- by Jennifer Herdman, LMFT
Do you ever ask yourself, where does all of my time go?
Many of my clients struggle with finding time in their day for self care. We are so busy with the day to day routines of work and family life that there is little, if no, time left for ourselves. The truth is, there is actually plenty of time. All it takes is 3 minutes here, 5 minutes there and living every minute of everyday in a mindful state. You'd be surprised at how much extra time you can actually find in your day if you exist in a mindful way rather than sleepwalking out of bed and all the way back into bed! Here is one tip on how to do so...its called RAIN (borrowed from Tara Brach's "Finding True Refuge"):
R: Recognize what is happening: You can awaken recognition simply by asking yourself "what is happening inside me right now?" Let go of any preconceived ideas and instead listen in a kind, receptive way to your body and heart, and bring awareness to whatever thoughts, emotions, feelings or sensations are arising here and now.
A: Allow life to be just as it is: Allowing means "letting be" the thoughts, emotions, feelings or sensations you discover. You may feel a natural sense of aversion, of wishing that unpleasant feelings would go away, but as you become more willing to be present with "what is" a different quality of attention will emerge. Allowing is intrinsic to healing, and realizing this can give rise to a conscious intention to "let be".
I: Investigate inner experience with kindness: Investigation means calling on your natural interest, the desire to know the truth, and directing a more focused attention to your present experience. Simply pausing to ask, "what is happening inside me?" might initiate recognition, but with investigation you engage in a more active and pointed kind of inquiry. You might ask yourself "What most wants attention?" "How am I experiencing this in my body?" "What am I believing?" or "What does this feeling want from me?". We need to offer a gentle welcome to whatever surfaces.
N: Natural awareness: The first three steps of RAIN require some intentional activity. In contrast, the N of RAIN expresses the result: a liberating realization of your natural awareness. There's nothing to do for the last part of RAIN. Realization arises spontaneously, on its own. We simply rest in natural awareness.
So the next time you ask yourself, "Where does all of my time go?"...Let it RAIN!