See all Meditation


Top articles

How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation

What is Meditation?

Mindful LivingSleep
CommunityFor Work

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

Rhonda Magee






Scan the following QR code with your camera app to open it on your phone

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.

Included in

Q&A on Self-Compassion null Playlist · 5 tracks

Q&A on Self-Compassion

Playlist · 5 tracks4.9

More by this teacher

Won’t Self-Compassion and Acceptance Take Away My Ambition to Improve Myself?Talk by Rhonda Magee
Rhonda Magee
Rhonda Magee

Won’t Self-Compassion and Acceptance Take Away My Ambition to Improve Myself?

Talk · 7 mins4.5

Similar to this

Get Unlimited Access

Start your mindfulness journey today.

A Mindfulness Plus+ subscription gives you unlimited access to a world of premium mindfulness content.

  • Over 1,800 meditations, sleep, calm music, naturescapes and more
  • Daily mindfulness video meditations 365 days a year
  • 100s of courses and tools to help manage anxiety, sleep and stress

Email Missing

We couldn’t detect your email with the SSO provider you have selected.

Mindfulness Guarantee

We are here to make a positive impact on the world. We never want to sell you something that hasn’t helped you live a better life. That’s why if you’re unhappy with any purchase from us, you have 30 days to get a full refund and your money back.

If you subscribed to Mindfulness Plus+ and are unhappy with your purchase, please get in contact with us within the 30-day period and we’ll refund your purchase.

Learn more about our Mindfulness Guarantee.


Bring balance into your everyday life.

We believe in a world where everybody has access to the life-changing skills of mindfulness.

  • 2,000+ Guided Meditations
  • Daily Coaching
  • Sleep Content
  • Mindful Exercises
  • Mindful Radio
  • 10+ Courses from world-class teachers

Private Browsing

Added to your cart!


Claim your free access

Create a mindfulness account and we’ll unlock this premium session in your account forever.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Start a free trial to play this session

7-Days free trial, cancel anytime.

Start 7-Day Free Trial

Finish personalizing your account

Complete a few quick questions to make your own personalized mindfulness plan.