Posts Tagged With: group therapy

Day 2077: Applause

Several times in therapy groups this week, there was spontaneous applause, as people supported each other’s perspectives and progress.

I remember attending an “Opening the Heart” weekend workshop many years ago, where each one of us received thunderous, sustained applause after introducing ourselves. I still vividly recall how that applause felt, after I had revealed myself and my vulnerabilities to many strangers.

How do you respond to applause?

Last night, I was surprised by the timing of the applause to my latest original song, “Shameless Appeals for Applause.”

 

I now shamelessly appeal for applause for my photos from yesterday:

 

No matter what kind of comment you leave below, you’re sure to get applause from me.

Gratitude is a kind of applause, so I’m now clapping for all those who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 2041: life-changing magic

Have you heard about this book by Marie Kondo:  “the life-changing magic of tidying up”?

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Today, I want to give equal time to the life-changing magic of other things, including NOT tidying up.

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No matter how much we wish to tidy up, there are always new messes to deal with!

Would you agree that there’s life-changing magic in music?

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I look forward to the life-changing magic of your comments.

There’s life-changing magic in gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2028: Comparisons

Not to make comparisons, but I’ve written at least two previous posts about the cognitive distortion of comparisons (here and here).

Comparisons.
We compare ourselves to others, with ourselves coming out short. For example, “I’m not as smart (or good, competent, good-looking, lovable, etc.) as that other person.” Or, we compare ourselves to how we think we should be, or how we’ve been before. We might think that comparisons help motivate us, but they usually make us feel worse.

Yesterday, in a therapy group, we focused on comparisons.

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I believe the human mind is built to make comparisons, in order to make meaning of what’s around us.  However, when we compare ourselves to others, the resulting blows to our self-confidence and self-esteem can be beyond compare.

I’ve been making a different type of comparison lately.  I compare the blog posts I’ve written after and before the November 2016 USA presidential election and I see differences. Less joy.  Less hope.  Less confidence in the future.  Less faith in humans to be respectful and kind.

Some might compare me to a snowflake.  Personally, I don’t mind being compared to a snowflake — each one is beautiful, intricate, and unique.

Let’s see how the rest of my photos compare to the one I’ve included above.

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When I search YouTube for “comparisons,” most of the results have to do with money and wealth — not particularly useful comparisons.

If we don’t realize all animals are beyond compare, we will continue to lose more and more to extinction.  Here’s a video showing comparisons of animal size:

The most recent comment on that video includes this: “Fake news.” I now compare my life to how it was before I heard that phrase so frequently.

Here‘s one result for “comparisons music.”

I look forward to comparisons in comments, below.

Now it’s time to compare  two ways of my expressing gratitude to all who helped me create another “comparisons” post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 1993: Power

Yesterday, in a therapy group, I randomly picked this “angel card”:

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We all have power. Soon, I will be taking on more power as the President of a professional group therapy organization. I hope to use that power well.

A few days ago, I noticed that the cafeteria in the hospital where I work had stopped including vitamin-K-rich spinach in their salad bar. Because I take the powerful medication Coumadin. I need the power to control the amount of Vitamin K in my diet, and I usually do so by taking the same amount of spinach every day from the salad bar.   I owned my personal power and asked to speak to the person who had the power to decide what items to include in that salad bar. She told me that the hospital had decided to feature local produce and had replaced the spinach with locally grown kale. I told her about my taking Coumadin, which is a very common drug, and explained that kale had too much vitamin K and that I can’t eat kale.  As I was explaining all this to her, these were my powerful thoughts, “Why am I doing this?  I don’t have any power here. They’ve already made this decision.    I’ll have to figure out how to regulate my vitamin K a different way.”

The next day, I saw this at the hospital salad bar:

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Sometimes we have power even when we think we don’t.  The powerful moral for me: keep speaking up, because maybe somebody is listening.

Do you see power in my other photos from yesterday?

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People have the power to decide whether they want their pictures taken.  My son Aaron was okay with that last night (and Michael wasn’t).

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The ocean has the power to heal, I believe.

Today, Aaron and I will be experiencing the power of “West Side Story” at Boston’s Symphony Hall.  I never get tired of the power of that score by Bernstein and Sondheim and I’m glad that YouTube has the power to provide the musical clips I need for this blog (here and here).

I look forward to the power of your comments, below.

I always end these daily posts with the power of gratitude to all who help me create them and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 1971: The If in Life

Today’s title — “The If in Life” — comes from the unexpected appearance of this yellow stickie at work yesterday:

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If I could, I would ask the person who wrote that why they did and what it means to them.

If I ask you what you think that means, would you answer?

If I take photos in life, I share them here.

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If you were to choose a video for this post, what would it be?

 

If you watch that video about Rashad Jennings‘s book, you’ll hear how he got off the sidelines of his life, stopped blaming people, stopped making excuses, and started taking ownership and responsibility.

If you were to write a book about your life, what would the title be?

If I can find an appropriate photo, I’ll end this post with gratitude.

 

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 1943: Celebrate National _______ Day!

Obviously, I think we should celebrate every day, no matter where we live, for our own reasons.  However, there’s a website (see here) that tells people from the United States what they should be celebrating each day of the year.

For example, today is

April 27th
National Devil Dog Day
National Babe Ruth Day
National Prime Rib Day
National Tell a Story Day
National Arbor Day – Last Friday in April
National Hairball Awareness Day – Last Friday in April
National Day of Silence – Changes Annually

Because today is National Tell a Story Day, I’d like to tell a story about yesterday.

Yesterday, I noticed hearts,

 

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celebrated National Hairball Awareness Day a day early,

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took pictures of other people’s pictures,

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facilitated groups  where people expressed lots of different feelings about many different topics,

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dropped and broke my mindfulness chime,

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realized that I had a spare  mindfulness chime (not pictured),

encouraged people to share thoughts and feelings about  significant relationships,

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and did NOT celebrate National Pretzel Day.

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What might you celebrate today?

Even though today is National Day of Silence (because it’s the last Friday in April),  please feel free to make noise and tell a story in the comment section, below.

Rod Stewart and Ron Wood are celebrating and making noise here with “Every Picture Tells a Story.”

Every day at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally is Gratitude Day, so thanks to all who helped me celebrate today, including you!

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

Day 1942: Obviously

Obviously, sometimes people are going to say things you obviously don’t want to hear.

Yesterday, somebody in therapy was obviously perturbed about people expressing unsolicited and often indirect opinions about what they obviously thought she should do.

Obviously, we  made a list of how she could reply.

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Obviously,  having a list of possible replies to upsetting comments can help reduce stress.

Obviously, I like to take photos and share them with my readers.

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What’s obvious about those photos, to you?

Obviously,  my handwriting is difficult to read, so it might not be obvious that we talked, wrote, and drew about dreams in a therapy group yesterday.  Obviously, it would be helpful if I typed what I wrote.

DREAMS

When I was a child, I had a dream I didn’t want to wake up from. It was so beautiful and soothing and cool.  Magical land with lots of colors — pastels.  (I was) walking or riding down a road. Not like nature, not “normal” but safe and sweet and lovely. Trees and structures

I was never able to dream that again.

However, many years later I was at Disney World on a ride about imagination and one of the parts of the ride looked like my dream.

Obviously, I enjoyed that ride at Disney World.

Obviously, “The Obvious Child” by Paul Simon is a great song to include here.

Obviously,  I’d like to know your reactions to this post

Obviously, I gather and share gratitude in this blog, even if the words aren’t always completely obvious.

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

Day 1926: Taking steps

Yesterday, I started taking steps for a fitness challenge where I work.  I’ve committed to taking at least 10,000 steps every day for the next month.

While I was taking steps yesterday, I was also taking pictures. Now I am taking steps to share those photos.

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After taking more than 3,000 steps to get to my office, I took the step to indicate my mood on my new feeling chart.  If you take a few blogging steps back, you’ll see here (in the post Day 1923: Accepting all feelings) that the feeling chart is something people created in a therapy group last week. On Monday morning,  after taking all those steps, I was feeling hope.

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After taking about 1,000 more steps at work, I took the step of completing a required online training  — “Security Smart: Keeping Yourself Safe in the Workplace — which included taking steps to deescalate when people are upset.

After taking steps to help many people with many problems (while taking approximately 2,000 more steps around the hospital), I took a step at the end of the day to temporarily change my mood chart.

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I believe that taking steps to express and share feelings helps to deescalate those feelings.

After my long work day, I took 3,000 more steps to walk back to my car. At about 9 PM while I was taking steps at home, I reached my daily goal of taking 10,000 steps!

While I was taking steps yesterday, I heard “Steppin’ Out” sung by Kurt Elling.

 

Today, I’ll be taking steps to

  • go to work,
  • provide individual and group therapy at the Primary Care Practice of a Boston hospital,
  • treat people with respect,
  • listen to music I love, and
  • gather photos for tomorrow’s blog.

If you’d like to take steps to leave a comment, please step down below this blog.

As always, I’m taking steps to express my gratitude to all who help me take the necessary steps to create this daily blog, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 21 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 1911: Strong words

Whenever I use the word “hate,” my boyfriend, Michael (whom I do not hate) says, “Hate’s a strong word, Ann.”

Hate showed up in a basket of “group therapy eggs” at a psychodrama demonstration event yesterday, but so did other strong words.

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Which do you think are the strongest words there?

Are there any strong words in or for my other photos from yesterday?

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Time flies when I’m blogging so I better wrap up this Strong Words post and go into work (where I’m sure to hear and use some strong words).

Here‘s what comes up on YouTube when I search for “strong words song.”

As always, I end  every post with strong words of gratitude.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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