Posts Tagged With: healing

Day 291: Introducing a New Member/Cat to a Group/Household

This is one of those posts, dear readers, where I try to be clever, with a topic that applies to more than one situation.

As a group therapist, I have some wisdom about effective ways to introduce new members into established groups. As a cat owner, I am now dealing with the experience of introducing a new cat into a household that includes one other cat.

So let’s see how I do, today, being clever (I wish) and helpful (I hope).

Here we go ….

Ann’s Helpful Tips for

Introducing a New Cat/Group Member

into an Established Household/Group

Phew!  Even the title was exhausting. Nevertheless, let’s continue ….

Tip #1.  Be respectful of the differences in each member’s/cat’s experience of the situation.

A group member/cat who is familiar with the group/household is going to be more comfortable. A new member/cat is going to be less comfortable and (we might assume) more anxious in the group/household.

Therefore, it is helpful to skillfully leave room for each member/cat  — new and  old —  to be where he/she/it needs to be.

I don’t know, readers.  This post might be too ambitious/complicated.  What do you think?

Maybe I should quit while I’m ahead.

The best I can do, right now,  is to provide an image that, somehow, helpfully illustrates something in this blog post.

I hope this works (fingers crossed):

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Thanks to new (and established) cats and group members, everywhere. And special thanks to you, for visiting today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 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 288: Expected/Unexpected

Yesterday, I went for a long walk, through places I’ve been before.

As a matter of fact,  I wrote a blog post, over 100 days ago, called “Surprised by Joy,” which included pictures from a similar walk.

I was surprised, again; this time, because part of the walk had been transformed. 

In previous visits, I had walked by a large portion of fenced-off land, where changes were obviously happening. Yesterday, I saw the result of those changes.

This morning, I would like to share some photos I took, as I encountered that unexpected transformation.

I don’t know details about this transformation, and I don’t have time to find out more right now, before I leave for work (after a 3-day weekend).

I do want to tell you one detail, though.

On my walk, yesterday, I did not expect to stop and take photos. I was focused on the purpose for the walk, with an end-point in mind. And I thought I knew what that walk would be.

But in the moment, yesterday, I stopped and looked.

Here are some photos I took, where everything old was new, again.

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Thanks to the Mystic River Watershed, to all those who contributed to creating the images in this post, and to you, especially, for joining my path today.

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

Day 287: Opening a can of worms

“Opening a can of worms” is an idiom.

“Idiom” is a word I avoid, sometimes, because it sounds like the word “idiot.”

When people use this idiom, it’s a warning about a possible negative result of change.

If you […insert change here….], you’ll be opening a can of worms!

I hear this a lot, from within and without.

If you try something new, and it doesn’t work, you’ll feel like an idiot!

If you ….

  1. change a process, at work or elsewhere,
  2. talk to somebody about something upsetting,
  3. introduce somebody new into your life,
  4. move, one way or another,
  5. take a risk, of any kind

… you might be opening up a can of worms.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeek!   Worms!!!

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Last week, at work, we were discussing a possible change, and a manager used that expression.

Yesterday, at home, I was discussing a possible change with my boyfriend, and he used that expression.

I’m not kidding, people, I hear that expression a lot.

This is what I said to my boyfriend, though:

Wait a minute!  We might be opening up a can of worms, it’s true.  But, Michael!  It’s just a can!

Because I was picturing a can of this size:

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and so was he.

So I asked,

Why are people so scared of opening a can of worms, then?

Here’s a quote, from Mental Floss, about the idiom:

Metaphorically speaking, to open a can of worms is to examine or attempt to solve some problem, only to inadvertently complicate it and create even more trouble. Literally speaking, opening a can of worms, as most fishermen can attest, can also mean more trouble than you bargained for.

Here’s another one, from Yahoo Answers:

Opening a can of worms means to start to reveal something that will be messy and hard to conceal. A literal can of worms would be filled with hundreds of squirmy worms that would fall all over the place. Attempting to catch all of them and get them back in the can would be very difficult. The same goes for so many things in our lives. Sometimes there are things that we say that can’t be reversed or put back in the can, as it were. And like the worms that spread out everywhere the thing in question will spread out and impact other people.

Hmmm.  So I guess the fear makes sense, doesn’t it?

But, as I said to Michael,

What if the worms DO all escape?  How can they hurt us, really?

I mean, it’s not like we’re opening up a Tanker of Tarantulas.

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I don’t know about you, but I’m not so scared about opening up a can of worms, right now.

Thanks to Michael, grasshopper_ramblin, spaghetti in cans, worms everywhere, people considering a change, and to you, of course, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 285: How to choose a doctor

Dear Readers,

I would like to share my abundant expertise with you about an important and timely topic.

Where I live, everybody is talking about health care.

And no matter where you are, having a good doctor on your team is really important.

Here’s what I’ve learned — over many decades of experience — about choosing a doctor.

  1. Make a list of your priorities.  In other words, think about what’s important, to you, in a doctor.
  2. Be an educated and self-empowered consumer. That is, ask to meet different doctors until you find one that matches your priorities well enough.

It’s a short list, isn’t it?  However, it took me a long time to figure that out.

But that’s how I always choose doctors, ever since I’ve become an adult.

Let me show you how it works, for me.

Here’s my list of priorities, for a doctor:

  1. Experience with my medical issues (or, at least, eager to get more experience).
  2. Listens well.
  3. Explains and communicates well.
  4. Flexible thinker  (in order to understand unexpected and complex issues of care).
  5. Responsive to requests, in a timely enough manner.
  6. Demonstrates kindness and compassion.
  7. Creates a comfortable enough atmosphere.

For every doctor involved in my care, I’ve made choices, using that list of priorities.

Last week, I saw my Primary Care Physician, Dr. Laura Snydman.  She definitely meets my priorities.

Here’s some proof, of at least one of those priorities:

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Don’t you agree?

Thanks to Dr. Snydman, adorable dogs everywhere, compassionate treaters of all kinds, people dealing with health care issues,  and to you, of course, for reading today.

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

Day 284: We never know how we affect people (The Ta-Da Pose)

I think, within the last 283 days,  I wrote another blog post about this:

We never know how we affect people

However,  I can’t locate that post right now.

But that’s not really important. Here’s what I wanted to write about, today.

Many years ago, I was driving alone at night, feeling low and discouraged about something.

I can’t remember what the hell I was feeling bad about, now.  (Isn’t that usually the way it works?  Problems that seem so important at the time often fade away, as time passes,  to nothing.)

I remember I was about to exit a supermarket parking lot, and I was waiting for a pedestrian to walk by.

I remember that pedestrian, quite well.  I wish I had a picture of him that I could share with you.

But I don’t.

Let’s see if I can capture and convey the experience to you.

I think the guy was wearing something unusual. I don’t have a great visual memory, so I can’t tell you what kind of clothing he had. But I think it was casual.  Maybe it was colorful.

He wasn’t  a serious, conventional business person. I know that. He looked like a “free spirit.” Again, my visual memory, for details, is fuzzy.

Here’s what I do remember clearly. As he crossed in front of my car, he caught my eye.

And without missing a beat, he made a “Ta-Da!” gesture.  That is, he stopped, smiled, put his arms out, and maybe even jumped a little, as if he was hearing, or making, a silent, triumphant trumpet noise.

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(Just for fun,  I’m going to Google-Image “Ta Da Pose” and see what I get.  Amazing!  Here’s the first thing that comes up:

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Here’s another one, with eye contact:

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That night, after the guy struck that Ta Da Pose ever-so-briefly,  he moved on.

I remember smiling back, then. Maybe I even laughed a little. (I’m not sure, because I was, after all, feeling very down.)

But I do remember this: I drove away, after this brief encounter, feeling changed.  Feeling better.

And to this day, when I am walking down the street, feeling and showing joy, I often think about that guy I met, many years ago.

He made a difference to me.

And who knows?  Maybe I sometimes make a difference like that, too.

Thanks to that guy, Endorphin Dude,  pose-strikers everywhere, and to you, of course, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Day 282: What Would it Give You? (Yearnings)

When somebody wants something (especially something that seems out of reach), this can be a helpful question to ask:

If you had it, what would it give you?

I’m going to ask that question, right now, regarding some things I’ve yearned for in my life.  Some of these yearnings are way in the past, so I’ll do my best to answer them, in retrospect.

When I was a little kid, I really wanted to fly like Peter Pan.

What would that have given me?

Freedom.  Mastery. Joy.  Being above it all.

When I was a little kid, I really wanted to have a cat. And for a while, I couldn’t get one.

What would that have given me?

Another creature to sit with, silently, without expectations.  Somebody to love, simply, with all my heart.

I’m glad I asked myself those questions, this morning.

Now I’d like to focus on some recent yearnings:

Lately, I’ve wanted acknowledgment of my talents, at work and through this blog.

What would that give me?

A sense of self-worth.

Okay!

Whenever you ask the question, “What would that give you?”, here’s  a follow-up question, that can be quite helpful:

Now that you know what you yearn for, are there other ways you might get that, right now?

For the purposes of this morning’s post, I’m going to ask that follow-up question, focusing on the more recent yearnings.

In other words, are there other ways I might get a sense of self-worth, right now?

Yes.

How?

From within.

At this point, I would like to refer my readers to a recent blog post, which helped me, a lot, on  Day 258.

All of you is lovable.

When I re-read that post, this morning, one thing that feels “missing,” for me,  is an image.

Let’s see what Google presents,  in response to the word “lovable.”

Here’s something:

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Hmmmm. While that’s a quote from a Classical writer, studied long ago, that doesn’t quite work, for me, right now.  My yearning is to rearrange the words, somehow. (That particular yearning makes sense to me, since the order of words in ancient Latin is often “topsy-turvy”).

What else did the Google Buffet serve up, this morning, for “lovable”?

This one caught my eye …

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…. because I’m afraid of heights AND I can’t swim very well.

However, I’m still not there yet, regarding an image. Right now, I’m yearning for more. For something else.

Here’s another one:

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I can think of lots of reasons why THAT caught my eye, including:

  1. Unfreezing is a word that’s occurred to me, several times, during this Year of Loving* Non-Judgmentally,
  2. The weather, in these parts, is turning cold, and
  3. It’s a friggin’ heart in a friggin’ block of ice, people!

Well, that was fun, but this post still feels left unfinished, image-wise.

Hmmmm. Maybe I’ve embarked on the “wrong” search, here.  I’m going to re-read this post, and see.

Aha!  How about I search on this, instead?

From within.

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There we go.

No more yearnings, right now.

Time to publish!

Thanks to Ovid, Buddha, wise people throughout time, yearners and non-yearners (in the moment), and to you, of course, for reading today.

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* I noticed this “typo” hours after I published this post. I am letting it stay, as is.

Categories: personal growth, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Day 281: Thick and Thin

Today’s post is random thoughts about ….

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…. blood!

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Here we go ….

  • My son, when he was younger, didn’t want to even hear the word “blood,” much less see any of it.
  • When I describe to people how my very unusual heart works, I often say, as a punchline, “Amazingly, all the blood ends up in the right place.”
  • While anti-coagulant (anti-clotting) medication is also called “blood thinner,” a helpful pharmacist informed me last Tuesday that “the blood actually doesn’t become thinner.”
  • The first film created by the much-admired Coen Brothers was

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  • While I might use the word “friggin'” to express strong emotion or emphasis, other English-speaking people use the word “bloody.”
  • Somebody who says “Blood is thicker than water”  is expressing the opinion that “relationships and loyalties within a family are the strongest and most important ones.”*
  • I just asked my son, who is about ready to leave for school, his first association with the word “blood.”  His answer?  “Blood.”

It’s time to end this bloody post, people!

Thanks to my son, pharmacists everywhere, Ethan and Joel Coen, creative families of all kinds,  and to you, for reading today.

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* According to Google.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Day 278: Elevated to tears

This morning, I read this beautiful post, Flow of Water – Flow of Life, at China Sojourns Photography.

I love that blog, every time I visit, because of images like these:

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and words like these:

“Water is pure: two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen.  It has no desire other than to be itself.

  • try to pick it up, control and squeeze it, and it will elude ~ as will a strong human spirit
  • if it remains still, it becomes stagnate ~ as will our body & mind without pursuing life
  • when it flows it becomes pure ~ as when we flow & move: life, love and our spirits tend to flourish”

“Water is resilient.  Soft yet incredibly strong.  An analogy which is often repeated, is how over time water can turn stone into sand with its relentless flow, creating such marvels as the Grand Canyon.  Water never ceases in its pursuit of life…it just keeps on flowing, bending when necessary, and without question follows its nature.”

“My favorite verse from the Dao de Jing is number eight which parallels water with human nature.  If I had to summarize the words of this verse it is: be true to who you are, keep it simple and kind, and flow with your work and in life, without expectations, and you will not be disappointed.”

When I read that blog post, today, I was moved to comment. The first thought that came to mind, was this:

Your post reduced me to tears.

Then, I thought, that’s not right. So I gave it another thought.  And I wrote:

Your post elevated me to tears today.  Thank you.

Before I wrote that comment, I also thought about my friend Marcia‘s comment on my post yesterday:

You’ve gone through the looking-glass Ann, with a wonderful looking-glass heart. And everything there turned out to be really, really beautiful,and we were all flashes of light, gone in an instant but never really gone at all. And Mr. Rogers was, in fact, an essential force in the universe. As my mom always said: “How lucky we are!”

Every time I read what Marcia wrote (including just now), I tear up.

I’m noticing the language there, too.  The term is “tear up.”   It’s not “tear down.”

When I responded to Marcia’s comment yesterday, I wrote:

I am moved to tears.

When people say “I was moved,” that usually involves tears, doesn’t it?*

And movement is good.

Even if it hurts, some times.

Many thanks to Randall Collis,  Marcia, people who see beauty (and luck) everywhere, and to you, especially, for reading today.

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* It occurs to me that this also applies to Moving Days, which, honestly, have been some of the worst days of my life.

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

Day 273: The Show About Everything

I told some people I love, yesterday, when we were in the middle of the home stretch of a “Breaking Bad” marathon, that my punchline about the show was this:

While

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was The Show About Nothing,

“Breaking Bad” was the The Show About Everything.

Here’s one random thought, this Monday morning,  about The Show About Everything:

People are hungry for great stories, about interesting people who change.

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Here are just  a few of the themes I noticed, over the weekend, in The Show About Everything:

Secrets/Revelations

Lying/Telling the truth

Trauma/Healing

Everything we do affects others, in ways we often cannot predict.

There is bad and good in all of us.

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The moment that is lingering for me, right now, after watching every episode, except for one*?

Walt, finally, saying something like this:

What I did, I did for myself.  I liked it. I was good at it.

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After the show was over, I said, to anybody who might have been listening at that point, “See?  Do what you love. Do what you’re good at.”

I assumed that I didn’t need to add something like this, “Of course, you need to make better choices than Walt did.”

I’m sure they know that, by now.

Okay!  I’ve got to go to work. (Not to cook, but to listen to stories.)

Thanks to those who do what they love, to people who have both good and bad in them, and to everybody making choices today. And many thanks to you, for being here.

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* I skipped watching “Rabid Dog,” on the advice of practically everybody.

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

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