Feelings of unworthiness can be the cause of tremendous suffering. For many years I was crippled by feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness until I came across an American psychologist and author who teaches a mindfulness tool for working with intense and overwhelming emotions.
Tara Brach’s step-by-step process called RAIN helps to bring mindful self-compassion, easing feelings of confusion, insecurity, and pain. The acronym RAIN is an easy to remember tool for practicing mindfulness and self-compassion.
This four-step process can be applied anywhere and at any time of the day:
R – Recognize What’s Going On
When painful feelings arise, draw your attention inwards and ask yourself “What is happening inside of me right now?” Try to let go of identifying with your mind and instead listen in a kind and receptive way to your body and heart, bringing awareness to any thoughts, emotions, feelings or sensations that may arise.
A – Allow the Experience to be There, Just as It Is
Allowing any thoughts, emotions, feelings or sensations means to simply accept what you have recognized and allow it to be there, without having to fix or avoid anything. Quite often, we try to avoid or fix painful or unpleasant feelings but the more you practice being with “what is” a different quality of attention will emerge. Allowing is not about trying to make yourself happy with what you have discovered, it is simply acknowledging how you feel in the present moment, without any judgment.
I – Investigate with Interest and Care
Once we have recognized and allowed what is arising, we can deepen our attention through investigation. Calling on your natural curiosity and desire to know the truth, you might ask yourself “What most wants attention?” “How am I experiencing this in my body?” “What am I believing?” “What does this vulnerable place want from me?” “What does it most need?” Whatever the inquiry, try to step away from conceptualizing and focus your attention to the felt-sense in the body. Try to approach your investigation from a non-judgmental and kind way, which helps to create a sense of safety, making it possible to honestly connect with our hurts, fears and shame.
N – Nourish with Self Compassion
This step expresses the result. Experiencing the liberating realization of your natural awareness, which arises spontaneously on its own.
I hope this tool helps enhance your ability to practice mindfulness and you find it as useful as I did!
In Health & Happiness,