Monthly Archives: December 2015

1085: Down and Up

Yesterday — at (1) my new office, (2) Cabot’s Ice Cream & Restaurant in Newton Massachusetts USA, and (3) an open sing of Handel’s Messiah at a local church  —  I took these photos, sitting down:

That last photo shows a tulip on the “stupid phone” of Marlyse — a fellow soprano I met sitting down last night at The Messiah.  Marlyse told me that every year a tulip comes up outside her apartment, only to be mowed down by some groundskeeper. In 2014, the tulip stayed up, which she called “the triumph of hope over experience.”

Here are some photos I took standing up, yesterday:

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Do things look different to you when you are down and up?

While I was up last night singing Handel’s Messiah, my voice hit all the notes, down and up, including these:

Hallelujah!

Thanks to my son Aaron (who joined up to sit down with me  for some ice cream at Cabot’s), to Marlyse, to tulips everywhere, to all those standing up and sitting down at the Messiah Open Sing last night,  to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and to you — of course! — for being up for reading this down-and-up post, here and now.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 1084: No judgment

“No judgment” is …

  • a goal of this almost-three-year-old daily blog,
  • something people say a lot in my therapy groups,
  • a state of mind very difficult to maintain,
  • particularly important during times of new challenges and transition,
  • hereby making its first appearance as a post title, and
  • two words I saw in a store, last night.

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Do you agree that “No judgment” should be the only one real rule to any game? What’s your judgment about that? Is having no judgment even a possibility for us human beings?  Is it something we should strive for?

Would you have no judgment if I asked you to judge the photos in this allegedly no-judgment post?

 

Personally, as the end of 2015 approaches, I would like to strive for no judgment about:

  • what I have or have not done in the past,
  • my capabilities, as I try my best in many different arenas, and
  • Christmas monkeys and other puzzlements.

No judgment from me about any thought, feeling, or judgment you leave in a comment, here and now.

No judgment, but yes gratitude,  for another day of life.

 

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Day 1083: How to Choose a Post Title

Even though I’ve chosen a similar title before,  I think “How to Choose a Post Title” is a blogging topic useful enough to revisit.

Do you agree, dear readers? How do you choose a title for a post, or for anything else you create?

Obviously, there’s no single right way to do so.  One technique is to consider the images you want to include in a post for possible title candidates.  For example, today I’m considering the following post titles:

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  • “Unlikely Friendships”

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  • “The Best Bostonians of All Time”

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  • “Enjoy Life’s Simple Pleasures”

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  • “Wisdom/Mistakes”
  • “Fake It Until You Make It”

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  • “That’s Foolish!”

Now this may be foolish, but I have a lot of trouble making decisions, especially when there are so many good choices.

Actually, “Making Decisions” might be another good post title.

Aaaarrrgggghhh!

Whenever I struggle with decisions, it helps me to ask for assistance from others.  Therefore, which title would you choose for a post like this one, based on all the other photos I took yesterday?

 

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I hope you choose to let me know your choice, in a comment below.

Choice thanks to all who helped me create today’s post, including my son Aaron’s classmate Emma, shown holding the guinea pig (which my boyfriend Michael titled “Cheryl.”) And special thanks to you — of course! — for choosing to visit here, today.

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

Day 1082: Sound

What is the sound of

  • silence?
  • one hand clapping?
  • peace?
  • distraction?
  • connection?
  • technology?
  • thoughts?
  • feelings?
  • time?
  • a sound body?
  • a sound mind?

Sound is on my sound mind right now because last night’s therapy group soundly picked “sound” as a topic to explore.  Two  hours earlier, I had heard the sound of a different therapy group soundly choosing  the sound topic of “Wisdom.”

As we explored sound in that second therapy group, people soundly requested some  sounds of the season (which I soundly played on my sound iPhone):

What do those sounds do for you?

What sounds are evoked by these images on my sound iPhone?

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What sounds do you hear, here and now?

Please soundly express the sounds in your head and your heart, in a comment below.

What is the sound of gratitude?  Thanks to all.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Day 1081: The right way

Do you ever notice yourself (or others) getting stuck on the right way to …

  • reach a destination, by car or otherwise?
  • perform a particular task?
  • move towards a goal?
  • try something new?
  • express yourself?
  • interact with other people?
  • do every big and little thing?

While it can be helpful to weigh options and choose a good-enough next step, focusing too much on “the right way” can lead to

  • over-thinking,
  • procrastination,
  • stagnation,
  • confusion,
  • time wasting,
  • frustration,,  and
  • self-criticism.

Am I creating this blog post the right way, this Thursday morning?   And, are you stuck in thoughts about doing something the “right way”  as you’re reading it?

Did I take these photos the right way?

 

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I think the right way to proceed, now,  is to tell you that the most righteous photo in that batch was taken by my boyfriend Michael (shown holding a Star Wars action figure the right way, above).

Which photo is it that Michael took the right way?  The right way to let me know is to comment below.

Before I end this post the right way (with gratitude), here’s something I wrote to friends last night:

I’ve decided today that I am not going to be making a fool of myself when I try out for The Voice in February. That’s a win already!

Right-way thanks to Michael, cats and other creatures, people with compassion, and you — of course! — no matter what next thing you choose to do.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, taking a risk | Tags: , , , | 27 Comments

Day 1080: Antidotes

Not since my first few months of daily blogging — almost three years ago  — have I used the word “Antidotes” in a post title.

If you have a burning curiosity to read those two early “Antidotes” posts, the antidotes for that are here and here.

I find it odd that I’ve not referenced “Antidotes” more in my blog titles, since antidotes are

1.a medicine or other remedy for counteracting the effects of poison, disease, etc.
2.something that prevents or counteracts injurious or unwanted effects.

Yesterday, in individual and group therapy sessions, people came up with several valuable antidotes, including:

  •  realizing that a worst fear is often unlikely to come true, since we are consciously and unconsciously working to prevent that,
  • increasing self-esteem by seeing oneself through the eyes of a beloved pet,
  • letting go of internalized harsh judgments about personal appearance,
  • imagining anxiety-provoking thoughts and images attached to balloons that float away,
  • affirmations of self-worth, and
  • realizing that traumas of the past are in the past and NOT in the here and now.

I wonder if the thirteen photos I snapped yesterday are antidotes for anything.

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Here’s a possible antidote for my nervousness about trying out for The Voice in February: “singing” is the only antidote that appears twice in the lists of “What Helps” on the walls of my office.

What antidotes do you find helpful?

Here’s an all-purpose antidote for what ails us:  gratitude. Thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for reading it.

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 1079: Trash

Here are my first associations with “trash” this morning:

  1. In order to make room on my hard drive, I am trashing many things which do not stay trashed until I empty trash many times.
  2. My boyfriend Michael, almost every trash day, wonders why taking out the trash can feel so arduous.
  3. He who steals my purse steals trash.” — William Shakespeare
  4. One person’s trash is another person’s valuables.
  5. Every time I write something (including each daily blog post), I am deciding what to keep and what to trash.
  6. In my work as a psychotherapist, I help others trash unhelpful and habitual ways of thinking which are difficult to trash (like the trash described in #1, above).

What are your associations with the word “trash”?

Should I have trashed any of these recent photos and why?

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I would never consider any comment from you trash. And remember, only you can decide what is valuable and what is trash, in your life.

Valuable thanks to all who helped me create this trashy post and special thanks to you — of course! — for reading it.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 1078: Unusual sizes

Back in the unusual days when my experience with daily blogging was unusually smaller,  I wrote this blog post about unusual sizes.

Yesterday, while food-shopping at a supermarket that is unusually large, I saw two things of unusual sizes:

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I usually notice chocolate, no matter what its unusual or usual size.

Those chocolates of unusual size reminded me of a text-message exchange of an unusual size I’d had earlier in the week with my ex-sister-in-law, Deborah, about the paint color-scheme she’d chosen for my new office of an unusual size:

Deborah: it will make it seem larger

Me:  Okay!  Larger is good!

Deborah: in most situations

Me: Right

Here’s a list that’s unusually small of some things in my life that are unusually small, these days:

  • My fear about trying new things.
  • My hair length.

And some things that are unusually large:

But as my taller-than-usual boyfriend Michael said in an unusually short statement last night:

As the kids say, “it’s all good.”

And various people I know,  of unusual and usual sizes, seem to agree that “it’s all good,” here and now.

Any reactions of unusual sizes to the multi-sized photos I took yesterday?

As usual, there’s room for any comments of unusual sizes from you.

Unusually sized thanks to all who helped me create this unusually-sized post and to all people of usual and unusual sizes — including you! — who are reading it, today.

 

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 1077: By Degrees

Yesterday, I heard a song that was new to me: “By Degrees.”

By degrees, what might you guess that song would be about?

  • Temperature (which was unseasonable warm in Boston yesterday)?
  • Certificates of college education (which my 17-year-old son will probably start receiving in less than five years)?
  • Small increments of measurement?

Here’s “By Degrees,”  performed by its composer, Mark Erelli of Reading, Massachusetts, USA.

Aaron, my son — who is, by degrees, getting very close to 18 years old — asked me yesterday, “Do you think you’ll lose any of your readers because of your blog post tomorrow?”  I said, “I don’t think so.”

Maybe I will win some and lose some, by degrees.

Here are all the pictures I took yesterday, in weather that was unseasonably warm by more than 20 degrees.

By degrees, you might be able to see that I took photos of yesterday’s march in Boston against gun violence and also of last night’s performance of the  Arlington Children Theater‘s production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” starring Aaron’s cousin Victoria and his great friend,  Cameron (who has appeared by degrees in previous blog posts here, here, and here).  If any of those photos are too small, you can increase the size of a photo by degrees with a click of your cursor.

As always, I would welcome any comments, by degrees, below.

By any degree,  I am grateful to all who helped me create this post and to all who are visiting, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 49 Comments

Day 1076: What does that mean?

I’m typing this on my phone keyboard before 6 AM on a Saturday morning. 

What does that mean?

What do you think it means?

I woke up from a dream where Santa was driving a sleigh with 10 reindeer, who all had the face of a high school classmate of mine. 

What does that mean?

What do you think it means?

Here are the photos I took yesterday. 

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
   
What do those mean?

What do you think they mean?

Meaningful and non-mean thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for bringing meaning to it. 

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

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