ACT and Expansion

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE of inspirational quotes, poems and other act goodies!

Q:  How can I reduce my stress?

A:  Acknowledge it, accept it and expand your life!

Image result for inspirational picture quotes stress

When things happen to stress us out it is very easy to give in, give up, dwell on what’s happening and go round and round in endless spirals trying to force solutions.  We may get so caught up in our thinking that we literally can’t fight our way out.  The more we think the more confused we get.  Feelings surge through us that we can’t control and we feel worn out, weary and helpless.

Stress is part of all of our lives.  Some is real and some is imagined.  Some we take in our stride and some we feel unable to manage.  Stress is everywhere.  It is not going away any time soon.  ACT gives us some useful tools to deal with our stress.  It doesn’t pretend that it doesn’t exist, it doesn’t promise miracle cures, it doesn’t encourage us to deny it, or decry it or fight it or flee from it.

What ACT does encourage us to do is to acknowledge it and accept it.  Easier said than done I hear you say.  And it is true it is not easy to accept something we don’t like, didn’t ask for and want gone.  But sometimes acceptance is all we can do.  And with acceptance comes a certain peace.  When we stop struggling to change what we cannot change then we are free to concentrate on what we can change.  There is power here instead of powerlessness, there is strength instead of weakness, there is hope instead of despair.

Expansion is the key to reducing our stress.  When we start to focus on changing what we can and start doing it then our lives get bigger.  As our lives begin to expand our stress starts to shrink.

I wrote “EXPANSION” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you deal with stress?
  • Do you think expansion might help you?
  • 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

EXPANSION

Living well and stressing less, well wouldn’t that be fine,

To accept our thoughts and feelings, and not let them undermine

An activity we’ve scheduled, an event that we have planned,

For we’re learning living well means that we let our lives expand.

We make space for thoughts and feelings, we allow them to pass through,

If we don’t put up a fight this is what thoughts and feelings do,

And we watch them from a vantage point, creator of it all,

They parade in all their finery, but we have the last call.

For we’ve learned we’re not their captives, we have choices, we can say,

“Whilst I thank you for your company, I’ve other plans today,

And although you weren’t invited, please feel free to join me now,

I can’t spare you much attention, but I’ll squeeze you in somehow.”

And when we are in the driving seat, and looking all around,

Tuning in to all our senses, bent on going where we’re bound,

Then though thoughts and feelings mutter this was not their plan at all,

We remind them they’re just visiting, it’s we have the last call.

And it’s quite a revelation that this choice is ours to take,

That we needn’t be held hostage by demands our feelings make,

For although we might prefer we could eliminate all stress,

The truth is it’s expansion helps us live well and stress less.

© Corinne Shields, 2017

If you enjoyed, “EXPANSION” 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 recommend something ACT related in this section and normally I would ensure that whatever I recommend is something I have already sampled.  I haven’t had a chance to look at today’s recommendation but the title caught my attention and seemed so relevant to today’s post that I am recommending it anyway.

I’ll be having a look at it myself as I have a feeling it is going to be a good read.

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 Accomplishments, Values and Goals

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE of inspirational quotes, poems and other act goodies!

Q:  What can I do to make my life feel more meaningful and enjoyable?

A:  Acknowledge each accomplishment you make.  Don’t be in such a rush. 

Image result for inspirational picture quotes accomplishment

Accomplishments are strange things.  When we are very goal driven then we may have to wait a very long time for feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction.  If we equate accomplishment with a conclusion, a successful outcome, then the road towards it can seem both long and arduous.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  ACT reminds us that if we are focused on values instead of driven by goals then our lives will feel very different.  Yes we can have goals along the way, things, accomplishments if you like, that we can tick off as we go, but they are not the be all and end all.  Underneath there is something more profound, something unchanging and solid that underpins everything.  When we identify a value, something that really matters to us, and make that value central in our lives, then any action based on that value will feel right.

In other words we won’t have to wait for a conclusion before we feel a sense of accomplishment.  We will be able to feel it every step of the way because all of our actions will feel important.  Life feels very different when we live it from this perspective.

I wrote “ACCOMPLISHMENTS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Do you have to wait a long time for a sense of accomplishment?
  • Do you think that living a value focused life might make a difference?
  • 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

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

 

Accomplishment’s a strange thing, it’s not always what we think,

Not so much about an ending, as the forging of a link,

A connection unimagined, a discovery so profound

That accomplishment has now become the breaking of new ground.

When it’s seen from this perspective motivation gathers pace,

Every step becomes significant, deserving of its place,

For when we are not so focused on conclusions lost from view

Then accomplishment’s potentially in everything we do.

And what a wondrous way to then proceed, each little step a gain,

Motivation’s flowing through us for now nothing is mundane,

Every link has an importance, there is not the same duress

For when we’re not fixed on an ending, we’re caught up in the process.

And so, let’s do ourselves a favour, let us claim all those rewards,

Let’s enjoy all those accomplishments that each fresh step affords,

And then as journey’s end’s approaching, we will know what made it great

Was that we treasured each accomplishment, we didn’t have to wait.

© Corinne Shields, 2017

If you enjoyed, “ACCOMPLISHMENTS” 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 …..

We do have a choice when it comes to deciding how best to lead our lives.  If we are overly goal driven then it is likely that life feels unduly fraught and full of tension a lot of the time.  If you think you might benefit from learning more about the values focused life then take a look at Russ Harris’ video which clearly differentiates between values and goals.

When I start to feel over-wrought it’s often because I am letting goals become too dominant and I am forgetting that values offer a gentler but more powerful alternative.  Head over to the video and see what you think.

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 Self as Context, the Observer Self

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE of inspirational quotes, poems and other act goodies!

Q: How can I stop being overwhelmed by what happens to me?

A: Develop your Observer Self.  Remember to stop, stand back, observe.

Image result for inspirational picture quotes the bigger picture

It can be difficult to remember that we are more than the content of our lives, to remember that there is another side, a powerful side of ourselves, that we can always access.  Self as Context, the Observer Self, is always there, always accessible, but content is powerful.  It can overwhelm us, sweep us away, have us believe that what happens to us is all that matters.

When we are embroiled in the content of our lives it is difficult to stop, stand back and observe.  Yet, this is what will make the difference.  If we want to get a wider perspective, if we want to stop reacting to everything that happens, good, bad and indifferent, then it is to Self as Context that we must turn.

ACT reminds us that we are more, much more than the content of our lives.  There is an enduring Self in all of us, an Observer Self that remains constant.  The more we access this side of ourselves, the less we will be overwhelmed by what happens to us.

It is not easy to stand up to the content of our lives, to say we won’t be pushed around by it, that we will take time to stop, stand back and observe.  In the heat of the moment it seems natural to react to what is going on, but there is power in the pause.  In that pause we can access that wiser side that is in all of us.  And that can make all the difference.

I wrote “I AM THE SEA, I CANNOT SINK” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Do you remember to stop, stand back and observe what is happening to you?
  • Are you able to make a distinction between your Self as Content and our Self as Context?
  • 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

 

I AM THE SEA, I CANNOT SINK

 

I am the sky and not the clouds that for a time the skies engrave,

For I remain when they have cleared, I am the ocean not the wave,

For I am here through thick and thin, and big enough to welcome in whatever’s in my path today,

So, I’ll accept it come what may.

And I’ll not occupy my mind with things it cannot understand,

The skies aren’t bothered by the clouds, and oceans care not where waves land,

And though it’s hard to comprehend this starring role in which I’m cast,

When waves and storms come crashing through, I know it’s true they will not last.

For we are so much larger than the bits of content temporary,

The clouds cannot the sky eclipse and waves cannot drown out the sea.

And so, whatever comes my way I will remember I am sky,

And though at times I am obscured, the thunderclouds will pass me by,

And though the waves may stir me up, and I’m presented with a cup I’d rather far not have to drink,

I am the sea, I cannot sink.

© Corinne Shields, 2017

If you enjoyed, “I AM THE SEA, I CANNOT SINK” 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 don’t usually recommend one of my own posts in this section but on this occasion I am going to!

I don’t find the concepts of Self as Context, the Observer Self, easy to get a handle on.  As such, it is a topic that I return to frequently.  So when I was looking for a resource to recommend here I was surprised to find one of my own posts pop up.  I’ll take that as a sign that it’s worth sharing again.

For more on Self as Context, the Observer Self, head over to actmadelyrical.com and read what I had to say back then aboutGORY LITTLE STORIES”.  I hope you enjoy it.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

How about YOU?

lf as 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