For some reason an old song by the band Texas has suddenly and randomly kept playing in my head. I have no idea why.
The lyric that is popping through is
“And when I get that feeling
I can no longer slide, I can no longer run
And when I get that feeling
I can no longer hide,
For it’s no longer fun”
It’s quite odd, because it has actually made me look at something that has been bothering me. A strange feeling like something is living in my solar plexus, wanting attention. It feels big and tight and like it doesn’t fit there and doesn’t belong to me. It seems like it is too big for my body and needs to be released somehow.
It’s interesting how our thought processes work. So, by noticing this strange sensation made me think of the Guest House poem by Rumi and how we notice a difficult thought, emotion or sensation and allow it to be there. By going through the process of recognising what it is and gently paying it some attention, we can often give it space. This can allow it to release as it may be making room for something new and good. It’s a bit like having a spring clean.
This thought inspired me to post the poem in the Wonder Words blog earlier this week, and many of our followers seemed to appreciate this.
The thought process continued. The Guest House poem is often known by mindfulness practitioners. It is associated with the RAIN practice of Recognise, Allow, Investigate and Non Identify in the Mindfulness Based Living and Level 1 courses.
By thinking of the RAIN practice, led me to do the practice a few times. My intention was to help me understand more about the strange physical sensation I was experiencing. As I did the practice I noticed other feelings, thoughts and emotions related to the physical sensation. I realised that there was something quite complex going on. It was to do with fear, big changes, transitions, unworthiness and feeling trapped.
This unexpected focus on the RAIN practice inspired me make it the practice I will lead in the Weekly Sit this week for the Mindfulness Association members.
That’s the end of the thought trail. It’s as far as the song in my has head led me, even though as I write this it is still playing. It feels like it was a message for me to do the practice, share the poem and lead the RAIN practice for others. Maybe we will find out whether others will benefit from the practice when we do it together at the weekly sit.
Going back to the song – I noticed that the words – when I get that feeling I can no long run, I can no longer hide, for it’s no longer fun – related directly to the poem and the RAIN practice. When something difficult is there in our minds, there is often an uncomfortable feeling directly associated with it. It can stop us in our tracks. We can’t run from it or hide from it, and when it is there it certainly isn’t fun.
I have been doing the RAIN practice a lot over my many years as a mindfulness practitioner and teacher. Every time is different. By doing the practice this time, the most profound thing I noticed was space. Strangely Heather wrote about space in her blog this week too.
When I became aware of the space surrounding my body and my being and my life, I realised that I am not the feeling inside me, I am the space around me.
Suddenly as I rested in this space, with an outward instead of inward perspective, the strange sensations subsided and disappeared. I realised that I was adding add fuel to the sensation and the difficult thoughts by dwelling on them. The minute I allowed them to be there and gave them space, the sensations in my solar plexus released completely.
I still have to face the changes and transitions ahead of me, but the fear and unworthiness subsided (for now anyway). They were replaced by a feeling of acceptance and calm, and dare I say it, equanimity.
So that’s it for this week.
As for the picture it has nothing to do with Texas, or the song, or the RAIN practice or The Guest House. But it certainly looks like the otter is chewing over something (I took the picture of him in Shetland earlier this year).
So when you get that feeling…….
I invite you to do the RAIN practice from our MBLC app and become aware of any feelings that are arising. Feelings that you can’t run from or hide from and that aren’t fun. Notice the related sensations in the body and as you give these thoughts and feeling space, observe what happens.
I’d love to hear from you, so please share your comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jacky will be co-teaching Level 1 – Being Present with Alan Hughes at Samye Ling 13 – 15 March 2020 and on the Level 2 – Responding with Compassion with Heather Regan-Addis at Samye Ling starting 5-7 June 2020.
We’d love to see you there. If you can’t make it, how about taking the Level 1 course online.
Come Practice With Us.