0490 679 634Contact Us

The Power of Acceptance: Embracing the Self and the World

The Power of Acceptance: Embracing the Self and the World

In a world that often encourages us to constantly strive for self-improvement and external validation, the concept of acceptance has become a powerful beacon of self-compassion and inner peace. Acceptance, in its truest form, extends beyond merely tolerating or resigning to circumstances—it’s about embracing ourselves, our inner experiences, and the world around us with open arms. In this blog, we’ll delve into the profound wisdom of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), exploring how learning to make room for our intense inner experiences can lead to a more fulfilling life.


The Essence of Acceptance

Acceptance, at its core, is the practice of acknowledging and embracing every facet of our being, both the light and the shadow. It’s about making room for the full spectrum of human experiences, including our feelings, thoughts, memories, sensations, and urges. Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up or resigning to these experiences; instead, it’s a conscious choice to allow them to exist without judgment or resistance. By doing so, we grant ourselves the freedom to explore the depths of our emotions and thoughts, ultimately leading to greater self-awareness and emotional well-being.


Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT): Making Room for Inner Experiences

Acceptance Commitment Therapy, or ACT, is a therapeutic approach that champions the idea of making room for our inner experiences. It recognises that we are not our thoughts or emotions but rather the observers of them. From an ACT perspective, we can define “emotion dysregulation” as the inability to respond flexibly to emotions. We’ve all been there, overwhelmed by immense emotional pain, and yes, that includes myself too! Emotion dysregulation often occurs when our awareness becomes fused with worrying thoughts, intense feelings, and inner experiences, leading us to avoid being fully present in the moment. We might try to suppress our feelings or resist what’s arising within us – something we’ve all experienced at some point. The more inflexibly we respond to our emotions, the more problems we create, and the greater our psychological suffering becomes.


The Antidote: Emotional Flexibility

The antidote to emotion dysregulation is emotional flexibility. It’s about learning to respond to our emotions with acceptance for what is showing up, making contact with the present moment, being aware of our observing self, identifying our values, and committing to actions that help us “unhook” from these intense inner experiences that hold us back from living a meaningful life.


When a difficult emotion is present, there are three key steps that can be helpful:

  1. Open up: Instead of avoiding or suppressing the difficult inner experience, we make room for it. We acknowledge its presence and suffering while defusing from the cognitive elements that keep us stuck or resistant to life situations.


  1. Do what matters to you: This step involves being guided by our values to find a way to accept the situation for what it is and seek solutions that align with our values.
  2. Be present: By focusing on and fully engaging in what we are doing, we can shift our attention away from the intensity of the emotion and stay connected to the present moment.


From the perspective of Acceptance Commitment Therapy, the goal is not to reduce the intensity of the emotion or avoid the suffering or inner experiences. Instead, we work on finding ways to stay present, acknowledge and allow these inner experiences, stay in touch with our values, and be guided by our inner wisdom. We accept what is unfolding, recognising that our pain is our ally, and our emotions are trying to get our attention for self-care and healing to unfold.


One practical technique within ACT is to NAME the emotion or urge, following the acronym:

N – Notice the sensations: Pay attention to the physical sensations associated with the emotion or urge.

A – Acknowledge by name: Label the emotion or urge with a name, giving it a clear and defined identity.

M – Make room for the intense inner experiences: Create space for the emotion or urge to exist without judgment or resistance.

E – Expand awareness: Widen your awareness to include not only the emotion or urge but also the present moment and your values, helping you make more mindful and values-based choices.



Acceptance, as exemplified by Acceptance Commitment Therapy and the Four A’s, is a powerful tool for personal growth and emotional well-being. It teaches us that making room for our inner experiences—acknowledging, allowing, accommodating, and appreciating them—is the path to self-discovery and lasting change. By embracing acceptance, both of ourselves and the world around us, we unlock the potential for a more fulfilling and authentic life. So, let’s embark on this journey of self-compassion, recognising that true acceptance is the gateway to a brighter and more harmonious existence. Embracing emotional flexibility allows us to navigate our inner experiences skilfully, leading to greater emotional well-being and a more meaningful life journey. So, the next time a difficult emotion arises, remember to NAME it and embark on the path of acceptance and flexibility.


With warmth,

Kate  X

Between the Breaths

Between the Breaths

Where can you find your slow moments in-between your out-breath and in-breath?

What would happen if we lived our lives at a slower pace, that felt more connected to ourselves and our surroundings? What would this look like?

Slowing down and prioritising our well-being can be an unfamiliar concept to many of us – including myself but if we occasionally paused for thought, created space for moments of stillness and prioritized ourselves and self-care – what would that look like for you? How would life be/feel different for you?

Our mind, body, breath, and thoughts will either deplete or nourish our overall sense of wellbeing.


Breath is the cord that ties the soul to the body

– Brother Ramananda


Where can we start to nourish our wellbeing?  A great place would be booking a counselling session because this is a good opportunity for you to reconnect to yourself and your breathing while having the support of a professional by your side every step of the way. Sometimes it helps to have someone listen and help you decipher your emotions to gain clarity and relief, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed, unhappy, or unsure of things. For today, let’s start with bringing our awareness to our thoughts and breath using the below practice as this mindfulness practice nourishes me even when I am met with resistance from my own thoughts in-between breaths.

Awareness exercise ~ to find a quiet moment in-between your breaths:

  • When you first wake, spend a few minutes focusing on your thoughts. Be open and curious about what goes on in your mind. This awareness allows you to become aware of your unfolding thoughts throughout the day.
  • Welcome your thoughts – whether they are negative, neutral, or positive. Sit with them and be open to learning about your thoughts.
  • Stay with your first thought. Avoid the tendency to increase negative thinking by adding other thoughts about how bad you are for thinking negatively. It’s okay! 😊
  • Bring acceptance to your thoughts, to the fact that negative thinking is a normal part of life. Everyone does it! We can adopt a softer approach, where you may even like to use a little humour to help you change your relationship with habitual negative thinking.
  • It’s okay to take a break from thinking! While it’s useful to be curious about your thoughts, it can be exhausting over thinking about what you’re thinking.
  • Then bring your awareness to your breathing. Observe the natural rise and fall of your chest and belly, as you breathe in and out.
  • You may like to breathe in for four counts, then breathe out for four counts. Then stay with this for a few minutes.
  • Then take your awareness into the space between the out-breath and in-breath. And just be with what you find in this space. Welcome the thoughts and feelings as they arise – negative, neutral, and positive. Then allow the breathing cycle to naturally take you to the next in-breath, out-breath, and then rest your awareness in the space in-between the next breath. Just be curious, open and kind to what you find in this space.


A reflection to sit with as you’re resting in-between breaths:

  • In this space between the outbreath and inbreath; quietly ask yourself “what would happen if I lived at a slower pace in my life?”
  • Take a moment to sit with: “what would a slower pace look like, feel like in my life?”
  • Trust what comes to you, and you may like to write down what inner guidance, thoughts or inspiration came through for you. Or if you prefer expressing your thoughts and feeling through creativity like journaling, drawing or painting – do that!


This is a practice you can do at the beginning of the day, anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed with your thoughts, or if you’re simply wanting to create some “me time” and tune in with you.

If you feel you need more support and would like to have a session with me, please get in touch, I am also available for outreach, coming to you in your own home where you feel comfortable and safe. Counselling provides you with a space where you can relax and learn simple effective ways in which to help you on your healing journey.

Enjoy creating the space to find moments of calm during your day between your breaths and perhaps consider what your slow moments are – whether that is going for a walk, learning to mediate, bringing more mindful moments into your day, discovering a new hobby that brings joy and spaciousness into your day, reading a book, or simply taking a long breath during those moments of overwhelm or busyness to bring you back to that place between your breaths.

Seeking slow moments between our breaths provide simple ways for you to slow down, just be and reconnect with yourself and surroundings.

If this practice or the concept around mindfulness has resonated for you, you may like to visit a couple of these websites:

Mindfulness in Australia is an Organisation based in Adelaide and they have wonderful resources to explore online.

While mindfulness is widely considered to be a method of stress relief, Thich Nhat Hanh has long taught that mindfulness is not a tool but a way of life.

We would love to hear how you have experienced the awareness and reflection practice.


With warmth,

Kate X



Kate’s role at Aspire Recovery Connection encompasses a variety of services. In addition to being a counsellor, she offers outreach services and facilitates the Wise Minds group and Mindful Chair Yoga. Counselling is a powerful tool for uncovering your inner strengths and abilities to cope with emotional and mental distress. Kate values building a human-to-human relationship and takes an individualised approach to connect with you and discover what works best for you, recognising that you are the expert in your own life. With Kate’s help, you can develop a deeper understanding of yourself, learn new skills, and reconnect with your inner strengths, qualities, and resources. Our counselling space is safe, confidential, and provides an opportunity for you to share your story, be genuinely heard, and receive compassionate assistance in making sense of your experiences and overcoming challenges together. Kate collaborates with you, bringing her counselling skills with integrity and professionalism, while also valuing the lived experience and drawing upon her own at times to support you.

Counselling helps with distress associated with:

  • Trauma Anxiety & depression
  • Visions & voices
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Dissociation & shame

To find out more about our Wise Minds groups or to book a counselling session with Kate please give us a call.