Posts Tagged With: coping and healing groups

Day 3048: Too much

Yesterday, people in my Coping and Healing group said they were dealing with too much.

There was too much

  • physical pain,
  • emotional pain,
  • stress,
  • anxiety,
  • uncertainty,
  • loss,
  • conflict,
  • pressure,
  • frustration,
  • disappointment, and
  • worry.

It didn’t take too much time for people in the group to understand, connect, and support each other.

People talked about death, a topic some find too much to take on. The person who had used the term “too much” early in the group asked the group this question: “How would you choose to die?” While a few people found that question too much to answer, several people said they would choose to die in their sleep. Because I have too much fear of heights, I wondered if my choice were to be leaping off a tremendous height, soaring all the way down, that might ease my acrophobia.

Sometimes I think I’m too much.

Let’s see if there’s too much in my photos today.

Because Jet Blue charges too much to check a bag, I’m not taking too much with me to Nashville.

Here’s “Too Much” by Marshmello x Imanbek featuring Usher.

Here’s “Too Much” from The Spice Girls:

Don’t worry about sharing too much in a comment, below.

There can never be too much gratitude, so thanks to all for visiting my blog today!

Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 3047: Worst feelings

Yesterday in my therapy group, people shared worst feelings, including disappointment in oneself and disappointment in others. At the end of the group, members said that sharing those feelings and realizing they were not alone helped them feel better.

Do you see worst feelings, best feelings, and in-between feelings in today’s images?

Are you the master of your feelings, besides being the master of your judgments, decisions, and actions? Do you let ALL feelings flow through you, without judgment?

Speaking of feelings, here is the saddest song I’ve ever heard:

As I like to say in my group, all feelings are welcome.

One of the best feelings is gratitude, so thanks to all who visit this blog, including YOU.

Categories: group psychotherapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 3043: Whatever doesn’t kill me

Who said “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”?

It didn’t kill me to discover that it was Friedrich Nietzsche.

It didn’t kill me to finally spell “Friedrich Nietzsche” right in that previous paragraph.

Here are others things that didn’t kill me:

  • being born with a rare heart condition,
  • spending lots of time in the hospital when I was kid,
  • ridiculous hospital rules which prevented my parents from staying with me,
  • a few awful nurses and doctors,
  • medicine that made me sick,
  • many surgeries,
  • relying on cardiac pacemakers since age 10,
  • the assassinations during the 60’s,
  • bullies at school,
  • mean or incompetent teachers,
  • bad leaders,
  • bad weather,
  • bad food,
  • choking on a piece of hard candy I accidentally swallowed while laughing,
  • car accidents,
  • scary plane trips,
  • scary movies,
  • scary people, including a rapist,
  • jobs that didn’t fit my skills or interests,
  • walking across a frozen river,
  • my mistakes,
  • other people’s mistakes,
  • traveling by myself,
  • not being able to swim,
  • three bouts of endocarditis because of a leaky heart valve,
  • valve replacement surgery,
  • public speaking,
  • public singing,
  • mountains,
  • valleys,
  • depression,
  • anxiety,
  • PTSD,
  • suicidal thoughts,
  • rejection,
  • disrespect,
  • sexism,
  • anti-Semitism,
  • ageism,
  • COVID-19, and
  • everything and everybody else I’ve encountered in my long life, including what you see in today’s images.

The Daily Bitch Calendar kills me (in a good way).

Here’s Finger Eleven with “Whatever Doesn’t Kill Me”:

It doesn’t kill me to express gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU!

Categories: heart condition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 3041: Why?

Why is “Why?” the title of my post today?

Why do people ask “Why?” in my Coping and Healing groups?

Why do songs pop into my head so easily?

Why are those songs often Beatles songs?

Why did I take all of these photos?

Why am I posting a photo of our late great cat Oscar today?
Why did I order a book about Nashville?
Why am I sometimes not wearing a mask outdoors?
Why is there a mound of dirt in front of the local church?
Why do I like taking pictures of animals wherever I go?
Why did somebody hang an American flag and make it more difficult for people to get in their front door?
Why do some vaccination locations in Boston give out cool buttons while others don’t?
Why am I lucky enough to have a now-vaccinated husband who makes delicious meals like sablefish with figs?
Why do I often take photos of Yogi tea sayings?
Why do I love the Daily Bitch Calendar?
Why does Harley love his favorite dry cat food, scorning EVERYTHING else except for popcorn?

Why am I engaging on Twitter these days?

Why did the late, great Professor Irwin Corey break down “Why” questions into two parts, where the first part was just “Why?” (which he could not really answer) and the second part was the rest of the question, which he simply answered “YES!”?

Let’s see how that works for today’s post, shall we?

The first part of all the questions I’ve asked today is Why?” “Why?” is a question that philosophers have been asking for millenniums. We all want to make meaning of what happens to us, and therefore we cry “Why?” from our souls into the world. “Why?” is ultimately unanswerable, especially by a humble person like me.

Now for the second parts of my “Why?” questions today:

Is “Why?” the title of my blog post today?

Do people ask “Why?” in my Coping and Healing groups?

Do songs pop into my head so easily?

Are those songs often Beatles songs?

Did I take all of these photos?

Am I posting a photo of our late great cat Oscar today?

Did I order a book about Nashville?

Am I sometimes not wearing a mask outdoors?

Is there a mound of dirt in front of the local church?

Do I like taking pictures of animals wherever I go?

Did somebody hang an American flag and make it more difficult for people to get in their front door?

Do some vaccination locations in Boston give out cool buttons while others don’t?

Am lucky enough to have a now-vaccinated husband who makes delicious meals like sablefish with figs?

Do I often take photos of Yogi tea sayings?

Do I love the Daily Bitch Calendar?

Does Harley love his favorite dry cat food, scorning EVERYTHING else except for popcorn?

Am I engaging on Twitter these days?

Did the late, great Professor Irwin Corey break down “Why” questions into two parts, where the first part was just “Why?” (which he could not really answer) and the second part was the rest of the question, which he simply answered “YES!”?

The answer to all those questions is “YES!”

Why do I ask for comments and express gratitude at the end of my blog posts?

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 3035: Other people’s behaviors

People in my Coping and Healing groups yesterday focused on other people’s behaviors. These other people

  • ignore pandemic safety precautions like wearing masks and social distancing,
  • act like children,
  • violate requested limits and boundaries, and
  • were group members’ PARENTS.

When people talk to other people about other people’s behaviors in a support group, they realize they are not alone.

Other people’s behaviors are on my mind this morning, and I’m remembering something somebody said in group last night:

You can’t control other people’s behaviors; you can only control your reactions to them.

My Coping and Healing group, April 22, 2021

Can you see other people’s behaviors in any of today’s photos?

Harley, as he gets older, is less reactive to and scared of other people’s behaviors. Maybe he realizes he can only control his own behavior and that’s enough.

When I search YouTube for “other people’s behaviors,” I find this:

I very much appreciate Louise Evans’s behaviors in that 2017 Ted Talk, and I recommend that other people’s behaviors today include watching it whenever you can.

My behavior at the end of every post is to thank everyone whose behaviors help me create this daily blog, including YOU.

Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 3030: Your calm place

Last week, in a Coping and Healing group, I did a mindfulness exercise where I invited people to go to a calm place — remembered, imagined, or where they actually were in the moment. Most of the calm places involved water.

My calm place was exactly where I was: my son’s old room, in front of a computer screen filled with group members. Using mindfulness — focusing on your breath and doing your best to be in the moment, accepting all your thoughts and constantly redirecting your attention to the here and now, letting go of judgment — your calm place can be exactly where you are.

I’m in my calm place here and now, creating this blog post for you and me. Do you see calm places in today’s images?

I’m in my calm place whenever I’m watching British competition shows like “The Great British Bake Off” and “The Great Pottery Throw Down”. Those shows, despite the constant possibility of disastrous results for the contestants, are so much more calming than American competition shows.

Here‘s what I find when I search YouTube for “your calm place.”

It’s challenging to get to your calm place when there is so much to be vigilant about, these days. Please help make this blog a calm place by leaving a comment about your calm place, below.

Gratitude helps make every place a calm place, so thanks to all who help me create this daily blogging place, including YOU.

Categories: group psychotherapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 3019: Terrified

Yesterday, I was thinking about how terrified I’ve been over the last five years, starting with medical experts in May 2016 insisting I needed something that had terrified me for decades — open heart surgery. Terrified as I was, I survived that, only to encounter U.S. political developments that terrified the world as well as many personal losses.

Now that I’m feeling safer, I’m allowing myself to admit how terrified I really was, letting go of terror I’ve been holding, day by day.

Here are my images from yesterday, including photos of an often terrified cat.

Here is “Terrified” by Childish Gambino:

Here is “Terrified” coupled with Disney’s “The Haunted House.”

Please don’t be terrified about commenting, below.

No matter how terrified I am, I always remember to express gratitude, so thanks to all, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 3008: Safe enough spaces

Yesterday, I mentioned safe enough spaces at the end of my post. I deliberately did not write “safe spaces” because no spaces are completely safe. In every space, we take risks if we expose our vulnerability and humanity. The more we do that, the more we make the space safe enough for others.

I try to make my Coping and Healing groups safe enough spaces, and yesterday people felt safe enough to share conflicting opinions about getting the COVID vaccines. We all survived our differences and people felt safe enough to stay connected with each other.

Later in the day, I felt safe enough to finally make it to the safe enough sand bar I can see from my home (and which I felt safe enough to write about earlier this week in this post).

Many times, I have tried to get to that safe enough sand bar by unsuccessfully trying to locate its starting point across the safe-enough bay. Yesterday, I had the brilliant and long-overdue idea to walk through some water during low tide and access the sand bar from its end point near me.

Instead of telling myself, “WHY DIDN’T YOU THINK OF THIS BEFORE?”, I made my mind a safe enough space by enjoying the experience, moment by moment.

I hope you feel safe enough to accompany me on this adventure through safe enough spaces.

I discovered that I had been SO CLOSE to discovering the beginning point of the sand bar on a previous exploration, but had turned back when I saw that “no trespassing sign, which made the space not safe enough.

If I had felt safe enough to keep exploring past that scary sign (which referred to something else), I would have discovered the beginning of the sand bar months ago. I feel safe enough to share, here and now, that I trust my process and am happy it happened exactly the way it did.

Do you see safe enough spaces in the rest of my images today?

I assume that this is a safe enough space to share that I am Jewish and that I will start celebrating Passover in an unconventional way starting at sundown tonight.

The Israel Philharmonic was in a safe enough space to create this Passover greeting for 2021:

Contrast this with last year’s greeting from separate safe-enough spaces:

I invite you to leave a comment in the safe enough space, below.

I always feel safe enough to express gratitude to those who help me create these safe enough posts, including YOU!

Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2994: This difficult time

Today’s blog post is inspired by the Daily Bitch, who helps me get through this difficult time.

During this difficult time, I will post my latest images.

During this difficult time, I’ve been facilitating five remote Coping and Healing groups each week and I’ll be adding a sixth one next Friday. In yesterday’s Coping and Healing group, I asked people who were experiencing this difficult time to use their sense of touch for a mindfulness exercise, focusing on something soft and comforting. I chose Harley’s favorite cat toy, pictured above.

I also suggested that people get through this difficult time by being especially kind to themselves.

Music helps me get through this difficult time. When I search YouTube for “Pat Metheny this difficult time,” I find this:

During this difficult time, it helps to believe that there are “Better Days Ahead.”

What are your thoughts and feelings about this difficult time?

During this difficult time, I am especially grateful for people like YOU.

For some unknown reason, I’m having this difficult time uploading and publishing this difficult time post. During this difficult time, I’ll just keep trying, while being especially kind to myself.

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

Day 2986: What are you looking forward to?

Yesterday, in both my Coping and Healing groups, people shared what they were looking forward to.

I’m looking forward to:

  • another Coping and Healing group today,
  • Michael’s stroganoff for dinner,
  • the weekend,
  • walks by the water,
  • music,
  • dancing,
  • connecting,
  • being in the moment,
  • letting go of regrets about the past and worries about the future,
  • accepting all feelings, and
  • sharing my images from the last two days.

One of my biggest fears used to be singing and playing imperfectly in front of people. I’ve done so much work on that I am truly looking forward to singing “Vaccinated Women” to the tune of “Fascinating Rhythm” tonight at an Open Mic. I’m also looking forward to sharing that imperfect performance with you tomorrow.

Here’s an imperfect performance of mine from two years ago in LA at the great Ron Lynch’s “Tomorrow” show:

What are you looking forward to? I’m looking forward to your comments, below.

If you’re looking forward to my gratitude to you for showing up here today, here it is!

Categories: life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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