ACT, its best friend COMPASSION, and THE PRAYER OF KINDNESS

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE of inspirational quotes, poems and other act goodies!
And introducing COMPASSION, ACT’s best friend!

Q: What can I do to combat sinking spirits?

A: Say a prayer of kindness.

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We may be good at giving Compassion to others, very good, but giving it to ourselves, that may be more difficult. And yet, unless we can learn to be less stingy with ourselves, there won’t really be that much to give away. Compassion really does start at home. Unless we know what it feels like, how can we know what it is that we give away?

Self Compassion is not selfish, self-indulgent, narcissistic. It never was, although in some traditions it has come to be seen as such. Self Compassion is the grown up thing to be. When we can be kind to ourselves without feeling guilty, wrong or weak then we are honouring our true nature and combatting whatever mixed messages we have received from others.

Next time we feel our spirits sink, when we are feeling low and out of sorts, instead of berating ourselves let’s try a word of kindness, an act of comfort. Let’s stop beating ourselves up and give ourselves a break. Our spirits will thank us for it!

Research shows that Compassion is good for us. It’s official. Enjoy!

I wrote “A PRAYER OF KINDNESS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do cope with sinking spirits?
  • Are you learning the benefits of Prayers of Kindness?
  • 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

THE PRAYER OF KINDNESS

 

I am waking with a flatness, feeling out of sorts, and so

I will remember at such times that to Compassion I can go

And treat myself with loving kindness, gently keep myself afloat,

For when I’m feeling all at sea I can become my own life-boat.

I can whisper words of comfort as I stand back from the stream

Of a consciousness gone crazy, say thoughts are not what they seem,

Though they present themselves convincingly and masquerade as fact

They’re only story-lines of fiction, they’re just putting on an act.

So, I’ll combat them with Compassion, and I’ll use a kindly tone

As I remind them with respect their story-lines are over-blown,

And though they’re welcome at the table there are others with tales to tell,

And it’s the story of Compassion that we want to hear as well.

And as the story starts unfolding and the soothing words begin

The strident voices start to soften as the gentleness seeps in,

And of a sudden there’s a feeling we could not discern before,

It’s generated by Compassion, as it leads us to the shore

Of a consciousness grown calmer, even flatness too recedes,

There is a stirring of the spirit, this is just what spirit needs

To re-ignite enthusiasm, that most precious gift, that we

Know transforms our lives with colour, helps us live whole-heartedly.

And so, let’s give thanks for Compassion, let’s remember why it’s there,

It is the antidote to clamour, it’s the answer to the prayer

Of a spirit that is pining, wanting only to shine bright,

And when it hears the prayer of kindness then once more it comes alight.

© Corinne Shields, 2018

 If you enjoyed “THE PRAYER OF KINDNESS” 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, and its best friend COMPASSION ……..

The quote by Jack Kornfield reminds me of a book of his that I read years ago that is still sitting on my bookshelf and ready I feel for a re-read.

Jack Kornfield is a wonderful writer. If you are interested in learning more about the Buddha’s universal teachings then Jack Kornfield’s books make those teachings more accessible to western minds. I am eager to read this one again.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

 

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life? What can YOU do just for today to add some Compassion, some Kindness, into your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you? Is Compassion part of your life?

I am a student of ACT, I am learning about Compassion.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

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ACT, its best friend COMPASSION, and FEAR

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE of inspirational quotes, poems and other act goodies!
And introducing COMPASSION, ACT’s best friend!

Q: How can I stop my fears holding me back from change?

A: Feel the fear and do it anyway.

When we understand where our fears come from, maybe we can treat them more kindly. Fear is a natural reaction to threat, perceived or imagined. It is a gift of evolution and it is not going anywhere soon. Fear evolved to protect us and to help us to survive. It is there to help us, it is part of our self-protection system.

Unfortunately, this can make our lives difficult at times, particularly when we are facing the unknown, change, uncertain outcomes. This is when Fear really gets its knickers in a twist. Just when we could do with a good dose of courage, Fear is more likely to jump in and rule the roost. “Don’t do this”, “Don’t go there”, “Stay here, stay safe”, these are the words of Fear.

It is easier to let Fear have its way, and comfort zones are notoriously difficult to escape. Change represents the unknown. Maybe things will go well, but maybe they won’t, maybe the grass will be greener but maybe it won’t, maybe we have things to gain, but we have much to lose too. Trying to weigh up all the outcomes can just leave us paralysed. Yes, it is easier to let Fear have its way, it is easier to stay where we are.

And yet doing nothing, staying put, not daring to make a change doesn’t make us feel better in the long term. There is always the “what if” in the back of our mind. What if we had found some courage, what if we had dared to make a change, what if we had found a way to allay our fears, to take them with us into the unknown?

This is the key really. This is where Self-Compassion comes in. We are not meant to be fearless, we were born with Fear as an integral part of our DNA. It is an indispensable component of our tool kit. Accepting our Fear, learning how to soothe it allows us scope, gives us choice. Courage is not being without fear, courage is fear that has said its prayers, courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

And when we do it, let’s not do it with gritted teeth and dread in our heart, let’s do it in a spirit of kindness and compassion. If things go wrong, as well they might, let’s not rail at ourselves for making a bad decision, let’s just accept it all as part of our human experience, a learning curve that we might never have had.

And let’s remember that we are not perfect, we were born to make mistakes, and with each mistake we make we learn what not to do next time. This is the way of progress, this is what change offers us, a chance to grow, if we are willing to feel the fear and do it anyway.

I wrote “ON THE CUSP OF CHANGE” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope with change?
  • Do you let fear hold you back from new experiences?
  • 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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ON THE CUSP OF CHANGE

Sometimes we feel it happening, we’re on the cusp of change,

And unease now stirs within us as the pieces rearrange,

And we must call upon our courage and our fears begin to quell,

For we’re sloughing off the old world where ‘til lately we did dwell.

It’s a scary sort of feeling, this transition we must make

And Fear’s not there to make it easy, it is there to make us quake,

And remind us of the dangers that are always lurking near,

For though we may find some courage, Fear will not just disappear.

It’s a part of evolution that was careful to instil

A resistance to imprudence, safety first’s its motto still,

But it’s just part of our heritage, and there are others too,

We are driven to make progress through the things we think and do.

And so, we need to strike a bargain with our Fear which sees its role

As a constant overseer, which must always seize control

Of any scary situation, draw us back quick from the brink,

Saying, “Don’t go in the water, you can’t swim, and you will sink.”

And oh, thank goodness for our Fear because it tries so hard to please,

Tries to keep us out of danger, tries to quell our least unease,

But we weren’t born to quiver naked at the edge of scary things,

We were born to face them bravely and find out all that life brings

When we refuse to be defeated by a Fear that stirs within,

When we are willing to accept it, but allow our Courage in

To soothe and whisper words of comfort to our Fear, so it can be

Reassured it’s done it duty before leaving gracefully.

Corinne Shields, 2018

If you enjoyed, “ON THE CUSP OF CHANGE” 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, and its best friend COMPASSION ……..

Self-Compassion is the antidote to Fear, it is the right-hand man of Courage.

Learning how to soothe our own Fear is a wonderful attribute. Who wouldn’t want someone on hand to say the right things, to tell us that everything is going to be OK, to reach out a hand of reassurance, to remind us that we aren’t perfect and were never meant to be? Unfortunately, there isn’t always a someone else on hand and, in lieu of a someone else, we may need to be that someone for ourselves.

If we can do that, if we can learn how to soothe ourselves, wouldn’t that be something??

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources out there to teach us just that. I am currently reading “Present Perfect”, recommended to me by a friend. Thank you, Doug. If you, like me, struggle with an outsize streak of Perfectionism, then this is the book for you. Perfectionism is Fear’s best friend. They go hand in glove. If Fear is out to stop you doing stuff, Perfectionism is right up there with it. “Present Perfect” landed on my desk, or more accurately showed up on my Kindle, in the nick of time. It is helping me to feel the fear and do it anyway!

Present Perfect: A Mindfulness Approach to Letting Go of Perfectionism and the Need for Control by [Somov, Pavel G]

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

 

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life? What can YOU do just for today to add some Compassion, some Kindness, into your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you? Is Compassion part of your life?

I am a student of ACT, I am learning about Compassion.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne