Day 1137: Control

Yesterday’s group therapy topic was

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Yes, control.

Since I’m in control of writing this, I’ll now tell you I can’t control my surprise about having written only one previous post with the word “control” in the title during all my one thousand, one hundred and thirty-six consecutive days of controlling this WordPress blog. I can’t control the past, even though I might wish I’d written more about this important topic. And — as it says in that one previous controlling post — I can’t control what any of you might do, but I can suggest that you click on the link for Day 140: We cannot control other people.

Having/not having control can bring up a lot of feelings for people, including:

  • fear
  • anxiety
  • satisfaction
  • hope
  • hopelessness
  • acceptance
  • anger
  • avoidance
  • relief
  • frustration
  • happiness
  • shame
  • guilt
  • despair
  • self-consciousness,
  • excitement,
  • worry,
  • confusion,
  • caution,
  • ambition,
  • love,
  • hate, and
  • many, many more.

Since I’m in control here, I’m not going to look up supporting articles for this statement, but I think studies show that human beings need to believe they have some measure of control over their lives in order to thrive and be happy.

I can’t control what other photos are on my iPhone from yesterday. Actually, I can control them enough to bring them over here, like so:

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What are your thoughts about control, at this point in this controlled and controlling post?

I can’t control whether you leave a comment, but I can control how I respond to your response to this post about control.

Uncontrolled gratitude to all those who helped me take control of this post and to you — of course! — for the control to show up here, today.

Categories: blogging, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 1136: More comfort zones

About a year ago, I was comfortable enough to write a post named “Comfort Zones.”

Yesterday, a therapy group at work  was comfortable enough to focus in on comfort zones. And I was enough in the zone to take all these photos:

 

 

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Which of those photos zone more into comfort zones for you?

Every day, I’m moving into more comfort zones about

  • working,
  • playing,
  • singing,
  • writing,
  • speaking,
  • being comforted, and
  • comforting others

… by challenging AND inhabiting my comfort zones.

More comfortable thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for your comforting presence.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 1135: Calming an overactive brain

Yesterday, my overactive brain noticed a marketing pamphlet that came in the mail:

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Calming an overactive brain is something I’m working on, as I prepare to try out for “The Voice” in less than two weeks.

Apparently, my overactive brain has been an issue in my vocal performances for many years, as shown here in a decades-old goal-setting sheet from the Boston Voice Workshop:

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My overactive brain wishes to direct your brain to the fifth item on that list, which says “mental.”

Here’s what I know about calming an overactive brain:

  • Take a deep, cleansing breath.
  • Be in the moment.
  • Let go of fears about consequences.
  • Let go of unhelpful memories from the past.
  • Appreciate being alive.
  • Be aware of love.
  • Know you are worthy.
  • Trust your own wisdom.
  • Follow your heart.
  • Express yourself freely.

My calmer brain realizes this, now:

Those not only calm an overactive brain, they also improve an active vocal performance.

My vocal coach, Sherée Dunwell, is going to help calm my overactive brain and improve my voice, later today.  Here are some photos that my overactive brain and iPhone captured two days ago from her televised performance on Boston’s Community Auditions  talent show, where Sherée won this season’s grand prize:

 

Sherée is not only a fabulous singer, she actively calms overactive brains like mine.

What do you know about calming an overactive brain? You could help calm this overactive brain, today, by leaving a comment.

Overactive thanks to all brains out there, including yours!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 40 Comments

Day 1134: There are two kinds of people in this world

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who agree with the following statement and those who don’t.

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Do you agree that there are two kinds of people in this world?  If so, how would you divide up the people in this world into two groups?

There are two kinds of people in this world:

  1. Those who can guess the inside of the  above greeting card and
  2. Those who can’t.

No matter what group you’re in,  here it is:

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There are two kinds of people in this world: those who’ve read my daily blog before  and those who haven’t.  If you’re in the first group, you’ve probably learned that I figure out some way to include the photos I’ve taken the day before.

I hope you’re in the group of people that like these photos:

There are two kinds of readers in this world: (1) those who comment and (2) those who don’t.

There are two kinds of bloggers in this world:

  1. Those who end a post with words and
  2. Those who end a post with an image.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 57 Comments

Day 1133: Shorts

There is no shortage of shorts on my mind, right now, including these:

  1. Last night, I saw the Oscar-nominated movie The Big Short,  which (a) was longer than 2 hours, (b) felt short and (c) did NOT fall short of my tall expectations.
  2. I am short, at 5’3″.
  3. During my shorter than usual winter vacation (starting in a short 11 days), I will not be wearing shorts, because I’m traveling  a short distance to cold Philadelphia and New York.
  4. A short year ago, there was no shortage of snow in the Boston area (where my short self has lived for all of my expected-to-be-shorter life).
  5. If I come up short when I try out for the TV show “The Voice”in Philadelphia on February 21,   I hope my disappointment lasts for a very short time.
  6. Shortly after that “Voice” audition, I’ll be attending an American Group Psychotherapy Association  (AGPA) conference for a short two days.
  7. If my very short try-out for “The Voice” on 2/21 is successful, I’ll be expected to return within a short time (one to three days) for a call back audition, which may short out my AGPA conference plans.
  8. I’ve had a pain between my short ribs for a short two weeks.
  9. Since my short mind can jump to worst case scenarios in a short amount of time, I’m wondering if that pain could indicate that one of my old cardiac pacemaker wires is shorting out (or otherwise shortly causing problems for short me).
  10. I think there a very short chance my fear about short pacemaker wires shorting out are true, but if that pain doesn’t resolve, I’ll notify one of my short or tall doctors shortly.
  11. When short or tall people don’t get back to me within a reasonably expected short amount of time, I can get short with them.
  12. When people don’t respond to my short requests, it can remind me of when I was a short child, in the hospital, feeling powerless and alone.
  13. I can have a short amount of patience and comfort with my own shortness.
  14. Two of my charging cords for my Apple products and one pair of headphones have frayed wires, which might result in a short. 
  15. Before this short day is over, I’ll be meeting with the piano teacher of my no-longer-short son, who will be laying down a short keyboard track for the short and beautiful Todd Rundgren song “Soothe,” which I will shortly take with me for my short “Voice” try-out.
  16. Right now, there is a total shortage of new photos on my iPhone, because yesterday was too short a day for short me to seize any short moments to take any pictures at all.
  17. If you wait a short time, I’ll return with some photos of something short which is a short distance away from your short blogger.
  18. For some reason —  which I hope to understand and resolve shortly — my iPhone camera app (CP Pro) now pauses for a short time after I push the button before it takes photos of anything, short or tall,  a short or long distance away.  That can short out my attempts to capture what I want, in the moment.

If I take a short moment to breathe, I realize a short photographic pause doesn’t prevent  my getting good-enough photos of a short cat with short paws.

If you take a short pause to leave a short comment about this post, I’ll get back to you shortly.

Short thanks to short Oscar and all other short or tall creatures who contributed to this not-so-short post. And thanks to you — of course! — for taking whatever time you needed — short or long — to read it.

 

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 1132: Be suspicious

Are you suspicious of

  • other people?
  • yourself?
  • what you hear?
  • what you see?
  • what you smell?
  • what you taste?
  • what you touch?
  • the water you drink?
  • the food you eat?
  • the news media?
  • weather forecasts?
  • other predictions about the future?
  • your memory?
  • your beliefs?
  • other people’s beliefs?
  • technology?
  • the internet?
  • what other people tell you?
  • the unknown?
  • advertising?
  • cultural norms?
  • your own dreams?
  • things that are too good to be true?
  • blogs?

Be suspicious about other people listing your possible suspicions.  What are you suspicious of?

Be suspicious about what inspires my post titles, which is often something I’ve seen the day before.

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Be suspicious of other people telling you what to do.

I tend to be suspicious of

  • harshly critical thoughts
  • cognitive distortions (a suspiciously complete list of those is here)
  • easy answers
  • phony smiles
  • people who don’t listen
  • rigidity, and
  • too much suspicion.

Be suspicious when somebody offers to show you pictures, such as these:

Please don’t be suspicious about leaving a comment, which I suspect will be awesome.

Be suspicious when I don’t express thanks to all those who help me create a post and also to you — of course! — for reading my suspicious blog, here and now.

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 41 Comments

Day 1131: Anticipating feelings

Yesterday, in a therapy group, one of the members expressed a wish to anticipate feelings, in order to prepare for them.

I suggested, in that group, that it might be helpful to be more in the moment, rather than focusing on the future and what might be.

As I might have anticipated, I had mixed feelings about challenging other people’s feelings about what might help them.

Personally, I’ve been anticipating my own future feelings when I attend the Open Audition for “The Voice” on February 21, in Philadelphia.  I’ve been anticipating that I’ll feel

  • scared
  • confident
  • nervous
  • calm
  • insecure
  • numb
  • excited
  • disappointed
  • joyful
  • judged
  • judgmental
  • dismissed
  • accepted
  • vulnerable
  • happy
  • self-conscious
  • brave
  • diminished
  • liberated
  • relaxed
  • confused
  • anxious
  • alone
  • supported
  • paralyzed
  • energized
  • proud
  • rejected
  • irritated
  • irritating
  • depleted
  • energetic
  • terrified
  • reassured
  • lost
  • patient
  • impatient
  • friendly
  • anti-social
  • fulfilled
  • destroyed
  • peaceful
  • unsettled
  • impressed
  • relieved
  • and more  …

no matter what the outcome.

Wow!  Despite my suggestions to other people, I’m certainly anticipating feelings, aren’t I?

Last night, I had a dream filled with anticipated feelings about my upcoming “Voice” try-out, where I kept getting further and further away from the audition room, not knowing how to get back.

I’m feeling happy, now, that I always find my way back here, every day.

I also didn’t anticipate — before I started feeling and writing today’s “Anticipated Feelings” post — that all my photos from yesterday would be about feelings.

I’m not going to anticipate how you might feel about all this. Might you anticipate how I’d feel about a comment from you?

Heart-felt thanks to all those who helped me write this post and to you — of course! — for all your feelings, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 1130: Time

I’m going to take the time to tell you, right now, that I initially typed the number in today’s title like so:

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… which is, of course, a representation of time.

So I guess “Time” is on my mind!

Time is on my mind all the time, actually.  It’s on my mind, especially, today because yesterday’s therapy group focused on the topic of “Time.”

Here are the only two photos I had the time to take yesterday:

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I have time for a few more thoughts about time, this morning:

  • When I try out for “The Voice” in Philadelphia, on February 21, I’ll most likely be waiting for a long, long time before getting my approximately two minutes of time to make a one-time, stand-out impression.
  • If I don’t get a “red card” for a call-back that day, I’ll still have a great time visiting my friend Jeanette in Philadelphia.
  • I don’t have time for a longer blog post today, because I need to get into work on time at 9 AM.

I hope you have time to comment on today’s timely post.

And I always have time to thank my readers for reading!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 1129: It’s all good

It’s all good, here on the day after my birthday.

It’s all good that yesterday’s birthday was my fourth birthday since I went all in for this all good daily blog on January 1, 2013.  It’s all good that all my good readers can read all about all those birthdays here, here,  here, and here.

It’s all good that yesterday I thought and said, several times

This may be my best birthday ever!

It’s all good that I felt, thought, and said that sincerely yesterday, despite not all good things going as planned for my all-good birthday. For example, my all good vocal coach had to postpone our good plans to record me singing another all good audition song for the all good TV show, “The Voice.” Also, all good me was a good ten minutes late for my good appointment with an all good tax preparer. And, I got temporarily locked out of my all-good new office in Newton.  But, it was all good.

It’s all good that I made this all good promise to myself, on the all good day I turned an all good 63 years old:

From now on, if things don’t go as planned, I will judge neither myself nor anybody else!

That’s going to make all good things better, don’t you think?

It’s all good that I took all these good photographs yesterday.  Which all good photo do you think is the best?

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It’s all good that I get to share all good things with all my good readers.

All good thanks to all good people who helped me celebrate my birthday yesterday, including my great son Aaron and my great boyfriend Michael.  And all good gratitude to you — of course! — for reading all good things I share, here at the Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally.

 

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Day 1128: It’s Groundhog Day!

Today

is Groundhog Day,

celebrated in the USA.

Hip hip hooray!

Groundhog Day is special in another way.

If you  guess how, will you say?

 

That’s all for today!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 75 Comments

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