Posts Tagged With: healing

Day 3183: Expressing love

There are many ways to express love, as I’m seeing in the hundreds of answers to this question I posted last night on Twitter:

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I love to remind people that there are many different ways to express love and that different people have different love languages. No matter what the love language, though, people can express love with patience, commitment, and acceptance of difference. Also, in order to love others better, it’s important to love yourself.

Don’t you love how it’s so easy to sound cliched when you’re expressing thoughts and feelings about love?

Am I expressing love by sharing my other images for today?

The Daily Bitch has an interesting way of expressing love.

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “expressing love”:

I also find this:

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Blogging is one of my ways of expressing love, so loving thanks to all who find the time to visit, including YOU!

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

Day 3178: What life is

The Daily Bitch calendar for today is explaining what life is, sometimes.

My late mother (whom I miss even more during the Jewish holidays) used to say “Life is what you make it.”

What life is includes dealing with constant change. Today I am going back to work in-person one day a week and I hope I can adapt to that easily.

Do you see any indications of what life is in my other images for today?

What life is includes joys, sorrows, fears, frustrations, the unexpected, hurts, healing, despair, hope, and obligations. Now I need to give our adopted kitty Joan some treatments for her stubborn mastitis (an inflammation of the breast tissue caused by her nursing her kittens), before I leave for work.

What do you think life is?

Here is “What Life Is” by Rebelution.

What life is includes gratitude for all who help me deal with what life is, including YOU!

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 3167: Noses

People that knowses this blog know that I’ve been thinking a lot about noses lately, because the little girl with this nose …

… who didn’t know what she was doing, caused my nose to start bleeding out of control last weekend.

My husband Michael thinks that Joan the cat has a funny nose, but I love her nose.

I’m also loving MY nose more, here and now, because it no longer has an ugly and painful balloon stuck up it and it seems to be healing rather well!

I have to be careful and gentle with my nose for the next week. Because I take a blood thinner, the cat scratch inside my nose will take longer to heal. But the mouth under my nose is smiling today, for sure!

Yesterday morning, before I saw the reassuring Ear, Nose & Throat specialist at the hospital, I searched for quotes about noses and found these:

Do you see noses in any of my other images for today?

I smell blueberry popsicles in some people’s futures.

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “noses.”

My nose knows that gratitude always smells sweet, so thanks to all who poke their noses into this daily blog, including YOU!

Categories: heart condition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 2945: Rear view mirrors

Lately, I’ve been using a helpful image to leave behind and let go of toxic things in my life: I imagine them in the rear view mirror of my car, getting smaller as I drive away.

Donald Trump is in my rear view mirror. He’s also in Randy Rainbow’s rear view mirror, as we can see in “Seasons of Trump.”

Also in my rear view mirror are:

  • perfectionism,
  • fear,
  • worry,
  • shame, and
  • assholes.

Soon I’ll be putting my fear about getting COVID-19 again in my rear view mirror, because I’m getting the vaccine on Wednesday!

I wonder what I’ll actually be seeing in my car’s rear view mirror as I drive to the Boston hospital where I work to get my shot.

Do you see any rear view mirrors in these photos?

Compassion will make you beautiful, no matter what mirror you’re using.

What, or who, would you like to put in your rear view mirror?

Thanks to all who helped me create this rear-view-mirrors post, including YOU.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2053: Peace & Quiet

In an Iceland hotel, instead of demanding “Do Not Disturb,” one politely asks for “Peace & Quiet.”

I think we all deserve some Peace & Quiet these days, especially with all the noise in the news.

Do you see any Peace and/or Quiet in my other photos from yesterday?

I’m off for another day of Peace, Quiet, & Dramatic Scenery in Iceland.

Peace, Quiet, & Thanks to all who helped me create today’s blog post and — of course! — to you.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 1859: That was then, this is now

January was then,  February is now.

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That was February 1st when I took those photos, this is now February 2nd, Groundhog Day, and my 65th birthday.

For those of us who are still recovering from the past, this is now the time to tell ourselves: “That was then, this is now.”  The then is still with us, but the now offers the gifts of opportunity, healing, and hope.

That was then when I watched and listened to The Monkees This is now “That Was Then, This is Now.”

 

That was my blog post for the day.  This is now my gratitude for all who have helped me get through the then and the now, including the Monkees, The New Yorker, Roz Chast,  and YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Day 1858: Falling

Ever since I’ve been on anticoagulant medication  (for most of the time I’ve been writing this blog), I’ve been afraid of falling, so I take great care not to fall.

Yesterday, despite my efforts not to fall, I felt myself falling on my walk to work.  I tried not to fall, but you can’t fight city hall and sometimes you can’t fight a fall.

As I was falling and I saw the cold, hard sidewalk rushing up to meet me, I thought,

  • Ooops!
  • I didn’t expect this.
  • I hope I won’t bruise too much.
  • I’m probably going to feel this for a while.
  • I bet this looks interesting to other people.

After falling, I stayed down, checking myself.  I was glad I hadn’t hit my head or my Implantable Cardiac Device (ICD). I didn’t think I had broken anything. I couldn’t see any bruising.  People in cars rolled down their windows and asked, “Are you all right?” I replied, “I THINK so.”   A woman walking behind me asked if I was okay and she helped me get up off the sidewalk.   She said, “Did you slip on the ice?”  We looked around and didn’t see any ice.  I said, “I think I just caught my toe on something.”  Everybody else I told about falling yesterday asked, “Did you slip on the ice?”  I could have easily fallen into a white lie and said, “Yes,” but lying is not one of my fallings.

An hour before the falling, I had called to make an appointment to see a doctor about the ongoing pain around my ICD, so I had the relief of knowing I would see a doctor later that day.  And because I naturally fall into trying to look at the bright side, I thought, “Well, maybe the pain from this fall will distract me from the other pain.”

And it did.  As the morning went on, my falling resulted in increasing pain in my shoulder. It hurt to draw this on the whiteboard in my Wednesday morning group:

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Because many members of the group had many obligations and worries falling on them, I suggested that they draw a protective circle around themselves and write down the things that were bothering them outside the circle.  I invited them to include the realities of the present moment inside the circle with them.

Inside my circle, I wrote “warmth,” “safety,” and “pain” among other things.  Outside the circle, I wrote “falling,”” “hard sidewalks,” and “pain” among other things.

Since falling, I’ve seen a doctor and had an X-ray.  There are no breaks or dislocations. I’m using ice and Extra Strength Tylenol to ease the pains from my falling.

I’m falling into a prediction that I’ll be feeling pain on my birthday tomorrow but I’ll also be feeling joy for having the strength to get up, again, after falling.

Here’s a song I heard somebody singing at The Voice try-outs last Saturday:

 

While you listen to Alicia Keys singin’ “Fallin’,” here are more photos I took after falling:

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Gotta go ice my shoulder and go to work. Plan for the day: Avoid Falling.

As usual, I’m falling into gratitude for all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — for YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Day 1738: Sharing dreams

Yesterday, I was asked to facilitate a group for staff, in addition to my usual Tuesday “Coping and Healing” group.  As usual, I was honored to provide a safe-enough space for people to express themselves and to connect with others in a healing way.

In both of the groups, people discussed the tragic events in the news. In one of the groups, the members decided to share and comment on each other’s recent dreams.  Whenever I work with dreams in a group, I encourage people to respond to other people’s dreams  with “If it were my dream, it might mean ….”  People’s dreams included sacrifice, animals, losing a baby, wandering in an enormous house, being chased, and communicating with dead relatives.  I mentioned that I’d recently dreamed that I was friends with Stephen Colbert.

If it were your dream, what might those dreams mean to you? What dreams have you been having lately?

I snapped only four photos yesterday, two consciously and the other two unconsciously.

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During dark times, try sharing your dreams.

Somebody is sharing dreams on YouTube:

 

Many thanks to you for sharing these dreams with me, here and now.

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 1656: Holding on

I’m holding on to many things as we pack up to move, including

  • my sense of humor,
  • things I find valuable,
  • my job,
  • creatures I love,
  • my thoughts,
  • my feelings,
  • my sanity, and
  • my iPhone, so I can be put on hold and also take pictures of my holdings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Before I started writing today’s blog post, I got a little ferklempt at the end of this excerpt from last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Show (which is holding on here at YouTube):

 

As always, I’m holding on to gratitude for all those who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — for you, who keep me holding on.

 

 

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

Day 737: Home

Today, I’m returning to Boston Children’s Hospital,* where I spent many days and nights away from home, between the ages of 8 and 27.

People’s feelings and thoughts about home are shaped by many things. My experience of home was highlighted and shadowed by many experiences at a place that was NOT home for me — the hospital.

Here are my in-the-moment associations with “home”:

  • Home is where the heart is (something my late mother used to say).
  • I sometimes have a lot of feelings — including fear, sadness,  and anxiety — when I have to leave home. These feelings can be out-of-proportion to the current situation and — I believe — influenced by my experiences of home and the hospital, when I was a little kid.
  • Between the ages of 8 and 13, being away from home at the hospital was particularly difficult for me, because I had to undergo many scary procedures and surgeries, and — in the 1960’s — Children’s Hospital did not allow parents to stay with their children outside of regular visiting hours.
  • When I would arrive at the hospital, in the 1960’s, for yet another stay, I would immediately make myself feel more at home by spending hours on the pay phone, talking to my friends, feeding the phone with a pile of quarters (supplied by my parents).
  • Because of my many experiences at the hospital — dealing with a range of different nurses, doctors, and other big people — I am very skilled, to this day, at homing in on who is kind, empathic, and trustworthy and who is not.
  • Home = safety, wherever we can find it.

I love that I’m home, as I’m writing this blog post today.

Here are some photos of home:

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A penny for your thoughts about this post, so far?

Here’s one of my favorite “home” songs:

Pat Metheny‘s music (including “Letter from Home” found here on YouTube) has made hospitals feel more like home to me, many times.

When I was home with my family in the 1960’s, Burt Bacharach brought many songs into the home, including this one:

“A House is Not a Home” is making a home here, on YouTube.

What’s your favorite “Home” song?

While I may have some feelings of anxiety and sadness right now, as I prepare to leave home for Children’s Hospital,* it helps to tell myself this:

I am no longer a child. I am an adult now, with control, power, resources, supports, and skills I did not have back in the days when Children’s Hospital was my home-away-from-home.

In my usual free-associative way, I am now thinking about the word “homework” and how — as a psychotherapist — I like to give people homework.  Here are some of my associations with “homework” as I’m writing this at home:

  • When I give my patients/clients homework and they don’t do it, I tell them, “That wasn’t the right homework” and we try something else.
  • When I was in therapy decades ago, working on difficult memories from my hospitalizations, I came up with a particularly helpful homework assignment for myself: to draw a map of the 5th Floor of the Fegan Building of Boston Children’s Hospital, and to illustrate — with pictures and words —  vivid experiences that happened to me there, in many rooms and locations on that floor.  One thing I drew on that map of the Cardiology Unit at Children’s Hospital from the 1960’s: the nurses’ station, where I spent a lot of time, talking to as many kind adults as I could find there. Another thing I remember drawing on that map, which helped so much in my personal healing: the pay phone with a pile of quarters, located in the hallway off the elevator between the regular hospital rooms and the Intensive Care Unit, where children, including me, recovered from surgery.

In my free-associating style, writing that previous paragraph inspires me to share this movie clip with you, now:

(“E.T. phone home” clip is here, on YouTube.)

I may have felt like an alien, at times in my life, but it always helps me to phone home. Every morning, that’s what I do, here on WordPress.

Thanks to all who do their best to make homes in the world, including you, of course.


* This morning, I’m going back to Children’s Hospital for an outpatient appointment with a new cardiologist. I should be home, soon.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

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