Posts Tagged With: asking for what you need

Day 1213: Intent

Yesterday, my intent was to write about “Purpose.”

Today, my purpose is to write about “Intent.”

Where did this purposeful intent come from? From a discussion, yesterday, in a therapy session.

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It was my intent to  suggest, there, that people ask that intentional question when somebody has said something confusing, confounding, or hurtful.

Here are all the other photos I took yesterday, with intent.

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Can you guess my intent in taking any of those photos?  I hope the intent of this post tells you that you can always intentionally ask.

What music do I intend to include here?

I am intentionally inspired by my own photos to include this

… and this:

Is it your intent to leave a comment today?

It is my intent to thank all who helped me create this post and you — of course! — no matter what your intent for visiting here and now.

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

Day 801: How to ask for what you need. 

  1. Identify, as clearly as possible in the moment, what you need.
  2. Identify who is most likely to help you get that need met.
  3. Let go of any worries and concerns about what might happen if you ask for what you need.
  4. Ask.
  5. If you don’t get what you need, ask again.
  6. If you don’t get what you need after asking somebody again, ask somebody else.
  7. If nobody is giving you what you asked for, consider whether you are asking the best people and whether you are asking clearly.
  8. Ask again.
  9. If asking others is still not yielding satisfactory results, consider ways to meet that need on your own.
  10. Let go of any negative thoughts or shame that came up for you, in steps 1 – 9.

Lately, I’ve been asking for what I need in many areas, including:

  • Help with my taxes. 
  • Decisions about my health. 
  • Singing at a party, next week. 

Here are some photos I took yesterday to meet my needs, without asking. 


Here’s a song about needing and wanting:

If you need or want to see The Rolling Stones performing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” on the David Frost Show, you can ask for that on YouTube.

I hope you ask for what you need, after reading this post.

I need to thank all those who helped me create this post today, especially the wonderful people at Tufts Medical Center and Beacon Hill Dental Associates, who met my very important need yesterday of getting my teeth cleaned. I also want to thank the Charles Street area of Boston MA USA, PetSmart, Staples, the Rolling Stones, David Frost, and — of course! — you, my readers, whom I need (in case you need to ask).

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 776: Just Ask

If you have any questions or if you need anything, just ask. What have you got to lose?

Sometimes I hesitate to just ask, out of fear of a negative reaction. However, not asking means I will get no response, at all.  If I ask, at least I have a chance of getting something in return!

Yesterday morning, I just asked the universe for good enough weather, so my very-soon-to-be-17-year-old son Aaron and I could fly out to Los Angeles, California.

Here’s the first answer I saw:

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That looks promising, doesn’t it?  However, the weather, as expected, deteriorated as we approached our flight time of 5:20 PM.

When Aaron and I were at Boston’s Logan airport yesterday, waiting to see if our plane would escape through Winter Storm Neptune to take us to sunny California, we saw this:

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Of course, I couldn’t resist. So I walked up to the counter, acknowledged the invitation in the sign and just asked: “Will you be in my blog?”

Juan (on the right) didn’t just ask or say anything, but I took this photo anyway:

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Juan just asked that I take a better photo of him, so I did:

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Rico just asked me the name of my blog, and we agreed that he was more judgmental than Juan.

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Then, Rico and Juan  just asked me: “What was your question?” And I repeated what I had just asked, “Will you be in my blog?”

The answer, if you didn’t already guess, was “yes.”

Then, I got some things I did not just ask for, including:

  • a flight delay, because of ice on the wings,
  • a return of my dreaded fevers, during the entire flight to California, and
  • Aaron and I missing our only chance, this trip,  to see the weekly midnight show of comedian Ron Lynch (appearing, if you just ask, in previous blog posts including here, here, and here).

Here and now, I am also getting much more than I would ever think to just ask for, including

  • my friend Krystal and her husband Jim’s generous and kind welcome to their lovely home in Santa Monica,
  • dinner with Ron Lynch on Monday, and
  • a return to a normal temperature, for me.

You might just ask me to show you some pictures of Santa Monica, but instead, I’ll just ask you to look at these photos I took before we left Boston:

 

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If  you have any questions about those pictures — or anything else — in this post, just ask.

Many thanks to Aaron, Krystal, Jim, Juan, Rico, Ron, our cats, my boyfriend Michael (who I just asked to be my Valentine yesterday), to anybody anywhere who has had the courage to just ask, and to you — of course! — for just asking to read this post, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 51 Comments

Day 707: Normalizing

Yesterday, when I passed by the labels on the complimentary shampoo and conditioner in our hotel room in NYC, I knew what today’s blog title would be:

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I think I know what the shampoo/conditioner manufacturer means by “normalizing.” I’m more interested in how you might define that word.

Oscar

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just entered this on my keyboard:

‘ Lp;;;;;

and I’m not sure how to normalize that.

Let’s see if there’s a definition of “normalizing” on the internet, before I tell you how I use the word “normalizing” in my work as a therapist.

nor·mal·ize
ˈnôrməˌlīz
verb
gerund or present participle: normalizing
1. bring or return to a normal condition or state.
“he wants to begin negotiations to normalize relations”
2.MATHEMATICS
multiply (a series, function, or item of data) by a factor that makes the norm or some associated quantity such as an integral equal to a desired value (usually 1).

I just want to normalize my reactions to that definition, for a moment:

Who decides what normal is?

Here’s how I use normalizing in my work.  When people come into my office and say things like:

  • I feel crazy
  • I am scared
  • I can’t get over this
  • All these awful things have happened to me
  • I am stuck
  • I can’t change things
  • Nobody understands me
  • I was abused
  • I am sick
  • I am dying
  • I’m afraid I’m dying
  • I didn’t expect this
  • My life is not what I want it to be
  • I am overwhelmed
  • I’ve had too many losses
  • I’m helpless
  • I can’t stop crying
  • The world confuses me

… it’s important for me to authentically normalize the person’s experience. How do I do that? By saying things I truly believe in response, such as:

  • You’re not alone.
  • I would expect you to be feeling that way.
  • If you were NOT feeling that way, I would be surprised.
  • That sounds like a human reaction, considering all you’re dealing with.

That’s the first step, I believe.

I now choose to normalize this post by showing you some photos from yesterday, as I traveled back from NYC to my home in Boston:

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When my friend Deb and I arrived in NYC Friday night, the hotel gave us a room that was below ground, with all the windows blacked out. We did not think that was normal. Deb, who is normally very effective in improving situations, convinced the hotel to give us a more normal room for Saturday night. One of the ways the second room was more normal is shown in the photo above: the very confusing shower had a normalizing explanation (as opposed to our first shower, which we had to normalize on our own).

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We met these two women at a Penn Station store, when we were buying water for the train trip back to Boston. (I normally get thirsty for water, no matter what.) I asked if I could take their photo for this blog. Does that seem normal to you?  Here’s how that happened:

Me: I just want to tell you this is the most expensive water I’ve ever bought, anywhere.

Anwara (on the right): Well, you know, it’s New York.

Me: It’s probably going to be especially delicious, right?

Shamiana: (gesturing to the brand name on the water bottle): It’s SmartWater, for a Smart Lady!

Me: Great. Can I take your picture for my blog?

Anwara: You must love us.

Me: I do.

Per normal, I took other photos yesterday, which I shall now present (as I normally do, chronologically), without normalizing them with explanations:

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I will normalize one more photo, taken at our local supermarket last night, as my boyfriend Michael and I did our normal Sunday night shopping:

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I took a photo of that after I had placed it in THE WRONG SHOPPING CART.  When two people (not pictured) realized I had done that and approached me about it, I tried to normalize the situation by saying this:

I guess I thought you both really needed napkins.

Do you think THAT’s normal? And, have I adequately defined “normalizing” in this post?  No matter what your reactions are, I’m sure you’re not alone.

Thanks to our NYC hotel, Deb, Oscar, Shamiana, Anwara, Amtrak (for the normal train rides), the Star Market, Michael, the two people who gave me back the napkins, and to you — of course! — for normalizing things here, today.

Categories: definition, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 442: Questions and Answers (again)

On Day 70 of Ann’s Daily Blogging, I wrote a post called “Questions and Answers (and The Liebster Blog Award)” wherein I responded to my first WordPress Award and covered many topics, including some personal favorites.

I think Questions and Answers, in some form, have been present in many of the posts I’ve written, over the last 441 days.

Here is a question on my mind, right now:

Why do the actions (or non-actions) of other people affect me, so much?

I believe I am making considerable progress in caring less about what other people think.  (See here for my first post about that.) That is, I am getting better at letting go of assumptions about other people’s thoughts, recognizing that I cannot know what other people are thinking. In other words, I can recognize the cognitive distortion called “mind reading” more quickly, and let it go.

But, I wish I could be less sensitive/reactive to/affected by/moody about what other people do or do not do.

I know I’m being general, at this point in the post, and some examples might help.

All the examples that are coming to mind, right now, are related to non-responsiveness. For example:

  • my clearly asking for something I need, and getting no response, or
  • my speaking up (in a meeting, say) and then feeling as if I might not have said anything, at all.

In general, feeling like I’m a  tree falling in a forest, with nobody there.

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Thanks to Wikipedia, for the image above and for having an entry for “If a tree falls in a forest.” (I have to say, I have no complaints about Wikipedia’s responsiveness.)

So how do I feel, in response to non-responsiveness?

Terrible.

And I know I’m not alone in that. I’ve witnessed many people express fears of asking for what they want or need, because of the risk of not getting it and, then, feeling worse.

Speaking of Questions and Answers, Michael just asked me, “Blogging, Ann?” And I said, “No.”  I am so clever and sarcastic, sometimes.

That exchange reminds me of something I used to read, when I was a kid, in Mad Magazine: “Snappy Answers to Stupid1 Questions.”

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Those are:

  1. The first three responses, in Google Images, for “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions,”
  2. from this page and
  3. all amazingly relevant, in some way, to my life right now.

Okay!

As often occurs in my posts, one of my main inspirations can be neither seen nor heard, as I’m winding down my writing today.

Q. What is the inspiration to which I am referring?

A. This song by Todd Rundgren:

(thanks to HarryRunt danu for uploading that to YouTube.)

Love is the Answer

by Todd Rundgren, Roger Powell, Kasim Sulton, John Wilcox

Name your price, a ticket to paradise
I can’t stay here any more
And I’ve looked high and low

I’ve been from shore to shore to shore
If there’s a short cut, I’d have found it
But there’s no easy way around it

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer

Who knows why someday we all must die
We’re all homeless boys and girls
And we are never heard

It’s such a lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely world
People turn their heads and walk on by
Tell me, is it worth just another try?

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Let it shine, shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer
I know the answer is love

Tell me, are we alive or just a dying planet?
What are the chances?
Ask the man in your heart for the answers

And when you feel afraid
(Love one another)
When you’ve lost your way
(Love one another)

When you’re all alone
(Love one another)
When you’re far from home
(Love one another)

When you’re down and out
(Love one another)
All your hope’s run out
(Love one another)

When you need a friend
(Love one another)
When you’re near the end, love
We got to love, we got to love one another

Light of the world, you got to shine
Love will be a means, yeah, yeah, yeah
Shine on us all
Know that love can save the day

Just give it just one more chance
Love, love, love, love, ooh
Lord, you just can’t let it stop, Lord

Love is the answer
Love is the answer
Love is the answer
Love is the answer, yeah

Got to live free to let love into your life.

Thanks to metrolyrics.com, Mad Magazine, Todd Rundgren and Utopia, to people who ask questions and give answers (as best they can), and to you — of course! — for reading today.


1  Not that I thought Michael’s question “Blogging, Ann?” was stupid. As he said, I could have been shopping.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 19 Comments

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