ACT on Life: Awareness Class 5

ACT draws a distinction between two senses of self – self as content and self as context. Self as content, or our conceptualized self, refers to who we ordinarily think we are. Our self concept includes all the identities we take on, such as friend, student, son or daughter, and spouse. It also includes our self evaluations, such as “smart” or “dumb”, “friendly” or “mean,” “useless” or “productive.” Whenever we hold our identities too tightly, we cause difficulties for ourselves. However, contact with the other sense of self, self as context, or the observing self, helps to free us from the labels we and others place upon us. Even though our experiences are constantly changing, there is always a “you” that is able to notice these changes. When we are able to contact that sense of “pure awareness,” we are able to observe our experiences without getting caught up in the content. We are freed from the evaluations, beliefs, ideas, and judgments that we place on ourselves. This week we off three exercises which focus on developing this observer self and experiencing more compassion in your life. 

Noticing practice, weekly exercise and daily reflection all rolled into one handout this week.