Posts Tagged With: focusing on the positive

Day 1599: Bad habits and good habits

Because I’m in the habit of asking people in therapy groups to express their thoughts and feelings on paper, yesterday I asked a group to write down their bad habits and good habits. I also have the habit of reminding people that we tend to focus on the negative, so I encouraged people to make their list of good habits as long as possible. We discussed how much easier it was to identify bad habits, perhaps because we take our good habits for granted.

I have a habit of including photos to illustrate my blogging points:

IMG_1144

IMG_1142

IMG_1141

Because I have a bad habit of hastily taking pictures when I’m in a hurry, I cut off one of my good habits in the second photo above.  I have the bad habit of sometimes forgetting the good, so I can’t remember what that good habit was. I think the first word is “ask.”  I do have the habit of asking lots of questions, like this one: can anybody guess what I wrote there?

I’m trying to break my bad habit of being in a hurry, but I had a good reason for rushing yesterday: I had to get things done before signing a Purchase & Sale agreement. Soon, I’ll be developing the habit of living near the water!

I also have the habit of taking pictures that magically fit whatever topic I choose for my daily blog post.  Do you see any evidence of bad or good habits here?

IMG_1130

IMG_1135.JPG

IMG_1136

IMG_1137

IMG_1140

IMG_1145

IMG_1148

That’s Jessica, who was at Whole Foods Market last night giving free samples of Nada Moo! — a coconut milk-based alternative to ice cream.  Michael, who is trying to break the bad habit of eating too much cholesterol, bought two pints.  I’m also in the habit of including people I like in my blog and Jessica was a GREAT salesperson.

I also have the habit of sharing music with my readers.

I hope you have the habit of leaving comments for bloggers.

One of the good habits I listed above was “expressing appreciation.”  Many thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for reading it.

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

Day 1181: What’s wrong with me?

Earlier this week, somebody in my office asked

What’s wrong with me?

I immediately replied, “Nothing.”

Throughout the therapy session, I said, “What was that question again?” And she repeated

What’s wrong with me?

And each time, I responded, “Nothing.”

By the end of the session, she was asking different, more helpful questions, including:

  • What’s right with me?
  • What are my options?
  • What can I change?
  • What are my needs?
  • What do I want?

All this week, I’ve been asking

What’s wrong with me?

And I’ve been answering myself like so:

My heart.

What’s wrong with that?  I mean, I do have a a heart with congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries (cctga).

However, it doesn’t help me, either, to ask

What’s wrong with me?

Does it ever help you to ask

What’s wrong with me?

What’s wrong with me assuming that it doesn’t help?

What’s wrong with these pictures I took yesterday?

IMG_0285

IMG_0286

IMG_0293

A better question is “What’s right with those pictures?”

What’s wrong with me asking for comments or thanking you for reading this, today?

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 871: What’s taking up space in your head?

What’s taking up space in your head?

… is the question that was taking up space in my head, when I woke up earlier this morning.

Why was that question taking up space in my head?

Here’s why: Some negative people and difficult situations are taking up too much friggin’ space in my head, right now. And, I do NOT want to be renting them so much — if any — of my valuable mental space.

Why do negative people and difficult situations take up so much space? I mean it’s my head, dammit! Why, on earth, am I NOT renting more space to positive people and things, including

  • my ongoing recovery from my recent cardiac-related surgery,
  • my extremely good chances, according to my trusted cardiologists, of avoiding dreaded major heart surgery in the near future,
  • people and animals I love,
  • my wonderful experiences here in the blog-o-sphere,
  • the therapy groups I get to do every week at work,
  • my upcoming presentation on these groups, at a group therapy conference the first weekend of June, and
  • my upcoming chance to sing a song I love — Sondheim’s “Green Finch and Linnet Bird” — and KILL it at an audition (if I’m not too nervous)?

I would prefer to be giving ALL my mental space to those and other positive things in my life, today. So why am I spacey enough to give any head-space, at all, to:

  • negative people and
  • disappointing situations?

Here’s a possible answer to that, which is taking up space in my head:

Perhaps we spend a lot of time and energy on difficult people and situations because our mind is doing its best to solve “the problem.”

Well, giving those things too much head space can be a problem, too.

So how can I start giving negative people and difficult situations less space, right now?

I could:

  • recognize that those negative people and situations do NOT have as much power as I fear,
  • rent space to those negative people and situations only during times when I am able to take some helpful action in response,
  • serve them an eviction notice, over and over again,
  •  deliberately make space for other things (for example, these pictures I took yesterday, in chronological time and space):

                      

  • and, finally, focus my head on interesting puzzles, like …. what was the word on that sign, above, before it got damaged?

Is there space in your head, right now, for some music? How about renting some space to something from the musical Rent?

In my head, the song “Santa Fe” is about people renting new space,  in their heads,  for hope and for change.

If your head has space to leave a comment in the space below, my head will become less spacey and more happy, I’m sure.

Finally, I shall now take up more space in your head with my space-filling gratitude for all the positive situations and people in my life …. including you!

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

Day 557: What’s missing?

Something that’s missing from this blog? A post with today’s title.

That’s easily taken care of.

Something that was missing from yesterday’s post?  An explanation of what was going on with this tree.

IMG_6810

Thanks to a comment from Alarna Rose Gray, that was easily taken care of, also.

Something that was missing for me, yesterday, during a day when I

  1. wrote a blog post,
  2.  conducted two therapy groups,
  3.  connected with people , and
  4. received many positive messages?

Absolutely nothing, really.

However, at various points of the day, I felt like I was missing:

  • a person,
  • the point,
  • the boat,
  • out,
  •  signals,
  • enough sleep,
  • my headphones,
  • what somebody said,
  • a turn,
  • opportunities,
  • a call back,
  • a favorite necklace,
  • a word,
  • food,
  • an important piece of paper,
  • my medicine,
  • feedback from specific people,
  • and so on.

I said to Michael, near the end of the day, “Why can’t I take in all the wonderful things that happened today? Why do I focus on the negative?” And Michael said something funny, which I definitely did not miss  at the time — I remember laughing, very hard.

This post is going to be missing what he said, though, because  I was tired then, and I can’t recall it now.

However, here are some other things, from yesterday, that I did not miss:

IMG_6840 IMG_6841 IMG_6844IMG_6848 IMG_6849   IMG_6851 IMG_6852 IMG_6853 IMG_6855 IMG_6856 IMG_6857 IMG_6859 IMG_6860 IMG_6862 IMG_6863 IMG_6864 IMG_6865 IMG_6866 IMG_6867 IMG_6868 IMG_6869  IMG_6873 IMG_6874 IMG_6875

What’s missing, right now, for you?

Thanks to Michael (for fixing the broken cabinet door in the kitchen), to Alarna Rose Gray (and everyone else who makes comments), to those who get and miss things every day, to medical treaters everywhere, for people who create with chalk (and other media), to the streets of Arlington Massachusetts, and to you — of course! — for getting what you did, today.

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

Blog at WordPress.com.