ACT and Accomplishments, Values and Goals

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

Q:  What can I do to make my life feel more meaningful and enjoyable?

A:  Acknowledge each accomplishment you make.  Don’t be in such a rush. 

Image result for inspirational picture quotes accomplishment

Accomplishments are strange things.  When we are very goal driven then we may have to wait a very long time for feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction.  If we equate accomplishment with a conclusion, a successful outcome, then the road towards it can seem both long and arduous.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  ACT reminds us that if we are focused on values instead of driven by goals then our lives will feel very different.  Yes we can have goals along the way, things, accomplishments if you like, that we can tick off as we go, but they are not the be all and end all.  Underneath there is something more profound, something unchanging and solid that underpins everything.  When we identify a value, something that really matters to us, and make that value central in our lives, then any action based on that value will feel right.

In other words we won’t have to wait for a conclusion before we feel a sense of accomplishment.  We will be able to feel it every step of the way because all of our actions will feel important.  Life feels very different when we live it from this perspective.

I wrote “ACCOMPLISHMENTS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Do you have to wait a long time for a sense of accomplishment?
  • Do you think that living a value focused life might make a difference?
  • 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

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

 

Accomplishment’s a strange thing, it’s not always what we think,

Not so much about an ending, as the forging of a link,

A connection unimagined, a discovery so profound

That accomplishment has now become the breaking of new ground.

When it’s seen from this perspective motivation gathers pace,

Every step becomes significant, deserving of its place,

For when we are not so focused on conclusions lost from view

Then accomplishment’s potentially in everything we do.

And what a wondrous way to then proceed, each little step a gain,

Motivation’s flowing through us for now nothing is mundane,

Every link has an importance, there is not the same duress

For when we’re not fixed on an ending, we’re caught up in the process.

And so, let’s do ourselves a favour, let us claim all those rewards,

Let’s enjoy all those accomplishments that each fresh step affords,

And then as journey’s end’s approaching, we will know what made it great

Was that we treasured each accomplishment, we didn’t have to wait.

© Corinne Shields, 2017

If you enjoyed, “ACCOMPLISHMENTS” 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 …..

We do have a choice when it comes to deciding how best to lead our lives.  If we are overly goal driven then it is likely that life feels unduly fraught and full of tension a lot of the time.  If you think you might benefit from learning more about the values focused life then take a look at Russ Harris’ video which clearly differentiates between values and goals.

When I start to feel over-wrought it’s often because I am letting goals become too dominant and I am forgetting that values offer a gentler but more powerful alternative.  Head over to the video and see what you think.

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 Holding Our Values Near

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

Q:  What can I do when my world takes a knock?

A:  Take time to steady and turn to your values.

When unexpected things happen of course we are going to be momentarily shaken, shocked, delighted, horrified, excited etc.  Our emotional reaction will vary according to the event in question.  If we like it expect good reactions, if not, well we know the answer to that one!

The important thing to remember is that although we cannot stop the reaction from arising in the first place we can choose what happens next.  ACT reminds us that although we cannot avoid the first cut, we do not have to make it deeper.  Accepting the first reaction is not always easy.  When we are reeling, when our mind is in turmoil, when every fibre of our being is shouting, “NO!” acceptance may seem a million miles away.

We would be saints if we just rolled over and said, “Yes, Ok, I am fine with this.”  We are not saints, we are human beings, fallible, imperfect, wonderful human beings.  When unexpected things happen, particularly unwelcome unexpected things, this is the time to be kind to ourselves, to exercise the same compassion that we would extend to our very best friend.  This is also the time to turn to our values.  When everything else is in turmoil our values are our lifeline.  They are constant, they will not let us down.

Whilst we are absorbing the shock, whilst we are coming to the terms with the new what is, let’s do ourselves a favour.  In the midst of the mayhem we can find a way out.  Our values will guide us to new beginnings.

I wrote “HOLDING OUR VALUES NEAR” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Do you remember to turn to your values in times of trouble?
  • Have you revisited your values recently?  Is it time to pay them a visit?
  • 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


HOLDING OUR VALUES NEAR

 

Sometimes our mind’s in turmoil, there is so much going on,

Too much newness to assimilate, or something sudden gone,

An enthusiasm waning, or a disappointment new,

Something close to disappearing, something coming into view.

Yes, for now the landscape’s changing, and that really is the crux,

We may strive for equilibrium but everything’s in flux

And for the moment we must tolerate an unknown what will be,

So, let’s not fix upon an outcome, let us sit it out and see.

For what will happen in the future is not something we can know,

We may give it our best guesstimate, accepting even so

That predictions are notorious for being way off beam,

And even seeming drawbacks are not always what they seem.

And so, if Mind is in a turmoil and things seem for now unclear,

That’s the time to turn to values and to hold them very near,

For then we won’t be in a quandary, Mind rushing round disturbed,

Because when values drive our actions we need not be too perturbed.

© Corinne Shields, 2017

If you enjoyed, “HOLDING OUR VALUES NEAR” 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 struggling with events in our lives, when we have lost touch with our values and are finding it hard to cope, the Six Core Processes of ACT offer us a wealth of choice.  What a tool box we have at our disposal.

If you want a swift reminder of what’s on offer there is a great overview at goodtherapy.org.  I visited today and I was so glad that I did.  It reminded me that even though I turn my back on one core process there are five more waiting in the wings!  Today it was this that resonated with me:

“Accepting one’s emotional experience can be described as the process of learning to experience the range of human emotions with a kind, open, and accepting perspective.”

I was so glad to be reminded of that today.  The first cut really can be the deepest if we don’t keep digging at it!

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 Attitude

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

Q:  What can I do when I can’t change what’s happening?

A:  Change your attitude!

Accepting what we cannot change and changing what we can is at the heart of ACT.  It is a wonderful way to clarify what action we should take, what action we can take.

Struggling against the impossible, the unchangeable is, ACT reminds us, a waste of our precious energy.  We can use that energy to make a positive difference elsewhere in our lives.

What ACT also reminds us about is the power of our attitude.  Accepting things we cannot change is not easy.  It can be terrifying, heart-breaking even, but there is something about acceptance that also brings a sense of release.  Surrender can be a peaceful thing, the final laying down of arms can be a beginning as well as an ending.

When we finally accept the things we cannot change we are always left with something we can.  That something is our attitude.  That is ours and ours alone.  We need never surrender that.  And a change of attitude has the power to change any event, no matter how unpleasant.

I wrote “ATTITUDE” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Have you found how a change of attitude can transform an event?
  • Are you able to make that space and choose how you will respond to something?
  • 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

sunset-tree-1-of-1

ATTITUDE

 

An attitude’s a wondrous thing, it frees us from events,

Makes a space where we can choose how of events we will make sense,

It’s a liberating feeling, when we know we have the power

To interpret each occurrence by the minute, by the hour.

We no-longer need to dread them, these events which random call,

Good or bad or just indifferent, we can now embrace them all

In a spirit of acceptance, what a great place to begin,

For when we give up our resistance we can seek the jewel within.

And there’ll always be a jewel, maybe murky, hidden from view,

Lurking in the far recesses of events now passing through,

But what glory for explorers who are willing to dig deep,

Sifting through the heaps of debris for the jewels they can reap.

And so next time an event floors us and we’re floundering on the ground

Let’s remember it’s our attitude can turn events around,

And though it maybe we’ll need patience ‘til we’re willing to begin,

There’ll be jewels to discover when our attitude kicks in.

© Corinne Shields, 2017

If you enjoyed, “ATTITUDE” 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 reality comes a calling and something unexpected, unwelcome and unpleasant hits us in the face it is hardly surprising that our first reactions are denial, resistance, anger and so forth.  This is normal and natural.  But there comes a point when refusal to give up these reactions becomes harmful.  Left unchecked they are likely to spoil our lives.

ACT reminds us that there is another more skilful way to respond.  When we are ready to accept the unacceptable, when we are willing to change our attitude then meaningful change can occur.  Things can get better.

Russ Harris has written a great book on this.  I have recommended it before, I am recommending it now and am sure will recommend it again.  It is a great read.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

just-for-today-ill-call-upon

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 Shocks!

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

Q:  I’m in shock!  What can I do?

A:  Use it wisely.   Take stock and reaffirm your values.

I suppose some shocks are pleasant, of course they are, the surprise present, the unexpected encounter, the lucky break, but generally speaking shocks have a more sinister implication.

In my book a shock is more likely to be unpleasant and unwelcome, something that comes out of the blue to shake my complacency and shunt me out of my comfort zone.

If you are the same then you probably view shocks in the same way, unwelcome occurrences that rock your world, at least for a while.  Unless we are pretty extraordinary human beings, and there are some of those around, first reactions to shock are pretty standard.  They may include some or all of the following:

disbelief, fear, anxiety, denial, irritability, nightmares, flashbacks, numbness, detachment, guilt, shame, helplessness, the list goes on!

All of these feelings are unpleasant, none of them are feelings we would want to encourage, but nonetheless in ACT terms, “if we have them they are already here.”  Struggling against them just increases our emotional pain.  Accepting what we cannot change is a tall order, especially in the first after math of a shock, but when we are willing to do so then we are on the road to something different.

That something different can include using a shock in a more constructive way, as a chance to take stock and reaffirm our values.

I wrote “SHOCKS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope with shocks?
  • Are you able to use them constructively, as a way to reaffirm your values?
  • 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

sometimes-a-something

POEM FOR TODAY

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

SHOCKS

 

Sometimes a something shakes us and it comes as such a shock

That we’re reminded we are overdue some time for taking stock,

And that because we’ve been too busy, too complacent or too low

We haven’t reassessed if where we are is where we want to go.

Maybe life’s become so crowded we forget what we once knew

That when we settle in the stillness values tell us what to do,

And that a little readjustment can a lot of difference make,

And when we let our values lead us then a surer step we take.

It’s a shame this sense of knowing isn’t with us constantly,

How that it often takes a shock to wake us from our reverie,

But although a shock’s unwelcome it can serve us very well

If we allow it to speak to us and we heed its warning bell.

And so if we are still astounded, still dumbfounded or amazed,

Let us use this shock occurrence as a chance to reappraise

If the route that we are choosing is the same route that we chose

When we let our values lead us, long before this shock arose.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed “SHOCKS” 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 …..

In ACT terms leading a meaningful life means discovering or rediscovering our values and then taking actions which are in line with them.  This can be easier said than done!  Sometimes we have strayed so far from our values that we cannot easily remember what they are.  Sometimes we are so goal orientated that we mix up values and goals.  Doing this leads to a very different experience of life.

If we want to discover or re-discover our values there is a very good article at Working with Act.  It is entitled “Finding True North:  How to Clarify Values” and it includes some helpful exercises for “finding true north.”  I loved it!

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

just-for-today-ill-treat

 

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 Delusion and Defusion

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

Q:  How can I resist the siren songs?

A:  Don´t believe everything you hear.

Image result for inspirational picture quotes don't believe everything you think

Just because we think something doesn’t mean that it’s right; just because we think something repeatedly doesn’t mean that it’s true.  In fact there is a good case for saying that anything that we think automatically, habitually, we would do well to treat with scepticism.

Research shows that about 80% of our thoughts are automatic and, unfortunately, negatively automatic!  There is a good evolutionary reason for this.  Thinking automatically frees us up to scan our environment for threats, for dangers.  The human organism has evolved with a default position for survival and hooray for that!  It has ensured the survival of the species, but let’s not fall into the trap of believing that everything we think is true.  Automatic thoughts are automatic because we have thought them so often that we have hard wired our brains to produce them.  That doesn’t make them true, it just makes them automatic.

If we have automatic thoughts that are unhelpful let’s remember that ACT has a strategy to help us to deal with them more skilfully.   It’s called Defusion.

I wrote “SIREN SONGS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope with your siren songs?
  • Are you able to create distance, to treat them with scepticism?
  • 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

old-town

SIREN SONGS

 

Maybe we have a story we have told ourselves so long

That we’ve forgotten how it hurts us when we heed its siren song,

And how when we fall for its treachery, its seeming to be true,

We are deafened to the real truth that’s what siren songs will do.

They will whisper in the small hours when we may be feeling low,

Feed our tender insecurities, take pleasure as they grow,

And when we are at our weakest they urge us to action take,

And drown out the voice of reason in decisions that we make.

For a siren song is powerful, it lures us constantly

As it pretends to be a friendly port in an unfriendly sea,

And although it’s much frequented, that won’t mean that it must last,

For there’ll come a time when siren songs are best left in the past.

And although it won’t be easy to resist the siren call,

If we turn to our awareness then the siren call can stall,

And if we tune in to our values, and change course despite our fears,

Then the siren song’s receding and it’s falling on deaf ears.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “SIREN SONGS” 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 …..

Defusion is the key to unlock us from our automatic thoughts, our habitual stories.  Awareness of what is happening and making contact with our Self as Context is our path to freedom.  Creating a different relationship with our thoughts and seeing ourself as The Thinker and not the thought can empower us hugely.

When we understand that evolution has conspired to ensure our survival and that automatic negative thinking is an important part of that process maybe that will help us to take our thoughts less seriously.

For more on all of this, Delusion and Defusion, there are some great Defusion techniques at getselfhelp.co.uk.  Check them out; I found them really useful.

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 The Enduring Self

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE OF INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES, POEMS AND OTHER ACT GOODIES!

Q:  How can I cope when life gets turbulent?

A:  Hang on to your sense of Self!

Image result for inspirational picture quotes sense of permanent self

One of the things I most like about ACT is the emphasis it puts on continuing to create a rich and meaningful life, even in the midst of life’s challenges.  I love the way that it encourages us to just get on with it.  We do not have to wait until conditions are to our liking it.  There is nothing to wait for.  Life is here and now and when we stop waiting we start living, immediately.

In ACT there is no need to wait until we feel like taking action.  In fact in ACT feelings are not regarded as a very sound basis for decisions.  Feelings come and feelings go, they are transient.  A much better bet is to take valued action even if we don’t feel like it.  Likely we will feel better, maybe we won’t.  That’s not really the point.  The point is that by taking action in the here and now we are living our lives, we are doing something to make a difference.

If we can get a sense of our Self as something enduring, something more than our feelings that come and go, then we are on our way to dealing more skilfully with turbulent events.  We cannot stop our initial reactions, they are natural and normal, but we can choose what to do next.  If we can do that from a Sense of our Enduring Self we will make wiser decisions.  Not easy, but so worthwhile!

I wrote “THE STUFF OF LIFE” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope with turbulent events?
  • Do you have a sense of yourself as being more than the content of 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

4b6ac8e46870047d1692466943405940

THE STUFF OF LIFE

 

We’re back to where we started, but is that really true?

We’ve not said the things we would have said, done things we used to do,

And though stuff that we are facing may not in itself have changed,

We have dealt with first reactions and our Self then re-arranged.

We have reached for our composure, that lovely steady thing,

And have breathed into our tension, felt the calm that breath can bring,

And we’ve looked around in wonder at a life that still goes on

And determined to step into it, not wait ‘til stuff has gone.

And although we’d wish it other, we are human after all,

We’re not hostage to misfortune when it’s time for it to call,

For we’ve allocated space to it, a place where it can dwell,

And we’ll not be overwhelmed by it, we’ll live our life as well.

And so although we’ve come full circle, the same stuff now re-appeared,

It’s like we’ve found a new dimension, not that stuff has disappeared

But that we see it in perspective, from a different point of view,

We have a sense of Self enduring whilst this stuff just passes through.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “THE STUFF OF LIFE” 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 …..

The concept of Self as Context is not easy to understand but it is crucial if we are to get the most out of ACT.  When we are able to make a distinction between our Self as Content, the stuff that happens to us, and our Self as Context, the enduring Self that is the backdrop to our experiences, then we are on the way to gaining a different perspective.  This perspective helps us to deal more skilfully with the day to day events that otherwise might floor us.

If you want to learn more about Self As Context then Russ Harris has an interesting video that might de-mystify it.  Entitled “Torch in the Dark” it shines a light on the Enduring Self, the Self as Context, the Observer Self.   Take a look.  It helped me to see that bit more clearly!

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 Interfering

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

Q:  What should I do when I’m tempted to interfere?

A:  Beware!  Mind your own business!

If we interfere in other people’s lives we do so at our peril.  It is a very dangerous game to play!  Sometimes it can be very tempting to intervene, to try to stop someone making what we perceive to be a serious mistake.   But is it, and should we?  When it comes to young children, yes we do have a responsibility to keep them safe and try to keep them on the right path, even if that right path is our path and may be questionable.  When it comes to adults, though, we may need to think again.

In Twelve Step circles the concept of “tough love” is often advocated.  Letting go of someone and allowing them to reach a rock bottom is not seen as heartless and cruel.  Rather it is seen as an opportunity for survival, for recovery, for growth.  Opinion may be divided on this, but generally speaking what is true is that getting overly e-meshed in someone else’s life is not a good thing!

It is hard enough to live our own life well, let alone to presume that we know how someone else should live theirs.  So, we interfere at our peril.

I wrote “MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Do you get overly involved in other people’s lives?
  • Are you too quick to offer your opinions?
  • 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

 

653d68cc5ac835fa1466d1a7516c97c8

MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS

 

I won’t presume to tell you what I can’t presume to know,

So, I’ll just mind my own business, let you choose which way to go,

For I can’t foretell the future nor else consequences see,

So, I’ll just stay on the side-lines and leave what will be to be.

I’ll attend to my own interests and not mix them up with yours,

And I’ll fix my own shortcomings not fixate on all your flaws,

And I’ll recognise the stories that are churning round my head

As just little bits of fiction and be sceptical instead.

For I can create some distance and I can carve out a space,

Watch a story bubble up then let it vanish without trace,

And if I resist temptation and don’t need to have my say,

Then words won’t come back to haunt me if they’re left unsaid today.

So, I won’t presume to tell you what I can’t presume to know,

I will just mind my own business, let you choose which way to go,

And then if one day down the future I look back with some delight

‘Twill be because I kept my counsel, and I see now I was right.

 © Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS” 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 feel the urge to intervene, interfere, start meddling in someone else’s life, we may not be able to stop the urge but we do not need to act on it.  This is what ACT teaches us.  There is a difference between the initial reaction and the considered response.

Becoming more mindful will help us to notice what is happening and we can choose to make a different decision.  Instead of jumping in and trying to “fix” someone else, we can choose to defuse.  We can make some space for the urge to rise and fall, we can notice what stories we are telling ourselves, what thoughts we are spinning, and we can choose to watch them come and go.  We can do that.  We do have a choice.

Getting overly embroiled in trying to “fix” other people can be a sign that we are avoiding what needs “fixing” in our own lives.  It can be a great distraction.  Other people’s flaws are so much more apparent than our own!  And yet ACT provides us with a wonderful blueprint for personal progress.

Choose a value, pick an action that is in line with it, and then just do something meaningful.  Instantly our own life improves.  It really is as simple as that!

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