Psychotherapy

Day 3104: Sit with it

Whatever it is, sit with it. Be in the moment with it, savor it, adjust to it, before you react.

Are you ready to sit with my images for the day?

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There’s a lot to sit with these days!

When I search YouTube for “sit with it,” I find this

… and this:

What helps you sit with it?

I look forward to sitting with your comments. Thanks for sitting with this blog, here and now.

If you have trouble accepting that you’re the best, sit with it!

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

Day 3088: What emotion do you have the most trouble expressing?

Most people have trouble expressing at least one emotion, so I had no trouble asking today’s title question on Twitter.

Other people expressed trouble expressing affection, vulnerability, joy, disappointment, and other emotions. I had no trouble expressing that they were not alone.

I have no trouble expressing my belief that it is healing to own all your emotions and to learn effective ways to express them. I also have no trouble expressing my happiness about my son Aaron’s return from Scotland to Boston today!

Can you see the emotions expressed in the rest of today’s images?

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What emotion do you have the most trouble expressing?

Here’s what I find when I search YouTube for “what emotion do you have the most trouble expressing”:

I have no trouble expressing my hope that you’ll watch “Emotional Mastery: The Gifted Wisdom of Unpleasant Emotions,” the TED talk by Dr. Joan Rosenberg.

Finally, I have no trouble expressing this emotion: my gratitude for all who help me express my emotions in these daily posts, including YOU!

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

Day 3087: Sitting with the discomfort

Last week, when I was sitting at my laptop conducting an online therapy session, I gave somebody the assignment of sitting with the discomfort. When that person had some discomfort figuring out the details of the assignment, I said, “Sit for ten minutes every day, get in touch with the discomfort, and see what happens.” My belief was that it would not be difficult to get in touch with discomfort, because we are all feeling some discomfort these days.

Because I feel discomfort asking somebody to do something I am not willing to do, I committed to doing the same assignment of sitting with the discomfort daily for ten minutes until our next therapy session.

I have been sitting with the discomfort since then and, as I sit here with some discomfort (the aches and pains of early rising), I am comforted to tell you that I am finding that assignment helpful.

Too often, we deal with our discomfort with distraction, addictions, avoidance, and disconnection. It helps to just BE with the discomfort for ten minutes a day, noticing and observing without judgment.

Here are some images I captured yesterday when I was not sitting with the discomfort:

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There is some sitting, some discomfort, but mostly joy in “Good Morning” from Singin’ in the Rain.

I won’t be sitting with discomfort waiting for comments on this sitting-with-discomfort blog post.

I am grateful and comforted to be sitting, standing, walking, and blogging for you!

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

Day 3079: Compliments

Many people I know — through therapy and elsewhere — are uncomfortable with compliments and often don’t believe or even recognize compliments when they receive them.

I hope wonderful blogger Mark Bialczak and his lovely wife Karen consider it a compliment that I always want to spend time with them when they are visiting Cape Cod. Yesterday, I drove many miles and minutes to spend a delightful few hours with them and their adorable, 10-year-old rescue dog Ellie B.

As we spent time together in beautiful Dennis Port, Mark and I gave each other compliments about our blogs — which both are experiencing dwindling readership. Also, Mark — who used to review music for many years at the big daily newspaper in Syracuse — gave me inspiring and almost- hard-for-me to-believe compliments about my original songs which, honestly, meant the world to me.

I hope everybody considers it a compliment that I wanted to capture all these images of a fabulous day and to share them with you, here and now:

If the noble and irresistible Ellie B read my blog, I assume she’d consider it a compliment that I took so many photos of her yesterday.

I wanted to specifically compliment Karen on her “diamond painting” ..

… which Mark called “my wife’s beading.”

Mark also complimented me yesterday on my Twitter interactions, so I feel more confident sharing these with you today:

It’s more difficult being nice when you’re uncomfortable and our central air conditioning is not working, just in time for a heat wave here. I have to compliment my husband, Michael, who still cooked for me last night …

… and who is going to try to fix our air conditioning system today by locating and replacing the air filter, which is probably somewhere here:

I’m sure our air conditioning system …

… doesn’t consider it a compliment that we’ve never replaced the filter in the FOUR years we’ve been here.

Here’s one of my original songs that I performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, which Mark complimented me on yesterday:

I’ll consider it a great compliment if you comment on this blog post, below.

I’m grateful for all compliments, for great friendships, and, of course, for YOU!

Categories: friendship, life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 3052: Do you feel like people get you?

Yesterday, I asked this question on Twitter:

Apparently a lot of people got that, as you can see by all the retweets, quote tweets and likes I got, which I usually don’t get.

Very soon, a Lyft driver is going to get me and take me to the airport for my flight to Nashville, so I’m sure people will get me if I publish a short post today.

Do people get my activity on Twitter yesterday?

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People didn’t seem to get me there. Maybe more people will get my photos.

I get the Daily Bitch and sometimes I feel like the Daily Bitch gets me.

I wonder if friends, enemies, or anybody else will get me at the Open Mic tonight at the Tennessee Brew Works between 6 – 8 PM. I hope somebody who gets or doesn’t get me will record the performance, so I can share it tomorrow with people who get me here.

By the way, whenever I pack for a trip, I feel like I’m forgetting something important. Do you get that? It helps to remember that whatever I forget, I’ll be able to get it in Nashville.

When I search YouTube for “Do you feel like people get you?” I get this:

I get it now that I am NOT a highly sensitive person. But I feel like I get others who are.

Do you feel like I get you when I end each blog post with gratitude for YOU?

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 3044: Your thoughts

Your thoughts, I’m thinking, go everywhere. Your thoughts go into the future, sometimes with anxiety and fear. They go into the past, sometimes with regret. Your thoughts go all around the world.

Your thoughts, for whatever reason, have trouble staying in the here and now.

Your thoughts can keep you awake when you are trying to sleep.

Your thoughts can be unhelpful cognitive distortions, like personalization, catastrophizing, mind-reading, and blaming.

Your thoughts can be busy, serene, hopeless, hopeful, rigid, flexible, judgmental, open, quick, slow, mean, loving, painful, and reassuring.

Your thoughts affect your feelings and your behaviors.

Whatever your thoughts are, more thoughts are coming.

What are your thoughts about today’s images?

When I search YouTube for “your thoughts,” this is what I find:

Feel free to express your thoughts in a comment, below.

As always, at the end of every blog post, my thoughts turn to gratitude for everything, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 3039: Personal growth

Every day, no matter what this blog is about, I categorize it as “Personal growth” in the settings (which appear at the end of each post).

Do you see personal growth in today’s images?

I don’t know if the Daily Bitch would agree with this, but I believe that personal growth is mutual — if we witness somebody else’s personal growth, we personally grow too.

Yesterday, in therapy with someone who struggles with confrontation (and dealing effectively with confrontation is part of everyone’s personal growth), I mentioned how David Letterman used to make difficult phone calls for studio audience members.

Do you see personal growth in this 1995 David Letterman segment I was able to find on YouTube?

Here’s something that Pat Metheny (who was sitting in with Dave’s band that night and who has helped me with my personal growth for decades) was playing with his group in 1995:

If you make a comment, that might help everybody’s personal growth.

Gratitude is part of personal growth, so thanks to everyone who accompanies me on this blogging journey, including YOU.

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

Day 3024: Pro (and con)-crastination

These days, many people in therapy are talking about procrastination.

Without procrastination, I’ll tell you why: People feel guilt and shame about not getting more done during the coronavirus pandemic when “I had so much more time on my hands!”

I wish people would stop procrastinating letting go of guilt and shame about procrastination. Procrastination is NOT a sin. Procrastination occurs when you

  • have to do something you dislike doing,
  • are focusing on the prospect of failure,
  • don’t have the information or resources you need to complete the task, and/or
  • are not at your best and think you would do a better job if you waited until you felt better.

When you consider that, it’s amazing any of us are getting ANYTHING done.

I’m now procrastinating sharing something I just realized. I not only procrastinate, I also do the opposite of procrastination, which I’m calling concrastination.

What is concrastination? It’s the need to do something immediately, without putting it off to a better time. I concrastinate the following:

  • responding to emails, texts, and phone calls,
  • meeting people’s expressed needs,
  • trying to solve perceived problems,
  • exploring new ideas,
  • expressing my feelings, and
  • creating blog posts after I wake up, even if it’s in the middle of the night.

Do you see procrastination or concrastination in any of today’s images?

Here is PROCRASTINATION – The Musical by AVbyte:

I’m concrastinating asking for comments, below, and expressing thanks to all who help me create these daily blogs, including YOU!

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

Day 3021: Word choices

This week in therapy, I’ve been suggesting that people replace the words “my fault” (or “my bad”) with

  • my choice,
  • my decision, or
  • my responsibility.

My choice, decision, and responsibility as a therapist is to use less shaming and more adult words. Our blaming and judgmental thoughts (also called cognitive distortions) ignore the complexity of situations, keeping us stuck in negative feelings rather than moving towards actions and solutions.

What do you think of the word choices in today’s images?

My husband, Michael, whose word choices (and food choices) I always appreciate, recently relieved my anxiety about resuming a more “normal” life in the near future with these words: “It’s going to be like when you return to work after a long vacation. On the first day back, it’ll soon seem like you were never away.”

Here‘s The Life-Changing Power of Words, a TED talk by Kristin Rivas:

I hope you choose to listen to her words and I look forward to your word choices in the comments section below.

At the end of each post, my word choices are all about gratitude.

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

Day 3017: Preferences

My preferences for creating this daily blog include capturing images the day before and then deciding on the theme and title soon after I wake up.

Another preference is to share experiences that might help others. Last week in therapy, I expressed my preferences for helpful labels over minimizing and critical ones like “loser,” “superficial,” “screwed up”, and “hopeless.” My preference is to give homework assignments, so I gave this one: every time you catch yourself applying a negative label to yourself, change that label to “human.”

Somebody over the weekend, who wanted to assign me a complimentary label, tried “captivating” first and then settled on “engaging.” I told them my preference was “captivating.”

Can you see preferences in these engaging and maybe even captivating images from yesterday? (And for those of you whose preferences run to photos over Twitter captures, keep scrolling.)

The Daily Bitch prefers sarcasm, obviously.

My preferences include Love and Peace.

My preference is that you leave a comment about your preferences, below.

Anyone who reads this blog knows that my preferences also include gratitude, so thanks to all, including YOU.

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

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