Posts Tagged With: coping and healing groups

Day 2854: All of the steps

Today’s post title is brought to you by the Daily Bitch Calendar.

I am taking all of the steps to admitting I have a problem with:

  • USA leadership,
  • cruelty,
  • greed,
  • ignorance,
  • rigidity, and
  • divisiveness.

Admitting you have a problem is the first step, but not all of the steps. One of the steps HAS to include exercising your right to vote.

I didn’t photograph all of the steps I took yesterday, but here are some of them:

I’ve been taking all of the steps to heal from the loss of our wonderful kitty Oscar (not pictured) and I noticed Oscar’s name when I was taking some of my steps yesterday.

All of the steps are easier when you are not alone, and I am obviously not alone in loving an Oscar.

Today I am taking all of the steps to facilitate a Zoom-like group for staff where I work. I’m looking forward to all of us taking steps towards coping and healing.

As we get steps closer to November, here’s “One Step Closer” by INTERSECTION …

by Linkin Park

… and by the Doobie Brothers:

Now I have to take all of the steps to publish this post, but not before I thank all of the people who help me blog every day, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2853: Other people’s stories

As a psychotherapist, I love listening to other people’s stories.

What I DON’T love is other people who act like only their story is:

  • real,
  • legitimate, and
  • worth listening to.

These days, more than ever, it’s important to make room for the stories that are not being heard. Why aren’t they being heard? Because people with power/the spotlight are

  • loud,
  • disrespectful of others,
  • disinterested in the facts,
  • obsessed with their own grievances,
  • trying to hold on to power, and
  • apparently not interested in other people’s stories.

If you do not leave room for other people’s stories, the dominant story becomes strident, repressive, demoralizing, inaccurate, and eventually obsolete. Personally, I am fighting for other people’s stories (including my own!) to be heard, so we can all survive together.

Here is one person’s photographic story for the day:

In my story, there is always room for the the Daily Bitch, love, AND your stories (in the comments section below).

Yesterday, when I was creating today’s photographic story, I heard the Prologue to Stephen Sondheim‘s Into the Woods, which includes lots of other people’s stories.

My stories always include gratitude for all who help me create these daily stories, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, politics, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2847: Watch

People who watch this blog may have noticed this watch in yesterday’s post:

That is a Fossil shrapnel-guard watch which reminds me of one of the first watches I ever bought. It mimics World War I watches used when people had to watch out for shrapnel while still needing to watch their watches.

Watch what my mind does when I think about watches with shrapnel guards — “So shrapnel guards helped protect the watches but what about the hand wearing the watch?”

Watch where my mind goes next: “When danger is all around, I guess some protection is better than none.”

Now it’s time to watch what I’ve watched recently through my iPhone:

If you watch this blog carefully, you may know that I use a magic wastepaper basket in my “Coping and Healing” groups. Yesterday, I watched while people in a telehealth group threw worry into my magic wastepaper basket (along with markers that no longer work).

Based on what I’ve watched over the years, worry never helps. If you are worrying, watch it! And watch out for worry about worry, which doesn’t help either.

What are you watching these days? Michael and I are still watching Match Game reruns. I like watching those because it’s a group of funny and spontaneous people who obviously like each other, having a good time. Also host Gene Rayburn reminds me a little of my late father (and if you watch this blog, you know it was my dad’s birthday yesterday).

Here‘s the Match Game episode Michael and I watched last night:

Because I watched some information about that “Trench Hand” episode, I know that viewers joined in the fun by sending in donations, which the show gave to a worthy cause.

I also watch that 1970s U.S. game show with new eyes, based on all that I’ve watched since then.

I’ll be watching for comments from you about this “Watch” post. Watch this space for gratitude, every day!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 2824: Wherever it is that we are

Wherever it is that you are, welcome to “Wherever it is that we are.”

Wherever it is that I am, I am wondering what my next blog post is going to be.  Initially, I was planning on calling this post “I’m not here” because of this …

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… contrasting that with my blog post of  almost exactly a year ago “I’m here.”

But apparently that was neither here nor there, because then I found today’s title in this captured image from The New York Times online:

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Wherever it is that we are, as expressed during the first night of the U.S. Democratic National Convention, is a place that is

  • desperate,
  • hopeful,
  • united,
  • determined,
  • grieving, and
  • laser focused on November 3, 2020.

Wherever it is that I am, I know that election day in the United States is November 3, 2020.

Wherever it is that I am, I am taking photos for this blog.

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Wherever it is that I am, I see astonishing things, like somebody seeming to walk on water, people celebrating important events like graduations, family members cooking with love,  somebody  exercising their right to vote (in an early local election), and creatures being wherever it is that they are.

To quote Michelle Obama quoting Donald Trump, it is what it is.

This is what I was listening to wherever it was that I was yesterday:

Wherever it is that you are, please consider leaving a comment about that.

Wherever it is that we are, I am always grateful to be here with YOU.

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

Day 2814: A Day of Ordinary Miracles

Yesterday was a day of ordinary miracles, especially because miraculous blogger Beth sent us this extraordinary hand-made condolence card for the loss of our ordinary miracle of a cat, Oscar.

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That reminds me of the day of ordinary miracles when I tried to see Oscar in the stars.

It’s a day of ordinary miracles when a miraculously wonderful person like Beth gets me in such a profound way.  Yesterday was also a day of ordinary miracles because somebody in my Coping and Healing groups said, “It’s great to have a group like this where other people get you.”  These days, it’s an ordinary miracle when people get each other.

Yesterday was also a day of ordinary miracles because my 22-year-old son Aaron agreed to take a walk with his mother. Let’s see if you can see ordinary miracles in my other photos from yesterday:

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It would be an ordinary miracle if you could find Aaron in one of those photos.

Today looks to be another day of ordinary miracles because I found this very helpful article with “Five-Minute Coronavirus Stress Resets, which include music medicine, cooling off, paced breathing, and anchoring. Here‘s the music medicine cited by Dr. Jenny Taitz that was found to be almost as effective as taking a benzodiazepine for pre-operative patients.

 

Here’s what The Daily Bitch Calendar has to say about another day of ordinary miracles:

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I am woman, hear me

  • sigh,
  • cry,
  • try,
  • laugh,
  • speak up,
  • lead,
  • follow, and
  • blog*.

Gratitude always creates a day of ordinary miracles, so many thanks to Beth, my son Aaron, Dr. Jenny Taitz, Marconi Union, and the other ordinarily miraculous ones who sustain me in this blogging journey, including YOU.

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* For other days of ordinary miracles, see the rest of the thousands of posts for this daily blog.**

** Because it’s been so long, it’s an ordinary miracle that I remember how to insert asterisks here and now.

 

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 2813: Silently Correcting

I am not going to be silent about the correct inspiration behind today’s blog post title.

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I have to admit that I have been like that Daily Bitch, silently correcting some people’s

However, as I discussed in a recent post — Day 2791: Reasons you should speak up  — the time for silence is past!  Therefore, this morning, I got up the courage to stop silently correcting certain procedures at work, and I sent an email naming the problem and suggesting ways to move forward.  People may silently or not-so-silently correct my email, but why should I care about that?

Do you see any silent correcting in today’s other photos?

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That last photo reminds me of Harley not-so-silently correcting me when I made this video in March about social distancing, starring Harley and our late kitty Oscar:

 

I’m wondering now if anybody is silently correcting my camera angles for that video.

In my Coping and Healing groups, we talk about the toll it takes when we excessively silently correct ourselves for our thoughts and feelings.  Yesterday, several of us resolved to silent our harsh internal critics, as best we can.  When you are silently and painfully correcting yourself, try this  positive self-talk, as suggested by Alyssa Mairanz, LMHC:

  • turn “I am such a screw-up” into “I am doing my best, and that is enough.”
  • turn “I am so messed up. What’s wrong with me?” into “I am human and no one is perfect.”
  • turn “I don’t deserve happiness” into “I deserve to be treated with respect.”
  • turn “I can never get anything right” into “I am not defined by my mistakes.”

Please don’t worry about anybody silently correcting your grammar (or anything else) when you leave a comment, below.

I am correctly non-silent about my gratitude to all, including YOU.

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

Day 2811: The difference between awareness and worry

I’m aware that I’ve already written posts about the difference between worry and planning, but I’m not worried about that.  I’m also aware that despite my belief  that worry never helps (an awareness I often share, here and elsewhere), I still worry.  For example, I’m aware that I’m worrying about the upcoming USA Presidential election and I’m aware that the worry affects me, every day.

You might be aware that I’ve already shared this photo about the difference between awareness and worry.

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I’m aware that my writing might be difficult to read, above, and I’m worried that I might not be able to translate that into a nice table here.

          AWARENESS                                                                             WORRY

Present in the moment                                                            Future oriented

   Calmness                                                                                    Tenseness

  Certainty                                                                                  Uncertainty

Nothing needs to happen                                              Something needs to be resolved

       Helps                                                                                    Doesn’t help

 

My awareness tells me that table is not perfect, but I’m deciding not to worry about that. Awareness  of my own worry allows me to let go of it, every moment.

Do you see awareness and/or worry in these other recent photos?

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I’m aware of the time, so here is “Aware of Your Love” by Carl Dawkins:

 

Is there awareness, out there, of how grateful I am for every day?

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

Day 2806: Hope

Hope showed up in my Coping and Healing group yesterday.

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We all agreed that hope was very important, especially during times like these.

I hoped there would be great quotes about hope and I found many here and here.

“Hope is a waking dream.”  — Aristotle

“Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.”  — Martin Luther

“The miserable have no other medicine but only hope.” — William Shakespeare

Hope is passion for what is possible.”  — Søren Kierkegaard

“It is always something, to know you’ve done the most you could.  But don’t leave off hoping, or it’s of no use doing anything. Hope, hope to the last.” — Charles Dickens

“To live without hope is to cease to live.” — Fyodor Dostoesky

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.”  — Emily Dickinson

“Hope means expectancy when things are otherwise hopeless.” — G.K. Chesterton

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. Never stop questioning.”  — Albert Einstein

“Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into a reality.”  — Jonas Salk

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”  — Martin Luther King, Jr.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” —Nelson Mandela

“A whole stack of memories never equal one little hope.”  — Charles M. Schulz

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” — Thich Nhat Hahn

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” — Desmond Tutu

“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.”  —Robert Ludlum

“Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”  — Václev Havel

“Once you choose hope, anything is possible.”  — Christopher Reeve

“Remember. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”  — Stephen King

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and do the right thing, the dawn will come.”  — Anne Lamott

“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”  — Barbara Kingsolver

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”  — Michelle Obama

“It is because of hope that you suffer. It is through hope that you’ll change things.” — Maxime Legacé

I hope you can believe that one of those quotes is from a player on my hometown hockey team.

I hope you enjoy my latest photos.

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I hope as I continue feeding Harley, he and I get to be better friends.

Here‘s “I Really Hope” by The Cranberries

… and “Hope is an Open Window” by Diana Ross:

I hope you share your thoughts and feelings about hope in a comment, below.

I hope to begin and end each day with gratitude, so thanks to all, including YOU.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 2783: Does worry help?

“Does worry help?” is a question I have asked many, many (and don’t worry how many) people, over the years.

What’s your first guess, best guess about the answer?

Don’t worry, I’ll tell you answer. It’s a resounding NO.

Yesterday, people discussed the difference between worry and planning AND the difference between worry and caring.

Despite our confusion about those concepts, it is very possible to plan without worry and to care without worry, although separating those out takes work.

Does it help to worry about Oscar during his last days?

No, but it helps to plan and to care.

Does it help to worry about any of my photos here today?

Does it help to worry about procrastination or instant gratification? Coincidentally, last night my son and my husband were discussing the benefits of procrastination. Aaron said that procrastination involves getting a lot of other things done while you’re procrastinating. Also, procrastination makes you work efficiently, because you’re doing things quickly at the last minute.

Am I worried about my son? No.

Does worry help as I look for a dance number from Top Hat, which Oscar and I watched yesterday?

Does it help to worry about the weather? Not according to Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

Does gratitude help? Always.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2781: Turning around

In my mind, I’ve been turning around the pros and cons of euthanasia for our ailing and beloved cat, Oscar.  Yesterday morning, Oscar seemed so sick that I scheduled a home euthanasia visit for this afternoon. This morning, I am turning around to cancel that visit, because Oscar took a turn for the better yesterday afternoon.

I notice Oscar has trouble turning around without staggering in the morning. In the afternoons, he is turning around before he settles in my lap. And no matter what he is doing, he is still turning around to eat some delicious chicken whenever we offer it to him.

My son is not turning around in his belief that we should not euthanize Oscar. My husband Michael is turning around what he believes is right, depending on Oscar’s behavior.

I’m used to turning around many perspectives in my mind while making decisions, especially difficult ones like this one. With so much turning around, everybody seems a little dizzy, including Oscar.

Turning around to today’s photos, here’s the inspiration for today’s title:

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When I saw that sign yesterday, I thought there was probably no turning around from today being Oscar’s last day on earth.  However, in my life, I’ve experienced and witnessed so much turning around that nothing seems written in stone.

Last week, I witnessed people in my Coping and Healing groups turning around low self esteem by discussing positive attributes.  If anyone had trouble naming what they liked about themselves, the other group members had no trouble turning around to share what they appreciated about that person.

Every time I try to write my last letter from the President for the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy, I keep turning around to other activities, like watching musicals on TV (including The Music Man, Bye Bye Birdie, and On The Town).

Here’s a thought that’s turning around in my mind: It’s difficult to say goodbye.

No matter where I am, I’m often turning around to take photos like these:

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In On the TownGene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Jules Munshin are playing sailors showing up and turning around in New York, New York:

There’s a lot of turning around in “You’re Awful” from On the Town, including Frank Sinatra and Betty Garrett  turning around the meanings of words:

What thoughts and feelings are turning around for you, here and now?  Consider turning around and leaving a comment, below.

At the end of each post, I’m turning around to gratitude, so thanks to all who help me turn out this blog every day, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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