I was pretty downhearted when I received a text from the bank saying that I needed to make immediate payment on an overdue visa card. The debt had managed to creep up to a very uncomfortable zone after six months of not earning much and still spending a lot. Delete, delete, delete. Well that solved that problem.
Avoidance is something that we are all guilty of. Whether it is cleaning out the rubbish, making a phone call, sending out invites or worse things like dealing with a difficult email or client. It’s much easier to avoid the issue, just ignore it for a bit and let it simmer away while you put your brain into child’s pose and hope when you come out the problem will be gone.
Except the problem doesn’t go away does it? Then you can feel the smoke burning in your brain as the problem you are avoiding gains momentum.
Luckily help is at hand to pull your out of your funk with a Buddhist technique called RAIN. This is a very short version of it that can be done as a meditation.
R= recognise what is happening; What emotions, thoughts or sensations does this problem/ situation bring up for you?
Oh dear, that’s me fried, in debt, I have no idea how to get out of it, I’m not going to get out of it, I have no idea how I’m going to get out of it…….
A= allow life to be as it is; Without attempting to judge, push away or control what we find accept that this situation is what it is. What is …..is.
ok don’t panic, it’s just the way things are at this moment, something will change for sure
I= investigate; What are you feeling in your body? Shame, fear, regret, grief? What are you beliefs about these feelings? Do you feel like a failure or that someone will reject you? What do you really want, acceptance, love, forgiveness or recognition?
I’m actually a bit worried about it all, I’m pretty sorry I spent all that money now, I feel like a bit of a failure
N =non-identification. Take a moment to realise that what you feel and what you want is not actually WHO you are, they are just feelings and sensations that will come and go like a wave.
ok this problem is not me, it’s just a situation I’m in, non-attachment to the problem…… check
Once I had gone through this short process I quickly swung into action to fix my problem, without fuss, recrimination, tears or panic. It actually feels really good to work through something you are avoiding without all the emotional coat hooks on the way.
Practice for today; If there is an issue you are avoiding use the RAIN technique to examine why you may be in avoidance. Be kind to yourself with whatever arises.
Credit to Tara Brach who has written about RAIN in her book True Refuge.