Posts Tagged With: coping and healing groups

Day 2916: Hands

Yesterday, when the wonderful hands of Mia from MiAlisa Salon were giving me a hands-down fabulous haircut, Mia told me about a beautiful way she has been self-soothing during these hard times. She holds her own hand.

Mia said that she held and held her mother’s hand in her hand while her mother was dying, and she misses her mother. Now, when she clasps her own two hands together, she feels powerfully comforted, settled, and anchored. Mia said holding hands with herself also helps her fall asleep.

I told Mia that I have been encouraging people in my Coping and Healing groups to give themselves hugs and that I will add clasping their own hands to the self-soothing repertoire.

And I am happy to report, this morning, that holding hands with myself helped me sleep through the night for the first time in months!

My sleep is also being helped by the growing certainty that my country will soon be in better hands. For the past four years, the USA has been in the hands of a toxic narcissist.

Speaking of hands, if anyone wants to see me play the ukulele with my own hands tomorrow evening, please sign up to be in the audience before the end of the day today using this link:

https://m.signupgenius.com/#!/showSignUp/9040b4eadaa23a2f49-jamn15

As people continue to count ballots by hand, I’ll be singing “The Impossible Wait” to the tune of “The Impossible Dream.”

I took all of these photos using my hands. Can you spot the hands of Mia and my husband Michael?

Here is “Hands — A Song for Orlando” from four years ago, showing how hands can hurt and heal.

If you leave a comment with your hands, I will respond with my hands and my heart.

In this time of social distancing, please wash your hands and wear a mask. My hands go out to yours in gratitude, here and now.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, 2020 U.S. Presidential election, group therapy, insomnia, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2912: What you didn’t get

At the end of my Coping and Healing groups, I invite people to think about what they didn’t get, because

  • nobody gets all their needs met in a group therapy session,
  • if they identify what they didn’t get, they can think about where else they might get those needs met (perhaps in a future Coping and Healing group, perhaps elsewhere),
  • that’s my way of letting them know that all of their feelings, including disappointment, are welcome, and
  • identifying what you didn’t get (along with identifying what you DID get) are important parts of getting closure, which allows you to move more smoothly to what’s next.

Whenever there is an election or any other major transitioning point, people don’t get all their needs met. As we can see in the news, reactions to that include

  • anger,
  • fear,
  • joy,
  • sadness,
  • hope,
  • disappointment, and
  • denial.

Here’s what I didn’t get from the recent USA election: any indication that the twin threats of the coronavirus and the economic recession will be addressed effectively before the end of the year. I also didn’t get the answer to which party will control the Senate. What I DID get was relief about changes in leadership ahead.

What you haven’t gotten in this post, so far, are my photos from yesterday.

What Harley didn’t get yesterday was all the food he wanted. He seems okay with that, though.

Here’s a recent performance of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones.

You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might get what you need (and I need your comments about this what-you-didn’t-get post).

What you do get here is gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, 2020 U.S. Presidential election, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2910: I know things ordinary people don’t know

I know things ordinary people don’t know because I

  • was born with a very unusual heart,
  • grew up in an Orthodox Jewish household,
  • had an incredibly funny, creative, and kind father, who loved to make people laugh,
  • had an incredibly caring, kind, clean and neat mother, who loved to laugh,
  • realized I had a connection with cats when I was very young,
  • had my first major heart surgery when I was 10 on the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated,
  • have relied on cardiac pacemakers to keep me alive since that day,
  • spent a lot of time in hospitals where I met many different types of people,
  • danced in our basement to musicals when nobody was watching,
  • read voraciously when I was young,
  • learned to play the piano, guitar, and ukulele,
  • attended three schools where everyone there knew I had a heart condition,
  • travelled across the USA by bus when I was 21,
  • visited many different countries,
  • danced, danced, danced in the 1970s even though my heart rate was fixed at 72 beats per minute,
  • majored in English literature at college,
  • worked as a technical writer, marketing writer, teacher, manager, and psychotherapist,
  • volunteered for several years at a suicide hotline,
  • attended graduate schools for film studies and social work,
  • love hearing other people’s stories,
  • married two extraordinary men,
  • gave birth to an extraordinary son when I was 45 years old,
  • saw people behave at their best and their worst and everything in between (including me),
  • survived the coronavirus,
  • have kept learning from all the people I have encountered in my long life, and
  • have the Daily Bitch calendar, which knows a lot.

Can you tell that I know things ordinary people don’t know from the rest of today’s photos?

Harley knows things that ordinary cats don’t know, but he’s not telling.

It’s a good thing I know things that ordinary people don’t know, because I’ll be teaching several interns about my Coping and Healing groups this morning at 9.

Here is “I Know Things Now” from Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim, whom I’ve known I’ve loved for a long, long time.

I also know gratitude that ordinary people don’t know, every day, so thanks to to all the extraordinary people I’ve known, including YOU!

Categories: group psychotherapy, heart condition, heart surgery, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 2903: Waiting for election results

Waiting for election results, I might as well share my most recent images.

Waiting for election results, I just checked again and things look good, but inconclusive.

Waiting for election results, I know I am not alone.

Waiting for election results, I wonder how many sleepless nights I can stand.

Waiting for election results, I can’t ignore this:

Waiting for election results, I keep adding more people to my Twitter feed.

Waiting for election results, I realize I am holding my breath, so I try to breathe deeply.

Waiting for election results, I find the wonderful music somebody shared in my Coping and Healing group less than 12 hours ago..

Waiting for election results, I am going to express gratitude and publish this blog post.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, 2020 U.S. Presidential election, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 2889: Blue

Blue was on my mind yesterday, as I was

  • blue about death rates, economic losses, systemic injustices, etc.,
  • wondering if adult babies in power would hold their breath until they turned blue,
  • hoping that my country would turn blue in November, and
  • seeing blue all around me.

With the right combination of Michael’s cooking, work, blogging, hope, and love, I’ll survive another blue week.

Here, here, here, and here are the first four videos that show up for me on BlueTube, I mean YouTube, when I search for “blue.”

This also showed up …

… and this.

Is that enough blue for you?

Thanks to all who helped me write this blue post today, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 2888: Eyes

Yesterday, in my Coping and Healing group, people told stories about eyes.

With my own eyes, I noticed people’s strong reactions to the stories about eyes, because eyes are

  • sensitive,
  • vulnerable, and
  • the windows to the soul.

At the end of the group, somebody made a commitment to turn their sensitive and vulnerable eyes away from the news for the rest of the day. The group members showed their approval and support with their eyes.

What do your eyes see in today’s photos?

Because my eyes have been hurting lately, I think I’ll watch this video over and over again instead of tonight’s U.S. President debate:

I’m so glad those people were using their eyes. Another good sight for my sore eyes would be comments from you.

I am thankful for my eyes and the observant eyes of kind people, like YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, gratitude, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2887: Modern

Here‘s a definition of “modern” from the modern Merriam-Webster website:


1 a : of, relating to, or characteristic of the present or the immediate past : CONTEMPORARY
the modern American family
b : of, relating to, or characteristic of a period extending from a relevant remote past to the present time
modern history
2 : involving recent techniques, methods, or ideas : UP-TO-DATE
modern methods of communication
3 capitalized : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of the present or most recent period of development of a language
Modern English
4 : of or relating to modernism : MODERNIST
Modern art has abandoned the representation of recognizable objects.

Speaking of recognizable objects, do you see anything that represents “modern” in these modern images, as I try to stay sane during these modern times?

Because I am the model of a very modern group therapist, I used that magic wand in my Coping and Healing group yesterday, so we could make modern wishes for our modern times.

This Randy Rainbow song parody was modern in 2018 and is still relevant today:

I look forward to your modern comments, below.

Modern gratitude in this thoroughly modern blog looks like this:

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, definition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2886: Tips to stay sane in the final days of the campaign

I don’t know about you, but I definitely need tips to stay sane in the final days of the campaign for the U.S. November election. Here are some words I’ve been using about my mental state (and the mental states of others I’m encountering):

  • nuts,
  • bonkers,
  • crazy,
  • insane,
  • wacko,
  • off-the-wall,
  • flipped out, and
  • mad.

Here’s one top tip on how to stay sane during the final days of the campaign: name what you are feeling and share those feelings with others.

Do you see any tips to stay sane in the final days of the campaign in any of my recent photos?

Self forgiveness is another top tip to stay sane, no matter how many days remain in any campaign.

Here are “Tips on staying sane during election season” from GMA:

Here‘s a song that keeps running through my brain as I try to stay sane:

Do you have any tips to stay sane in the final days of the campaign?

Of course, gratitude helps me stay sane, so thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2882: Scary pictures

During these pre-election times, many pundits are writing about scary scenarios, picturing uncertainty, upheaval, violence, and protracted legal battles after people cast their votes in the USA.

I hear from many people that they distract themselves, especially during this time of the year, by watching scary pictures, like the Halloween series.

Picturing scary election scenarios and watching scary pictures both make me shiver and quiver with too much fear, so I’m distracting myself by taking my own scary pictures. Which one is the scariest picture, to you?

The Daily Bitch calendar for today is scarily coincident with last night’s question for my Coping and Healing group.

Tonight, Michael will be taking pictures of my remote appearance on an Open Mic, which I hope won’t be too scary.

There are lots of “scary pictures” videos on YouTube. For scarily unknown reasons, I clicked on “Scary pictures with happy music pizza sound nature.”

I hope you don’t find pictures of gratitude scary, because I take a lot of those!

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, 2020 U.S. Presidential election, group therapy, Halloween, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2876: What’s missing

What’s missing, for me, is

  • good leaders,
  • courage from those with proximity to power,
  • trust,
  • kindness,
  • honesty,
  • accountability,
  • expertise,
  • sanity,
  • common sense,
  • respect,
  • owned responsibility,
  • trust,
  • justice,
  • the USA I thought I knew,
  • in-person meetings,
  • comfort,
  • hugs with friends,
  • peace of mind, and
  • Oscar the cat.

What’s missing in my latest photos?

That last photo shows a question I asked my Coping and Healing group yesterday, after making sure I wasn’t missing other important issues. What’s missing for many women are a sense of self esteem and self worth, so some members of the group had trouble answering that question. Other group members helped provide the missing answers.

What’s missing from this post is missing music,

comments, and thanks to all who support me in not missing a day of blogging, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

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