Posts Tagged With: Halloween

Day 2132: Judgment Day

It’s judgment day here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally.

Why?  Because I observed references to judgment day within the last two days, near the same spot.

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Today is also judgment day because I’ll be singing a new original song at an Open Mic tonight, and someone is sure to be judging that.

Any judgment about these other recent photos?

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Today —  as I have for the last two thousand, one hundred, and thirty-one days of blogging — I am going to invite myself and others to let go of judgment and just be in the moment.

Here’s A.J. Croce with “Judgement Day.”

If I’m late to work today, there will be judgment, so I’m going to quickly end this post with gratitude to all, including YOU!

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

Day 2128: When children are present

When children are present,

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and even when they’re not, share your best.

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Share your best, especially when the world seems dark and scary.

 

Find the beauty within and around you.

Look more closely for the small details that give you joy.

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Say “hello,” tell people your name, and the magic will be totally real.

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This is what comes up on YouTube when I search for “When children are present.”

Thanks to all who helped me create today’s blog post and to you — of course! — for being present.

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

Day 1765: Don’t Open It!!!!

If you saw or heard

Don’t Open It!!!

would you

  • obey?
  • rebel?
  • be curious?
  • be cautious?
  • expect something scary (especially on Halloween)?

Would you assume that “it” meant

  • a closed item?
  • a sensitive subject?
  • something belonging to somebody else?
  • a Pandora’s box?
  • a door?
  • a package?
  • a phishing email ?
  • a suspicious website?
  • something scary or disgusting?

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I didn’t open it. But I did open my eyes to all these things yesterday:

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Seven years ago today I met someone who loves me for who I am and literally cooks the best meals ever.

If you don’t want a Flintstones Happy Anniversary,  don’t open it!!!

This blog is now open for comments.

Open thanks to all who helped me create this post and to all who opened it, here and now.

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

Day 1746: Appropriate

Is it appropriate for me to tell you that I’ve never written a blog post with the word “appropriate” in the title before? It is appropriate to reveal the inspiration for today’s title?

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That’s a sign for a parking lot where I work. I don’t park there. Does that mean I’m not appropriate?

When I read the news these days, I see a lot of inappropriate behavior, which contributes to my  sense of chaos. Is it appropriate to ask whether we can agree on what behaviors are appropriate?

Are these photos appropriate?

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Is it appropriate to discuss stool/poop in mixed company? Is it appropriate to use the term “mixed company”?  Was it appropriate for Michael and I to both wear that cat head at Target and then not buy it? Is it appropriate for me to share what I write during group therapy sessions about topics like self esteem? Is it appropriate for me to reveal that one of the group members talked about “dumb asses” before I wrote down some thoughts about self esteem?

Is it appropriate for me to bombard my readers with so many questions?

Is it appropriate for me to use this photo to introduce today’s music?

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Please leave an appropriate comment below.

Can we agree that gratitude is an appropriate way to end all of my daily blog posts?

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

Day 1739: Facial Expressions

One thousand, two hundred and forty-five days ago, I wrote another blog post titled “Facial Expressions.”  My facial expression would be happy if you read that blog post.  Heck, my facial expression would be happy if you read any of my blog posts.

Yesterday, I drew this  facial expression:

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Pointing to the bottom face, I asked my boyfriend Michael if he knew who that was.   His first tentative guess was “Me?”  My facial expression, in response to that, was probably disbelief, because I have never seen that expression on Michael’s face. His second guess, which was correct,  was somebody we both know.

How would you describe that facial expression?  It’s the  expression I most dread seeing on other people’s faces.

I wonder what expressions were  on my face, just now, when I realized that most of my other photos from yesterday show facial expressions.

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To improve my facial expressions recently, I’ve been listening to the score of “Merrily We Roll Along” by Stephen Sondheim (whose facial expression can be found here).  Here‘s a “Merrily We Roll Along” YouTube video that shows many facial expressions.

Those were the facial expressions I saw TWICE on the stage of the Huntington Theater in Boston.  Now you know.

I hope you know that all expressions are welcomed, below.

My facial expression, here and now, is gratitude for all who helped me create this post and — of course! — for YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 1395: The Choice is Clear

Yesterday, the choice was clear that I needed to take this picture:

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It’s clear that nobody should choose to try to clear that  barbed wire fence.  Also,  the choice is clear in the upcoming vote of the next U.S. president.  But is the choice ALWAYS clear?

As I chose to write yesterday, when the choice is NOT clear, that can be painful. This morning, I choose to believe that unclear choices, over time, will become clear enough for me to choose well enough.

The choice is clear! I clearly need to trust my ability to choose, even if it takes me some time to clear my way to the better choice.

If I asked you to choose a favorite from the 30-something other photos I chose to take yesterday, would the choice be clear? And if the choice isn’t clear, what will  you do?

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Yesterday, the choice was clear for me to post that last photo on Facebook with this caption:  “Scarred for life and happy about it.”

Because I’m going to see An American in Paris  in a Boston theater tonight with my friend Barbara, my musical choice is clear today:

 

If you’ve chosen to read my blog before, it’s clear that I choose to end each post with thanks to all  who help me create it  and to you — of course! — for choosing to join me, here and now.

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

Day 1387: Parallel Realities

Yesterday, I encountered several parallel realities, including:

  • happiness and sadness,
  • blame and forgiveness,
  • health and illness,
  • life and death,
  • hope and despair,
  • improvements and setbacks,
  • old and new,
  • ups and downs,
  • pain and relief,
  • poverty and abundance,
  • ins and outs,
  • driving and walking,
  • connection and loneliness,
  • Democrats and Republicans,
  • fear and safety,
  • hot and cold,
  • cats and dogs,
  • doctors and patients,
  • belief and skepticism,
  • apples and oranges,
  • comedy and tragedy, and
  • one of my favorite CDs,  Parallel Realities,  with drummer Jack DeJohnette, guitarist Pat Metheny, and keyboardist Herbie Hancock.

Here‘s a live version of the great tune “Jack In” from Parallel Realities, wherein Jack, Pat, Herbie, and bassist Dave Holland work it out.

 

Early in the day, I attended Cardiac Rehab for the first time since the winter of 2015 and encountered several parallel realities there, including …

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… a cardiac rehab student named  Tori and a cardiac rehab veteran named Danise,

… two parallel  measurements of exertion, and

. … two parallel signs.

On the way home from Cardiac Rehab, my long-time friend Eleanor, who is very much alive, drove us by some characters who were definitely dead:

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Do you see any other parallel realities in my other parallel photos from yesterday?

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What parallel realities are you encountering, right now?

Finally, here are some parallel and real thanks for those who helped me create this “Parallel Realities”  post and those who came to read it (including you!).

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

Day 650: Today’s fears (and safety and dreams)

I fear I’m going to start this post by checking how many times I’ve used “fear” in previous blog titles.

Anybody brave enough to guess that number?

The number is  …..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sixteen.  (And those posts are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, herehere, and here).

Does anybody here fear numbers?

My 16-year-old son (who does not read this blog, these days) does NOT fear numbers, as illustrated by this story when he was three (almost four) years old (from NoteBookLand):

Aaron’s pre-school teacher, Alyssa, said that when the kids at school were asked what they were thankful for, some said, “my parents,” or “my toys,” or “my house,” or “my kitty.” Aaron said, “I’m thankful for numbers, because I can count with them.”

When I was looking for that early Aaron story, I found this much earlier one, which I do not fear to share with you, here:

Aaron and Dada were telling stories at bedtime. Aaron told a story where Aaron was having a dream about a dinosaur and his Dada told him that dinosaurs really weren’t there. Then Aaron told another story about a dinosaur who was having a dream about Aaron and who woke up scared from his dream, and the Daddy Dinosaur told the dinosaur to not be afraid, because no Aarons were really there.

 

As a psychotherapist, I often encourage people (especially those who have encountered frightening things in their lives) to think about how safe they are, in the moment. People — when they take a breath and observe all the realities of their senses —  often find that the present moment is actually safer than they are thinking and feeling.

I fear it is sometimes difficult to take one’s own advice.  That is, I have been fearing some not-really-dangerous things lately, including:

  • running out of storage space,
  • machines breaking,
  • losing things,
  • interpersonal miscommunication, and
  • making mistakes.

Also, I fear, I have NOT been scared of some news-worthy dangers, including:

  • Ebola (and other diseases),
  • financial scams, and
  • murderous people.

I fear that sort of thing happens, when I stop listening to the news. (When I stop listening to the news, I definitely feel safer.)

 

If you fear generalizations about human beings, beware of the next sentence.

Being vigilant about danger can help us survive, so it makes sense for our minds to be fear-focused (although we might get confused about what we should be fearing, which can be scary).

 

This time of the year, there’s plenty to fear, all around:

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Do any of those things scare you?  Do any of them help you feel safer?

If any of them did scare you, what else might help you feel safer, in the moment?

For me, music always helps.

(“Not While I’m Around” from Stephen Sondheim‘s Sweeney Todd, sung by Barbra Streisand, found here on YouTube.)

Here’s a live version of that song, by Jamie Cullum:

 

Last night, I had a dream. Do you fear dreams? I do not fear other people’s dreams; indeed, I welcome them into individual and group therapy. However, I may fear my own dreams (which may be why I sometimes fear going to sleep).

My dream last night was not scary, although there was a moment in the dream where I was afraid of something.

I fear I am not being clear or detailed enough, right now, about my dream. Here it is:

I was outside, talking to people who were standing and walking around in some sort of public gathering place. At times, I was having conversations with individuals — some of whom seemed to be in charge of things. At other times, I would address many people at the same time, as though I was imparting some wisdom.  At one point, I had a revelation. I thought, “in order to help bring about helpful growth in people and in society, I just need to make very small changes, like these:  (1) changing one letter in certain words and (2) increasing numbers I use, just by making them one larger. That’s all I need to do and … I can do that!” As I had this epiphany, I could see things very clearly and I heard a person standing near me describe their own sense of deja vu. I thought, “This is all telling me that I am having a true and helpful thought.”  I felt happy, safe, and joyful.

Then, I had my moment of doubt and fear, as I thought: “If I tell people this, will they think I am too self-important? Will they think I am delusional?”

When I woke up after that dream, I felt good. I wasn’t sure I was going share that dream with anyone but, I suppose, I am now telling it — in a way — to the world.

As I was writing the dream down for this post, here were my associations to that dream:

  • I work with people individually and in groups. That was happening in the dream.
  • When I act like an expert, I fear that I will be seen as wrong and/or as seeing myself as too important. That was happening in the dream.
  • I do believe that creating small changes can lead to bigger and important change. That was happening in the dream.
  • In my work, I invite people to tell their stories differently, as a way of creating more self-esteem and moving towards life goals. That is my association to changing one letter in a word, in the dream.
  • In my blog, I increase the number in the title by one, every day.

Those are my associations with that dream. When I work in therapy with other people’s dreams, I ask this question:

If that were your dream, what might it mean?

I hope you feel safe enough here to respond to that question, or to share any dreams of your own.

Here is ONE MORE three-year-old Aaron story, about change:

Aaron, Mama, and Dada were driving by a restaurant which was all boarded up with wood. When they were talking about how the restaurant was being changed, Aaron said, “Yes, that restaurant is changing. It’s changing into a …. tree!”

Is there any fear about how I might end this post? The endings, here, are almost always gratitude.

Thanks to everybody who helped make this post possible and to you — of course! — for any fears, safety, or anything in-between, that you bring here today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 304: The Best Day of the Year

I remember times when Halloween, October 31, was the best day of the whole year.

I got to dress up, as something else …

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… and there was candy.

Case closed.

I’m not dressing up in costumes these days, but there are lots of reasons why today could be the best day of this year, including:

1.  The Boston Red Sox are World Series champions!

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Note: That photo is from ustoday.com, which is including these headlines:  “Home at Last,” and “Red Sox savor title, comfort at home.” (I like a lot of those words, as well as the image.)

2.  It’s Halloween!  I still like seeing how other people (and some animals) dress up, even though I don’t.

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Note: That photo was labelled #Abe”purr”ham Lincoln on Facebook today.

3.  It’s the third anniversary of the day I met Michael, my boyfriend.

4.  Isn’t that enough?

 

During this year —  My Year of Living Non-Judgmentally — I’ve thought and written about Good Days/Bad Days, in many different ways.

For example, I’ve invited people to consider this: “Bad day/good day” thoughts might — at times —  get in the way of the making the most of each moment (see here for a post about that). And people have found that perspective helpful, at times.

But, Geeze Louise!

Some days are just friggin’ great, no matter how you look at them.

Thanks to all of you, for visiting today.

 

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

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