Posts Tagged With: change

Day 3181: Self Acceptance

Yesterday, I asked this question about self acceptance on Twitter:

Many people responded about the positive and healing aspects of self acceptance. Some people expressed a belief/fear that if they accepted themselves exactly the way they are, they would stay stuck, be settling for less, and would never change.

My observation and experience is that self acceptance is usually the first step to being balanced, present, and more able to see the way clear to taking the next positive and achievable step towards self improvement.

Personally, I find self acceptance freeing and energizing. Do you see self acceptance in my other images for today?

My sense is that the Daily Bitch accepts herself exactly the way she is.

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “self acceptance.”

What are your thoughts and feelings about self acceptance?

Please accept my gratitude for your acceptance, here and now!

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

Day 3021: Word choices

This week in therapy, I’ve been suggesting that people replace the words “my fault” (or “my bad”) with

  • my choice,
  • my decision, or
  • my responsibility.

My choice, decision, and responsibility as a therapist is to use less shaming and more adult words. Our blaming and judgmental thoughts (also called cognitive distortions) ignore the complexity of situations, keeping us stuck in negative feelings rather than moving towards actions and solutions.

What do you think of the word choices in today’s images?

My husband, Michael, whose word choices (and food choices) I always appreciate, recently relieved my anxiety about resuming a more “normal” life in the near future with these words: “It’s going to be like when you return to work after a long vacation. On the first day back, it’ll soon seem like you were never away.”

Here‘s The Life-Changing Power of Words, a TED talk by Kristin Rivas:

I hope you choose to listen to her words and I look forward to your word choices in the comments section below.

At the end of each post, my word choices are all about gratitude.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2990: An achievable next step

In therapy, when people feel overwhelmed, I ask them to identify an achievable next step.

For me, here and now, achievable next steps include:

  • sending an email inviting somebody to connect with me via ZOOM,
  • opening up 2020 tax preparation software for the first time,
  • entering some tax data,
  • sending my video of “Vaccinated Women” to another TV show,
  • calling my health insurance company about family coverage,
  • calling a new company about my flexible spending health accountability account,
  • dancing, and
  • sharing these images with you:

According to the CDC, achievable next steps are definitely changing. Change is stressful, even those changes you desperately want. I would suggest choosing and practicing an achievable next step for reducing stress.

For me, sharing music I love is an achievable next step. Here are international women taking achievable next dance steps to “So What” by Miles Davis.

Is an achievable next step for you leaving a comment about this achievable-next-step post?

Gratitude is always an achievable next step for me.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2161: Before I Felt Ready

Have you ever done anything before you felt ready?

I may be performing my latest original song “I Left the House Before I Felt Ready” before I feel ready,  six days from today.

Are you ready to feel the lyrics to that new song?

Ready or not, here they come!

 

I Left the House Before I Felt Ready

by Ann Koplow

 

I left the house before I felt ready,

I’m wrinkled, distracted, a little bed-heady.

Don’t know where my phone is, one glove, or umbrella,

My water bottle’s prob’ly somewhere in the cella.

Here on the outside I’m sort of unsteady

When I’ve left the house before I felt ready.

 

I left the house before I felt certain

What clothes to wear?  Should I tuck my shirt in?

Should I eat a banana, a cookie, a peach?

Do something productive or go to the beach?

With indecision I’m strugglin’ and hurtin’

When I’ve left the house before I felt certain.

 

I left the the house before I felt sure

About what I can tolerate, face, or endure.

Should I stick to what’s safe or try something new?

Taking risks — tsk, tsk tsk — not the right thing to do?

I might meet someone nice or step into manure

When I’ve left the house before I feel sure.

 

I did leave the house, I can recall,

To work, to sing, to shop at the mall,

If  I waited until I was sure not to fall

I’d never leave the house at all.

 

I left the house before I felt ready,

I’m vulnerable, present, and reasonably steady.

I’m glad to be here even if it’s not home,

Even if my hair needs a brush and a comb,

I’m not totally sure or secure, this is true,

But I’m certain I’m ready enough to meet you.

© Ann Koplow, 2018

 

Do you feel ready for my latest photos?

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I’ll be ready with that t-shirt (tucked or untucked) when I debut that song at an Open Mic on Friday, December 7th.

There are no songs on YouTube with my title, but here‘s the Fugees‘ “Ready or Not” performed by Southern University Marching Band in 2016:

I feel ready for your comments if you feel ready to share one below.

I’m always ready to express gratitude to all who help me create these posts and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 1731: The Beet Goes On

Yesterday, beets went on my salad at lunch.

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Then, I posted that photo on Facebook:

This is what I’m having for lunch on the 7th anniversary of my first contact with Michael, which was a message about how we both disliked beets.

Here’s the first message I sent to my boyfriend Michael seven years ago after I saw his OkCupid profile, which was hilarious and adorable and quirky and  mentioned his dislike of beets.

I also hate beets.  You actually didn’t use the word “hate.” You were much more diplomatic.

Ann

Michael didn’t miss a beat and wrote back:

Well, you have to be diplomatic in public forums. I mean, you never know who’ll have a disturbing passion for beets or something and send you psychotic messages for the next seven months. Between you and me, I detest beets.

Since then, we’ve grown fonder of beets and of each other.

Let’s celebrate our anniversary to the beat of some music and photos!

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I’m looking forward to many more beets, beats, delicious meals, sunrises, and sunsets in the future.

Thanks to Michael and everyone else who contributed to every beat and beet of this post and thanks to YOU — of course! —  for staying to celebrate our anniversary.

 

Categories: anniversary, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 1549: If you could be any animal, which would you be?

If I could be any animal besides a human, I’d be a duck, because a duck

Yesterday, after my therapy group, when I was being sociable with the nurses at work, I noticed  they had chosen a different animal for me.

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If I could be any animal besides a human or a duck, I’d be a butterfly, because a butterfly

  • is adept in the air,
  • spends a lot of time around flowers,
  • looks great, and
  • changes in very profound ways.

If you could be any animal, would you be any of these?

If you could be any animal interviewing for a job, you might find this useful:

If you could choose any musical number about any animal, which would it be? The animals at YouTube just suggested two  (here and here):

The Lion King medley reminds me that I’ll be singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” for groups of animals, very soon.

Thanks to all the animals that helped me create this post and to you — of course! — no matter what animal you’d be.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 1536: How People Change

“How People Change” is a topic  of extreme interest to psychotherapists.

“How People Change” was also  the topic that my therapy group — filled with people who are very interested in change —  discussed yesterday morning.

Therefore, “How People Change” is the topic of today’s post.

I, a person, change every day. However, I do not change certain things — like  including recent photos in my daily blog.

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Because I’m not sure how WordPress is changing the size of that photograph on your current screen, here’s what I wrote about “How People Change” in yesterday’s group:

Everybody changes in different ways.

Flexibility is important!

Changes we choose are much easier to tolerate than changes we do not choose.

We deal with change a lot in this group because people come and go.

After the group, I changed the “angel card” in that description of change, just for the sake of change.

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What do you think of that change, people?

Do you see evidence of how people change in my other photos from yesterday?

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The reality is that I recited/sang these lyrics from the David Bowie song “Changes” in group yesterday.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time

See and hear how David Bowie changed singing “Changes” as time changed him (here, here, and here on YouTube)

 

Some people have said, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Even though I change all the time, my gratitude  — for all who help me create these posts and for you, my readers — stays the same!

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 1531: I miss a lot of things

In my therapy groups, after I write on the board the themes and topics I hear in the room, I say, “I miss a lot of things,” because

  • I’m inviting people to make sure that everything that’s important to them is listed on the board and
  • I miss a lot of things.

I miss a lot of things because my imperfect mind is incapable of noticing and retaining everything that happens around me.

I also miss a lot of things because, no matter what we do, people leave and things change.

Do I  miss a lot of things, here and now?

I miss:

  • my late parents,
  • our previous President,
  • people I used to work with,
  • some of my classmates, and
  • living near the ocean, as I did when I was a child.

Do you miss a lot of things?

I miss a lot of things when I take pictures.  Here’s the latest batch:

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Did you miss the bunny kisses? The soap, in two photos?  The glue? The misplaced meal? My new custom-made t-shirt?  Boston?  Something I brought home from a hotel in Edinburgh? Two cartoons I missed when I first published this post an hour ago? If you missed those things,  look again.

I miss a lot of things, but today I’m not missing music

 

… and I’m not missing the opportunity to thank those who helped me create this post and to thank YOU.

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

Day 1495: Look!

Look!  I changed my WordPress avatar yesterday, in honor of my 64th birthday.

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Look!  My son took that photo at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Look!  It’s me as a camel.  Look!  It matches the banner of this blog.

Look!  Everywhere I looked yesterday, it was my birthday.

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Look!  I got lots of great presents yesterday!

Look!  It’s a song co-written and performed by Doris Troy!

Look!  It’s almost time for me to go to cardiac rehab.

Look!  It’s me, your grateful blogger, thanking all who helped me create this post and thanking you — of course! — for taking a look, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 50 Comments

Day 1476: I haven’t been the same since …

When people get into therapy, they often say, “I haven’t been the same since …” and they name some life-changing event.

Personally, I haven’t been the same since …

  • my first heart surgery at age 10,
  • I got my first cat,
  • I got my first car,
  • I rode a bicycle for the first time,
  • my heart valve replacement surgery last September,
  • my son was born,
  • my son went away to school in Scotland,
  • my son returned home for Christmas,
  • my son went back to school yesterday,
  • I took my first disco dance lesson,
  • I met my husband,
  • my divorce,
  • my cardiac pacemaker was recalled in 1975,
  • my cardiac pacemaker/defibrillator was recalled two weeks after my valve replacement surgery in September,
  • President John F. Kennedy was killed,
  • Bobby Kennedy was killed,
  • Martin Luther King was killed,
  • John Lennon was killed,
  • I went away to college,
  • I was attacked by a rapist outside my apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
  • I first got into therapy,
  • I went to film school,
  • I became a therapist,
  • Barack Obama was elected President of the United States,
  • Donald Trump was elected President of the United States,
  • I met my boyfriend Michael,
  • I first saw Gene Kelly dance,
  • I heard my first pun,
  • I made my first pun,
  • I attended Berklee School of Music for a summer program when I was in high school,
  • I worked on the recruitment tape for Berklee College of Music in the 1990s,
  • I did stand-up comedy at an Open Mic,
  • my son performed stand-up comedy at an Open Mic,
  • I had my first cup of cocoa with marshmallows,
  • my father died,
  • my mother-in-law died,
  • my mother died,
  • my father-in-law died on Friday,
  • I encountered Mexican food for the first time,
  • I had my first black raspberry ice cream cone,
  • I saw my first palm tree,
  • I started blogging,
  • I got my first comment on this blog,
  • I bought my first personal computer during the 1980s,
  • I wrote computer manuals in the 1970s,
  • I slept out under the stars in Monument Valley,
  • I went cross country by bus,
  • I attended the Edinburgh Festival Fringe,
  • I heard Pat Metheny play guitar,
  • I sang in front of people,
  • I met every person who is important to me,
  • I saw my first Stephen Sondheim musical,
  • I first heard the band Steely Dan over the sound system at a Cambridge store, playing this song

  • and countless other events.

I haven’t been the same since all those things happened and yet I’m still the same person.

I haven’t been the same since I took all these photos:

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Give the happiness of a comment and I will end up happy.

I haven’t been the same since I first learned to express gratitude, so many thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for being changed and yet the same, every moment.

 

Categories: heart condition, personal growth, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

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