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 and Reflection

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – An Online Resource

Q:  I feel I’ve weathered the worst.  Now what? 

A:  Give yourself some credit!

If you are like me then you tend to be overly self critical when things are going badly and overly dismissive when things are going well.  This is such a shame!

Too often we are very quick to take responsibility, too much responsibility, when we feel we are failing.  Too often we are far too slow to give ourselves credit when we have done something well.

Taking time out for reflection is a good thing.  ACT encourages this.  ACT encourages us to get in touch with our feelings, to think about our values and to really consider whether what we are doing is in line with those values.   ACT asks us to ask the question:

Is what I am doing taking me in the direction in which I want to go?

I wrote “HALLELUJA, VALUES WON!” to remind me of this.  I also wrote it to remind myself to give myself credit if credit is due!

I am writing this post partly because I am  participating in Writeful Mind’s Feel-Good Friday.  So I want to thank Carol at “Feel-Good Friday” for hosting this weekly event.  It makes me think all week about something that I can post on Friday which is to do with “promoting self-care and me-time.”

So thank you Carol.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Do you make time for reflection?
  • Are you slow to give yourself credit if credit is due?
  • 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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HALLELUJA, VALUES WON!

 

Let’s give ourselves some credit when we feel we’ve progress made,

When we’ve steered through the detours and our fears begin to fade,

And we’ve held our ground ‘gainst tyranny and to ourselves been true,

Oh yes, let’s make time for reflection, give some credit where it’s due.

It may be that we’ve negotiated tricky times and now

Looking back we see how values pulled us through it all somehow,

And though at times we may have wobbled, had our backs against the wall,

When we called upon our values they made sure we didn’t fall.

And so let’s give ourselves some credit and our values let’s applaud

For they wouldn’t be drowned out no matter how hard tyrants roared,

And looking back we can take pleasure in a job that was well done

For when our values took on tyrants, hallelujah values won!

© Corinne Shields, 2015

If you enjoyed, “HALLELUJA, VALUES WON!” 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 …..

There is a very good explanation about the importance of self talk in an article written by Claudia Dewane at SocialWorkToday.

The article begins with an opening exchange between a Client and a Social Worker;

Client:  “I want to change, BUT I am too anxious.”

Social Worker:  “You want to change, AND you are anxious about it.”

Claudia Dewane discusses how, “This subtle and cognitive shift is the essence of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).  It suggests that a person can take action without first changing or eliminating feelings”.

I enjoyed the article.  It certainly gave me food for thought.

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