For further exploration of emotions that seem difficult I want to share a tool I learned from Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance.
R – Recognize that you are having an emotional storm – you might name the emotions you are experiencing
A – Allow – open to the experience and allow your body to feel this experience. Now is not the time to fight or resist, just breathe in the feelings and be aware of the body.
I – Investigate – spend some time looking at the thoughts in connection to the emotion. Are your thoughts making the emotions stronger, or allowing them to pass?
N. Nonidentification – You are not your emotions. There are energy flowing through you and your body. By not taking ownership you allow them to pass more easily.
The idea here is to provide yourself with some Compassion. Yes, you are experiencing uncomfortable emotions. Perhaps they have something to teach you. Most of us, in the past, have pushed the emotions away by distracting ourselves or using substances. A new, radical approach is to go with the emotions, and to wonder, what is happening, and what is there to learn from this experience.
Breathing consciously during this practice is of great help. Taking notes between each step may help you stay separate from the emotions, and provide some space to wonder at the depth of these emotions. The key component is curiousity.
Tara offers additional articles and meditations on her website:
Free download of Tara’s 10 min meditation:
Mindful Breathing: Finding Calm and Ease
and: 8 Essential Tips to Nourish Your Meditation Practicewhen you join her email list.
Having a strong emotion? Let it RAIN.