ACT and The Enduring Self


Q:  How can I cope when life gets turbulent?

A:  Hang on to your sense of Self!

Image result for inspirational picture quotes sense of permanent self

One of the things I most like about ACT is the emphasis it puts on continuing to create a rich and meaningful life, even in the midst of life’s challenges.  I love the way that it encourages us to just get on with it.  We do not have to wait until conditions are to our liking it.  There is nothing to wait for.  Life is here and now and when we stop waiting we start living, immediately.

In ACT there is no need to wait until we feel like taking action.  In fact in ACT feelings are not regarded as a very sound basis for decisions.  Feelings come and feelings go, they are transient.  A much better bet is to take valued action even if we don’t feel like it.  Likely we will feel better, maybe we won’t.  That’s not really the point.  The point is that by taking action in the here and now we are living our lives, we are doing something to make a difference.

If we can get a sense of our Self as something enduring, something more than our feelings that come and go, then we are on our way to dealing more skilfully with turbulent events.  We cannot stop our initial reactions, they are natural and normal, but we can choose what to do next.  If we can do that from a Sense of our Enduring Self we will make wiser decisions.  Not easy, but so worthwhile!

I wrote “THE STUFF OF LIFE” to remind me of that.


  • How do you cope with turbulent events?
  • Do you have a sense of yourself as being more than the content of your life?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

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






We’re back to where we started, but is that really true?

We’ve not said the things we would have said, done things we used to do,

And though stuff that we are facing may not in itself have changed,

We have dealt with first reactions and our Self then re-arranged.

We have reached for our composure, that lovely steady thing,

And have breathed into our tension, felt the calm that breath can bring,

And we’ve looked around in wonder at a life that still goes on

And determined to step into it, not wait ‘til stuff has gone.

And although we’d wish it other, we are human after all,

We’re not hostage to misfortune when it’s time for it to call,

For we’ve allocated space to it, a place where it can dwell,

And we’ll not be overwhelmed by it, we’ll live our life as well.

And so although we’ve come full circle, the same stuff now re-appeared,

It’s like we’ve found a new dimension, not that stuff has disappeared

But that we see it in perspective, from a different point of view,

We have a sense of Self enduring whilst this stuff just passes through.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “THE STUFF OF LIFE” 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 …..

The concept of Self as Context is not easy to understand but it is crucial if we are to get the most out of ACT.  When we are able to make a distinction between our Self as Content, the stuff that happens to us, and our Self as Context, the enduring Self that is the backdrop to our experiences, then we are on the way to gaining a different perspective.  This perspective helps us to deal more skilfully with the day to day events that otherwise might floor us.

If you want to learn more about Self As Context then Russ Harris has an interesting video that might de-mystify it.  Entitled “Torch in the Dark” it shines a light on the Enduring Self, the Self as Context, the Observer Self.   Take a look.  It helped me to see that bit more clearly!

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


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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