Posts Tagged With: letting go of fear

Day 1927: I’m so sick of …

I’m so sick of …

  • winter weather,

  • my fears,

  • unpleasant surprises,

  • worry,

  • photos from my phone not loading on my laptop, like these:

  • writing blog posts on my phone because that’s where the photos are,
  • waking up  multiple times during the night,
  • people who don’t listen,
  • politicians who start a sentence with “What the American people want is …”,
  • dishonesty,
  • greed,
  • name calling,
  • injustice,
  • racism,
  • sexism,
  • homophobia
  • ageism, and
  • physical therapy at 7:30 in the morning.

What are you so sick of?

I’m not sick of this Tom Petty song.

 

I hope you’re not so sick of my gratitude because I have lots of that for all those who helped me write this blog post and — of course! — for YOU.

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

Day 1913: What’s getting in the way?

When somebody (including me) is having trouble doing something, I like to ask, “What’s getting in the way?”

Within the past week, I’ve asked “What’s getting in the way?” about

  • doing one’s taxes,
  • being more assertive,
  • joining an organization,
  • exercising,
  • eating better,
  • sending an email,
  • making a phone call,
  • getting out of the house,
  • attending a therapy session,
  • stating a need,
  • accepting compliments, and
  • saying what’s left unsaid.

Is there something you’re having trouble doing, here and now? Take a moment and ask yourself, “What’s getting in the way?”

Is fear part of the answer?

What’s getting in the way of us getting fear out of the way?

What’s getting in the way of my sharing my photos today?   What’s getting in the way is my fear that I have only four new photos and 25% of of them include language that might get in the way.

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Nothing is getting in the way of my finding two “Gettin’ in the Way” songs on YouTube (here and here).

What’s getting in the way of your leaving a comment?

Nothing is getting in the way of my expressing my thanks to all who helped me get out of my own way to create today’s blog post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 1860: Love Never Dies

“Love Never Dies” is

  • the title of today’s blog post,
  • the name of the musical I’m seeing today with my ex-sister-in-law, Deborah (whom I love), and
  • true, because even when we die, love lives on.

I have undying love for the people who made my 65th birthday so wonderful, including

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Megan.  I love Megan. Yesterday, Megan and I expressed an undying wish that, before we die, we let go of worry, anxiety, overthinking, harsh self-judgments, and fears about the future. I know that love never dies, but I hope that painful and unhelpful thoughts will die (or at least become less strong).

Photos on the internet never die, so here are more photos from yesterday:

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My love never dies for chocolate, my boyfriend Michael (who bought me that yummy dessert), my son Aaron, my family, my friends, my work, and my blogging community.

Here’s “Love Never Dies” from Love Never Dies:

If you make a comment on the internet, it never dies.

My gratitude never dies for all who help me create these posts and — of course! — for YOU.

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 1847: The fear of making things worse

I hope I don’t make this blog worse with today’s topic.

I hear people talking about the fear of making things worse with action AND with inaction.

The fear of making things worse can lead to

  • hesitation,
  • paralysis,
  • second guessing,
  • sleeplessness,
  • indecision,
  • self-judgment,
  • wheel spinning,
  • worry,
  • guilt,
  • anxiety,
  • over-thinking,
  • stress,
  • shame,
  • blame, and
  • all sorts of emotional pain.

Cures for the fear of making things worse include

  • “Just do it!”
  • “Just don’t do it!”
  • “It might get worse but that’s not the end of the story.”
  • “Most things are NOT irrevocable.”
  • “Things will get worse then better then worse then better, no matter what you do or don’t do.”

Yesterday, my boyfriend Michael  did not make things worse with this story about his twin brother, Steve.  When people complain and worry, Steve tells them, “Don’t worry about this! This is nothing! Guaranteed,  something MUCH WORSE is coming along.” I heard that as an unusual invitation to enjoy and appreciate the present, and it made me smile.

Let’s see if any of my recent photos make things worse:

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Janis Joplin makes things better with  “Hesitation Blues.”

If you have any fear of making things worse with a comment, please let that go.

I have no fear of making things worse by expressing gratitude and affection for all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — for YOU.

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

Day 1826: Be nervous but don’t be afraid.

I’m nervous but I won’t be afraid of pointing out that this is my second blog post in a row where I’m telling my readers how to be. Yesterday, I quoted the sign “Be Visible” and today I’m quoting this, by graphic designer and artist Sam Lee.

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On this last day of 2017, I’m doing my best to be nervous but not afraid of 2018.

Be nervous but don’t be afraid of today’s other photos.

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A Zen cat I know (my son Aaron) recently told me: “Don’t be afraid of using more words in your posts, instead of relying so much on your photos.”  Every morning, I nervously resolve to write more words here but, somehow, my photos seem to say so much.   For example, I am nervous but not afraid of

  • IDs,
  • traffic,
  • running,
  • being extraordinary,
  • being chicken,
  • unlikely friendships, and
  • cats peeing on things.

For five years, this daily blog has helped me be nervous but not afraid of many challenges of life, including getting a mechanical heart valve

and moving to a new home by the sea.

Be nervous but don’t be afraid of expressing your thoughts and feelings in a comment, if you choose.

As usual, I’m nervous but not afraid of expressing how grateful I am to all those who help me create this blog and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1783: The world’s scariest places

Last night, when I was at an American supermarket (which was one of the world’s scariest places in the Robin Williams movie “Moscow on the Hudson”), I saw this:

I don’t know what’s included in that magazine of the world’s scariest places. Perhaps it includes places where there’s

  • genocide,
  • prejudice,
  • sexual abuse,
  • physical abuse and/or
  • emotional abuse.

What do you think are the world’s scariest places?

Are there any scary places here?

Hospitals can be some of the world’s scariest places, so I’m glad that the hospital where I work has a string quartet playing near the entrance.

There are so many “World’s Scariest Places” videos on YouTube that it’s scaring me, so here’s that scene from “Moscow on the Hudson.”

I hope the comments section here is not a scary place and that you’ll place a comment, below.

Thanks to Robin Williams, the hospital where I work, magazines, supermarkets and every other place, person, and thing that helped me write this world’s-scariest-places post. And thanks to you — of course! — for helping to make this blog one of the safest places I know.

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

Day 1778: Love what is

I love what is on the hallway wall of Jane Hoffmann.

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Do you love what is on Jane’s wall?

Shall we love what is in the rest of today’s post?

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What might  help us love what is the most difficult day of the week to love? How about this?

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I love what is on that card.

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Oops!  I love what is a mistake, imperfection, or oversight, especially if I can correct it. I almost forgot to include a song for today.

I love what is in that YouTube video of Matt Corby singing “Monday.”

Love what is your reaction to today’s blog.

I love what is the latest way I’m expressing gratitude to all who help me create these posts and to those who read them — including YOU.

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

Day 1772: The fight, flight, or freeze response of cave dwellers can ruin modern life

Yesterday morning, when I was fighting to fly to work on time, I froze when I saw this:

The fight, flight or freeze response of cave dwellers can ruin modern life.

Before I read that article by Kate Murphy in the New York Times, I knew  it would echo many things I’ve been telling my patients for years, including:

  • fear and its companion — the fight, flight or freeze response — can save us from danger,
  • however, the level of fear we experience today is  based on the realities of the distant past — the danger-filled lives of our  cave-dwelling ancestors who lived under constant threat of  invading tribes and wild animals,  and
  • that level of fear  interferes with modern life.

Here’s a quote from that article:

“Change has occurred so rapidly for our species that now we are equipped with brains that are super sensitive to threat but also super capable of planning, thinking, forecasting and looking ahead,” said Ahmad Hariri, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University. “So we essentially drive ourselves nuts worrying about things because we have too much time and don’t have many real threats on our survival, so fear gets expressed in these really strange, maladaptive ways.”

I don’t want to drive ourselves nuts by spending too much time on that article here, but I recommend you read the whole thing.  And I do want to include a few more quotes from the article before another flight into photography.

  • Consciously activating the more measured, analytical part of your brain is the key to controlling runaway fear and anxiety.
  • Arresting an overactive amygdala requires first realizing and then admitting you’re feeling uneasy and scared.
  • “The more you try to suppress fear, either by ignoring it or doing something else to displace it, the more you will actually experience it.”
  • The amygdala is less apt to freak out if you are reminded that you are loved or could be loved. For example, seeing images of people with frightened expressions is usually a huge trigger for the amygdala, but that response is greatly diminished when subjects are first shown pictures of people being cared for or hugged.

  • Just as fear can be contagious, so can courage, caring and calm.

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How did those photos affect your modern life?

Before you take flight from this post, I will fight to express my main reason for taking that last photo — it reminded me of the song “Our Time”  from Merrily We Roll Along:

To make this our time rather than the time of cave dwellers, let’s do our best to focus on courage, caring, and calm.

Modern thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 1735: Alarmed

Are you alarmed about anything today?

Yesterday, I was alarmed when

  • an alarming, rapid five-tone beeping  sounded several times throughout the day in our home and we couldn’t find the source of it,
  • we discovered that our cat Oscar had peed a little in the bathtub, and
  • I found out that somebody I care about very much is getting a lung transplant.

What do you do when you are alarmed?

I take a breath, tell myself “it’s safer than it feels,” and choose a next best step.

Are you alarmed by any of my photos?

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When I sent my son Aaron that photo of Michael saying “hi” last night, Aaron wrote back, “Is he alright?”  I think he might have been alarmed.

Aaron was quoting something we say a lot, inspired by Bill Hader playing the alarming Keith Morrison.

Don’t be alarmed, but I just heard those five beeps again. I’m wondering if we could work together to figure out

  1. what those beeps might signify and
  2. what to put in the room where there used to be a piece of furniture that the cats have destroyed.

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I won’t be alarmed by any of your comments, no matter how alarmed you are.

Don’t be alarmed by this:  I’m grateful for all who helped me create this post and — of course! — for YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 1701: Very unusual hearts

My very unusual heart was happy to connect, yesterday, with two people who also have very unusual hearts.

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Andrena, Vicki, and I have congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries (cctga). That’s a very unusual heart condition and it’s very unusual when three of us can share a heart-to–heart-to-heart talk.

My very unusual heart overflowed with gratitude  as we shared what was in our hearts.  Then, my very unusual heart spent another unusual day in the heart of their very unusually beautiful and busy city of Edinburgh.

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For Andrena, Vicki, and me, living with very unusual hearts is business as usual. Because we’re in this together, we are not afraid.

This very unusual heart loves jazz, so last night I  attended ” Jazz at the Movies” …

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… at the Edinburgh Jazz Bar …

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… and heard this very unusual song.

 

Do you think that everybody wants to be a cat?  I hope you express what’s in your very unusual heart in a comment, below.

Thanks,  from the bottom of this very unusual heart, to all the very unusual hearts and very unusual cats that helped me create this very unusual post and — as usual! — to you, for reading it.

 

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

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