Posts Tagged With: assumptions

Day 2546: It’s not unusual

It’s not unusual for me to

  • spend time worrying about something that doesn’t come to pass,
  • make assumptions about what somebody is thinking only to find that I was way off,
  • avoid checking the latest news,
  • wish better people were in power,
  • be shy about asking for help,
  • write on white boards at work,
  • talk to anybody who will listen about the healing power of groups,
  • pose a question and then find out the answer is more complicated than expected, and
  • appreciate being alive, every day.

In yesterday’s blog post — Day 2545: Transformation — I asked people to identify the guitarist on the 1965 Tom Jones hit, “It’s Not Unusual.”

While I was told the guitarist was Jimmy Page, it turns out that the guitarist was either Jimmy Page or Joe Moretti AND the keyboardist was definitely Reginald Dwight, more famously known as Elton John.

It’s not unusual for me to send an email like this to Michael:

Who was the keyboardist on “It’s Not Unusual”?

One of the most famous keyboardists in rock and roll history!

Don’t cheat! Answer provided tonight!

Love,
One of the least famous keyboardists in history

It’s not unusual for me to share my latest photos.

IMG_9466.JPG

IMG_9468.JPG

IMG_9469.JPG

IMG_9471.JPG

It’s not unusual for a cat to look at a king or a blogger.

It’s not unusual for me to share definitions, like this one:

A CAT MAY  LOOK AT A KING

A cat may look at a king is an English proverb that means even someone of low status has rights. A cat may look at a king implies that all people have certain minimal rights by virtue of being alive. Like many proverbs, the origin is unknown. The first printed version of the idiom a cat may look at a king was published in 1562, in The Proverbs And Epigrams Of John Heywood, “What, a cat may look on a king, ye know!” It is almost certain that the proverb existed in oral tradition long before it was written down. A cat may look at a king is a proverb that is not as popular as it was in the past, perhaps because inalienable human rights are more recognized in the present time, or perhaps because the power of kings is not what it once was.

It’s not unusual for me to appreciate any comments you might share, below.

It’s not unusual for me to express gratitude for all who help me create these daily blog post, including YOU!

 

Categories: definition, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 1892: Why people respond to you the way they do

One thing I consistently relearn in this world (especially when I attend a group psychotherapy conference) is why people respond to you the way they do.

Last week in Houston, I found that people responded to me the way they did because of

  • assumptions,
  • memories,
  • feelings, and
  • the unconscious.

Here are two examples of people responding to me the way they did:

Example #1.

In a very large group, a woman sitting near me responded to everything I said with hostility, aggression, and opposition.  After the group session,  I approached her and  asked her if I had offended her in some way.  She said, “Oh no!  I’ve never done one of these large groups before. I just thought that was what you were supposed to do — argue with the person who had just spoken.”

Example #2.

In a different, much smaller group, I was the first to speak up.  A man sitting across from me seemed to respond to everything I said with some mild hostility. After about an hour, I let him know, in the group, that I was experiencing  some hostility from him and I wondered what that was about.  At first he said he wasn’t aware of being hostile towards me.  When another group member joined me by telling him she also saw the hostility towards me,   he thought about it. Then he  said, “I guess there is some hostility there. I saw you yesterday in another group where you spoke up first.  When you spoke up first here, I thought, ‘Oh, there’s Ann, doing THAT again.’  I said, “Oh!  Now I understand.  Thank you!”

I respond to the world the way I do, sometimes through pictures.

IMG_7392

IMG_7394

IMG_7397

IMG_7395

IMG_7383

fullsizeoutput_2e9c

I responded to my son Aaron’s news about winning the University of Edinburgh Stand Up Comedy Championship by taking a screen shot of his award (above).  I responded to my wish to find his comedy routine on YouTube by searching  that site by his name.  YouTube responded with this video:

 

I respond to that video the way I do because I’m his mother.

Please respond to this post the way you do.

I respond the way I do, here and now,  because I’m grateful to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

IMG_7398

 

 

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

Day 1891: Stones

About a thousand days and blogs ago (but who’s counting?) I wrote a post about the basket of stones I use in my work as a group therapist.

When I orient a new person to my groups, I ask them to choose a stone from the basket for a mindfulness exercise.  At the end of the orientation, I tell them that the stone they chose is their “Coping and Healing Stone” to keep. People seem to love their stones.

Yesterday, when I returned to work from a week-long group therapy conference in Houston,  the basket of stones was not in its usual place on my bookshelf.  I searched my office and the rooms where I do group therapy, but that big basket of beautiful stones  remained missing.

I asked Juli,  who had facilitated some of my groups while I was away, if she had taken the basket of stones from my office.  She said, “What? No!  What a weird thing for somebody to take!”  As she thought about it, she remembered that when she had gone into my office to get some shells for a group mindfulness exercise,  she didn’t see the stones there then. So they had apparently disappeared early in the week I had been away.

I continued to look for the stones and they continued to remain missing.

Then, I started to compile a list of suspects, which is what we humans do.  The most probable suspect was a patient with chronic mental illness, who  had been in my office and chosen a stone from the basket.  I checked to see if this patient had been in the practice the week I was gone and I discovered that he had been —   on Monday to see his primary care doctor.  I told his doctor that I suspected this patient had taken the stones.  His doctor agreed  that was possible and  we discussed the patient’s mental state and how to help him.  I told the doctor I was not going to mention the missing stones to the patient.

I got on eBay and ordered a new basket and new stones. I had two people scheduled yesterday to be oriented to my group, which meant I needed stones for the orientation mindfulness exercises. However, in an amazing  and fortuitous coincidence,  I had brought in with me several beach stones that were given to me on my birthday by my friend Megan’s daughter.

Later in the day, I was standing in the hallway talking to a co-worker, when the practice director came out of her office carrying MY BASKET OF STONES.  She explained that she had gone into my office while I was gone, taken the stones, and used them in a group.  She said, “You have a funny look on your face.”  Maybe she thought I was stoned.

I let the falsely suspected patient’s doctor know about what had happened  My conclusion: “The mentally ill get blamed for everything.”

Last night, I noticed that I had missed a phone call from my son Aaron, who is studying at the University of Edinburgh, which has many buildings built of stones.  He had called around 4:00 AM, his time.   I called him back right away.

Aaron, who often looks a little stoned (especially when he’s tired), said, “I won the Edinburgh University Comedy Competition tonight.”   My boyfriend Michael asked (as I knew he would), “Did you win any money?”  Aaron said, “No. ”  And he showed us what he had won. It was an enormous stone.

Feeling stoned yet?  Here are some photos from yesterday.

IMG_7376

 

IMG_7384

IMG_7385

IMG_7387

IMG_7390

If you look closely at that last photo, you can see Aaron holding the stone he won as the Edinburgh University Revue Comedy Champion 2018.

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, but feel free to throw out some comments below.

Thanks to all who helped me write this post about stones and — of course! — to YOU.

 

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

Day 1662: Pictures taken before disaster strikes

Have you ever been invited to go to a website of pictures taken before disaster strikes? Have you taken the bait to click and look? If so, that’s not a disaster — that’s just the human trait to focus on disaster and catastrophe.

Some of the photos in today’s post ARE pictures taken before disaster strikes.

IMG_2358

IMG_2359

IMG_2361

IMG_2526

IMG_2374

IMG_2330

IMG_2349

img_2453-1

IMG_2513

IMG_2511

IMG_2518

IMG_2519

IMG_2525

In yesterday’s therapy group, we discussed how our expectations — including disasters — often don’t turn into reality.  Immediately after that group, I received a call about disaster striking unexpectedly.  When we had extricated our cat Harley from the crawlspace where he was hiding during the move two days before …

IMG_2512

… somebody knocked loose an HVAC pipe, which caused significant water damage to the kitchen below.

When I talked to people about that disaster striking, the responses included:

  • “OMG!”
  • “That stinks”
  • “Is your heart okay?”
  • “We were going to remodel the kitchen anyway.”

Considering that the last response was from the person who bought our old place, I guess we’re all going to survive this latest disaster.

Here are more pictures taken immediately before disaster strikes (warning: some disturbing photos, music, and captions included):

 

For some musical relief from disasters, here‘s  “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

I now expect some comments. I wonder how that will turn out.

Non-disastrous thanks to all who helped me share the words, pictures, and music in today’s post and — of course! — to you, no matter what you expected.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 132: What I learned on my spring vacation.

This post is dedicated to my late mother and to my son.

What I learned on my spring vacation:

  1.  Take the time you need.

  2.  Trust in your natural impulses to heal, learn, and grow.

  3.  Pay attention to everything.

  4.  Choose next steps that will benefit you (and those you love).

  5.  Everybody makes mistakes, including your iPhone.

  6.  You get lots of chances to do it better the next time.

  7.  Everything is changing and growing (even if you can’t see it).

This reminds me of another Emo Philips joke:

I was walking down the street and I thought, ‘My gosh, that’s Jimmy Peterson. I haven’t seen him since 3rd grade!’

So I go up to him, slap  him on the back and say, “How are you doing, you old moron? You drunken reprobate!” And I knock him down, and he starts crying, “Mommy!  Mommy!”

And I realized:  Wait a second. If that’s Jimmy Peterson … he would have grown up too.

.

  1.  You promote whatever you perceive — and acknowledge — in others.

  2.  Trust the wisdom of those who love you.

  3.  Embrace all your feelings — they will give you “juice.”

And last, but not least:

.

.

  1.  If you’re going to assume  ….

.

.

…  assume the best.

Thanks for reading, everybody.

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

Blog at WordPress.com.