ACT and Self Compassion

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

Q:  What is the difference between self esteem and self compassion?

A:  Self esteem comes and goes, self compassion is always available.

Image result for inspirational picture quotes when the student is ready

I have been away for a while but I have not been idle.  I have been busy.  I have been learning.  What I have been learning has been rather remarkable.  It is something that I want to share with you.

I have been learning about Self Compassion.  It is not something new to me, but it is something that, although I knew about it, I didn’t fancy pursuing at the time, so I put it away for future reference.  Well, that future reference came rather sooner than later.  When things go wrong, sometimes that is the very time, in the midst of our hurt and confusion, that other doors swing open, if we will let them.

I was sufficiently hurting to be open to something different.  Over the next few posts I will be sharing my journey into the world of self compassion with you.  I hope you will join me.

Self Compassion is not a soft option, although it may sound like it.  It requires courage, openness and a determination to learn about it and then to apply it.  It has the power to transform our lives.

I wrote “HEALING THE HEART” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Are you willing to discover the world of self compassion?
  • Are you open to new ways of thinking, new ways of being?
  • 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

HEALING THE HEART

 

We’re so good at criticising, we’re so used to falling short,

So adept at buying into the harsh lessons we’ve been taught

That we never do consider there might be another way

Which if we would just allow it has the power to change our day.

It’s a thing called self-compassion, well that has the strangest ring,

It implies we’re going soft, when that is really not our thing,

For we’ve shored up our defences, and we’ve learned how to stay strong,

Been the first to criticise ourselves when trouble comes along.

And no, it isn’t very pleasant being trapped inside our head,

Where the voice of accusation complements the voice of dread,

But by now it is a pattern we’re accustomed to, and so

We just let it do its thing and let the pattern grown and grow.

And so, life becomes a battle where we stay on red alert,

As brain goes about its business trying to stop us getting hurt,

And berates us for our carelessness or making a mistake,

Makes us think we should be perfect, well let’s give ourselves a break.

For perfection is a fairy tale, a story spread about

To prevent us being contented, it’s a myth that others shout

To perpetuate a mindset that does not encourage rest,

But sometimes a constant striving isn’t really for the best.

For as we rush round in circles and our stress begins to build,

And our body fills with tension and our mind will not be stilled,

In the middle of the mayhem let us stand a bit apart,

And remember self-compassion has the power to heal our heart.

© Corinne Shields, 2017

If you enjoyed, “HEALING THE HEART” 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 …..

Over the next few posts I shall be sharing my journey into self compassion with you, and sharing the resources that are helping me.

This is a voyage of discovery for me and I am currently reading a wonderful book by Paul Gilbert and Choden.

Product Details

It is fantastic when you discover something that resonates with you.  ACT did and does.  Self Compassion feels like the next right stage for me.  Maybe it will be for you 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

Advertisements

ACT and New Eras

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  What can I do when things change?

A:  Accept and explore it!

Image result for inspirational picture quotes

It’s so hard accepting what we cannot change, especially if we don’t like it!  If we don’t like something, the natural human reaction is, understandably, to try to alter it in some way.  Sometimes that is possible, and if it is, then of course we should use our best efforts to bring about a desired result.  But if it isn’t ……

If it isn’t possible to change something then sometimes the only thing to do is to let it go.  That is painful, of course it is.  But being willing to accept the pain just as it is can be less painful in the long run than futile denial and struggle.

I wrote “THE WORLD WE’VE GOT” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Have you found any solace in accepting what you cannot change?
  • How have you coped with the inevitable pain that accompanies loss?
  • 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-this-horse-has-truly

POEM FOR TODAY

Spellbound

THE WORLD WE’VE GOT

So now it’s really over and deep in our hearts we know

There will be no second chances, it is time to let it go,

For this horse has truly bolted, it’s too late to rein it in,

And for all our lamentations a new era will begin.

It will happen irrespective of our wanting it or not,

For new eras are quite callous and they will not care a jot

If we cling to our resistance, they’re too busy making hay,

Carving out a new tomorrow whilst we’re stuck in yesterday.

And so although it may be tempting to deny reality,

Waste our breath on wishful thinking, dissipate our energy

In a struggle that’s as futile as Canute found to his cost

When he tried to hold the tide back and inevitably lost.

And so whatever’s now occurring, even though it causes pain,

Let’s remember that surrender doesn’t mean we have to feign

Approbation for a circumstance we neither wished nor sought,

But if there’s a new reality we cannot then it thwart.

And so the more skilful reaction is to energy conserve,

Give a swerve to the unchangeable and effort now preserve

For the things that make life meaningful, for like it now or not,

This may not have been the world we sought but it’s the world we’ve got.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed “THE WORLD WE’VE GOT” 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 trouble, when we are really hurting, what we need above all is a kindly word, some compassion, a feeling that someone understands what we are going through.

If we are lucky we will have someone on hand to offer that hand of friendship.  But sometimes more is required.  Sometimes we will need to offer that hand of friendship to ourselves.

Reaching out to others is one of the unforeseen positives that can come out of a personal hurt.  It is often when we are at our lowest ebb that we become willing to open up and share some of our hurt with others.  Wonderful things can happen when we do this.

But let us not forget to be kind to ourselves too.  Let us be willing to accept ourselves just as we are, warts and all, hurts and all.  ACT is very clear on this.  Reaching out to ourselves in an act of self compassion can be the best thing that we do for ourselves today.

I wrote a post about ACT and Self Compassion a while ago.  Today I needed to remind myself once again about the benefits that accrue when we remember to be kind to ourselves.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-I-wont allow myself to shirk

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 Self Compassion

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – An Online Resource

Q: Is Self Compassion more important than Self Esteem?

A: It would seem so!

Sometimes it happens, doesn’t it?  Someone says just the right thing at the right time, or you turn on the TV and there’s something showing that just resonates with you, or you go surfing the internet and there it is, an article just waiting to be read by you at exactly the right time you needed to read it!!  Spooky isn’t it?  Or fate, or karma or serendipity or whatever you want to call it!

Well it just happened to me!  I was just surfing around and I came across this great article in the Huffington Post written by Steven C Hayes, entitled “Is Self Compassion more important than Self Esteem?”. And it had me hooked, because it seems it is!

After years of trying to improve Mental Health by trying to improve Self Esteem, it seems that, to quote Hayes,

“What if the Self Esteem discussion is like the proverbial finger-pointing at the moon?”

“It seems that new research is suggesting this may be the case, and that a new concept – self compassion – could be vastly more important than self esteem when it comes to long-term mental health and success.”

I like the sound of that!  And do you know, I have an inkling he is right.  Why?

Well it happens so often doesn’t it?  Something goes wrong, something happens to hurt us, to upset us and what do we do?  We shout at ourselves, we tell ourselves that we are fools, idiots.  At the very time when we need to be kind to ourselves we are kicking ourselves, at the very time when we need to show ourselves some compassion we are harsh and cruel.  We don’t need enemies, we are our own worst enemy.

And so, ACT reminds us at such tricky times to be careful, to be aware.  Language is very powerful.  Because we are human beings we are verbal beings and we can use language to hurt ourselves or to help ourselves.  When we are hurting inside it is all too easy to turn on ourselves, to berate ourselves, to make things much worse.

Learning to accept ourselves, to be kind to ourselves is so much more effective. And we can start by replacing those harsh and cruel words with words of loving kindness.

I wrote “WORDS OF LOVING KINDNESS” to remind me of this!

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How good are you at being good to yourself?
  • Are the words that you say to yourself words that you would like to hear?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

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

TIP FOR TODAY

 

POEM FOR TODAY

 file9821283659081

WORDS OF LOVING KINDNESS

Inside of us we’re children still, e’en though it’s buried deep,

For despite all our achievements early memories we keep

Of the times when we were vulnerable, uncertain and afraid,

So remember we are children still despite the strides we’ve made.

And sometimes a something happens that will trigger childish fears,

Our grown-up mask is slipping as the little child appears

And it’s time now to be gentle, and some soothing words to find,

Put our grown-ups to good use and to a little child be kind.

And so let’s not act all impatient or be critical or cruel

Turn a talk between a grown-up and a child into a duel,

But remember little children don’t take kindly to abuse,

It’s the words of loving kindness that will be of better use.

And so next time a something happens and we feel the child within

Is beginning to act childlike let’s set out their trust to win,

Not by urging them to actions that they can’t for now fulfil,

But by saying we’ll be there for them and that we always will.

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed, “WORDS OF LOVING KINDESS” please pass it on, and do please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT ……….

Well the final word belongs to that fantastic article that I read first thing this morning and which inspired this post.

Is Self-Compassion More Important Than Self Esteem?

If you are in any doubt then I urge you to read the article.  Sometimes Self Compassion has had a bad press.  It can smack of selfishness, egocentricity, narcissism and all those other things which many of us have been taught are not “the right thing”, a sign of weakness.  And yet, a lack of self compassion may well be at the root of our problems.

In the article Hayes quotes Dr Kirstin Neff, one of the premier researchers in this area, by defining Self Compassion as, “consisting of three components during times of personal suffering and failure:

  1.  Treating oneself kindly
  2.  Recognising one’s struggles as part of the shared human experience
  3.  Holding one’s painful thoughts and feelings in mindful awareness.

Given this context, the negativity or positivity of your thoughts isn’t what’s important.  It’s how you respond to those thoughts that matters.”

For an in-depth analysis of the subject I really do encourage you to read the article, but for me the final paragraph summed it up and I quote it here:

“It’s time for us to put down the idea that we have to think well of ourselves at all times to be mature, successful, functional, mentally healthy individuals. Indeed, this toxic idea can foster a kind of narcissistic ego-based self-story that is bound to blow up on us. Instead of increasing self-esteem content what we need to do is increase self-compassion as the context of all we do. That deflates ego-based self-stories, as we humbly accept our place as one amongst our fellow human beings, mindfully acknowledging that we all have self-doubt, we all suffer, we all fail from time to time, but none of that means we can’t live a life of meaning, purpose, and compassion for ourselves and others.” – Steven Hayes, PHD

Which brings us to the 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