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

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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

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

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.

See the source image

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

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