Being with Pain Lesson Five Learning Guide Professional Group Learning Track

Being with Pain Series

Professional Group Track Learning Guide

Lesson Five: Transforming Pain

Directions:

-The first step is ACT ONE. This interactive form section will give you an opportunity to delve deeply into the concepts behind our lesson and reflect on how they connect to your life and your role as caregiver. A critical element for the success of an ACT Learning Group is to provide some time and space for personal reflection and journaling.

-After completing this step, ACT TWO is a period of group discussion and reflection. All participants must be given a safe space to express themselves during this time. This portion of the interactive form is filled out with insights gained from your community exploration.

-Next, your group will move on to ACT THREE, the Best Practicesreal-world habits, ways of thinking, or behaving that can increase personal well-being. Goals to incorporate best practice suggestions can be made on the group or individual level and support systems can be developed during this time.

ACT Step One: Individual Reflection

Completed forms may be printed out by pressing CTRL button + P (Windows) or CMD button + P (Mac).

By submitting this form you are agreeing to contribute to our national research project. All information will be used anonymously.

ACT Step Two: Group Discussion

1.“Fear of our own pain is a big problem. It’s disconnected, causes suffering, and it leads to behaviors that are destructive to ourselves and our world.” – Soul & Science Lesson

2. “Gratitude isn’t about a “should”. It’s about paying attention to what we already feel grateful for. Even though it may be a very dark tapestry, there may be within that tapestry a single golden thread. Gratitude means paying attention to that single golden thread.” – Soul & Science Lesson

3. “A number of rigorous, controlled experimental trials have examined the benefits of gratitude. Gratitude has one of the strongest links to mental health and satisfaction with life of any personality trait—more so than even optimism, hope, or compassion.” (Gratitude as a Psychotherapeutic Intervention).

4. “Honoring our pain is essentially a process of self-compassion. Compassion mean feeling with, and suffering with. And it’s self-compassion in the sense that it’s about allowing ourselves be with and experience what we’re experiencing when we’re suffering.” – Soul & Science Lesson

Completed forms may be printed out by pressing CTRL button + P (Windows) or CMD button + P (Mac).

By submitting this form you are agreeing to contribute to our national research project. All information will be used anonymously.

ACT Step Three: Best Practices – (Choose at Least One)

1. “I’d like to invite you to make gratitude a practice in your own life. A simple suggestion is keeping a gratitude journal. At the end of each day, taking a couple minutes to look back at the day and to remember at least one thing about the day that you feel grateful about. There’s a lot of evidence coming from different areas, a lot of research evidence showing the value of the practice of gratitude.” – Soul & Science Lesson

Follow the instructions given in this lesson, and write in a gratitude journal for one month. Observe how it affects your sense of well-being and gratitude.

2. “We can honor a painful experience by marking it in some way, bringing ourselves into a more conscious relationship with it. We might mark it by creating a work of art, performing a ritual, or undertaking some other significant act. Sometimes all we need to do is light a candle in honor of what we’ve gone through and what we’ve learned. No matter how small the gesture, it will be big enough to mark the ways in which our pain has transformed us, and to remind us to recognize and value all that comes our way in this life.” – Madisyn Taylor

Create a ritual or significant act that acknowledges and honors a painful experience, even if it’s just lighting a candle to mark what you’ve gone through.

3. “Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are steep and hurt and resentful. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint.” Henri Nouwen

For one day, observe your anger, frustrations, or negative reactions. Pause and ask how you can choose gratitude instead of complaint.

Closing Thought

“The refusal to feel takes a heavy toll. Not only is there an impoverishment of our emotional and sensory life . . . but this psychic numbing also impedes our capacity to process and respond to information. The energy expended in pushing down despair is diverted from more creative uses, depleting the resilience and imagination needed for fresh visions and strategies.” ― Joanna Macy

Additional Resources