Posts Tagged With: accepting anger

Day 2272: Anger and The Skill of Doing Nothing

Yesterday, in group and individual therapy, several people talked about anger. Those discussions included:

  • wishing there were some good role models for dealing with anger,
  • acknowledgement that the current U.S. President unprecedentedly expresses anger every day through Twitter or a microphone,
  • brainstorming better ways to deal with anger (like walking away, owning the anger, respectfully expressing the anger, or writing angry letters, emails, text, or tweets that one does NOT send),
  • recognizing that anger is just another feeling that should not be judged or repressed,
  • defining anger as the human response to one’s needs not being met,
  • realizing that judging or repressing anger blocks it from being discharged in a healthier way,
  • role-playing healthier expressions of anger,
  • deciding to deal with the “wish to break something” by going to a dollar store and buying an inexpensive breakable item, and
  • considering the skill of doing nothing.

I’m wondering if there will be any anger about the amount and quality of my photos today. If so, please consider expressing that anger in a healthy way.












Harley is contentedly demonstrating the skill of doing nothing.

Here‘s Johnny Duke covering James Taylor’s “Angry Blues:

If I were Johnny Duke, I might be angry about that having only 458 views and nine likes on YouTube. Maybe not, though, because he seems like a very cool cat.

Feel free to express yourself in the comments section, below, or to practice the skill of doing nothing.

I shall now practice the skill of expressing my thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.






Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1635: Whatever it is, love it.

Whatever my daily blogging topic is, I love it.

Whatever my emotion is, I love it.

Whatever the day brings, I love it.

Whatever people say to me, I love it.

Whatever I see, I love it.















Whatever irony there is, I love it.

Whatever I hear, I’m perfectly free to love it.

Whatever you think about this post, I love it.

Whatever gratitude I express to those who help me blog daily and — of course! — to you, my readers, I hope you love it.



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

Day 1633: Tantrums

Rather than have a tantrum, let’s just define it:

an uncontrolled outburst of anger and frustration, typically in a young child.
“he has temper tantrums if he can’t get his own way”
synonyms: fit of temper, fit of rage, fit, outburst, pet, paroxysm, frenzy, bad mood, mood, huff, scene; (informal) hissy fit
“how can you tolerate his tantrums?”

How can you tolerate his tantrums? Good question.  How can we tolerate anybody’s tantrums, including our own?

For example, I sometimes have tantrums when somebody uses the word “pet”  (as in the definition above) for anything other than this:


I’ve also been having  tantrums because Oscar stepped on my computer this weekend and changed the way photos are displayed, making it harder for me to blog every morning.

Can anybody tell when I’m having tantrums? I’m not sure, but I told people at work yesterday that I woke up mad, mad, mad.  Was I having a tantrum when I did that? Actually, I think sharing my feelings prevented me from having a tantrum.

Was I having tantrums when I took these photos?


Excuse me.  I’ll be right back.

Any tantrums here?







My boyfriend Michael (whose meals are good antidotes for tantrums) has lots of stories about tantrums he’s witnessed in restaurant and hotel kitchens.

Are James Taylor and his son Ben having tantrums in “Angry Blues”?

Feel free to have tantrums in a comment below.

Outbursts of gratitude and fits of frenzied thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! —  to you.  Without my readers, I’d be having tantrums every day.


Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Day 1011: Simplicity

Simplicity came up in a therapy group, yesterday.

After that group, I simply saw simplicity everywhere.


Those last two simple photos are of a simple yet sturdy walking stick at an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy session. I used that stick to simply beat the stuffing out of some pillows, expressing some old and simple feelings of anger.

How did I feel after that exercise? Simply wonderful. As I told George, my EMDR therapist:

Instead of having a painful tiger inside me, now I am the tiger.

I’ve simply been considering, for over two years, sharing the non-simple song “Simple” from Stephen Sondheim’s 1964 musical Anyone Can Whistle (which features a psychotherapist sorting people into groups).

I prefer the simplicity of a local stage production, sometimes. (“Simple” simply starts at the 4-minute mark in that YouTube video.) If you want the simplicity of “Simple” from the original cast album, here it is, in two simple parts:

If you simply do not have time to watch those videos, I simply understand.

Some more simplicity: there’s no time like the present to do something helpful you’ve been considering for years.

Like simply beating the crap out of some pillows and accepting your own anger.

What do you think of the simplicity of this post?

Sincerely simple thanks to therapy groups, my EMDR therapist, sticks, pillows, Stephen Sondheim, and you — of course!

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

Day 354: Genuine/Authentic

Hello, readers!

After much deliberation (a full 20 minutes of it), I have decided upon the title for today’s post.  And look!  I already have a visual for it:


As regular readers of this blog might know, I love watches.  As a matter of fact, 168 days ago (but who’s counting?) I wrote about another one of my favorite watches, here. And for those of you who don’t click on links (and I know you’re out there, people!), here’s the photo of that other watch:


If you want to read more about that watch (and the reasons why I’ve collected watches), you’re just going to have to click on that link.

So there!

Readers of this blog may notice that my writing has a certain “tone,” right now.

Although, you know what? I have no real idea whether people can tell my “tone”, my feelings, or my state of mind, right now (or at any point).

That’s the whole friggin’ problem with communicating through written words, isn’t it?  We’re missing certain clues, to help us ascertain what somebody else is genuinely feeling or thinking.

However, given that we’re always guessing what other people think, what would you guess about how I’m feeling, right now?  (And, yes, I am inviting people to indulge in the “cognitive distortion” of mind reading — something we do, as humans, every day).

So, how would you complete this sentence?  As Ann is writing these words, she is  __________.

Have you filled it in yet? If not, I’ll wait.

Time’s up!

Now, I’m going to do some mind reading of my own. That is, I’m going to guess how you might have filled in that sentence, as follows:

  • Playful
  • Annoyed
  • Annoying
  • Joyful
  • Worried
  • Confused
  • Hopeful
  • Impatient
  • Distracted
  • Focused
  • Accepting
  • Pissed

Okay, that last guess made me stop (although stopping so soon makes it unlikely I would have guessed what YOU thought). So why did I stop? Well, I know people are reading this blog all over the world, and I know that the word “pissed” means angry* to some people (including me) and drunk to others. So, I stopped, because I don’t want anybody to think I might be drunk in the morning or at any time while I’m writing these posts (because I’m not).

Hey!  Wait a minute! Why do I care what you — or anybody else — thinks?  Haven’t I written, throughout this year, about letting go of caring what other people think? (Yes, I have. And here’s an example of that**.)

But here’s the deal, people. I genuinely want people to know who I am. Authentically.

And genuinely and authentically, I am  ALL*** of those things in that list. And more.****

As I assume you are (or have been), too.

Oh, no!  Look at the time!


As therapists often (and genuinely) say …. We have to stop now.

Thanks to each and every one of you — with all your various parts, feelings, thoughts, guesses, etc. —  for reading today.

* So why was I angry, at that point?  Because here’s something I know about myself: I tend to get angry when I’m HUNGRY.  And by the way, anger is okay. It’s just another human feeling.  However, I do know a “cure” for feelings of anger related to hunger.  Eating something. Which I did.

** Written way back, on Day 2.

*** Except for drunk, a possible misunderstanding which I believe I have cleared up sufficiently at this point.

**** Including, most likely, what YOU guessed (if it’s not already on that list).

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 242: Volleying

When I was in Junior High School  (“Middle School” to the younger generations), my friend Suzanne taught me how to play badminton.

I don’t think Suzanne and I played according to the rules.  I don’t remember if there was ever a net in her backyard.

But I do remember hanging with my best friend for what seemed like hours, hitting that badminton thingie back and forth.


(Badminton thingie, otherwise known as shuttlecock, shuttle, or bird.  What we called it back then?  A “birdie.”)

Volleying back and forth.  Hitting the birdie.  Missing the birdie.

It wasn’t competitive.  There were other games I played, like word games, where I felt competitive. But not badminton.

Playing badminton with Suzanne felt special to me, for lots of reasons.

I had recently gotten my first cardiac pacemaker.  And because pacemakers were so new then, the doctors put lots of restrictions on me.

For example, I couldn’t take gym.

Believe me, I saw the advantages of THAT (I wasn’t stupid, people!)  Plus, people kept saying to me, every Gym Day:  “You are SOOOO lucky.”

But being kept out of Gym Class had an effect on me.  I felt different.  Non-athletic.

So that was an added sweetness to those times spent with Suzanne, volleying back and forth.  I could keep up with her.  We were both just badminton players.

She didn’t seem to mind playing with me.  She didn’t get impatient, or want to play with somebody better.

We were equally matched.

My intention, this morning, was to briefly refer to Suzanne and badminton, only as a way to introduce “what I really wanted to write about this morning.”  Instead, I’m glad I had the patience to linger in that moment of memory.

What I really wanted to write about? How I’m getting better at the “A-word” these days.


I thought of the badminton analogy this morning, when my boyfriend and I got annoyed at each other, expressed that in a few volleys, and then …..

I laughed.

Why did I laugh?  From the sheer pleasure of

  1. having allowed myself to feel and express anger to somebody I love, whom I might otherwise be afraid of losing.
  2. not taking his responses entirely personally, and
  3. seeing the humor in the moment.

It wasn’t competitive.

We played by the rules.  (For example, no throwing. No name calling.)

We engaged, and then it was over.

We were equally matched.

I like volleying.

It’s fun!

That concludes our blog post for this morning, ladies and gentlemen.

Thanks to Suzanne,  Michael, birdies, and patient people everywhere — including you, my readers!

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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