ACT, its best friend COMPASSION, and BEING OUR OWN BEST FRIEND

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE of inspirational quotes, poems and other act goodies!
And introducing COMPASSION, ACT’s best friend!

 

Q: Who can I turn to when everyone and everything else lets me down?

A: Yourself. Become your own best friend.

When things go wrong, when we are hurting, it is a natural reaction to look for comfort in externals.  We have been taught to do it from the beginning.  As babies we cried and somebody from outside came to comfort us, when we fell down as toddlers, somebody else picked us up, dried our tears and set us on our way again.  As we got older we looked for support within our immediate family, and as we got older still we learned to look further afield for approval, affection and backing.

This isn’t wrong, it is just the way things are, it is what we have learned to do.  Problems can arise though if we don’t find what we need in externals.  Sometimes people aren’t there for us, sometimes things that used to give us pleasure begin to pall, sometimes the externals just don’t work.  What to do?

Well, for many of us, although we are very good at giving compassion, kindness and support to other people, we are less good at giving it to ourselves.  Self compassion can have a bad press.  It can smack of self indulgence, weakness even.  Maybe we have grown up in backgrounds that didn’t encourage it, maybe positively discouraged it.  Maybe we grew up in backgrounds where we received precious little compassion from others, and certainly weren’t taught how to give it to ourselves.

This is a shame.  If we learn how to offer compassion to ourselves then we won’t be so dependent on externals to give it to us instead.  If we learn how to speak kindly to ourselves instead of berating ourselves for our last seeming foolishness, then our internal landscape will start to change.  The world we inhabit inside will become a much pleasanter place to be.  When we treat ourselves as we would a good friend, when we begin to become our own best friend, our lives can change radically for the better.

It’s official.  Whether we are giving it to others or giving it to ourselves, Compassion is good for you.

I wrote “BEING OUR OWN BEST FRIEND” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you treat yourself when things are going  badly?
  • Are you learning to treat yourself more gently, more kindly?
  • 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

BEING OUR OWN BEST FRIEND

 

To learn to be our own best friend, oh what a gift ‘twill be,

To develop loving kindness, treat ourselves compassionately,

And to still the voice of judgement ringing shrilly in our ears,

And to breathe into our essence until gentleness appears.

Oh, how lovely to feel peaceful, to accept life as a flow

That can move through unimpeded if we learn to just let go

And accept the present moment, without judgement, without flaw,

Saying, “This is how it is now, and I could not ask for more.”

There’s a freedom in acceptance, there’s a lightening of the load,

When we treat ourselves more gently we are in a different mode

Where our tension’s disappearing as a softness takes its place,

And the whispers of compassion start to fill our inner space.

Oh, let’s not become too tardy, too reluctant to kickstart

All the gifts that self-compassion has to lift a heavy heart,

For we do not need externals to bring us comfort and ease,

We have all we need within us to a cold heart now unfreeze.

So, let’s speak with words of kindness, let us use a gentle tone,

And remind ourselves we’re human and we never are alone,

For we all share in the suffering humanity must bear,

If we look around we’ll see that there is suffering everywhere.

And that’s not to make it burdensome, more awful, more severe,

It just acts as a reminder, others feel what we feel here,

And our suffering’s not just personal, it treats us all the same,

And if we would seek an antidote, compassion is its name.

© Corinne Shields, 2018

If you enjoyed “BEING OUR OWN BEST FRIEND” 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 not weak, wishy-washy, narcissistic, self indulgent.  It is none of these things.  Self Compassion requires courage, awareness, commitment and trust.  If we want to become our own best friend that is not going to happen overnight.  Friendships don’t just happen they develop, they develop over time and they develop as a result of shared history, shared experiences, shared compassion.

If you want to learn more about Self Compassion there are many resources on line and one in particular is becoming a life-line for me.  Kristin Neff’s website at selfcompassion.org has guided meditations which have helped me many times. Check it our for yourself.  It is good to know that there is an alternative to a sleepless night!!  The Self Compassion Break only takes 5 minutes and that 5 minutes can make a big difference.

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, its best friend COMPASSION, and SELF TALK

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 start to feel better?

A: Speak to yourself with kindly words and a gentle tone.

The way we speak to ourselves is really important.  The words we use, the tone of voice we employ, the type of self talk we indulge in, it really matters.

Many of us are probably not aware of the running commentary that goes on incessantly in our heads; many of us probably pay little attention to the way that we treat ourselves mentally.  And yet we are with ourselves all day, every day, talking to ourselves, commenting on everything, judging the world, other people and crucially ourselves all the time.

If we spend a lot of time telling ourselves how stupid we are, what fools we have been, how we should be doing this or that differently, it is little wonder that we feel beaten up inside.  Self criticism and shame, guilt and blame too often rule the roost.  They leave us feeling worn out and worthless.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  When we learn about Compassion, when we start to treat ourselves in a more kindly way then our internal landscape begins to change.  We can catch ourselves in the act of beating ourselves up and we can choose to adopt a different tone, a kindly tone.  When we start to make a bit of distance from our thoughts we can listen to them in a different way.  We can choose different word, kinder words.  This will make such a difference.  We have nothing to lose except our misery.  Why not try it today?

I wrote “KINDLY WORDS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you talk to yourself?
  • Do you beat yourself up mentally, or are you learning to speak to yourself more kindly?
  • 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

KINDLY WORDS

 

Sometimes a something happens, and it comes out of the blue,

It’s a something unexpected and right now we’re in a stew

As the shame and blame start swirling, and of logic there is none,

We’re a mass of seething feelings, and compassion is long gone.

For the moment we’re bewildered, we’re in shock, and so it’s hard

To reach any kind of clarity, as reason we discard

And give in to high emotion, flooding through us turbulently,

But if we will let it flow through then eventually we’ll see

That beyond the high emotion we can reach a calmer place,

We can call on our compassion to this turbulence displace

And start easing our discomfort, if we try it now we’ll find

That it has the power to soothe us both in body and in mind.

So, no matter what has happened let us take some time out now

And breathe slowly ‘til the rhythm starts to calm us down somehow,

And let us still the strident voices that are causing us such grief,

And replace them with some kindly words that can bring us relief.

© Corinne Shields, 2018

If you enjoyed “KINDLY WORDS” 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 ……..

Last night I was having trouble sleeping.  I was going over and over something that had happened that was causing me grief when I remembered selfcompassion.org, Dr Kristin Neff’s wonderful website.  I headed over and clicked on to one of her guided meditations.

There is one entitled “Soften, Soothe, Allow: Working with emotions in the body.”  It’s a 15 minute meditation specifically designed for dealing with difficult emotions and it did the trick for me.

You don’t need to wait until you are having trouble sleeping.  Take a look now and put it in your tool kit.  That’s what it’s all about really.  Life doesn’t stop being difficult because we are practicing Compassion.  Life will always be difficult, that’s Life.  But if we are willing, we can learn about tools that can help us to deal with Life’s difficulties more skilfully.  Compassion is one of those tools.  I am glad I found it.

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

ACT, its best friend COMPASSION, and HARD TIMES

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 get through the dark times?

A: Be kind to yourself.  Know that this too shall pass.  Beyond the darkness there is light.

Image result for inspirational picture quotes self compassion

 

Nobody likes dark times.  It is human nature to pull away from suffering, to move away from what hurts us and to move towards what pleases us.  There is nothing wrong with that.  It is the natural human reaction.

However, life is not all about good times.  We know that.  Being human it goes with the territory that we will all get our share, not always our fair share you might say, of the good, bad and indifferent that life has to offer.  The skill then becomes how to deal with it all.  How to live a life where we can accept with more equanimity all these things that life will inevitably bring.

Most of us have no difficulty in dealing pretty well with the good stuff.  When things are going well we may not appreciate it as much as we might, may even come to expect that life should continue to bestow its bounties upon us, but dealing with the good stuff is not usually a problem.

Even the indifferent may not be too problematic.  True, we might wish that life were more exciting, less dull, less routine, but truth be told many of us quite like routine, are not too bothered about having our comfort zones stretched.  It’s the bad stuff that causes the difficulties!

Learning to deal with the rough stuff, the unpleasant, the unwelcome, the shocking, the unfair, the unwholesome, the list is endless really.  This is where we need a plan.  This is where we need a strategy.  ACT has a plan.  And so does Compassion.

I have written many posts which discuss how ACT can help us to deal with the dark times.  Now I want to talk about its best friend Compassion.

Compassion is a wonderful ally to have by our side in the dark times.  Being kind to ourselves when things are going wrong will be much more helpful than beating ourselves up.  For those of us who are self critical and quick to shame and blame ourselves Compassion may be a stranger.  When we decide to change that, our internal landscape begins to change too.  Try it and see.

It’s official.  Compassion is good for you.

I wrote “SHADES OF LIGHT AND DARK” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you speak to yourself in the dark times?
  • Do you think being kind to yourself is the soft option or do you think it might help 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

POEM FOR TODAY

SHADES OF LIGHT AND DARK

 

We can tell if we’ve made progress, if we’re in a better place,

We can look back down the year and we our ups and downs can trace,

And we can see if we’re now standing more securely than we were,

If our heart’s a little lighter, our emotions less astir.

It may be that nothing’s changed much, and yet we are pleased to see

That we’re feeling more contented, more than once we used to be,

And that we’re not so agitated by the vagaries of life,

We somehow can now accept them more, the good times and the strife.

Oh, if we have made such progress then let’s now take time to dwell

On the whys and on the wherefores that have helped us do so well,

On the strategies we’ve practiced, on what programmes we’ve relied,

And let’s appreciate our efforts, all the things that we have tried.

For we know change won’t come easy, it takes effort, sweat and tears,

Fears will not just disappear, we have to learn to manage our fears,

And it maybe our compassion is the ally we have found,

That has reached for us when shaky, helped us move to solid ground.

Oh, this life was never meant to be just walking in the park,

For every time we walk in brightness there’ll be times we walk in dark

And disregarding our resistance, Life says, “Don’t you hiss and spit,

I’ve bequeathed you all you need so you must just get on with it.”

And though we wish that it were other, it’s in dark times that we find

All the jewels that evolution has bequeathed us in our mind,

And if we find that we’ve made progress and the future looks more bright,

‘Twill most likely be the dark times taught us how to reach the light.

© Corinne Shields, 2018

If you enjoyed, “SHADES OF LIGHT AND DARK” 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 ……..

If you want to learn more about Compassion, and I really hope you do, then there are some great resources on line.  I particularly like the work of Dr Kristin Neff.  She is one of the leading authorities on Compassion and Self Compassion and I visit her site often.  You can find it at selfcompassion.org

There is a wealth of material including videos, guided meditations, exercises, tips for practice, resources etc.  Do go and visit.  You will not be disappointed.

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

ACT, its best friend COMPASSION, and SELF KINDNESS

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE of inspirational quotes, poems and other act goodies!
And introducing COMPASSION, ACT’s best friend!

 

Q: What should I do when I mess up, when I make a mistake?

A: Be kind to yourself.  We are human, we are not perfect.

When we mess up, when we make a mistake what is our default reaction?  If you are like me then you probably start beating yourself up, tell yourself what a stupid fool you are, you should have seen it coming, how could you have been so naive, shortsighted, foolish, brainless …………..

What you probably don’t do, if you are like me, is to show a little sympathy, a little empathy, a bit of compassion.  We are usually much better at being kind to others than we are to ourselves.  This is such a shame.  We are giving ourselves a hard time when it really isn’t necessary.

We are quick to tell our children that the best way to learn is through our mistakes but we don’t extend that same wisdom to ourselves.  We forgive the faults of others, remind them that nobody’s perfect and then forget that that applies to us too.  We are not perfect, we all make mistakes, that is what makes us human.

If we could cultivate self compassion what a difference that would make in our lives.  Body, mind and spirit would be in much better shape with a little bit of loving kindness coming their way.

Scientific research shows that compassion is good for you and I want to claim my share.

I wrote “IN THE LIGHT OF COMPASSION” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you treat yourself when you mess up, when you make a mistake?
  • Are you kind to yourself or are you self critical and harsh?
  • 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

IN THE LIGHT OF COMPASSION

 

Remember to practice compassion,

Don’t forget what it’s like to be kind,

And if you’re feeling hurt don’t be snappy and curt,

Learn to leave those responses behind.

Let it be like you’re swinging a lantern,

There to guide a lost soul in the dark,

And if you lose your way make it kind words you say,

For compassion is now your hallmark.

Don’t be tempted to self-criticising,

Or else rush to harsh judgement and shame,

For remember the lantern’s your guidance

And it does it in compassion’s name.

It’s a glow that you see in the distance,

And you know if you want to draw near,

You must follow the light that is shining,

Until darkness and fears disappear.

And if we would emerge from the darkness,

And move steadily into the light,

Then we must keep an eye on the lantern,

And ensure that it always burns bright.

© Corinne Shields, 2017

If you enjoyed, “IN THE LIGHT OF COMPASSION” 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 can bring wonderful benefits into our lives but it may not come naturally.  This is strange really, because compassion is a natural attribute that we all possess.  It was gifted to us by evolution and it has been crucial in ensuring the survival of our species.  Without compassion we would have died out long ago.

Why?  Without compassion we would not nurture our young, our sick, our vulnerable.  Without compassion we would not reach out to others in trouble, we would not lend a helping hand, we would not co-operate. Without compassion we would not be able to nurture ourselves, encourage ourselves, forgive ourselves.  Without compassion we might just give up!

If you need a helping hand to access and nurture your compassion there are some great guided meditations online.  Dr Kristin Neff has a wonderful website at self-compassion.org.  I go there often.  Check it out.

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