ACT, its best friend COMPASSION, and TRANSITIONS

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

Q: Why are transitions so difficult?

A: Because we focus too much on an ending and not a beginning See the source image

Life is all about transitions, nothing stays the same. Some transitions we welcome more than others. When we are young, we often can’t wait for the next stage, we can’t wait to be a teenager, we can’t wait to finish our exams, we can’t wait to leave home and make our way in the world. When we are young life seems full of possibility, we feel full of possibility. Nothing is set in stone yet. We can invent and re-invent ourselves, we can try on new identities. Later on, transitions may become more problematic. Sometimes they are thrust upon us. External events catapult us from our comfort zones, people come and go, sometimes unexpectedly. Normal life transitions can be difficult enough, but when they are exacerbated or delayed through no fault of our own, they can become very hard to handle. We try to hang on to things, to people, too long, we resist change in ourselves and in others, we focus too much on what we are losing rather than on what we have to gain. We forget that nothing can begin until something ends. Butterflies are beautiful, but they were not always so. They had to go through many changes to turn from ugly grubs to the magnificent insects that delight us. We forget that. Likewise, when we are in transition, we may feel uncomfortable, ill-at-ease, frightened about what we are leaving and what we are becoming. But transitions are inevitable. The most skilful way to approach them is with an open heart, trusting that we will come out alright, maybe more than alright. Transitions are where we grow, in that space between no longer and not yet. I wrote “TRANSITIONS” to remind me of that. HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope with transitions?
  • What have transitions taught 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

TRANSITIONS

To glide into transitions, well now wouldn’t that be grand?

And to welcome in the changes because now we understand

That wherever we are now is the best place by far to be,

For the future’s only fantasy, the past’s now history.

But the present, ah, the present, that is where the action is,

Where our senses get to frolic, where they get to whizz and fizz

And be part of something wonderful, if we see with fresh eyes,

And can see that in transition we can be like butterflies.

And butterflies are beautiful, such hidden wonder things,

As they shake away their chrysalides to stir and spread their wings

In a cavalcade of loveliness, which delights all around

And we too can be like butterflies, if we will break new ground,

And stop trying to re-invent a past that now is dead and gone,

Or refuse to leave a stage where we now truly are outshone

And move on to where we’re meant to be, another story tell,

And be just like those butterflies and tell our story well.

For life’s all about transitions, in our time we’ll get to play

Many parts upon the stage of life, but we must choose the way

We enact them when the time comes, we interpret every act,

For transitions cannot be denied, and that, my dear’s a fact.

 © Corinne Shields, 2018

If you enjoyed TRANSITIONS” 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 ……..

It takes courage to let go of the old and embrace the new. In that period of time when we are in a sort of no man’s land let’s be kind to ourselves. Being hard on ourselves in hard times, being impatient with ourselves when we feel vulnerable, is not going to help. Often, when we are in transition we haven’t fully developed the skills we will need for the next stage. Of course, we haven’t. We are in the middle of a learning curve. So, let’s accept what we cannot change, our vulnerability, our fear, our sadness maybe, but let’s also commit to seeing this transition through. ACT encourages this and Compassion facilitates it, so let’s make use of all the tools at our disposal. I am in transition at the moment in several areas of my life. Letting go of the old, trying to move on to the new, and not feeling very confident in my skills to do so, is making me feel shaky and scared. But, I am trying to be kind to myself, and I am accepting my feelings, without trying to push them away. In short, I am trying to use the tools at my disposal. It helps.

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 DECISIONS

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

 

Q: I’m not sure where my responsibilities lie.  What should I do? 

A: Wait awhile.  Remember, fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

It can be difficult to know where our responsibilities lie, where we should set our boundaries.  Some of us may feel we are like Mr or Mrs Fix-It.  We should be rushing in to solve someone else’s problems.  We see someone in trouble and we think we know what is the best thing to do.  Funny how we can see someone else’s situation so clearly when, so often, we have so much difficulty making sense of our own!

If we are in a quandary, if we are not sure what to do, then probably the best thing we can do is do nothing.  That in itself is a decision.  The decision to do nothing may be the best decision that we can make right now.  And if the decision we are wavering over concerns something that we can’t control then doing nothing is definately a good option.  Letting go and letting things run their course may not be easy, but it is likely to be infinitely better than interfering in things that are not our business.

A word about compassion here.  Whilst all this is going on let’s recognise that none of this is easy.  Treating ourselves with kindness and compassion in difficult situations is something I am learning about and it is helping me.  It’s something that I shall be exploring more and more in this blog.  I hope you will come along with me on the journey.

It’s official.  Compassion is good for you.

I wrote “DECISIONS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope when you are unsure of your responsibilities?
  • Are you willing to explore the possibilities that Compassion can bring into your life?
  • 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

DECISIONS

 

It can be hard deciding where responsibility lies,

To establish where our borders are so we can recognise

When we’re straying into territories where we’re not meant to be,

Yes, it can be hard to know where we can go legitimately.

And sometimes we are encouraged by another to wade in

And to mind another’s business, uninvited to begin

To enforce our own solutions to a problem we perceive,

Well, let’s not be too surprised if it’s resistance we receive.

For nobody will take kindly to such interference if

It is given unsolicited, and with a certain whiff

Of a distinct disapproval and a sense of censure, so

Let’s be sure where we’re about to go is where we want to go.

For sometimes it’s best allowing things to simply run their course,

We can’t know that our solutions represent the best recourse,

And when we’re deliberating should we go, or should we stay,

It is seldom wrong deciding just to wait another day.

And when we have a dilemma let’s not roll it round and round

Without remembering that compassion has an input to expound,

And if we listen to its soothing words which calm our fractured mind

Then it may be that our decision is much easier to find.

© Corinne Shields, 2017

If you enjoyed, “DECISIONS” 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 ……..

I stumbled across Compassion when I was having some difficult times in my own life.  ACT was helping me, is still helping me, but Compassion is a lovely adjunct, a wonderful companion to have at your side.

The book that I recommended in my last post is the one that introduced me to Compassion.  It is the one that I am still reading, still studying, still recommending.  It is a great place to start if you are new to Compassion.

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 and Letting Go Again!

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

Q: What’s the best way to deal with insults?

A:  Don’t trade them, dissolve them.

Image result for inspirational picture quotes letting go of hurt

When someone hurts us the natural reaction is to retaliate; when someone insults us the normal response is to have a go back.  But natural and normal are not always the most effective, the most skilful ways to behave.  And ACT is all about being skilful, not for the benefit of others, but for our own benefit.  In this way ACT could be said to be a selfish therapy!  But it isn’t, not really.  The fact is that by helping ourselves we are more able to help others.  When we feel good inside then we have something good to give away.

One of the greatest gifts that we can give to ourselves is compassion.  We can always choose to be kind to ourselves, even when others are not.  And being kind means protecting our equilibrium, keeping an even keel.  If insults come our way we can choose not to engage with them, not to make things worse; if someone is mean to us we can opt not to get defensive, not to go on the offensive, we can choose to let the hurt go.

I wrote “BRICKBATS AND FLOWERS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you react when people hurt you?
  • Do you think you could respond more skilfully?
  • 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

IMG_20150322_092137

 

BRICKBATS AND FLOWERS

 

Sometimes it’s best to wait a bit and let life just work through,

Sometimes it’s doing nothing is the best thing we can do,

And sometimes when people hurt us or they irk us in some way,

It is better to remember things won’t always look this way.

With a little bit of distance then a larger view we see,

So, when people disappoint us we don’t take it personally,

We can sense that their agenda may be different to ours,

So, whilst they are hurling brickbats we can hand them back some flowers.

It’s a lovely little feeling when we realise it’s gone,

All the bile that was arising has dissolved and we’ve moved on,

And we’re glad we kept our counsel, and we gave ourselves some space

Until the story we were stirring simply vanished without trace.

And it’s certainly not easy should a slight or two occur

To resist the urge to have our say, to give that pot a stir,

But if we can just stay silent whilst emotion swirls about,

Then it’s likely we will find in time it simply fizzles out.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “BRICKBATS AND FLOWERS” 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 …..

Compassion is a commodity that is sadly lacking in today’s world, and yet compassion has wonderful healing properties.  Who doesn’t feel better after a kind word, a comforting gesture, a helping hand?

Moreover, in ACT terms, compassion focused exercises have been shown to greatly increase the psychological flexibility that is at the heart of ACT.

The next book on my reading list is:

The ACT Practitioner's Guide to the Science of Compassion: Tools for Fostering Psychological Flexibility by [Tirch, Dennis, Schoendorff, Benjamin, Silberstein, Laura R.]

I love the way that ACT mixes Science with Soul.   I want to find out more about Compassion.  I want to learn about these wonderful tools for fostering Psychological Flexibility.

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 Defusion

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:   I am going round in circles.  What can I do?

A:   Defuse and let go!

Hanging on is hard, letting go is harder.  Or is it?  When we want something to be a certain way, when we are invested in a certain outcome, there is a lot of tension around.  When we are so focused on forcing solutions there is not much joy to be had.

It is really difficult to know when it is time to try harder or time to surrender.  But the time will come when we do get tired of banging our head against a brick wall.  The time will come when we are ready to accept the what is.  Acceptance need not mean defeat.  Acceptance can mean a lightening of the load.  When we stop trying so hard to hang on, when we are ready to let go, we open ourselves to other options.  I like the idea that letting go means we are giving a thumbs up to the future.

I wrote “FEROCIOUS EDDIES” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Are you ready to let go of something that is dragging you down?
  • Can you look on letting go as a thumbs up to the future?
  • 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-when-we-have-got-our

POEM FOR TODAY

final15

FEROCIOUS EDDIES

 

So many things to angst about, so much that we could rue,

Can we make a bit of space and allow content to move through,

Can we see we’re the arena, and perceive our Self as sky,

Can we feel that we are permanent, the rest’s just passing by?

Oh it takes a bit of doing, but what prizes we would reap

If we opted for the shallows ‘stead of diving in the deep

And just let events lap round us, in all their different hues,

And refused to get all churned up, we do this when we defuse.

Oh it sounds like a tall order, stand apart and let them go,

Not be tempted to go swimming and get caught up in the flow

Of events that would diminish us, and tarnish us with shame,

We could take up new positions, be spectators at the game.

And this doesn’t mean we’re opting out, it means we’re opting in,

We’re conserving our best energies for battles we can win,

They’re the ones that seek to stretch us, make us bigger than before,

Not the ones that keep us going round in circles ever more.

And so if we are stuck in eddies which are constant swirling round

Let’s stop swimming ‘gainst the tide and plant our feet on solid ground,

And when we have got our balance we will then more clearly see

That the most ferocious eddies scarce make ripples on the sea.

 

 Corinne Shields, 2016

 

If you enjoyed, “FEROCIOUS EDDIES” 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 I write a blog post I use this section as a spur to look for something in ACT to consolidate what I have been writing about.  It helps me and I hope it helps the reader too.

Today I wanted to find something specific about ACT and Acceptance and I came across a really interesting article at The Mindfulness Muse.

In the article Laura Schenk writes about 5 Ways to Let Go of Judgement and Fear and explains how:

Judgment and fear have a tendency to hold you back from living a rich and meaningful life that is based on your true values and establishing harmony in relationships. There is often a high price to pay for living in a mental and emotional place of judgment and fear. This price may take the form of avoiding relationships with others, challenging mental or physical pursuits, and even discovering your true identity.

Laura suggests 5 Strategies for dealing with the Judgements and Fears that can wreak so much havoc in our lives.  It makes for a really helpful read.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-Im-going to cease

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 Letting Go

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  Nothing seems to be working.  I’m stuck.  Now what?

A:  Let Go!

surrender

Learning to let go is a central premise of ACTLetting go of trying to control our uncomfortable feelings, our difficult thoughts.   Letting go of our stories, our preconceived notions, our judgements.  Letting go sounds like it should be a huge relief, but so often we still struggle.  Paradoxically it can be more difficult to let go than to hang on.

Learning to lay down the rope, to lie still in the sinking sand, to choose to leave the battle field while the war rages around us.  These are metaphors that ACT uses to show us that there is another way.  When we are constantly trying to force solutions we do not give things a chance to work through naturally.  When we are tempted to interfere prematurely we cannot know how things would have developed otherwise.

Taking no action is still an action.  Sometimes taking no action is the wisest course.

I wrote “A NATURAL UNFOLDING” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • What do you think about letting go?
  • Is inaction a positive action in your life?
  • 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-we-see-the-bigger

POEM FOR TODAY

file000668753617

A NATURAL UNFOLDING

We tell ourselves such stories, all the must dos and the shoulds,

All the times we fail to nurture all those tender little buds,

The new project just emerging or the daydreams bearing fruits,

We’re so bound up in our stories that we choke them at their roots.

We may fail to give them growth time, it’s results we want and now,

So we forget that hibernation incubates the seeds somehow

Until they’re ready for the blooming, it’s a natural process and

If we understand when to let go then God can take a hand.

And then we won’t be driven by stories that just masquerade as real,

We will know they’re only words made up and words we can repeal,

And when we see the bigger picture and we learn to leave some space

Then things begin to start unfolding at a far more natural pace.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “A NATURAL UNFOLDING” 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 …..

For the control freaks amongst us it can come as a bit of a shock to realise that in ACT terms:

“Control is the problem, not the solution.”

There is an interesting article, A Non Technical Overview of ACT, written by Russ Harris at thehappinesstrap.com entitled:

“Embracing your Demons:  an Overview of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.”

It explains the fundamentals of ACT in layman’s terms and is well worth a read.

I particularly liked the part about Control.  If you want to read more about the “quicksand” and “struggle switch” metaphors and the concepts of “clean discomfort” and “dirty discomfort” this is the place to go.

It was a timely reminder for me.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-I-will flow

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