ACT, its best friend COMPASSION, and BEING A HERO

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 become a hero?

A: Be brave for just a little longer. 

Being a hero is not reserved for other people, special people, extraordinary people. We all have the potential to be heroes. History is shot through with people who have blazed an heroic trail. Maybe, because history tends to report on the extraordinary, to favour the victors, we have a rather distorted view of heroes and heroism.

Nowadays, when news is available 24/7, the good, the bad and the ugly, we have more exposure to the everyday hero, the ordinary person doing extraordinary things. This should give us comfort. This should reassure us that we too, being human, imperfectly, amazingly human, have the same capacity within us. Maybe, just maybe, we could be heroes too.

And it’s not as if we need to wait to be put to the test. We don’t need to wait for extraordinary circumstances to present themselves in order for us to see if we are up to the challenge. We can develop and test our heroism every day. We can decide to venture out of our comfort zones of our own accord. We can decide to test our resilience as a matter of course. We can make being a hero a life-style choice, maybe in little ways, but sufficient to start to build our courage. This can make life an exciting adventure and not just a re-run of the same old, same old.

I wrote “BEING A HERO” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Are you willing to begin to build heroism into your life?
  • Do you give yourself credit for the times when you have already been a hero?
  • 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

BEING A HERO

I’d love to be a hero, to surprise myself and be

Someone more than I imagined I could ever, ever be,

But being a hero as a life-style, well that seems improbable

’til we remember other heroes, then it seems more possible.

For though our heroes may be special, they’re just human after all,

They are all humanly imperfect, just like us they rise and fall,

But for the moments they’re heroic, then we gaze at them in awe,

Forgetting all our heroes did was take one step and then one more.

And we all can become heroes, push our comfort zones and feel

The resistance rising in us, for it’s this that will reveal

If we have the guts to do it, step into that great unknown,

Or scurry back to seeming safety, then too late, that bird has flown.

And yet, if we had dared to do it, take that step, and leave behind

The constraints that we imagined, the illusive chains that bind,

Then we could step into adventure, and who knows where that might lead

If when, for once, Life said, “Come here!” and like a hero we agreed.

© Corinne Shields 2019

If you enjoyed “BEING A HERO” 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 ……..

ACT makes Values work a pivotal part of its therapy. Values are the things that drive us, really drive us. They are the things that are most important to us. Values are not right or wrong, they just are. No-one else needs to share them or to condone or deride them. They are ours.

Although Values are constant, that doesn’t mean that we can’t add to them, re-evaluate them even. As we develop, it may be that we do decide that some Values which have served us well may need a bit of refining. So it is with courage, with deciding that maybe being a bit more heroic may be something we want to add into the mix.

Being human, we are not going to get away with cowardice anyway. The human condition demands that we do step up and be counted whether we like it or not. We will all have our fair share of suffering, of grief, of unhappiness. How we meet these things will determine our lived experience. Being brave, being courageous, being a hero in demanding times, is something that we all have the potential to be. We may not want it, may not welcome it, but it is what it is. We cannot escape it.

A final, final word though. Let’s not forget to add compassion into the mix too. Life is hard, it is difficult, as well as being wonderful and amazing. Being a hero is something to maybe aspire to, but it is not something to beat ourselves up about. Let’s not make things harder than they already are.

If, or rather when we fail, let’s not give ourselves a hard time. Let’s treat ourselves with the compassion that we would so readily give to a friend, to a stranger even. In fact, while we’re at it, let’s start being a friend to ourselves. Let’s encourage the hero in us and it will emerge, maybe a little shyly, a little shakily, but if we take it by the hand it will come out of the shadows and into the light. How good would that be.

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 RESILIENCE

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 do I develop resilience?

A: Turn your stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

Most of us say we want to be stronger, more adaptable, more resilient, and then when life throws us learning opportunities, we shy away from them, resent them, complain about them.

Unfortunately, the way to get stronger, more adaptable, more resilient is not going to be found by sticking with the tried and trusted, by seeking to stay put. Only by allowing ourselves to be tested are we going to be able to develop the strength, adaptability and resilience that we say we want.

Sometimes we don’t have much choice. Life takes no notice of our safety first slogan. It slams into us, demanding that we sit up and take notice, that we sit up, take notice and take action. Sometimes we just feel that the time is right to do something different. We begin to realise that if we want our lives to expand then we are going to have to start stretching our comfort zones.

Resilience is a great thing to have, a great thing to develop. For with it comes confidence, confidence that we are going to be able to cope no matter what life throws at us. This is why, although we may not welcome problems, set-backs, obstacles, if we can view them as learning opportunities we will not be defeated by them.  We may even come to see them as blessings in disguise.

When we look back we surely see that the times that we most grew were not in the sunny uplands of our lives, but in the difficult and dark times. We should take comfort from this. We came through then and we will come through again. And all along, our resilience is being fired in the heat of adversity. That is the pay off for our trouble.

I wrote “RESILIENCE” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones?
  • How have you developed your own resilience?
  • 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

RESILIENCE

 If we would be resilient, we’ll have to find a way

To transform the different challenges that face us every day

Into learning opportunities, and go to any length

To use them as raw material to grow our inner strength.

We might wish that life was easier, more kindly, more benign,

Long for days when storm clouds pass us by, and let the sun just shine,

But if this our wish were granted, not much growing would go on

For our resilience would wither if the sun just constant shone.

And so, although our first reaction to a setback may well be

A resistance to perceive it as an opportunity

To develop our resilience, to stoke our inner core,

Let’s remember that each challenge met helps us grow that bit more.

And it’s great to have a knowing emanating from within,

That adversity won’t break us, but will help us to begin

To build up our own resources, reinforce them, and renew

Our commitment to our courage, for we know we’ll see it through.

And so next time we face an obstacle, a problem, let’s commit

To embrace this raw material and do our best with it,

So, when we look back from the future from a place where we feel strong,

We see the challenges we faced were there to help us all along.

© Corinne Shields 2019

If you enjoyed “RESILIENCE” 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 ……..

Those of you who are regular visitors to this blog will know that I am in the throes of self publishing a book. And I am having to practice a lot of resilience I can tell you.

Because I do not have the requisite technical skills, it would be very easy to throw in the towel. There is always something else to learn and although I like learning, when it comes to things technical I lack confidence and really doubt my ability to carry it through.

I would love someone to come along and do it for me, and of course I could pay someone with the expertise to do just that. But, the mean-streak in me says, “You can do this and if you can learn to do it once you can learn to do it again and again, and that will save you a heap of money.”

When it comes to cover design I surrender. I can’t do that and I am more than willing to pay, but the technical stuff I feel I should be able to master. So, I carry on. I carry on in the hope that along the way my resilience in not giving up will pay off, in more ways than one!

From an ACT point of view, I think I am acting in accordance with ACT principles. I hope I am. I am accepting my limitations where it is wiser to do so, and I am ploughing on to change the things I can. And I am letting my values lead me. This book, this series of books, is important to me, is in line with my values. If I continue to build my resilience I believe that will see me through.

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 THE REAL THING

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 is it so important to do the real thing?

A: Because if you don’t you are only play acting. You’ll be hollow at your core.

It’s not easy saying no, especially if we’re used to saying yes.  It’s not easy disappointing people, especially if we are people-pleasers. It’s not easy upsetting someone, especially if we crave their approval. It’s not easy, but sometimes it’s essential.

It is not good for us to constantly put our own wishes, needs, desires on the back-burner. It’s not good for us to automatically put other people’s priorities before our own. It’s not good for us to quickly consign our own plans to the bottom of the heap just because someone else implies theirs are more important. None of this is good for us, for our sense of self worth.

What message are we sending to ourselves when we say that what we want is not important, what we like doing is insignificant, what matters to us is not worth prioritising?

We do teach other people how to treat us. If we are always ready to let their needs over-ride our own, we should not be surprised if they don’t think our needs are important. If we don’t value them, why should anyone else?

We all have things that matter to us, really matter. These are the things that make us feel right, at ease with ourselves, in harmony with our deepest being. These are not things to trivialise, to treat with disrespect. These are the things that for us are the real thing. Of course our real thing won’t matter to someone else. Why should it? They have their own real thing to bother about.

The trouble is that when we don’t do what matters to us, when we neglect the things that make us feel alive, we will pay a price. We will feel jittery and dis-satisfied inside because we are not feeding ourselves what we need.

Some of us may have spent so much time pleasing others that we’re not at all sure what really pleases us. If this is the case then it’s high time that we found out. We owe it to ourselves to do the real thing, and to do it more often. When we do this we feel good inside, and then we have more to give away. We can’t pour from an empty cup.

And don’t let’s beat ourselves up about any of this. Let’s treat ourselves with the same compassion that many of us spend a lot of time dishing out to others. Treating ourselves well does not mean treating everyone else badly. Not at all. Everyone’s a winner when we are doing the real thing, when we are being authentic. When we feel good inside then we have more of that goodness to give away.

I wrote “EVERYONE’S A WINNER” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you make time to do the real thing, to do what matters to you?
  • Is authenticity something you value in your own life?
  • 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

EVERYONE’S A WINNER

Committing to the real thing, now that can be rather hard,

To discard the easy options and the real thing to safe-guard,

As we ward off all intruders who would steal our energy,

And be determined that usurpers will be seen off finally.

There is no-one to protect it, so it’s we who must be strong,

Be resistant to time-snatchers, and tell them to move along,

For though the real thing is essential for our peace and happiness,

It is a bother to the others who want more from us not less.

And so, let’s not be easy pickings for the ones who would prefer

That we set aside the real thing as to their wants we defer,

For though it may not seem important to distinguish yours and mine

It will be too late complaining if you rise as we decline.

And there’ll be time enough for sharing and for comforting and more,

But if we neglect the real thing we’ll be hollow at our core,

And no amount of substitution or addressing other’s needs

Will compensate us for the real thing as it bit by bit recedes.

And so, let’s not be slow to woo it, nor to keep it close at hand,

For when we spend time with the real thing then we come to understand

That when we’re satisfied inside us there is no room for dismay,

And everyone’s a winner when we’ve more to give away.

© Corinne Shields, 2019

If you enjoyed “EVERYONE’S A WINNER” 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 ……..

Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) puts enormous store by authenticity. Values work is one of its core principles. When we discover what our values are and use them as our guide, then we are on the road to living an authentic life. A value-driven life will mean that we will be doing the real thing more often, and when we’re not we will have a yardstick to measure by.

On a personal note, doing my real thing means spending regular time writing. I try to post weekly. It’s good for me. It helps me to focus on things that matter to me, and I hope others enjoy reading what I write.

And, of course, I am writing my book, or books if things go according to plan. This plan, such as it is, won’t come to much if I don’t stay committed. This is why ACT is important to me. ACT is about accepting things we can’t change but it is about committing to things that we can, things that are important and reflect our values.

So, I plod on, doing a bit each day, and in time, not too long I hope, I will have something concrete to show for it.

Progress this week has included changing the title and the proposed cover for the book. In the last post I shared the working title:

Now I’ve changed my mind. It is, after all, just like me, a work in progress.

And I’ve finished writing the book!! So, progress is being made. And, perhaps more importantly, when I am involved in it I feel I am doing the real thing!!!!

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 HIGH EMOTION

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 with high emotions?

A: Turn them into creative fuel. Create something new.

High emotions are not always welcome but they are a part and parcel of being human. As such, learning to deal with them in an effective way can only be a good thing.

Of course some of our high emotions we love and want to get more of, but some, some of them we dread, resist and want to get rid of. This is easier said than done. When emotions get a hold of us they are not easily dislodged. Controlling them once they are in full flood is pretty nigh impossible.

All sorts of terrible things can happen when we are in the grip of high emotions. We say things we don’t mean, we do things we regret, we act completely out of character, because are out of character. When emotions are ruling the roost we may not recognise ourselves. They are that powerful.

If we are wise then we have learned useful strategies to deal with them. Some of us use physical exercise to get them out of our system. Some of us find a willing ear and bend it until the emotion has been rationalised or dissipated. Some of us use defusion techniques to stand back and observe what is happening to us dispassionately. Some of us have learned meditative practices which can soothe and calm us.

Other strategies are not so useful. Unable to control or cope with high emotions some of us self medicate, using a variety of drugs in a bid to reduce their unwanted effects. We drink, drug, shop, gamble, bed-hop, the list is only limited by our imagination.

But how many of us use that other strategy, that wonderful strategy, that amazing strategy that actually takes the fuel and energy of high emotion and channels it into creativity? If you already do it then you know how incredible that can be. If you don’t then I urge you to try it. It could be the beginning of something life-changing.

Next time high emotion is coursing through you why not see what happens when you use its potent energy to see where it takes you in a creative sense? You have absolutely nothing to lose.

I don’t like being in the grip of high emotion, but I have learned that when it arises it gives me an opportunity to create something new. I never know what it is going to be, but all my best work comes out of it.

High emotion can make us slightly mad, barmy even. Logic and reason go out of the window as soon as it enters the door. But creativity is not born out of logic and reason, it is born out of other things, and high emotion is one of them.

I wrote “HIGH EMOTION” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you deal with your own high emotions?
  • Have you discovered creativity through them?
  • 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

HIGH EMOTION

Although we may not like it, high emotion can be used

As a fuel for creativity, to stir the sleeping muse

That lies dormant in hiatuses, the lulls before the storm,

And then springs us into action, creativity takes form.

When we’re resting in the shallows there is not much going on,

Just a little gentle lapping ‘ere the rippling is gone,

But when a drama comes to meet us, or by crisis we are trapped,

Then our body’s called to action and our essences are tapped.

And it’s then that we can use it, all this burning from within,

As we step out from the shallows and creation can begin,

As emotion drives us forward to a place ‘til now unknown,

And a something new emerges from the seeds emotion’s sown.

© Corinne Shields, 2019

If you enjoyed HIGH EMOTION” 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 ……..

ACT teaches us to defuse from thoughts and emotions as a means of reducing their hold over us. When we can stand back and view them from a distance we are no-longer sucked into them. This is a wonderful and effective tool to have in in our tool kit.

Using the energy they produce to fuel our creativity puts another amazing tool at our disposal. Emotions are part and parcel of who we are. They are not going anywhere soon. When we learn to deal with them in effective ways, when we are no-longer afraid of them and can even learn to accept them, welcome them even, our lives will improve.

Emotions lend light and shade to our existence. Without them we would just be robots. Robots are not human, they are robots. ACT suggests many strategies to help us to live with our emotions in positive ways. It is not about denying them or trying to get rid of them, it is about coming to understand them. Creativity is a wonderful way to come to understand our emotions, to use their energy in an illustrious way.

If you want to learn more about the potent power of Creativity, Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Big Magic” is a wonderful read.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

So often have I been in the grip of high emotion that I have an enormous body of work that I have produced! Sadly, alot of this has emerged out of pain and suffering! Oh dear.

Nevertheless I do have something to show for it. All that high emotion has been captured in countless notebooks. I write my way out of trouble. I am hopeful, no more than that, I am determined that some of that is going to see the light of day. I am in the process of compiling and then self publishing a series of books. I do have a working title:

“How to Live Well and Stress Less – 20 Awesome Gifts for the Soul –  Because it’s hard being human.”

Book cover yet to be designed but this at least pretties it up!

Still a way to go, but this time I’m going to make it happen! I owe it to my Creativity.

I am ending this post as I began it with a quote from Albert Einstein, one of the greatest thinkers of all time.

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, some Creativity 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? Is Creativity important to you?

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 DEFUSION TECHNIQUES

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 myself going round in circles and hurting myself?

A: Use some defusion techniques

We’ve all done it, haven’t we? We’ve caught a glimpse of something, overheard a snippet of conversation, thought someone was talking about us behind our backs, and there we go, or rather there our mind goes, making a mountain out of a molehill.

We can’t possibly know exactly what is happening, after all we only caught a glimpse, heard a few words, saw a brief gesture, but it is enough for our mind to be up and running. Within no time, our mind, our marvellous mind, has concocted a story, interpreted a situation, filled in all the blanks and then some. Before long we are hostage to our thoughts, our troublesome thoughts, to our stories, our horror stories, and we can’t shake them off. The more we try the worse they get, the stickier they become. Once we are caught up in the downward spiral who knows where it will lead.

This is all very painful. Many a sleepless night has been suffered as a result of just a glance, just a snippet. Logic goes out of the window once we are in thrall to our run-away mind. Sometimes we keep it to ourselves, sometimes the pain spills over and out until we are offloading it onto others. Harsh words are spoken, accusations are made, friendships are broken, family rifts are instigated, all on the strength of just a glance, just a snippet.

This is awful. Damage to ourselves, damage to others. Hurt to ourselves, hurt to others. Misunderstandings spiral out of control. Once the genie is out of the bottle it may be impossible to stuff it back in.

Better far that it never escapes at all. But this is easier said than done, especially when we are in so much pain inside. So what to do? In Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) happily there are plenty of practical strategies we can use to reduce the pain without needing to inflict it on others. Thought Defusion Techniques like labelling our stories, repeating the titles in silly voices, really can reduce the sting. Bleaching the colour out of the glance, the glimpse, can also help. When we keep playing the image in technicolour on our mental screen that keeps it alive. When we can reduce it to a blurry black and white that can do wonders.

These strategies may sound simplistic but just because they are simple it doesn’t mean that they don’t work. Far from it. It is because they are simple that we can reach for them and use them. It doesn’t take a genius to think up a title, to say it repeatedly in a silly voice or to make a mental image fuzzy and dreary. It just takes commitment. So let’s do it. Let’s be kind to ourselves and do what we can to help ourselves. We have nothing to lose but our pain.

I wrote “IT WAS JUST A GLANCE” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you stop yourself going round in circles?
  • Are you willing to give these strategies a go?
  • 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

IT WAS JUST A GLANCE

When we wake up in the morning it is possible that we

Are flooded through with thoughts and feelings we don’t like essentially,

As maybe worry starts to spiral or resentment hooks us in

And we get beaten up by stories that our mind begins to spin.

It maybe by chance we caught a glance of something we’ve construed

As a hostile act against us, and now it won’t be subdued

And it has taken hold within us, it’s an image we can’t shift,

It keeps popping up repeatedly, but it is in our gift

To deal with it more effectively, we have the tools at hand,

To employ our mind to understand a glance we can withstand

If we will treat it with a kindliness, oh here it comes again,

It is the glance I caught by chance but now that glance I’ll re-explain.

I will give it now a title, “It was just a glance,” will do,

And I will say it in a funny voice each time it passes through,

And I’ll remind myself it’s just a flash upon my mental screen,

And it is me who keeps it going ‘stead of wiping the screen clean.

And maybe ‘twill take a little while this image to downgrade,

But every time I use a silly voice, I’ll feel its impact fade

Until it’s just another storyline which currently is here,

And given a silly voice and title pretty soon ‘twill disappear.

© Corinne Shields, 2018

If you enjoyed “IT WAS JUST A GLANCE” 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 ……..

Defusion is one of the major tenets of ACT. It is a God-send when thoughts are spiralling out of control, when we are going round in circles and can’t get a certain image out of our mind.

For more information about Defusion techniques check out the website at getselfhelp.co.uk

The ones I have mentioned here, the labelling, the funny voices and the bleaching of the technicolour to monochrome, work for me, but there are many others. Remember, you have nothing to lose but your pain, so why not give them a go?

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 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

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