ACT and Becoming a Hero

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  How can I get over my fear?

A:  Become a hero!

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.:

When we are facing difficult or unfamiliar situations it is natural to feel anxious, nervous, even afraid.  We are pre-programmed that way and it is what has kept us safe over the ages, it is how our species has survived to tell the tale.

It follows, therefore, that when we have these uncomfortable feelings, rather than trying to avoid them or deny them we would do better to acknowledge them, thank them even for trying to keep us safe, and then carry them with us as we take positive action.

ACT talks a lot about “experiential avoidance” and cites it as being a number one culprit for much that we feel goes wrong in our lives.  When we have uncomfortable feelings it is easier, much easier to use them as an excuse to avoid doing what we don’t feel like doing anyway.  Although that may make us feel better in the short term, ACT reminds us that in the longer term we are missing out two-fold.  Firstly, we don’t develop skills that would help us to tolerate and learn from internal unpleasant events, and secondly we miss out on all the good stuff we could do and the confidence we could build by doing it.

No one denies that uncomfortable feelings are unpleasant, but when we understand where they come from and why they are there we can maybe use them in a more productive way.  Using them doesn’t mean we’re losing them, but it does mean that we are not letting them stop us doing things that in the long term could make our lives richer and more meaningful.

If we can do this then bit by bit we will become more like the hero that we would like to be.

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

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope with uncomfortable feelings?
  • What strategies do you use to help you to act even when you don’t want to?
  • 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

file000950134330

BECOMING A HERO

 

Have we got the guts to do it, to step into the unknown?

Find the courage, if it’s needed, to move forward there alone

And be tolerant of strangeness as the customary declines,

Become a stranger in a country where we cannot read the signs.

There’s a multitude of reasons why we wash up in this place,

Some may be of our own choosing, but sometimes we’ll have to face

Situations most unwelcome we would rather far not meet,

But can we still return to where we were or is there no retreat?

And if retreating’s not an option what are we supposed to do,

Find a hidey hole to cower in and hope that help comes through,

Or can we be a little bolder, accept fear is here to stay

And if we’re going forward hand in hand it won’t get in our way.

And then despite our own misgivings we will get to make a choice,

Be like pioneers of yesteryear with reason to rejoice,

Because although the path was arduous and we were oft afraid

We learned that heroes aren’t born fearless, it is out of fear they’re made.

And so let’s treat our fear more gently, let’s not look on it with scorn,

But remember that a hero’s shaped, a hero’s not just born,

And then when fear is coursing through us we can choose how we react,

And if we want to be a hero, then despite our fear we’ll act.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “BECOMING A HERO” please pass it on, and do leave your comments.  I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

“Experiential avoidance” is such a key concept in ACT, that it is well worth trying to get our heads around it, even though it can be quite difficult to understand, at least I found it that way!

There are plenty of great resources on-line to help and one that I enjoyed was aptly named:

“Understanding Experiential Avoidance”

The article is to be found at thecareerpsychologist.com and shows how experiential avoidance spreads its tentacles in all sorts of places.

“Experiential avoidance is so common to everyone experiencing career paralysis and yet so unheard of that it needs some closer attention.  Here’s the formal definition:

“Attempts to avoid thoughts, feelings, memories, physical sensations, and other internal experiences even when doing so creates harm in the long-run.”  Hayes, Strosahl, Wilson, 1999

If you want to read more then head over to thecareerpsychologist.com.

It makes for good reading whatever stage of our lives we are at!

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 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 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 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

ACT and Imagination

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  What can I do when I get lost in my imaginings?

A:  Shake yourself awake!

Imagination!  Both a blessing and a curse.  It seems we cannot have one without the other.  Imagination‘s wonderful when we are using it to conjure up lovely memories, make exciting plans, get lost amongst our daydreams.  On the other hand imagination can keep us awake at night, create anxiety and worry and frighten us to death.

ACT helps us to recognise when imagination is getting out of hand.  It helps us to call a halt and differentiate between fact and fiction.  ACT helps us to develop awareness.  ACT helps us to “shake ourselves awake.”  ACT helps us to make more helpful choices.

I wrote “SHAKING OURSELVES AWAKE” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Do you recognise when you are getting carried away by imagination?
  • How do you “shake yourself awake”?
  • 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-our-mind-begins-to

POEM FOR TODAY

Great Spangled Frittilary

SHAKING OURSELVES AWAKE

We cannot know what’s coming, nor else know how we would cope,

We may think we’re up for struggle and then find we drop the rope,

Or we might conjure up a nightmare which then simply fades away,

So let’s not live out our tomorrows ‘til tomorrow’s our today.

Oh imagination’s wonderful, so vivid and so real,

We can get lost amongst our day-dreams, as we think so shall we feel,

And though no part of it has substance, it’s just fancy flitting free,

It can be difficult to see our dreams are not reality.

And so we need to build awareness, this is dreaming, this is not,

And if we’re slipping into fantasy that fantasy to spot,

So when our mind begins to spiral and our peace of mind’s at stake

We can then call on our awareness, we can shake ourselves awake.

And when we’re back to where we started ‘ere the spiralling began,

Within the precious, present moment, we find there within its span

That we are free to choose an action, find a something good to do,

Which sees imaginings diminish as we let them move on through.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “SHAKING OURSELVES AWAKE” 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 the things that ACT highlights is the thinking process and our relationship to it.  Learning to distance ourselves from our thoughts, to see ourselves as separate from our wonderful imaginations helps us to create distance and gain objectivity.  This makes us less susceptible, less vulnerable and reduces the potency of unhelpful thoughts.

There is an interesting article at getselfhelp.co.uk which reminds us about a very useful key skill to help us to defuse.

STOPP

Stop

Just pause for a moment

Take a Breath

Notice your breathing as you breathe in and out

Observe

  • what thoughts are going through your mind right now?
  • what is your focus of attention?
  • what are you reacting to?
  • what sensations do you notice in your body?

Pull Back – Put in some perspective

  • what’s the  bigger picture?

Practice what works – Proceed

  • what is the best thing to do right now?

For a more detailed explanation read the article.  I enjoyed it!

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-Ill-be aware

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 Little Whispers

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  There’s a little voice inside that’s driving me mad.  What should I do?

A:  Listen!

The pulling of the heartstrings, the stirring of the soul, call it what you will.   We could call it a reminder of our deepest values, but for today I am calling it “The Little Whispers.”  We know what it is.  It is the little voice within.  It has often been with us for a long time.  Sometimes we wish it would just go away and let us be.  Why?  Because it makes us feel uncomfortable.  It demands something of us, something difficult, something challenging.  It challenges us to step out of our comfort zone and take action.  Sometimes we don’t feel like doing that.

But ACT reminds us that our life is not just about our feelings.  Our life is about much more than that, we are about much more than that.  We can acknowledge our feelings but we do not have to let them run the show.  There is always something we can do to make our life more meaningful, irrespective of how we feel.  The voice within is a link to our deepest values.  When we take action based on our deepest values our life becomes richer.

I wrote “LITTLE WHISPERS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Do you listen to your little whispers?
  • Do you act on what they tell 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

If-we-are-really-honest

POEM FOR TODAY

DSC04652

LITTLE WHISPERS

New directions beckon us but we may look away,

Little whispers try to talk to us but we are deaf today,

And we’re heading down a one-way street not leading anywhere

Until we look around and wonder, “How on earth did we get there?”

It’s a common enough dilemma for the where we are can be

Not at all where we expected we would end up finally,

And if we are really honest looking back it is quite clear

We’ve allowed ourselves to drift along until we washed up here.

And it maybe we’ve been fortunate and where we are’s not bad

It’s just sometimes little whispers leave us feeing kind of sad,

Just a hint of something missing with whatever that might mean,

Or we catch a glimpse of somewhere else, someone we might have been.

And it can get quite uncomfortable the more we try to stave

Off the whispers with distractions, for the more they misbehave

For they are vying for attention and the more we go off track

The louder get the whispers as they try to pull us back.

And so if we are in discomfort, something not quite right inside,

And we’re trying to quiet those whispers, put them swiftly on one side,

We might do better to simply listen, let their messages come through

Before deciding what it really is we really want to do.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “LITTLE WHISPERS” 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 actmindfully.com we are reminded that:

“The aim of ACT is to maximise human potential for a rich, full and meaningful life.  ACT does this by:

a)  teaching psychological skills to deal with painful thoughts and feelings effectively …

b)  helping to clarify what is truly important and meaningful – ie values- then using that knowledge to guide, inspire and motivate to change life for the better …””

It can be difficult to discover our deepest values.  Listening to the little voice within, “The Little Whispers”, can give us an important clue.  The more we develop our Mindfulness skills the more accessible our values become.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-I-will attend

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 The Serenity Prayer

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  How do I make difficult decisions?

A:  Turn to The Serenity Prayer

The Serenity Prayer has played an important part in my life.  It seems to seek me out when I most need it.   Many years ago I discovered it had pride of place in Twelve Step Programmes.   Years later when I stumbled upon ACT I found it was once more at the heart of things.

In fact it was the prominence given to The Serenity Prayer in ACT that made we feel completely at home there.  When things get tough, when difficult choices need to be made, turning to The Serenity Prayer never disappoints.

I wrote “CHOICES” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Does The Serenity Prayer play a part in your life?
  • Has it helped you to make difficult decisions?
  • 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

Accepting-things-we

POEM FOR TODAY

DSC05730

CHOICES

Accepting things we cannot change, changing the things we can,

Well these words could be a blueprint for the life of any man,

For if we are at a crossroads and we’re feeling all confused

They will clarify our choices ‘til we’re feeling less bemused.

They speak to us through the ages from a mind of yesteryear,

If we listen in the stilling then these words are ours to hear,

They will seep into our psyche and once learned they’re always there,

So when we are faced with choices we can say them like a prayer.

“Oh God grant me the Serenity,” we pray with all our might,

“To accept the things I cannot change, the things I cannot fight,

And afford me Lord the courage Lord to change the things I can,”

Yes these words could be the blueprint for the life of any man.

And that leaves just one line missing, the most notable of all,

It’s the one that asks for wisdom, so when choices come to call

We can listen in the stilling as life starts to re-arrange,

And we will know which things we should accept, and which things we should change.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “CHOICES” 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 want to read more about how The Serenity Prayer fits into ACT there is a great article on the ACBS website entitled, “New Harbinger’s interview with Steve Hayes.”  In the interview Steve Hayes discusses his book “Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life.”

Product Details

During the interview he explains some of the principal tenets of ACT, how for example,

“Accepting your pain is a step toward ridding yourself of  your suffering” … and that

“ACT is based on the idea that psychological suffering is usually caused by running away from difficult private experiences, by becoming entangled in your own thoughts, and as a result of all of that failing to get your feet moving in accord with your chosen core values.”  … and that

“ACT has an agenda sort of like that Serenity Prayer from AA:  accept what you can’t change, change what you can.  In the prayer, clients ask for the wisdom to know the difference – ACT theory specifies that difference.”

It’s a great article.  I am a great fan of The Serenity Prayer, I am a great fan of ACT.  To me ACT is, in a sense, The Serenity Prayer plus values.  It works for me!

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-Im-going

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