In order to thrive in life, we need to be able to navigate the periods of rain, and the storms and the potholes it will inevitably bring with compassion. To begin to navigate the journey of compassion we must start where we are, with ourselves.
Self-compassion requires an honest and open connection with our own vulnerability.
The rain is clearing now in Sydney where I am but the sweet smell of the air around me and the earth freshly watered reminds me to stop and take care of myself.
The RAIN reminds me to notice what is happening in my internal world today as I prepare for this week.
I allow the feelings; thoughts and sensations and I gently welcome them. I am after all human, and I was designed and created to experience all the things I am feeling/ thinking/noticing.
As I investigate the thoughts and feelings with kindness, I again remind myself these are all normal feelings and thoughts, I will be OK. I plan and schedule my priorities allowing for mess-ups and failures, potholes, and puddles.
Life has potholes and puddles, right?
It does not matter how hard we try we cannot miss them all and that is OK to.
We all plan for ‘success’, we dream and visualise how our day will be, how our kids will turn out and how the morning school routine will be and plan all the things, but stuff happens right, at the last minute and the breakfast is spilt on the school shirt or we suddenly realise its mufti day and omg there’s nothing suitable they want to wear.
We might picture in our minds how well our business will have grown, or how our relationship will be after x amount of time - that is, we picture the end result. But few of us picture in our minds the step-by-step things we need to do to reach our end goal. And even fewer of us plan how we will look after ourselves when we are in those puddles, potholes, or storms or if things don’t turn out the way we planned.
Mindfulness and compassion are my strengths along with vulnerability and honesty.
I am not afraid to be radically honest with myself or vulnerable and take the steps I need to look after my wellbeing.
That may be asking for help, taking time off from things that are overwhelming, not worrying about making mistakes in my business posts and social media, making mac and cheese for dinner 2 nights in a row or saying No to those I care and love because my mental health and wellbeing is important too.
The acronym RAIN, first coined about 20 years ago by Michele McDonald, is an easy-to-remember tool for practicing mindfulness.
It has four steps:
Recognize what is going on.
Allow the experience to be there, just as it is.
Investigate with kindness.
Natural awareness, which comes from not identifying with the experience.
May you find the time today to be kind and vulnerable with yourself. May you find the strength to stop and rest, to allow your experiences just as they are and then soften your attachment or if you are able, let them go and allow them to pass on by like leaves in the wind.
With much compassion