group therapy

Day 2815: Scream

Last week, I asked people in a socially-distanced Coping and Healing group if they wanted to scream.  Some said they did want to scream, but nobody screamed in group.  When people are angry and frustrated, I sometimes suggest that they scream

  • together,
  • alone,
  • into a pillow,
  • in their cars,
  • along to music, or
  • other ways that work for them.

Yesterday,  I almost screamed with joy when this long-awaited mask arrived in the mail:

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I wore the Scream mask yesterday when we shopped at a local Whole Foods Market (which my friend Jenn calls “Whole Paycheck”). The week before, I wanted to scream at our local Stop & Shop because a shopper was walking around with no mask, unchallenged, and several employees (INCLUDING A STORE MANAGER!) had their noses hanging out of their masks.  I might scream about that to our local Board of Health.

Do you see anything in these other photos from yesterday that makes you want to scream?

IF YOU WANT TO ENLARGE ANY OF THOSE PHOTOS, PLEASE CLICK ON IT!

Here’s another photo from Whole Foods:

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People who party together these days without obeying social distancing make me want to SCREAM!

During the month of August, people usually scream with laughter at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, but not this year (which is screamingly apparent in this video by Laurie Black):

Here’s how Laurie Black introduces that video on YouTube:

This is Laurie Black, reporting from Edinburgh. Scenes on the ground here are unheard of – the streets are empty, shutters down, the silent discos are actually silent, and pipers are wearing facemasks… For the first time in 73 years, Edinburgh will *not* be welcoming performers and audiences from around the world, for 25 days in 300+ venues. That doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy and support the arts – get involved at https://crowdfund.edfringe.com/fringe… and make an effort to look up some of your favourite Fringe artists and venues; follow them on social media; buy their merch; donate to their crowdfunder pages; and tune into their live-streamed performances. The show isn’t over, it’s just a dark day. See you in 2021!

Here‘s a video from my Edinburgh Fringe show last year:

Feel free to scream about anything you choose in the comments section, below.

Thanks for following and supporting one of your favourite Fringe artists here.

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Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2809: The same time

I like to wake up, blog, and look at the Daily Bitch Calendar the same time every day.

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I do NOT take naps even when I’m tired of doing too many things at the same time, which does not make for sane time.

At the same time of year in 2011, I started my job at a major Boston hospital, where I do group therapy, individual therapy, crisis work, and  otherwise take care of the behavioral health needs of way too many people at the same time.  While I do too much at the same time, at the same time I do NOT want to retire (although many people do retire when they reach the same time of life as mine).

As I tell many people in my groups at the same time, we all need to do a better job balancing our needs with other people’s needs.  At the same time, it’s easier to tell others good advice than to listen to it yourself.

I would love to resolve, at the same time as you, to

  • balance my needs with other people’s needs,
  • do more self care,
  • set healthy boundaries,
  • say “no” to some requests,
  • take a breath,
  • slow down,
  • accept all feelings,
  • be aware of what I can and cannot control,
  • be clear about what I can and cannot do,
  • take achievable next steps towards my chosen goals,
  • let go of worry, and
  • keep a sense of humor.

Here’s a photo I took when my husband Michael,  my son Aaron, and I were walking around our neighborhood at the same time:

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When other people are walking near us, we put our masks on at the same time.

Do you know how some people can’t walk and chew gum at the same time?  Apparently some people can’t walk and wear masks at the same time.

Here are photos I took at the same time that I was taking my walk yesterday, when other people were using the same time to swim and go boating. What else was going on at the same time?

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So many of us around the world are experiencing the coronavirus pandemic at the same time. At the same time, not all of us are reacting to it the same way.

I hope things are better the same time next year.

At the same time that I was watching The Hate U Give and then Rent  yesterday, Michael and Aaron were on their own computers.  Then, we ate veggie burgers at the same time …

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… and  watched The Spanish Prisoner. It’s difficult to find a movie we all want to watch at the same time.

At the same time that I’ve been writing this post, I’ve been hearing this song in my head:

It’s fun to see all those people from the Phoenix Chamber Choir in Vancouver, Canada singing at the same time.

At the same time in every post, I express what I’m thankful for.

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We can be thankful for many things at the same time and I am definitely thankful for you.

Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2804: Paying attention

Here and now, I’m paying attention to these quotes about paying attention:

“The right way to begin is to pay attention to the young, and make them just as good as possible.” — Socrates

“Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes.” — Antisthenes

“If you’re not nervous then you’re not paying attention.” — Miles Davis

“If you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention.” — Tom Peters

“The difference between hearing and listening is paying attention.” — Ruth Messinger

“If you pay attention to when you are hungry,  what your body wants, what you’re eating, when you’ve had enough, you end the obsession because obsession and awareness cannot coexist.” — Geneen Roth

“When you really pay attention, everything is your teacher.” — Ezra Bayda

“All you have to do is pay attention: lessons always arrive when you are ready, and if you can read the signs, you will learn everything you need to know in order to take the next step.”  —Paulo Coelho

“The universe is full of noise.  True wisdom is in knowing what to pay attention to.” — Debasish Mridha

“Pay more attention to the silence than to the sounds. Paying attention to outer silence creates inner silence: the mind becomes still.  A portal is opening up.” — Eckhart Tolle

“Pay attention to the little things.  They’re more important than you think.”  — Matt Gutierrez

“Don’t beg for attention; pay attention to your dreams and others will pay attention to you.” — Israelmore Ayivor

“People will reveal who they are if you just pay attention.”  — Germany Kent

“Pay attention to the gentle ones, the ones who can hold your gaze with no discomfort, the ones who smile to themselves while sitting alone in a coffee shop, the ones who walk as if floating. Take them in and marvel at them.  Simply marvel. It takes an extraordinary person to carry themselves as if they do not live in hell.” —  D. Bunyavong

“Pay attention to what you don’t see.” — Tia DeShay

“Pay attention to the beauty surrounding you.” — Anne Lamott

“The simple act of paying attention can take you a long way.”  — Keanu Reeves

“You’ll have bad times.  But that’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.” — Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting

“Difficulties come when you don’t pay attention to life’s whisper. Life always whispers to you first, but if you ignore the whisper, sooner or later you’ll get a scream.” — Oprah Winfrey

“Paying attention is the most basic and profound expression of love.” —Tara Brach

“The greatest act of love is to pay attention.” — Diane Sawyer

“Every single person has a story that will break your heart.  And if you’re paying attention, many people have a story that will bring you to your knees.  Nobody rides for free.”  — Brené Brown

“I understand now that I’m not a mess but a deeply feeling person in a messy world. I explain that now, when someone asks me why I cry so often, ‘For the same reason I laugh so often — because I’m paying attention.’ ” — Glennon Doyle

“But when we observe, we are forced to pay attention.  We have to move from passive absorption to active awareness. We have to engage.” —  Maria Konnikova

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” — Mary Oliver

Now it’s time to be paying attention to my latest photos.

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If you’re paying attention, you might notice a typo in that job description. What else are you paying attention to?

Here‘s “Pay Attention” from Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.

As always, I’m paying attention to gratitude, so thanks to all who help me pay attention to this daily blog, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 2769: Big hikes

Today’s Daily Bitch Calendar relates to big hikes:

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I am hearing from many people, through my Coping and Healing groups, that food choices and walks are very important these days.

Here are some photos from yesterday’s big hike:

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Thanks to Michael for that big meal (with monkfish, vegetables, and noodles) after my big hike.

It was hot here yesterday, so here‘s “Heat of the Day” by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays:

 

No matter where I’m hiking, I’m always feeling big gratitude:

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Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2768: Smiles

I wonder how many smiles appear when the latest post of The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally shows up (even when it’s late, like today)?

In a Coping and Healing telehealth group today, the mindfulness exercise was focusing on smiles. We talked about how even a fake smile can get endorphins going and improve somebody’s mood.

Smiles are particularly difficult to come by these days because of

  • tension,
  • stress,
  • worry,
  • fear,
  • uncertainty,
  • discomfort,
  • loss, and
  • masks.

How many smiles can you find in these recent photos?

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You may need to click on some of those smaller photos to look for smiles, but smiles are always worth looking for.

Here‘s a song about smiles:

I’ll smile if you leave a comment and I hope gratitude makes you smile.

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Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2757: Here and now, with all of it.

Here and now, I’m pointing out that the subtitle of this blog, The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally, is “Here and now, with all of it.”

I’m doing two online Zoom meetings for my group psychotherapy organization this morning, and I’m going to do my best to be in the here and now, with all of it.

Why is it so difficult for us to be in the here and now, with all of it?

I could guess, but I’d rather be in the here and now, with all of these photos.

This music, which I shared in a recent post, has been helping me stay in the here and now, with all of it.

Here and now, all of your reactions are welcome.

Here and now, with all of my gratitude to YOU, until next time.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 2748: Comfort and Discomfort

In my therapy groups, there are often discussions of opposites, like trust and distrust, love and hate (or indifference), hope and hopelessness, power and powerlessness, peace and war,  life and death, and — especially lately — comfort and discomfort.

Do you see any comfort and/or discomfort in today’s photos?

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Here‘s “Comfort” by Satchy.

I am comforted by the thought that you might leave a comment about comfort or discomfort.

Comfortable thanks to all, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 2742: Community

On June 13, I am going to be facilitating an online community meeting for an esteemed community of group therapists.

Here’s an online definition of community:

com·mu·ni·ty
/kəˈmyo͞onədē/

1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.

2. a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

As I’m looking at that definition, I’m thinking how important difference and diversity are (not just things shared in common) for enriching a community.

I’m planning on asking people questions during the online community meeting, like

  1. What does community mean to you?
  2. What gets in the way of community for you?
  3. What helps you connect to a community?

I’d also like to share the poem “community” by rupi kaur, which was featured in my previous blog post about community:

when the world comes crashing at your feet

it’s okay to let others

help pick up the pieces

if we’re present to take part in your happiness

when your circumstances are great

we are more than capable

of sharing your pain

Here‘s a video on rupi kaur  from the community of the Sikh Foundation of Canada.

 

Do any of my photos from yesterday relate to community?

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Because part of community is creating a safe enough space for others to participate, what are your thoughts and feelings about community?

I am grateful for all my communities, including this one!

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Categories: definition, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2728: News you can use

Since so many people are telling me that they are avoiding the news these days, I’m hoping to provide some news you can use, here and now, including these headlines:

  • My panel discussion of providing therapy groups remotely  during the pandemic went very well yesterday.
  • I’ll be performing my original song “Triggers” at an online Open Mic tonight.
  • As always, I’m doing my best to lose my investment in the outcome while remaining totally committed to the process.
  • I take selfies with my cat.

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Is there any news you can use in these new photos?

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More news you can use:

This may be more news you can use. My husband Michael and I have an old private joke, where we have this exchange:

Me: Michael!  This (and I describe some thing that occurred that day) happened and guess what I did?

Michael: You cried.

I cry at lots of things, including Some Good News.

We can all use gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these daily blogs, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2727: Numbers

Seven, which is a common lucky number, appears twice in the number of today’s blog.  Seven is also the number of my previous blog posts about numbers (here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).

It’s been quite a number of days since I last wrote a post about numbers (one thousand, one hundred, and sixteen days, but who’s counting?) I think “numbers” is a good topic, here and now, because there is so much in the news about numbers (number of new coronavirus cases, number of deaths, number of jobs lost, etc. etc.)

Also, this is today’s Daily Bitch:

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Please take a number for your favorite photo from today’s post. That first photo, above, is, of course, #1.

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I think there are a number of people who would not allow a cat to be on the dining room table.

The Ranker website has a list of the best songs with a number in the title. What’s your favorite song about numbers? Here‘s one of mine:

 

And another one:

And one more:

 

Now I have to prepare for a panel discussion about doing therapy groups remotely during the age of the coronavirus.  There are four  people on the panel and I have eight minutes to talk about my Coping and Healing groups. I don’t know if that will be too much, too little, or just right.

I’ll let you know how it goes in post # 2728.

I have a large number of photos indicating gratitude, and here are just a few  of them:

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Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

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