Posts Tagged With: December 2019

Day 2591: What is this place?

What is this place?  It’s The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally on WordPress, a place where I started blogging daily seven years ago. It’s a place I try to make special and safe.

It’s a place where I share stories and photos of places I’ve been.

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What is this place? It’s a place where

  • all creatures are welcome (no matter what they do or say),
  • I create things (including  songs about Ferrero Rocher), and
  • I share my thoughts and feelings, hoping that also helps you in some way.

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This is the place for me to say this: before you step into 2020, be sure to cancel  your subscriptions to other people’s drama and negativity, but please do not cancel your subscription to The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally.

I found “What Is This Place” playing in place on YouTube.

As always, there’s a place for you and your comments here.

What is this place?  It’s a place for gratitude, every day.

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Categories: blogging, gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 2584: Life is a shared experience.

Yesterday, when I was sharing my experience of life with kind and caring people, I noticed this card at S. Colman & Company  in Milton, Massachusetts:

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Life is a shared experience and I was very grateful to share it yesterday with Sandra Colman, the proprietor of the fabulous store where I found the perfect earrings for my wedding on Friday.

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Beautiful Sandra and I shared experiences of  Swampscott, the North Shore, the South Shore, courage, ideas, chances, what we love to do, showing up, problems, marriage, our wandering minds, and our hearts.

Life is a shared experience, and I was grateful to share it yesterday with Bruce and Meryl Manin of Grono & Christie Jewelers of Milton, who had helped me figure out a solution to my problem of a too-large wedding ring.

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When you share life experiences with wonderful people, that’s where fairy tales begin.

Life is a shared experience and I love sharing my experiences with you.

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Life is a shared experience and that’s my son Aaron and his soon-to-be-Stepdad Michael sharing experiences and pizza with me at Santarpio’s, a place where many people have shared experiences in Boston.

Life is a shared experience and I shall now share a short video I took yesterday:

When we share the experience of other cats, Michael likes to say, “That cat looks just like Oscar!”  I’ll share my experience, here and now:

  • Often those cats don’t share many similarities with our cat Oscar.
  • That cat — on the “Bah Humbug” wrapping paper — looks just like Oscar!

Life is a shared experience, so please share your experience in a comment, below.

Gratitude is a shared experience here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally, so many thanks to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2583: What’s this?

What’s this?

It’s the two thousandth,  five-hundredth, and eighty-third consecutive day of blogging in The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally!

What’s this?

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It’s something I liked on Twitter that explains our current political situation.

 

What’s this?

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It’s an interesting article from the New Yorker  I was reading on my phone yesterday.

 

What’s this?

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It’s my too-large wedding ring on a hand that needs a manicure.

 

What’s this?

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It’s Oscar, on a cold New England day.

 

What’s this?

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It’s Annia from Lunaris Jewels responding to my message about my too-large wedding ring.

 

What’s this?

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It’s Louis, Michael, and Robert at Men’s Wearhouse in Braintree.

 

What’s this?

It’s a song I started writing this morning:

What’s This?

by Ann Koplow

 

What’s this in your brain

That’s driving you insane?

That keeps you up at night

That dims your special light?

What’s this in your head

That fills your head with dread?

That makes your blood run cold

And freeze as you grow old?

Is it fear of the unknown?

Is it knowing you’re alone?

Is it worry, shame, or doubt?

All your critics, inside and out?

 

What’s this in your mind

That turns your vision blind?

That makes it hard to see

With any certainty?

 

Is it danger all around?

Believing you’re on shaky ground?

Is it thinking that it’s just

Never safe enough to trust?

 

What’s this in your soul

Feeling like a deep, dark hole?

That makes you want to hide

And never go outside?

Is it reality breaking through

With shocking news you never knew?

Or false negativity

Tinting everything you see?

What’s this song’s intent?

What is even meant?

What is its writer’s goal

Evoking brain, mind, head, and soul?

Should you try to banish fear?

Is that what I’m saying here?

Feel the fear, do it anyway?

Go out and face each brand new day?

Or am I warning you

That your fears are really true?

That it isn’t safe out there?

If you do move, step with care?

How many in this room

Think this is a song of doom?

How many of you hear

A call to let go of your fear?

How many are unaware

Of why people’s hands are in the air?

How many just don’t care?

Did anybody note

That I didn’t cast a vote?

For me the jury’s out

What this song is all about.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

 

What’s this?

 

It’s “What’s This”  from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

 

What’s this? You’re thinking of leaving a comment?  You can do so, down below.

What’s this?

It’s thanks for being YOU.

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 2582: Celebrating with you!

For the past seven years, I’ve celebrated many things with you, including

Now, I’m celebrating my upcoming marriage to Michael with you!

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That celebratory card is from my thoughtful and celebrated co-workers, who celebrated with me yesterday by giving me these cupcakes.

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I am celebrating with you that cupcake ring, which I might need on Friday since one of the his-and-hers wedding rings we ordered online IS the wrong size, just as I feared.  I like celebrating  mistakes, but some mistakes can be a shock to the system. If I get the wedding ring resized quickly, I’ll certainly be celebrating that with you!

As usual, I’m celebrating with you many moments from yesterday:

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Celebrate good times …come on!

Thousands of people are celebrating with each other on YouTube in the comments for that video, including:

  • celebrating because my mother has now been declared as cancer free
  • When your crush asks you out
  • Passing my exams that I didn’t study for brought me here
  • When you write one word for your 200 letter essay
  • When the weekend comes along
  • IM NOT PREGNANT HELL YEAH!!
  • I was inspired to listen to this song because I saved my neighbor’s cat
  • Celebrating because my brother got accepted into college
  • When they are giving out free food
  • When you successfully make up a “when” joke
  • I finished the dishes. I freakin finished the DISHES!!
  • I WON THE LOTTERY!

Please share what YOU are celebrating with us, in a comment below.

As always, grateful to be celebrating with you,

Ann

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

Day 2580: Emotional Reasoning

Emotional Reasoning is one of the cognitive distortions in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Emotional Reasoning is defined here as follows:

Emotional Reasoning.
We take our emotions as evidence for the truth. Examples: “I feel inadequate, so there must be something wrong with me.” “I feel overwhelmed and hopeless, therefore the situation must be impossible to change or improve.” (Note that the latter can contribute to procrastination.) While suppressing or judging feelings can be unhelpful, it’s important to recognize the difference between feelings and facts.

My definition of “Emotional Reasoning” does NOT include examples of the negative aspect of that, as in “I do NOT feel that way, therefore it’s not true.” I’m reasoning that I could have written that definition with this example: “I do not feel adequate, so there must be something wrong with me.”

All this came to my emotional mind this morning when I read this news headline:

President Trump: “It doesn’t really feel like we’re being impeached”

To me, it doesn’t really feel like

  • Trump is President,
  • I’m getting married a week from tomorrow, or
  • the human race is going to survive.

That is all emotional reasoning.  I know that two of those statements are true, no matter what I’m feeling.  And I have many emotions about the third statement, so who knows if it’s true?

Do you see emotional reasoning in any of my photos from yesterday?

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Yesterday at work, somebody said that this photo of Harley (taken by my soon-to-be-husband Michael)

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… felt like a photo that Ellen DeGeneres might want to include on her show.  That seemed like emotional reasoning to me, but I submitted it anyway.

“Do You Hear What I Hear” feels like a Christmas song, but that’s not how it was written.

Here’s a portion of the story I heard on the radio yesterday:

While artfully couched in the iconography of the Christian nativity, the songwriters were making a political statement: a plea for peace, and a reminder of the ravages of war.

The song opens with the night wind speaking to a lamb, long a literary symbol of peace. Soon we hear the line, “A star, a star, dancing in the sky//With a tail as big as a kite.”

“The star was meant to be a bomb,” said Gabrielle Regney.

Later we hear the lyrics “A child, a child, shivers in the cold,” which Regney said is a reference to the “real children” who inspired the song.

And the line, “Let us bring him silver and gold” was a reference to “poor children,” said Regney — a reminder of the human cost of war.

But no matter how you interpret the song, Noël Regney and Gloria Shayne left no mistake about the central message at the climax of the song.

“The biggest part for them was the ‘pray for peace’ line,” said Regney. “That line, ‘pray for peace,’ was very big for both of them.”

Do you hear what I hear in this emotional rendition of that song?

Feel free to share emotional reasoning in a comment, below.

There are reasons why I end every post with the emotion of gratitude.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Thanksgiving, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2578: Monday!

This just in: Yesterday was Monday!

I saw evidence of Monday all day long, starting with this …

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….  and ending with this:

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What are your associations with Monday? Let’s see what associations we find in my other Monday photos.

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No matter what day it is, I have trouble deciding what to wear.

Here are the top 10 songs about Monday, even though it’s Tuesday.

 

Every day of the week, I end with thanks to you.

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

Day 2575: What attracts our attention

When I was driving to work the other day, my attention was attracted by a story on the radio about how Christmas lights on a vehicle are illegal because they distract and attract too much attention.   The reporter said, “The animal in us notices everything that moves.”

Yesterday, when I was distracted by all the activity in the hall outside the group room (which I could see through the glass door), I invited the group members to do a mindfulness exercise where we noticed what attracted our attention and then stayed with that. What attracted my attention was not the activity outside the room, but rather the little ripples in my water bottle that was standing on the table and reflecting the movements in the room.  Those ripples totally kept my attention throughout the mindfulness exercise.

What attracts my attention these days includes:

  • movement,
  • danger,
  • anger,
  • loud noises,
  • mysteries,
  • stress,
  • trauma,
  • pain,
  • politics,
  • faces,
  • the unexpected,
  • color,
  • light, and
  • the things in these photos:

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That giant Santa cookie might have attracted my attention, but I didn’t buy it.  However, I did buy some black and white chocolate drizzled popcorn, which attracted my attention way too much last night.

What attracts our attention in this amazing video by Jacob Collier?

Gratitude always attracts my attention — that’s why I take so many photos of it!

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2574: Be Nice!

Yesterday, I heard a nice presentation by the very nice  Woody Giessmann,  founder of Right Turn, which provides innovative, creativity-based treatment for addictions. It’s nice that Woody was inspired to create Right Turn after his personal experience with addiction when he was the drummer for the Boston 1980s band The Del Fuegos. It’s extremely nice that the Del Fuegos reunited in 2011 at the Paradise to raise money for Right Turn.

Now I’m going to be nice and share a photo from Woody’s presentation:

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While I watched Woody be nice in his presentation,  I decided that our beliefs about treatment were so nicely similar that we were “siblings from other parents.” After his presentation, I told him that and also said that it would be nice if I could visit Right Turn during my nice week off from work, later this month.  It was nice that

  • Woody agreed and
  • was nice enough to take my card about this blog.

Here are other nice photos from yesterday, in nice chronological order:

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It would be nice if people could be nice to each other during this time of the year, as we discussed in both my “Coping and Healing” groups yesterday.

Now I’m going to be nice and share these nice YouTube videos of The Del Fuegos (here, here and here):

Be nice and leave a comment and I’ll be nice and respond later.

Now I’ll be nice and express my sweet gratitude for YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2572: Enjoy the ordinary

Yesterday, after publishing Day 2571: What Makes the Ordinary Extraordinary?, I picked this extraordinary mindfulness card at work:

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I enjoy the ordinary coincidences and synchronicity of life. Do you?

I hope you enjoy the ordinary in my other photos from yesterday.

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Enjoy the ordinary signs of the season, the Daily Bitch Calendar, and, if possible, the skill of doing nothing.

Here and now, we’re enjoying the ordinary weather in Boston, which was 58 degrees F yesterday and 31 degrees F and snowing as I write this ordinary post. Enjoy the ordinary repetition of this:

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Here’s “How to enjoy the mundane or ordinary moments in life!” with Little Woo:

 

How do you enjoy the ordinary?

Enjoy the ordinary ending of another Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally post, where I share my ordinary thanks with YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2571: What makes the ordinary extraordinary?

My extraordinary readers probably know that I focus a lot on the ordinary in this blog, no matter what time it is.

My hope, every day, is that you will see the extraordinary in the ordinary, as I do.

Yesterday, I noticed this ordinary and extraordinary sign at work:

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Do you see the ordinary and the extraordinary in today’s extra photos?

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Those are not ordinary cod cakes, thanks to my extraordinary fiancé, who always adds a little extra.

If we don’t make extraordinary efforts, the ordinary cod might be more difficult to find, very soon.

Today, ordinary UPS will be delivering a ticket for me to see the extraordinary Jacob Collier at Boston’s House of Blues in May, 2020.

2020 looks to be an extraordinary year.

Here‘s an extraordinary tune that was playing in my ordinary ears yesterday:

Don’t you know how extraordinary it is that we’re all alive together, here and now?

I look forward to ordinary and extraordinary comments, below, and I hope you know how extraordinarily grateful I am to YOU.

 

 

 

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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