Posts Tagged With: John Coltrane

Day 2829: Achievable next steps

In therapy, I often ask people to think about achievable next steps, especially if they feel overwhelmed, powerless, and uncertain about the future.  (Sound familiar, anybody?)  Identifying an achievable next step can promote a sense of control and hope.

Here and now, my achievable next steps include

  • asking for more help in planning a high school reunion on Zoom,
  • going for a socially distanced walk on Day 2 of my 17-day staycation, and
  • writing my next blog post.

Do you see any achievable next steps in my photos from yesterday?

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Those last four photos show my son Aaron taking some initial steps to explain category theory to me.  He took some prior steps of describing category theory while we were stepping out on a neighborhood walk (pictured above).

My comprehending category theory

  1. will take many next steps over my staycation and
  2. is definitely achievable, because my son is an excellent teacher.

An achievable next step is to choose a YouTube video for today’s post. Here‘s one explaining John Coltrane‘s Giant Steps, “the most feared song in jazz history.”

Here‘s Giant Steps with somebody taking steps to add animated sheet music (but not for the piano solo):

People took the achievable steps of posting these comments on that YouTube video:

luis Bazan
5 years ago
It looks like I was watching a Tom and Jerry chase sequence, I like it

.
Skippy the Magnificent
1 year ago
“What key is this in?”
“Yes.”

Does leaving a comment here feel like a giant step or an achievable next step to you?

Expressing gratitude is always an achievable next step, so thanks to all (including YOU!) who helped me take achievable next steps to complete this achievable next blog post.

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 182: So What?


“So What?” means many things to me.

“So What?” Take One.

“So What?” is an amazing tune by Miles Davis, which I’ve loved (and played on the piano) since I was 16 years old.

Your ears and eyes might tell you how “simple” that tune is. Yet, I’ve listened to it countless times. And I expect to keep listening, as long as my ears hold out.

“So What?” Take Two.

“So what?” is something I say to myself when I’m feeling discouraged, down, depressed, disenchanted, and other words that begin with the letter “d”.

As in, “So what if I do (or think, say, write, or feel) this, or anything else? What does it matter, ultimately? What can it really change? Who cares?”

“So What?” Take Three.

“So what?” is something I can say to myself in a freeing, liberating way, to get myself unstuck.

It’s actually one of my favorite ways to challenge cognitive distortions (which are unhelpful and automatic thoughts):

The So What? Technique. Consider that an anxiety-producing possibility (even the worst case scenario) might not be as bad as you fear. For example, “So what if this one person doesn’t like me? Not everybody is going to like me.” or “So what if I lose my cell phone? It’ll be an incredible hassle, but I’ll be able to deal with it.”

See here for a complete list of handy-dandy antidotes to cognitive distortions.

When I wrote that description above, I used the example of losing my cell phone, because I was feeling anxious about losing things. (See here for a post about THAT.) Since then, I’ve lost many things, including my credit card and checkbook (some temporarily, some not), but I haven’t lost my cell phone. Yet.

If I do, I’ll just use that antidote.

It’s a very simple remedy. It’s one that I’ve used many times before. And I expect to keep using it, as long as unhelpful thoughts hold out.

“So What?” Final Take

Here’s something my mother used to say:

“So what? Sew buttons.”

Thanks for reading today. (So what if you did?) (Sew buttons.)

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

Day 56: Why I’m loving listening to Kurt Elling these days

Because he’s fearless.

I realized that the other day, when I was walking to work with my beloved earmuffs/headphones on, and this song came up on Spotify:

Kurt Elling sings like no other person I have ever heard. I noticed THAT the first time I heard him sing.

But what I realized, when I was listening to him sing this John Coltrane tune, was that Kurt Elling sings straight-out, holding back nothing at all.

Fearlessly.

At least that’s the way it sounds to these ears, ensconced in furry, goofy, beloved  earmuff/headphones.

And I want to sing like that, speak like that, be like that.    As much as I possibly can.   In this Year of Living Non-Judgmentally, and beyond.

No matter what that might sound like or look like.

Thanks, dear reader, for witnessing and listening today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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