Posts Tagged With: embracing hope

Day 788: Turning bad into good

Yesterday, it was a relief for me to:

  1. attend my third and last day of a group psychotherapy conference in San Francisco,
  2. listen to one of my heroes — group therapy expert Irvin Yalom — give a down-to-earth, soulful, and moving talk,
  3. participate in a “medicinal drumming” workshop, given by Sal Núñez from City College of San Francisco,
  4. go to a very interesting  panel discussion about “Group Psychotherapy Practice of the Future,”
  5. hear from one the  esteemed panelists afterwards — much to my surprise and delight — that she considers the therapy groups I’ve developed and facilitate  at a Boston hospital a “Practice of the Future” (and that she would have described my groups in her talk yesterday  if she’d had more time),
  6. get a free, stress-relieving 10-minute massage at the conference,
  7. see and talk to other group therapists I feel I’ve connected to in  authentic and important ways,
  8. use this incredibly cool app to easily drop off the car I drove to the conference  and then miraculously get it back when I was ready to leave San Francisco at 9:30 PM, and
  9.  discover and read this amazing blog post by esteemed and admired WordPress blogger Randall Collis.

Here’s the comment I left there, in response to Randall’s gorgeous words and images:

Randall, this story and your images are so beautiful and important to me, right now. Your post is the only thing that has cut through my negative thoughts and feelings about returning home tomorrow to Boston after my two weeks in sunny, warm California. Now I actually feel strong and hopeful about what lies ahead for me. Thank you for your spirit, creativity, and talent; you make our world better with your gifts.

Here’s the last sentence of Randall’s response to me:

Thank you very much Ann, nothing like a little creativity to turn bad into good.

I have to admit that I was feeling bad two night’s ago, about

  • returning to the cold, dark, and snow of my home town of Boston, Massachusetts and
  • health uncertainties and possibly scary recommendations from doctors about my heart, which I will surely face soon after my flight home today.

However, as Randall wrote, a little creativity can turn bad into good.

Here’s just a little photographic evidence of  bad-into-good creativity, from yesterday:

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Because of all the things I learned (or re-learned) yesterday, I hereby resolve to turn bad (New England weather, fears about my health, etc.) into good  (self-care,  in-the-moment acceptance and joy) by:

  • seeking out the sounds, sights, and places that sustain me (like the ocean, which — despite how cold and gray and snowy New England may be — is NEVER silenced),
  • asking for help, when I need it, from the people around me,
  • looking into a drumming class,
  • continuing to help myself and others let go of  old unhelpful messages and images from the past, and
  • facing my immediate future with hope, resiliency, and clear vision.

I hope I turned this morning’s post into something good (enough). Gotta go catch a plane back to Boston!

Before I go, here’s some good musical creativity for you (found here on YouTube):

Thanks to Irvin Yalom, Sal Núñez, all my esteemed colleagues at the group psychotherapy conference, Randall Collis, the massage guy, the local dudes who took care of my car yesterday, the Beach Boys,  everybody everywhere who has ever turned bad into good with a little creativity, and — of course! — special thanks to you, for turning things better for me today, with your visit here.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 655: How to freak less

I’ve written four previous posts with the word “freak” in them:

  1. Day 243: Freaked-out-nomics
  2. Day 370: Reasons why snail mail freaks me out
  3. Day 405: Freaking Out 
  4. Day 641: Lots of freakin ____

… so I think it’s about time I focused on something useful, like How to Freak Less.

Yesterday, I freaked less on my drive to work because I took my time getting there. Even when my GPS system, Waze, reported

Watch out. Heavy traffic ahead.

… I remained calm. As a matter of fact, I was glad for the traffic, because it allowed me to take these photos, through my rainy window:

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After I parked my car, I took my time walking to work.

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To recap: freak less by taking more time.

Then, when I was at work, I walked by a door that has, already, appeared in this blog four times before (here, here, here, and here):

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This time, the door was open, so I introduced myself to the inhabitant of that office, Sandy.  I told Sandy that

  • her sign has appeared in this blog,
  • people had speculated whether the sign said, “hope” or “nope,” and
  • I was very pleased the sign said “hope.”

Sandy invited me into her office, and I saw many more things that pleased me, including:

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Those three paintings were done by Sandy’s three daughters.

I liked this sign, too.

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As I was leaving, Sandy changed the sign on her door.

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To recap:  freak less by walking through doors, meeting new people, and seeing new things.

Last night, I facilitated a therapy group where people shared their experience of dealing with transitions.

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To recap: freak less by sharing more.

Speaking of sharing, I’d like to share a tune I heard on my way home, after work.

Actually, before that, I’d like to share how I first encountered this song, when I was a kid:

Wow!  After all the living I’ve done since I first saw  “A Lot of Living to Do” (from the movie Bye Bye Birdie), I can see there’s

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50’s and 60’s stuff there.

Eeeeek!  Hold on! I can’t find Pat Metheny’s amazing version of “A Lot of Living to Do” on YouTube, which I heard last night and wanted to share with you today! And I have to get to a 7:30 AM “retreat” soon, where there will be

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doctors, nurses, therapists, and other healthcare providers, working together to come up with ideas about how to make patient care better, in the future.

Is it time for me to do

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… here and now?????????????????

Instead, I shall heed my own advice and

  • take time,
  • walk through doors,
  • meet new people,
  •  see new things,
  • and share more

… by including this YouTube video of Mr. Louis Armstrong singing and playing “A Lot of Living to Do”:

And, speaking of meeting new people, I’ve never heard of Nick Ziobro before today, featured here performing at Birdland:

Okay!

This post, today, has

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  • talents,
  • sights,
  • sounds,
  • thoughts,
  • feelings,
  • moving,
  • nostalgia,
  • signs,
  • weather,
  • photos,
  • transitions, and
  • freakin other things.

I

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there’ll be

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comments, too.

Thanks to Sandy, to her daughters, to everybody who appeared in this post,  and to all those who have a lot of living to do, including (of course!) freakin you.

Categories: Nostalgia, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

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