IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are in therapy with me (or are considering being in individual or group therapy with me),  please have a conversation with me about this blog before you read further.


When asked what I do for a living, I sometimes say I’m a clinical social worker, sometimes I say I’m a psychotherapist. Whatever title I use, I work with people at a major teaching hospital, and I specialize in group therapy.

For quite a while, I’ve been thinking of writing a book that combines personal memories with the work I love to do, and I actually started writing something in August, 2012.  Working titles for that book include “AFOG: Another F***ing Opportunity for Growth”, “How To Be The Hero Of Your Own Story” and “Doing More of What Works (and Less of What Doesn’t Work) For You.”

As you can see, I sometimes have trouble making decisions. Or, to look at this another — perhaps less judgmental way — I’m an Extroverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiver, according to the Myers-Briggs test (which I recommend as one way to investigate how your and other people’s “styles” interact).  To translate that into English, that just means that (1) I feel more energized being around people, (2) I’m interested in possibilities and patterns, (3) I tend to go with my “gut”, and (4) I  sometimes have trouble making decisions.

Something else about me: I am the owner of a very unusual heart — I have congenitally corrected transposition of the great vessels, which is super rare.   This wasn’t diagnosed  until I was an adult; however, I was diagnosed at birth as having  a complete heart block.  Because of my heart, I spent a lot of time in the hospital when I was a kid. Plus, I am (probably) the second longest surviving person in the world with a cardiac pacemaker.

This medical part of my story has had a profound impact on me, of course. However,  it’s a part of my life which — up until I started writing this blog — I was pretty secretive about (at least, beyond close friends and family).   Not these years, though!


This blog is part of my creative process.

It’s also a way to work on my  growing acceptance and appreciation of life, and to share and develop some of the wisdom I’ve been slowly accumulating. My original commitment was to start on January 1, 2013 and to blog once daily for a year. Since blogging has helped me so much, I’ve extended that commitment through 2014 and beyond!

This blog is also another way for me to take risks,  to venture out into the world in new ways, and to embrace and express all my different human feelings — joy, fear, sadness, anger, the whole Emotional Enchilada.  I plan to engage in my well-developed sense of play, and approach some painful material, also.

So this blog does a lot for me!


The original title — The Year of Living Non-Judgmentally — came to me in December 2012, out of the blue, and I knew I wanted to write a blog with that title  (even though I had never written a blog before). Then, on January 1, 2014, after the first year was over, I added the “s” (to cover it all).

I wonder if readers might misunderstand the intent of this blog, because of the title. By no means do I expect that I (or anybody else) will attain a perfect state of Non-Judgment, no matter what the year.

As I say in my first post in this blog, judgment is something that I invite myself and my clients to let go of, as much as possible.  So this blog is, also, my commitment to Walk that Walk and to Talk that Talk — to strive, day by day, for  Years of Living Non-Judgmentally (the best that I can).

Being Non-Judgmental is an ideal beyond any human’s grasp.  It’s like the ideal of being perfectly in the moment — another (I believe, at this point) unattainable ideal. As I discuss with clients, human minds aren’t built to stay in the moment or to be non-judgmental. Instead, our minds naturally veer off —  into the past and the future, and into judgment of ourselves (and whatever else we encounter).  The best we can do is to notice these human meanderings of our minds, and gently re-focus (to the moment and to letting go of judgment) over and over again.

I have to say that I’m really excited about this journey, and I’m honored that you are joining me right now —  and for  any additional part of it that you choose.

NOTE: Several of the posts in this blog contain references to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT),  Narrative Therapy, and other therapeutic techniques I use when working with people. On 2/10/13, I started a second blog here, specifically for posting  reference materials about these therapy techniques. (For example, see here for a handout containing definitions of all 13 Cognitive Distortions discussed in this blog.)

ANOTHER NOTE: As of January 20, 2014, I am finally stating my preference regarding WordPress Awards. If it pleases you to nominate me for one, it also pleases me to express sincere gratitude for the nomination (but that’s all I will do in return).


740 thoughts on “About

  1. Just been visiting with you on this wonderfully done blog of yours. So glad to have arrived. You have a new follower!

  2. Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog. I’m so glad you did because it gave me the chance to check out yours. I love the concept behind your blog and I love all of the photos you take of beautiful things that one would only notice if they are paying attention. I’m looking forward to more!!

    • Thanks for bringing the wonderful gift of this comment! I look forward, also, to more mutual learning in the future.

  3. Just Plain Ol' Vic

    Thank you for giving my blog a follow. Please feel free to comment, I am always open to a great conversation. After reading your ‘About’ page, I am intrigued to know more about you. I look forward to reading more of what you have to say! Take care.

    • Thank you for this much-more-than-plain comment. I’m so glad we’ve met, and I look forward to reading and learning more from you.

  4. Hi there Ann! Your bio is a wonderful and honest one. Out of curiosity, I think I’ll take the Myers-Brigg test soon! Glad I stopped by 🙂

  5. Thanks for following my blog which has lead me to yours! Mine is a continual work in progress much like myself. I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I love living it 😛 I look forward to reading more about you! It’s nice to “meet” you!

    • Karris! Please accept my apology for taking so long to reply to this lovely comment. It’s wonderful to connect with another continual work in progress. ❤

  6. Greetings from Paint The World With Words! I’m Amreen Shaikh and I blog. Thank you following my blog! I must say, you have an amazing blog & great content! Great Work! I wished to contact you, but did not see an email ID! Can you please drop in your email ID on painttheworldwithwords@gmail.com?

    Do reply please!

    • Thanks for dropping by, Amreen! Hope to see you here again soon.

      • You’re welcome! Did you mail me?

      • No, I don’t email. I just keep the communications here at WordPress.

      • Greetings from Paint The World With Words!

        How are you? I hope you’re doing fine!

        It is time now to vote! I’m really excited today! A little nervous too!

        I hope you remember that I’ve participated in a Short Literary Work Contest and it needs FB votes to win.

        How to vote:

        Login to FaceBook
        Open a new tab and paste this link: http://wshe.es/PU9ye5w4
        My entry is named: amreens44
        There will be a text box to enter your email ID and a green button to cast your vote.
        Enter your email ID and click on vote.
        Do check that your vote is made properly.
        If you have problems casting a vote, please try voting on another browser!
        Please reply back with a ‘DONE’ to denote that your voting is done!

        P.s: This contest is very important for me and I am not resorting to any fake voting, but relying on my genuine followers, so please show your love!


        If you wish to share my work on your wall, to help me get more votes, please share this below text on your wall:

        Amreen Shaikh, a fellow blogger, has participated in a literary contest, which is based on FB voting and she need FB votes to win it. Please help her win this contest by casting your vote!

        Here is her Poem:


        “Amma”, her voice goes
        as she strides barefoot
        towards the entrance door.
        The inkling of her silver anklets
        still echoing in the silent dark room.
        Her forehead kissed with
        a big red moon
        placed asymmetrically
        between her brows.
        Bangles in her hand
        make subtle noise
        as she manages to proper
        her 6 yards’ saree
        draped around her young body.

        “Don’t be loud Revathy,
        your babuji doesn’t like it.
        And when will you learn to wear this?”
        says Amma with a tensed look,
        while folding the pleats of Revathy’s saree.
        Covering her head with the saree’s edge,
        Revathy blurts, “Amma, can I go to school with Ashok?”
        making Amma burst out laughing
        over the silly words
        of her 11 year old daughter-in-law.

        Her poem speaks about Child Marriage and if she wins, she will be given this opportunity, to share this message with the world and the society!

        Login to Facebook and follow this link, to cast your vote for her! Your one small gesture can bring a big change in someone’s world!


        Thank you!

  7. Bora Tinsley

    I’m so happy you found my blog because in turn I got to find yours. I love it. Hope to see more soon! 🙂

  8. You never fail to be entertaining and enlightening. This award is just one sign of how much I value your blog 🙂 https://alexraphael.wordpress.com/2015/10/18/v/

    • You never fail to be kind to me, Alex! I never fail to appreciate the thought behind an award (even though I do nothing else in response to them). Please accept the award of my gratitude.

  9. INTJ for me. Does that mean we can’t be friends? 🙂

  10. Special thanks! 1000 views… Roses and a profound reverence to you 🙂 https://lookaround99.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/special-thanks-1000-views/

  11. Wendy

    Ann, I’ve invited you to be a part of a 3 day Quote challenge. It is not any obligation at all.
    If you want to participate, great! http://wendysharesathought.com. If you don’t, that’s awesome too, I hope you will accept the compliment of the invitation.

    Best regards.


  12. Hi, thanks for stopping by and following my blog.

  13. Pingback: Day 1040: Too good to be true | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  14. Hi Ann,

    I’ve nominated you for the Infinity Dreams Award. I’ve linked you via my post but I’m not sure if it has worked so am contacting you directly. If you can’t see it, please visit: http://wendyswrittenwords.wordpress.com/


  15. cmblackwood

    Hey — you seem like a cool cat! That line of work must be very challenging. I admire your consistent, long-running posts, too 🙂

  16. Thank you very much, You make a difference Award from me to you.
    please go here to see it, and pass it on, if you want. xoxo 🙂

  17. Hello and welcome Ann. Thank you for the follow and for dropping in on Pensitivity101. I look forward to your comments and interest.

  18. Nice about page — well written. Best wishes to you on your non-judgmental journey. 🙂

  19. Thank you for coming to my blog I’m grateful you did so I can have a chance to get to know you.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New year! And wish you peace and good health the years to come!

  20. Wow! Ann! This is a very touching about page and your content are just awesome! I am very pleased to stumble upon your blog. Expect some digging and back-reading. Cheers! Happy New Year! 🙂

  21. Hi, so happy you stopped by because I got to meet you. It is one of the most wonderful gifts of the blogosphere – meeting new people and learning their definition of ;life.

  22. As one of my precious followers, I’ve nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award.

    When you visit next, I’d love if you could leave a comment – hint, hint 😉
    (not really a ‘hint’ – more of a reminder)

    • Many thanks for the precious nomination. As I express on this About page, I greatly appreciate the honor and the recognition of any nomination but I don’t do awards. I will leave you a comment on your blog, too.

  23. Hi Ann, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for visiting and following my blog. I had to snicker when I saw the EIFP because as an INTJ I’ve been fascinated with Myers-Briggs personality profiles for quite some time. Your “About” is very interesting and I look forward to learning more about you through your blog. ~Steph

    • Hi, Steph! I’m so glad you visited and left a comment. I apologize for taking so long to respond and I look forward to future interactions here at WordPress.

  24. Carol Ferenc

    Hi, Ann! First, thanks for visiting my blog and following. So glad you did and it led me here to you. I’ve signed up to follow you also and am excited to explore your wonderful looking blog.

  25. Hi Ann! Thanks for following. I’m glad I discovered your blog! Nice meeting you.

  26. And I love the camel and the pyramid!

  27. Pingback: A Worthy Distraction | A Simple, Village Undertaker

  28. SheryL♥

    Hi Ann! Thanks a lot for the follow! You’re amazing! 🙂

  29. Wow, what a story. I am so honored to learn your life.

  30. Actually, I meant to say “to learn about your life”. Sometimes my fingers can’t type fast enough to keep up with my brain. Cheers from Oregon.

  31. Thanks for visiting my blog, it’s so nice to meet you!

  32. Thanks so much Ann for stopping by my blog and for following. I am honored and look forward to seeing more on your site as well!

  33. “How To Be The Hero Of Your Own Story” – sounds exhilarating…But also “Doing More of What Works (and Less of What Doesn’t Work)”.

    Title and subtitle?

    Or two different books?….

    Warm regards,


  34. Craig

    I’m 56 and discovered I had CCTGA when I was 31. I’ve had a pacemaker since that time and now have a bi-ventricular pacer and ICD. I’ve never been operated on (except implantation of the above devices) and continue to work and function relatively well. I’ve never met anyone with CCTGA and found your story by accident. Long life and happiness to you!

    • Long life and happiness to you also, Craig. There is actually a Facebook page for people with our very rare condition. Let me know if you want more information.

  35. Thank you, Ann for stopping by the Cow Pasture and welcome to the fence jumpers! @sheilamgood at Cow Pasture Chronicles

  36. Thanks so much for following my blog, Ann. I’m happy to have found yours, it’s amazing 🙂

  37. Very glad to hear that your pacemaker is ticking along nicely, and allowing you to keep folks entertained with your blog. Thanks for popping over to Kyrosmagica, I appreciate the visit.

  38. finadamayanthi

    IDK how to give comments, or appreciation for your story (or creative process). I think this blog was soooo wonderful. Glad to visit this blog

  39. Such an interesting ‘about’- I want to read more. I also want to know why the camel is staring at the pyramid and what it’s thinking??

  40. Very nice to meet and learn more about you. Thank you for following my blog, I will certainly take time to visit yours as well. I hope your day is a happy one! 🙂

  41. an ambitious & wonderful idea for a blog!

  42. Pingback: Quote Challenge – Day 2 – CyberneticBlonde

  43. Ann, thank you for following my site! Found you via Lisa.

  44. Ann, Tubularsock thanks you for following Tubularsock, “. . . first hand coverage, second hand news”. Just remember however that just because Tubularsock always turns left doesn’t mean that Tubularsock doesn’t know where Tubularsock is going! Just hold on to your hat.

  45. Hi, Ann, thanks so much for stopping by AmericanSoustannie and following my blog! I’ve been reading some of your earlier posts and … wow. There I am. I’m looking forward to learning from you. Thank you!

  46. Uh-oh – I am an INTJ – exactly the opposite of you! I have no idea what that means, really, but it sounds like we’d either get along perfectly or not at all. LOL

  47. I loved the title of your blog, at first glance and now I think you are very good at titles …my favorite one is AFOG 🙂 🙂 Thanks for visiting my blog and hope you let me know your thoughts. I look forward to reading from you.

  48. Thanks for the follow. I’ve already discovered some fascinating information about you and look forward to learning more and seeing more of your work. Peter.

  49. thanks for visiting my blog, Ann. You have an empowering personality

  50. I hope you won’t get mad at me for saying this, but “transposition of the great vessels” conjure up images of the epic past for me — Antony and Cleopatra or the Trojan War. May your pacemaker carry you that far into the future. (Love your blog title.) Gary

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