I have slipped into the new year like an old pair shoes with a new shine. The new shine part of my blog is that I am going to invite some guest bloggers to write occasionally. Christine Allison is my first guest.
Christine and I conduct workshops together based on psychological flexibility. Check out the workshop page.
By Christine Allison, MA, NCC
Imagine your mind as having two parts – first, the part that experiences thoughts and feelings directly, and second, the part that can notice that you are experiencing a thought or feeling. This second part, the observing part of your mind, can be called the observing self.
You can access the observing self through mindfulness practices. Mindfulness means paying attention with flexibility, openness, and curiosity. Many studies show that meditation, a form of mindfulness, can literally change your brain. Over time, a daily mediation practice results in very high-frequency brain waves that increase your abilities to focus, pay attention, learn and remember.
Mindfulness helps us wake up and connect with ourselves, and appreciate the fullness of each moment. It can help us improve our self-knowledge – to learn more about how we think, feel and react and help us see our habitual patterns of thinking, feeling, and reacting. We can use mindfulness practices to consciously influence our own behavior and reactivity and increase our range of responses to life’s challenges. Mindfulness can be seen as the art of living consciously – a profound way to enhance your ability to be resilient in difficult times and to increase your quality of life.
Mindfulness is one of the skills used in psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility means contacting the present moment fully as a conscious human being, and based on what the situation affords, changing or persisting in behavior in the service of chosen values. In my work with clients, I use an approach called ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), the aim of which is to increase your capacity to be psychologically flexible. ACT teaches mindfulness and other powerful tools to deal with difficult feelings that can come up in the course of living a meaningful and values-guided life. If you would like to learn tools to enhance your psychological flexibility, consider attending an upcoming workshop.
Christine is a skilled and dedicated therapist. She is also great to work with as a co-facilitator. I enjoy her contributions. You can visit her web site by clicking here.