- Psychological Flexibility – vitality in living life
- Values – the compass to leading a meaningful life
- Acceptance – Willingness to feel the uncomfortable
- Cognitive Defusion – mindfulness and the observer
What’s left? Committed action. This fits into how you can make choices to lead a meaningful life. To illustrate committed action I will share a story from my life.
Like many people, I have a fear of public speaking. Recently, I was invited to speak at a local university. I value sharing information which will influence people to take action to help one another and to come together as community. I was going to present to a class titled Social Justice. My message, I believed, would have an impact on the students. The value underlying my desire to speak is, I value helping. However, the stage fright I experienced left me feeling torn between giving into my fear or accepting the invitation.
What I did was use acceptance. I became willing to experience my uncomfortable feelings of stage freight. My internal experience from what I call the “committee of chatter” was screaming at me pretty loud. The committee was telling me, “you are going to make a mistake,” and “you will sound silly,” as well as, “you are going to blush.” All that chatter could have prevented me from sharing and speaking publicly.
What I did next was use some de-fusion techniques:
- Create space
- Expanding physically
- Expand emotionally
You can read about defusion in my postfrom November 1, 2010. Defusion does not get rid of my fear of public speaking. What defusion does is~ it allows me enough space between my internal chatter and the chance for me to make a choice to take a committed action in accordance with my values. The action I took in alignment with my value to help was to accept the invitation and to speak in front of people even when I am scared.
By taking a committed action to engage in behavior which is congruent with my values, I experience a meaningful and vital life. This may sound easy but it takes practice. Just like riding a bicycle. At first is can be challenging balancing act. Well worth it though.