Day 2553: Who is on your mind today?

Who is on your mind today?

Wonderful people?

IMG_9684

IMG_9685

 

Difficult people?

IMG_9691.JPGIMG_9689

Shadows from the past?

IMG_9683.JPG

People who are reassuring?

IMG_9692

People who have a lot of nerve?  People you see during Thanksgiving?

IMG_9688

 
People who come together when the feeling’s right?

IMG_9693.JPG

People who make music?

 

You’re on my mind today, so

  • please let me know who is on your mind today and
  • accept my mindful gratitude on November 22, 2019.

fullsizeoutput_3e93

Categories: anniversary, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Day 2552: That’s the way we roll

As I roll out of bed every morning, I write a blog post, hoping for a minimum of eye rolls from my readers. That’s the way I roll.

Let’s roll out a definition of “That’s the way we roll.”

“That’s the way we roll” (“This is the way we roll”) means “That’s the way we are”. Another way of saying “That’s the way we roll” is “That’s the way we do things when we are being true to ourselves.”

“The way we roll” is how people behave when they aren’t “putting on a front” (faking it) but are expressing their true nature or their “real” attitude or reaction/s to that time and place. “That’s the way we roll” or “That’s the way I roll” is bluntly and unapologetically said with the unspoken addition of “and if you don’t like it, I couldn’t care less”.

….

The core meaning of “to roll” is “to move a certain way”. It’s my position that the slang meaning of “to roll” = “to behave in an intrinsic manner” comes from the belief that the way a person “lives and moves” reflects and determines that person’s being.

 

That’s the way pancocojams rolls and defines “That’s the way we roll.”

It’s time for me to roll out my latest photos, because that’s the way we roll here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally.

IMG_9661.JPG

IMG_9662.JPG

fullsizeoutput_3eed.jpeg

IMG_9664.JPG

IMG_9665.JPG

IMG_9666.JPG

 

IMG_9667.JPG

fullsizeoutput_3eee

IMG_9669.JPG

IMG_9671.JPG

IMG_9673.JPG

IMG_9675.JPG

IMG_9676.JPG

IMG_9678.JPG

IMG_9679.JPG

IMG_9680.JPG

Harley rolls up on the sofa until people show up for a Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy Board Meeting. That’s the way he rolls.

According to the rolling bus pictured above, The Nutcracker is rolling into Boston soon. Here‘s one way it rolls on YouTube:

Here‘s the way Boston Ballet dancers roll in “The Russian Dance” from The Nutcracker:

 

People in political power are rolling all sorts of ways these days. I hope some will be rolling out of the way  a year from now.  That’s the way I hope our country rolls.

I’m looking forward to seeing the way you roll in the comment section, below.

Here’s the way gratitude rolls at the end of my daily blog posts.

 

 

 

Categories: definition, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Day 2551: 3 steps for perfect results

Yesterday, while I was taking non-perfect steps to leave the house and go to work, I noticed this:

IMG_9644.JPG

  1. I stopped.
  2. I took a picture.
  3. I thought, “That’s the title for tomorrow’s blog!”

After I took many more steps to get to my office, this was the perfect-enough result:

IMG_9650.JPG

  1. Show up.
  2. Be gentle.
  3. Tell the truth.

Those are 3 steps we can all take for great results.

I shall now take steps to share my other photos from yesterday.

IMG_9645.JPG

IMG_9646.JPG

IMG_9649.JPG

IMG_9647

IMG_9653.JPG

IMG_9655.JPG

fullsizeoutput_3ee3.jpeg

fullsizeoutput_3ee9.jpeg

fullsizeoutput_3ee6

IMG_9657.JPG

 

  1. I love my work.
  2. I love my son.
  3. I love all 3 versions of this song (here, here, and here).

  1. Don’t you worry about a thing.
  2. Leave a comment, if you like.
  3. Accept my thanks to all who help me take steps to create this daily blog, including YOU.

fullsizeoutput_3ed6

IMG_9439

IMG_9420

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2550: Narrative

Because of the kind of narrator I am, I’m going to start today’s narrative with a definition of “narrative”.

NARRATIVE

noun
1. a story or account of events, experiences, or the like, whether true or fictitious.
2. a book, literary work, etc., containing such a story.
3. the art, technique, or process of narrating, or of telling a story:
“Somerset Maugham was a master of narrative.”
4. a story that connects and explains a carefully selected set of supposedly true events, experiences, or the like, intended to support a particular viewpoint or thesis:
“to rewrite the prevailing narrative about masculinity”; “the narrative that our public schools are failing.”

Because I’m a psychotherapist who uses narrative therapy, I’m going to add to the narrative here with a description of that.

Narrative therapy is a form of psychotherapy that seeks to help people identify their values and the skills and knowledge they have to live these values, so they can effectively confront whatever problems they face. The therapist seeks to help the person co-author a new narrative about themselves by investigating the history of those qualities. Narrative therapy claims to be a social justice approach to therapeutic conversations, seeking to challenge dominant discourses that it claims shape people’s lives in destructive ways.

Yesterday, I noticed some self-destructive, outmoded, and fixed narratives, including

  • I am worthless.
  • I cannot trust anyone.
  • I am stuck forever.
  • I am weak.
  • If people knew the real me, they would reject me.
  • I am worthwhile only when I’m at my best.
  • People don’t want to listen to me.
  • Speaking up is dangerous.
  • Not speaking up is dangerous.
  • People who dislike me can ruin my life.
  • I am helpless.
  • If I ask for help, I won’t get it.
  • People, including me, are not capable of change.
  • There is no hope.

I always have hope that people can change their narratives.  After all, there are so many different ways to tell a story, even the story of your life.

Do my photos from yesterday create a narrative?

IMG_9616.JPG

IMG_9617.JPG

fullsizeoutput_3edb.jpeg

IMG_9623.JPG

 

 

fullsizeoutput_3edd.jpeg

fullsizeoutput_3edf

fullsizeoutput_3ede

fullsizeoutput_3eda.jpeg

IMG_9643.JPG

fullsizeoutput_3ed9.jpeg

The people at SoundBot are sharing the narrative, above, that every moment deserves a song. Here‘s a song — which intertwines lots of narratives — that I was listening to yesterday with my new SoundBot wireless musical earmuffs:

We all have a different, personal narrative of the events of September 11, 2001, but we all share elements of that painful narrative.

I look forward to the narratives in the comments, below.

I end every narrative here with gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU.

IMG_9614

 

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2549: Our world deserves more _____

Our world deserves more

  • love,
  • care,
  • attention,
  • connection,
  • understanding,
  • trustworthy leaders,
  • humanity,
  • music, and
  • people like you.

IMG_9606.JPG

 

Our world deserves more wonderful, fortunate, and  transformative musicals like Come From Away.

IMG_9601.JPG

IMG_9595.JPG

IMG_9594.JPG

IMG_9593.JPG

Our world deserves more healing of traumatic events like 9/11 through art, as shown in Come From Away’s “Me and the Sky”.

 

Our world deserves more

  • focus on the here and now,

IMG_9597.JPG

  • welcoming entrances,

IMG_9602.JPG

  • spaces for play,

IMG_9603.JPG

  • innovation,

IMG_9604.JPG

  • things worth waiting in line for,

IMG_9605.JPG
 

  • choices of transportation,

IMG_9600
 

IMG_9607.JPG

  • outside and inside messages,

IMG_9614.JPG

fullsizeoutput_3ed7

  • cats like Oscar,

IMG_9611

  • tea and other kinds of comfort,

IMG_9592

  • and, of course, more gratitude for every moment.

 

fullsizeoutput_3ed6.jpeg

IMG_9598

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, theater | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2548: Fortunate

Last night, before we were fortunate enough to see “Parasite” — an incredible movie about the fortunes of families from very different classes  — Michael and I got bubble-gum fortunes at a restaurant nearby.

fullsizeoutput_3ec9.jpeg

While I wasn’t fortunate enough to get a comic and fortune that was cut properly, Michael was.

fullsizeoutput_3ec8

If I had been fortunate enough to get that fortune about being anxious to achieve something very important and succeeding, I would have greatly appreciated that view of such a fortunate future.

Earlier that morning, I was fortunate enough to capture the images of birds flying around and around our home, casting shadows on the blinds.

Are birds flying around and around  your home considered fortunate?  I was fortunate enough to find this online article about bird superstitions and myths.

Later in the day, I was fortunate enough to attend a beautiful memorial ceremony for my beloved colleague Deb Carmichael.

IMG_9584.JPG

IMG_9583.JPG

I believe all of us at the memorial service felt fortunate to have the opportunity to write down on those index cards our thoughts about our good fortune in knowing Deb, so we could share those with Deb’s family.

I felt fortunate when one of the speakers at the memorial service quoted something I often say:

The pain of the loss is directly proportional to the importance of the connection.

We were all fortunate to hear a song that Deb had personally chosen to be sung at her memorial service by a member of our shared professional organization and home: The Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy.  While you won’t be fortunate enough to hear that rendition today, here is the song:

 

I feel fortunate that I can share my other photos from yesterday with you, here and now:

IMG_9585.JPG

IMG_9586.JPG

IMG_9581.JPG

IMG_9579.JPG

IMG_9580.JPG

 

IMG_9587.JPG

IMG_9588.JPG

Please be grateful for every fortunate moment we get to share together.

Love,

Your fortunate blogger

Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2547: Families

It’s not unusual for “Families” to show up  in my Coping and Healing groups.

IMG_9484.JPG

IMG_9487.JPG

Yesterday, the group chose to focus on families, telling stories about families they were born into and families they had chosen. I shared my experience of the world seeming less safe after my mother died in 2008 — when I realized I was now an orphan.

GoodReads has four thousand, eight hundred and eighty-nine quotes about Families (but who’s counting?).  Here are a small percentage of them:

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is different in its own way.” — Leo Tolstoy

“The capacity for friendship is God’s way of apologizing for our families.” — Jay McInerney

“Parents were the only ones obligated to love you; from the rest of the world you had to earn it.” — Ann Brashares

“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city. “– George Burns

“When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching — they are your family. “– Jim Butcher

“My dear young cousin, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the eons, it’s that you can’t give up on your family, no matter how tempting they make it.” — Rick Riordan

“If you can’t get rid of the family skeleton, you might as well make it dance.” — George Bernard Shaw

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” — Oscar Wilde

I think this topic and these quotes are especially timely, because

IMG_9483.JPG

… the holidays are here!

Let’s see if there are families in my other photos from yesterday:

fullsizeoutput_3ec6.jpeg

fullsizeoutput_3ec1

IMG_9480.JPG

IMG_9488.JPGIMG_9482.JPG

Albert Schweitzer (shown above) is a member of the family I choose,  as evidenced by these quotes from him:

“Success is not the key to happiness.  Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

“Sometimes our light goes out, but it is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.”

“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life — music and cats.”

Here’s one means of refuge from the misery of life …

… and another:

Feel free to share thoughts and feelings about families, below.

I am grateful for all my family members out there, including YOU.

IMG_9439

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2546: It’s not unusual

It’s not unusual for me to

  • spend time worrying about something that doesn’t come to pass,
  • make assumptions about what somebody is thinking only to find that I was way off,
  • avoid checking the latest news,
  • wish better people were in power,
  • be shy about asking for help,
  • write on white boards at work,
  • talk to anybody who will listen about the healing power of groups,
  • pose a question and then find out the answer is more complicated than expected, and
  • appreciate being alive, every day.

In yesterday’s blog post — Day 2545: Transformation — I asked people to identify the guitarist on the 1965 Tom Jones hit, “It’s Not Unusual.”

While I was told the guitarist was Jimmy Page, it turns out that the guitarist was either Jimmy Page or Joe Moretti AND the keyboardist was definitely Reginald Dwight, more famously known as Elton John.

It’s not unusual for me to send an email like this to Michael:

Who was the keyboardist on “It’s Not Unusual”?

One of the most famous keyboardists in rock and roll history!

Don’t cheat! Answer provided tonight!

Love,
One of the least famous keyboardists in history

It’s not unusual for me to share my latest photos.

IMG_9466.JPG

IMG_9468.JPG

IMG_9469.JPG

IMG_9471.JPG

It’s not unusual for a cat to look at a king or a blogger.

It’s not unusual for me to share definitions, like this one:

A CAT MAY  LOOK AT A KING

A cat may look at a king is an English proverb that means even someone of low status has rights. A cat may look at a king implies that all people have certain minimal rights by virtue of being alive. Like many proverbs, the origin is unknown. The first printed version of the idiom a cat may look at a king was published in 1562, in The Proverbs And Epigrams Of John Heywood, “What, a cat may look on a king, ye know!” It is almost certain that the proverb existed in oral tradition long before it was written down. A cat may look at a king is a proverb that is not as popular as it was in the past, perhaps because inalienable human rights are more recognized in the present time, or perhaps because the power of kings is not what it once was.

It’s not unusual for me to appreciate any comments you might share, below.

It’s not unusual for me to express gratitude for all who help me create these daily blog post, including YOU!

 

Categories: definition, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2545: Transformation

When I search my old blog posts for “transformation,” I immediately find this:

Day 2395: Self-Transformation

When I wrote that post last June, I was definitely performing some self-transformation, as I often do with this blog.  That day, I was transforming the sadness, anger, and shock I felt about somebody’s behaviors into a positive and upbeat blog post.  I left some subtle clues about that transformation in my photos of book titles (which include lots of “f-cks,” one “sh-t”, and a “You Can’t Hurt Me”).  That behind-the-scenes transformation helped me cheer up, move on, and face another day.

Today, I want to share transformation of a different kind.  Yesterday, my Coping and Healing group transformed our roving thoughts into focused mindfulness by using the angel cards which a past transforming group member left me years ago.  One of the members chose this card:

fullsizeoutput_3ebf

I chose this card  …

fullsizeoutput_3ec0

… which was one of the few blank cards in the pack.  When I focused on that card during the mindfulness exercise, I noticed a transformation.  Somebody had tried to write something on that card, with a pen that had no ink.  Can you see it?

I tilted the card into the light, to try to discover the hidden markings.

IMG_9457

At first, I thought the hidden word (which definitely started with a “T”) was “Thankfulness” ( probably because I find thankfulness so transformative). After many moments of mindful scrutiny, I finally discovered what somebody had tried to write on that angel card, years ago.

Transformation

Then, when it was my turn to check in, I shared that transformation with the rest of the group.

Do you see transformation in any of my other recent photos?

IMG_9440.JPG

IMG_9451

IMG_9452.JPG

IMG_9454.JPG

IMG_9453

IMG_9462

IMG_9463.JPG

IMG_9461.JPG

IMG_9464

IMG_9465

One of the group members yesterday asked the rest of us how we would transform ourselves, if transformation was possible.   Somehow, that transformed into a conversation about ducks, including

  • how some of us are ducks — calm on the surface with lots of action below,
  • the transforming coping strategy of letting things roll off one’s back, like a duck, and
  • how to duck other people’s negativity.

Here‘s “Vital Transformation” by John McLaughlin and The Mahavishnu Orchestra, which I experienced as very transformative during the 1970s.

Now it’s time for another transformation — I shall transform this blog post into a guessing game!  Last night, Michael chose this classic Tom Jones song for us to dance to after dinner:

Michael told me that the young guitarist playing on that track later transformed into one of the most famous guitarists in rock and roll.  After I guessed Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and others, I finally came up with the right answer.  Can you?

Feel free to transform your thoughts and feelings into a comment, below.

As always, I end these posts with a transformation of thankfulness for all who help me create this daily blog, including YOU!

IMG_9437

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2544: Flow

Two days ago, I drew this flow chart on my office white board for somebody who was trying to decide what action to take in a very difficult family situation.

IMG_9405.JPG

Then, in a flow of  synchronicity, somebody who used to participate in my Coping and Healing groups sent me this flowchart in an email:

fullsizeoutput_3eb9.jpeg

I love the way that flow chart keeps flowing into the same conclusion.

Are you ready for the flow of lots of other photos?

 

Last night, my dear friend Jeanette flowed into town from Philadelphia and shared our dinner, flowing conversations, photos of a Nailed It! cake and her trick-or-treating dog Gidget, and also this:

IMG_0109

It looks like that kitty has some opinions.  Go with the flow and don’t worry about it!

Here‘s a review of the book Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi:

 

Here’s “Flow” by Shawn James:

 

I look forward to the flow of comments below, because

fullsizeoutput_3eb6

Are you ready for the flow of gratitude for all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU?

IMG_9420

 

 

Categories: friendship, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.