Posts Tagged With: “Green Finch and Linnet Bird”

Day 890: Please list ALL conflicts you have

If somebody asked you to please list all conflicts you have, how long a list would that be?

If I were to honestly list all my conflicts, those might include conflicts

  • with people,
  • of time,
  • within myself,
  • past conflicts,
  • current conflicts, and
  • other types of conflicts, which I’m too conflicted and tired to identify, in the moment.

Two days ago — during the finale of a 3-day group psychotherapy conference  — a very talented group therapist from Texas, Jeffrey Hudson, asked us all some excellent questions about family-of-origin conflicts and emotions, including:

In case there are any conflicts about reading those questions clearly, here they are:

Who did you hate the most when growing up? What did you do with your hatred?

Many people at the conference expressed conflicts in reaction to those questions about hate — an emotion we’re so conflicted about.  Personally, I found all of Jeffrey Hudson’s questions helpful. I plan to use them at work, to help people list important conflicts.

There might be a conflict in this post, right now. You might have the conflicted and erroneous  belief that Jeffrey Hudson is the person who inspired today’s post about listing all conflicts. And while Jeffrey’s questions might inspire somebody to list  important  conflicts, here’s what actually triggered this post:

That’s the audition form I filled out yesterday for the Concord Players, which asked that I please list all conflicts I might have with the rehearsal schedule for the musical “Follies,” starting in September.

Knowing me the way you do, would you assume I would have many conflicts to list?

Actually, because of the therapy groups I do on Thursday nights …

… I may have too many conflicts to be cast in the play.

I’m still going to the “Follies” audition tonight, though, because I am completely non-conflicted in my wish to overcome all conflicting fears about singing a difficult song in public.

Please list all conflicts you have about these conflicting photos, which I took yesterday:



I am now pleased to list all my conflicts with the word “verb”:

  1. “Verb” is not a verb, but rather a noun.

Please list all your conflicts  with this post in a comment below. I will have no conflicts about responding to all your comments before the end of the day, no matter how many conflicts I encounter.

I shall now list all my conflicts about choosing a song for today:

  1. I can’t think of any song about listing all conflicts.
  2. I don’t want any other song to conflict with my audition song for tonight.

Therefore, here‘s another version of the song I’ll be singing at that audition (letting go of all conflicts):

That’s the rendition of Stephen Sondheim‘s “Green Finch and Linnet Bird” on YouTube that has the least conflict with my natural singing style.

Unconflicted thanks to Kresley Figueroa (for her beautiful singing on a conflicted song), to Jeffrey Hudson (who trained to become a classical pianist before becoming a psychotherapist), to the Concord Players, to all the conflicted creatures and things that helped me create this conflicted post, and to you — of course! — for overcoming all conflicts to be here, now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 866: Looking up

Since my heart-related surgery 12 days ago, many things have been looking up, including me.

Almost every time I looked up where I  work last week, I saw people looking up to each other in group and individual therapy. Looking up at them, as they worked on looking up in their lives, I heard language like

“Staying above it all”

The language of looking up affects how we look at things, I believe.

Yesterday, I saw the following images, as I was looking up:




Looking up at those photos, I see the familiar and the unexpected. What do you see, when you are looking up?

This photo …

… which I took looking up in the cafeteria at work, reminds me that when we look up, we often see birds (and, sometimes, gluten-free food).

Speaking of birds, as I’m looking up ahead to my June audition for the  musical Follies (with music by Stephen Sondheim, whom I greatly look up to),  I’m looking up at this bird-related Sondheim song as a possible audition piece:

Looking up at that video, I wonder if I’m setting my sights (and my voice) too high with “Green Finch and Linnet Bird” from Sweeney Todd.  Things will probably look up if I imagine my audience looking up at me, while I’m singing,  with appreciation and approval.

If more upbeat music and lyrics help you look up, I just heard Los Lobos, in “A Matter of Time,”  sing

It will be all right

As I’m looking up at this post I’ve just written, I want to express something else about “looking up.”

After dealing with scary uncertainties and difficult decisions (especially about my health) — as I have the last six months — it can be difficult to put all that aside and  focus on looking up.

Things are definitely looking up today, in that regard. I suppose it was only a matter of time. 

I’m looking up, with thanks, to people I work with, to all those who help us find our way, to my fellow social worker Lauren, to worms and bots, to Fenway Park, to Wild Willie’s in Watertown Massachusetts, to Stephen Sondheim, to cast members of Sweeney Todd, to finches of all colors, to linnet and ceramic birds, to Los Lobos,  and to you — of course! — for looking up, here and now.

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

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