ACT and The Observer Self


Q:  How can I stop getting so caught up in my imaginings?

A:  Become an observer.

If we think we don’t have a creative bone in our bodies then we couldn’t be more wrong.  All of us are creatives par excellence!  Maybe we don’t have the artistic skills of a Leonardo, or the musical skills of a Mozart, but when it comes to story telling we can compete with the best of them!

You don’t believe me?  Well if you look at the stories you tell yourself, the stories that feed your fears and anxieties, I bet I am not far wrong.  We all have an amazing capacity for story telling, imaginations which seem to know no limits when it comes to conjuring up the direst scenarios, the most incredible storylines.  And the more we do it the better we get!  Our stories become so convincing that we think they must be true.  We forget that we are making it all up!

This is where ACT is so effective.  It reminds us that we are not our stories; it helps us to distinguish between ourselves as creator and the stories we tell.  When we can make that space, what ACT calls defusion, we have more freedom to create a better life.  How?  We can listen to our stories but we don’t have to believe them.  We can look at our storytelling as a rather wondrous skill without allowing it to run our lives.

I wrote “GORY LITTLE STORIES” to remind me of that.


  • Are you able to stand back from your “gory little stories”?
  • How do you make that space?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

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







It’s back again to bother us with regularity,

As our Mind starts spinning stories based on something that we see

That has sparked a speculation, and we can’t know if it’s true,

But that won’t stop Mind from doing what a Mind is born to do.

Oh it loves a bit of friction and a mystery to resolve,

It can conjure up a problem just so it can problem solve,

It’s a wonder, it’s a marvel, we can look at it with awe,

But if we’re caught in its eddies then a sleepless night’s in store.

For a thinking Mind is tricky and its processes too slick

To control a thought gone crazy, even now we feel the kick

Of a story-line gone haywire, could things really go that far?

Time to harness our awareness and remember who we are.

For we’re not simply a thinking Mind, a mental acrobat,

We are more than story tellers, there is more to us than that,

We’ve a core that is more constant, an awareness always there,

And the more we call upon it then the more we are aware.

And that’s an antidote to stories that would stretch us on the rack,

In the midst of mental torture, it’s awareness brings us back

To remind us that though thinking mind gives cause to celebrate,

All its gory little stories are just words we fabricate.

 © Corinne Shields, 2016

 If you enjoyed, “GORY LITTLE STORIES” 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 have just been listening to an ACT Observer Exercise conducted by Randy Burgess at portlandpsychotherapyclinic

I found it really useful and I will return to it often, especially if I am getting bogged down in unhelpful thoughts or swamped by difficult emotions.

The ability to strengthen our sense of the Observer Self, the Self as Context, Pure Awareness, whatever you want to call it, is so important.  Being able to make a distinction between our Self as Context, the arena in which things happen, and our Self as Content, the internal and external events that happen to us, helps us to respond more effectively to the content of our lives.

If you are looking for something to strengthen that sense of the Observer Self then do head over to Portland.  You will not be disappointed.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-Ill-be gory stories


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


Published by

Corinne Shields

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, erstwhile teacher for thirty plus years, and permanent student. I have long been interested in psychology and spirituality and enjoy writing inspirational poetry. Hence the publication of this blog at ACT Made I play golf badly, piano a little better and I love reading, writing, and all things French. I divide my time between Wales and France and enjoy travelling with my husband, Len and my dog Charlie.

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