Monthly Archives: June 2016

Day 1277: Breakthroughs

Every time I do a therapy group, I witness people making personal breakthroughs.

Yesterday, I witnessed a group breaking through dozens of interesting subjects to choose “Breakthroughs” as the focus of the group’s work.

One of my breakthroughs is to ask the group certain questions  about the topics that break through our discussions:

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In case my writing isn’t legible enough to break through into your consciousness, here are my breakthrough questions from yesterday:

  1. What is your personal experience of breakthroughs?
  2. What are your personal obstacles to breakthroughs?
  3. What helps you with breakthroughs?

All the group participants broke through shyness, self-consciousness, and other obstacles to sharing in a group to describe inspiring breakthroughs.

Here’s more of my bad penmanship breaking through in response to Question #3, above:

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What thoughts and feelings might break through, for you, regarding breakthroughs?

Do any of my other photos from yesterday — breaking through this post in chronological order — show breakthroughs?

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I have some personal breakthroughs coming up soon, including:

  1. Presenting about a breakthrough service for patients at work today,
  2. Singing in front of a room full of people today and/or tomorrow, and
  3. Breakthrough heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic in September.

What music would you choose for this breakthrough post?

Here are the Doors breaking through in their  first TV appearance on 1/1/67:

 

I wonder what comments are going to break  through the internet (where you’re never weird, according to one of the book titles breaking through above).

Many thanks to all  who helped me break through this 1277th consecutive daily post and to you — of course! — for all of your personal breakthroughs.

 

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

Day 1276: DNA

It’s part of my DNA to Define, Now, Any concept that Definitely Needs A definition, like DNA.

DNA
noun   BIOCHEMISTRY
1. deoxyribonucleic acid, a self-replicating material present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes. It is the carrier of genetic information.
2. the fundamental and distinctive characteristics or qualities of someone or something, especially when regarded as unchangeable.
“diversity is part of the company’s DNA”

It’s part of my DNA to Duly Note Anything that inspires my blog posts.

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My Downstairs Neighbor’s Attire shows that loving dogs is part of her DNA.

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While it’s part of Karen’s DNA to love dogs, it’s part of my DNA to love cats.

 

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It’s part of our cat Oscar’s DNA to Duplicate Numerous Attempts to use my laptop.

It’s part of our cat Harley’s DNA to Decidedly Notice Anywhere my boyfriend Michael is.

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It’s part of some people’s DNA to Display Accumulations, Naturally.

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It’s part of my DNA to share things that catch my Discerning and Naive Attention.

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It’s also part of my DNA to Definitively and Naturally  Adore

  • creative teaching and
  • music.

If those DNA songs Do Not Appear directly above, they Do Now Appear here and here.

Decidedly Natural Appreciation to all those who helped me create this DNA post and to you and your DNA (of course!) for being here, now.

Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , | 32 Comments

Day 1275: The right call?

Is it the right call that I’m starting today’s blog post with this photo — the first image that called out to me yesterday morning?

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Is it the right call to include links to definitions of “the right call” at this point, here and here?

Was it the right call to title this post Day 1275: The right call?   Would it have been a better call to title it Day 1275: Welcome, considering all the other photos I took yesterday?

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Was it the right call for me to present all the photos I took yesterday in chronological order?

Is it the right call for me to characterize the first conversation  with Garry Shandling,  below, as an example of two people who connect well and the second one as an example of two people who do NOT connect well?

http://comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com/garry-shandling-its-great-that-garry-shandling-is-still-alive

Do you think it was the right call for Jerry Seinfeld to name that episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee “It’s Great that Garry Shandling is Still Alive,” since Garry Shandling died soon after that? Do you think Ricky Gervais made the right call deciding not to continue his interview show after his experience with Garry Shandling?

Is it the right call for me to be asking questions about video segments that many of my readers may not watch today?

Would it be the right call for you to comment on today’s post?  Only you can make that call.

It’s always the right call for me to thank those who help me create a post and those who follow the call to read it (including you!).

 

Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 22 Comments

Day 1274: Reading

Card 1:  How you feel about yourself

The Hierophant

You feel a need for advice or wise council or perhaps spiritual consolation. Someone, or perhaps immediate events, will provide moral and practical guidance. Perhaps you are considering becoming such a tutor, counsellor or spiritual advisor.

You desire the tried and tested traditional values, so when considering your options, this approach will prove wiser than adopting an unconventional novel approach.

I read this part of the reading like so:  I do feel the need for advice and wise council from the surgeon who will be performing the operation.   I assume that other people and immediate events will provide guidance for me about how best to prepare myself for the experience. Also,  we’ll probably go with the tried and true way of performing open heart surgery with general anesthesia rather than the unconventional novel approach of my staying awake (which you may have read about here). 

 

Card 2:  What you want most right now

The Devil

The cards suggest that what you most want at this time you can’t have, and like the forbidden fruit this only makes it all the more tempting. Alternatively you know you could go for something, but it would be a bad choice and you’d be doing it for all the wrong reasons.

What I most want at this time is NOT TO HAVE OPEN HEART SURGERY, but I’m doing my best to reach acceptance.

 

Card 3:   Your fears

The Tower

You are afraid your world is falling apart: you’re experiencing sudden changes and disruption and you don’t know what to do.

Perhaps subconsciously you’ve wanted a solution to an issue but didn’t quite expect things to have turned out as they have. Use this change as an opportunity for a new beginning.

Okay!

 

Card 4:   What is going for you

The Emperor

You are self-assured and more than capable of influencing people or events to achieve what you want.

What’s more, support and guidance from your father, husband/partner or another man of significance in your life is there for the asking.

Make the most of your resources.

Okay!

 

Card 5:   What is going against you

The Moon

You are frozen with fear, lacking nerve and confused as to what it is you actually want.

You are allowing all your fears and anxieties to hold you back when you should be opening your mind to new and unexpected possibilities.

Okay!

 

Card 6:  The likely outcome

Death

This is a transformational time for you.

However turbulent or perhaps distressing some of the events in your life may be, endings always leave room for brand new beginnings.

This is a fresh start in life for you, embrace it and live every day as though it were your last – life is for living!

Okay!

I’m interested in reading what you read into that tarot card reading. I also hope to read how you’re reading these photos I took yesterday:

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Here‘s one of the songs you might have noticed while you were reading this post:

Depending upon where you’re reading this, you might not be able to read that YouTube  video of “Come Dancing” by the Kinks. If so, there are lots of other versions you can read on the internet.

I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts and feelings about this post.

Thanks for reading!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , | 37 Comments

Day 1273: Many Signs

Yesterday, I saw many signs.

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When you read those many signs, were there many surprises?  Did you see the many signs that I saw the play I Was Most Alive With You, which used American Sign Language?

I saw that amazing play yesterday with my long-time, wonderful friend Barbara.

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Do you see many signs in Barbara’s beautiful pendant?

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To me, that looks like a heart encircled by ribs, which is one of many signs that I’m having open heart surgery in September.

The last photos I took yesterday are two of the many signs that I’m currently obsessed with the musical Hamilton (there are many signs of this obsession here, here, and here).

Here are many signs I just found on YouTube:

 

I wonder if there will be many signs from my readers  in the comments section of today’s post?

I hope you pick up the many signs of gratitude I have for those who help me create these posts and those who read them, including you!

 

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

Day 1272: If I Ruled the World

If I ruled the world,

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my creative son would become President of the United States,

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there would be dedication at every turn,

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people would give forgiveness and accept their own greatness,

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all houses would stand against hate, prejudice, violence, and homophobia,

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everyone would practice kind listening and kind speaking, and

nobody would be afraid to sing along to songs like “If I Ruled the World” (written by Cyril Ornadel and Leslie Bricusse).

What would the world be like if you ruled the world?

Thanks to all who helped me create this worldly post and to all who are reading it right now, because you rule!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 1271: Age

No matter what your age, chances are you have some thoughts and feelings about age.

Adults of all ages have been attending my therapy groups for a dog’s age. Yesterday, I asked people of different ages to write, draw, or otherwise express themselves about age.

I, age 63, wrote this poem about age:

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What are your thoughts and feelings about age?

When my age was a day younger, I took other photos.  Do any of them relate to age?

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As I was thinking about age yesterday, I heard two ageless songs about age — “I am a Child” and “Old Man” —  from  Neil Young (who I’ve been listening to between the ages of 15 and 63).

What song would you choose about age?

For more than a  hamster’s age, I’ve been expressing ageless gratitude to people of all ages (including you!) who help me create this daily blog.

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Soon after I published this post, I saw this age-related poll about the British vote to leave the European Union.

Categories: blogging, group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1270: Accepting all feelings

People who work with me in therapy accept that I often focus on the importance of accepting all feelings, even uncomfortable ones like fear and sadness. If we accept all feelings, instead of repressing or judging them, then all feelings can naturally flow through us.

These days, I am accepting all feelings –including hope, fear, and sadness — as I feel my way towards open heart surgery on September 21.

Yesterday, I accepted all feelings in an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing  (EMDR) therapy session. In that session, I transformed all my feelings about this thought:

Strangers are going to split me open, like they’re filleting a fish, and look at my totally exposed heart in a cold and lonely room.

to this thought:

People who want the best for me are going to have the privilege of seeing my unusual  and beautiful heart and making it better. Maybe they’ll even take a picture of my heart so I can finally see it!

Throughout that EMDR exercise, I was accepting all feelings about this image (which I found here):

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What feelings are you accepting now?

I am accepting all feelings about that image and about these photos I took yesterday:

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I am accepting all feelings about all these songs about feelings (on YouTube here, here,  here, and here):

Whatever feelings you have about this post, I accept them.

I’m accepting all my feelings of gratitude for those who helped me create this post and for you — of course! — no matter what feelings you’re accepting, here and now.

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

Day 1269: Balance

My balanced intention, this morning, is to create a  blog post with balance.

I wish to balance

  • light and dark,
  • courage and fear,
  • joy and sadness,
  • reality and dreams,
  • rest and movement,
  • routine and spontaneity,
  • solutions and problems,
  • contentment and exploration,
  • active and passive,
  • structure and play,
  • caring and not caring,
  • my needs and the needs of others,
  • yin and yang,
  • beginner’s mind and hard-won wisdom,
  • thoughts and feelings,
  • facts and intuition,
  • social connections and  time alone,
  • health and illness,
  • the past and the future,
  • the here and the now,
  • talking and listening,
  • awareness and distraction,
  • the new and the familiar,
  • engagement and escape,
  • sense and nonsense,
  • patience and impatience,
  • humor and seriousness,
  • the important and the trivial,
  • work and time off,
  • sweet and sour,
  • trust and caution,
  • trying and letting go,
  • noise and silence,
  • sun and clouds,
  • day and night,
  • comfort and discomfort,
  • hot and cold,
  • so on and etc.

That’s a lot to balance!  Let’s see if my photos from yesterday will help.

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What would you choose to balance in your life?

Here‘s my favorite singing group — Take 6 —  in Paris,  balancing their beautiful voices in a song balancing smiles and sadness:

I’m balancing that performance of “Smile” with a differently balanced one from Take 6’s live album Tonight (balancing here on YouTube):

I hope you balance my thoughts and feelings about balance  with yours, in a comment below.

I feel more balanced when I express gratitude.  Thanks to all those who helped me create this balanced and balancing post and to you — of course! — for the balance you bring, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 1268: Abnormally Normal

Yesterday, I met with an old friend for a two-hour reunion.  I am abnormally normal when it comes to reunions — I never miss one, if possible.

During our two hours together, an abnormally normal number of things happened, including this:  my friend (who has known me since we were both 17 years old)  called me “abnormally normal.”

What does abnormally normal mean to you?

Are any of these photos abnormally normal?

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Is it abnormally normal that this is my favorite song?

 

I hope I get some abnormally normal comments on this post, which I shall now end in an abnormally normal way:

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , | 45 Comments

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