ACT and INTEGRITY

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – An Online Resource

Q:  I don’t know which way to turn.  I am so afraid of going wrong.  What now?

A:  Look to your values.  They will lead you in the right direction.

ACT loves us to take action, considered action, value-driven action that moves us in a meaningful direction.  If we are not sure what to do then a quick check-in with our values will usually point us in the right direction.

Another way to look at it is that if we take actions based on our values then we are acting with integrity and that will feel good.  Integrity is a very reliable inner compass.  It soon tells us if we are off track.  If something doesn’t feel right, if we don’t feel right, that’s a sure sign that we are not acting with integrity.

What’s also interesting is that when it comes to value driven action we need not concern ourselves over much with worrying about whether an action is right or wrong.  As long as it is moving us in the direction of our values then it can’t  be wrong.  What’s more any step in the right direction, no matter how small, will be just that, a step in the right direction.  How reassuring is that?

I wrote the poem “STEPPING IT OUT” to remind me that as long as my values lead my actions I will not go far wrong.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Do you remember to look to your values before you take action?
  • How do you cope with misgivings?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

POEM FOR TODAY

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STEPPING IT OUT

ACT loves us to take action, to do things we truly prize,

Choose a meaningful direction and then find to our surprise

That we needn’t make a judgement about what is right or wrong,

For everything’s of value if it helps us move along.

Sometimes we may feel thwarted, may feel stranded, may feel stuck,

But if we lack motivation there’s no better place to look

Than at the last step that we took which brought us here where we are now,

For we didn’t think we’d make it but we stepped it out somehow.

And there’s something reassuring about stepping out this way

For despite our own misgivings values never swerve or sway,

And so next time we’re called to action let us hold our values near

For when a value drives an action then misgivings disappear.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed, “STEPPING IT OUT” please pass it on, and do leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

It seems that ACT is popping up everywhere these days.

I am not particularly sporty, although I do love my golf, and I was interested to read that Psychologists have recently begun applying the principles of ACT in a variety of sports, believing that if athletes can switch their attention to the relevant athletic task versus internal states such as anxiety or frustration, they will be able to perform more successfully.

You can read more about how the ACT Hexaflex can be applied to Sport at perform.believe.com.  According to the author, “This may be especially true in situations of heightened stress or arousal, such as a penalty kick in football or a free throw in basketball.”

I am sure it would be equally effective on the putting green.  I shall try it next time I am on the course and let you know if I am able to shave some shots off my handicap.

Which brings us to the ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

ACT and CHOICES

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – An Online Resource

Q:  I feel like I am stuck in a rut.  What can I do?

A:  Make a choice to take a chance!

It can feel very uncomfortable making a choice to take a chance.  It can feel very scary choosing to do something way out of our comfort zone, choosing to venture out into the unknown.  It is very tempting to scurry back to safety, to give up at the first hurdle, to throw in the towel before we have even tried.

I know that because I am on the brink of something new myself.  And it is scary.  So much could go wrong, but so much could go right too; so much to lose, but so much to gain too; so much I don’t know, but so much to discover too.  For every potential difficulty, flip the coin and there is a potential benefit hiding behind it.

What would ACT say?  Well at this moment I am very glad to have ACT to refer to.  And I know enough to know what ACT would say, and I am very glad to remind myself of it now.

ACT would say whatever  feelings and thoughts I am having now, accept them.  They are what they are and they are already here.  Struggling with them will just be a waste of energy and I could more usefully use that energy for a meaningful action which is in line with my values.

ACT would also remind me that although I may not like the discomfort I am feeling in the face of something new, such a feeling is natural in the circumstances.   I can cope with it and it will pass if I allow it to pass through.  I also know that if I allow the discomfort to stop me doing something worthwhile and meaningful, what ACT calls experiential avoidance, I will end up feeling worse not better in the long run.

So there we are.  I have reminded myself of all this and I feel better already.  Sometimes that is the best thing we can do for ourselves isn’t it?  If we have uncomfortable feelings don’t try to get rid of them, struggle with them or deny them, but just let them be there, they are there anyway, and do something meaningful, something that matters to us.

I wrote this post because I am  participating in  Writeful Mind’s Feel-Good Friday.

“Feel-Good Friday is all about promoting self-care and “me-time”, which  we can all use when the stresses of life get to be too much.”

When I started writing this post I certainly didn’t feel very good, but I knew that writing it would make me focus on things that would be helpful and as a result I would feel better, and I do!!!!!

So thank you to Carol at Writeful Mind for helping me to have a Feel-Good Friday.

I wrote the poem “CROSSROADS” to remind me that if we want our lives to change sometimes, despite our discomfort, we have to make a choice to take a chance

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How willing are you to make a choice to take a chance?
  • How do you cope with the discomfort that accompanies change?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

POEM FOR TODAY

SDI26681

CROSSROADS

Sometimes we reach a crossroads, we must make a choice, and we

Know deep down that it’s important, and we’re ready finally

To move in a new direction, leave the old landscape behind

And set off in search of something we are ready now to find.

We have put our faith in values for they’ve proved that they’re our friends

And we’re prepared for some discomfort, for we know discomfort ends

And delivers us a something that’s the loveliest it can give,

The tranquillity that says, “You’re living as you’re meant to live.”

And so if we are at a crossroads, let us pause a while to see

If we finally are ready to make changes finally,

For though we may have reached this juncture many times and backed away,

It could be that they’ve prepared us for a better choice today.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed, “CROSSROADS” please pass it on, and do leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

ACT talks a lot about “experiential avoidance” and I have referred to it in previous posts too, including ACT and Committed Action.  It is definitely NOT a good thing!

In fact Dr Steven Hayes says of it in his wonderful book

“Experiential avoidance tends to artificially amplify the pain of presence and is the single biggest source of the pain of absence, since it is avoidance that most undermines positive actions.”

He goes on to say, “Of all the psychological processes known to science, experiential avoidance is one of the worst.” (Hayes, Masuda, et al. 2004).
As you can see, definitely NOT a good thing!

Which brings us to the ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

 

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

Blogger Recognition Award

I would like to thank the lovely Gabriela at thewellnessworx.com for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition Award.

Gabriela was my very first visitor when I started my blog nearly three months ago and I can remember how excited I was to get my first “like” and my first “comment”.  So thank you Gabriela.  I don’t know how you found me but find me you did and you have stayed a regular visitor and commentator ever since.

It is so important when we are starting out with this blogging business to feel that our words aren’t just going out into the ether.  When we actually start to make connections that is when blogging becomes exciting.

As part of this Blogging Recognition Award we are asked to :

a)  Share our inspiration for starting our blog

b)  Mention our nominator

c)  Write some advice for new writers

d)  Nominate blogs to pass the Award to

So here goes:

a)  My inspiration for starting ACT Made Lyrical

This is actually my second time around blogging.  I wrote another blog at soulsnet.com, now expired, for about a year about three years ago.  Why did I stop?

Well basically I guess that the answer to that is that somehow I had managed to turn a pleasure into a chore.  Unsurprisingly, I lost motivation, I ran out of steam and I stopped.  Why did I start again?

Well that is more cheery!  In the next couple of years although I stopped blogging I never stopped writing.  I love writing inspirational poetry.  The difference was that instead of sharing my poems on a blog I just wrote them down in notebooks that went into the cupboard.

At the same time I became interested in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).  I did some ACT courses and now my poetry had more of a focus..  I wasn’t just writing poetry I was writing poetry that was grounded in ACT, and I wanted to share it.

And so ACT Made Lyrical, with the strap line Living Well Stressing Less was born!

You can read more about the birth of the blog at the post “Who I am and why I’m here.”

b)  Mention my nominator:

My nominator was Gabriela at thewellnessworx.com.  Thank you Gabriela.

c)  Some advice for new writers:

Well actually I do have some advice, some good advice for new writers and that is:

Take the Blogging 101 Course.

When I first started blogging three years ago, as far as I know this course did not exist.  If it had I would have taken it and it would certainly have helped me.

I have just finished the Blogging 101 Course.  It is really worth doing.  It runs for three weeks and there are daily Assignments designed to help you to learn the nuts and bolts of WordPress.com and the tricks of the trade when it comes to blogging.  Perhaps more importantly it gives you the opportunity to meet with other bloggers and to begin to develop relationships, some of which I am sure will turn into friendships.

There are a succession of courses.  I shall definitely do some more and I recommend you give them a try too.  They run monthly and you can do as much or as little as you want and you can repeat them as well.  You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain so if you haven’t tried them already then give it a go!

d)  Nominate blogs to give the Award to:

Well since I started blogging this time, and probably as a result of the Blogging 101 Course, I have been nominated for several Awards!!!

At this stage I do have to make an apology to Gabriele.  She nominated me for this Award quite a while ago and it is only now that I am actually doing what I need to accept it and pass it on.

That is partly because I have been very busy and when I did this I wanted to take the time to do it properly.  Blogging is very time consuming, taking the 101 Course and trying to do the daily assignments was very time consuming, just trying to stay on top of things is very time consuming, getting to know other bloggers is very time consuming …………  you know what I mean!

The blog I am going to nominate for this Award and I hope she will accept it is Carol at Writeful Mind.  I discovered Carol when I was taking the Blogging 101 Course because one of the Assignments asked us to take part in an Event.  I didn’t even know there were Events!!  Anyway Carol runs a weekly event called Feel-Good Friday which promotes self-care and “me-time”.  We could all do with some of that!  I hope to be a regular participator.

So there you have it!

Thanks for the nomination, Gabriela, I hope Carol will accept her nomination and I wish you all very happy blogging.

Have a great day.

Corinne

 

 

 

 

 

ACT and Creating Distance

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – An Online Resource

Q:  What should I do when something awful happens?

A:  Give yourself some time and space. 

John Lennon once famously said, “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans”, and it’s true isn’t it?

Sometimes life seems to be going so well, our plans come to fruition, we seem to be masters of our universe, we start to become complacent, and then …….

And then something happens!  Something happens to remind us that our illusion of control was just that, an illusion.  Whilst we were busy making other plans, life had other plans for us.

In the aftermath of an unforeseen, unwelcome event it is natural that our first instinctive reactions are of aversion, of alarm, of panic even.  This is not the time for action.  This is the time to give ourselves some time and space.  This is the time to allow time for the instinctive reaction to turn into a considered response.  Then it is time for action.

ACT encourages us to create this time and space.  ACT reminds us that we are not our feelings and our feelings are not us.  We are more than our feelings.  Our feelings come and go, they are only passing through.  It is not easy when we are in the throes of uncomfortable feelings but it does help if we can make that time and space to allow them to move through unimpeded, learn to watch them and get to know them instead of struggling with them or trying to change them.

I wrote the poem “BLOODIED BUT NOT BOWED” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope with uncomfortable feelings?
  • What do you do when something awful happens?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

When-the-worst-is-over

POEM FOR TODAY

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BLOODIED BUT NOT BOWED

 

Life sometimes comes to bite us, something shocks us out the blue,

‘Twas completely unexpected and we don’t know what to do,

And for now we are left reeling, feeling shaken up and so

In the midst of battles raging it is best to take it slow.

There’ll be time enough for action, but for now we need a space,

Need a place where we can settle and our feelings start to face,

Let them move around within us, unimpeded if we can,

And accept what we are feeling for our feelings we can’t ban.

Oh it’s not what we’d have wanted and our instincts make us rail,

Try to change the now unchangeable but here we’re bound to fail,

And so though feelings coursing through us are now hitting us full force

They are natural reactions, so let’s let them run their course.

And then when the worst is over, as it will be if allowed

To move through without resistance, we’ll be bloodied but not bowed,

And when the time comes to take action we’ll be far more better placed

Than if we’d fought against our feelings and our energy laid waste.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed, “BLOODIED BUT NOT BOWED” please pass it on, and do leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

I always like to leave the final word to ACT and so I leave you with a quotation which I found on getselfhelp.co.uk, a website which has lots of useful information.

ACT has a nifty technical term for creating distance, for making time and space, and it is one of the pillars on which Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is built.  That term is DEFUSION.

The quotation at getselfhelp.co.uk sums it up quite neatly.

“Defusion involves distancing, disconnecting or seeing thoughts and feelings for what they are (streams of words, passing sensations), not what they say they are (dangers or facts).”

I will try to remember that the next time that Life springs a nasty surprise!

Which brings us to the ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

ACT and TIME OUT

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – An Online Resource

Q:  Everything’s getting on top of me.  What can I do?

A:  Take some time out.

This post is inspired by the Blogging 101 Day 13 Assignment, Try a Blogging Event!

I am participating in  Writeful Mind’s Feel-Good Friday.

“Feel-Good Friday is all about promoting self-care and “me-time”, which  we can all use when the stresses of life get to be too much.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

And so here we go …….

We live in such a busy world.  24/7 it never stops moving, it never stops demanding, it never stops!  And we can get caught up in all that movement, all those demands, it can get to a point where we feel that we never stop either.

But ACT reminds us that our spirits need time out, we need time out.  We were built for contemplation as well as action, we were built for reflection as well as constant doing.  If we feel that the world is crowding in it is time to make some space, if we feel that we are drowning in a list of things to do, it is time to STOP! and consider whether what we are doing is actually worth doing.

Taking time out is a great way to develop our mindfulness skills, to increase our awareness and to consider whether what we are doing is taking us in the direction that we want to go.  Are our actions in line with our values?

Sometimes when we are at our most busy taking time out may be the best thing that we can do.

I wrote the poem “TIME OUT” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How good at you at taking time out?
  • What things do you do to help you to relax and reflect?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

Its-good-to-take-some

POEM FOR TODAY

P1030714

TIME OUT

 

It’s good to take some time out and to give ourselves some space,

To remember what’s important and our values to embrace,

For it’s easy ‘midst the hubbub to become so much engrossed

That we’re acting without thinking of what really matters most.

Yes it’s good to take some time out and catch up with long lost friends,

Maybe stirring of the heartstrings as a thing of beauty sends

Us a message to be still now and just drink the beauty in,

Yes it’s good to re-connect with what is happening within.

For our time is very precious and sometimes we need to see

If the way that we are spending it’s the best that it can be,

For it’s not a resource infinite, e’en now it’s running out

So we’d better use it wisely whilst our time is still about.

And so let’s take a bit of time out and not look at it with guilt

For it’s worth its weight in gold if on it better lives are built,

And just a bit of space created gives us change to re-engage

With the things that really matter, no matter what our age.

 

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed, “TIME OUT” please pass it on, and do leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

Dr Russ Harris is one of Australia’s foremost leaders of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and I refer to him often on this blog.

If you want to find out more about him and what he has to offer then visit him at his wonderful website ACT Mindfully.  You will not be disappointed!

Which brings us to the ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-some-time

 

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

ACT and VALUES

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – An Online Resource

Q:  My world is upside down.  I don’t know which way to turn.  What now?

A:  Turn to your values.  Let them lead you.

I wanted to write a piece about values in the wake of the terrible events that happened in Paris on Friday.

I have a home in France, I feel at home in France!  Thoughts and prayers with France and her people this morning, and with all those who are touched by war and conflict around the world.

When something terrible happens, to an individual, to a community, to a nation, the first reaction is understandably one of disbelief, shock and horror.  When we are left reeling in the aftermath of some unexpected, unwelcome event it is very difficult to see how we will ever come to terms with this new reality.  But come to terms with it we will have to, sooner or later.

There may be no rushing it.  There will be stages to go through.  It may take a very long time for us to be ready to move on.  But when the time comes we will need something to reach for, something to hold on to.  What will that something be?  It will be our values.

Already we see that France is reaching for her values, the values of Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité.  Already we see that political leaders worldwide are claiming a share of these same values to shape their response, to guide their actions.

It is the same for us as individuals.  When something happens to us to shake us off our course, when something happens that leaves us reeling in a world that we no longer recognise, after the immediate aftermath the time will come when we will become willing to move forward.  Which direction will we take?  If we are unsure then let us turn to our values, to the things that are really meaningful for us.  When our values guide us we will be going in the right direction.

I wrote the poem “VALUES” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Have you discovered your values?
  • Do you turn to your values to lead you in the right direction?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

Lets-turn-towards-a

POEM FOR TODAY

file000678927157

VALUES

 

Let’s turn towards our values when we’re running out of hope,

Let’s return ourselves to basics when we feel we cannot cope,

And if we’re floored by disappointment or frustration’s holding sway

Let us look towards a value, it will lead us through the day.

When a loved one leaves us weary or a stranger is unkind

Let us let a value show us how to leave them both behind,

And when the world is crowding in and saying, “There’s no time to spare!”

Let us clock in with a value before going anywhere.

Have we managed to locate them, have we polished them up clear,

Have we spent sufficient time to get to know what we hold dear?

And if we haven’t let’s determine a priority to make

Search inside until we find what route we want our life to take.

For a value, once located, will become a trusty friend,

It will never let us down nor veer off course until the end,

And though the world may fall away from us and people may us fail,

With a value we’ll be anchored and then ready to set sail.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed, “VALUES” please pass it on, and do leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

It can be difficult to locate our values.  Yet, given their importance in helping us to shape a meaningful life it is well worth the effort.

There is an interesting video entitled

“Demystifying ACT – Values by Dr D J Moran which I found helpful.  Give it a click and see what you think.

Which brings us to the ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-Im-going to try my values to reclarify

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

VIVE LA FRANCE!

HEART TO HEART

 

My soul speaks to your soul, a heart to heart,

What you are feeling now is but a part

Of all the great emotion of humanity,

And knowing that you are not alone can set you free

To feel your feelings, feel them fierce and strong,

For you are not alone, we all belong.

 

© Corinne Shields, 2015