ACT and Wise Counsel

 ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  What should I do in the midst of a turmoil?

A:  Seek wise counsel.

When we are in turmoil it can be hard to know what is best to do.  Our emotions are screaming, “Do this, do that, do something, do anything!”  It is tempting then to do something just to try to reduce the uncomfortable feelings inside.

This is not always the best way.  When we are in a state of upset that is rarely the time to make important decisions, rarely the time to take definitive action.  ACT reminds us that feelings come and go.  They are fleeting, they are temporary, whilst the aftermath of things we do and say because of them can have permanent consequences.

Seeking wise counsel at such times can save us from a lot of heartache.  That doesn’t mean we have to take any advice given.  We are always free to accept or reject what others say.  We, after all, are in the best position to know what is really best for us in our own lives, especially if we are in touch with our values and are learning to act in line with them.

If we are fortunate we will have a trusted friend or two who love us enough to give us wise counsel.  They have our best interests at heart and we should give thanks for them.  And we always have ACT.  When we are in turmoil if we act in accordance to ACT principles we will rarely go wrong and will usually go right.

I wrote “WISE COUNSEL” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Do you remember to seek wise counsel when things get difficult?
  • What wise counsel have you found in ACT to be particularly useful?
  • 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-when-we-are-in-a

POEM FOR TODAY

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WISE COUNSEL

Let’s listen to wise counsel, let’s seek out someone we trust,

Let’s not give in to harsh words and deeds before we have discussed

Other options that are open, let us see what might appear

When we are prepared to listen, for who knows then what we’ll hear.

It’s a difficult dilemma, when to recognise as fact

That sometimes it is inaction that’s the better way to act,

And that sometimes when we’re lost for words that silence is a boon,

And that least said soonest mended is right now more opportune.

Oh the way ahead is tricky, and quite often there will be

Unexpected blocks and obstacles that we just didn’t see

That have festered hidden and toxic, waiting just to do their worst,

It’s no wonder that they floored us when quite suddenly they burst.

But it’s now we must consider what will be the better way

To respond to such an aftermath that’s facing us today,

Is it better to take action, or allow it to subside?

Well it’s now that that wise counsel can help us to best decide.

So let’s choose our counsel carefully for it may shed a light

On an aspect unconsidered, help us make a choice that’s right,

For when we are in a turmoil that’s the time that we most need

The wise counsel that can clarify how best we can proceed.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed  “WISE COUNSEL” 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 turmoil it is usually because we feel that life is not dealing us the hand we want to play.  The gap between what we want and what we have got is wide, wider than at the time we are willing to accept.

At times like these I return, when finally I remember, to that great book written by Russ Harris, “The Reality Slap”.

If you haven’t read it I commend it to you.  If you have, then here’s a reminder that when life deals you a bad-hand a re-read will always be helpful.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-I-know-I

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 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

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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.”

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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

ACT and Dealing with Feelings

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  How can I deal with difficult feelings?

A:  Learn to watch them come and go.

One of the things I like most about ACT is the way it reminds us that we are more than our feelings, more than our thoughts.  Feelings and thoughts come and go but we, the essential we, are always here.  There is a part of us that doesn’t change, that has been with us from the beginning and will be with us to the end.

There is a part of us, ACT calls it the Observer Self, that is able to watch our thoughts and feelings come and go.  Yes, we are more than our feelings, more than our thoughts.

This is particularly important to remember when we feel the urge to make important decisions.  “Don’t make a permanent decision on temporary feelings” is good advice.  We, the essential we, will still be here tomorrow, but our feelings may not.  They are temporary, they are only passing through.

I wrote “DEALING WITH FEELINGS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Have you learned not to make permanent decisions on temporary feelings?
  • How do you deal with your feelings?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

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

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

POEM FOR TODAY

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DEALING WITH FEELINGS

Sometimes we will feel flat, you know, sometimes we will feel flat,

In the great array of feelings there is no escaping that,

There’ll be times we’ll wake up cheery in a world brimming with joy,

And there’ll be others we’ll wake weary, everything will then annoy.

How we deal with all these feelings, that’s the challenge that we face,

Will we try to cling too long to some, try others to replace,

Or will we treat them all as equals, just sensations passing by,

Let them come and go quite easy, just like clouds up in the sky.

If we do then we’re enlightened, watching feelings passing through,

Not becoming agitated, but it’s difficult to do,

For it’s only human nature to avoid what we dislike,

But our feelings are like clouds, you know, we don’t know when they’ll strike.

And so we have another option, we can just accept them all,

Take the sunshine with the showers, take the thunder with the squall,

And then just watch them from safe distance, be the sky that’s always here,

And not perturbed by feelings passing, for we know they’ll disappear.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed, “DEALING WITH FEELINGS” 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 …..

I am not leaving the final word to ACT today, but rather to a recent post that I read at the Wellnessworx.com  It really struck a chord with me.

The post is entitled:

Addiction Is Not What We Think It Is

Gabriella introduces a guest speaker by the name of Johaan Hari.  She explains how she had the pleasure of sitting in on one of Johaan’s workshops last year and learned of his past with addiction and how he took his curiosity of addiction to travel the world to speak to scientists and users and find what addiction really is and how it can be helped.

The video makes for compulsive viewing.  If you have struggled with or overcome addiction or know someone who has, check it out.  I am sure that you will find it fascinating.  Hari is a brilliant speaker.  I am sure that ACT would approve!

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-Ill-make

 

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