Posts Tagged With: EMDR

Day 2871: Healing ?

Here and now, there are many questions out there about whether people are healing or getting worse.

Yesterday, while I was taking a healing walk outside, I noticed this:

In today’s photo gallery, do you see healing ?

What is the most healing image, for you? What’s the most painful one?

Lately, I’ve been healing from painful experiences by doing Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. That reminds me of my original song “Triggers,” which I hope will be healing to share.

That’s from my hopefully healing Edinburgh Festival Fringe show, August 2019.

Any comment you leave below will be healing for me. And as I like to say, “All healing is mutual.”

Gratitude is always healing, so thanks to all who are healing and helping others heal, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2840: It’s for you

It’s for you that I write these blog posts. But it’s also for me. As I encounter so many ups and downs in life, blogging every morning strengthens me for the day ahead.

It’s for you that I share today’s music, by Pat Metheny and the late Lyle Mays.

At the same time, sharing “It’s For You” from As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls is for me.

It’s for you that I’m trying out a new, unfamiliar-to-me editor as I blog today. But it’s also for me (to increase my confidence about using new technology as I prepare to host my 50th high school reunion on Zoom).

It’s for you that I captured all these images, but it’s also for me.

It’s for you and for me that I realize that “It’s for you” would make a good caption for this:

It’s for you that I have a comments section but it’s also for me.

It’s for you and for me that I collect images of gratitude to end these posts.

I’m grateful that writing this post with the new editor was much easier than I expected! This reminds me of the helpful cognition I’m working on in EMDR therapy:

I can trust myself, which allows me to figure out who else to trust.

Thanks to Pat, Lyle, Harley, Michael (for the burritos), the South Shore of Boston, our neighborhood church, our neighbors, snowy and not-so-snowy egrets, WordPress, and YOU.

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

Day 2833: The Element of Surprise

Much to my surprise, I’ve already written one post titled The Element of Surprise.  Would it surprise you if I shared how long it’s been since I created that post and all the surprising elements within?

Surprise!  I’m not going to do that math today.

Do you like the element of surprise?  Somebody does.

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I won’t be surprised if people comment below that they  like the element of surprise only in certain circumstances. Personally, I’m still waiting for somebody to throw me a successfully executed surprise party.   And it’s probably no surprise if I say I’m hoping for no unpleasant surprises during the upcoming election season in the USA.

Can you find elements of surprise in any of these other recent images?

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The last time I did a photo montage like that, I was unpleasantly surprised to see how the different  photographic elements showed up on my phone. I …

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.. hope that you can easily explore elements of surprise in those smaller photos, but I won’t be surprised if it’s difficult to do so.

That reminds me of the elementally unhelpful “negative cognition” I’m letting go of through EMDR therapy, which is surprisingly effective in healing old traumas:

I can’t trust anybody, including myself.

Did that surprise anybody?

Here’s something that surprised me and my husband Michael yesterday:

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Here’s something that did not surprise me:

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Here’s another element of surprise: when the PictureThis app identified this …

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as poke, pokeberries, and poke salad, I was surprised.

Now I’m wondering if my chosen musical selection for today has the element of surprise.

 

I’m hoping that it’s no surprise when I end each post with gratitude, because I am so thankful I get to share elements of surprise, every day,  with wonderful people like YOU.

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

Day 2825: Approaching

Here’s what is approaching, for me:

  • The beginning of my two-week staycation.
  • My husband Michael’s birthday.
  • An EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy session to deal with some lingering traumas.
  • A ZOOM training session to help with my upcoming 50th High School Reunion.
  • My 50th High School Reunion.
  • Th U.S. Presidential Election.
  • Magnificence.

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  • The rest of my recent photos:

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Harley hasn’t been as skittish, lately, when I’ve been approaching.

What’s been approaching, for you?

Every day, I encourage myself and others to be approaching what feels left unsaid, so  we can be approaching a good enough sense of closure.  Why? Because we never know when our last day is approaching.

Today’s music selection — “Something Left Unsaid” by the late, great Lyle Mays — is approaching.

I look forward to any and all comments that might be approaching.

Can you guess what’s approaching, here and now?

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

Day 2116: How to respond

Yesterday, people were discussing how to respond to a particular type of comment:

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How to respond to my 7 other photos and 1 video from yesterday?

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How to respond to somebody who is letting her hair go gray?

How to respond to this post?  However you choose.

How to respond to the people who helped me create this post and to you for being here? With thanks.

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Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 1634: Warnings

WARNING:  This post has warnings in it.

Yesterday, my EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapist, George, talked to me about my over-developed mental warning system.

WARNING: I keep forgetting what “EMDR” stands for and I have to look it up every time I write about it (like here and here).

George gave me an important warning, yesterday, in our therapy session. He warned that I give myself this warning way too much:

I have to hyper-vigilantly protect myself against the world’s incompetence, ignorance, hostility, lack of understanding, ambivalence, negligence, etc.,  in order to get my needs met and to survive.

WARNING: I write important warnings down so I can remember them.

George warned me that these constant warnings are probably bad for my health. He suggested I tell myself this instead:

I am safe. I have everything I need.

Do you see any warnings in my photos from yesterday?

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WARNING: If children scare you, be warned that The Warning is a hard-rock band of three young sisters from Monterey, Mexico. Here‘s The Warning’s TED talk (and play):

 

WARNING: This writer loves comments on her posts, which you can leave below.

WARNING: I have everything I need, here and now, thanks to all who helped me create this post with warnings and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1543: Backgrounds

My background includes technical writing, marketing communications, and psychotherapy.

In the background, I’ve been looking up the definition of “background.”

Definition of background

  1. a :  the scenery or ground behind something – a picture of her son with mountains in the background – background scenery for the play

    b art :  the part of a painting representing what lies behind objects in the foreground – dark shadows in the background of the painting

    c :  an image that displays on a computer screen underneath the various available icons and windows – As they participate, they earn “Kinetic City Points,” which they can spend on downloadable prizes, such as screensavers and computer backgrounds. — Science

  2.  an inconspicuous position  – shy people who try to stay in the background

  3. a.  the conditions that form the setting within which something is experienced… set in a background of tropical luxuriance. — Tom Marvel

    b (1) :  the circumstances or events antecedent to a phenomenon or development – the economic background of the American Civil War took place against a background of increasing tension

    (2) :  information essential to understanding of a problem or situation – background information

    c :  the total of a person’s experience, knowledge, and education – comparing the candidates’ backgrounds –  ran a background check to make sure she had no criminal record

  4.  a. intrusive sound or radiation  that interferes with received or recorded electronic signals – a recording with a lot of background noise

    b physics :  a more or less steady level of noise above which the effect  being measured by an apparatus is detected;  especially :  a somewhat steady level of radiation in the natural environment (as from cosmic rays)

  5.  a level of computer processing at which the processor uses time not required for a primary task to work on an additional task — compare foreground.

In the background, I’ve been inconspicuously trying to correct the inevitable formatting errors and complications that occur whenever I try to bring a definition into the foreground of my blog.

Here’s the background of how I chose the title of today’s post: Yesterday morning I was changing backgrounds while I was self-soothing with a game of on-line solitaire.

Congratulations to me for winning at solitaire and congratulations to worldofsolitaire.com for offering so many backgrounds.  I usually use the first background shown above; perhaps from now on I’ll use different backgrounds, depending on my mood.

After I solitarily photographed all those backgrounds, I noticed other backgrounds throughout my day.

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That last photo, with the artwork and books in the background, shows my EMDR therapist, George Sawin, moving some EMDR equipment at the end of our session. George’s background includes psychotherapy, law enforcement, flower shops, and  business management.  When we were discussing the importance of backgrounds, I mentioned this poem to him:

THE INVITATION
It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.
 
It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.
 
It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.
 
I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
 
I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.
 
It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.
 
I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.
 
I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”
 
It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.
 
It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.
 
It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
 
I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.
.
Want to know the background of this background, shown above?
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Somebody in my therapy group yesterday morning suggested we project a YouTube video of a beach in Hawaii on the screen in the group room. We used that for our mindfulness exercise and then we left it running in the background throughout the group.
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What’s your background? Are backgrounds important to you?
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Please don’t stay in the background; instead, leave a comment below.
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My background includes an appreciation for acknowledging and expressing gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — no matter what your background.
Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1508: A quiet home

Yesterday, I returned to the quiet home of my EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapist George after a long, disquieting absence. George and I talked quietly about how difficult it’s been for me to find a quiet home after the multiple traumas of open heart surgery, my pacemaker getting recalled, complications with the pacemaker replacement surgery, all the noise around the U.S. election, the loudness of my mechanical heart valve at night, and the fear and discomfort I’ve been experiencing internally and externally. During my quiet time with George, I realized I could create a quiet home wherever I am, by focusing on whatever helps quiet my mind and my soul.

Soon after that quieting session, I saw this:

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I’d love a quiet home, too.  How about you?

Can you see any quiet homes in my other photos from yesterday?

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While I was looking through windows of hope for quiet homes yesterday, I quietly heard this quiet music from Hamilton:

 

Thanks to all who helped me create  this quiet home today and to you — of course! — wherever your quiet homes are.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 1354: See the love in everything

Yesterday, after facilitating a therapy group I loved at work, I went to see my lovely Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapist, George.  I love EMDR, because it has helped me reduce my anxiety about very unlovely experiences I had in the hospital when I was a child.

Because I’m having open heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic next Wednesday, I loved the opportunity  to work with George in reducing my anxiety about that.  George and I tried  several lovely images to use when I’m going into surgery on September 21, including floating on the top of lovely water or being held by loving hands.   I love that I came up with this idea at the end of the session: I said to George, “I shall just see the love in everything.” George loved that, too.

I love reporting to you that after the session, I saw the love in everything and everybody.  I love that next week I shall also see the love in:

  • the lovely Deb, who will drive us to the airport in her lovely Honda Fit,
  • the security personnel at the airport,
  • the plane that takes my boyfriend Michael and me to Minneapolis,
  • the shuttle that transports us to Rochester,
  • the hotel where we’ll be staying across the street from the hospital before my admission,
  • all the staff at the Mayo Clinic,
  • all the tests they’ll give me,
  • the needles and other things they’ll poke me with,
  • the questions they’ll ask me,
  • the operating room,
  • the hands of my surgeon,
  • the cardiac care unit,
  • the machines I’ll be attached to,
  • the medications they’ll give me,
  • the tubes going in and out of my body,  and
  • everything and everybody else during my recovery.

Do you see the love in everything I photographed yesterday?

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I see the love in those cats named Stormcloud and Peaches, who are being adopted together by some lovely family today.

I see the love in this lovely tune, which my late father sang with love to my late mother at an anniversary celebration.

I will see the love in everything you leave in a comment.

I see the love in all who helped me create this post and in you, here and now.

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

Day 1270: Accepting all feelings

People who work with me in therapy accept that I often focus on the importance of accepting all feelings, even uncomfortable ones like fear and sadness. If we accept all feelings, instead of repressing or judging them, then all feelings can naturally flow through us.

These days, I am accepting all feelings –including hope, fear, and sadness — as I feel my way towards open heart surgery on September 21.

Yesterday, I accepted all feelings in an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing  (EMDR) therapy session. In that session, I transformed all my feelings about this thought:

Strangers are going to split me open, like they’re filleting a fish, and look at my totally exposed heart in a cold and lonely room.

to this thought:

People who want the best for me are going to have the privilege of seeing my unusual  and beautiful heart and making it better. Maybe they’ll even take a picture of my heart so I can finally see it!

Throughout that EMDR exercise, I was accepting all feelings about this image (which I found here):

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What feelings are you accepting now?

I am accepting all feelings about that image and about these photos I took yesterday:

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I am accepting all feelings about all these songs about feelings (on YouTube here, here,  here, and here):

Whatever feelings you have about this post, I accept them.

I’m accepting all my feelings of gratitude for those who helped me create this post and for you — of course! — no matter what feelings you’re accepting, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , | 48 Comments

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