Posts Tagged With: fear

Day 2895: Dead End

I grew up on a dead end and I live on a dead end now. Some people don’t like the term “dead end” — they prefer “cul de sac,” which translates from the French to “bottom of the sack. “

I believe that if the current, bottom-of-the-sack leaders in the USA get another term in office, it’s a dead end for the future, hope, civilization, and the survival of the human race.

Maybe that’s why I captured these images yesterday.

Dead End” from the Quincy Jones album Walking in Space coincidentally showed up in my random Spotify playlist as I was walking by dead ends last night. Here is “Dead End,” which I’ve been listening to for most of my life.

I don’t know how this election is going to end and when it is going to end. I’m already dead with dread and exhaustion, and there are miles to go before I sleep.

Do you see dead ends in these other images?

I’ve had fun before. And worrying about whether the world is approaching a dead end is not it.

Gratitude is the living end, so thanks to all who help me write these posts, including YOU!

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, 2020 U.S. Presidential election, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Day 2837: What remains

Last night, Michael, Aaron (who remains at our home near Boston while he attends his final year at University of Edinburgh online), and I were talking about how politicians were trying to remain in power by using fear. Michael said,  “Well, as Joseph Conrad said, ‘When all other feelings are gone, fear remains.’  When I  asked, “Doesn’t love remain?”,  Michael and Aaron remained agreed as they swiftly replied, “NO.”

As that conversation remains in my heart, head, and soul today, I just googled “Joseph Conrad quote about fear” and found this:

“The wicked people were gone, but fear remained. Fear always remains. A man may destroy everything within himself, love and hate and belief, and even doubt; but as long as he clings to life he cannot destroy fear: the fear, subtle, indestructible, and terrible, that pervades his being; that tinges his thoughts; that lurks in his heart; what watches on his lips the struggle of his last breath.”

― Joseph Conrad

I’m hoping that in the struggle of my last breath, love remains.

What remains from my most recent photos?

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Harley remains next to me on the sofa while I am blogging.

What remains of the great Chadwick Boseman, gone way too soon? So much remains, including this:

I remain agreed with Chadwick Boseman that everybody should be the hero of their own story.

There are many quotes from Chadwick Boseman that remain, including this one from the acceptance speech he gave when  Black Panther won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards:

“To be young, gifted and Black, we all know what it’s like to be told that there is not a place for you to be featured,” he said. “Yet, you are young, gifted and Black. We know what it’s like to be told to say there is not a screen for you to be featured on, a stage for you to be featured on.

“We know what it’s like to be a tail and not the head. We know what it’s like to be beneath and not above. And that is what we went to work with every day because we knew, not that we would be around during awards season and that it would make a billion dollars, but we knew that we had something special that we wanted to give the world. That we could be full human beings in the roles that we were playing. That we could create a world that exemplified a world that we wanted to see.”

What remains for you after reading this post?

For me, gratitude always remains, so thanks to all who helped me create this post, including YOU.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2652: Fear and Caution

Yesterday, I was thinking about fear as I took these photos:

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I was also thinking that there is a huge difference between fear and caution.

Do you see any fear and/or caution in my other photos from yesterday?

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When I’m blogging, there’s always a ten minute window when everything feels OK.

When I

… I usually feel  fear.  Since I’m traveling  to New York City tomorrow for a week-long group therapy conference where I’ll be participating in and facilitating groups with many people from all around the world, I’m trying to transform unhelpful fear into helpful caution.

A doctor I know gave me this advice before I left  work yesterday:

Wash your hands frequently, use lots of hand sanitizer, and don’t touch anything above your neck.

Don’t touch anything above my neck!  How am going to put in my contact lenses?

I guess I can always wear my glasses.

Here’s “Caution vs Fear” by Stefanos Sifandos 

… and “Caution vs Fear” by Wayne D. Lewis.

Here‘s “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” by Robert Cray:

I’m afraid I’ll be missing a local appearance by the Robert Cray band because of my trip to NYC.

I look forward to expressions of fear, caution, or anything else in your comments below.

Thanks to all who help me create this blog with caution, every day, including YOU!

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

Day 2418: Big Fear

Here and now, what’s your big fear?

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Take a moment.

Breathe, close your eyes, and allow your mind, body, AND soul  to respond to that question.

Again,  here and now, what’s your big fear?

Does your big fear have to do with …

  • money?
  • people’s responses to you?
  • being judged?
  • the unknown?
  • changes you’ve chosen?
  • changes you have not chosen?
  • stagnation?
  • being trapped?
  • betrayal?
  • abandonment?
  • authority figures?
  • being misunderstood?
  • being manipulated?
  • being ignored?
  • time running out?
  • being forgotten?
  • forgetting things?
  • feeling too much?
  • feeling too little?
  • knowing too much?
  • knowing too little?
  • having too much?
  • having too little?
  • loss?
  • anger?
  • guilt?
  • shame?
  • being hurt?
  • hurting others?
  • turning out just like so-and-so?
  • family?
  • strangers?
  • people?
  • animals?
  • bugs?
  • not knowing what to say?
  • saying the wrong thing?
  • not being seen?
  • being seen?
  • your behaviors?
  • other people’s behaviors?
  • order?
  • chaos?
  • limitations?
  • failing?
  • succeeding?
  • heights?
  • depths?
  • violence?
  • the past?
  • the future?
  • aging?
  • pain?
  • death?
  • fear itself?

Do you see big fear in my other big photographs from yesterday?

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What helps you deal with big fear?

  • Naming it?
  • Sharing it?
  • Calculating the possibility that it will come true?
  • Accepting it?
  • Letting it go?
  • Self care?

When I search YouTube for “big fear” I find this 

this

… and this:

 

Fear not! All comments about big fear are welcome, below.

Big thanks to all who help me create this big blog and all who read it (including YOU).

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

Day 1913: What’s getting in the way?

When somebody (including me) is having trouble doing something, I like to ask, “What’s getting in the way?”

Within the past week, I’ve asked “What’s getting in the way?” about

  • doing one’s taxes,
  • being more assertive,
  • joining an organization,
  • exercising,
  • eating better,
  • sending an email,
  • making a phone call,
  • getting out of the house,
  • attending a therapy session,
  • stating a need,
  • accepting compliments, and
  • saying what’s left unsaid.

Is there something you’re having trouble doing, here and now? Take a moment and ask yourself, “What’s getting in the way?”

Is fear part of the answer?

What’s getting in the way of us getting fear out of the way?

What’s getting in the way of my sharing my photos today?   What’s getting in the way is my fear that I have only four new photos and 25% of of them include language that might get in the way.

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Nothing is getting in the way of my finding two “Gettin’ in the Way” songs on YouTube (here and here).

What’s getting in the way of your leaving a comment?

Nothing is getting in the way of my expressing my thanks to all who helped me get out of my own way to create today’s blog post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 1844: Everlasting impact

We don’t know how long the impact of any deed, word, or moment will last, including this one:

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Sometimes, I fear that a mistake — like a “wrong” decision — will have everlasting impact. I also hope that compassionate, kind, and loving actions will have everlasting impact.

I believe that people can fear AND hope for everlasting impact.

I wonder how long the impact of these seemingly random photos will last?

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Lasting readers of this blog might know that I’m someone who loves tea, my work, and  macaroni and cheese. Yesterday, one of my patients brought me A LOT of macaroni and cheese.

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I wonder how long that will last?

Here’s music with “lasting impact”:

 

If you make noise, here or elsewhere, it will have an impact.

Everlasting thanks to all who helped make an impact on today’s blog and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 1796: What keeps you up at night?

What keeps you up at night?

Money?

Love?

Hate?

The dark?

Too much light?

Pets?

What’s permanent?

What’s temporary?

What you ate?

What’s eating you?

The unknown?

What you know?

Taxes?

Politics?

Problems with photos that force you to blog from your cell phone?

Or is that just me?

Might this song from Cabaret keep you up at night?

Comments from my readers don’t keep me up at night. However, comments from world leaders do.

Thanks to all who helped me write this “What keeps you up at night?” post and to you — of course! — for keeping up with my blog.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 1772: The fight, flight, or freeze response of cave dwellers can ruin modern life

Yesterday morning, when I was fighting to fly to work on time, I froze when I saw this:

The fight, flight or freeze response of cave dwellers can ruin modern life.

Before I read that article by Kate Murphy in the New York Times, I knew  it would echo many things I’ve been telling my patients for years, including:

  • fear and its companion — the fight, flight or freeze response — can save us from danger,
  • however, the level of fear we experience today is  based on the realities of the distant past — the danger-filled lives of our  cave-dwelling ancestors who lived under constant threat of  invading tribes and wild animals,  and
  • that level of fear  interferes with modern life.

Here’s a quote from that article:

“Change has occurred so rapidly for our species that now we are equipped with brains that are super sensitive to threat but also super capable of planning, thinking, forecasting and looking ahead,” said Ahmad Hariri, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University. “So we essentially drive ourselves nuts worrying about things because we have too much time and don’t have many real threats on our survival, so fear gets expressed in these really strange, maladaptive ways.”

I don’t want to drive ourselves nuts by spending too much time on that article here, but I recommend you read the whole thing.  And I do want to include a few more quotes from the article before another flight into photography.

  • Consciously activating the more measured, analytical part of your brain is the key to controlling runaway fear and anxiety.
  • Arresting an overactive amygdala requires first realizing and then admitting you’re feeling uneasy and scared.
  • “The more you try to suppress fear, either by ignoring it or doing something else to displace it, the more you will actually experience it.”
  • The amygdala is less apt to freak out if you are reminded that you are loved or could be loved. For example, seeing images of people with frightened expressions is usually a huge trigger for the amygdala, but that response is greatly diminished when subjects are first shown pictures of people being cared for or hugged.

  • Just as fear can be contagious, so can courage, caring and calm.

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How did those photos affect your modern life?

Before you take flight from this post, I will fight to express my main reason for taking that last photo — it reminded me of the song “Our Time”  from Merrily We Roll Along:

To make this our time rather than the time of cave dwellers, let’s do our best to focus on courage, caring, and calm.

Modern thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 1770: What are you afraid of?

What are you afraid of?

Within the last week, I’ve heard about people who are afraid of

  • the dark,
  • heights,
  •  war,
  • people who abuse positions of power,
  • the media,
  • molesters,
  • being seen as a molester,
  • the police,
  • world leaders,
  • science,
  • ignorance,
  • doctors,
  • dentists,
  • infections,
  • sickness,
  • aging
  • death,
  • taxes,
  • failure,
  • success,
  • school,
  • working too much,
  • working too little,
  • making mistakes,
  • driving,
  • bicyclists,
  • loss,
  • certain thoughts,
  • certain feelings,
  • feeling too good,
  • going outside,
  • staying inside,
  • action,
  • inaction,
  • the weather,
  • being alone,
  • crowds,
  • social events,
  • marriage,
  • divorce,
  • becoming less attractive,
  • becoming an adult,
  • men,
  • women,
  • cats,
  • dogs,
  • mice,
  • bugs,
  • snakes,
  • phones,
  • cotton balls, and
  • peaches.

Is anyone afraid of any of these photos?

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I’m afraid that one major emotion is missing from that Time special edition cover.   Are they afraid of anger?

Here‘s how to let go of pain/fear/anger in 60 seconds.

 

Are you afraid of leaving a comment?  I hope not.

What am I afraid of?  Heights, the dark, the cold,  and forgetting to express gratitude to all who help me create these posts and — of course! — to YOU.

 

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

Day 1744: What scares you?

What scares you?

The news?

The weather?

Fire?

Water?

The future?

The present?

Heights?

Depths?

Weapons?

Other people?

Yourself?

Illness?

Poverty?

Ignorance?

Information overload?

Responsibility?

Helplessness?

Evil?

Death?

War?

Loss?

Snakes?

Insects?

Physical pain?

Emotional pain?

Trying new things?

Failure?

Thoughts?

Feelings?

The phone?

Public speaking?

Animals?

Demons?

Humans?

Any of these photos?

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A search of “What Scares You?” on YouTube returns this:

 

Scary movies scare me, so I won’t watch any more of that.

When something scares you, what do you do?

Flee?

Freeze?

Fight?

Name it?

Share it?

Feel free to share what scares you, below.

Thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — no matter what scares you.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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