Posts Tagged With: change

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: , , , , , , , , , | 34 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: , , , , , , , , , | 50 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: , , , , , , | 49 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: , , , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Day 1239: Favorite words

Do you have any favorite words?

If I look at recent photos from this blog, I’m sure I’ll find some favorite words.

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Word to  these words I saw on this greeting card yesterday …

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… which inspired the words and pictures in this post.

Any favorite words in the other photos I took yesterday?

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Any favorite words in this favorite song by the amazing vocal group Take 6?

I L-O-V-E that.  Did U?

Now, some favorite words to end this wordy post.

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

Day 1049: Essence

What is the essence of the word “essence”?

es·sence
ˈesəns
noun
the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, especially something abstract, that determines its character.
“conflict is the essence of drama”
synonyms: quintessence, soul, spirit, nature
PHILOSOPHY
a property or group of properties of something without which it would not exist or be what it is.
plural noun: essences
an extract or concentrate obtained from a particular plant or other matter and used for flavoring or scent.
synonyms: extract, concentrate, distillate, elixir, decoction, juice, tincture

Yesterday, I had an interesting discussion about essence with Newell, Lisa, and Michelle …

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… showing their essences there, left to right.

Newell — who arranged last night’s reunion of people who worked together for years at a psychiatric day treatment program —  broached the subject of essence almost immediately, which reflects the essence of Newell. Newell told us he essentially believes we all have an essence that never changes.  I noted the essence of irony there, since our work focused on the essence of change. I also wondered whether our essence was immortal.

My essence loves the essences of the three people in that photo.

Earlier in the day, I experienced the essence of several things, at Whole Foods Market …

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…  my local Honda dealership …

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… and a watch and clock shop.

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I’m thinking that one of those clocks might have the perfect essence for my new office in Newton, Massachusetts. Which clock would your essence choose?

Finally, here’s the essence of Lisa’s adorable dog …

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Bella.

What do you think is the essence of this post? Does “My Immortal” by Evanescence capture its essence?

Here and now, I’m happy to share the essence of my gratitude for Newell, Lisa, Michelle, music, animals, time, things that change and things that stay the same, and — of course! — you.

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

Day 1023: Becoming

I saw this last night.

I found that very becoming, because I was already thinking about how things can become other things, like a spoon becoming a pen …

… caring becoming worry (and vice versa) …

… a slinky becoming something else…

…  “busy” becoming other things…

… and my work computer screen becoming upside down, yesterday.

I was also thinking how Larry David had no trouble becoming Bernie Sanders on SNL this past Saturday, but had unexpected trouble becoming George Costanza (a character unbecomingly based on himself) on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

I believe it is becoming and healing to let go of shame, guilt, fear, worry about the future, regret about the past,  and outdated thought patterns.  However, as many becoming people have said in my office,

That’s easier said than done.

I know that, but saying the change can be the first step to becoming it.

Today, I will not be coming into the Boston teaching hospital where I work as a psychotherapist. Instead, I will be coming to a conference on innovation in medical practice.

Who knows what will become, on this day in October? I know this: another blog post will be coming your way, tomorrow.

I am becoming grateful to every person, place, and thing that helped this post become what it did today. I’m becoming especially grateful to you — of course! — for becoming,  here and now.

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

Day 253: September

Now that we’re into the month of September to the extent that it’s hitting people that we’re really into September, here’s what I’m noticing:

  • The topic of “perfectionism” keeps coming up, in therapy groups and elsewhere.
  • People (at least in the Northeast section of the U.S.) seem more confused than usual about what to expect from the outside environment.
  • People (at least in the Northeast section of the U.S.) seem more confused than usual about what to expect from themselves.

Those are some things I’m observing. (Although, as I often hear people say, “Maybe it’s just me.”)

How about a photo to end this post?

The first thing I do, when I decide to use a photo, is to check my iPhone, to see if there are any photos I’ve taken that I haven’t used in a blog post yet.

Nope, nope, nope, nope. (Perhaps I’ll have to go to Google Images, this morning.)

Wait! Here’s one I took several weeks ago:

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Why do I think this is a great photo for this post?

  • There’s a specific reference to the month of September.
  • There’s a mistake within the photo.
  • This reminds me that mistakes can make people smile (not just annoy them).
  • The sign, despite the mistake, still got the job done.
  • And, last but not least, the sign shows that all things, especially inconveniences, will come to an end.

Thanks for reading, today!

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Day 164: Unfreezing

When I was a kid, I had lots of scary experiences in the hospital, all by myself, because my parents weren’t allowed to be with me.

I remember listening to the beeping sounds of heart monitors, in the darkest part of the night, feeling frozen.

I’m writing this blog post from a cot in a hospital room, next to my amazing 15-year-old son, who is recovering quite nicely from a procedure, this afternoon, to correct a “spontaneous pneumothorax.”

Earlier, this was the view from his hospital room as day turned to night:

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It’s the darkest part of the night, right now. The only sounds I hear in this room are reassuring ones, including those of my son’s undisturbed sleep.

Each moment I’m with him now, I’m unfreezing.

Thanks, so much, for witnessing this.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 158: The Ascending Coil (revisited)

The first week I blogged here, back in January, I shared the introduction of a book I’m working on, which described a wonderful, useful way to look at your healing journey through life.

The Ascending Coil

I can use the word “wonderful” with all due modesty, because it’s not my idea.  Carl Jung came up with this soulful and true metaphor, which matches so many people’s experience of learning and growth.

This is what Jung said: While we may expect ourselves to learn and proceed through life in a linear fashion, like this:

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The human experience is more like this:

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(And  yes, that is  a picture of a Slinky!!) (Which I’m thrilled to have found this morning on-line, especially since several people I work with have bought Slinkies,  to remind themselves of this concept.)

Look at that beautiful Slinky.  THAT is how we grow. We move around in circles, learning similar lessons over and over again.

Of couse, that kind of path can feel discouraging at times … like we’re moving backwards. Like we’re relearning things we should  know already.

But here’s the good news. We’re always moving up.  Each time we go around, we have new wisdom and experience. Even when we move back around into periods of pain, confusion, or hopelessness, we will turn another corner and continue to move forward.

We can’t fall back. We can’t unlearn.  It’s impossible.

It make take us several go-rounds to learn something “well enough” to change, but we’re always building, in some way, on what we’ve experienced.

Why did I want to revisit this ascending coil, this morning?

Because when I woke up this morning, facing some difficult challenges — some new opportunities that scare me, I had this thought, which helped tremendously:

Today, I am more equipped than I’ve ever been in my life, to tackle what’s ahead of me.  Because, no matter what I’m doing, I’m further along, on this mortal coil.

Thanks for reading, wherever you are, today.

 

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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