Posts Tagged With: letting go of fear

Day 2568: Downs and Ups

Every day has downs and ups, for all of us.

My day included many downs and ups, including

  • worrying about performing a Steely Dan song and an original song at an Open Mic last night,
  • buying a ticket to see Jacob Collier at Boston’s House of Blues in May,
  • losing my lyrics sheet for my original song,
  • reconstructing the lyrics as best I could,
  • reconnecting at the Open Mic with Nat, who co-led groups and co-wrote a song with me last year,
  • feeling empathy for the little girl who cried when she forgot how to play “Jingle Bell Rock” on the electric guitar,
  • two people talking loudly during my introduction to and performance of my first song,
  • those people leaving before my second song,
  • forgetting a chord in “Pretzel Logic,”
  • making it through “Pretzel Logic” and my “country” song, “What’s Keeping Me Up is What’s Going Down,” and
  • cheering for the little girl who returned with her acoustic guitar and played a great “Jingle Bell Rock.”

What downs and ups do you see here?

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Here are the downs and ups of my Open Mic performance last night:

I keep writing new lyrics down for “What’s Keeping Me Up is What’s Going Down.” It’s time to put these up on WordPress:

What’s Keeping Me Up is What’s Going Down

by Ann Koplow

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down,

I’m sleepless and hopeless and wearing a frown.

Problems abound, no solutions to be found.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

In my local and the global news

There’s no quick fix I can find to choose.

No matter what your state or views

There’s no relief, just a belief in booze.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

I’m sleepless and hopeless and wearing a frown.

Problems abound, no solutions to be found.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

As I turn to everyone I see

And I ask if they relate to me.

They haven’t got one moment free.

They seem crippled by anxiety.

What’s freaking me out is what’s rushing in.

I’m tired and helpless, no reason to grin.

Fighting with kin, politicians who spin.

What’s freaking me out is what’s rushing in.

As I try to end this song with hope,

Hope seems to be beyond my scope.

Is the answer just to smoke some dope?

When I’m stoned I’m just inclined to mope.

What’s freaking me out is what’s rushing in.

I’m tired and helpless, no reason to grin.

Fighting with kin, politicians who spin.

What’s freaking me out is what’s rushing in.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

Feel free to write down any thoughts and feelings about downs and ups in the comments section, below.

Now it’s time to get down with gratitude, which always cheers me up!

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Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2461: Here we go again!!

Yesterday morning, after publishing Day 2460: Missing, I heard that I am going to get another go at performing my Fringe show Group “Therapy” with Ann.

Here I go again, doing two groups on a Thursday, which is how it goes for me back home at work in Boston.

It may seem like a risk to do two shows in one day with very little time to convince people to attend my show — among the thousands of shows and performances at Scotland’s Festival Fringe — but here we go again!!

When I go again today, I may sing different songs, like “I Left The House Before I Felt Ready” or “Hidden Thoughts.” Here I go again, having trouble making decisions. If necessary, I can always go again to the “coin flip” app on my phone.

Here we go again — with the rest of my photos from yesterday.

Here at the Bar Bados Fringe venue last night, my son, Aaron Fairbanks (a/k/a as “The Jail Mailman”) and one of our long-time favorite comedians, Tom Joyce, did their show — The Mail Room — again.

Here we go again with a video that Aaron’s proud mother recorded at last night’s performance of “The Mail Room.”

 

 

Here I go again, apologizing for the mistakes I made recording that. Here I go again, letting go of worry, perfectionism, fear, and self-judgment before my two performances today.

Here we go again with yet another request for comments, below.

Here we go again with gratitude, for all who help me go again, every day!!!

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

Day 2367: I’m a fan

I’m a fan of:

 

 

What are you a fan of?

I’m also a fan of gratitude, as I hope you know.

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Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2260: Cute

Happy groundhog day!  Isn’t this a cute photo of a groundhog?

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That’s my cute Facebook profile photo today, because Groundhog Day is my birthday!

Yesterday, I heard the word “cute” several times — when I listened to this recording of my latest open mic performance

 

… and when I showed my boyfriend Michael Malone the birthday card with original art created by my newest good friend Alice Malone (no relation between those two cute Malones).

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I think Alice Malone’s drawing of a tiger looking at ties is much more than cute.  Don’t you?

I don’t think it’s cute how there’s a delay between my taking photos on my iPhone and my ability to post them in my blog, especially when I deliberately take pictures of things  I think are cute.  However, I will share all my other new photos from yesterday and share those other cute photos when they turn up (probably tomorrow).

 

If you decide you want  a closer look at the cuteness in those photos, give a cute click on the photo of your choice.

While I am creating this blog post, a lot of cute people are distracting me (as I was distracted during my “cute” performance last night by a cute kid dancing in front of the audience)  by wishing me a happy birthday.

I’m going to make another cute try and see if I can access those other cute photos.

Here they are!

 

Here’s a cuter and closer look at Alice Malone’s website:

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Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good!  That’s a cute and helpful saying.

I look forward to many cute comments, below.

Thanks to those who helped me create this cute post and to all who helped me make it to age 66!

 

 

 

Categories: celebrating, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2254: What’s not inside

What’s not inside our home is this sign, which I saw inside a supermarket last night:

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Have you seen what’s not inside?  How we can we something that’s not there?

What’s not inside my heart and mind, here and now, seen or unseen, includes

  • hate,
  • resentment,
  • fear about the future,
  • regret about the past,
  • expectations about my birthday on Groundhog Day,
  • concern about what other people are thinking about me,  and
  • all the words I wrote, earlier this month, for my latest original song, which I’ll be debuting at an Open Mic in five days.

What IS inside this post are the lyrics for that song, because typing them here might help place them more firmly inside my mind.

What are Other People Thinking About You?

by Ann Koplow

What are other people thinking about you?

Is it something good or something bad?

Who’s to say if you’re somebody they’ve noticed

And what they would be thinking if they had.

Was the person’s dirty look about you?

Was that guy annoyed by something you did?

Could it be he’s thinking instead of his family

Like his most distressing and stressing kid.

People’s thoughts go everywhere,

Of you they’re often not aware,

And even if their thoughts end up on you,

Thoughts can’t hurt you anyway,

Their thoughts will move and go away

Unless you let them stick to you like glue.

What are other people thinking about you?

I think we spend too much time thinking that.

Other people’s thoughts can’t really touch us,

Even judgments, like we’re stupid, old, or fat.

People’s thoughts go everywhere,

Of you they’re often not aware

And even if their thoughts end up on you,

Thoughts can’t hurt you anyway,

Those thoughts will change and go away,

Unless you let them stick to you like glue.

What are other people thinking about you?

Face it, you will never know for sure,

Then why not think they’re thinking that you’re gorgeous,

Talented and smart and secure.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

What’s not inside this post is the second ending to that song, which I wrote in response to what my son, Aaron, was thinking about those lyrics.

What is inside this post, as usual, are my recent and previously unshared photos.

 

What’s not inside that photo montage is a picture of my son’s keyboard, which I plan to put inside my car on Friday and bring with me to the Open Mic.

What’s not inside YouTube are  videos about what’s not inside things. Instead, searching on “What’s not Inside” at YouTube yields videos about what IS inside all the following:

What’s not inside this post, so far, is music. Here is “The Calm Inside the Storm” by Cindi Lauper:

What’s not inside this blog, yet, are comments on this post.

What’s always inside my posts are thanks to all who help me create them and — of course! — to YOU.

 

 

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

Day 2250: I will never fear again

Yesterday, at the end of a day when I had feared many outcomes that did not come to pass, I texted my friend, Jenn:

I will never fear again.

I will never fear again making statements like that.  I have felt too much fear in my life and I fearlessly love the idea that I will never fear again.

I will never fear again sharing my photos with you.

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I will never fear again sharing details of my life with you, like these:

  • On my way to Disney World I got the results of my 23andme DNA genetic test, which said I had “less than the average tendency to be afraid of heights.”  After a life where I’ve been afraid of heights, I decided to believe that report and never fear heights again.
  • While my boyfriend Michael and I feared that he had seriously scratched up my little yellow car with an ice scraper, I was able to get most of them off by fearlessly and vigorously running my thumb over them while it was still cold as ice.  I will never fear again somebody doing damage to my car.
  • People in my group yesterday found it helpful to make lists of “Too Much” and “Too Little.”  I will never fear again suggesting an exercise in one of my groups.
  • One of my patients made me a beautiful red hat.  I will never fear again accepting a gift like that.

I will never fear again asking my readers a question like this: what do you think would happen if you decided to never fear again?

I will never fear disco or Panic! At The Disco again.

I will never fear again requesting comments for a blog post.

I will never fear again expressing my authentic feelings, including gratitude for all who helped me create this post without fear and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2061: What are the themes?

What are the themes in yesterday’s photos from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

The themes I notice there include music, performers, location, help, animals, food, love, family, friendship, honesty, and humor, all important themes in my life.

When I do therapy groups, I always ask people, “What are the themes?” If I do a Fringe show in Edinburgh next year, I’ll ask that question too.

One constant theme in this daily blog is gratitude. Thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 2058: The Right Way

When I was walking the right way down an Edinburgh street yesterday, I observed this:

What IS the right way, dear readers, in these times of right OR left, us OR them, my way OR the highway?

For me, the right way includes loving yourself and others …

… being responsible for your tasks …

… thoughtful consumption of food and other resources …

… finding the wisdom in books and other people …

… being surprised by joy …

… communicating with others the best you can …

… finding the humor wherever you can …

… singing along, realizing that beauty is everywhere…

… even in your own body and soul, and recognizing that change is scary.

Also, the right way includes looking out for each other, especially when people fear change.

The right way to end this post is with gratitude for all who help me find the right way, every day, to create this blog and for YOU, who found your way here.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2012: It’s Not Me

“It’s Not Me” says my t-shirt, made by me.

Yesterday, when I was wearing that t-shirt, somebody asked me, “Who is it?” and I didn’t have an answer.

Apparently, it’s not me this morning. My laptop computer is inexplicably dead, dead, dead and I am calm, calm, calm, despite my usual panic about such things.

If it’s not me, who is it? Perhaps it’s somebody who finally realizes that fear and panic solve nothing.

It’s not me in my other photos from yesterday.

It’s now me pointing out that my laptop was working perfectly well last night before we watched the Boston fireworks from our home.

It’s not me who can fix an Apple laptop, so I’ll be consulting some expert today.

It is me who is the expert on my own experience; it’s not me who is the expert on computer technology (even though I used to be a technical writer).

It’s not me who prefers to blog on my phone; it is me who overcomes obstacles to do what’s important to me.

It’s not me who is singing this …

… but it is me who will be performing my second original song at an Open Mic tomorrow night.

It’s not me who said “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life” but it is me who has gratitude, here and now, for all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — for YOU.

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

Day 2011: What’s your intent?

When I am confused by somebody’s actions or statements, I like to ask “What’s your intent?”

If I don’t ask, I assume what the intent is and I’m probably wrong.

If I knew the owner of this car …

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… I would ask  “What’s your intent in having that license plate?”   Because I don’t know that person, I assume it’s a communication about disaster.  What kind of disaster?  Maybe living in Maine is a disaster for a lobster.

What’s my intent in taking and sharing these other photos?

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My intent is to tell you that you are not alone. We’re all in this together.

Here‘s “Good Intent” from Kimbra.

What’s your intent in reading my blog today?  Please express your intent in a comment, below.

At the end of every post, my intent is to express thanks to all who helped me create it and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

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