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Add this to your tool box - R.A.I.N.

“Is this really happening?!”

Text messages filled up my phone on Wednesday as a mob of extremists violently stormed the United States Capitol, in Washington DC.

“Yes. It is.” I replied 

The events that took place on Wednesday at our nation's capital were surreal and shocking and terrorizing.

As I fall down the rabbit hole of news articles trying to understand. Trying to predict what is going to happen next. Trying to conclude that I am safe, that the world is safe. Fear, judgment, anger, resentment are all welcoming me with open arms. But I know that is not a productive place to go.

Staying in the state of fear, ruminating, is not useful. It doesn't serve me or the greater good.

I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t know the answer. So, I used a lifeline. I phoned a friend. I called my Sister, Dad, and Aunt to check in. 

Reaching out to them, hearing their voice, assuring that they knew how much I loved them, lifted a huge weight from my heart.

I still don’t know what will happen next or even if I am safe but I do know I am alive, right now. I have this moment to choose. I choose love.

This is easier said than done and not always possible for me. It takes practice. Right now, I am committed to practicing self-compassion and to implement the tools I have been collecting.


Add this to your tool box, if you haven't already.
I turn to this practice in times of uncertainty.
Here is a powerful R.A.I.N. Audio Meditation led by Tara Brach.

R.A.I.N. is a four-step practice that helps us recognize our emotions so we can respond, not react, to challenging situations. It can assist in easing emotional confusion and suffering. Sharon Salzburg and Tara Brach are a few of my favorite meditation teachers that teach R.A.I.N.

R — Recognize:
Recognize what is happening.
It is impossible to deal with an emotion—to be resilient in the face of difficulty—unless we acknowledge that we’re experiencing it. The first step is simply to notice what is coming up.

A — Acknowledge or Allow:
Allow life to be just as it is.
The second step is an extension of the first—you accept the feeling and allow it to be there. Put another way, you give yourself permission to feel it.

I — Investigate:
Investigate inner expereince with kindness.
Now you begin to ask questions and explore your emotions with a sense of openness and curiosity.

N — Non-identify or Nurture:
In the final step of RAIN, we consciously avoid being defined by (identified with) a particular feeling, even as we may engage with it.

We cannot will what thoughts and feelings arise in us. But we can recognize them as they are—sometimes recurring, sometimes frustrating, sometimes filled with fantasy, many times painful, always changing. By allowing ourselves this simple recognition, we begin to accept that we will never be able to control our experiences, but that we can transform our relationship to them. This changes everything.  
- Real Love by Sharon Salzburg


Here are a few podcasts that helped me cultivate joy and purpose this week. 

Creative Pep Talk | EP301
Feeling Apathetic? How to Get Super Motivated for 2021 in 3 Steps

Host, Andy J. Pizza uses joy and humor to share why it matters to live for the now, how being present has improved his life and a more compassionate way to set goals in 2021.

Don't keep Your Day Job with Cathy Heller
Cathy started posting bite size episodes every morning.
Little nuggets of love and inspiration to lift the creative spirit.

Meditation and Dharma Talk with Vinny Ferraro
Friday night 7:30 PST, group talk and meditation with Vinny Ferraro help me recenter after the work week. Seeing all of the beautiful faces of others doing the work, practicing love and kindness, and sharing their experiences is healing.


Innervism: A term coined by Elizabeth Lesser, bestselling author and cofounder of Omega Institute. Innervsim is inner work as a form of activism. The work of being courageous and really looking at ourselves. Challanging our thoughts and actions to align with what we want to see in the world.
I wish you health, joy and peace.
Thank you for sharing your light with the world!
We need you here.


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