Posts Tagged With: groups

Day 1549: If you could be any animal, which would you be?

If I could be any animal besides a human, I’d be a duck, because a duck

Yesterday, after my therapy group, when I was being sociable with the nurses at work, I noticed  they had chosen a different animal for me.

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If I could be any animal besides a human or a duck, I’d be a butterfly, because a butterfly

  • is adept in the air,
  • spends a lot of time around flowers,
  • looks great, and
  • changes in very profound ways.

If you could be any animal, would you be any of these?

If you could be any animal interviewing for a job, you might find this useful:

If you could choose any musical number about any animal, which would it be? The animals at YouTube just suggested two  (here and here):

The Lion King medley reminds me that I’ll be singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” for groups of animals, very soon.

Thanks to all the animals that helped me create this post and to you — of course! — no matter what animal you’d be.

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

Day 1073: Visualizing

I was just visualizing a post I may have already written about “Visualizing,” here at my camel-staring-at-the-pyramids blog site. In order to help in my visualization, I’m asking myself questions, such as: What would a post titled “Visualizing” look like? What words, pictures, colors, textures,  and other details might it have? How do I see it, in my mind’s eye?

A “Visualizing” post does not yet exist,  here at this adventure-journal-on-wood-background site. Therefore,  I am now in the midst of visualizing and creating today’s post,  which I’ll soon send out into the world (which I’m visualizing as a green and blue sphere floating in a vast blanket of stars).

Yesterday, if you can visualize this, I facilitated a therapy group in my Boston office where people visualized the effects of shame.

How might you visualize shame?

To help you visualize my office, here are some recent photos people have visualized here before:

Here are some ways the group in that office was visualizing shame, yesterday :

  • eyes down and averted,
  •  face hidden,
  • becoming smaller,
  • drawing oneself inward,
  • a child bullied by others, and
  • the colors brown and yellow.

Then, yesterday’s therapy group visualized some affirmations:

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Can you visualize your own affirmations? Can you visualize all the effects of believing all the affirmations on that page?  Can you visualize me, yesterday, choosing to recite this affirmation in group?

I am already worthy as a person. I don’t have to prove myself.

Here are three other images I visualized yesterday:

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Now I’m visualizing the comments I might get about this post.

Thank you, my dear readers,  for visualizing the possibility of visiting here, today.

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

Day 301: Bearing up

Yesterday, I met my old friend Lawry in Harvard Square, Cambridge, for brunch, with some members of his family.

It was great to see everybody.  I loved talking to Lawry, his wife, his daughter, his sister, his brother, and his brother’s wife.

It was particularly special for me to spend time with them, because I had been feeling some anxiety, over the weekend, about my health (and some about the Boston Red Sox, too).

And it was wonderful to be back in Harvard Square. (See “What’s the problem?” and “Random Images (paired)“, two earlier posts, for more adventures in Harvard Square.)

Here’s a little photo essay, about my time in Harvard Square yesterday.

A Little Photo Essay

by Ann

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On my way to meet Lawry and his family for brunch, I saw this amazing tree.  I had to stop and take a picture. Thank you, tree.

It was another beautiful autumn day. Those of us who live in the Greater Boston area have been remarking, this year, about how friggin’ great the fall weather has been.  Those of us who dread the onset of winter in the Greater Boston area have been wondering whether this is a good or bad omen about how painful it’s going to be, too soon. (Actually, I can only speak for my own thoughts about this.)

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Moments after  I took that first shot of the tree,  I had to stop and take the above photo. Why?  It’s a sign about a group, people!

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Here’s a closer shot of the sign (and some of the flags) that you can see in the background of the previous photo.

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As I said, it was a beautiful day. Look at those trees and that sky.

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Another sign in front of the church. I snapped this, as a is Note To Self:  “Ann, make sure you sing more (especially as the cold and dark descend)!”

After I took that photo, I stopped dilly-dallying, and focused on getting to brunch with Lawry and his family.

I didn’t have any photos of Lawry or his family members to show you today, because I was too focused on interacting with each of them, in the moment. Right now, I wish I had some visual proof of how great they all are, but you’ll just have to take my word for it.

After brunch, I went to Urban Outfitters because I needed a scarf and gloves — that is, gear for winter,  coming too soon to a location near me.

And …  I DID find a great scarf and some colorful gloves there, which definitely cheered me up. (My philosophy: If I’m going to be cold, I might as well look cool.)

While I was shopping  in the store, I couldn’t help but notice this:

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I had never seen anything quite like THAT.  I’ve noticed lots of children — and adults — wearing animal hats in these parts, but a full-bear winter coat?  I was very intrigued, but assumed it was most likely just for display. (I mean, it’s almost Halloween, for heaven’s sake.)

However, when I was in line to pay for my merchandise, I noticed that the people in front of me — a woman and her son —  had just bought one of those bear coats, which was being stuffed into a bag. I blurted out, “Wow!  You got one of those!  Can I see it?”

The woman paused, but then kindly took it out of the bag, to show me. She told me it was for her son, Asa, who was a student at Boston College. “Will you try it on for me?” I asked Asa, as I told them both about this blog.

This was Asa’s reply:

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How cool is THAT?

Now it’s a day later, and I’m still feeling better.

Many thanks to Asa and his mother, Lawry and his family, Christ Church Cambridge, Urban Outfitters, all things that make life bearable, and to you, of course, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 289: Sometimes, it just helps to know you’re not alone

Two confessions, this morning:

  1. Sometimes, I confuse words for things. For example,  I’ll say “January” when I mean “July.”  I wonder if people think —  when I do that — that I am confused about what time of year it is.  THAT could be embarrassing.
  2. Sometimes, I procrastinate making changes. That can feel embarrassing, too.

So it helps when I realize that I’m not alone in these imperfections. Especially when I realize that I am joined by a person — or an establishment — that I respect.

Therefore, I was pleased to see this sign, this past October weekend, in front of one of my favorite local restaurants.

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Besides the headline, I want to point out some other things about that sign:

  1. It’s located in the eastern United States (not in Australia or any other place south of the equator).
  2. It uses one of my favorite words (“yummy”).
  3. It concludes with something I’ve considered using more of, lately (an emoticon).

If you don’t like emoticons, insert your own preferred smiling image, here, to conclude.

Wait!  Before I do end today’s blog post, I’d like to present some of MY preferred smiling images (from previous posts, this year):

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There’s more, but it’s time for me to end this post, people!

Thanks to Patou Thai Restaurant, people confused in any way by seasonal change, procrastinators (and anti-crastinators, if such people exist), smilers everywhere, and to you, of course, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 279: Fall Photos

I haven’t done a photo essay lately. By “photo essay,” I mean taking some recent photos I’ve snapped with my iPhone and hoping I can link them, somehow.

The structure for this essay will be chronological — that is, I’ll post photos in the order I took them, starting last Tuesday.  And since I tend to be very aware of the seasons, the topic is “Fall.”

Here we go ….

Fall

A Chronological Photo Essay

by Ann

One of my associations with fall is Halloween. When I was a kid, Halloween was my second favorite day of the year.

Last weekend, I bought some Halloween candy:

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The fun-sized package pictured above, however, isn’t going to any Trick-or-Treaters this year.  After I came home from the hospital last Tuesday night, that sucker was mine!

Another association I have with fall is baseball playoffs.  And my local team, the Red Sox, are in the playoffs this year.

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Here’s hoping the Sox make it to the World Series.

Here’s a photo I took, seconds after the previous one:

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Why am I including that photo here?  Perhaps as a visual reminder of the importance of taking the next small step, no matter what the situation.

Perhaps as a visual reminder that photos — and clothing — do not have to be perfect.

Perhaps to show my regular readers that I am physically okay after my hospital stay, since I’m walking my usual walk to work.

More likely, as proof that I still don’t understand how to work my friggin’ phone, especially now that it has a new operating system.

The remaining photos were all taken yesterday, as I took a nice, long walk.  Here’s the first thing that caught my iPhone:

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As usual, I like working with groups, no matter what their differences.

I took the next photo further down the same block:

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I like the way local businesses cater to the nourishment of humans and non-humans around here.

I took the next photo across the street:

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That sign, which is new, seems to indicate that  (1) this trash receptacle is setting a limit and/or (2) some  person is doing the same.

I took the next photo about fifteen minutes later:

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That photo illustrates another meaning of the  word “fall.”

Leaves are falling off the trees, even though it’s only early October.  While the colors are beautiful, I’m hoping that I won’t get fed up, too soon, with the cold that’s coming my way.

A few minutes later, I was happy to see a rabbit.  I like seeing rabbits when I’m walking, and lately I’ve been thinking  I might not see any more until next spring.

So I took a photo of that unexpected rabbit, but the photo was really blurry. I could blame the rabbit or my iPhone for that, but what good does blame ever do, really?  Instead, I’ll show you the next photo I took, moments later:

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It’s another group!

The next photo is related to the first one in this essay, since it’s a harbinger of Halloween:

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 Let’s face it — that photo is blurry, too, but I couldn’t resist including it here.

And here’s the last photo I took, on my walk yesterday:

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Okay, okay.  I’ll give you this: The fall is beautiful.

Thanks, everybody, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 266: Thoughts about Mondays

People express a lot of things about Mondays.

My guess, right now, is that there have been more songs written with “Monday” in the title, than any other weekday.

Monday song titles include:

“Monday” — Wilco

“Monday, Monday” — The Mamas & The Papas

“Monday, Monday, Monday” — Tegan and Sara

“Sunday, Monday, Tuesday” — Jessica Jones

Sunday Monday Or Always” — Bing Crosby

“Manic Monday” — The Bangles

“I Don’t Like Mondays” — Boomtown Rats

“Rainy Days And Mondays” — The Carpenters

“Permanent Monday” — Jordin Sparks

“Blue Monday” — New Order

“Blue Monday” — Fats Domino

“Goodbye Blue Monday” — City Boy

“Fell In Love On Monday” — Fats Domino

“Monday Morning” — Fleetwood Mac

“Except For Monday” — Lori Morgan

“Come Monday” by Jimmy Buffet

“Stormy Monday Blues” — The Allman Bros.

“New Moon On Monday” — Duran Duran

“It Might As Well Stay Monday From Now On” — Cher

“Monday Morning Rock” — Marshall Crenshaw

“Monday Without You” — Carole King

“Goodbye Blue Monday” — City Boy

“Monday’s Rain” — The Bee Gees

Actually, while I was researching that list, this morning (which is by no means complete), I found out that my guess, above, was completely wrong.

There are WAY more songs about Saturday and Sunday than there are about Monday.

I guess songs can be expressions of many different emotions, right?

My way-off guess, I believe, is a reflection of something I’ve often noted:

When we are in a particular state of mind, we automatically filter out memories and thoughts that aren’t related to that state.

I’m going to wrap up this blog post, because Mondays are different for me, lately. There’s a new intern I get to supervise and work with, so I have to get in earlier on Mondays.

My guess, right now, about that change, is that Mondays (and other days) are going to be better.

I’m a pretty good guesser, usually. (See this post for some possible evidence about that.)

But before I conclude a post (as regular readers may have noticed), I do like to include some kind of image, if possible.

When I first woke up this morning, I considered just posting a photo  I took yesterday, walking by a toy store.  My plan, at that point, was to ask people to guess about something.

Here’s the photo:

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Here’s my question: What kind of animal is that, behind those sunglasses?

Because at first, when I walked by that toy store, I found it difficult to recognize.

Thanks, on this Monday, to guessers and learners everywhere, and to you, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Day 259: Thoughts about “I’m Sorry.”

Here are some thoughts about the phrase, “I’m sorry,” this morning.

  • I said that to my sister yesterday, regarding some things I had done in the past. I could tell she thought those words were unnecessary, because this was similar to the look on her face.

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(Note: this image comes up in response to the word “bafflement.”)

  • I wrote that phrase on Facebook yesterday, in response to an unexpected loss for an old friend.
  • My first year at college, I was describing something upsetting that had happened to me, and my roommate, Marcia, said that phrase to me. I was puzzled (never hearing it used that way, before), and I replied, “Why? It’s not your fault.”
  • I think I hear women saying that phrase more than I hear men, especially in this situation: negotiating space issues with strangers while walking around in public.
  • About a decade ago, in a therapy group, I gave the assignment of keeping track of how often one said that phrase, over the course of one week. (I was later told that was a helpful assignment.)

I’m sorry to have to tell you that I need to end this post.

But first, another Google Image:

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(Two thoughts about that photo: (1) I should probably order that card from holycool.net and (2) that reminded me I need to eat some friggin’ thing, NOW.)

Thanks to my sister, to Marcia, to anybody who has ever said, “I’m sorry” (for any reason), and to you, for reading today.

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

Day 249: If you are having trouble focusing

First, take a breath.

Better?

Next, have a drink of water.

Okay!

Next, as Dennis Farina puts it (somewhat crudely), in “Midnight Run” ….

… take in some nourishment.

Finally, remember this.

Everything you need is there for you, where you are, in the moment.

Thanks for being here, today.

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

Day 244: Positive Energy

In therapy, I talk to people about the importance of doing more of what helps and less of what doesn’t help.

When we talk about what helps and what doesn’t help, we’re including thoughts, behaviors, and other people.

Yesterday, I got to spend some quality time with a person who is very helpful to me, and whom I haven’t seen for a while.

Diane.

I don’t have a photo of her, right now. So  I can’t show you her beautiful, kind face.  And a picture, sometimes, IS worth a thousand words.

So how can I describe her?

I can tell you a fact, or two, about Diane.

She’s the sister-in-law of my ex-husband.

She used to live nearby but now she lives far away, so I don’t get to see her as much.

So much for the facts.

How do I feel when I talk to Diane?

I feel heard, seen, understood, and appreciated.

It’s like being warmed by the sun.

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(Thanks to The Canadian Expat — another blogger I just discovered! — for that photo.) (Click on the photo to see the full glory.)

Yesterday, I saw Diane in the middle of a day when I was Freaking Out (as I mentioned, here).

One of the reasons I am anxious, right now, is I have yet another “big” presentation to give about my groups at work, next Friday.  I tend to Freak Out about such things (especially if I tell myself that a presentation — or anything else — is “big”, important, critical-for-surival-blah-blah-blah).

When I spoke to Diane yesterday, we talked about my presentation, among many other things.

Here are some of the things Diane and I spoke about:

  1. How very neat and fastidious parents can sometimes cause a naturally messy child to feel insecure and apologetic.
  2. Eating in a way that’s right for you (especially if you’re not rigid about it) can give you lots of energy.
  3. If you follow your passion and speak from your heart, you will get through to people.
  4. This quote from the Talmud: “Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.”

I wanted to end this post, today, with something Diane wrote me, last night, in an e-mail:

“Good luck with your presentation.  I’ll send positive energy your way.”

That’s what Diane does. She sends positive energy.

It helps!

Many thanks to Diane, to expats (Canadian and otherwise), to parents and children who are doing their best, to kind people everywhere, and to you, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Day 234: Curiosity, in the moment

At the beginnings of the therapy group sessions I do, I often state what I’m curious about — as a way to invite people to “check-in.”

This is something I often say:

Right now, I’m curious about what’s going on for you in the moment. I’m also curious about anything that might be contributing to how you are feeling and thinking, in the moment.

This morning, after I got up, I “checked-in” with myself that way. That is, I asked myself how I was doing in the moment and what might be contributing to that.

This is what I discovered:

I continue to feel some “uneasiness” when I wake up in the morning. (I wrote about that, early this year.)

It helps to sit in a quiet place and focus, as much a possible, on the present moment — letting all thoughts, feelings, etc. flow through me.

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Yes!  I gave myself “the chair” this morning, sitting mindfully for a short time.

This is what came up for me, when I asked myself what was contributing to how I was feeling in the moment:

  1. Yesterday, for the first time, I met with a lawyer to talk about my will (and other necessary plans regarding my inevitable death).
  2. Geesh, people!  Isn’t that enough?

Of course, there were all sorts of other things contributing to how I was doing in the moment.  Even if I can’t identify all those things (and who can?), it helps to be as aware, in the moment, as much as possible.

Right now, I’m aware that I’d like to end with a photo.

But which one?

How about the last photo I’ve taken, with my trusty-enough iPhone?

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Here are the points I want to make about this photo:

  1. It was taken at Strip-T’s last night, a great — if interestingly named — restaurant in Watertown, MA.
  2. I haven’t been to Strip-T’s since before April (when the outside of the restaurant was another backdrop on CNN news reports, in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings).
  3. I wanted to take a photo of these three things at the restaurant, because I loved them all.
  4. To me, the pig on the right looks like it’s saying something to the pig on the left.

Of course, I’m curious about what that might be.

Thanks to Strip-T’s, ceramic pigs, curious creatures everywhere, and to you, for reading today.

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

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