Radical Compassion

With the world crisis of Covid-19, it’s easy for us (especially those of us who are more empathetic) to feel a sense of overwhelm. First of all, I hope you and your family are staying safe and my thoughts and love go out to all of you. 

These are challenging times. And it is VERY normal to find yourself  feeling out of control around food, wanting to control your eating, or even finding yourself eating frequently when not hungry. When we are out of control of our environment and feel disconnected, it is very normal to use food to cope.
I highlight and underline that.

Please remember: If you are at home,  keeping distance and just being – you are doing enough. You do not need to do more. Give yourself permission to just be at this time.

The past few weeks I have been reading and exploring a book by Tara Brach called Radical Compassion. I resonate deeply with Tara’s approach and find it very useful at times like the ones we are currently facing.

She uses a method called RAIN (Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture). This is a useful tool to use at any point to become connect with yourself and your needs.

So here is a little taste of RAIN, from Tara’s book that I hope will help loosen the grip on difficult emotions and help you feel more grounded: 

1) RECOGNIZE what is happening – as you reflect ask ” what is happening inside me right now?”
What sensations do you feel in your body? Really dig deep, past the thoughts about how you should feel into how you actually feelFeel the overall emotional tone of the situation. 

2) ALLOW life to be just as it is – send a message to your heart to “let be” this entire experience. Find in yourself the willingness to pause and accept that in these moments “what is…is“.
You can experiment with word like “yes”, “I consent”, or “let it be”.You may be saying yes to a big internal “NO”, or to your body being fully contracted and resisting, or saying “I hate this”. 
At this point you are simply noticing what is true and intending not to judge, push away, or control anything you find.

3) INVESTIGATE with a gentle curious attention – 
Some of the following questions may be helpful:
What is the worst part of this; what most wants my attention?
What is the most difficult/painful thing I am believing?
Where are my feelings strongest in my body? (Note: It’s helpful to scan throat, chest, belly),

if the most vulnerable part of me could communicate, what would it express (words, feelings, images)? What does this part most need (from me or from some larger source of love and wisdom?

IMPORTANT:
 Investigation is not about cognitive skills and analysing!! It is instead about awakening our somatic awareness – keep bringing your attention to your BODY – your body has wisdom. 

4) NURTURE with loving presence- 
Call on your most wise and compassionate part of your being.
You may feel like giving yourself an internal hug, or sending yourself love, or imagining your younger self filled with light. Discover what best allows you to feel nurturing.
Think of someone that would naturally make you feel held, loved, accepted. 
Be there for as long as you need. 

Today I was musing and writing a blog post on how this period may just be a blessing in disguise, as we have the opportunity to shift our mindset to what is important. 

May you be well, and may you feel peace at this time. 

–> ALSO!!! Have you completed the Mindful Eating Program? I have had to create a new Facebook page called Intuitive Eating & Body Compassion for all participants – would love to see you there to stay supported and connected through the journey of becoming intuitive and cultivating compassionate care.

Best wishes,
Ana