Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Yes, ACT is Counterintuitive

One reason why some people have trouble getting their heads around ACT is that it is counterintuitive. That simply means that when you use ACT you are using a different set of assumptions about things.

You grew up in a world that basically states: Everything in it's place and a place for everything.

In other words, there is a Right place to put things and a Wrong place to put things.

It's the same with words. There is a Correct definition of the word and an Incorrect definition.

This goes further. Since Newton humankind has tended to think in linear, cause and effect relationships. For example, the cue ball strikes the billiard ball at a certain velocity and angle, sending the other ball off in a predictable path. This is "Cause and Effect" thinking and it's works great out in the physical world.

HOWEVER (and this is where ACT comes in) the inside of your skull, a.k.a., the Mind is not a Cause and Effect place. Lot's of things happen all at once. Plus, if you want to get rid of a physical thing, you throw it away. If you want to get rid of a mental thing, well, you can't. The more you try to not have the mental thing, the more you have it.

ACT (and the Matrix) keep that last You Can't Get Rid of Mental Things concept in focus. That also means that while doing ACT we let go of Cause and Effect thinking. We even let go of Right and Wrong thinking.

With just a bit of practice it's easy to use the ACT way of thinking. If you want a diagram of it, see below. It's called the Matrix.

The two lines represent noticing two differences. That's it. There's no right or wrong noticing, there's just noticing the difference, and then psychological flexibility shows up.

Be well,

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