Tag Archives: breathe

RAIN

My Dearest Daughter,

There may be times in your life when you feel overcome by an unpleasant emotion or physical sensation. Using the RAIN* technique, along with breath, is one of my tools for transforming such an occasion.

RAIN is an acronym for the practice of mindfully experiencing any sensation, especially suffering, without becoming attached and therefore bound to it.

R- Recognize the feeling.
A- Accept the feeling (rather than try to deny it or push it away).
I- Investigate the feeling and it’s relationship to your body.
N- Non Identify or Non Attach to the feeling.

Let that feeling be a presence all it’s own, like an unwanted guest. You are not your feelings, and feelings are not facts. They are just guests, passing through. We get to choose how long we will entertain the guests based on a mutual beneficial exchange of energies.

What can you do in that moment when your feeling is all encompassing and you want to escape it but cannot?

Rather than try and push it away, I encourage you to get as much from the feeling as you can. What is it trying to tell you? What does it need you to hear and acknowledge? What can you do to make it feel heard?

If that feeling over stays its welcome, rather than trying to force it to leave, invite new feelings to the mix. When we paint and we add a new color to the mix, it decreases the intensity of the color that’s already on the palette.

We diminish painful physical sensations, like a back spasm or migraine, by inviting new, pleasant physical sensations like a massage, or a bath, in which the blood circulation actually helps to break up the sensation we call pain.

We diminish isolation by reaching out to others to be of service or even to ask or offer a hug.

We diminish stress by making a conscious choice to be playful.

And We diminish painful emotional sensations, like sadness, anger, or fear, by inviting pleasant emotional sensations like joy, laughter, and love into our hearts.

We can do this many ways. My first go to is usually nature to create an immediate expansion of space around the unpleasant feeling, thereby minimizing its hold on me and then by adding music which can transport us almost instantly to a new plain.

The trick is add something new instead of take something away; by consciously adding new behaviors we naturally eliminate old ones.

For example, if someone wanted to give up eating junk food, I would encourage them to do so by adding healthy foods before restricting unhealthy foods. When we try and deprive our self of something, we tend to hold on to it even more. When we simply add more goodness, we find ourselves naturally letting go of the bad in order to embrace the good.

You got this!

Love,

Mommy

* RAIN: as cited in Robert Wright’s, Why Buddhism Is True

Breathe

My Darling Daughter,

Breathe.

You asked me, “How can I be strong?”

There are so many types of strength from physical to spiritual; but I think you were asking me about mental strength.

I thought about the answer for two weeks. No matter what instruction came to mind there was a pulse behind it that mattered more.

That pulse, was breath.

If you want to be strong, take a series of three breaths whenever possible, especially before reacting to triggers, stress, or conflict.

The first breath, is mindfulness, to bring you into alignment with the present moment.

The second breath, is to pull back to you all the parts of yourself you have lent out to others, to worries, to task lists, to the clock. These pieces of yourself are like anchors from the sea which kept you in place but are now holding you back from moving on. In order to be grounded and whole, you must continually bring back your pieces of self. The second breath is to remind you of who you are, all of who you are: complete.

The third breath, is to call forth your support system: peaceful warriors, guardian and arch angels, soldiers of strength, spirit guides, and antecedents of unconditional love, to remind you that you are never alone.

There is no battle within or without that you will ever have to fight unaccompanied by the assistance of unforeseen sources of aid. This is a truth you can count on. You are loved, therefore you are championed, favored and encouraged by the ethereal as well as the physical energies that surround you.

If you want to know strength, you must learn how to embrace gentleness.

You must grow to be comfortable in the silent composed beats of music, we call rests.

You must be able to relax into a pause and breathe. Strength lies in what we choose not to say as much as it does in what we choose to say.

If you want to know strength, learn to ease into transitory periods of discomfort while expecting the best but perhaps preparing for the worst.

Strength is patience and fortitude,

it is tenacity and resilience

that walks with the wings of grace

in the shoes of kindness.

Strength is humility, a modest perception of one’s own importance which does not obstruct the view of oneness that interconnects us all.

If you want to know strength learn quietude.

Read poetry in nature.

Enjoy your own company.

Take in a sunset with the same anticipation you might a Broadway show.

Meditate consistently.

But most of all, just breathe.

I know you will.

You are stronger than you will ever know.

In fact, your inner strength has carried forth our history, centuries of reincarnated memories, reside in the cellular makeup of your courage.

Breathe, so that your strength softens with flexibility, a true strength; and will not, cannot, break you.

For you are already much stronger than you can imagine.

I love you.
Xo Mommy.