Posts Tagged With: humanity

Day 2052: Take the pledge

Yesterday, I saw this request to take the Icelandic Pledge.

I like that pledge. Will you take other pledges with me?

I pledge to treat others as I wish to be treated.

I pledge to look for beauty and humanity wherever I go and share it with others.

What pledge would you take?

I also pledge to blog every day as best I can and to NOT stress out when I encounter (usually temporary) problems along the way.

Finally, I pledge gratitude to all who help me create these posts and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 1695: Humans

I’m seeing lots of humans (and humanity) in Edinburgh, Scotland, during the 70th Festival Fringe.

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Those last three photos include extraordinary humans Ron Lynch and Natalie Palamides. Ron suggested we accompany him yesterday to see Natalie’s wonderful one-woman show, LAID (reviewed here by humans) and so we did, with many other appreciative humans. That last photo shows Natalie talking to another human who also dresses up as an egg in her one-woman Fringe show. What are the chances that more than one human would dress up as an egg at the 70th Festival Fringe?

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Ron Lynch is a human and humane comedian this human has blogged about many times.  Here’s Ron with another one of my favorite humans:

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my son Aaron.

Last night, Ron, Aaron, and I saw legendary Boston comedian and humane human  Barry Crimmins share his trenchant views about humanity at another Fringe show.

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Ron introduced us to Barry, saying, “She took my stand-up comedy class in Boston years ago and now he does stand up!” It’s amazing what humans can do.

Barry Crimmins, like the Edinburgh Fringe, has spent many years defying the norm.  Here’s Barry with some other comedic humans:

This human likes to end her blogs with gratitude, so thanks to all the humans who helped me create today’s post and thanks to you — of course! — for being human, here and now.

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

Day 1124: When somebody leaves the room

Recently, at a therapy group of people who had all never met  each other before, somebody left the room and stayed away for quite a while.

I noticed the absence.  The other members of the group didn’t seem to, as they talked about everything but the missing person. However, because of my experience with groups, I knew that everybody was as aware of the absence as I was.

Sure enough, when I invited feelings and thoughts about that — simply by asking  “Is anybody having any reactions to ___ leaving the room?” —  that triggered an outpouring of thoughts and feelings, including worry, concern, projection (“___ looked very upset”),  personalization (“I figured it was something about me”), and wishes that I would do something (“Maybe you should go after them and see if they’re okay!”).  However, I know enough about group work NOT to leave the room, no matter what people’s worries and concerns are.

While people were talking about the person who had left the room, the door opened and that person came back in, bearing bags of food for the rest of the group.  Why?  Because several people had mentioned earlier in the group session that they were feeling hungry.

No matter how many times I’ve facilitated groups, I continue to be amazed at what happens there, including

  • unexpressed thoughts and feelings
  • people’s willingness to share, if they feel safe enough
  • projected fears
  • cognitive distortions including mind-reading, personalization, and catastrophizing
  • generosity  and
  • countless other beautifully human reactions.

As I said, a week ago today, at a presentation about group work to the Massachusetts Psychological Association:

When I watch the news, I despair for the future of this planet.  When I sit in my therapy groups and observe human behavior, I have infinite hope and optimism.

Before you leave the room today, here are some photos I took yesterday, inside and outside of therapy rooms:

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What feelings and thoughts might you express, before you leave this WordPress room?

Thanks to all the human heroes who helped me write this post and to you — of course! — for visiting here, today.

 

Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 1072: One label fits all

I’ve written before (here, here, here, here, and here) about the cognitive distortion of labeling:

Labeling or Name-calling.
We generate negative global judgments based on little evidence. Instead of accepting errors as inevitable, we attach an unhealthy label to ourselves or others. For example, you make a mistake and call yourself a “loser,” a “failure”, or an “idiot.” Labels are not only self-defeating, they are irrational, simplistic, and untrue. Human beings are complex and fallible, and in truth cannot be reduced to a label. 

I often witness people labeling themselves harshly.  Whenever I hear an unhelpful label, I invite people to consider changing that label to something less toxic and more conducive to growth and healing. 

Yesterday, in therapy, when I heard the labels “lazy” and “stupid,” I suggested an all-purpose, one-size-fits-all  replacement to any unhelpful, habitual label.

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Human.

Let’s see if this works.  Imagine, for the moment, any harsh label you apply to yourself, especially during times of anxiety, depression, and stress.  Now, replace that label with this:

Human.

Did that work?

How might you humans label any of these other photos I snapped yesterday?

How might you label this whole post?

Thanks to all humans who helped me create this one-label-fits-all post and special thanks to all those who are  finding this blog fit to visit, here and now.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 114: Questions in my brain, as I woke up this morning

Question:  What do you want to blog about today?

Answer:  I have no friggin’ idea.  Wait!  I have too many friggin’ ideas.

Question: What is your definition of doing group work, this morning?

Answer: It’s when I get to help make a room safe enough, so that people can talk about themselves in a way that helps themselves and the other people in the room.

Question: Why do you love doing group work so very, very much?

Answer:  Because people are so friggin’ amazing.

Question:  Why do the brains of people, who are so friggin’ amazing, generate harmful thoughts, sometimes?

Answer:  I have no friggin’ idea.

Question:  In reference to that last question, what joke occurred to you?

Answer:  I used to think the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body.  And then I thought, “Look what’s telling me that.”  — Emo Philips

Question:  What else do you want to tell people this morning?

Answer:  Thank you so much — for reading, for thinking, for feeling, for all that you do.

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

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