group therapy

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: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2358: We want to know what you think!

I don’t know what you think, but when I see a sign that says people want to know what I think …

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… I often think this:

They want to sell me something.

I think I might be too suspicious, especially since I always tell people in my Coping and Healing groups that I want to know what they think.

I let people in my groups know that I want to know what they think (and feel) by naming what I’m curious about in the moment, which often includes

  • their experience of whatever mindfulness exercise we did at the beginning of the group,
  • everything that’s happened since the last time I saw them,
  • what’s going on for them in the moment (including thoughts, feelings, and body experiences),
  • anything they’re aware of that might be contributing to what’s going on for them in the moment, and
  • many other curious thoughts I’m having.

Then I shut up, to let them know I’m more interested in what they think than I am in what I think.

I want to know what you think about my other photos from yesterday.

 

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I want to know what you think about things I might do during my week off from work, besides

  • walk and observe nature,
  • see lots of flowering trees,
  • spend time with friends,
  • enjoy delicious food,
  • complete a *%$*&#@ form for the Internal Revenue Service,
  • chair a board meeting of group therapists,
  • let people know about the Northeastern Society for  Group Psychotherapy‘s June conference,
  • celebrate Mother’s Day,
  • miss my late mother, and
  • appreciate each precious moment.

I want to know what you think of this song:

 

We want to know what you think of this post, of course.

Do you want to know what I think?  I’m thinking thoughts of gratitude for all those who helped me create today’s blog and — of course! — for YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 2357: Messages

One thousand, four hundred, and thirty-six days ago (but who’s counting?), I wrote another blog post titled “Messages.”  During my first year of blogging, I wrote three posts about messages: Day 317: Challenging Negative Messages, Day 178: Feeling discouraged, what helps, and voicemail messages, and Day 144: “Emergency” messages.

My messages for today include the following:

  • Some messages bear repeating,
  • Sometimes people don’t want to hear messages,
  • Messages can be direct, implied, or unexpressed,
  • The medium is the message,
  • I enjoy exchanging messages with my son through the medium of our phones,
  • People talked about messages in a Coping and Healing group recently,
  • Mixed messages are everywhere,
  • Some messages are hard to read,
  • Clarity is important for getting your messages through,
  • Many of us have internalized harsh, critical messages from the past,
  • This week, two people shared the message that attending my groups has been “life changing,”
  • Some people prefer messages in words and other people prefer messages in pictures.

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Which one of those visual messages pops for you?

Here’s “Message in a Bottle” by the Police:

If you want the messages of those lyrics more clearly, here‘s this video:

Please accept my messages of gratitude at the end of every post.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2356: Living the Dream

For me, living the dream includes spending quality time with wonderful people. Yesterday, I heard from my dream of a friend, Jeanette, who is living in Philadelphia, that she will be spending more time in Boston because of a job change.  For me, this is a dream come true.   In response, I sent her this image:

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I believe I am living the dream, here and now, because

  • I have a job I love,
  • I have friends I love,
  • I have a boyfriend I love and live with,
  • I’m President of a group therapy organization I love,
  • I get to blog every day for lovely and lively people,
  • I’m taking a vacation next week during the dreamiest time of the year in Boston, and
  • my son is coming home from University this month!

Living the dream includes balance, which was the topic of yesterday’s Coping and Healing group.  Can you see  other aspects of living the dream in these photos?

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Drake White is Living the Dream:

Sturgill Simpson is Living the Dream:

What does living the dream mean to you?

Living the dream includes experiencing and expressing gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s blog post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Day 2350: The best _______ of your life

Yesterday at work, I went to a meeting that aspired to be the best meeting of my life.

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However, it was NOT the best meeting of my life.  It was not even the best meeting of my DAY, because there were two meetings of my Coping and Healing therapy groups after that work meeting.

Because I am lucky enough to facilitate five therapy group meetings every week, the meetings of my life keep getting better and better.

I don’t think these are the best photographs of my life, but I’m sharing them anyway:

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Are those the best photos of Harley’s life?  There have been so many great ones …

… it’s difficult to say.

Tonight, I may have the best Open Mic of my life.  Time will tell.

Here are American Authors with “The Best Day of My Life.”

 

Are you going to make the best comment of your life?

One of the best things in my life is looking for ways to express gratitude, so 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: , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2349: Peace

Peace to you, my readers.

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I felt peace yesterday when I found that “Peace” holiday postcard sent by my friend, fabulous photographer Kathy Tarantola.

I felt peace throughout the day as I returned to my pledge of “No Worries for a Year.

I now notice that many of my photos from yesterday reflect peace.

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What peace did you find in those photos?  What peace do you find anywhere, these days?

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me, you, and all of us.

Peace and gratitude to all who helped me create the peace in today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 2347: Optimal Fuel

What is your optimal fuel?

Is it

  • a good night’s sleep?
  • naps?
  • supportive people?
  • animals?
  • community?
  • poetry?
  • music?
  • friends?
  • peace?
  • forgiveness?
  • magic?
  • beliefs?
  • humor?
  • hope?
  • nature?
  • travel?
  • the city?
  • the country?
  • walking (or other exercise you enjoy)?
  • work?
  • celebrations?
  • taking time for yourself?
  • wishes?
  • writing?
  • observing?
  • questions?
  • answers?
  • love?
  • nutritious food, including kale?

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Two optimal videos show up (here and here) when I search YouTube for “Willie Nelson Optimal Fuel”:

Gratitude is one of my optimal fuels, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s optimal post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 2343: Another one of those days

Almost exactly two years ago, I wrote a post titled “One of Those Days.”

Yesterday, I had another one of those days, in which I felt

  • down,
  • dejected,
  • depleted,
  • displaced,
  • discouraged,
  • de-energized,
  • disappointed, and
  • in the dumps, dammit.

While I was having another one of those d-days, other people were having their own days.

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Near the end of another one of those days, Vivian (appearing in my daily blog here, here  here, here, and especially here) texted me the helpful reminder shown above. Let’s have another look at that:

This is your reminder that healing is not linear.  It’s ok for some days to feel like you’ve regressed, it’s ok for the “small” things to hurt again. Healing is a continuous learning process.

It seemed like Vivian, miles away, knew I was having another one of those days.

Mama said, “There’ll Be Days Like This.”

What do you do when you are having another one of those days?

Here’s another one of those daily blog endings:

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

Day 2331: ASK FOR HELP!

Last week, somebody who was joining my Coping and Healing groups said to me, “I have trouble asking for help.” I hope it helped when I replied, “You’re not alone.  Many other people in the groups also struggle with asking for help.”

Yesterday morning, when I was writing my second Letter from the President for the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy (NSGP) newsletter, my boyfriend Michael started talking in his sleep.  Michael sometimes talks in his sleep in the mornings, but I can never hear what he’s saying. It doesn’t help that he mumbles while sleep-talking.  Yesterday, he said

Don’t (…unintelligible mumbling…)    ASK FOR HELP!!

“ASK FOR HELP!” was so loud and clear that it startled me and the cats. Inspired by that message from the sleeping Michael, I immediately sent my latest version of my Letter from the President to a helpful friend and NSGP board member, and asked for her help in reviewing what I’d written.  It really helped that I asked for help that way, because (1) she was very positive and helpful in her feedback and (2) this morning I restarted my computer and would have completely lost all my latest work if I hadn’t sent her that draft.

As Michael said, ASK FOR HELP!

I heard “ASK FOR HELP!” in my head yesterday  as I looked for helpful images to capture and share. You don’t have to ask me to include them here and now.

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Right before I took that last photo, I heard many cat noises coming from inside our house, so I asked for Michael’s help in identifying them.  Since I asked for help, he showed me this video:

Those hungry cats were asking for help, and they got it.

After our long walk near the seashore yesterday, I received an email about Open Mic’s around Boston.  Because it helps to practice my original songs, I asked for help in signing up for a slot tomorrow night.

Last night, Michael and I had dinner with my friend and co-worker Alice and her husband  (not pictured).  I said, “I think Alice and I have the female equivalent of a bromance.  I wonder what that’s called?” Later, I asked for help in identifying that term.  Would you like to ask for help in discovering what that word is?

It’s “womance.”

If you have trouble sharing your thoughts and feelings in a comment below, ASK FOR HELP!

Every day, I ask for help in expressing my gratitude to all those who help me create these posts and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 2329: All ________

I’m going to ask all my readers, how would you fill in the blank “All _______”?

Some, but not all, of my photos from yesterday have the word “all” in them. Are you all in to see all of my photos from yesterday?

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Notice that two my stress relievers, above, included “accepting all feelings” and “you have all the time you need.”  All-so, the words “ballpark” and “baseball” have the word “all” in them.

These aren’t all the songs that have the word “all” in them, but you can find all these on YouTube here, here, here, and here.

That’s all from me for today, except for gratitude to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to all of you.

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

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