Monthly Archives: May 2019

Day 2378: Practicing happiness

Yesterday, at a Coping and Healing group where we were practicing reframes, forgiveness, the serenity prayer,  acceptance of ourselves and others, and some new perspectives,  one of the group members spoke about the concept of practicing happinesss — much like one practices a musical instrument. We practiced that by going around the room and naming specific ways we could practice happiness, starting now.

One of my named ways to practice happiness was listening to music I love.

I heard “Down the Line” last night by Jacob Collier (who has obviously been practicing a lot) as I was walking down the line through the Fenway after work.

I’ve also been practicing happiness daily by blogging and by taking the photos I share here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally.  Can you see any examples of practicing happiness in today’s pictures?

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Voila!  When you practice happiness, just like when you practice anything else, you get better at it.

I look forward to practicing happiness later by reading comments, below, about how you might practice happiness, here and now.

Practicing happiness includes expressing gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me write this practicing-happiness post and thanks to you, for reading it.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2377: Baggage

One thousand, four hundred and twenty-three days ago (but who’s counting?), I wrote another post titled “Baggage,” which was about arriving in Edinburgh without baggage, because the airline had temporarily lost it.  I notice, as I re-read that old baggage post today, that I focused less on the pain of the loss and more on the positives of being in a city I love with people I love. Perhaps that’s one way to get rid of baggage — to focus on what’s right in your life rather than focusing on what’s wrong.

Here are some quotes I’m finding about baggage at BrainyQuote:

You carry your country with you, it’s part of your baggage. — Roy Thomson

We humans have millions of years of evolutionary baggage that makes us regard competition in a deadly light. — Vernor Vinge

Painful events leave scars, true, but it turns out they’re largely erasable. Jill Bolte Taylor, the neuroanatomist who had a stroke that obliterated her memory, described the events as “losing 37 years of emotional baggage.” — Martha Beck

Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.Charles Dudley Warner

We all have our baggage, and I think the trick is not resisting it but accepting it, understanding that the worst experience has a valuable gift inside if you’re willing to receive it.  — Jeannette Walls

One of the main topics of yesterday’s Coping and Healing group was baggage:

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Later in the day, I noticed this:

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Apparently, everything has baggage, even bubbles.

Do you see any baggage in the rest of my photos from yesterday?

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Sometimes I invite people to leave their baggage outside the door, reminding them they can always pick it up on their way out.  At the same time, I welcome all baggage and anything else people want to bring in.

Here‘s “Baggage” by Mary J. Blige:

 

Here’s a song from Rent with the lyrics, “I’ve been trying, I’m not lying. Nobody’s perfect, I’ve got baggage.” “Life’s too short, babe, time is flying, I’m looking for baggage that goes with mine.”

 

Feel free to leave or share any baggage here.

Thanks to all who helped me write my 2nd baggage post and — of course! — to you, for reading it.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2376: What other people think about you is none of your business.

When I was minding my own business the other day and watching an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race — in which some contestants were very concerned about what other contestants thought about them — RuPaul got down to business and said something I had never heard before:

What other people think about you is none of your business.

Because RuPaul’s business includes helping people feel more self-esteem, RuPaul (who doesn’t seem to care what other people think) made sure that the contestants all repeated that phrase, several times.

Because I’m in the therapy business, I shared that phrase at yesterday’s Coping and Healing group, where 75% of all the participants  had suffered insomnia the night before.  I think it’s now my business to share my photos from yesterday:

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Because many people make it their business to like Michael’s cooking, last night he served baked cod with pineapple relish.

Several people’s businesses on YouTube include creating videos about today’s important phrase, including this and this:

Is it anybody’s business that “What Other People Think of You is None of Your Business” is attributed to many people?  Here’s Deepak Chopra’s version of it:

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Here‘s Salt-N-Pepa with “None of Your Business.”

What you think about me is  none of my business, but I still welcome your comments, below.

I make it my business to express gratitude every day, so thanks to all who help  me with my business of blogging and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2375: Fun for the whole fam

When I was at Marshall’s the other day with my fam but not with my fam-ous cell phone, I took this photo with a fam member’s phone:

The next day, I saw this whole fam of snowy egrets having fun close to where I live with my fam.

I didn’t want to disturb the fun of that whole fam, so I hope I got close enough for you to have fun with those photos.

Here are some fun photos of MY fam:

 

How about sharing a fun photo or story about your fam, below? And remember, it’s your choice who is part of your fam.

Here’s a whole fun song about fam:

Fun thanks for being part of my whole blogging fam, here and now.

Categories: family, fun, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2374: The opposite of a narcissist

Narcissists are often on my mind, these days, because they

Because I’m sick to death of narcissists, I want to pose this question today:

What is the opposite of a narcissist?

For all you non-narcissists out there who care, I just googled “What is the opposite of a narcissist” and found this:

The opposite of a narcissist is called an ’empath’— here are the signs you could be one.

If you read that article by Lindsay Dodgson, you’ll find that empaths

  • are very receptive to the emotions of others,
  • don’t have the filters that other people have,
  • are very sensitive to noise and smells,
  • can be overwhelmed by being in crowds,
  •  are often exhausted by social situations,
  • need time alone,  and
  • have difficulty setting boundaries.

Over six years ago, this empath posted Day 208: Another side of mind reading (empathy), which featured the TV show Six Feet Under,  the Cleveland Clinic‘s “Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care” (which always makes me cry), and Gem from Star Trek, who is taught — for the survival of her species — to feel, share, and experience other people’s pain.

Because some things bear repeating, here‘s that amazing video from the Cleveland Clinic:

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When I was in my 20’s, I used to ask people this question:

Do you think there are more mean people or more stupid people in this world?

In retrospect, I think I was trying to make sense of  — and better understand — people who seemed so foreign to me.  (I also think I was trying to make sense of — and better understand — the mean and stupid parts of myself, but that’s another story.)  Today, I want to ask this question:

Do you think there are more narcissists or more empaths in this world?

I am happy to report that, based on my 66 years of experience in this world, I firmly believe there are more empaths than narcissists.  (The jury is still out on whether there are more mean people or stupid people.)

Do you see any narcissists or empaths in my photos from yesterday?

 

 

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Feel free to express any opposites  in a comment, below.

Empathic thanks to those who help me express healthy narcissism in my daily posts and — of course! — special thanks to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, psychology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2373: Maintaining Positive Mental Health

In yesterday’s mostly positive post, I shared this information about maintaining positive mental health:

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Tip 1: Connect with others.

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Tip 2: Be physically active.

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Tip 3: Get professional help if needed (not pictured, but click on the link if needed).

Tip 4: Celebrate every moment.

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Tip 5: Be aware of the time, so you can savor it without rushing.

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Tip 6: Try not to get overwhelmed by all the data out there.

Tip 7: Observe, just notice.

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Tip 8: Welcome everyone and everything.

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Tip 9: Travel thoughtfully.

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Tip 10: Spend time with people you love.

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Tips 11 and 12: Smile and travel light.

Tip 13: Use any excuse …

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… to share music you love (here and here on YouTube):

Tip 14:  Practice the helpful antidote to the cognitive distortion of mind reading by reality testing — asking for reactions from people you respect (that’s you, readers!)

Tip 15: Express gratitude, every day.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2372: Better Speech and Hearing Month

If this is Better Speech and Hearing Month,

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why aren’t we hearing better speeches this month? Instead, we’re hearing speeches, again, about our U.S. President being a “stable genius.”  

Considering the speeches we’re hearing this month, I would prefer stillness. 

Therefore, I am not going to make any speeches this month.  I’m just going to share all the photos I’ve been taking, looking for better stable geniuses around me. I hope these pictures help  you feel better, hear and now.

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I will share this: I’ve been hearing better speeches about my Coping and Healing groups during Better Speech and Hearing Month, which makes it easier to share groups I love.

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How might you celebrate Better Speech and Hearing Month?

Personally, I’m looking forward to hearing better speeches (and maybe new comedy monologues) from my son, Aaron, who arrives from Edinburgh today!

Now, let’s hear  “A Very Stable Genius” by Randy Rainbow:

I’m going to be celebrating Lasagna Awareness Month by hearing Randy Rainbow live in Boston.

I look forward to hearing my readers’ speeches in the comments section, below.

It’s better, during any month, to share gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create all of my blog posts during Better Speech and Hearing Month, and — of course! — thanks to YOU,  as always, for hearing me out.

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

Day 2371: Stillness

Yesterday, in the stillness of the night, I facilitated a Coping and Healing group where we focused on the topic of “stillness.”

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After everybody had shared their thoughts on stillness and we had finished wrap-up with three minutes remaining until the end of the group, I suggested we spend that time in stillness.

Do you see stillness in any of my other new photos?

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During the stillness of the latest software update for my laptop, I started writing this post on my phone.

I am going to break the stillness here with the songs I mentioned in my written thoughts on stillness, shown above.

Fred Parris and The Five Satins recorded that song in the stillness of a Catholic school basement in 1955.

Here are Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel still  performing “Still Crazy After All These Years” in Central Park on September 19, 1981.

What are your thoughts on stillness?

I’m still ending every blog post with gratitude, so please accept the stillness of my thanks for all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — for YOU.

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After I published this post, I discovered that my only other post about “stillness” was published exactly four years ago, to the day. What are the odds of that?

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 2370: Based on a true story

All my blog posts are based on a true story, so it’s true that I love starting today’s blog post with a true image from my true friend Barbara’s truly lovely home.

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Yesterday, Barbara

  • went with me to see guitarist Pat Metheny for Barbara’s first time,
  • had the best fish dish of her entire life,
  • took selfies of herself and her friend of sixty-three years (me),
  • swapped amazing stories with her friend,
  • admired the gorgeous concert venue in Rockport Massachusetts,
  • experienced the wonder of synchronicity,
  • was, as usual, a wonderful friend,
  • enjoyed many adventures, and

these are all true stories!

We have proof that these stories are true, because of all these true photographs:

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Barbara and I both agreed that we truly enjoyed Pat last night especially when he involved more instruments than just one solo guitar. I told her the true story of his development of his own incredible Orchestrion, of which he had a small sample on stage with him last night.  I also told her the true story of how I saw Pat play at the Orpheum theater in Boston a decade ago when his Orchestrion album came out, and how truly amazing that was.  She wished she could have seen more of that, so this is truly for you, Barbara:

 

I’m looking forward to all your true stories, below.

My gratitude is always based on true stories, so thanks to Barbara,  to true friendship, to Pat Metheny, to all who helped me create today’s true post and — truly! — to YOU.

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2369: Celebrating

On the two thousandth, three hundredth, and sixty-ninth consecutive day of this blog, I am celebrating the first use of the word “Celebrating” in a post title.

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I am also celebrating

  • the rich availability of relevant imagery all around me,
  • seeing my guitar hero, Pat Metheny, with one of my friendship heroes later today,
  • my son’s imminent arrival from Scotland on a newly-instituted direct flight from Edinburgh to Boston,
  • the popularity of my Coping and Healing therapy groups at work,
  • the resilience of the people I meet every day,
  • my own resilience,
  • the relative absence of carpenter ants in our home-by-the sea, Squanticello,
  • visitors to my blog,
  • Boston accents (deemed the second sexiest in the United States),
  • different ideas,
  • puns (and more “elevated” forms of humor),
  • brains,
  • hearts,
  • guts,
  • gifts,
  • smiles,
  • keepers,
  • art,
  • wishes,
  • self-expression,
  • baseball season,
  • flowering trees and flowers,
  • sunshine,
  • freedom,
  • deliberately and consciously leaving behind guilt, shame, and fear with every step, and
  • whatever else I can find to celebrate, every precious moment.

I am celebrating all those things, and more, by sharing my images from yesterday.

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I am also celebrating a new sidewalk, above,  which will prevent the kind of trips that landed me on the ground with a torn rotator cuff fifteen months ago.

I’m celebrating trees and Pat Metheny with this tune that was playing yesterday while I was walking that new, safer sidewalk to work.

What might you be celebrating, here and now?

As always, this blog celebrates the power of gratitude, every day.

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Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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