Posts Tagged With: Edmund Bourne

Day 2613: Don’t worry about it

Yesterday, when I was worried, I consulted something I have posted on my door at work.


Someone has an opinion about you?  Don’t worry about it.

Do you have trouble deciding what’s best, as suggested in the lower left corner of that flowchart? Don’t worry about it.

Do I have other photos to share today?  Don’t worry about it.









Here‘s Madcon‘s “Don’t Worry” feat. Ray Dalton:

Never heard of Madcon before? Don’t worry about it.  That video has over 134 million views on YouTube.

Not sure what to say in a comment?  Don’t worry about it.

Wondering if I have new ways to thank all of you?  Don’t worry about it.


Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2473: Rights

I have the right to start off this blog post by quoting Wikipedia’s definition of rights:

Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory. Rights are of essential importance in such disciplines as law and ethics, especially theories of justice and deontology.

Rights are often considered fundamental to civilization, for they are regarded as established pillars of society and culture, and the history of social conflicts can be found in the history of each right and its development. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “rights structure the form of governments, the content of laws, and the shape of morality as it is currently perceived”.

I have the right to admit that I don’t know what “deontology” means, and I have the right to free-associate that with dentistry, especially since I’m seeing my wonderful dentist today.

I have the right to practice or not practice any religion, as I choose.  Last night, I had the right to listen to this beautiful rendition of Kol Nidre, which reminds me of how my late father and our synagogue’s choir sang it every Yom Kippur Eve.

I have the right to share all my photos from yesterday in any order I please.



















I had the right to wonder this as I took that last photo: I wonder if I will see those I’ve lost later, after I die.

You have the right to comment or not comment on this post, however you choose.

I have the right to express my thanks and appreciation for all who help me create this daily blog and — of course! — for YOU.



Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 1741: I have the right to ________

How would you complete the sentence in today’s title?

I have the right to tell you about The Personal Bill of Rights, from The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne.


I have the right to encourage people to use their personal rights  in my therapy groups.

I have the right to take photos and to share them here.






I have the right to get out and go to musicals (like Evita at the North Shore Music Theater,  where I’ve seen dozens of musicals since I was a little kid).

I have the right to share YouTube videos of different productions of Evita (here,  here, and here).

I have the right to request comments for my blog.

You have the right to remain silent or to comment, below.

I have the right to express my gratitude for all who help me create these posts and — of course! — for you.




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

Day 1464: Why I should be afraid

Whenever I look at the news, I encounter people telling me why I should be afraid.

Should I be afraid of that?

These days, I am more afraid than usual because of the political situation in the U.S. and because I can hear and feel my brand new mechanical heart valve working when I’m trying to sleep.

Should I be afraid of those things?

I don’t know if I should be afraid of anything. As I tell people in therapy, shoulds are unhelpful cognitive distortions and shoulds about emotions can be particularly toxic. When I’m having  any emotion, including fear, I try to let the emotion move through me, rather than judging it with shoulds. 

I guess I’m recommending that we feel fear without being afraid of it.

I should also say that most things I’ve been afraid of in the past have simply not come true. If they have come true, fear has neither helped me nor prevented me from facing them.

Should I be afraid that I have not adequately addressed today’s topic of Why I Should be Afraid?

Should we be afraid of any of my photos from yesterday?












Should I be afraid of being late for work if I don’t find a suitable song on YouTube very soon?


Should I worry or be afraid about getting comments today?

I should, without being afraid, thank all those who helped me create today’s post and also you — of course! — for being here, now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

Day 921: Messages

Has everybody gotten the message that I love my work — doing group and individual therapy at a Boston hospital-based primary care practice ?

Part of that work involves helping people let go of  esteem-damaging messages they’ve heard from others (and internalized), including

You haven’t accomplished enough

You’re never good enough

Parts of you are unacceptable

You’re not worthy of love

I encourage people to challenge these toxic and habitual messages with health-promoting, affirmative messages, such as

I deserve to be seen, heard, and loved, exactly the way I am.

What kinds of messages do you give yourself?

At work, I receive lots of messages, every day, through email and voicemail.

Yesterday, I received one of the best voicemail messages, ever:

My doctor said you were good at talking to people who are not good at talking to people.

What messages do you get from these photos I took yesterday, before and after I heard that voicemail message?



Here’s some message music for you all:

The first public performance of “Message in a Bottle” by The Police is still sending out messages here, on YouTube.

Any messages — bottled or otherwise — you’d like to cast up on the shores of this post?

I hope you get the message that I’m grateful for people I work with, for my bf Michael (who cooked me something delicious when I got home last night at 9 PM), for Edmund Bourne (who wrote a great book about letting go of unhelpful messages), for Yankees, for ducks, for dogs, for cats, for bicyclists, for  flowers, for bright colors, for The Police, and — of course — for you!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Day 93: The Personal Bill of Rights

The original title for this post was “Things That Would Be Helpful to Me Remember Today.”  And I started to write a list.

And then I realized that a list already existed: “The Personal Bill of Rights.”  This is from a book,  “The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook” by Edmund Bourne.  (Believe me, you don’t have to be anxious or phobic to get something out of this book.)

I’ve used this list in group and individual therapy. I’ve seen people react strongly to it,  stating, “I am going to post this somewhere, so I can see it every day.”

I assumed that if I googled “Personal Bill of Rights” (without naming the book or the author), that this list would show up, several times, in many different places for many different reasons.

And it did.

Here it is:

Personal Bill of Rights

1. I have the right to ask for what I want.

2. I have the right to say no to requests or demands I can’t meet.

3. I have the right to express all of my feelings, positive or negative.

4. I have the right to change my mind.

5. I have the right to make mistakes and not have to be perfect.

6. I have the right to follow my own values and standards.

7. I have the right to say no to anything when I feel I am not ready, it is unsafe or it violates my values.

8. I have the right to determine my own priorities.

9. I have the right not to be responsible for others’ behavior, actions, feelings or prohlems

10. I have the right to expect honesty from others.

11. I have the right to be angry at someone I love.

12. I have the right to be uniquely myself.

13. I have the right to feel scared and say “I’m afraid.”

14. I have the right to say “I don’t know.”

15. I have the right not to give excuses or reasons for my behavior.

16. I have the right to make decisions based on my feelings.

17. I have the right to my own needs for personal space and time.

18. I have the right to be playful and frivolous.

19. I have the right to be healthier than those around me.

20. I have the right to be in a nonabusive environment.

21. I have the right to make friends and be comfortable around people.

22. I have the right to change and grow.

23. I have the right to have my needs and wants respected by others.

24. I have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.

25. I have the right to be happy.

Thanks to Edmund Bourne and thanks for reading today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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