Posts Tagged With: authenticity

Day 1720: Walk this way

Walk this way, please, to see what I saw when I was walking this way yesterday.

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Whenever I see “walk this way,” I’m distracted this way:

I’m also thinking this way about “walk this way” this morning:

  • No matter which way you walk, that way will hold surprises,
  • It’s great to walk with good people along your way,
  • Try to walk this way with soul, joy, and authenticity, and
  • I snap photos as I walk this way.

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What brings you joy as you walk this way?

Walk this way to today’s musical selection:

Please walk this way

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to leave a comment your way.

I’d  like to thank people who help me create these posts and you (of course!) this way.

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

Day 1091: This post might keep you up at night

In my continuing quest to get more readers, today I am trying one easy trick that doctors hate!  That is, I’m starting out with language similar to what I see everywhere on social media, which — I’m assuming —  must be successful in getting people to click and read.

But because I value authenticity and honesty, I will quickly confess to you that this blog post might actually NOT keep you up at night.  Sure, it’s keeping me up at night, because I’m writing it, right now, at 4:17 AM. But there’s no reason for me to assume that you won’t be able to sleep after reading it.

Although, who knows? Maybe one or two of these photos WILL keep you up at night.

So which ones might keep YOU up at night? Inquiring minds want to know.

In the meantime, I’m going to try to get back to sleep.

Thanks for visiting!

 

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 46 Comments

Day 1064: Audiences

Throughout my adult life, I’ve thought a lot about audiences. As a technical writer, marketing writer, teacher, partner in an advertising agency, group and individual psychotherapist, business owner, musical performer,  AND a daily blogger, I’ve learned that identifying and connecting authentically with an audience is very important.

At the same time, each one of us really knows only our own individual experience. I might imagine and try to understand the potential members of any audience, but it’s impossible for me to really get into anybody else’s head. The only head I can really inhabit is my own — and that’s true for any human being, no matter how much each one of us projects, researches,  empathizes, or otherwise tries to connect with an audience.

So, how can any one of us really comprehend and connect with the other people in any audience, in any situation?

Do you — my audience — have any answers for that question?

As I’m creating this blog post, I am aware that you, among others in my blogging audience, will be reading it. At the same time,  I don’t really know

  • who you are,
  • what you’re looking for here, and
  • how I can give you what you need.

I can only guess.

Therefore, no matter who my audience is — for anything I put out into the world — I need to focus on what’s important to me and on communicating that as effectively and authentically as possible.

Then, if I miss the mark and I do not connect with my audience, at least I’ve created something that matters to one person — myself.

Why am I writing about audiences to you, my blogging audience, today?

Why not?

Also, yesterday I signed up to audition for the U.S. television show, The Voice.

Actually, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to share that fact with any audience.  Why?  Because sharing anything with an audience  involves vulnerability.

And what does vulnerability tell me now?

I may fail.

But then, I can ask these follow up questions — to myself and, simultaneously,  to my audience:

What does failure mean?

What if the concept of failure did not exist?

And I can also tell myself this:

No matter what happens, I’ll have something interesting to blog about.

And  I’ll probably have some pictures to show you, like these (which I took yesterday, not really knowing who my audience might be today):

Speaking of The Voice, what does your voice want to express, here and now?

My thanks to audiences, everywhere.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, taking a risk | Tags: , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 742: Letting My Freak Flag Fly

Okay, my freaking fabulous followers, I woke up this morning with this “freak” phrase in my freakish brain:

Letting my freak flag fly

… which — unless my memory is totally freaking out — is from a song.

At freaking first, I thought those words were from

Hairposter.

(I found that freakin’ image of the musical “Hair” here on Wikipedia, along with a lot of freakin’ words.)

However, I don’t think it was the freaks from that freakingly innovative 60’s musical who sang those words I woke up with.

I believe, in my freaky heart, that those lyrics are sung by  Familiar Freak David Crosby.

Hold on.  I’ll freaking check.

I was freaking right!

(David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and  Graham Nash — known collectively as the freakishly harmonic Crosby, Still, & Nash — are freaking out here on YouTube with “I Almost Cut My Hair” at Madison Square Garden in 2009.)

Now, it’s not a freak accident when I wake up with lyrics in my head, which happens freakin’ frequently. I believe there are reasons for freakin’ everythin’, so I’m going to look more carefully at those freak-flag lyrics:

Almost Cut My Hair

I almost cut my hair
It happened just the other day
It was gettin’ kinda long
I could-a said, it was in my way
But I didn’t and I wonder why
I feel like letting my freak flag fly
And I feel like I owe it to someone

Must be because I had the flu for Christmas
And I’m not feelin’ up to par
It increases my paranoia
Like lookin’ at my mirror and seein’ a police car

But I’m not givin’ in an inch to fear
’cause I promised myself this year
I feel like I owe it to someone

When I finally get myself together
I’m gonna get down in some sunny southern weather
Find a place inside to laugh
Separate the wheat from the chaff
I feel like I owe it to someone

Here are my freaking associations with those words, in the freakin’ moment:

  • I didn’t ALMOST cut my hair just the other day. I freaking DID get it cut, two days ago, by the freakishly talented haircutter and human being, Mia.
  • To me, “letting my freak flag fly” means showing pride in one’s unique individuality — freakish differences and all. What does freakin’ you think about that?
  • I didn’t have the flu for Christmas, but I wasn’t feeling myself during the holiday season — because of some heart health fears and uncertainties I had then.
  • “I’m not givin’ in an inch to fear.”  Isn’t that freaking GREAT?!?!
  • I did “finally get myself together” last Wednesday, because of a freakin’ terrific meeting my son and I had with a new cardiologist.
  • “I’m gonna get down in some sunny weather.”  Because the winters are so freakin’ cold and harsh here in the Northeastern part of the USA, I always try to get down in some sunny weather, if possible. This year, with all the medical uncertainties, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get away.  Yesterday, I committed to a trip, in Freakin’ February,  to sunny

california.

  • Isn’t that freaking fantastic?
  • Finally, how about that recurring line in the song — “I feel like I owe it to someone”?  What is “it,” to me?  “It” is everything and anything, including being authentic.  And who is the “someone” I owe that to?   It’s the freak who is writing this post, people!

Here are some freakin’ fotos I took yesterday and today, letting my freak flag fly:

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It’s freakin’ time for Freak Ann to go to work, fellow freaks!

Thanks to David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and all the wonderful freaks who helped me create this post and who are reading it now (including you, of course!).

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, pride | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

Day 698: Discover

Since writing yesterday’s post, I’ve discovered ways to let go of fears about

  • my very unusual heart,
  • how long I have on this amazing earth of ours, and
  • public speaking.

I discovered (again!) that people in the blog-o-sphere, the medical-o-sphere, and the world-o-sphere can help me let go of fears. I also discovered my way, yesterday, to submit a proposal to present a workshop at a group therapy conference this summer, about a form of group therapy discovered by me!

Here’s the no-more-than-50-word description I submitted yesterday, for my workshop presentation proposal:

Discover and experience a new group model (currently thriving in a large medical setting) where participants (1) attend when they choose, (2) identify practical strategies for reducing depression, anxiety, and stress, and (3) support and learn from each other and from a facilitator who role-models vulnerability and authenticity.

Surprised to discover the first word (or any other words) of that proposal? I shall now dis-cover for you the reason for the big finish of that description — the title of the group therapy conference this summer:

Getting Real:  Vulnerability and Effective Group Leadership.

Based on past discoveries, I know this: there are no guarantees I shall be presenting a workshop in June 2015. But I’ve discovered it’s good, for me, to try.

After I wrote my day-after-Thanksgiving blog post yesterday morning, I discovered many things, as usual, in the Greater Boston USA neighborhood where I live. There were two tunes I re-discovered yesterday, playing as I walked around, trying to discover a way to pay a real estate tax bill (among other errands):

(I’ve discovered a live version of The Pat Metheny Group‘s “Here to Stay” here on YouTube.)

The other song (with an interesting title) I re-discovered yesterday during my walk, was “Futures” from the Like Minds album with Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, Roy Haynes, and Dave Holland. As I’ve discovered before, there is no guarantee I shall discover a tune I want to share with you, on YouTube. However, in the search for “Futures” on YouTube, I discovered two wonderful things instead:

I leave it to you to discover what music you want to hear (if any) as you discover some images I discovered, yesterday, on my quest to pay my real estate tax bill, on the day after Thanksgiving, in the northeastern sector of the USA. *

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What did you discover, here and now?**

Thanks to all the musicians and non-musicians who contributed to my writing this post and to all those who discovered their own ways to read this today (which, I’m sure you will discover, includes you).


*I know I could discover a better way to write this photo introduction (as well as other things here), but I want to discover new things, today!

** Besides the fact that I didn’t pay my real estate tax bill yesterday.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 24 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:

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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:

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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!

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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

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