Yesterday, it was a relief for me to:
- attend my third and last day of a group psychotherapy conference in San Francisco,
- listen to one of my heroes — group therapy expert Irvin Yalom — give a down-to-earth, soulful, and moving talk,
- participate in a “medicinal drumming” workshop, given by Sal Núñez from City College of San Francisco,
- go to a very interesting panel discussion about “Group Psychotherapy Practice of the Future,”
- hear from one the esteemed panelists afterwards — much to my surprise and delight — that she considers the therapy groups I’ve developed and facilitate at a Boston hospital a “Practice of the Future” (and that she would have described my groups in her talk yesterday if she’d had more time),
- get a free, stress-relieving 10-minute massage at the conference,
- see and talk to other group therapists I feel I’ve connected to in authentic and important ways,
- use this incredibly cool app to easily drop off the car I drove to the conference and then miraculously get it back when I was ready to leave San Francisco at 9:30 PM, and
- discover and read this amazing blog post by esteemed and admired WordPress blogger Randall Collis.
Here’s the comment I left there, in response to Randall’s gorgeous words and images:
Randall, this story and your images are so beautiful and important to me, right now. Your post is the only thing that has cut through my negative thoughts and feelings about returning home tomorrow to Boston after my two weeks in sunny, warm California. Now I actually feel strong and hopeful about what lies ahead for me. Thank you for your spirit, creativity, and talent; you make our world better with your gifts.
Here’s the last sentence of Randall’s response to me:
Thank you very much Ann, nothing like a little creativity to turn bad into good.
I have to admit that I was feeling bad two night’s ago, about
- returning to the cold, dark, and snow of my home town of Boston, Massachusetts and
- health uncertainties and possibly scary recommendations from doctors about my heart, which I will surely face soon after my flight home today.
However, as Randall wrote, a little creativity can turn bad into good.
Here’s just a little photographic evidence of bad-into-good creativity, from yesterday:
Because of all the things I learned (or re-learned) yesterday, I hereby resolve to turn bad (New England weather, fears about my health, etc.) into good (self-care, in-the-moment acceptance and joy) by:
- seeking out the sounds, sights, and places that sustain me (like the ocean, which — despite how cold and gray and snowy New England may be — is NEVER silenced),
- asking for help, when I need it, from the people around me,
- looking into a drumming class,
- continuing to help myself and others let go of old unhelpful messages and images from the past, and
- facing my immediate future with hope, resiliency, and clear vision.
I hope I turned this morning’s post into something good (enough). Gotta go catch a plane back to Boston!
Before I go, here’s some good musical creativity for you (found here on YouTube):
Thanks to Irvin Yalom, Sal Núñez, all my esteemed colleagues at the group psychotherapy conference, Randall Collis, the massage guy, the local dudes who took care of my car yesterday, the Beach Boys, everybody everywhere who has ever turned bad into good with a little creativity, and — of course! — special thanks to you, for turning things better for me today, with your visit here.