Posts Tagged With: connections

Day 3539: Aha moments

I’ve had many aha moments in my life, including:

  • life is short, so don’t waste any of it,
  • nature sustains us and we better do our best to sustain it,
  • most people are mostly good,
  • all healing is mutual, so self care is never selfish,
  • we can’t control anybody’s behavior except our own,
  • we are all so caught up in our own experience that it takes hard work to understand and communicate effectively with others,
  • people feel alone sometimes but no one is alone,
  • repressed and disowned feelings will surface eventually,
  • we all fear people who seem different from us until we open ourselves up to how connected we are,
  • we unconsciously absorb biases from our cultures and our families so we need to be aware of them and challenge them constantly,
  • it hurts to lose someone, even those I don’t know (like Queen Elizabeth),
  • it’s not so much a matter of where you are but who you are with, and
  • the best place to be is the here and now.

Aha! I just found this definition of “aha moments”:

Do you see any aha moments in my images for today?

Today is my late father’s birthday and I’m very grateful I shared so many aha moments with him before he died.

Several people on Twitter mentioned this song in response to my question about aha moments:

Thanks to all who help me blog daily about my aha moments, including YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 3175: Not the only one

As a group therapist, I know that realizing you’re not the only one can be very healing. Yesterday, I tried to express that on Twitter with this tweet:

If you think that’s confusing, you’re not the only one. If you think that’s clever, you’re not the only one. No matter what you think, feel, or do about anything, you’re not the only one.

If you’re thinking that statement doesn’t capture how unique each one of us is, you’re not the only one.

If you’re afraid or not afraid of heights, you’re not the only one.

If you like accumulating possessions or you don’t, you’re not the only one.

If you like cats or you don’t, you’re not the only one.

Do any of my other images today remind you that you are not the only one?

Whatever you think about the Daily Bitch, you’re not the only one.

If you thought of this song while reading this post, you’re not the only one.

If you want a live version of “Not the Only One” by Bonnie Raitt, guess what?

If you can’t imagine seeing another live concert again in the company of that many people, you’re not the only one there, either.

Does it help to know you’re not the only one?

I’m grateful knowing that I’m not the only one, thanks to you!

Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 2222: Notice connections

Yesterday, in a therapy group where I notice connections among people, I did a mindfulness exercise using these mindfulness cards:


Most of the people in the room took their time noticing the different cards and choosing one they felt a connection with.  The two people who were left-handed (including me) randomly chose a mindfulness card without looking.   I noticed that connection and then  noticed the card I had randomly pulled:


Then, I noticed color connections between that card and my water bottle:


I notice, here and now, that  I’ve used the word “connections” only twice before in a blog title. If you want to make connections with those older blog posts (both written in my first year of making connections on WordPress), you can connect to them here and here.  I also notice that the first blog post that popped up in my “connections” search was Day 1002: What makes anxiety worse?   Because I notice that  connections often reduce anxiety,  I wonder what connections WordPress noticed there.

I  notice connections between the word “older” (which you may notice I used in my previous paragraph) and negative judgments.  I’m especially noticing that connection two days before I turn 66.

I also notice connections between my reading the news and my anxiety getting worse, so I am careful to notice  news items that help restore and reconnect  my faith in humankind, including this one:

Quincy Police rescue tiny owl from roadside

QUINCY — It appears as if Quincy Police has its very own Dr. Dolittle.

Officer Tim Kaes helped a rescue a small saw-whet owl Tuesday night on Victory Road just before 7 p.m. This is the third owl that Kaes has helped rescue.

A person found the injured owl and flagged down a police cruiser, according to Quincy Police Sgt. Karyn Barkas. With animal control off for the night, the officer called in Kaes who Barkas said loves animals.

The owl was brought to the New England Wildlife Center in Weymouth for treatment.

New England Wildlife Center Executive Director Katrina Bergman said that Kaes had just brought in an injured hawk last week that was trapped in the Quincy Center MBTA station. She called Kaes the “slighted animal hero of the South Shore.”

Bergman said the saw-whet appeared to have been hit by a car and has a severe concussion. The small owl, common to the area, was in a bird head trauma protocol, similar to one for humans. If the animal survives its injuries it will be released back into the wild.

The Audobon Society says the bird gets its name from the call it makes, which is supposed to sound like a saw being sharpened against a whetstone. The bird is one of the smallest owl species.

I notice connections with people like Quincy officer Tim Kaes and phrases like “the slighted animal hero of the South Shore.”  I notice connections between expressed appreciation and being less slighted, so I hope Tim Kaes notices and connects to that news article.

Do you notice connections in any of my other recent photos?












I notice connections between being near the water and feeling better.

I notice many connections in the song “Connections” by OneRepublic (who notice connections between their music and the BeatlesU2, M83and Prince).

I notice connections between gratitude and positive growth, so thanks to those who helped me notice the connections in this post and — of course! — to YOU, for all the connections you notice.


Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1574: Others

In all the other posts I’ve written for myself and for others, only two have had the word “others’ in the title —  Day 163: Alone in the presence of others and Day 180: Horror Stories (and  others).

I expected there would be others about “others,” since I (and others) seem to think about others a lot of the time.

My first and last photos from yesterday both captured the word “others” (among others).



Were those two photos about others the only pictures I took yesterday?  No, there were three others:




I spent a lot of time yesterday with seven others, talking about ourselves, others, and group therapy.  As my t-shirt said, I was alone in the presence of others. And because there was mutual respect, trust, and love among me and the others, each of us had the time and space to be alone AND connected with the others in the room.

In other words (written by another therapist and blogger, Dr. Vollmer):

Therapy offers, as Winnicott eloquently says, a patient “to be alone in the presence of another.”  Deep relationships offer this as well. This is the  luxury of experiencing one’s internal world, while a caring person is present in the room, but not intrusive into one’s internal process.

Here‘s what comes up on YouTube when I search for “others”:

I wonder what others might think, feel, and say about today’s blog?

Thanks to all the others who helped me write this post (among others). Special thanks to you and all the others reading this, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 1244: Rescues

Yesterday, I saw a bumper sticker about rescues, which I’m now rescuing from my iPhone:


I feel rescued by that, here and now, because

  1. It rescues me from having to worry about using the word “whom” in future blog posts.
  2. We have two cats, Harley and Oscar, that we’ve rescued from animals shelters.
  3. I’ve been thinking a lot about rescues since a cardiologist who’s an expert in my unusual heart condition told me she wants to rescue me with major heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic as soon as possible.
  4. I had a day at work yesterday where I rescued and also was rescued by others.
  5. I believe that healing connections among people AND animals rescue us, every time.

Who is rescuing who in my other photos?












Who rescued who through the inter-office mail yesterday?  My co-worker Susan sent me that rescuing humor, shown above.  The joke about the clown reminds me that I’ll be seeing my son’s new play The Great Spa Fire today, wherein a clown and many others will not be rescued. I think my son deserve a No-Bell prize for what he’s written, including this knock-knock joke:

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

The town detective.

The town detective who?

I’ll be asking the questions around here.


Here’s some music I just rescued from YouTube:

Thanks to my son, my kind co-workers, our cats, Irvin Yalom, Elvis Costello, Casey Johnston, rescuing cardiologists,  and all those who helped me rescue the words, pictures, memories, music, thoughts, and feelings in this post today. Special thanks to you — of course! — for rescuing me with your visit.


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Day 1179: Mind blowing

Why am I writing a post titled “Mind blowing” today?

Is it because I saw this mind-blowing image yesterday?


Is it because my mind is easily blown by what I encounter in the here and now, every day of this precious life?

Is it because some readers seemed to find  yesterday’s heart-centered post mind blowing? Sometimes, my mind is blown by other people’s positive and caring reactions.

What are your associations with the words “mind blowing”?

While thoughts are blowing through your mind about all these questions, here are some other mind-blowing sights from yesterday:










Aren’t all the amazing connections we encounter every day mind blowing?

Mind-blown thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for blowing my mind by visiting this blog, here & now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 389: Company

It’s time for a Random Thoughts post!

For your amusement and edification,1 I shall now free-associate about the word “company.”

“Company” is a musical by Stephen Sondheim.

I love musicals. My favorite musical-ist (to coin a word) is Stephen Sondheim.

I especially love the musical “Company.”



“Company” is special to me, for many reasons:

  1. I find the music, lyrics, the book — and everything else about “Company” — very smart.
  2. Despite critics saying that Sondheim musicals are too cerebral, cold, or (insert any other critical word here), I find his work emotional, illuminating, and all-around excellent — for the mind, heart, and soul.
  3. When I was in my 20’s, I tried out for a local production of “Company,” and got to sing my heart — and brains — out during several months of rehearsals and performances.
  4. In many ways, Sondheim has made my life worth living.

Company is something I seek, but also need to balance with alone time.

Connecting with others is very important to me, and something I love to do.

Sometimes, when company is there, I am yearning to be alone.

When I was a little kid in the hospital, I would wait, with every fiber of my being, for visiting hours to begin, so my mother and other people in my life could come and visit me.

Sometimes I feel alone in the company of others.

When I feel less safe and secure (due to external and/or internal conditions), it is especially difficult to tolerate being alone.

Lately (as described here and here), I’ve been using the GPS-type app, Waze, for company, when I drive to and from work.  Other helpful company — here in the Blog-o-sphere —  have helped me realize that Waze might not be the best company for that situation.

A couple of days ago, to replace Waze during drive-time, I returned to the company of an old musical friend, Pat Metheny:

Image 4

I had a little trouble deciding which video to include here, but I can never resist this tune (and it reflects my recent experience — listening to the album Pat made with Anna Maria Jopek):


If you don’t have time to watch or listen to that live version (although I hope you do get to check it out, at some point, especially Pat soloing, starting around 4:30) …. here’s a different, short piece from the Pat Metheny and Anna Maria Jopek album, Upojenie:


In many ways, Pat Metheny has helped make my life worth living.

Thanks to Stephen Sondheim, to Pat Metheny, to all those connections that have helped so much,  and to you — of course! — for visiting today.

  1. At least that is my intent.

  2. I found that at The Stephen Sondheim Reference Guide.

  3. I chose this video, made by the University of Rhode Island about their production of Company, because it suited my purposes and intent for this blog post. Also, Note This: When I use footnote superscripts, I can’t put them on the same line with a video that’s imbedded within a post.  So this footnote needs to be hanging out there, alone, on the line, without any company … even if it looks weird.

  4. I found that image here.

  5.  Thanks to waltermigratore, and to that lonely superscript number “5”, hanging out in space above.

  6. Thanks to alleviate1. You know what? That last hanging-out-in-mid-air superscript probably doesn’t feel quite alone, having two others just like it, in the same post.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 162: What’s in a name?

Yesterday, I wrote about some VITs (Very Important Tigers) in my life.

Last night, I announced, “I’ve decided to watch the movie ‘Life of Pi’.” That movie had been on my To Do List, ever since I had seen some visually stunning excerpts on The Oscars/Academy Awards earlier this year. As I was heading upstairs towards the TV, I laughed/gasped, for a second, as I realized/remembered what I had sort-of-forgotten:

The movie’s co-star is …Image

… an adult Bengal tiger.

Geesh! Does EVERYTHING need to be connected?

The movie might have an opinion about that.

Anyway, I was very affected, touched, and moved by “Life of Pi.”

Although, not to take anything away from that amazing film, I’ve been having those same reactions lately to life in general.

I guess that means “Life of Pi” meets my late mother’s criteria for a good movie. Her highest praise for a movie was, always, “It’s very true to life.” (When I was an adolescent, I had some critical thoughts about my mother’s style of film criticism.) (Today, it seems, I’m following in her movie-critic footsteps, which I like.)

Oh, no! Here we are in the midst of yet another Year of Living Non-Judgmentally post where I’ve yet to make a connection to the Topic Du Jour. Namely, names.

Well, let’s take care of that, right now.

The topic of names has been on my To Do List of blog posts, because:

  • I have a first name that is often misspelled and a last name that is often misspelled AND mispronounced. (And I sometimes have feelings about that.)
  • In the past, I’ve done groups about people’s names, where all the participants had interesting, important stories about their names.
  • Names are a major part of our identity, and they’re also a way that people connect with each other.
  • My childhood friend, Deb, with whom I’ve reconnected, recently told me that her auto correct program changed my last name from “Koplow” to “Kookier,” which I loved.

Choosing today to finally write about names seemed somewhat random to me, until I remembered that the first part of “Life of Pi” is all about Pi’s first name, (including how he got teased at school relentlessly about his full name, Piscine).

Geeesh! Does EVERYTHING have to be connected?

Here’s where I am on the subject of my own name, right now:

  • I like my first name. I especially like the way it’s spelled, without an “e.” People often put an “e” on it, though. Not sure why that’s true. This might be another auto-correct thing and/or people knowing somebody else named “Anne.”
  • I don’t like my last name so much, because it can be a pain to have a name that 96% of the public gets wrong. However, I decided to keep it when I got married because, even though my ex-husband’s name would have been easier, that just didn’t seem like … my name.
  • More about my last name: It was shortened when my father’s family came to the United States. While the correct pronunciation is Cop-lo (like a “depressed policeman,” as my son told his friend, the other day), people sometimes emphasize the second syllable, which makes it sound like a fighting noise in a comic book: KO-PLOW!
  • In the past, I have sometimes had negative reactions when people spell or mispronounce either of my names. The negative reactions are related to this kind of thought: If I were important enough, people would pay attention to my name.
  • Lately, I’m seeing this differently. I’m thinking that everybody has a lot on their minds, that names can be tough to remember, and that I have a particularly difficult name.
  • Being more forgiving of other people’s use of my name is helping me be less anxious about being perfect with other people’s names (although I still try to do well with that).
  • While I have felt weird when people pronounce my last name like a comic book explosion — feeling ridiculous or even “teased” in that moment — lately I’ve been trying a new thought: Hey! Maybe that would be a cool name to have!

I’m in a less judgmental place about my name these days (which I’m enjoying).

However, I reserve the right to look fierce and bare my teeth (see photo, above) if somebody REALLY screws it up.

Thanks for reading (and feel free to tell a story about your name).

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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