ACT and Looking for Answers – Self as Context

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

Q:  When I don’t know which way to turn, who should I turn to?

A:   Yourself.  Turn to your Self as Context.

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One of the core processes of ACT is Self as Context, and it is perhaps the most difficult to get to grips with.  Why?  Because it is a concept that is unfamiliar to many of us.  We get so embroiled in the content of our lives, the things that happen, the feelings and emotions that pass through us, that we find it difficult to get past all that to another sense of Self.

It is hard to define Self as Context in a way that makes sense to us and yet the word “sense” is a good starting point.  The word “sense” gives us a clue to what Self as Context is, and where we are likely to find it.

We get a glimpse, a sense of Self as Context, through our senses.  When we stop thinking and start sensing then we get a notion of what it’s all about.  When we are struck dumb by something awesome in Nature, we are glimpsing our Sense as Context, when we get goose-bumps or the hairs of our head stand on end we are in touching distance of our Sense as Context.  These are clues that there is this other part of ourselves.

Another way to understand our Self as Context is as that part of ourselves that is pure awareness.  When we are thinking, judging, planning, analysing, we are in our Thinking Mind.  This is not Sense as Context.  When we are caught up in the content of our lives, the stuff that comes and goes, moment by moment, day by day, we are experiencing our lives as Self as Content.  This is not Self as Context.

Self as Context is bigger than the bits of content that we experience.  When we experience our lives from the position of Self as Context our lives feel different.  We are not swept away by what happens to us because we are standing back and are able to observe it more dispassionately.  We are using our senses to just experience what is right here, right now, without judging it.  We are willing to experience it, whatever it is, just as it is.

From this viewpoint, the viewpoint of Self as Context, we are something more than what happens to us.  This is another part of our Self, and it is powerful.  The more we become aware of it, the wiser and more tranquil we will become.  It is not easy but it is so worth the effort of discovery.  What do we find there?  A wiser I.

Self as Content and Self as Context both reside in us.  If we feel overwhelmed by what is happening to us, this is the very time to try to see the bigger picture, to turn to Self as Context.  When we are looking for answers and do not know which way to turn, let’s remember Self as Context is always there.  We have many of our own answers, no-body knows us better than ourselves.

There is a Wiser I in all of us.  Its name is Self as Context.  It has seen it all before!

I wrote “A WISER I” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Are you able to stand back from the content of your life?
  • Do you have a sense of this other side of you, this Self as Context?
  • 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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A WISER I

 

Sometimes there is confusion, there is so much going on,

That we’re caught up in the maelstrom of what’s coming or what’s gone,

And for now, it’s all chaotic, and our mind’s chaotic too,

What we crave is a Director telling us what we should do.

But the truth is no Director’s going to know us well enough

To produce for us solutions, they’re not privy to the stuff

That has brought us to this juncture, where we are floundering now,

They may offer us suggestions, but they cannot tell us how

We should implement them skilful, nor how we can pick and choose

From the smorgasbord before us what we will discard or use,

And although chaos confronts us, in the end it’s good to know

That when we seek out direction we do not have far to go.

For we are our own Director, one that’s always ours to find

When we look beyond the turbulence that’s stirring up our mind,

And when we create some distance, in the spaces we will see

That beside the I demanding, there’s a wiser I in me.

© Corinne Shields, 2017

If you enjoyed, “A WISER I “ 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 …..

Perhaps because I find it the most difficult of the core processes in ACT to get a handle on, Self as Context, engages me quite a lot.

I wrote another post about it a while ago, entitled, not surprisingly,  ACT and Self as Context!  Head over and take a look if you want to learn a bit more about this most challenging but powerful of concepts.

When I feel that my own life is getting out of hand, or that I am allowing myself to be swept away by what is happening to me, the content of my life, I know that making contact with my own Self as Context will help me.  I hope it does the same for you.

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

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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

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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 Decision Making

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  I still feel so confused.  Nothing is clearer.  What now?

A:  Turn to your values

"It's not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are." Roy E. Disney #freeprintable:

Because confusion does not always behave nicely and suddenly clear and present us with the right answers, I wrote a follow up post!

What to do if the mists don’t suddenly lift?  What if, despite all our analysing and ruminating, we are still no further forward?  What do we do if we don’t know what to do?

Well ACT is very helpful here.  ACT suggests that when in doubt turn to our values.  Feelings change, we know that.  Thoughts come and go, we know that too.  But our values are steadfast, they do not change.  If we know what our values are then it will make our decision making much easier.  If we do not know what our values are, it might be time we spent some time finding out.

I wrote “STERNER STUFF” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Have you spent time clarifying your values?
  • Have you used them as a touchstone in your decision making?
  • 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

Its-not-our-job-to-know

POEM FOR TODAY

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STERNER STUFF

If we return to values then no matter we’re confused,

For we’ve a touchstone to rely on even though we are bemused,

It’s not our job to know all outcomes, nor to work all problems out,

But just as long as we have values we’ll know what our life’s about.

It can be tricky to negotiate a crisis that appears

Or to find ways to best accommodate our doubts and all our fears,

And it is hard to remain constant when a little voice within

Whispers treacherous misgivings and we’re tempted to give in.

But just as long as we have values we need not be too concerned,

For though our feelings come and go our values won’t be overturned,

For in the midst of our confusions, they are plenty strong enough

To overcome our flimsy feelings, for they’re made of sterner stuff.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed, “STERNER STUFF” 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 …..

In ACT terms values are very important.  Much ACT therapeutic work rests on using values to move a client forward.  If there are conflicting values, then a positive value can be used to counteract a more negative one.

This would help me!!!  I want to lose weight.  But do I want to lose it enough to give up all those lovely goodies???

Recently I have been reading “The Diet Trap” which uses ACT strategies to approach the issue of weight loss.  I haven’t done very well so far, but I do understand that it is going to involve me establishing what matters most in terms of my values.

Product Details

Watch this space!  I will report back!

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-I-will

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 Confusion

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  I feel so confused.  What should I do?

A:  Accept it.

Oh how we love certainty.  How we love to feel sure of ourselves, sure of the world, sure of those around us, sure of outcomes.

Our minds love certainty too.  In fact our minds love certainty so much that even when alternative evidence is staring us in the face, our minds will go to extraordinary lengths to disprove it.  Minds are like that.  To a large extent we see only what we want to see, preferably things that support our prevailing view.

When something doesn’t fit in with our view our natural tendency is to oppose it, challenge it, fight against it.  When we feel confused the same thing goes.  Confusion is uncomfortable.  Naturally we want to get rid of it and get back to the lovely comfort blanket of certainty.

ACT takes a rather different view.  Uncertainty, confusion, doubt, these are uncomfortable feelings.  Our natural reaction is to struggle against them, to try to get rid of them, to try to change them, to try to think them away.  But ACT says, “Stop!  Cease the struggle.  Accept what you are feeling just as it is.  It’s here anyway so just accept it.  Let it be and let it go.  Choose a meaningful action and get on with living.”

I wrote “CONFUSION” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope with uncertainty and doubt?
  • What strategies do you use to lead a meaningful life in the midst of confusion?
  • 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

At-such-times-of

POEM FOR TODAY

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CONFUSION

Sometimes we may well wonder, “Have we really got this right?

Are we fixed on a fool’s errand with no clear outcomes in sight?

And are we going round in circles whilst the others forge ahead?

Are we wasting precious time, should we do something else instead?”

At such times of indecision when uncertainty abounds

It is best to just accept what now confuses and confounds,

And not be huddled all defensive, nor else poised for an attack,

Let’s just be with what we’re feeling without trying to send it back.

And then it’s likely it will move through as our feelings always do,

Just a temporary sensation, truth to tell it’s nothing new,

And in the aftermath we’ll know if this confusion was a sign

Saying, “Stick with where you’re headed,” or, “It’s time to re-align.”

And so next time we’re in confusion and uncertainties begin

Let’s not get into a panic, let us simply let them in

And then observe them from a distance, and just let them have their say,

And if things still need clarifying, let our values lead the way.

 

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed, “CONFUSION” 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 …..

Learning to stay with and accept our thoughts and feelings just as they are, without trying to change them, is one of the things that we learn in ACT.

In this way ACT, although a type of CBT, is rather different.  ACT does not focus on changing the content of thought but rather is about using mindfulness to let go of the struggle associated with thought, then using our values to guide the creation of a rich, purposeful life.

This is good news!  We do not have to engage with our confusion.  We can let it be, look to our values and choose a meaningful action that will enrich our life, right here, right now.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-I-will accept confusion

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