RAIN – Not only are we seeing a lot of it in the Pacific Northwest lately, but I’ve also found myself using it in great depth over the last few weeks. In May 19 Tuesday Tips I discussed Radical Self-care and how to use RAIN, which stands for Recognize what is happening; Allow the experience to be there; Investigate with interest and care; Nurture with self-compassion. I don’t know if there’s ever been a more appropriate time to use this process than right now as we face multiple multi-layered crises together.
I made a commitment to listen deeper, educate myself further, and find ways to effect large scale change in the advancement of racial equity. As I started wading through the emotions of listening deeper, I bumped into some extremely unsavory realizations. First, I found that I wasn’t really listening as deeply as I could be, and I had a choice in that moment to turn away from the truly uncomfortable feelings inside. I began with Recognizing what is happening – this is the first step in my personal journey toward fully coming into realization of my white privilege. There was a strong tendency toward severe negative self-talk at first and instead I chose to Allow the experience of discomfort to be there. I didn’t fight it, or scream at it, or look away from it. I just sat there with it, me and it, side by side, in one another’s presence. As the waves of emotion subsided, I was able to then Investigate with interest and care what was in front of me. I played back the story of my upbringing with wider eyes this time, seeing what I didn’t see before. It wasn’t pleasant, much of it was ugly, but shining light on it reduced my fear of looking directly at it. I Nurtured with self-compassion and found that berating myself isn’t the way forward, it only serves to keep me stuck and bound up in my own shame and fear of doing or saying something wrong. Nurturing that tender place in me gives me the strength to participate in nurturing others’ pain.
Let me be abundantly clear, this was not, is not, and will never be a one-time event. This is a commitment to living in the world differently and giving myself the space to RAIN every time I bump into that which needs to be processed and healed.
I invite you to find just one element of your life that could use a little RAIN this week. As Brene Brown says, “Pain that is not transformed will always be transmitted.”
Empowered Storytelling – In order to create the world we want to live in, it’s important to first create that fertile inner landscape that can fuel our desires and propel us forward. One way to do that is through a writing ritual called Empowered Storytelling. Spend 5-10 minutes daily writing out a stream of consciousness about aspects of your “ideal” life, ie. joy, confidence, creativity, freedom, etc. The key is to word this in present tense not future tense. Doing this on a regular basis helps anchor into the knowing that all these things exist already inside you. They are not “out there” waiting for you to attain them once you’re changed, fixed, improved in some way. You are born with these aspects of your very own personal version of perfection even if they are sometimes obscured by clouds of fears, false ideas, or mind-numbing chatter. Writing helps us to remember them. We received this tip from John Mermin who learned it from his mentor/coach Kevin Doherty. Thanks for sharing John!!
Your Biweekly Dose of Upliftment – Some of you may be familiar with the spiritual teacher and author Eckhart Tolle who wrote the best-selling book The Power of Now. He has a free mini-series that I have found useful for these times that are asking us more and more to go within and uncover, discover, recover. The first one can be found here: https://consciousmanifestation.eckharttolle.com/the_first_step_of_conscious_manifestation39077931
Please let us know if you find any of these to be helpful and share how you put them into practice. Also, if you have a tip to offer, let us know and we will include it in a future email or video.
We wish for you to find your special ways to thrive through this unprecedented time.
May You Be Well –
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