ACT and The Still Small Voice of Calm

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

Q:  How can I make my life less dramatic?

A:  Make time to listen to the still small voice of calm.

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There is a danger that we can become addicted to dramatic events.  The adrenaline rush, the heightened emotions, the body primed for fight or flight, all this can get us hooked!

We might say that we like the quiet life, but the quiet life can start to pall.  We might say that we like the old familiar, but the old familiar can begin to look stale and boring.  Variety may well be the spice of life, but if we are constantly looking for stimulation, always on the look out for the next best thing, ever-ready to become part of a drama, either our own or somebody else’s, this could be a sign that we are unwilling to spend time with ourselves.

It is only by spending quiet time with ourselves that we have a chance to find out what really matters to us, to check in that we are on the right path.  We can only hear the still small voice of calm if we create some time and space to listen.  ACT reminds us of the importance of values.  Our values are that still small voice of calm.  They have something important to say.

I wrote “THE STILL SMALL VOICE OF CALM” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Do you have too much drama in your life?
  • Do you make time to listen to the still small voice of calm?
  • 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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THE STILL SMALL VOICE OF CALM

 

It maybe that life’s tricky, we must re-negotiate

A relationship that’s sticky, that has troubled us of late,

And it maybe we’re uncertain how to plot a better course,

Well if that’s the case our values can become our best resource.

Maybe we’ve been neglectful, or forgetful, lost our way,

Let life’s latest little dramas overwhelm us for today,

And we look around bewildered, “How did we get so lost?”

Well the truth is without values as our compass that’s the cost.

For life always will send dramas, either stark or in disguise,

Sometimes we’ll see them coming, and sometimes to our surprise

We’ll get caught up in the mayhem when there’s drama everywhere

And forget a value’s constant, if we look for it it’s there.

And so, if life is all dramatic let’s remember we’ve a choice,

We can let it overwhelm us, or be still and hear the voice

Of a value that will tell us if we’re really doing fine,

Or if for now we’ve lost our bearings and it’s time to re-align.

And if re-alignment’s called for let’s not tarry over-long,

Keep on going on the wrong path if it’s not where we belong,

For though drama is enticing it can do a lot of harm,

If it’s drowning out our values and their still small voice of calm.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed “THE STILL SMALL VOICE OF CALM” 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 …..

Thank goodness for ACT in the midst of a drama; thank heavens for ACT in the heat of a crisis.

Mindfulness is one of the core processes of ACT and it is Mindfulness that can lead us to the still small voice of calm wherein our values lie.  When drama comes in the door that is the very time when we need our Mindfulness skills the most.

For a great over-view of The ACT View of Mindfulness head over to Russ Harris’ great site at actmindfully.com.  If you want an introduction to Mindfulness it is clear and accessible, if you want a reminder then it will give you a boost.

When we are in the midst of a drama, either real or imagined, it is very easy to become overwhelmed by difficult thoughts and feelings, very tempting to let go of what really matters, ie our values, to succumb to the powerful urges and surges that drama creates.  How reassuring it is to know that there is another way.  At actmindfully.com we are reminded that:

 Mindfulness is a mental state of awareness, focus and openness – which allows you to engage fully in what you are doing at any moment. In a state of mindfulness, difficult thoughts and feelings have much less impact and influence over you – so it is hugely useful for everything ……

If you want to learn more about Mindfulness Skills actmindfully.com is a great place to visit.  It leads us to that part of us that is so often hidden, ‘the observing self’ or ‘pure awareness’ wherein lies so much of our personal power.

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 Mood Swings

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

Q:  How can I cope with my mood swings?

A:  Give them space to come and go and choose a valued action.

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Mood swings are part of the human condition.  If we are fortunate then we will be blessed with proportionately more “good” moods than “bad” moods, but we can’t count on it!  Moods have a mind of their own!

Of course we would prefer to feel happy rather than sad, up-beat rather than down-beat, optimistic rather than pessimistic?  It’s a no-brainer isn’t it?  And yet the chances are that we will feel all of these moods, “good” and “bad” pretty frequently.  And what is more, it is equally likely that we won’t get to choose them.  They will just appear, seemingly out of the blue, alarmingly at the most inappropriate times.  Remember moods have a mind of their own!

ACT reminds us though that moods are fleeting, both “good” and “bad”, they are only passing through.  Sadly, we can’t hang on to the “good” moods; happily, the “bad” moods won’t last either.  When we remember this it makes it easier to accept our moods, give them space to come and go, and choose a valued action. We can’t do much about our moods but we can do a lot about taking an action that will enrich our lives.  We don’t need to wait “to be in the mood” either.  We can just get on with it.

I wrote “MOOD SWINGS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do you cope with your mood swings?
  • Are you able to view them as transitory, only passing through, and choose a valued action?
  • 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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MOOD SWINGS

 

Sometimes we’re full of gusto, overflow with energy,

And sometimes we are depleted, think, “What’s happening to me?

Yesterday the world was sparkling and I was sparkling too,

But now the sparkle’s disappeared so what am I to do?”

Well of course we could explore it, that’s a cunning sort of plan,

‘Stead of trying to resist it we could do a body scan,

Watch the heaviness pervading, feel the aching in our bones,

Listen to what our Mind is saying in accusatory tones.

For it’s a fact that our mood changes, no two days are quite the same,

So to try to tie a mood down is at best a loser’s game,

But if we are willing to live with it and to simply give it space,

Go about our daily business, it will shift at its own pace.

And we won’t have made it master, we will not have crowned it king,

We’ll have proven to ourselves that we can live with a mood swing,

We can select a valued action, never mind we’re feeling flat,

Because a mood is only fleeting and there’s more to us than that.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “MOOD SWINGS” 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 …..

Mood swings vary in their intensity.   Bipolar disorder, also known as Manic Depressive Illness, is characterised by severe mood swings from intense, manic ‘highs’, to depressive ‘lows’.  Hypomania is typically milder but both can have a devastating impact on people’s lives.  Even at the less extreme end of the scale normal mood swings can affect our lives adversely.

Managing mood swings more effectively is bound to be beneficial.  There is an interesting article at The Academy of Cognitive Therapy that you might want to check out.  If mood swings are creating problems in your life head over and give it 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 Passion

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  How can I discover my values?

A:  Explore your passions!

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ACT places a lot of store in valuesValues are at the very heart of Acceptance Commitment Therapy and identifying our values and learning to live by them, even in the midst of our problems, is the key, in ACT terms, to living a meaningful life.

Identifying our values can be difficult.  Coming to know what is really important to us should be easy surely, but it often isn’t.  With so many competing claims on our time, on our energy, we can end up living a life that doesn’t feel meaningful, doesn’t feel satisfactory.  If our life feels dull, if we feel dull, then that is a sure-fire way of knowing that we are not living by our own values.  Living by someone else’s values won’t work.  If we want our life to improve then getting in touch with our values is a good next step.  If we are passionate about something it is likely that will give us a clue as to where our values lie.

I wrote “Exploring our Passion” to remind me of that.

 HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How in touch with your values are you?
  • Are you true to your values, or do you betray them sometimes?
  • 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

be-happy

POEM FOR TODAY

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EXPLORING OUR PASSION

If we have a passion, then best be aware

That it’s not necessarily one others share,

For a passion is personal, give for free,

So what’s moving for you isn’t moving for me.

It’s a fact unattractive, not nice to behold

That a fire in my belly is leaving you cold,

But a passion’s not dependent on what others say,

If we feel it inside that’s sufficient today.

For a passion is something quite hard to define,

But whatever it is it’s not yours, it is mine,

It’s my baby to cherish, my precious to rear,

If the world turns away, it’s for me to hold dear.

So whatever we’re feeling that moves and inspires

Let’s respect for itself, not for who else admires

The outputs of our passion, no need to applaud,

If we love what we do, then we have our reward.

And although ‘twould be good to enjoy the acclaim

Of a world filled with rapture and shouting our name,

If we’ve come to a place where that need is no more,

Then what pleasure’s ahead as our passion we explore.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “EXPLORING OUR PASSION” 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 …..

I have been away for a month and for most of that time I have been internet free.  And I say that in the nicest possible way!

Without access to the instant communication that the internet gives us life can feel very different.  It can almost feel like going cold turkey at first, so accustomed, even dependent, have we become on its temptations.  And yet, it was rather nice, refreshing even, to be cut off from the demands of the electronic age, if only for a while.

Apparently Digital Detox Retreats and Unplugged Wellness Retreats are becoming increasingly popular.  If you want to read more about this rather novel, some would say alarming, trend there is an interesting article at Huffington Post entitled “Digital Detox Retreats”.

Although not strictly speaking ACT, I have included it nevertheless.  When we switch off from the outside world and go inside for a while we are practicing mindfulness.  When we practice mindfulness we are practicing ACT.  When we don’t have access to all the instant distractions that our gadgets give us we are increasingly thrown back on our own devices.  I quite liked that, at least for a while!

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

be-happy-2

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 Wise Counsel

 ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  What should I do in the midst of a turmoil?

A:  Seek wise counsel.

When we are in turmoil it can be hard to know what is best to do.  Our emotions are screaming, “Do this, do that, do something, do anything!”  It is tempting then to do something just to try to reduce the uncomfortable feelings inside.

This is not always the best way.  When we are in a state of upset that is rarely the time to make important decisions, rarely the time to take definitive action.  ACT reminds us that feelings come and go.  They are fleeting, they are temporary, whilst the aftermath of things we do and say because of them can have permanent consequences.

Seeking wise counsel at such times can save us from a lot of heartache.  That doesn’t mean we have to take any advice given.  We are always free to accept or reject what others say.  We, after all, are in the best position to know what is really best for us in our own lives, especially if we are in touch with our values and are learning to act in line with them.

If we are fortunate we will have a trusted friend or two who love us enough to give us wise counsel.  They have our best interests at heart and we should give thanks for them.  And we always have ACT.  When we are in turmoil if we act in accordance to ACT principles we will rarely go wrong and will usually go right.

I wrote “WISE COUNSEL” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Do you remember to seek wise counsel when things get difficult?
  • What wise counsel have you found in ACT to be particularly useful?
  • 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-when-we-are-in-a

POEM FOR TODAY

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WISE COUNSEL

Let’s listen to wise counsel, let’s seek out someone we trust,

Let’s not give in to harsh words and deeds before we have discussed

Other options that are open, let us see what might appear

When we are prepared to listen, for who knows then what we’ll hear.

It’s a difficult dilemma, when to recognise as fact

That sometimes it is inaction that’s the better way to act,

And that sometimes when we’re lost for words that silence is a boon,

And that least said soonest mended is right now more opportune.

Oh the way ahead is tricky, and quite often there will be

Unexpected blocks and obstacles that we just didn’t see

That have festered hidden and toxic, waiting just to do their worst,

It’s no wonder that they floored us when quite suddenly they burst.

But it’s now we must consider what will be the better way

To respond to such an aftermath that’s facing us today,

Is it better to take action, or allow it to subside?

Well it’s now that that wise counsel can help us to best decide.

So let’s choose our counsel carefully for it may shed a light

On an aspect unconsidered, help us make a choice that’s right,

For when we are in a turmoil that’s the time that we most need

The wise counsel that can clarify how best we can proceed.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed  “WISE COUNSEL” 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 turmoil it is usually because we feel that life is not dealing us the hand we want to play.  The gap between what we want and what we have got is wide, wider than at the time we are willing to accept.

At times like these I return, when finally I remember, to that great book written by Russ Harris, “The Reality Slap”.

If you haven’t read it I commend it to you.  If you have, then here’s a reminder that when life deals you a bad-hand a re-read will always be helpful.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-I-know-I

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 Values Revisited Again!

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q: Where do I look for guidance when I don’t know where to turn?

A: Revisit your values

values revisited

Sometimes things happen which are so unexpected that we literally don’t know which way to turn. We are caught so much off guard that for a while it actually feels as if the ground under our feet has shifted; we are completely at sea.

So many mixed metaphors are not usually very helpful, but in this sort of instance they sort of sum up the general state of confusion and bewilderment we feel when the unexpected comes up to bite us.

When we are in this situation it is difficult to know where to look for guidance. We may cast around looking here and there for answers, quite forgetting that what we seek is far closer to home. When we don’t know where to turn a good rule of thumb is to revisit our values. When our world is in turmoil they remain constant. They won’t let us down.

I wrote “VALUES RIVISITED” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How do your values help you to find your bearings?
  • What do you do when the world seems upside down?
  • 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-if-were-scrambling

POEM FOR TODAY

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VALUES REVISITED

Disappointment and denial, disillusion and despair,

What has happened is alarming but not going anywhere,

And if it’s still there in the morning after sleep gives us respite,

Then it doesn’t really matter if we deem it wrong or right.

It may be we still are reeling, not yet ready to accept

What it is we were escaping in those moments when we slept,

But a sleep can’t last forever, in the end we have to wake

And decide on our responses, on the next steps that we’ll take.

And it may be it’s too soon to plan a detailed strategy,

It may be our eyes are blinkered and for now we cannot see

Any further than the next step and the one that follows that,

Well let’s treat ourselves with kindness if that is the stage we’re at.

Because for now there is a future unpredictable and yes

We could spend it agonising, but we cannot second guess

What will happen in tomorrow, and we couldn’t any-way,

If we needed any proof of that we’ve got it in today.

And so in face of what’s arising let us take another tack,

Let us focus on feet forward without ever looking back,

And if we’re scrambling for a foothold and unsure which way to go

Then let us turn again to values, for as ever they will know.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “VALUES REVISITED” 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 …..

Having clarity about our values is really important.  When we know what really matters to us, when we know what sort of person we want to be in the world, it is easier for us to behave in ways that make us feel good, make us feel authentic.

Rachel Collis has written a really good article entitled “Getting Clear About Values” in her blog Working with ACT.  I really enjoyed it, so if you want some help in clarifying your values head on over and give it a read.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

 

Just-for-today-I-will decide to dodge

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 Setbacks

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  How do I overcome set-backs?

A:  Pick yourself up, dust yourself down and start all over again!

Nobody likes failure, nobody welcomes setbacks, nobody wants to fall short.  And yet, being human it is highly likely that we will fail, we will face setbacks, we will fall short.  We are human, we are not perfect, we will make mistakes.

Whether we are on a mission to lose weight, stop smoking, stay sober, stay clean, it is likely that at some time or another we will go off the diet, we will have another cigarette, we will fall off the wagon, we will have a slip.

How we deal with it, that’s the thing.  The great thing about ACT is that it reminds us that in the health domain, it is natural to experience setbacks, but these setbacks are only a problem when they cause us to move away from our values.

A slip does not have to become a relapse.  We can use a setback as fuel to get us back on the right track.  If we look to our values then they can help us to leave the slip behind as we choose effective actions in the here and now that will move us towards the desired outcome, to becoming the person we want to be.

I wrote “THE LONG HAUL” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Have you been able to learn from setbacks?
  • How have your values helped you to move on from a slip?
  • 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

So-its-OK-we-have-a

POEM FOR TODAY

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THE LONG HAUL

So it’s OK we have a set-back, it’s OK we fall from grace,

Because we’re in it for the long haul, we’re not in it for the race,

So it won’t matter if we stumble, it won’t matter if we fall,

Because as long as we keep trying then we’ll keep on walking tall.

If we base our lives on values, there’s an underlying seam

That runs deep beneath the mishaps, shining like a laser beam,

It will steady us through failure, make short shrift of goals we’ve missed,

And remind us life is more than things we’re ticking off a list.

And so if we have had a set-back let’s not see it as defeat,

Let us use the fuel within it our next challenges to meet,

And though we may be disappointed let’s look long enough to find

What it is we truly value and then failure’s left behind.

Because already we’ve an option here and now to make a choice,

We can select another action that will make our soul rejoice,

And then the set-back that we’ve suffered will soon sink without a trace,

Because we’re in it for the long haul, we’re not in it for the race.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “THE LONG HAUL” 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 …..

At the moment I am on a mission to lose weight.  I am often on a mission to lose weight and sadly, that means that more often than not my mission fails.

Like many others I have tried a multitude of diets, become obsessed by this or that exercise plan and succeeded at varying times to shed the stones.  What I have not been able to do though is to maintain the weight loss.  Sooner or later, generally sooner, the pounds pile back on and I am back where I started, usually with interest!

So I am willing to give ACT a try.  It has worked for me in other domains so let’s see if it can work its magic with weight loss.

I am putting my trust in

Product Details

So far I like what I read, but reading isn’t going to be enough.  We all know what we need to do to lose weight but knowing is not enough.  If it were then nobody would have a weight problem!  This book uses the psychological science of ACT to help us to establish a healthy relationship with food and promises to show us how to control our weight without the stress of dieting.  Sounds good to me!

I will keep you posted about my progress.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

 

Just-for-today-I-wont give way

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 Valued Action

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q:  What can I do when I’m feeling fed up?

A:   Do something meaningful!

Taking action when we don’t feel like it is at the very heart of ACT.  In fact it is so central to it that it gives it its very name.

ACT or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is about just that.  Accepting what we cannot change and committing to take an action in line with our values is what this Therapy is all about.

In order to change our lives for the better, in order to bring about meaningful change, ACT encourages us to develop a different relationship with our thoughts and feelings.  When we start living our lives based on our values rather than our moods things start to improve.  Why?

Because when we see ourselves as more than our thoughts and our feelings we can make some space, what ACT calls Defusion, and watch our thoughts come and go.  Defusion frees us up to do things that are important to us.  This is what will help us to create a meaningful life, so that when we look back there will be something to see.

I wrote “SOMETHING TO SEE” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Are you learning to turn to your values rather than letting fleeting moods dictate your day?
  • What defusion techniques do you find helpful?
  • 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-lifetimes-are

POEM FOR TODAY

treasure hunting 3

SOMETHING TO SEE

When lifetimes are ending and years are lived through

We won’t ask how we felt, we’ll ask, “What did we do?”

What activities flourished, what did we achieve?

Did we make any difference, give more than receive?

Oh our feelings are with us each step of the way,

But did they know their place or were they holding sway,

Did we learn to live with them, take them in our stride?

Or did we let them rule us and push us aside?

If we’re asking these questions it isn’t too late

To establish new orders, re-negotiate,

And decide from now on we won’t be shoved along

By a feeling that’s fleeting, no matter how strong.

For a feeling is flimsy whilst action is real,

We can choose what to do, we can’t choose how to feel,

And a lifetime of action has something to show

Whilst a lifetime of feeling is lived in limbo.

So let’s look for an action and do it right now,

Irrespective of feelings let’s act anyhow,

For we find when we’re living life more flexibly

That when we’re looking back there is something to see.

 © Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “SOMETHING TO SEE” 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 …..

Acting when we don’t feel like it isn’t easy and it isn’t guaranteed to make us feel better.  What it is guaranteed to do, however, is to help us to build a more meaningful life.  Meaningful lives are built on meaningful actions not fleeting feelings, and though we can’t choose how we feel, that is beyond us, we can choose what we do.

Having and exercising that choice is a great boon.  It helps us to spring the trap of difficult feelings that can rob us of our joy.  It is the beginning of freedom.

For more on the benefits of the psychological flexibility that is at the heart of ACT I enjoyed an article at harleytherapy.co.uk.

It can be difficult to understand what psychological flexibility is and isn’t and I particularly liked their explanation.

Perhaps an easy way to understand what psychological flexibility is, is to first look at what it is not. 

The main contributors to psychological inflexibility are:

  • living in the past or the future instead of the present moment
  • being “stuck” and unable to let go of thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and sensations that cause suffering (called being ‘fused’ to them)
  • always trying to avoid your unpleasant thoughts, memories, and feelings, hoping that they will, somehow, go away
  • being addicted to an idea of yourself, or ‘self-concept’, always telling the same stories about yourself and your life
  • not being aware of your personal values
  • patterns of behaviour that keep all of the above going

Source: http://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/counselling/what-is-acceptance-and-commitment-therapy.htm#ixzz48Kke0b5H

It’s a great website with lots of useful information and resources.  I shall visit often.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-I-will decide to take

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 Treasure Hunting

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q: How can I make better choices?

A: Distinguish between treasures and trinkets

treasure hunting 4

We live in a world of so many distractions.  Never has there been so much choice, so many claims for our attention.  Choosing wisely is a challenge.  And what does “wisely” mean?

If we are feeling less than satisfied in our life, if we have a feeling that something is missing then it might be time to revisit those choices.  In ACT terms we have a useful measure.  ACT suggests that if we want to make wise choices, choices that are more likely to make our lives feel meaningful, then we should check in with our values.

It is tempting to go for the easy option, the quick return, but if this starts to pall then maybe we need to consider whether this is really the best use of our limited time.

There is a difference between trinkets which bring short term pleasure and treasures which offer a more lasting satisfaction.  If we start to tire of trinkets then treasure hunting becomes more appealing.  ACT reminds us that value driven actions are more likely to lead us to the pot of gold.

I wrote “TREASURES AND TRINKETS” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • How good are you at distinguishing treasures from trinkets?
  • Are you more conscious of making value driven choices?
  • 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

The-day-lies-before-us

POEM FOR TODAY

treasure hunting

TREASURES AND TRINKETS

The day lies before us, it’s ours now to fill,

But to fill it with treasure’s an art and a skill,

For to look back with pride at the end of the day

Means we need to be present each step of the way.

For much treasure is hidden and not easy found,

There are trinkets a-plenty just lying around,

But these cheap easy pickings won’t satisfy long,

And if we think they’re treasures then we would think wrong.

For a treasure is precious, it’s rarer to find,

And can hold out a challenge to body and mind,

For it may not at all be what it at first seems,

And may bear no resemblance to stuff of our dreams.

And so finding a treasure requires us to be

Fully present each moment, eyes ready to see

That the time collecting trinkets denies us the chance

To seek out hidden treasures we’d miss at first glance.

And if we are confused as to where treasure lies,

And not sure if we found it we’d it recognise,

Then a nod to our values should be quite enough

To distinguish a treasure from trinkety stuff.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed “TREASURE HUNTING”  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 …..

One of my favourite things about writing this blog is finding examples of inspirational ACT resources to help me and to share with you.

There are all sorts of wonderful things out there, articles, videos, workshops, ACT communities.  There is certainly no shortage of inspirational material.  There is certainly no need to feel alone!

Today I came across a great article about the Value Driven Life at HealthyPsych.com

The article reminds us of the importance of discovering and then staying close to our values.  If you are having difficulty clarifying your values take a look.  I found it really helpful.  The opening paragraph gives a flavour of what is to come.  It starts with that tricky question that we often get asked as children!

As children, we are often asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” This question then gets asked constantly as we go through life, sometimes causing some immense stress and feelings of confusion and frustration when that question cannot be answered.

Questions that we neglect to ask are, “What KIND of person do you want to be? HOW do you want to behave?” Not being who we genuinely are, losing contact with our values, not behaving in ways that are important to us can also bring stress, pain, even suffering into our lives ……

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-some-time

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 Acceptance

ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT) – AN ONLINE RESOURCE

Q: When is the best time to make decisions?

A:  When the heat of the moment is gone.

The phrase “startled thinking” is one we would do well to remember when life is in the process of throwing its challenges at us. Why? Because at such times it is highly likely that we are not thinking straight, or at least not to begin with.

ACT reminds us that at such times, in the midst of such challenges, our initial reactions are unlikely to be rational or logical.  Quite the contrary.  When something unexpected or unwelcome happens we should expect that our first reaction will be an emotional gut reaction.  This is not the time to act.  This is the time to play for time, to wait for the tide of high emotion to recede.  The time for action will come later, hopefully in the shape of a more considered response which will work better for us.

“Don’t make permanent decisions based on temporary feelings” is a great mantra to draw on when we are tempted to hasty action.

I wrote “QUIET ACCEPTANCE” to remind me of that.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

  • Have you learned not to make permanent decisions based on temporary feelings?
  • Are you learning to recognise “startled thinking” for what it is?
  • What can you share that might be of help to other?

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

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

Lets-not-succumb-to

POEM FOR TODAY

file0001477487882 (1)

QUIET ACCEPTANCE

A state of quiet acceptance, well it may sound rather dull,

Not being roused to high emotion, but emotion trying to cull

By sitting quietly on the side-lines as the feelings rush on through,

Yes it may sound rather boring but it can be best to do.

For life throws at us its challenges when things don’t go our way,

All the little unexpecteds that just happen every day,

And the way we trade our peace of mind for nothing much at all,

Yes sometimes a quiet acceptance can such turbulence forestall.

And the prize of equanimity’s not one we should disdain,

For it conserves in us an energy which then is ours to claim

For activities more fruitful, for endeavours that content,

So let’s beware the first reaction when such challenges are sent.

For we don’t have to inflame it, we can simply give it space,

Learn to breathe into a feeling as our heartbeat gathers pace

And then just watch as high emotion lashes out and then recedes

Whilst we wait patient on the side-lines until normal life proceeds.

And so next time a challenge enters, let’s not panic, let’s just wait,

Ride the tide of high emotion, let it rise and then abate,

And not succumb to startled thinking that just masquerades as fact,

For it is after quiet acceptance that ‘twill be the time to act.

© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed “QUIET ACCEPTANCE” 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 …..

ACT reminds us that feelings are fleeting, they come and they go. It makes sense therefore to remember that there is a danger in making permanent decisions based on fleeting feelings. Will we be happy with a decision we make in the heat of the moment when the heat of the moment has cooled?

We would do better, ACT suggests, to refer to our values before we make important decisions. Knowing what matters, what really matters to us and making decisions accordingly is much the better choice.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Today-I-am-not-going-to

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