetails with my understanding of Focusing( so any flaws in my adaptation are my own and not those of its developer, Michelle McDonald ).

R= Recognize: Notice what you are experiencing right now in your internal life, such as irritation or anger when someone speaks to you with a freezing, critical tone of voice. Or perhaps you recognize sadness when someone doesn’t return your telephone calls or isn’t available to see you. Or, as you attune to our inner event, you might notice fear as you consider reaching out to someone you want to date.

Just recognize what you’re feeling. How does it feel in your torso? Is your gut tight or queasy? Is your chest or throat constricted? Be strange about what you’re experiencing without adjudicating yourself.

A= Accepting and Allowing: Acknowledge that your experience is what it is, even if it’s nauseating. Is it ok to let your feelings be there without trying to change them? Be gentle and friendly with whatever feelings you’re noticing. Have compassion toward yourself instead of self-criticism, or being ashamed of what you’re feeling, or evaluating yourself as shaky, or thoughts something is wrong with you. Feelings are simply how life speaks to us. Allow the life inside you to be just how it is right now.

Often the 2 paces above are enough for the feeling to shift, exhaust, or open up! But sometimes the next two steps are helpful.

I= Inquire or Investigate: Have an attitude of interest, kindness, curiosity, and openness to what you’re feeling inside–not an intellectual analysis but a soothing exploration: How do you feel in your form? What is this anger or frustration about? Maybe something deeper will come. For example, person or persons you wanted to have a relationship with is not reciprocating your interest. Beneath your resentment or rage there might be a softer feeling of sadness, hurt, or loss. Or you might feel shame — believing that something is wrong with you because the person doesn’t want a relationship with you.

As you raising kindness toward yourself, you might realize that the relationship was not meant to be. It might occur to you that you don’t really want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you. You might find easing to realize you don’t need to criticize yourself. And it’s ok to give yourself permission to feel sad about it.

N= Not-identify: Allow all of your feelings, but without getting too attached to them.

Who you are is not defined by your ever-changing feelings. We have sadness, shame, nervousnes, or anger, but we are not those feelings. Life is a river. Our human spirits come and go. Teachers of mindfulness often remind us that if we cling to anything too tightly, we appoint suffering.

Our True Self is larger than our problems or excitements. Feelings, conceives, and perceptions come and go, but they don’t define who we are. Hold them gently, brace them gently. Find the freedom distance from feelings. Not closer together that we melt with them … and not so far away that we evade, disclaim, or bypass them.

Life happens. R.A.I.N renders a structure to be with what happens in a attentive room. The next time you notice difficult feelings, you might want to apply R.A.I.N. to your experience and see if it helps you find a little more inner peace.

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What do you think?

Written by WHS

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