A few days ago, I woke up feeling heavy, weighted and a bit stuck, like the layers of worry, anxiety, concern and fear had hardened into dried mud within me. So, I lay in bed for 10 minutes and visualized warm rain pouring over me. I closed my eyes and remembered some times both as a child and as a young adult on warm summer days interrupted by powerful afternoon showers. I let my mind travel back to those events.
It became hard not to smile, remembering the glee and lightness of getting soaking wet, not caring, dancing and spinning in the puddles and just laughing with abandon. I let those feelings fill me, washing away some of the mud that felt like it had invaded my veins. When I got up and took a shower, the energy of those memories stayed with me. Their warmth and joy helped carry me through the day.
The next day, in our Six Minutes Daily morning practice as we sat in circle via zoom, our visualization also focused around feeling a gentle spring rain washing over us to clear away the fatigue and the shadows, and to reconnect with the powerful strength of the deeper mountain within us.
These times bring us face to face with very difficult moments. I find myself taking more showers than usual to relax back into that warm spring rain. It’s important to find the gentleness within ourselves, to allow the emotions, yet not be fully taken by them. It is important to find healthy ways to nurture ourselves.
And then yesterday while talking about my metaphorical rain with a dear friend, Jeff Oxendine, he shared the Rain Meditation with me from best selling author and psychologist Tara Brach. Tara uses RAIN as a reminder of the following:
R stands for Recognize (the feelings and emotions running through us).
A stands for Allow those feelings (versus trying to ignore them or tuck them away).
I stands for Investigate those feelings (where are they coming from; what specifically triggered them now).
N stands for one of two things – first Nurture them (being compassionate to ourselves) and second Not Identify with them (meaning we can have them, but we don’t have to be taken over by them).
May our emotions come like a warm spring storm and may they pass like the rain melts away the snow here in the mountains, making the way for the flowers to grow.
Please remember to be extra kind and gentle to yourself first.