therapy

Day 2393: First-Aid for Desperate Moments

When I was having some desperate moments yesterday because of sleep deprivation (among other stressors), I found “First-Aid for Desperate Moments” online at Sundown Healing Arts, with these helpful phrases from Sonia Connolly, LMT, Reiki Master:

“I give thanks for help unknown already on the way.”

“It ended.”

“This problem is already solved.”

“I am doing the right thing.”

“What if this isn’t mine?”

“Don’t go to the hardware store for milk.”

“Don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.”

“I am already good enough.”

“I don’t need fixing.”

“It’s okay to be where I am right now.”

It was more than okay to be at Sonia Connolly’s helpful website.

I would like to believe that, as a group and individual therapist, I provide first-aid for desperate moments, too.

Here are some moments from yesterday:

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Dining out near the ocean is definitely first-aid for desperate moments and so is music I love. Here’s “First Circle” from the Pat Metheny Group:

 

What is your first-aid for desperate moments?

Gratitude is an aid for any moment, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 2382: The Pest Reliever

Sometimes, the first photo I take affects how I see things for the rest of the day, as well as the contents of my next blog.

Here’s the first photo I took yesterday:

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It’s a relief to share that I can see myself as a kind of pest reliever — relieving  what pesters my patients and also myself. Those pests include:

  • shame,
  • worry,
  • stress,
  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • perfectionism,
  • traumatic memories, and
  • harsh judgments (like the inner critic).

Pest relievers can include:

  • acceptance,
  • appreciation,
  • forgiveness,
  • humor,
  • welcoming all feelings,
  • self-expression,
  • self-care,
  • care for others,
  • compassion,
  • celebrating,
  • being in the moment,
  • nature, and
  • community.

Let’s see if there are any pest relievers in my other photos from yesterday (presented as taken chronologically, so I don’t pester myself about any “right or wrong” order):

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Michael’s cooking is definitely a pest reliever.   I sometimes pester Michael for his cooking secrets to share here: there’s no pesto on that salmon, but rather a delicious lime, mint, and fresh peach sauce.

Music can be another pest reliever, so here’s “Voodoo Mambo” from The Pest, starring John Leguizamo.

 

Now I’m going to be a pest and ask for comments, below.

As always, a great pest reliever is gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create this pest-reliever post and thanks to you — of course! — for visiting.

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

Day 2373: Maintaining Positive Mental Health

In yesterday’s mostly positive post, I shared this information about maintaining positive mental health:

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Tip 1: Connect with others.

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Tip 2: Be physically active.

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Tip 3: Get professional help if needed (not pictured, but click on the link if needed).

Tip 4: Celebrate every moment.

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Tip 5: Be aware of the time, so you can savor it without rushing.

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Tip 6: Try not to get overwhelmed by all the data out there.

Tip 7: Observe, just notice.

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Tip 8: Welcome everyone and everything.

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Tip 9: Travel thoughtfully.

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Tip 10: Spend time with people you love.

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Tips 11 and 12: Smile and travel light.

Tip 13: Use any excuse …

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… to share music you love (here and here on YouTube):

Tip 14:  Practice the helpful antidote to the cognitive distortion of mind reading by reality testing — asking for reactions from people you respect (that’s you, readers!)

Tip 15: Express gratitude, every day.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2355: Blame

Who’s to blame for never writing a post titled “Blame” before, even though it’s one of the thirteen cognitive distortions discussed here?

I’m to blame for that and for repeating that description here:

We blame ourselves for every problem, or hold other people entirely responsible for a negative situation or feeling. When we focus on assigning blame and figuring out who is “at fault”, we are usually ignoring the complexity of a situation. Also, blaming can result in staying stuck in negative feelings, rather than moving towards action and solutions.

Does it help to blame?  What about this major news story?

1 million species are at risk of extinction.  Humans are to blame.

I’m very upset about that news story.  Can you blame me?

However, I don’t want to stay stuck in negative feelings. I’d rather move towards actions and solutions. But what actions and solutions are there?

I try not to blame myself for becoming overwhelmed, sometimes, by the immensity of problems.

I do think there is a difference between blaming and taking responsibility. Blaming keeps us stuck in the past and pointing fingers at each other.  Taking responsibility is more adult, focusing less on shame and more on the next achievable steps.

I take responsibility for all these photos and please don’t blame me if they don’t relate to today’s topic (because I took them all before I knew what I was going to write about this morning).

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Here‘s the witch from Stephen Sondheim’s  Into the Woods singing about the futility of blame:

I take responsibility for expressing my sincere gratitude at the end of every post.  Thanks to all for helping me create this blog and for reading it, here and now!

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

Day 2270: Whatever works

It works for me to tell you about a book a patient loaned me at work — CONTEMPORARY PRAYERS TO [whatever works] by conceptual artist Hannah Burr.

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Every day, I am on the lookout for whatever works and making it fun!

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Whatever Michael does to make his meals so delicious, it works!

Whatever song would work for this post?

 

Are you going to leave a comment?  Whatever works for you.

it works for me to express my thanks to all who helped me create this whatever-works post and — of course! — to YOU, for your time, effort, great energy, and whatever!!

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

Day 2251: What am I?

“What am I?” recently showed up on my office white board.

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What am I that I didn’t write the discussed follow-up to that question: “Chopped liver?”

What am I if I don’t explain that “What am I?  Chopped liver?” is a way some people express feeling expendable, unappreciated, and less-than.

What am I if I don’t link to this entry from knowyourphrase.com and quote this from there?

WHAT AM I, CHOPPED LIVER?

Meaning:

A rhetorical question used by a person who feels they are being given less attention or consideration than someone else.

Synonyms: None.

Origin Of ‘What Am I, Chopped Liver?’
​The origin of this phrase is not really clear. I have, however, heard of two theories that may indicate how this expression came to be. The first is that liver is not always viewed on the same level as others foods. For example, if a person is cooking a chicken, they’ll oftentimes throwaway the giblets, you know, like the liver or gizzard. Or instead of throwing the giblets away, the person will cook them, not for themselves, but for their pets to eat. Hence, since liver is not usually as desirable to eat as other foods, the expression might spring from such an idea.

Another explanation, as Wikipedia explains, is that “chopped liver was traditionally served as a side dish rather than a main course.” So the idea would be that sometimes, a person might feel like their thoughts or feelings are not being considered as fully as they should, so they feel like they are being treated as if they were a side dish.

Example Sentence(s)

1. Jake, a friend of mine, asked what my sister and I thought of his new clothes, but he seemed to specifically ignore my comments… what am I, chopped liver?

Have you read my similarly titled blog posts — Day 1313: Who am I? and Day 625: Where am I?  Why not?  What am I, chopped liver?

What are my photos, chopped liver?

 

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What is that, chopped liver?  No, it’s delicious salmon, brussels sprouts, and quinoa.

What are these videos (found here and here)? Chopped liver?

What are you, chopped liver?  No, you are my valuable and much appreciated readers, so many thanks!

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Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 2242: How to use your energy

When I was using my energy, yesterday, to return to work after a week at Disney World, I saw this energetic teabag saying:

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An hour earlier, I saw many people using their energy to destroy a building.

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Sometimes we have to destroy what’s there to build something new in its place.  Of course, that takes a lot of energy.

An hour before I took that photo, I had the energy to take this one:

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No matter how much I summon my strength, I have less energy in the winter and also as I’m getting older.  So it becomes even more crucial how I choose to use my energy.

I didn’t have the energy to take any more photos yesterday, but I do have the energy to list what I am NOT using my energy on, these days:

  • worry about the future,
  • regret about the past,
  • guilt,
  • shame,
  • judgment,
  • toxic people,
  • anger, and
  • the news.

However, I do have the energy to think about positive, achievable solutions and I do have the energy to take the next, small steps towards those solutions. I think those are good uses of my energy.

Yesterday, at my first day back at work, many things happened that could have sapped my energy — like multiple crisis calls coming at the same time AND a patient showing up a day earlier than she was scheduled.  It always helps my energy to embrace “the full catastrophe” of life and I survived another work day, with energy to spare.  I’m glad I’m using my energy, at this phase of my life, on work I love and value.

Now I’m using my energy to share the original use of “the full catastrophe” in a very energetic movie.

Here‘s another energizing scene from Zorba the Greek:

I hope you use your energy to share your thoughts and feelings about this post.

As always, I use my energy to express gratitude to all who help me create this blog and — of course! — to YOU, for using your energy to read it.

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Categories: gratitude, health care, personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2116: How to respond

Yesterday, people were discussing how to respond to a particular type of comment:

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How to respond to my 7 other photos and 1 video from yesterday?

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How to respond to somebody who is letting her hair go gray?

How to respond to this post?  However you choose.

How to respond to the people who helped me create this post and to you for being here? With thanks.

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Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2013: Object

I object to my primary blogging tool — my laptop computer — turning into a useless object.

I hope you don’t object to my sharing a definition in a new way, by taking a screenshot on my phone:

Because I was aware of my useless laptop as an object yesterday, I took many photos of other objects. I thought the object of today’s post was going to be “Still Life” — allowing me to make this pun: “Even though my laptop is dead, there’s still life in me and in my blog.”

I hope you don’t object to my calling today’s post “Object” instead. Here were the objects of my attention yesterday:

Last night in a therapy group, nobody objected to exploring the topic “What I Say/What I Don’t Say.”

Here‘s “The Annoyed Objects” by DeStorm Power:

I look forward to the objects of your comments, below.

You are all now the object of my gratitude. (I assume you do not object to being that kind of object.)

Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Day 1956: This Way and That Way

These days, some people tell you it’s right to think and act this way

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while other people  tell you it’s right to think and act that way.

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In our way, there are so many ways that divide us.

My way is to celebrate life’s moments,

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invite hope,

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express myself,

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work on stress,

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promote self-forgiveness,

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be smart,

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help people reach their potential,

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appreciate the arts,

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accept the child and the adult,

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walk past the news,

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stay away from death,

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deal with people leaving,

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focus on our chances,

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let go of worry about the future,

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eat healthy meals,

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look this way and that way on YouTube,

and express my gratitude, every day.

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I’m thankful, here and now, that I can ask this community:  What’s your way?

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

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