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

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ACT and Complacency

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE of inspirational quotes, poems and other act goodies!

Q:  I have  been too complacent for too long.  Now what?

A:  If you are ready to change, ACT principles will help you.

Complacency is one of the more dangerous emotions.  It can be snatched away at anytime and so we would do well to treat it with suspicion.  It is a false friend.  Usually we do not even know when we are suffering from complacency.  When things are going well there is a tendency to think they will always go well, but we should know better.  Life is all about change.  Nothing stays the same.

Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop the pain when we are suddenly shaken out of our complacency.  Events come to rock us, to shake us awake, and we can be left reeling in their aftermath.  It is in that aftermath that we can look back at that complacency for what it was, a risky, fragile thing.  This is the time for re-building.  This is where ACT can help us.   ACT is built on surer foundations than shaky complacency.

I wrote “PRECARIOUS COMPLACENCY” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Have you come to realise that complacency is a false friend?
  • Are you ready to explore ACT for surer foundations?
  • 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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PRECARIOUS COMPLACENCY

 

Maybe we’re feeling battered, tossed about ferociously,

As life deals to us its hammer blows quite indiscriminately,

And we didn’t see them coming, in blind ignorance we bathed

Until it seemed that life decided we should not escape unscathed.

It may be that we resisted, we resented, felt betrayed,

As we railed against injustice and the penalty we paid

For a bit of sweet complacency, that risky, fragile thing,

Now it’s lying round in tatters and we’re suffering its sting.

It maybe that life felt good then, we were smug then, unaware

That precarious complacency could vanish in thin air,

Leaving us to make adjustments, come to terms with what we’ve lost,

But it’s likely in the meantime we’ll feel battered, torn and tossed.

And that’s just the way it is now, there’s no shame, and there’s no blame,

We’re just feeling what we’re feeling, we won’t always feel the same,

And it may be good to name it, this is anger, this is fear,

There’s no point in a denial, if we feel it, then it’s here.

But it won’t be here forever, if we give it time ‘twill go,

So right now, whilst it is visiting we could it get to know,

Where is it now located, and how does it manifest?

Yes, such knowledge can be scary but sometimes knowledge is best.

And so, let’s not deny emotion, let us be prepared to meet

With a feeling that’s arising, sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet,

And if we can gain perspective, from a feeling point of view,

We’ll see who we are is permanent, whilst feelings just pass through.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “PRECARIOUS COMPLACENCY” 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 …..

Complacency can feel like a lovely warm comfort blanket, that’s why we love it so much.  It makes us feel safe, except we’re not, not really.

Change is almost a given these days.  Increasing job insecurity, an unpredictable economy, turbulent world events, anything can happen at any time, but the one thing that remains constant is that those who deal with change on a regular basis as opposed to those who don’t, will most likely be able to deal with that change more effectively.

Complacency robs us of the chance to develop those skills.  Complacency tends to nip in the bud any potential for change and consequently when change does occur it is a big shock to the system.

ACT is not about complacency, ACT is about change, development, growth, personal fulfilment.  None of these are available to us when we are complacent.  So next time we are shaken out of our complacency let’s not look on it as a loss, which it is not, let us look at it as an opportunity for growth, which it is.

If you are ready to ACTivate your life then the book of the same name is a good read.  I love it!

Product Details

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 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 Values Revisited

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  Something unexpected just happened.  I don’t know what to do next.  What now?

A:  Check in with your values.

Life is all about change.  Nothing stays the same.  When we are in a comfortable stage when everything is going well we want to hang on to it.  When we are in an uncomfortable stage we want to get rid of it, preferably as soon as possible.

Sometimes we may feel tossed about by life, at the mercy of external events which shake our foundations.  The temptation then is to resist, to fight back, to struggle.  We may want to deny the new what is but that will get us nowhere fast.

ACT reminds us that no matter what happens to us in our life, no matter what externals come to disturb us and upset us we always have something to see us through.  When we know what our values are and are true to them then no matter what life throws at us we have an anchor to cling to.  When everything else is changing our values stay the same.  They will carry us through.

I wrote “RIPPLES” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Have you discovered the power of your values?
  • How have you used values to carry you through?
  • 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

If-we-reach-out-for-our

POEM FOR TODAY

DSC_1159

RIPPLES

A sudden something happens, a seeming out the blue,

And it delivers something different and the world that we once knew

Is now reeling for an instant, we’re in unknown territory,

And we must give things chance to settle as they will eventually.

When a stone is tossed all careless then an impulse is begun,

It will gather a momentum, we must let the ripples run

And be prepared to wait all patient as the shock waves gather pace,

Until they dwindle in the distance and then vanish without trace.

Oh it takes a bit of doing, standing back, creating room,

Watching on from a safe distance as the chain reactions loom

And being ready for resistance, and resisting it as well,

And not becoming overwhelmed as all the ripples surge and swell.

Oh yes it takes a bit of doing, but if we our lessons learn

We can stand firm within the current waiting for the tide to turn,

And if we reach out for our values, they sure footing will provide,

So though the ripples swirl around us we can take them in our stride.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “RIPPLES” 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 need some help in clarifying your values and differentiating between values and goals then Russ Harris’ video is well worth a look.  I have recommended it before but it is so entertaining and clear that I couldn’t resist recommending it again.  So if you are looking for clarification look no further.  Check out the video.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-I-will stand firm

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 Thought Processes

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  How can I stop fretting about the future?

A:  Stay in the present moment and defuse.

When change is in the offing mind does what it is programmed to do.  It starts planning, analysing and organising if we are lucky.  If we are not so lucky it will start worrying and fretting.  If we are really unlucky it will start conjuring up all sorts of horror stories to frighten us half to death!

It is no good getting all upset and trying to stop it in its tracks.  Once mind is on a mission, mind is on a mission!

What we can do though is to take a step back and watch it at its work.  If we have been practicing mindfulness we should be getting quite good at this by now.  If we have been using our defusion techniques regularly then we should be getting quite adept at taking the sting out of our imagination’s worst excesses.

This is what we are learning with ACT.  It is not so much about challenging our thoughts as developing a different relationship with them.  We can learn to observe our mind at work without becoming entangled in the thoughts that it produces.  Amazing really!

I wrote “SOMETHING LOVELY AND DIVINE” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Are you learning to observe your thought processes?
  • Can you stand back without getting embroiled in your thoughts?
  • 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

With-one-foot-in-the future

POEM FOR TODAY

IMG_4105

SOMETHING LOVELY AND DIVINE

A change is in the offing and already mind’s at work

Fabricating its projections, here’s a downside, here’s a perk,

And with one foot in the future we’re already miles away

From the beauty that’s on offer if we just stayed in today.

Oh our mind’s already plotting how to minimise the pain,

How to organise the what’s to come and maximise the gain

Without a nod to what’s occurring in the lovely here and now,

There’s a sunset all resplendent and we’re missing it somehow.

And here’s a chance to lend a listening ear, a comfort to bestow,

But we are only here half-hearted for our mind’s running the show,

Stealing moments from the present for a maybe never-land

But can awareness weave its magic, and help us to understand

That our life’s made up of moments, how we spend them that’s the thing,

Can we learn to love the present, and accept what it will bring

With its myriad little nuances, can we say, “It’s all fine,

Because I’ll find within its precincts something lovely and divine.”

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed, “SOMETHING LOVELY AND DIVINE” 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 are interested in finding out more about ACT and CBT, what they share and how they differ, there is a very good article at the ACBS website entitled:

“Comparing ACT and CBT”

What really interests me is how they differ in relation to thoughts, particularly difficult thoughts, and how to deal with them.

According to the article,

“ACT has moved away from the traditional CBT emphasis on changing or correcting one’s thoughts in order to alleviate suffering.  Instead, ACT aims to alter the functions of our private experiences (thoughts, feelings, memories, bodily reactions), so they no longer entangle us. Said another way, ACT aims to change our relationship with these private events so we can become free from their grip, and free from the patterns that bind us and prevent us from living a flexible, meaningful, and enjoyable life.  In the service of these aims, ACT incorporates acceptance strategies, mindfulness techniques, and a wide range of behavioural approaches already known to be effective from CBT.

I came from CBT to ACT.  For me it was a natural and welcome progression.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-Im-going monkey

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