Monthly Archives: December 2015

Day 1095: Safe Place

What makes a place safe, for you?

That was a topic of discussion in a therapy group, yesterday.

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There were lots of ideas shared, in that group, about what makes a place safe enough. Here are some of them:

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Even though it’s not perfect, my workplace is definitely safe enough for me these days:

Even when it snows, I feel safe enough in Boston.

Despite my many scary experiences in hospitals when I was a child, I feel safe enough in different hospitals, too.

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I hope that last image (from Tufts Medical Center, where I get my medical care) is making this place safe enough for a  New Year’s Eve sing-along.

After three full years of blogging, WordPress is definitely a safe place for me. Thanks to all of you for making it so!

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 50 Comments

Day 1094: If you are lost or need assistance

Yesterday morning, I felt lost and needed assistance,  because snow had returned to Boston:

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Why did I react to the first snowfall of the season that way?

  1. I’ve lived in Boston for 62 years and, at this point,  have seen enough  snow.
  2. Last year’s record snowfall was so overwhelming and painful, I was considering titling this post “PTSD: Post Traumatic Snow Disorder.”
  3. Now that I’m on anti-coagulants for the rest of my life, it’s very dangerous for me to slip and fall while walking, and I LOVE to walk, no matter what the weather.

Anyway, no matter what the weather, we can all feel lost and need assistance, at times.  That’s why I noticed this sign at work:

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It’s wonderful to know there’s a service ambassador on call, happy to assist me.

Which reminds me of how happy I am that, starting next Monday, thanks to our new “Quick Response” service, I will be there to assist doctors and patients who feel lost and need assistance, immediately.

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What do you do when you are lost and need assistance? Personally, sometimes I take photos of my surroundings to ground myself, like these:

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Often, when people are lost and need assistance, they fear they are a bother to other people.  They’re not.

Today, I look forward to meeting with people who might feel lost and need assistance, in group and individual therapy.

Here’s another thing that helps me when I’m lost or need assistance: connection to others.  If you think that means I’m hinting that you leave a comment below, you are NOT lost and in need of assistance.

Thanks to all humans who have ever felt lost or have needed assistance, which — I assume — includes you and everyone else reading this post, here and now.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 66 Comments

Day 1093: What are you eating/What’s eating you

The title of today’s post is inspired by:

  • all the people who are talking about food during this time of the year,
  • worries that tend to eat away at people,  and
  • every single photo I took yesterday.

What are you eating these days?  And what’s eating you?

Personally, I’d like to let go of all worries that are eating me. One worry I can let go of, immediately,  is about what we’re going to have to eat during  this week between Christmas and New Years,  what with that enormous baked ziti Michael made for us yesterday. I don’t think it’s eating away at my son Aaron that Michael made that baked ziti  instead of the lasagna Aaron had requested, especially since all the Christmas shoppers had eaten away all the lasagna noodles from the supermarket shelves on Sunday.

If it’s eating away at you, now, that you can’t see Michael’s lasagna, here it is —  in a 2015 video created by Aaron and his friend Cameron (which is currently eating up bandwidth on YouTube and two previous posts of mine, here and here):

It’s eating away at me to share one more thing before I end this post and eat some baked ziti for breakfast.  My use of the word “bandwidth” above reminded me of this exchange I had during a work meeting yesterday:

Co-worker:  We should do it this way because we don’t have the bandwidth to do it otherwise.

Me (raising my hand): Excuse me?  I keep hearing people use the word “bandwidth” in conversation lately and I’d like to know: What exactly do you mean?

Co-worker: Ummm.  It means we don’t have what we need to do it.

Me: Okay!  So it means “resources.”  Thank you!

I also explained, before much more time was eaten up at that meeting, that it ate at me when people used the word “bandwidth”that way,  since “I’m not a computer.”

Then, my manager offered me some chocolate (not pictured), which I promptly ate.

If there are any thoughts or feelings eating at you right now, I hope you leave them behind in a comment.

Thanks to all whose time I’ve eaten up with this post, including you!

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

Day 1092: Dreams

Here are some of my associations with “Dreams” on this Monday of the week between Christmas and the New Year of 2016:

  • This time of year feels particularly dream-like to me,
  • I think and talk a lot about dreams, at work and elsewhere.
  • One of my favorite books is Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill, about the amazing healing that happens when people share dreams in groups.
  • Even though I’ve been living the dream of blogging daily for (almost) three years, I’ve written only four previous posts with “Dreams” in the title (here, here, here, and here).
  • When I got my first cardiac pacemaker at age ten in 1963, my being alive and well over fifty years later was just a dream.
  • I’ve had several dream jobs — including creating the recruitment video for Berklee College of Music in the 1990s — but nothing more satisfying than my current work as a psychotherapist.
  • When I was 44 years old, I consciously gave up the dream of ever having a child.
  • One month later, I found out I was pregnant with my dreamy son, Aaron.
  • Two nights ago I had a dream when I was falling from a great height to certain death, but because I knew I was dreaming, I wasn’t afraid, at all.
  • If a dream comes true and I get a call-back when I try out for The Voice on February 21, I’m going to sing  Mad World, which has this line:

The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had.

Because I was dreaming so much yesterday, I forgot to take many photos. Which of these images seems the most dream-like, to you?

It’s always a dream for me that people feel safe enough to share their dreams,  here and elsewhere.

Dreamy thanks to all who helped me create this post and to all those who read it, here and now.

Categories: Dreams, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

Day 1091: This post might keep you up at night

In my continuing quest to get more readers, today I am trying one easy trick that doctors hate!  That is, I’m starting out with language similar to what I see everywhere on social media, which — I’m assuming —  must be successful in getting people to click and read.

But because I value authenticity and honesty, I will quickly confess to you that this blog post might actually NOT keep you up at night.  Sure, it’s keeping me up at night, because I’m writing it, right now, at 4:17 AM. But there’s no reason for me to assume that you won’t be able to sleep after reading it.

Although, who knows? Maybe one or two of these photos WILL keep you up at night.

So which ones might keep YOU up at night? Inquiring minds want to know.

In the meantime, I’m going to try to get back to sleep.

Thanks for visiting!

 

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 46 Comments

Day 1090: What’s ahead

Yesterday, I saw this ahead of my iPhone at my boyfriend’s brother’s home in Norfolk, Massachusetts:

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And like this evocative image (which was ahead of me at work last week) (and which is ahead of you, again, if you read this recent blog post) …

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… that image of what’s ahead reminded me of my brand new business card.

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Before I get ahead of myself, I’ll explain that my new business card is for therapy groups which I hope will be ahead for people outside my usual practice at a major Boston teaching hospital.

What’s ahead, now,  is my telling you that people who have seen that image on my business card have had different reactions, including:

  • “That looks very calming.”
  • “I love it!”
  • “What’s that picture saying about what’s ahead?”
  • “Could you turn that into a bridge?”
  • “That shows a leap of faith.”
  • “I guess that means that therapy is a dead end.”
  • “Congratulations!”
  • “Maybe you should have a boat waiting at the end of that.”
  • “Are you saying that after working with you people will be able to walk on water?”
  • “That reflects the uncertainty of the future.”
  • “Give me a handful of those so I can give them out to patients.”

What’s ahead, now, are these questions: What are  your reactions to and associations with the image on my business card?  If you wanted to convey to people that what lies ahead includes hope, coping, and healing, what  kind of picture might you use?

What’s ahead, now, are these other images from yesterday, Christmas Day:

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None of us know what’s ahead for us in the future, but what’s ahead for me might include printing up more business cards. If I do, should I replace that stock photo on my card with any of those photos I took yesterday at three different family homes?

What’s ahead now is simply gratitude for all I encountered yesterday and for all that’s ahead of me, tomorrow.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism, taking a risk | Tags: , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 1089: The Meaning of Life

Earlier this year, I attempted to explain The Meaning of Life. Thanks to my niece Julie’s lovely Christmas present to me last night …

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… I am choosing to revisit this topic today.

Because I’m a group therapist, I usually like to go to the group, first, about any important topic.  Therefore, my esteemed group of readers, what would YOU express in a journal called “The Meaning of Life”?  Might you fill that journal with:

  • thoughts?
  • feelings?
  • the past?
  • the present?
  • the future?
  • hopes?
  • dreams?
  • disappointments?
  • yourself?
  • other people?
  • lessons?
  • warnings?
  • the facts?
  • imagination?
  • words?
  • images (like these, from yesterday,  Christmas eve 2015)?

Your meanings will give more meaning to this meaningful post.

Happy Christmas, love, and peace to all my readers.  And I mean it.

Sincerely,

My brain, heart, etc.

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

Day 1088: Oh what fun

Oh what fun it is to create this blog post for you and for me, on Christmas eve day.

Oh what fun it was for me to see this last night, accompanied by my son Aaron and my boyfriend Michael:

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Oh what fun it is for me to share this familiar song with the lyrics “Oh what fun.”

Oh what fun it would be to do this …

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… and this:

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Oh what fun I had taking all these other photos yesterday:

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Oh what fun it is, for me, to:

  • live near such interesting places,
  • have another day on this earth,
  • spend time with those I love, and
  • do work that is fulfilling, a great fit for my talents and interests, and more fun than others might imagine.

Oh what fun it would be if you commented, below.

Oh what fun I hope you had, here and now.

 

 

Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

Day 1087: Christmas Colors

Yesterday, I noticed these  Christmas colors at the hospital where I do group and individual therapy.

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That inspired me to notice more Christmas colors throughout the day.

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Sometimes I get distracted by colors.  For example, yesterday I picked up the wrong Christmas-colored cup at Starbucks when I thought I heard a barista call my name.

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In green-and-red Boston, “Ian” sounds a lot like “Ann.”  I returned that purloined Pumpkin Spiced Latte, and here’s my correctly colored cup of Chai Tea:

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Does anybody — in Boston or elsewhere — know the history of Christmas colors being green and red?

I suppose I could use Christmas-colored Google to find out, but I’d rather show you some other colors I saw yesterday:

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Which colors seem the most like Christmas, to you?  Right now, I’d choose those black-and-white hand-written thoughts, from my long-time friend Jerry.

Finally, here’s gratitude and a Christmas song with colors for Jerry, for  you, and for all my other readers.

 

 

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 1086: Hard to read

Yesterday, on my drive in to work at a major Boston teaching hospital, I saw somebody holding a sign that you might find hard to read.

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Sometimes, I find people’s expressions hard to read, too.

I hope it’s not hard to read, here, that lately I’ve been thinking that maybe my visions of very large faces who all look very angry might  be faces hovering over me — after I was born with a congenital heart condition — that were actually worried, not angry. After all, grown-up faces can be hard to read, for a very young child.

Which of the following photos do you find hard to read? Which are easy to read?

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If anything here is hard to read, please ask for my assistance.

Are the lyrics for this song (which first appeared in my blog post titled “Everything you need to know about the world”) hard to read?

The rules for “The Voice” try-outs (which are not hard to read) indicate that I should prepare five songs to sing in Philadelphia, two months from now.  I’m thinking I might attempt a reading and a singing of  “Mad World.”  I wonder if I’ll be able to read the expressions on people’s faces then.

Thanks to all my wonderful co-workers (who are easy and a pleasure to read), to grownups and children, to red, green, and pink cupcakes,  to all the people responsible for creating “Mad World,” to judges everywhere, and to you — of course! — for reading this blog today.

 

Categories: health care, personal growth, photojournalism, taking a risk | Tags: , , , , , , | 24 Comments

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