Monthly Archives: January 2016

Day 1126: You can’t be good at everything

The title of this post

You can’t be good at everything

is something my ex-business partner, Jonathan, said to me when I was being self-critical about a task I wasn’t good at, decades ago.  My memory — which can’t be good at everything — tells me Jonathan said

You can’t be good at everything

when I was feeling shame about my living space being cluttered and not “guest-ready. ”

At various points in my life, it’s been helpful for me to say to myself

You can’t be good at everything

about other things, including

  • doing my taxes
  • drawing
  • penmanship
  • cleaning
  • maneuvering gracefully around other people while walking
  • keeping my cat away from my laptop
  • calculus
  • being a perfect mother
  • singing loudly
  • discussing politics
  • keeping my hair neat all the time

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  • and many more.

Sometimes, I seem to think that I SHOULD be good at everything, but I hope my readers know that being good at everything  is completely impossible, even if somebody wrote this in your 9th grade yearbook:

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You can’t be good at everything, even if you encounter a kind person like Roger sometime in your life.

I can’t be good at everything, including capturing all the wonderful images around me, every single day.  For example, yesterday I took only these three shots:

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You can’t be good at everything, but I hope you’re good at leaving good-enough comments for this blog.

Good thanks to Jonathan, Roger, my neighbor Karen (for the custom-made bumper sticker on her car), and all the other good people who helped me create this post. Also, great thanks to you — of course! — for reading this, here and now.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 55 Comments

Day 1125: Finding my way

It seems like every day I’m finding my way.

What helps you find your way, every day?

Here are some visuals that helped me find my way, yesterday:

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Three weekends from today, I’m finding my wayout of Boston to audition for the TV show “The Voice.”

I’ve found  out — through “The Voice” website —  that an optional part of that audition process is to submit a video of my audition  song to the Voice staff ahead of time, for some pointers  and — perhaps! — finding my way ahead of the audition crowd.

When I do find my way to the audition site in Philadelphia on February 21, I’ll be finding my way through my audition song (which will probably be “Soothe” by Todd Rundgren) without any accompanying instruments. Now I’m finding my way, here, to share this a capella rendition of “Soothe.”

It occurs to me that it’s taken me one thousand, one hundred, and twenty-five days to find my way to showing you what I look and sound like, while singing. 

If you find a way to give me feedback about that video, I’ll be finding my way to reply back.

Why am I finding my way to audition for “The Voice,” when the odds are unlikely  I’ll find myself on the show? Because this is all part of my way of finding my way out of fear.

Finding my way on WordPress always includes thanks to you, my readers, for helping me find my way here.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, taking a risk | Tags: , , , | 41 Comments

Day 1124: When somebody leaves the room

Recently, at a therapy group of people who had all never met  each other before, somebody left the room and stayed away for quite a while.

I noticed the absence.  The other members of the group didn’t seem to, as they talked about everything but the missing person. However, because of my experience with groups, I knew that everybody was as aware of the absence as I was.

Sure enough, when I invited feelings and thoughts about that — simply by asking  “Is anybody having any reactions to ___ leaving the room?” —  that triggered an outpouring of thoughts and feelings, including worry, concern, projection (“___ looked very upset”),  personalization (“I figured it was something about me”), and wishes that I would do something (“Maybe you should go after them and see if they’re okay!”).  However, I know enough about group work NOT to leave the room, no matter what people’s worries and concerns are.

While people were talking about the person who had left the room, the door opened and that person came back in, bearing bags of food for the rest of the group.  Why?  Because several people had mentioned earlier in the group session that they were feeling hungry.

No matter how many times I’ve facilitated groups, I continue to be amazed at what happens there, including

  • unexpressed thoughts and feelings
  • people’s willingness to share, if they feel safe enough
  • projected fears
  • cognitive distortions including mind-reading, personalization, and catastrophizing
  • generosity  and
  • countless other beautifully human reactions.

As I said, a week ago today, at a presentation about group work to the Massachusetts Psychological Association:

When I watch the news, I despair for the future of this planet.  When I sit in my therapy groups and observe human behavior, I have infinite hope and optimism.

Before you leave the room today, here are some photos I took yesterday, inside and outside of therapy rooms:

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What feelings and thoughts might you express, before you leave this WordPress room?

Thanks to all the human heroes who helped me write this post and to you — of course! — for visiting here, today.

 

Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 1123: Bold Character

As I was boldly walking away from work yesterday, I saw this:

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Which of those characters seem particularly bold to you?

To me, “bold character” includes:

  • Courage
  • Willingness to try new things
  • Openness to differences
  • Strengths of many different kinds, including the strength to show vulnerability
  • Feeling the fear and doing it anyway
  • Expressing oneself through words, rather than weapons
  • Accepting all  feelings
  • Taking helpful actions
  • Letting go of negative self-talk
  • Showing off one’s talents

After I saw “Bold Character” yesterday, I was bold enough to drive to the Boston Financial District to meet with my new vocal coach, Sherée:

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Sherée is a bold enough character to appear on a televised talent contest, which she won! Since I’ve acquired enough bold character to audition for “The Voice” next month, Sherée is helping me prepare for that.

Yesterday, Sherée had the bold character to record me boldly singing my likely audition song, which I’ll be sending in to the bold characters pre-screening the try-outs for “The Voice.”  Once Sherée sends me that bold recording, I’ll probably have the bold character to share it with my bold readers, here on this bold blog. If I’m feeling really bold, I might ask the bold characters who read my blog  to vote on which audition song I should use:  “Soothe” by Todd Rundgren or “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”  Or, I might have the bold character to decide on my own.

This bold character took all these other photos, yesterday:

What are your thoughts about “Bold Character”?  I hope you have enough bold character to express yourself in a comment below.

Bold thanks to Sherée and all the other bold characters who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for boldly going here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, taking a risk | Tags: , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1122: Overwhelmed

Yesterday, people in my therapy group were overwhelmed with many stressful problems. Therefore,  I suggested that we write, draw, or otherwise express ourselves about being overwhelmed.

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If it’s not too overwhelming, how might you answer those questions?

Here’s how I answered Question #1: What is your personal experience of being overwhelmed?

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As a way to let go of being overwhelmed, I shall now list what might overwhelm me, in the moment:

  1. Fear.
  2. Worry.
  3. Anticipation of what might go wrong in the future.
  4. Anticipation of what might go right in the future.
  5. Concerns about other people’s judgments.
  6. All the things I’m supposed to get done today.
  7. All the things I’m supposed to get done during this time of the year (including TAXES).
  8. Things I cannot control, such as the weather.
  9. My 63rd birthday, coming up in less than a week.

For me, what helps is to make a list of what might overwhelm me, like the one above. Then, it all seems less overwhelming, especially if I challenge what’s on the list, like so:

  1. Life is scary, so feel the fear and do it anyway.
  2. Worry doesn’t help me.  Don’t worry, be happy.  What me worry? Let go of worry about worry!
  3. I can’t control the future; I can only do my best in the moment.
  4. Really?  I’m overwhelmed by what might go RIGHT?  How goofy is that?
  5. I can’t control what other people think or how they judge.  And, I know that other people’s judgments and thoughts can’t really hurt me. Are you judging me now?  Guess what!  It doesn’t touch me!
  6. What if I don’t get everything done today?  Is the world going to end? I think not.
  7. See #6, above.
  8. “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.”
  9. Up until now, I’ve always loved my birthday (because it’s GROUNDHOG DAY) and I’m grateful I’m still here.

I don’t know about you, but I feel less overwhelmed.

Are you overwhelmed by any of my other photos from yesterday?

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Overwhelmed by all this?  Try making a list and letting it go.

Overwhelming thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for visiting here, today.

 

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

Day 1121: What helps

What helps me might be different from what helps you.

What helps is to be open to differences among people.

What helps me includes

  • music
  • supportive people
  • alone time
  • enough sleep
  • nourishing food
  • water
  • taking a breath
  • writing blog posts
  • staying true to myself
  • being flexible
  • hope
  • humor
  • letting go of fear
  • acceptance
  • healthy boundaries
  • awareness
  • vulnerability
  • color
  • whimsy
  • finding my voice
  • doing work I love
  • group therapy
  • taking photos of what’s around me, like these:

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Does anything in this blog post help you?

Helpful thanks to all those who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for accepting the help you need, as best you can.

 

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

Day 1120: More fortune telling

Fortune telling — as my regular readers might be fortunate enough to tell — is a very common “cognitive distortion.”

Fortune telling.
We believe we know what the future holds, as if we have psychic powers. We make negative predictions, feeling convinced these are unavoidable facts. Examples of fortune telling: “I am going to fail,” “This situation will never change.”

I’m fortune telling, now, that this post may get several comments identifying with that very human and pervasive way of thinking.

Why do we so often believe we know what the future holds, as if we have psychic powers?  Maybe it’s because the  uncertainty and the unknown of the future are difficult for us to tolerate.  Maybe we believe we will do better in our lives if we’re prepared for what’s coming.

People who see me for individual and group therapy often express a wish to know the future.  Some of them have visited psychics. Actually, I visited a psychic or two, in my youth.  One of my friends from college regularly did tarot card readings for me.

Lately, I’ve been visiting an online tarot card site. Why?  Because

  • it’s fun,
  • it’s free,
  • I’ll be reconnecting with that tarot-reading friend from college sometime soon, and
  • I like suspending my disbelief, for a few moments, to pretend I know something about the future.

Yesterday, I asked this question of the online tarot cards:

What does the future hold, for my blogging?

And here are the answers:

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What do you think of that fortune telling?  It’s my fortune to tell you these things about those cards:

  1. My college friend, Diana, would often reassure me that the “Death” card did NOT mean death, but rather change.
  2. I often tell myself and other people “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
  3. That seems like a pretty positive, hopeful reading, to me.
  4. The fortune telling in those cards may have been affected by somebody else playing with the keyboard when I still needed to choose 2 more cards.

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My fortune telling readers might foretell there are some other quickly-snapped photos in their immediate future.

I foresee some wicked cool, new, delicious, magic, fresh, lovely, and rockin’ comments in my future. And I don’t need an online tarot card site to tell me that.

Thanks to all who fortune-tell, including you!

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 1119: Practices

As somebody who practices daily blogging, I’m familiar with the importance and benefits of practice.

As somebody who practices psychotherapy, I’ll be more practiced with money issues, later today, after I attend “Money Matters: Looking at Money Issues in Our Practices” presented by the Practice Development Committee of the Northeastern Society of Group Psychotherapy, an organization for people who practice group therapy.

Besides blogging, group psychotherapy, and new learning, here are more things I practice:

  • Solving mysteries, like how to get the air conditioner plug in my private practice office to fit the nearby outlet.

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  • Dealing with snow in New England.

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  • Finding meaning in greeting cards.

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  • Finding meaning everywhere I look, including at the supermarket.

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  • Interacting with those in high places.

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  • Gratitude, every day.

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Categories: blogging, group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 1118: The Daily B*tch

Terry, a co-worker of mine, has The Daily Bitch calendar.   That calendar has shown up in this blog before, but I’m  too much of a  b*tch  to spend time, right now, looking for those previous posts.

Yesterday, Terry showed me the daily batch of The Daily Bitch:

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One of those Daily Bitches made this b*tch laugh out loud. Which one, from that bitching batch, is your favorite?

Some more b*tchy thoughts from me, your daily blogging bitch:

  • At a meeting last week, I was a b*tch to somebody who said something I experienced as intrusive, ill-timed, and sexist.
  • I’m fine that I am what I am and that I bitched what I bitched to that person.
  • Like the daily bitch cartoon, above, we agreed to disagree and we resolved the conflict before the bitching hour of the meeting’s end.
  • Why is it — this bitch wonders — that an angry woman is called a “bitch,” daily, but an angry man is just called “angry”?
  • I don’t like my recent haircut, so I’m going to b*tch about that to my fabulous haircutter, Mia.
  • Mia has given me such a wonderful batch of haircuts over the years and is so much NOT a b*tch, I’m sure she’ll help me feel less b*tchy about my hair, very soon.
  • For you bitches who were wondering about this, nobody bitched about my presentation yesterday — everybody there seemed to love it.
  • As you can see from the first photo this bitch took yesterday, many people in this bitching country have something to b*tch about:

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That Storm Jonas sure is a bitch of a blizzard, threatening 29 million b*tches. By the way,  this bitch is glad that storms are now named after female bitches and male bastards (like Jonas), as opposed to just getting bitch names, the way it was when I was a little bitch.

This  older b*tch is hoping for a big batch of bitchy comments from her bitchy readers.

And, I don’t meant to be such a bitch, but WordPress is being such a bitch as I’m writing this bitchy post that it won’t let me use more than one asterisk in a paragraph without becoming totally b*tchy.

What do you have to bitch about in your life today, my b*tches?

B*tchin’ thanks to Terry and everybody else that helped me create this bitching post. Thanks to you — of course! — no matter what you have to bitch about, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 69 Comments

Day 1117: I am what I am

At a therapy group yesterday, one of the members brought in a gift: a cartoon of  Popeye the Sailor Man, with his signature saying,  “I yam what I yam.”

Because I am what I am — a group therapist who appreciates gifts and hopes to inspire creativity and sharing — I suggested  we use those cartoons to express ourselves.

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Because I am what I am — somebody who loves music and pop culture trivia — I looked up the Popeye theme song during that group exercise, last night.

Because I am what I am — an ex-marketing writer who likes to avoid false advertising — I want to tell you that YouTube video of the Popeye theme song is NOT in Hindi.

Because my boyfriend Michael is what he is, he just said to me, “Are you looking for try-out songs for your audition for The Voice?”

Because I am what I am — somebody who appreciates a good sense of humor — I laughed out loud.

Because I am what I am — a daily blogger who likes to share the  photos I snap wherever I go — here are some other pictures from yesterday:

Because I am what I am — a group facilitator with a passion for my work — I’m giving a presentation about group therapy this morning for the Massachusetts Psychological Association.

Because I am what I am — somebody who likes to be on time — I’m finishing today’s blog post now, but not before I request that  you leave a comment about “I am what I am.”

Pop-eyed thanks to people who heal in groups, Max Fleischer (the creator of Popeye), the Fenway Park area of Boston Massachusetts, and you — of course! — for being what you are, today.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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