ACT, its best friend COMPASSION, and TRANSITIONS

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

Q: Why are transitions so difficult?

A: Because we focus too much on an ending and not a beginning See the source image

Life is all about transitions, nothing stays the same. Some transitions we welcome more than others. When we are young, we often can’t wait for the next stage, we can’t wait to be a teenager, we can’t wait to finish our exams, we can’t wait to leave home and make our way in the world. When we are young life seems full of possibility, we feel full of possibility. Nothing is set in stone yet. We can invent and re-invent ourselves, we can try on new identities. Later on, transitions may become more problematic. Sometimes they are thrust upon us. External events catapult us from our comfort zones, people come and go, sometimes unexpectedly. Normal life transitions can be difficult enough, but when they are exacerbated or delayed through no fault of our own, they can become very hard to handle. We try to hang on to things, to people, too long, we resist change in ourselves and in others, we focus too much on what we are losing rather than on what we have to gain. We forget that nothing can begin until something ends. Butterflies are beautiful, but they were not always so. They had to go through many changes to turn from ugly grubs to the magnificent insects that delight us. We forget that. Likewise, when we are in transition, we may feel uncomfortable, ill-at-ease, frightened about what we are leaving and what we are becoming. But transitions are inevitable. The most skilful way to approach them is with an open heart, trusting that we will come out alright, maybe more than alright. Transitions are where we grow, in that space between no longer and not yet. I wrote “TRANSITIONS” to remind me of that. HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope with transitions?
  • What have transitions taught 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

TRANSITIONS

To glide into transitions, well now wouldn’t that be grand?

And to welcome in the changes because now we understand

That wherever we are now is the best place by far to be,

For the future’s only fantasy, the past’s now history.

But the present, ah, the present, that is where the action is,

Where our senses get to frolic, where they get to whizz and fizz

And be part of something wonderful, if we see with fresh eyes,

And can see that in transition we can be like butterflies.

And butterflies are beautiful, such hidden wonder things,

As they shake away their chrysalides to stir and spread their wings

In a cavalcade of loveliness, which delights all around

And we too can be like butterflies, if we will break new ground,

And stop trying to re-invent a past that now is dead and gone,

Or refuse to leave a stage where we now truly are outshone

And move on to where we’re meant to be, another story tell,

And be just like those butterflies and tell our story well.

For life’s all about transitions, in our time we’ll get to play

Many parts upon the stage of life, but we must choose the way

We enact them when the time comes, we interpret every act,

For transitions cannot be denied, and that, my dear’s a fact.

 © Corinne Shields, 2018

If you enjoyed TRANSITIONS” 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 ……..

It takes courage to let go of the old and embrace the new. In that period of time when we are in a sort of no man’s land let’s be kind to ourselves. Being hard on ourselves in hard times, being impatient with ourselves when we feel vulnerable, is not going to help. Often, when we are in transition we haven’t fully developed the skills we will need for the next stage. Of course, we haven’t. We are in the middle of a learning curve. So, let’s accept what we cannot change, our vulnerability, our fear, our sadness maybe, but let’s also commit to seeing this transition through. ACT encourages this and Compassion facilitates it, so let’s make use of all the tools at our disposal. I am in transition at the moment in several areas of my life. Letting go of the old, trying to move on to the new, and not feeling very confident in my skills to do so, is making me feel shaky and scared. But, I am trying to be kind to myself, and I am accepting my feelings, without trying to push them away. In short, I am trying to use the tools at my disposal. It helps.

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 EARLY WARNING SYSTEMS

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 should I do with difficult feelings?

A: Learn from them!

Nobody likes difficult feelings, the ones that translate in the body as stomach upsets, aches and pains, headaches, skin complaints, constipation, diarrhoea, whatever! But there is no clearer signal that our feelings are trying to tell us something, something important.

These physical manifestations of something going on inside are our early warning systems, or more likely our repeated warning systems, our ignored warning systems. Most of us will have a weak spot in the body where our feelings gather, where they gurgle or rumble or shriek or whatever! We ignore them at our peril.

Feelings are evolution’s gift to us, although they often feel less like a blessing than a curse. When we are in danger, perceived or actual, our early warning system gets going, our physical reactions are instinctively triggered, as fight or flight hormones flood us. Feelings are the way that our body communicates with us. Without them we would be done for. Our feelings are our friends.

Human beings are programmed to move towards pleasure and away from pain. It therefore follows that when we feel unpleasant feelings we are going to instinctively want to get away from them. Being intelligent animals, we have any number of ways of doing this. We have learned to ignore them, deny them, displace them, distract them. What we have probably not learned so well is to befriend them, stay with them, explore them, learn from them.

And yet, this is what would be really intelligent. Our feelings flow through us with all sorts of useful information to help us to move more skilfully through the world. Developing a different relationship with our feelings can be the start of something wonderful.

I wrote “EARLY WARNING SYSTEMS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope with difficult feelings?
  • Are you learning to develop a different, a more friendly relationship with your feelings?
  • 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

EARLY WARNING SYSTEMS

Let’s not deny our feelings, nor else mix them up with facts,

Let’s acknowledge our sensations, how our body now reacts,

But let’s not get into a panic if there’s something we abhor,

For we will find the more we struggle then we’ll feel the feeling more.

It’s more skilful to accept it, to explore it, get to know

Where it is within our body that our feelings tend to show,

Oh, for me it is my tummy, gastroenteritis gone berserk,

I don’t like it when it happens, but I’m learning not to shirk

Away from messages it sends me, for it has something to say,

It alerts me to a something that is going wrong today,

And though I wish that it were other, would I really wish it gone?

It’s my early warning system, which I’d miss if I had none.

And so, although we may have feelings we deem difficult to bear,

Let’s remember they alert us to the dangers everywhere,

And if we get a bit more skilful, we can learn a trick or two

To help a feeling that’s unhelpful find a way to move on through.

© Corinne Shields, 2018

If you enjoyed “EARLY WARNING SYSTEMS” 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 ……..

At the heart if ACT lies Mindfulness. At the heart of Mindfulness lies Awareness, a special way of noticing what is going on internally and externally. When we are being mindful we are simply noticing what is happening in a spirit of curiosity. We are not making judgments, we are learning to be with the what is, accepting it just as it is, without wanting to change it in any way.

This is a great way to develop a new and fruitful relationship with our thoughts and feelings. When feelings arise, as they will, we just notice them, explore them, really feel what they feel like, where they are located in our body, their texture, their shape.

Likewise with our thoughts. When thoughts arise, as they will, we watch them come and we let them go. We don’t get entangled with them, make them “sticky”. ACT has the potential to help us to improve our mental health. These are some of the powerful techniques that it uses to do so.

For some lovely quotes with an ACT theme visit the ACBS website. Here’s one to both start with and leave you with.

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

ACT, its best friend COMPASSION, and GETTING BACK ON TRACK

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

Q: I’ve lost my way. How do I get back on track?

A: Refer to your values. 

I have been on a detour, a rather long detour. It has certainly taken me away from blogging for a while. It is good to be back.

Where have I been? Well, I have still been writing, just not blogging. I am, as ever, writing a book, several books, a series of books. I have so many stashed away in the depths of the computer that I shall be hard-pressed to recover them all.

In the old days it was perhaps easier. A heap of dusty note-books at the bottom of the wardrobe, stuffed at the back of cupboards, lost on the bookshelves. Nowadays, for the less technically gifted amongst us, they have to be resurrected from forgotten computer files, strangely named titles, multiple locations, all very confusing.

Sometimes the very confusion is sufficiently daunting to preclude trying to make sense of it all again. Sometimes the detours are so long, so convoluting that it is easier to forget all that went before and just start again. Consigning old stuff to the trash is tempting.

And yet, coming back full circle doesn’t have to been a sign of failure. It can be a sign of re-commitment. Detours may not have been the straightest way to get from A to B, but they are useful. We will have learned things along the way. That means that arriving back where we started is not at all the same. We are not the same.

It is comforting to know that whilst we may not be the same, our values are. No matter where we are, irrespective of whatever wrong road we are taking, we can always get a correction. The moment that we refer to our values we can get back on track.

A word about compassion here. If we have lost our way, if we have been wandering around in the foothills, not even aware of the mountain to climb, let’s not be too hard on ourselves. In fact let’s not be hard on ourselves at all.

We are back now, and if we treat ourselves gently, with kindness and compassion, our future progress will be all the sweeter.

It’s official.  Compassion is good for you.

I wrote “FEELING ALL DISJOINTED” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Have you been lost?
  • How did you find your way back?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

POEM FOR TODAY

FEELING ALL DISJOINTED

Maybe we’ve been distracted, we’ve lost touch with things that count,

We’ve been lured into a detour, other things are paramount,

And now we’re feeling all disjointed, with awareness creeping in

That it’s time to re-align, and yet again start to begin.

To begin a new beginning, will it always be the same,

Will we never get the hang of playing the values driven game,

Where we’re looking to our values for the way that we should take,

Well, at least we finally can see this detour’s a mistake.

And so, let’s not be too despondent, for a detour helps us see

That the way that we are taking’s not quite right for you and me,

But it is useful for alignment, relocating from inside,

So if discomfort’s building up it’s time to get back in our stride,

And refer back to our values, for they’re constant, they don’t change,

So, if we’re feeling all disjointed it is we must re-arrange

‘Til our direction and our focus is adjusted bit by bit,

And we no-longer feel disjointed, for it’s all beginning to fit.

© Corinne Shields, 2017

If you enjoyed “FEELING ALL DISJOINTED” 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 ……..

Values are integral to ACT. When we are lost, feeling all disjointed, it is likely that we have strayed away from our values. When we re-align, put values at the heart of what we are doing, where we are going, then the path becomes clearer.

Sometimes taking a detour is good for us. When we get back on track it is usually with a re-commitment that this time we will follow “it”, whatever “it” is, through. For me “it” means actually resurrecting those computer files. “It” means turning all those lost books into something for others to see.

Another of the fundamental tenets of ACT is Commitment. ACT encourages us to commit to the things that we can change, the things that will help us to develop and become the best version of ourselves.

I am committing to self publishing my books. I am committing to learning the requisite skills and seeing it through. I have reached this point many times before. I have backed away many times before. I have taken the detour rather than the difficult path. This time I commit to doing things differently. My values have brought me back here. They haven’t changed. I hope I have. I hope that this time coming back full circle will be the launch pad for something new.

And, with a nod to compassion, I will treat myself kindly and gently in the process!

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