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All of us are vulnerable

acceptance total balance

I’ve been in a training course for the past few days learning about ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy). I am in love with this model because it is everything I’ve been doing for years that I had no name for. Of course, I’m not a therapist but the method is also used by coaches. We just have to know our limits and refer clients on when they need more than we can offer.

Russ Harris, author of ‘The Happiness Trap’ ran the training. He is an immediately likeable, down to earth guy who happily shared his story with the one hundred participants who attended.

The room was full of therapists and coaches and he asked us if any of us ever run the ‘I’m not good enough story’. The room filled with laughter. ‘No seriously,’ he said. ‘Put your hand up if you do.’

Every person there raised their hand. And then he laughed – ‘See, all the therapists in the world are troubled too!’. How very true. Just because we work to help people resolve their issues doesn’t mean we’re not human.

The beauty of this model is that it’s all about accepting just that. There will be suffering and difficulty in our lives and rather than trying to escape that through changing our thoughts or running away from our feelings, we need to accept the experiences that go with that suffering. This doesn’t mean negating your experience, it means noticing it in a mindful way and making room for it without judgement.

As well as acceptance, the theory invites us to clarify our values and align our actions with those values in order to create rich, full and meaningful lives.

Which means that sometimes we need to accept the things we can’t change, make the most of what we have and as much as possible, be at peace with the challenges life sends our way.

So much easier said than done.

‘Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.’

3 thoughts on “All of us are vulnerable

  1. It is amazing Kate reading this… Someone recently directed me to this therapy. For me once I had accepted something for what it was and especially the recent hard challenges sent my way; my eyes, mind and heart opened up to so many other possibilities that the fear had not allowed me to experience before. Acceptance seemed for me to open the floodgates to not only understanding the challenges but gave me the courage to actively and consciously embrace my situation for what it is without judgement. A complete mind shift and almost liberating.

  2. I love it too Renee.

    It's nice to hear a first hand story from someone who has experienced the therapy Anon. I have such a strong belief in it so it's great to have that validated. Thanks for taking the time to write.

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Posted in: Wellbeing
Kate James

I'm Kate James and the owner of Total Balance. I work with people who care about living purposeful, creative lives. My clients want to clarify their personal values, identify their strengths and learn about how they can make a difference in the world in their own unique way.

I run workshops and retreats in Melbourne and Byron Bay to give you the chance to escape the noise of everyday to discover what really matters to you.