By Shelley Hubal
One of my favorite psychologists and meditation teachers is Tara Brach, Ph.D. In her teachings on self-compassion, Dr. Brach uses the acronym “RAIN,” which stands for “Recognize, Allow, Investigate and Nurture.” All of us experience emotional pain at some point in our lives and practicing “RAIN” can help us to make our way effectively through such challenges. In short, when you “recognize” in any given moment in time what you are experiencing and simply give it space or “allow” it to be observed without judgement, it frees you to then “investigate” the truth and ultimately this leads you to garner self-compassion or to “nurture” the self.
As our Jewish community shrinks and our funding sources become harder to maintain, the Federation and our local organizations need to learn to do more with less. Of course, this is a source of stress for our leaders. It certainly has kept me up many nights. However, for a while now, I have been applying a modified “RAIN” technique to this problem. Rather than lament and resist this crisis, I am inclined to acknowledge and observe. As a result, I have discovered a more comfortable space, one that even feels creative and optimistic.
Moving forward this community will need to “investigate” our priorities. This may mean combining programming efforts, Hebrew schools or even synagogues. It may mean that our beloved Reporter is someday published only in a digital format. These choices will be difficult to make. We will have to be creative and flexible. We will have to learn to share and practice compassion as we adjust to the new reality. If we can successfully do this, I know we will maintain the integrity of our caring, dynamic community. The choice is ours.
I wish you all a safe and healthy summer.