So, my web designer, and all round great guy, Paul has advised me that if thinkPSYCHOLOGY is going to have a website, it should probably have a blog on it. I am told that dynamic content is good and that visitors to websites like to see new stuff from time to time. For any followers of Albert Ellis' theory on the unhelpful nature of rigid demands (the lists of "shoulds" and "musts" we so often allow to run our lives for us), rest assured that Paul is saying "should" by way of recommendation rather than demand. At least I think he is.
I have never blogged before. That is my starting point. As I sit here, on a train as it happens, it is interesting to observe the process. To simply notice what goes on as I approach this new experience. I am clear on the values behind the thinkPSYCHOLOGY project. Working to bring a little more psychological mindedness to others is work that I find meaningful and a blog fits in to that. But, I'm out of my comfort zone, and, guess what, I'm experiencing discomfort. I suppose that's why they call it a comfort zone. My mind is saying things like, "I have nothing of interest to write about", "No-one will read it", and even worse, "Someone will read it". And there it is. My mind doing what minds do when we take steps in the direction of things that we value. They give us a whole bunch of reasons not to act. They throw us a rope and invite us to play tug of war, thereby getting caught up in a struggle with thoughts, reasons, judgements and criticisms. This always happens. What I've learned from some of the newer developments in CBT, notably, the work of Steve Hayes and the ACT community, is that the task is not to invest time and energy countering all the things my mind comes up with. I don't necessarily need to challenge and change my thinking about writing this blog before I write it. I don't have to pick up the rope. The task is just to write it. It is possible to sit with the discomfort and the negative thoughts, and just write it anyway. The two things are not mutually exclusive. If we always waited for difficult thoughts and feelings to subside before we did the things that mattered to us, more often than not we wouldn't do them.
If I compare what's happening now, about half an hour after I started writing, with before, it's interesting to note what's going on. Doubt? Still there. Anxiety? Still there. The difference? I've just written my first blog post.