group therapy

Day 1871: I love ___ THIS much!

I love the Valentine’s Day card I bought yesterday THIS much.

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I love that THIS much because THIS is how much I’m supposed to move my arm with my rotator cuff tear, like a Tyrannosaurus Rex.  I learned THIS much from THIS:

 

I love my other photos from yesterday THIS much.

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Because I love facilitating groups THIS much, I figured out a way to project important topics on this screen in the group room. Because I can only move my dominant arm THIS much, it hurts THIS much to write on the white board.

I love Patsy Cline’s voice THIS much.

I love comments THIS much, so please consider leaving one.

I love expressing gratitude to all who helped me create this post and to you THIS much!!!

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

Day 1858: Falling

Ever since I’ve been on anticoagulant medication  (for most of the time I’ve been writing this blog), I’ve been afraid of falling, so I take great care not to fall.

Yesterday, despite my efforts not to fall, I felt myself falling on my walk to work.  I tried not to fall, but you can’t fight city hall and sometimes you can’t fight a fall.

As I was falling and I saw the cold, hard sidewalk rushing up to meet me, I thought,

  • Ooops!
  • I didn’t expect this.
  • I hope I won’t bruise too much.
  • I’m probably going to feel this for a while.
  • I bet this looks interesting to other people.

After falling, I stayed down, checking myself.  I was glad I hadn’t hit my head or my Implantable Cardiac Device (ICD). I didn’t think I had broken anything. I couldn’t see any bruising.  People in cars rolled down their windows and asked, “Are you all right?” I replied, “I THINK so.”   A woman walking behind me asked if I was okay and she helped me get up off the sidewalk.   She said, “Did you slip on the ice?”  We looked around and didn’t see any ice.  I said, “I think I just caught my toe on something.”  Everybody else I told about falling yesterday asked, “Did you slip on the ice?”  I could have easily fallen into a white lie and said, “Yes,” but lying is not one of my fallings.

An hour before the falling, I had called to make an appointment to see a doctor about the ongoing pain around my ICD, so I had the relief of knowing I would see a doctor later that day.  And because I naturally fall into trying to look at the bright side, I thought, “Well, maybe the pain from this fall will distract me from the other pain.”

And it did.  As the morning went on, my falling resulted in increasing pain in my shoulder. It hurt to draw this on the whiteboard in my Wednesday morning group:

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Because many members of the group had many obligations and worries falling on them, I suggested that they draw a protective circle around themselves and write down the things that were bothering them outside the circle.  I invited them to include the realities of the present moment inside the circle with them.

Inside my circle, I wrote “warmth,” “safety,” and “pain” among other things.  Outside the circle, I wrote “falling,”” “hard sidewalks,” and “pain” among other things.

Since falling, I’ve seen a doctor and had an X-ray.  There are no breaks or dislocations. I’m using ice and Extra Strength Tylenol to ease the pains from my falling.

I’m falling into a prediction that I’ll be feeling pain on my birthday tomorrow but I’ll also be feeling joy for having the strength to get up, again, after falling.

Here’s a song I heard somebody singing at The Voice try-outs last Saturday:

 

While you listen to Alicia Keys singin’ “Fallin’,” here are more photos I took after falling:

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Gotta go ice my shoulder and go to work. Plan for the day: Avoid Falling.

As usual, I’m falling into gratitude for all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — for YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, group therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 1851: The Unexpected

I didn’t necessarily expect this, but yesterday’s therapy group wanted to focus on “The Unexpected.

I wrote some expected questions about  “The Unexpected” on the white board.

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In some groups, it would be unexpected for the group facilitator to answer any of  her own questions (like “What is your personal experience of the unexpected?” “What makes the unexpected more difficult?” “What helps you deal with the unexpected?”)   In my groups, that’s expected.

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It might be unexpected that I would change the famous saying “Man Plans, God Laughs” to “Ann Plans, God Laughs,” but, as several people said in the group yesterday,

Expect the unexpected.

I expect the unexpected whenever I check the news. Today, the unexpected news includes the following:

There’s also news today about sexual harassment and abuse of power, but that was not unexpected.

I have one more unexpected photo to show you.

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And here‘s Elton John, singing after the unexpected death of Princess Diana in 1997.

 

I expect you might have some thoughts and feelings about the unexpected.

Is it unexpected that I would thank all who helped me create today’s post and you, too?

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 1824: Why am I feeling this way?

Why am I feeling this way?

Yesterday, somebody in therapy asked that question and then another question about feelings. Because of the way I was feeling, I wrote both questions up on the board.

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Now, I’m going to ask myself those two questions.

Why am I feeling this way?

I’m not sure.  It could be the extreme cold, the lack of light, this time of  year, the news, politics, pain I feel when I use my dominant arm, and awareness of other people’s suffering.

What is this feeling?

I’m not sure. It’s probably a mixture of fear, sadness, anger, and empathy.

Now I’m going to ask myself those two important questions, again.

Why am I feeling this way?

I’m not sure. It could be my son, my partner, my family and friends, my work, my blogging community, my home, our cats, and awareness of my other blessings.

What is this feeling?

I’m not sure. It’s probably a mixture of gratitude, happiness, and hope.

Why am I feeling that it helps to ask those questions? Because of my experience.

Why am I feeling this way about these photos?

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What is this feeling? I’m not sure.  Is “Stop and Smell the Roses” a feeling?

Why am I feeling this way about this video?

What is this feeling?  It’s gratitude for all who helped me create this post and — of course! — for YOU.

 

 

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

Day 1821: You don’t say

As a group therapist, I notice what people say and what people don’t say.

Sometimes, people don’t say

  • what’s bothering them,
  • opinions that are different from others around them,
  • “I can do this but I can’t do this,”
  • how they truly feel,
  • something they fear will hurt another person’s feelings,
  • “Ouch!”
  • positive things about themselves,
  • what they need in the moment,
  • “I love you,”
  • swear words,
  • buzzwords, and
  • the word “merry.

What don’t you say?

I usually don’t say, “Can I take this picture?”

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I don’t say I’m a birdwatcher, but  I do say I love those two gifts from Michael.

I don’t say, “No videos in this blog.”

If you don’t say thanks, people might not know you appreciate them.  I do say thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to you, no matter what you do or don’t say.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 1810: What do you know!

What do you know!  It’s the eighteen hundred and tenth consecutive day of blogging here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally.

“What do you know!”  is (according to people who know)

something you say when you are surprised by a piece of information.

What do you know!  I facilitated two therapy groups yesterday where people talked about what they know, including their

  • feelings,
  • thoughts,
  • experiences, and
  • choices.

What do you know!  I took these photos yesterday:

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What do you know!  When I read out loud what I’d written, directly above, somebody in that group said, “You should start a blog!”

What do you know!  In the other group yesterday, we talked about this children’s song:

What do you know about the feelings in that song?

What do you know! There’s a comment section below where you can post what you know.

What do you know!  I’m ending another post with gratitude to all, including you.

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What do you know!  We all make a difference.

Categories: definition, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 1802: Beautiful/Ugly

Yesterday, beautiful people in a therapy group talked about feeling ugly.

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I suggested that people practice looking in a mirror and saying “I’m beautiful,” even when feeling ugly.   Especially when feeling ugly.

A few years ago,  I published the post Day 581: Ann’s Beauty Tips. In ugly times, I think it’s even more important to realize one’s own beauty.

Do you find any of my other photos from yesterday beautiful and/or ugly?

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Here’s ugly and beautiful music on YouTube:

No matter how ugly or beautiful you’re feeling, any comment you write will be beautiful to me.

Beautiful thanks to all who helped me create this Beautiful/Ugly post and — of course! — to beautiful you.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 1784: Judging You

One of the interns at work —  who knows I write a blog about letting go of judgment and who I hope is not judging me about that —  showed me this last week:

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Are you judging those “judging you” socks?

When I talk to people about joining my “Coping and Healing”  groups, I sometimes say

Judging is something we humans do.   I won’t be judging you about that. Please pay attention to harsh self-judgment and try judging you less.

Right now, I’m judging you, Michael, for not emailing  me those photos for today’s blog, which included cupcakes that looked like dogs.  I’m letting go of judging you, Michael, and I’m also letting go of judging me for not taking my phone with me yesterday when we visited a craft show benefiting a local animal shelter.

Don’t judge me for finding this video when I searched for “Judging You” on YouTube:

 

While cats may be judging you, I’m still thankful for cats, for Michael, for Vivian the intern, and for this one photo I took yesterday evening.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 1780: Healthy/Not so healthy

When the days turn dark and cold, I witness more people talking about healthy and not so healthy habits.

Yesterday, in a therapy group, people made lists of healthy and not so healthy things in their lives.IMG_4961

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Is it healthy to make lists like that?

Do you see healthy or not so healthy things in my other photos from yesterday?

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Whenever I see a huge truck with evocative words and images like “Lost Angel,” I assume it’s full of alcohol.  Is that healthy or not so healthy?

Here’s some healthy music on YouTube:

 

Is it healthy or not so healthy to make comments on the internet?

I know it’s healthy to express gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for reading.

 

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

Day 1774: “I’m out of here”

Yesterday, before people were out of my Wednesday morning therapy group, somebody said “I’m out of here” regarding a stressful, toxic family relationship.

I invited the group members to express thoughts, feelings, and associations about “I’m out of here”  using  words, drawings, poetry, or  interpretive dance.  I then did an interpretive dance of “I’m out of here” by leaving the group room to get a drink of water.

What are your thoughts, feelings, and associations about “I’m out of here”?

Let’s get yesterday’s photos out of my iPhone and into this post.

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Those ducks are out of their usual element  because Michael has been using a computer programming technique out of here  called “Rubber Duck debugging.”  He prefers to  express his  thoughts, while he programs, to the purple rubber duck out of Scotland (here). Why?  Because it looks more interested than the Hearing Duck (which is out of here).

Here‘s Shania Twain singing “I’m Out of Here.”

I’m out of here, but not before I express thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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