• Quote of the Day
    "The hardest battle you're ever going to fight is the battle to be just you."
    Leo F. Buscaglia, posted by Daniel

Daniel

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It is only by practicing through a continual succession of agreeable and disagreeable situations that we acquire true strengths. To accept that pain is inherent and to live our lives from this understanding is to create the causes and conditions for happiness.

—Suzuki Roshi
 

Daniel

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Daniel

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"Life is indeed difficult, partly because of the real difficulties we must overcome in order to survive, and partly because of our own innate desire to always do better, to overcome new challenges, to self-actualize. Happiness is experienced largely in striving towards a goal, not in having attained things, because our nature is always to want to go on to the next endeavor."

~ Albert Ellis
 

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Evolution has shaped our brains so that we are hardwired to suffer psychologically: to compare, evaluate, and criticize ourselves, to focus on what we’re lacking, to rapidly become dissatisfied with what we have, and to imagine all sorts of frightening scenarios, most of which will never happen. No wonder humans find it hard to be happy!

~ Russ Harris, The Happiness Trap: How To Stop Struggling And Start Living
 
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Daniel

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Self-as-context, one of the core principles in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), is the concept that people are not the content of their thoughts or feelings, but rather the consciousness experiencing said thoughts and feelings.
 

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Barriers to Giving Up the Unworkable System
It can be hard for clients to give up unworkable control strategies because previously avoided material quickly shows up in consciousness and there's no clear alternative. Metaphors that can be useful here include:

Feedback Screech Metaphor, which illustrates how control moves amplify the inherent discomfort in living and make "tiptoeing around the stage" seem like a good solution; and

Sports and Activities Metaphors, in which practice makes better, you have to "step up to the plate" or "get in the water," and overthinking interferes with the process.

Letting Go of the Struggle as an Alternative
Tug of War with a Monster Metaphor illustrates that letting go of the struggle with unwanted private experiences can be a more workable strategy than trying to win the struggle. Clients may want to know how to "let go of the rope" and describing the process would be a bit like describing how to swim or hit a baseball or drive a car: better learned by experience.
 

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“Stop trying to control how you feel, and instead take control of what you do.”

“The more importance we place on avoiding unpleasant feelings in life, the more our life tends to go downhill.”

― Russ Harris, ACT with Love (free with Kindle Unlimited)
 

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Acceptance and the Field of Trauma • Acceptance suggests: • The wholeness is already there… • We are fundamentally whole, with our histories, our painful events, our joys, our sorrows, our loves.
  • Examples • Unwanted thoughts and feelings, memories/values • Grief/family • Abuse/Intimacy • Medical error/valued caregiving
  • Acceptance and Values • Why accept? • It must be in the service of something powerful, not just the alleviation of pain. • Tombstone Metaphor • Funeral Metaphor • Bus metaphor • Coin metaphor
  • The notion of self acceptance and compassion being central to one’s own peace as well as to being able to give to others is not new.
 

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"Why accept? It must be in the service of something powerful, not just the alleviation of pain."

~ Barbara Kohlenberg , Ph.D.
 

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Accept yourself. Anxiety is energy: if you are an anxious person, celebrate! However, why waste that energy feeling uncomfortable and preparing yourself for circumstances that will almost certainly never occur? Look for enjoyable ways to challenge yourself and use your energy more positively: taking regular aerobic exercise; learning something new; taking up a creative passion.
 

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Doubt is omnipotent for writers. I’m sure even Stephen King occasionally believes he produces crap. (Right?) Acknowledge the doubt; accept it. Acceptance doesn’t make you a quitter. It gives you power. Think of it as waving to a talkative houseguest and saying, “I can’t chat right now but feel free to forage for breakfast. We’ll catch up later. ‘Bye!”
 

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