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When I Practice Self-Compassion, I Feel Resistance. How Do I Work With This?

Rhonda shares powerful insights for working with resistance to self-compassion.

Hi, this is Rhonda Magee. I've been asked to answer this question. When I practice self-compassion, I feel resistance. How do I work with this? Well, I really appreciate this question because if you're feeling this, I can assure you, you're not alone. I know for myself that the idea of being compassionate to myself, just simply didn't come easily.

I wasn't really raised or trained to know how to meet my own suffering with kindness. So I know what it's like to feel a little resistant to the idea of self-compassion. And I can certainly imagine that, that kind of resistance would make practicing it a little more challenging. But here's what I want to share with you. This sense of resistance, this kind of pushing away or aversion to the idea, this is an example of what is traditionally known in my mindfulness-based psychological circles as a kind of obstacle to self-liberation and more ease.

It's an obstacle to mindfulness. So there are many ways to work with this. In fact, there ways to work with this kind of obstacle or hindrance or any of the many other kinds of obstacles that get in the way of practicing mindfulness. So right now, I'm just going to highlight one of those ways of bringing mindfulness right into support just working with the resistance we might feel to starting a regular practice of self-compassion. This particular mindfulness-based tool or support is called the RAIN practice.

And it's something I lean into again and again. So if you work with me or read any of my writings, you'll see a reference to this mindfulness teaching tool called RAIN. And it's an acronym that stands for recognize, accept, investigate, with non-identification. R A I N. So I'm going to just briefly step you through the four steps of this RAIN practice as an example of, you know, how you can work with whatever resistance might be coming up to the idea of bringing self-compassion practice right into your, your world.

So first, we start with R, recognize. And so with that, we just take in a deep breath. And naming or recognizing, yes, this is resistance. This is what resistance feels like. And the very next step then, once we acknowledge this is what we're up against, is A, accept.

And by accept, we mean, accept just for this moment, as we're trying to learn a little bit more about what's up for us. And even as we do so, you can already see it's inviting a kind of compassionate embrace of your own experience. So you're accepting it and not going to war with what you're feeling or thinking. But then you move from the A of accept to the I of investigate. And with investigation, we're just opening up to exploring what's here to be known about this right now, for example, resistance.

What might be some of the emotions tied to the feeling of resistance? Or bodily sensations, where we feel, where in this body are you feeling, in your body, are you feeling resistance? And so as we identify sensations in the body, emotions, and also thoughts, what are some of the thoughts that get in the way of saying yes to be more self-compassionate. It could be something about, you know, some feeling that to have to practice self-compassion seems almost by itself to be sort of selfish. Or, you know, like some sort of a privilege or luxury that you can't afford given, for example, all the difficulty that other people are feeling right now. That's just one example of the kind of thought that as you investigate with this RAIN practice, you might uncover, and as you see it, you might again just accept, this is a thought that you're having. Breathing in and out.

Just noticing, these are just thoughts. They're not necessarily the full truth. They're not necessarily to be clung to. In fact, we might imagine thoughts like clouds rolling across the sky of the brain. And imagine allow, allowing them to just roll on by as a cloud would across the sky, rather than being something you have to attach to defend, identify with.

And so that brings us to the last letter of the RAIN practice, R A I N, non identification. So just as we might notice thoughts, notice emotions that come up, sadness, whatever it might be, and imagine them rolling on by and letting go and breathing in and breathing out, seeing what else is here. We're doing, as we do that, we're practicing non identification. We're not identifying and making a new sense of self out of what we see. We're not clinging to the idea, oh, I am the person who's just not able to feel self compassion.

Again, what we're experimenting with is moving through the moments of our lives, recognizing what we see, not getting stuck in them. And from that place of more fluid ease, we're able to experience more of our own power, really, to meet the moments of our lives with whatever skillfulness we're able to bring to bear, and then to deepen our capacity for skillful engagement as we go. So thank you so much for practicing with me, experimenting together a little bit, as you might have been walking through those steps of RAIN with me in this moment. I wish you well as you work on bringing more love and care to the very tender parts of you that might resist bringing love and self-compassion right intentionally into your own journey. Remember, just opening up even a little bit to the possibility of being more compassionate to yourself, that right there is an example of practicing with resistance.

So don't get stuck. Don't strain. Just keep moving through with that fluidity that is the, the core practice of mindfulness and equanimity that can really be a support for you as you continue the journey from here.

Talk

4.5

When I Practice Self-Compassion, I Feel Resistance. How Do I Work With This?

Rhonda shares powerful insights for working with resistance to self-compassion.

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, this is Rhonda Magee. I've been asked to answer this question. When I practice self-compassion, I feel resistance. How do I work with this? Well, I really appreciate this question because if you're feeling this, I can assure you, you're not alone. I know for myself that the idea of being compassionate to myself, just simply didn't come easily.

I wasn't really raised or trained to know how to meet my own suffering with kindness. So I know what it's like to feel a little resistant to the idea of self-compassion. And I can certainly imagine that, that kind of resistance would make practicing it a little more challenging. But here's what I want to share with you. This sense of resistance, this kind of pushing away or aversion to the idea, this is an example of what is traditionally known in my mindfulness-based psychological circles as a kind of obstacle to self-liberation and more ease.

It's an obstacle to mindfulness. So there are many ways to work with this. In fact, there ways to work with this kind of obstacle or hindrance or any of the many other kinds of obstacles that get in the way of practicing mindfulness. So right now, I'm just going to highlight one of those ways of bringing mindfulness right into support just working with the resistance we might feel to starting a regular practice of self-compassion. This particular mindfulness-based tool or support is called the RAIN practice.

And it's something I lean into again and again. So if you work with me or read any of my writings, you'll see a reference to this mindfulness teaching tool called RAIN. And it's an acronym that stands for recognize, accept, investigate, with non-identification. R A I N. So I'm going to just briefly step you through the four steps of this RAIN practice as an example of, you know, how you can work with whatever resistance might be coming up to the idea of bringing self-compassion practice right into your, your world.

So first, we start with R, recognize. And so with that, we just take in a deep breath. And naming or recognizing, yes, this is resistance. This is what resistance feels like. And the very next step then, once we acknowledge this is what we're up against, is A, accept.

And by accept, we mean, accept just for this moment, as we're trying to learn a little bit more about what's up for us. And even as we do so, you can already see it's inviting a kind of compassionate embrace of your own experience. So you're accepting it and not going to war with what you're feeling or thinking. But then you move from the A of accept to the I of investigate. And with investigation, we're just opening up to exploring what's here to be known about this right now, for example, resistance.

What might be some of the emotions tied to the feeling of resistance? Or bodily sensations, where we feel, where in this body are you feeling, in your body, are you feeling resistance? And so as we identify sensations in the body, emotions, and also thoughts, what are some of the thoughts that get in the way of saying yes to be more self-compassionate. It could be something about, you know, some feeling that to have to practice self-compassion seems almost by itself to be sort of selfish. Or, you know, like some sort of a privilege or luxury that you can't afford given, for example, all the difficulty that other people are feeling right now. That's just one example of the kind of thought that as you investigate with this RAIN practice, you might uncover, and as you see it, you might again just accept, this is a thought that you're having. Breathing in and out.

Just noticing, these are just thoughts. They're not necessarily the full truth. They're not necessarily to be clung to. In fact, we might imagine thoughts like clouds rolling across the sky of the brain. And imagine allow, allowing them to just roll on by as a cloud would across the sky, rather than being something you have to attach to defend, identify with.

And so that brings us to the last letter of the RAIN practice, R A I N, non identification. So just as we might notice thoughts, notice emotions that come up, sadness, whatever it might be, and imagine them rolling on by and letting go and breathing in and breathing out, seeing what else is here. We're doing, as we do that, we're practicing non identification. We're not identifying and making a new sense of self out of what we see. We're not clinging to the idea, oh, I am the person who's just not able to feel self compassion.

Again, what we're experimenting with is moving through the moments of our lives, recognizing what we see, not getting stuck in them. And from that place of more fluid ease, we're able to experience more of our own power, really, to meet the moments of our lives with whatever skillfulness we're able to bring to bear, and then to deepen our capacity for skillful engagement as we go. So thank you so much for practicing with me, experimenting together a little bit, as you might have been walking through those steps of RAIN with me in this moment. I wish you well as you work on bringing more love and care to the very tender parts of you that might resist bringing love and self-compassion right intentionally into your own journey. Remember, just opening up even a little bit to the possibility of being more compassionate to yourself, that right there is an example of practicing with resistance.

So don't get stuck. Don't strain. Just keep moving through with that fluidity that is the, the core practice of mindfulness and equanimity that can really be a support for you as you continue the journey from here.

Talk

4.5

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