I’ve had two intense days, so far, at my group psychotherapy conference in San Francisco. It’s been quite a relief to share thoughts, feelings, and authentic connections with so many kind, wise, and experienced people. And — as is true, for me, with any intense experience — it’s also been a relief when each day’s been over.
This morning, I’m going back into San Francisco for my third and final day at the conference. I’ll be seeing one of my group therapy heroes — Irvin Yalom — speak. Then, I’ll go to a workshop and a panel discussion. I’ll be driving in to the city by myself, so it will be a relief once I get there.
Speaking of relief, here’s some visual relief I saw on my travels, yesterday:
Because relief can be so important (especially during times of stress), I’m going to repeat the first image in this post, which I saw on the beautiful ferry ride from Oakland to San Francisco early yesterday morning:
Ahhhh! What a relief!
Since I’m flying back to cold and icy Boston tomorrow, it’s important for me to be aware of those things that provide relief for me. Here’s a quick “relief” list, off the top of my relieved head:
- people I love,
- people who love me,
- cats (who I experience as loving creatures),
- beautiful scenery,
- the moon and the stars,
- speaking my mind,
- balancing my needs with other people’s needs,
- writing blog posts,
- doing work I love and believe in,
- taking care of my basic needs, including having enough water, nourishing food, and sleep,
- accepting all the different parts of me,
- accepting the beautiful differences in other people,
- a good cry, sometimes,
- having all my feelings,
- recognizing my fears about the future, letting them go, and then refocusing on the present moment,
- recognizing any regrets about the past, letting those go, and then refocusing on the present moment,
- staying in touch with my self-worth (which does not change, no matter what is going on, inside of me and outside of me),
- forgiving inevitable human mistakes (from myself and others),
- letting go of any need to be perfect or to be immediately good at anything new,
- connections with other people,
- down time for myself to be alone, and
What music might provide relief here, today?
This is the first “Relief” song that popped into my head:
… but that’s an old Alka Seltzer commercial (on YouTube here) and I don’t how much of a relief it is.
For those of you who like music with lyrics, here’s the original by Gerry and Pacemakers (found here on YouTube):
What gives you relief? I’d be relieved to hear from you, in any way.
Thanks to Irvin Yalom, to my friend Lawry (pictured above), to Pat Metheny, to Pacemakers of all kinds, to people attending the group psychotherapy conference in San Francisco, to ferries everywhere, to all those who can be kind as best they can, and to you — of course! — for getting whatever relief there is today.