personal growth

Day 2403: Never underestimate

Never underestimate people’s

  • resilience,
  • ability to change,
  • hidden pain,
  • capacity to heal,
  • humor,
  • creativity,
  • strengths,
  • differences,
  • similarities,
  •  connections,
  • inner life,
  • hunger,
  • generosity,
  • sanity,
  • feelings,
  • thoughts,
  • problems,
  • principles,
  • accomplishments,
  • importance,
  • love, and
  • powers of observation.

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Never underestimate my ability to come up with wacky ideas, including  asking my son to record my being an empathically listening therapist in the gazebo pictured above.

Never underestimate the time it takes to publish something like that to YouTube. Never underestimate how hard I’ll try to get that linked to this post.

Never underestimate the power of music, as shown in this YouTube video:

Never underestimate the depth of my gratitude to all who help me write these daily blogs and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Day 2402: All Thumbs

One thousand, four hundred, and eighty days ago (but who’s counting on all thumbs or all fingers?), I typed — with all thumbs and fingers — a post titled  Day 922: Thumbs, which included a discussion of thumb-related phrased including “all thumbs,” “thumbs up,” and “thumbs down.”

Yesterday, I was all thumbs at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, as

  • I was so focused on removing liquids or semi-liquids that might be more than three ounces from my bag that I forgot to remove my laptop,
  • security gave me a thumbs down and sent my bag through twice, the second time without zipping it up,
  • I didn’t noticed that the bag was unzipped,
  • people told me everything was falling out of my bag after I picked it up, and
  • I got so flustered I dropped my laptop on my toe.

I’m glad to report that all thumbs and all toes were all okay, even if my dignity got temporarily damaged.  After all that happened, I hung around the scene of the crime and said all this to myself:

See!  You were trying to avoid feeling shame about doing the wrong thing by taking out those items from your bag, but you missed the obvious one!  And what you feared came true: you did the security thing wrong, people got annoyed, strangers noticed your mistakes,  things fell out of your bag,  you were exposed, you looked like you were all thumbs (and maybe like a crazy old lady), but you know what?  It doesn’t matter! You survived and you’re flying home to those you love!  Hooray!

And I celebrated by grabbing, with all thumbs, the #1 Best Airport Grab-and-Go Dining in the Country  (which turned my thumbs orange).

It’s time to thumb through all my photos from yesterday, when I was feeling all thumbs (but lots of heart, too).  By the way,  I thought “thumbs up!” when I was taking one of these pictures.  Can you guess which one?

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Here‘s “All Thumbs” by Mark Casstevens:

 

I’ll reply to all  comments later (using all thumbs if I’m on my iPhone).

Thanks to all who helped me create this all-thumbs post and — of course! — to YOU, for visiting, here and now.

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

Day 2401: You are here

I’m so glad you are here!

Yesterday, when I was here in Chicago, I saw this here mural during a wonderful architecture boat tour on  the amazing Chicago River.

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Yes, that’s a map of the Chicago River  on the side of a riverside high-rise, with the red marker indicating: “You are here” ! (If you want to hear more about that building and that map, click here.)

When we were here at this building

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I was definitely hearing some boo’s. If you want more information about that building, click here.

I hope the rest of my photos make you feel like you are here, in the mostly beautiful city of Chicago.

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Yesterday, when I was here …

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… I gained another, useful perspective on the building I had photographed the day before (here).

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When you are here at my blog,  there will be different perspectives and the occasional pun.

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Who’s here in my last photo from yesterday?

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Here‘s “Here to Stay” by the Pat Metheny Group, from the album We Live Here.

Since you are here, why not let me know where you are in a comment below?

As always, I’m grateful that you are here!

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2400: Leaving town

Sometimes, leaving town is a great way to

  • get perspective,
  • find unity with new people,
  • unify the different parts of yourself,
  • replenish & refresh,
  • put down some baggage,
  • practice saying “hello” and “goodbye,”
  • leave worries behind,
  • change your mood,
  • explore your feelings,
  • get smarter,
  • notice what’s there, waiting for you,
  • get recharged,
  • put a new spin on things,
  • become more social,
  • find your voice,
  • take the next step towards change, and
  • get new ideas.

Yesterday, as I was in the process of leaving my home town of Boston and traveling to the great town of Chicago, I took these photos:

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Ah ha!  There I am in Chicago.

Here and here are today’s songs about leaving town:

Last night, I was feeling kind of shy  in Chi-town when I was having dinner with some people I didn’t know,, but when the group organizer asked me to sing, I stood up, found my voice, and  sang my latest song  — “Everybody’s Somebody’s Asshole.”

People seemed to like my new song but even if they didn’t, I’ll be leaving town tomorrow.

No matter what town I’m in, I see gratitude everywhere.  Thanks to all who helped me create this out-of-town post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 2399: You can’t change other people’s behaviors

 

You can’t change other people’s behaviors.  You can only change your reactions to them and/or your own behaviors.

You can’t change my behaviors, including

  • blogging daily,
  • working hard, and
  • sharing my photos, including these:

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I can’t change Michael’s behaviors, which include monogramming my slice of left-over gelato cake last night.

You can’t change my flying to Chicago today to spend the weekend with group therapists from the American Group Psychotherapy Association, but you can wish me a safe trip.

We can’t change Brian Wilson‘s behaviors, but we can wish him a happy belated birthday and appreciate his music.

 

Keep an eye on summer, because it begins today!

I can’t change your commenting behaviors, but I’ll appreciate any comment you leave.

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

Day 2398: Get in touch

Yesterday, when I was getting in touch with many feelings about saying goodbye to four members of the Northeastern Society of Group Psychotherapy board of directors (who had completed their three years of service), I noticed this on my phone:

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It’s true that, in my work as a group therapist, I focus on making it easier for people to get in touch (with themselves and with others).  However, I doubt that adding a phone number to Oscar the cat’s Facebook page will make it easy for people to get in touch. Oscar doesn’t answer the phone, although by touching my iPhone yesterday he somehow managed to delete four important apps:  Waze, Wallet, Google, and Notes! Thank goodness it was easy to get in in touch with Apple support and recover those apps.

Soon after getting in touch with Apple support,  I supported people in a Coping and Healing group getting in touch with thoughts and feelings about positive feedback. Here’s what I touched on yesterday as I filled out my own Positive Feedback worksheet.

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Are you in touch with

  • how you tend to respond to compliments and other types of positive feedback?
  • positive and appreciative things people have said about you?
  • positive things you have recognized in yourself?

It’s time to get in touch with my other photos from yesterday.

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To help us get in touch with what we wanted to say at the Board Meeting last night,  I transformed that F-bomb into a “Farewell” bomb that people could touch as they were speaking.

Get in touch with “Get in Touch” by FireHouse:

 

You can get in touch with me in the comments sections, below.

Every day, it’s easy for me to get in touch with my gratitude for all, including YOU!

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

Day 2397: Resilience

Even though I’ve had the resilience to create this daily blog for two thousand, three hundred, and ninety-seven days, today is the first time I’ve had the resilience to create a post with that title.

When I search through my blogging past for “resilience,” WordPress has the resilience to return these four posts …

Day 2369: Celebrating

Day  1754: I can’t get over it

Day 1710: Rage

Day 306: Parade day!!!!

If you have the resilience to read any of those past posts, let me know why you think WordPress chose those  to represent resilience.

Today, I need the resilience to

  • facilitate a large Coping and Healing group at work,
  • drive around to pick up balloons and a gelato cake,
  • preside over the  board meeting of a group therapy professional organization, and
  • say goodbye to four departing board members.

Do you see resilience in any of today’s photos?

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Here‘s “Resilience” by Carson.

Here’s “Epic Inspirational Orchestral Music — Resilience”  from Secession Studios.

Do you have the resilience to leave a resilient comment, below?

Resilient thanks to all who helped me create this Juneteenth post and — of course! — thanks to YOU, for your resilience.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2396: It gets better

Yesterday, at a better hospital in Boston, I noticed this:

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When things seem to be getting worse, it helps to believe that it gets better.

It gets better when we …

  • welcome each other,

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  • introduce ourselves with love,

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  • throw kindness around like confetti,

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  • commit to accountability, communication, respect, innovation,  and teamwork,

 

  • accept and express appreciation,

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  • accept all our feelings,

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  • stop self-defeating thoughts and behaviors,

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  • show our strengths and our vulnerabilities,

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  • inspire and become inspired,

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  • see beyond,

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  • transform tomorrow while also honoring the past,

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  • accept ourselves exactly the way we are,

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  • realize we have options of different ways to respond,

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  • set healthy boundaries,

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  • eat healthy food,

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  • and realize that we are loved.

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It gets better with music like “It Gets Better” (by Broadway Sings for The Trevor Project):

It gets better with gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create this “it gets better” post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2395: Self-Transformation

Yesterday, when I was having another day of self-transformation at the enormous South Shore Plaza mall accompanied by my boyfriend Michael and my son Aaron, I saw this:

And, as usual, everything else I saw spoke to me of Self-Transformation.

Those last four self-transformation images show Aaron’s father’s large-format camera and his transforming photographs of our self-transforming son.

Self-transformation can come in many forms, including

  • books,
  • beliefs,
  • being in the moment,
  • blogging, and
  • those are just the b’s!

Here‘s “Self Transformation” music which has transformed a grand total of three people on YouTube:

Aaron Doughty has posted this “Higher-Self Transformation Meditation that will change your life forever…” on YouTube:

Now I have to go to work and help people with self-transformation through therapy.

Feel free to practice self-transformation in a comment, below.

Self-transforming gratitude to all those who helped me create today’s self-transformation post and — of course — to YOU.

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

Day 2394: A little bit different

Yesterday, when I was being a little bit different than anybody else I know, I noticed this:

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and I knew that “a little bit different” was a little bit different from any other blog title I’d used before in the past six-and-a-half years.

When I looked at all my other photos from yesterday …

…they were all a little bit different, so I knew I would use that title for today’s blog post.

This morning, I realized that this post might be a little bit different from most published today by not mentioning Father’s Day up front. And then, when I looked at my photos again with a little bit different perspective, I realized they all related to my father. I guess I see them that way because I’m related to my father and we are both a little bit different.

My late father was humble and kind.

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He cared much more about other people than he did about money …

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… but he worked very, very hard to be a good provider for his family.

He had a beautiful singing voice and was very musical. He bought us a piano when my sister and I were young.

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My father paid for piano lessons for his little-bit-different daughters but never learned to play himself. That calendar photo of the dog playing piano (which is a little bit different)  arrived yesterday in the mail from my wonderful cousin, Lani. Lani, like the rest of us, is a little bit different and she also loved my father.

Lani, and everybody else who knew my father, would say that my father was incredibly funny, although they might tell that story in a little bit different ways. My dad  told me he wrote little-bit-different rhymes for his high school year book, including this memorable one (which is a little bit different from totally kind):

Jerry is a drummer rare.

If he didn’t play, we wouldn’t care.

Perhaps you can see his influence in this little-bit-different certificate I’ll be presenting later this week to an exiting board member of my group therapy professional organization:

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When I was very young, my father moved us to a little-bit-different home which was a block away from the ocean, on the North Shore of Boston. I’m now living on the little-bit-different South Shore of Boston.

I think my father would have noticed the irony in that little-bit-different last photo in that sea-side montage.

My father was a life-long Democrat and so am I, although we were a little bit different in our politics.

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That very different photo reminds me of my father in several little bit different ways.  He brought home all the different magazines from the pharmacy he owned but never  ridiculous rags like The Globe or the National Enquirer. Also, he would sometimes ask my different friends this little question, “Are your parents still together?”  Leave it to my father to throw in little-bit-different conversation starters when talking to my friends.

My father really enjoyed our little-bit-different cat, Tuffy, who my parents got me when I was recovering from major heart surgery at age 10.

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Harley, pictured there,  reminds me a lot of Tuffy, in looks and in temperament although, of course, they’re a little bit different. My dad and I used to play a little-bit-different game with Tuffy, where we would sit on the floor in the kitchen and roll back and forth little-bit-different balls made of Challah bread,  with Tuffy trying to catch them. Tuffy, who was a little bit different in her taste in treats, would catch the bread balls and eat them.

My father was a married to a clean freak …

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… who was a little bit different from most clean freaks by letting us sit on the floor and toss bread balls back and forth with our cat. My father had this little-bit-different joke he used to tell about my mother:

I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and when I got back Weezie had made the bed.

Leave it my father to tell a joke that was a little-bit-different from the truth, even though he was impeccable with his word.

I took driver’s education in high school, but my memories of learning to drive are all of my father.

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My father was one of Boston’s safest drivers (which believe me, is not saying much) and because of him, I am a safe driver, too.

After my father retired, he and my mother travelled abroad …

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… but I don’t think they made it to Barcelona. My traveling has been a little bit different but I haven’t been to Barcelona, although I did travel to Spain with my beloved friend Jeanette.  I have memories of Jeanette and my father getting along really well, although they were a little bit different  from each other (but who isn’t?). Maybe someday I’ll make it to Barcelona, which I understand is a little bit different from the rest of Spain.

My father grew up in an Orthodox Jewish household and so did I, although our upbringings were a little bit different.  Whenever we ate out, we only had fish or meatless dishes.

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My father was sensitive to other people’s feelings and was pretty sensitive himself.  We hurt each other a few times in our lives, but we always forgave each other, keeping the connection alive as long as he was.

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I only heard my father swear once, and that was when he was very angry about a young man who had hurt me when I was in my early 20’s.

My father took care of much of what grew on our property when I was growing up, as my little-bit-different boyfriend Michael does today.

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My father had a wonderful smile, which he did not keep to himself.

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Actually, neither of those animals really evoke my father, but this one does:

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I think my father and I were a little bit nuts, in a little bit different ways, but who isn’t?

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Also, I have vivid memories of my father on Saturdays eating pistachio nuts, which he was nuuuuuuuttssss about.

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My father had a wonderful zest for life, which I believe I’ve inherited.  Yay!

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I’ve tried to color in some details about my father in this little-bit-different post, which is not by the numbers and which attempts to capture the magic of  my Dad.  I hope it’s no mystery why I miss my father, every little-bit-different day.

Here‘s a song my father sang to my mother on a special anniversary (and he sounded a little bit different from Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra):

 

I look forward to all your little-bit-different comments.

A little-bit-different thanks to all who helped me create today’s blog post and — of course! — to YOU!

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Categories: love, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

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