ACT and Values Revisited Again!

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q: Where do I look for guidance when I don’t know where to turn?

A: Revisit your values

values revisited

Sometimes things happen which are so unexpected that we literally don’t know which way to turn. We are caught so much off guard that for a while it actually feels as if the ground under our feet has shifted; we are completely at sea.

So many mixed metaphors are not usually very helpful, but in this sort of instance they sort of sum up the general state of confusion and bewilderment we feel when the unexpected comes up to bite us.

When we are in this situation it is difficult to know where to look for guidance. We may cast around looking here and there for answers, quite forgetting that what we seek is far closer to home. When we don’t know where to turn a good rule of thumb is to revisit our values. When our world is in turmoil they remain constant. They won’t let us down.

I wrote “VALUES RIVISITED” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do your values help you to find your bearings?
  • What do you do when the world seems upside down?
  • 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

And-if-were-scrambling

POEM FOR TODAY

IMG_0139

VALUES REVISITED

Disappointment and denial, disillusion and despair,

What has happened is alarming but not going anywhere,

And if it’s still there in the morning after sleep gives us respite,

Then it doesn’t really matter if we deem it wrong or right.

It may be we still are reeling, not yet ready to accept

What it is we were escaping in those moments when we slept,

But a sleep can’t last forever, in the end we have to wake

And decide on our responses, on the next steps that we’ll take.

And it may be it’s too soon to plan a detailed strategy,

It may be our eyes are blinkered and for now we cannot see

Any further than the next step and the one that follows that,

Well let’s treat ourselves with kindness if that is the stage we’re at.

Because for now there is a future unpredictable and yes

We could spend it agonising, but we cannot second guess

What will happen in tomorrow, and we couldn’t any-way,

If we needed any proof of that we’ve got it in today.

And so in face of what’s arising let us take another tack,

Let us focus on feet forward without ever looking back,

And if we’re scrambling for a foothold and unsure which way to go

Then let us turn again to values, for as ever they will know.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “VALUES REVISITED” 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 …..

Having clarity about our values is really important.  When we know what really matters to us, when we know what sort of person we want to be in the world, it is easier for us to behave in ways that make us feel good, make us feel authentic.

Rachel Collis has written a really good article entitled “Getting Clear About Values” in her blog Working with ACT.  I really enjoyed it, so if you want some help in clarifying your values head on over and give it a read.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

 

Just-for-today-I-will decide to dodge

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

ACT and New Eras

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  What can I do when things change?

A:  Accept and explore it!

Image result for inspirational picture quotes

It’s so hard accepting what we cannot change, especially if we don’t like it!  If we don’t like something, the natural human reaction is, understandably, to try to alter it in some way.  Sometimes that is possible, and if it is, then of course we should use our best efforts to bring about a desired result.  But if it isn’t ……

If it isn’t possible to change something then sometimes the only thing to do is to let it go.  That is painful, of course it is.  But being willing to accept the pain just as it is can be less painful in the long run than futile denial and struggle.

I wrote “THE WORLD WE’VE GOT” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Have you found any solace in accepting what you cannot change?
  • How have you coped with the inevitable pain that accompanies loss?
  • 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

For-this-horse-has-truly

POEM FOR TODAY

Spellbound

THE WORLD WE’VE GOT

So now it’s really over and deep in our hearts we know

There will be no second chances, it is time to let it go,

For this horse has truly bolted, it’s too late to rein it in,

And for all our lamentations a new era will begin.

It will happen irrespective of our wanting it or not,

For new eras are quite callous and they will not care a jot

If we cling to our resistance, they’re too busy making hay,

Carving out a new tomorrow whilst we’re stuck in yesterday.

And so although it may be tempting to deny reality,

Waste our breath on wishful thinking, dissipate our energy

In a struggle that’s as futile as Canute found to his cost

When he tried to hold the tide back and inevitably lost.

And so whatever’s now occurring, even though it causes pain,

Let’s remember that surrender doesn’t mean we have to feign

Approbation for a circumstance we neither wished nor sought,

But if there’s a new reality we cannot then it thwart.

And so the more skilful reaction is to energy conserve,

Give a swerve to the unchangeable and effort now preserve

For the things that make life meaningful, for like it now or not,

This may not have been the world we sought but it’s the world we’ve got.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed “THE WORLD WE’VE GOT” 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 …..

When we are in trouble, when we are really hurting, what we need above all is a kindly word, some compassion, a feeling that someone understands what we are going through.

If we are lucky we will have someone on hand to offer that hand of friendship.  But sometimes more is required.  Sometimes we will need to offer that hand of friendship to ourselves.

Reaching out to others is one of the unforeseen positives that can come out of a personal hurt.  It is often when we are at our lowest ebb that we become willing to open up and share some of our hurt with others.  Wonderful things can happen when we do this.

But let us not forget to be kind to ourselves too.  Let us be willing to accept ourselves just as we are, warts and all, hurts and all.  ACT is very clear on this.  Reaching out to ourselves in an act of self compassion can be the best thing that we do for ourselves today.

I wrote a post about ACT and Self Compassion a while ago.  Today I needed to remind myself once again about the benefits that accrue when we remember to be kind to ourselves.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-I-wont allow myself to shirk

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

ACT and Crises

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  What do I do in the midst of a crisis?

A:  Keep calm and carry on!

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Sometimes life comes up to shock us!  It may be personal, it may be political, or the personal may have become political and vice versa.

We may not have seen it coming or maybe we did, and it shocked us anyway!

Whatever and however it happened, if we are in the midst of something that feels like a crisis it is likely we are not feeling very comfortable.  Fears of the unknown are natural, resistance to something we view as unwelcome is understandable, we are in shock!

At times like these ACT reminds us to be kind to ourselves, to treat ourselves with patience and compassion.  The shock will pass, if we let it; the uncomfortable feelings will move through, if we give them time and space; if the world, our world has re-arranged, we will catch up with it, in time.

Allowing ourselves to accept and experience all of our feelings just as they are without struggle may seem counter-intuitive.  Human beings are, after all, pre-programmed to move away from what they don’t like and towards what they do, but ACT is clear on this.  Accepting what we cannot change, uncomfortable feelings in this case, and changing what we can, maybe taking a valued action, will serve us better than wasting precious energy on futile struggle.

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

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How have you dealt effectively with a crisis?
  • How has ACT helped you to keep calm and carry on?
  • 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

edinburgh_sunset_2

A COMPLETE HUMAN BEING

Sometimes a something happens and its impact is so great

That we can’t internalise it, nor expect it to abate,

For the moment we’re all rawness and all we can do is hurt,

There’s no place that we can hide in, we cannot this pain avert.

So if we cannot escape it then what are we meant to do?

It could be we’d best accept it and allow it to move through,

For although it’s only natural to wish we could repair

This event that’s come to floor us, it’s not going anywhere.

For this something is a fact now, it’s unchangeable, and so

All the wishing in the world is not enough to make it go,

For we’re in a new reality, and though we it resist

When we wake up in the morning this new thing will still exist.

And so for now all that is possible may be that we endure

And accept the pain we’re feeling, for right now ‘tis premature

To expect to circumvent it or reduce it in some way,

For if we have loved what now is lost that is the price we pay.

And this journey we are facing is not one we want to take,

But if we are in a state of loss ‘tis one we’ll have to make,

And if we would find some value in the face of what we’re seeing,

It will be in being prepared to be a complete human being.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “A COMPLETE HUMAN BEING” 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 …..

Bearing in mind the human predisposition to move away from difficult and distressing things and towards attractive and appealing things, we do well to remember that although this often makes sense in the external world it often works less well in the internal world of our thoughts and feelings.

In ACT terms this means that avoidance of, or struggle with difficult thoughts and feelings is not the most effective way of behaving.  ACT teaches us other, more effective ways and amongst them is Mindfulness.

I came across a really interesting article written by Melissa O’Brien at everyday-mindfulness.org entitled:

“How to Use Mindfulness to Work with Difficult Emotions: A Six Step Process”

Melissa shows us how we can “learn to turn our difficult emotions into our greatest teachers and sources of strength”.

Her Six Step Process for mindfully dealing with difficult emotions is well worth a read.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

 

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

ACT and Setbacks

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  How do I overcome set-backs?

A:  Pick yourself up, dust yourself down and start all over again!

Nobody likes failure, nobody welcomes setbacks, nobody wants to fall short.  And yet, being human it is highly likely that we will fail, we will face setbacks, we will fall short.  We are human, we are not perfect, we will make mistakes.

Whether we are on a mission to lose weight, stop smoking, stay sober, stay clean, it is likely that at some time or another we will go off the diet, we will have another cigarette, we will fall off the wagon, we will have a slip.

How we deal with it, that’s the thing.  The great thing about ACT is that it reminds us that in the health domain, it is natural to experience setbacks, but these setbacks are only a problem when they cause us to move away from our values.

A slip does not have to become a relapse.  We can use a setback as fuel to get us back on the right track.  If we look to our values then they can help us to leave the slip behind as we choose effective actions in the here and now that will move us towards the desired outcome, to becoming the person we want to be.

I wrote “THE LONG HAUL” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Have you been able to learn from setbacks?
  • How have your values helped you to move on from a slip?
  • 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

So-its-OK-we-have-a

POEM FOR TODAY

_DSC6265

THE LONG HAUL

So it’s OK we have a set-back, it’s OK we fall from grace,

Because we’re in it for the long haul, we’re not in it for the race,

So it won’t matter if we stumble, it won’t matter if we fall,

Because as long as we keep trying then we’ll keep on walking tall.

If we base our lives on values, there’s an underlying seam

That runs deep beneath the mishaps, shining like a laser beam,

It will steady us through failure, make short shrift of goals we’ve missed,

And remind us life is more than things we’re ticking off a list.

And so if we have had a set-back let’s not see it as defeat,

Let us use the fuel within it our next challenges to meet,

And though we may be disappointed let’s look long enough to find

What it is we truly value and then failure’s left behind.

Because already we’ve an option here and now to make a choice,

We can select another action that will make our soul rejoice,

And then the set-back that we’ve suffered will soon sink without a trace,

Because we’re in it for the long haul, we’re not in it for the race.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “THE LONG HAUL” 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 …..

At the moment I am on a mission to lose weight.  I am often on a mission to lose weight and sadly, that means that more often than not my mission fails.

Like many others I have tried a multitude of diets, become obsessed by this or that exercise plan and succeeded at varying times to shed the stones.  What I have not been able to do though is to maintain the weight loss.  Sooner or later, generally sooner, the pounds pile back on and I am back where I started, usually with interest!

So I am willing to give ACT a try.  It has worked for me in other domains so let’s see if it can work its magic with weight loss.

I am putting my trust in

Product Details

So far I like what I read, but reading isn’t going to be enough.  We all know what we need to do to lose weight but knowing is not enough.  If it were then nobody would have a weight problem!  This book uses the psychological science of ACT to help us to establish a healthy relationship with food and promises to show us how to control our weight without the stress of dieting.  Sounds good to me!

I will keep you posted about my progress.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

 

Just-for-today-I-wont give way

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

ACT and Short-sightedness

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  I don’t like the look of what’s coming.  What should I do?

A:  Stop projecting.  Remember, we see such a little way.

shortsightedness

Our mind is a wondrous thing.  It is capable of such fantastic feats.  Analysing, planning, evaluating, judging, imagining, the list is endless.  And what benefits it brings us, our wondrous thinking mind.

But the mind is a double edged sword.  For every wonderful imagining there is a niggling worry waiting in the wings, for every hopeful fantasy there is a gloomy projection casting its shadow.  And we do well to remember that the mind is programmed to look on the dark side.  It evolved to keep us safe and so it is more likely to perceive threats even when there are none; it is more likely to seek out the negative than plump for the positive.  That’s just what minds do.  ACT reminds us of that.  We should be sceptical of the wondrous thinking mind and remember H M Tomlinson’s wise words:

“We see things not as they are, but as we are.”

I wrote “BLINDED BY SHORT-SIGHTEDNESS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Do you remember to treat your wondrous thinking mind with a bit of healthy scepticism?
  • How do you deal with looming situations?
  • 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

Solutions-yet-unfolded

POEM FOR TODAY

baltic_sea-800x533

BLINDED BY SHORT-SIGHTEDNESS

 

We cannot hold the tide back, nor else order winds to change,

When it comes to Mother Nature there’s not much we can arrange,

And so in time we just accept it since there’s nothing else to do,

We know that practicing acceptance is the wisest thing to do.

It’s a shame we can’t transfer it, all this wisdom we’ve accrued,

To a situation looming which is darkening our mood,

But resistance builds within us and we’re spoiling for a fight,

We’ve already made our minds up that what’s looming isn’t right.

And so our mind begins to harden, it starts taking up a stand,

There’s no room for compromising, fixed minds cannot understand

That solutions yet unfolded are beyond the ken of man,

We are blinded by short-sightedness, can’t see a master plan.

And it’s not easy this acceptance, this forbearance, this restraint,

Stemming words deemed justifiable, not moving to complaint,

But in the end it’s just a moment when we’re taking pride of place,

And consequences now unknowable we’ll later have to face.

And so next time the future’s looming let’s not be in such a haste,

Let’s be less quick to rush to judgement something isn’t to our taste,

And be aware the future’s hidden, we can’t know how ‘twill unfold,

Whereas the present is a province that is ours to have and hold.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “BLINDED BY SHORT-SIGHTEDNESS” 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 …..

When I have a relapse, and it happens more often than I would like, this is the book that I return to.

Relapses can be painful but they are not the end of the world.  In fact, if we treat ourselves kindly, and ACT would certainly encourage that, we can learn a lot from a relapse.  It can set us back on the right path with renewed vigour and motivation.

This book offers a five-step plan for coping with painful emotions such as anxiety and depression and teaches the life-enhancing behavior strategies that help us to  pursue the goals we value most.  It shows us how to engage with and overcome painful thoughts and feelings with step-by-step acceptance and mindfulness-based techniques.  We learn how to let go of control, and develop compassion and flexibility.  It helps us to create a meaningful life even in the midst of our challenges.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Today-as-something starts to loom

 

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

ACT and Valued Action

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  What can I do when I’m feeling fed up?

A:   Do something meaningful!

Taking action when we don’t feel like it is at the very heart of ACT.  In fact it is so central to it that it gives it its very name.

ACT or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is about just that.  Accepting what we cannot change and committing to take an action in line with our values is what this Therapy is all about.

In order to change our lives for the better, in order to bring about meaningful change, ACT encourages us to develop a different relationship with our thoughts and feelings.  When we start living our lives based on our values rather than our moods things start to improve.  Why?

Because when we see ourselves as more than our thoughts and our feelings we can make some space, what ACT calls Defusion, and watch our thoughts come and go.  Defusion frees us up to do things that are important to us.  This is what will help us to create a meaningful life, so that when we look back there will be something to see.

I wrote “SOMETHING TO SEE” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Are you learning to turn to your values rather than letting fleeting moods dictate your day?
  • What defusion techniques do you find helpful?
  • 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

When-lifetimes-are

POEM FOR TODAY

treasure hunting 3

SOMETHING TO SEE

When lifetimes are ending and years are lived through

We won’t ask how we felt, we’ll ask, “What did we do?”

What activities flourished, what did we achieve?

Did we make any difference, give more than receive?

Oh our feelings are with us each step of the way,

But did they know their place or were they holding sway,

Did we learn to live with them, take them in our stride?

Or did we let them rule us and push us aside?

If we’re asking these questions it isn’t too late

To establish new orders, re-negotiate,

And decide from now on we won’t be shoved along

By a feeling that’s fleeting, no matter how strong.

For a feeling is flimsy whilst action is real,

We can choose what to do, we can’t choose how to feel,

And a lifetime of action has something to show

Whilst a lifetime of feeling is lived in limbo.

So let’s look for an action and do it right now,

Irrespective of feelings let’s act anyhow,

For we find when we’re living life more flexibly

That when we’re looking back there is something to see.

 © Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “SOMETHING TO SEE” 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 …..

Acting when we don’t feel like it isn’t easy and it isn’t guaranteed to make us feel better.  What it is guaranteed to do, however, is to help us to build a more meaningful life.  Meaningful lives are built on meaningful actions not fleeting feelings, and though we can’t choose how we feel, that is beyond us, we can choose what we do.

Having and exercising that choice is a great boon.  It helps us to spring the trap of difficult feelings that can rob us of our joy.  It is the beginning of freedom.

For more on the benefits of the psychological flexibility that is at the heart of ACT I enjoyed an article at harleytherapy.co.uk.

It can be difficult to understand what psychological flexibility is and isn’t and I particularly liked their explanation.

Perhaps an easy way to understand what psychological flexibility is, is to first look at what it is not. 

The main contributors to psychological inflexibility are:

  • living in the past or the future instead of the present moment
  • being “stuck” and unable to let go of thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and sensations that cause suffering (called being ‘fused’ to them)
  • always trying to avoid your unpleasant thoughts, memories, and feelings, hoping that they will, somehow, go away
  • being addicted to an idea of yourself, or ‘self-concept’, always telling the same stories about yourself and your life
  • not being aware of your personal values
  • patterns of behaviour that keep all of the above going

Source: http://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/counselling/what-is-acceptance-and-commitment-therapy.htm#ixzz48Kke0b5H

It’s a great website with lots of useful information and resources.  I shall visit often.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-I-will decide to take

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT and Treasure Hunting

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q: How can I make better choices?

A: Distinguish between treasures and trinkets

treasure hunting 4

We live in a world of so many distractions.  Never has there been so much choice, so many claims for our attention.  Choosing wisely is a challenge.  And what does “wisely” mean?

If we are feeling less than satisfied in our life, if we have a feeling that something is missing then it might be time to revisit those choices.  In ACT terms we have a useful measure.  ACT suggests that if we want to make wise choices, choices that are more likely to make our lives feel meaningful, then we should check in with our values.

It is tempting to go for the easy option, the quick return, but if this starts to pall then maybe we need to consider whether this is really the best use of our limited time.

There is a difference between trinkets which bring short term pleasure and treasures which offer a more lasting satisfaction.  If we start to tire of trinkets then treasure hunting becomes more appealing.  ACT reminds us that value driven actions are more likely to lead us to the pot of gold.

I wrote “TREASURES AND TRINKETS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How good are you at distinguishing treasures from trinkets?
  • Are you more conscious of making value driven choices?
  • 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

The-day-lies-before-us

POEM FOR TODAY

treasure hunting

TREASURES AND TRINKETS

The day lies before us, it’s ours now to fill,

But to fill it with treasure’s an art and a skill,

For to look back with pride at the end of the day

Means we need to be present each step of the way.

For much treasure is hidden and not easy found,

There are trinkets a-plenty just lying around,

But these cheap easy pickings won’t satisfy long,

And if we think they’re treasures then we would think wrong.

For a treasure is precious, it’s rarer to find,

And can hold out a challenge to body and mind,

For it may not at all be what it at first seems,

And may bear no resemblance to stuff of our dreams.

And so finding a treasure requires us to be

Fully present each moment, eyes ready to see

That the time collecting trinkets denies us the chance

To seek out hidden treasures we’d miss at first glance.

And if we are confused as to where treasure lies,

And not sure if we found it we’d it recognise,

Then a nod to our values should be quite enough

To distinguish a treasure from trinkety stuff.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed “TREASURE HUNTING”  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 …..

One of my favourite things about writing this blog is finding examples of inspirational ACT resources to help me and to share with you.

There are all sorts of wonderful things out there, articles, videos, workshops, ACT communities.  There is certainly no shortage of inspirational material.  There is certainly no need to feel alone!

Today I came across a great article about the Value Driven Life at HealthyPsych.com

The article reminds us of the importance of discovering and then staying close to our values.  If you are having difficulty clarifying your values take a look.  I found it really helpful.  The opening paragraph gives a flavour of what is to come.  It starts with that tricky question that we often get asked as children!

As children, we are often asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” This question then gets asked constantly as we go through life, sometimes causing some immense stress and feelings of confusion and frustration when that question cannot be answered.

Questions that we neglect to ask are, “What KIND of person do you want to be? HOW do you want to behave?” Not being who we genuinely are, losing contact with our values, not behaving in ways that are important to us can also bring stress, pain, even suffering into our lives ……

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-some-time

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments.  How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT and Acceptance

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q: When is the best time to make decisions?

A:  When the heat of the moment is gone.

The phrase “startled thinking” is one we would do well to remember when life is in the process of throwing its challenges at us. Why? Because at such times it is highly likely that we are not thinking straight, or at least not to begin with.

ACT reminds us that at such times, in the midst of such challenges, our initial reactions are unlikely to be rational or logical.  Quite the contrary.  When something unexpected or unwelcome happens we should expect that our first reaction will be an emotional gut reaction.  This is not the time to act.  This is the time to play for time, to wait for the tide of high emotion to recede.  The time for action will come later, hopefully in the shape of a more considered response which will work better for us.

“Don’t make permanent decisions based on temporary feelings” is a great mantra to draw on when we are tempted to hasty action.

I wrote “QUIET ACCEPTANCE” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Have you learned not to make permanent decisions based on temporary feelings?
  • Are you learning to recognise “startled thinking” for what it is?
  • What can you share that might be of help to other?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

Lets-not-succumb-to

POEM FOR TODAY

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QUIET ACCEPTANCE

A state of quiet acceptance, well it may sound rather dull,

Not being roused to high emotion, but emotion trying to cull

By sitting quietly on the side-lines as the feelings rush on through,

Yes it may sound rather boring but it can be best to do.

For life throws at us its challenges when things don’t go our way,

All the little unexpecteds that just happen every day,

And the way we trade our peace of mind for nothing much at all,

Yes sometimes a quiet acceptance can such turbulence forestall.

And the prize of equanimity’s not one we should disdain,

For it conserves in us an energy which then is ours to claim

For activities more fruitful, for endeavours that content,

So let’s beware the first reaction when such challenges are sent.

For we don’t have to inflame it, we can simply give it space,

Learn to breathe into a feeling as our heartbeat gathers pace

And then just watch as high emotion lashes out and then recedes

Whilst we wait patient on the side-lines until normal life proceeds.

And so next time a challenge enters, let’s not panic, let’s just wait,

Ride the tide of high emotion, let it rise and then abate,

And not succumb to startled thinking that just masquerades as fact,

For it is after quiet acceptance that ‘twill be the time to act.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed “QUIET ACCEPTANCE” 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 …..

ACT reminds us that feelings are fleeting, they come and they go. It makes sense therefore to remember that there is a danger in making permanent decisions based on fleeting feelings. Will we be happy with a decision we make in the heat of the moment when the heat of the moment has cooled?

We would do better, ACT suggests, to refer to our values before we make important decisions. Knowing what matters, what really matters to us and making decisions accordingly is much the better choice.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Today-I-am-not-going-to

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT and Storylines

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  How can I stop myself fearing the worst?

A:  Remind yourself you are an expert storyteller. 

If you are like me then you spend a lot of time, too much time, telling yourself stories.  Something happens and off we go, making up stories, imagining the worst, conjuring up all sorts of awful scenarios.  Some of our stories are told so often that they have become almost automatic.  They only need a trigger and there they are instantly in glorious technicolour frightening us to death.

We may not be able to stop the story arising but we can learn to stop it in its tracks.  When we remember that we are the story teller and that we are making it all up it helps us to stand back and distinguish fact from fiction.  ACT talks about Defusion a lot and this is an instance when we can use defusion techniques to remind ourselves it is only a story and we are the expert story teller.  We are making it up!

I wrote “STORYLINES” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Are you learning to recognise when you are telling yourself stories?
  • Are you becoming more expert at distinguishing fact from fiction?
  • 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

DSC_1159

STORYLINES

Let’s not make up a story let’s just meet life as it is,

And let’s not make of it a drama that will leave us in a tizz,

But let’s just do what needs doing without getting in a stew

And conserve our precious energy for things we want to do.

It’s a trap for our avoidance, it’s a pitfall we can swerve,

When a certain something happens and it’s hitting on a nerve,

And the storyline is priming, oh, it’s ready now to launch,

But if we have got its measure then its story we can staunch.

For we’ve trundled down this path before, we’re wise now to its game,

So familiar with our stories we can give them all a name,

Here comes one we call “Old Faithful” for it’s never far away

And as soon as something happens it has something sour to say.

And behind it lurks “Imaginings”, the horror picture show

That ships up quite unexpected and then snares us in its glow

As it conjures up projections of the worst that can befall,

And then leaves us sick with worry, the worst storyline of all.

And so let’s watch ourselves as authors, catch ourselves out in the act,

Learn to make the sweet distinction, this is fiction, this is fact,

And when the stage is cleared for action, let us take a final bow,

Because an author just tells stories and it’s time for acting now.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “STORYLINES” 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 …..

This quote from Jon Kabat-Zinn is a reminder that we cannot escape ourselves.  Wherever we go there we are.  It follows then that we would do well to take as good a care of ourselves as possible.  We are our own constant companion.

Jon Kabat-Zinn developed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre.  He has written many excellent books about Mindfulness and they complement ACT.  Mindfulness is at the heart of ACT and I have found Jon Kabat-Zinn’s books to be really helpful.  One of my favourites is “Wherever You Go, There You Are”. I am going to re-read it.  I think it’s time!  You might like to give it a try too!

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

 

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne

ACT and Flexing our Wings

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  I’d like to try something new but what if it all goes wrong?  What if I fall?

A:  Oh, but my darling what if you fly?

A shaky self confidence or fear of failure stops many of us from pursuing our passions.  We want guarantees before we try something new, but there are no guarantees.  If we are not prepared to live with our natural anxieties then we are denying ourselves the possibilities that could be ours if we dared to take a chance.

In ACT we are reminded that whilst we may feel safer by choosing not to take a step into the unknown there is a cost attached.  This cost is what ACT calls experiential avoidance.  Experiential avoidance is the natural human tendency we all have to avoid unpleasantness and discomfort.  In the external world that makes sense but in the internal world of thoughts and feelings it can lead to problems.  The more we try to avoid the natural feelings of anxiety and fear that accompany trying something new the smaller our world becomes.  The antidote to experiential avoidance is psychological flexibility and that is what ACT helps us to develop.

There is a great video entitled “Headstuck! What is Experiential Avoidance?” which explains it really clearly.   Do take a look.  I think you will enjoy it.  It certainly made me think again about the pitfalls of experiential avoidance.  Yes, it may seem to work in the short-term but in the long-term it leads to problems.

I wrote “FLEXING OUR WINGS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Have you experienced the pitfalls of experiential avoidance?
  • How do you cope with the negative feelings that go with trying something new?
  • 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

And-though-the-brink-may

POEM FOR TODAY

IMGP3782

FLEXING OUR WINGS

When we feel most uncomfortable is when we’d like to stay

Safe within the old parameters we’ve set up for today,

They’re the ones we’ve tried and tested, they’re the ones we know so well,

And it’s scary stepping out of them, and hence the warning bell

That reminds us of the dangers that lurk in the great unknown,

That encourages our reticence as seeds of doubt are sown,

And demand of us a certainty we can’t attain and so

It is easier to disengage and let the challenge go.

And how often have we done it, stepped up almost to the brink,

Been prepared almost to test our wings, only away to slink

As the warning bell rings louder, sings the siren song of shame

As we imagine ourselves failing, and so withdraw from the game.

But it only is a game you know, a game with much to teach,

All those lovely possibilities that could be in our reach

If we dared to take a chance, if we became prepared to try

And say, “I know there is a chance I’ll fall, but there’s a chance I’ll fly.”

And so next time discomfort visits us let’s try to braver be

And let’s not scurry back to safety, let’s abide uncertainty,

And though the brink may rise up scary let’s accept those scary things,

So we can find out what it feels like when we dare to flex our wings.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “FLEXING OUR WINGS” 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 …..

If you haven’t already clicked on the video:

“Headstuck! What is Experiential Avoidance?”

then do yourself a favour and do it now!  It can be difficult getting your head around some of the concepts in ACT but “experiential avoidance” and its antidote “psychological flexibility” are so central that it is well worth getting a clear understanding of them.  This video certainly helped me.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-whateer

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes

Corinne