Posts Tagged With: letting go of fear

Day 3011: What would you like to clear from your system?

Yesterday, on Twitter and Facebook, I got this out of my system:

Responses included

  • worrying,
  • anxiety,
  • guilt,
  • perfectionism,
  • panicking,
  • urgency,
  • uncertainty,
  • repression,
  • resentment,
  • too much busyness, and
  • my own prejudices.

Every day, I clear those from my system by blogging first thing in the morning.

Now I’m going to clear images from my iPhone system by sharing them with you.

Decades ago, when I was dealing with upsetting medical news about my very unusual heart, I went to a percussion class and cleared fear, anger, resentment, panicking, uncertainty, and worry from my system by wildly drumming along to “The Dancer” by Stanley Clarke.

If you want to clear unexpressed thoughts or feelings from your system, you can do so in the comments section, below.

As always, I’ve got a lot of gratitude in my system.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 3008: Safe enough spaces

Yesterday, I mentioned safe enough spaces at the end of my post. I deliberately did not write “safe spaces” because no spaces are completely safe. In every space, we take risks if we expose our vulnerability and humanity. The more we do that, the more we make the space safe enough for others.

I try to make my Coping and Healing groups safe enough spaces, and yesterday people felt safe enough to share conflicting opinions about getting the COVID vaccines. We all survived our differences and people felt safe enough to stay connected with each other.

Later in the day, I felt safe enough to finally make it to the safe enough sand bar I can see from my home (and which I felt safe enough to write about earlier this week in this post).

Many times, I have tried to get to that safe enough sand bar by unsuccessfully trying to locate its starting point across the safe-enough bay. Yesterday, I had the brilliant and long-overdue idea to walk through some water during low tide and access the sand bar from its end point near me.

Instead of telling myself, “WHY DIDN’T YOU THINK OF THIS BEFORE?”, I made my mind a safe enough space by enjoying the experience, moment by moment.

I hope you feel safe enough to accompany me on this adventure through safe enough spaces.

I discovered that I had been SO CLOSE to discovering the beginning point of the sand bar on a previous exploration, but had turned back when I saw that “no trespassing sign, which made the space not safe enough.

If I had felt safe enough to keep exploring past that scary sign (which referred to something else), I would have discovered the beginning of the sand bar months ago. I feel safe enough to share, here and now, that I trust my process and am happy it happened exactly the way it did.

Do you see safe enough spaces in the rest of my images today?

I assume that this is a safe enough space to share that I am Jewish and that I will start celebrating Passover in an unconventional way starting at sundown tonight.

The Israel Philharmonic was in a safe enough space to create this Passover greeting for 2021:

Contrast this with last year’s greeting from separate safe-enough spaces:

I invite you to leave a comment in the safe enough space, below.

I always feel safe enough to express gratitude to those who help me create these safe enough posts, including YOU!

Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2898: Waiting for the other shoe to drop

Over the years, I have heard many people say they are waiting for the other shoe to drop, meaning “to await a seemingly inevitable event, especially one that is not desirable.”

If you’re waiting for more information to drop about “waiting for the other shoe to drop,” here it is:

I know I wrote about waiting for the other shoe to drop before, here at the Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally. I’m not going to wait to drop the sole important point of one of those posts, as follows:

Waiting for the other shoe to drop is another form of fortune-telling and catastrophizing, human cognitive distortions we all do. When I realize that I am waiting for the other shoe to drop, I ask myself, “What am I so afraid of? It’s just a SHOE.”

If you are waiting for my other images of the day to drop, here they are:

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I’m sick of waiting for my 2019 tax refund to drop, so I’ll be waiting on hold today for the other shoe to drop about that.

Here’s Roger Bartlett with “Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop.”

While I’m waiting for your comments to drop, I’ll drop some more gratitude on you.

Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, definition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2894: One Thing That Frightens You

These days, it’s difficult to identify one thing that frightens me, because there are so many frightening things out there.

What frightens me on this day includes

  • the increase in COVID cases and death,
  • COVID deniers,
  • anti-maskers,
  • large gatherings of people,
  • systemic racism,
  • climate change,
  • the state of the world,
  • the state of my country,
  • crazy conspiracy theories,
  • the number of people who believe crazy conspiracy theories,
  • Trump’s increasingly outrageous behaviors, and
  • people who do not call out outrageous behaviors.

Is there one thing that frightens you in my latest photos?

Has that cow been frightened off of its base?

Things that frighten you, me, and others have inspired my new song, entitled “What’s Your Fear, My Dear?” for my frighteningly ambitious new project, Therapy: The Musical. I plan to work on my first musical during the dark and frightening weeks of the New England winter.

One thing that does NOT frighten me is sharing my ideas here, so here are some lyrics from “What’s Your Fear, My Dear?”

What’s Your Fear, My Dear?

by Ann Koplow

What’s your fear, my dear?

I really want to hear, my dear.

Do not fear sharing that

Now and here.

Flying?

It’s not so much a fear of flying

As it is a fear of dying

or falling too far,

Or of the danger of how high up you are.

Public speaking?

That’s a fear of your voice squeaking

Of your confidence leaking

In front of them all,

As your dignity suffers a fall.

Dying?

Well, my dear, I would be lying

If I said I wasn’t afraid of that too.

Does it help if I join that with you?

© Ann Koplow, 2020

Here’s “Why I do something everyday that scares me,” a 2016 TED talk by Emma Van Der Merwe at the University of Edinburgh.

I fear you will miss out if you don’t watch that video.

I assume gratitude is one thing that doesn’t frighten you, so thanks to all who help me do one blogging thing each day, including YOU!

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, group therapy, inspiration, life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2735: The light

As I’ve said to several people lately, “I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I just hope it’s not a train coming in the opposite direction.”

Can you see the light in my photos from yesterday?

Here‘s “I Saw the Light” by Todd Rundgren:

I look forward to seeing the light in the comments section, below.

There’s always the light of gratitude at the end of these posts (and I don’t think it’s a train coming in the other direction!).

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2621: Don’t be afraid

Yesterday morning, I had a conversation with a man working at the Starbucks in the New York City hotel where Michael Bloomberg later announced dropping out of the U.S. Presidential race. Here’s the conversation:

 

Him:  How are you?

Me: Afraid.

Him: Why?

Me: The coronavirus.

Him: Don’t be afraid.  It’s the people who are afraid who are going to get the virus.

Me: Now I’m REALLY afraid.

Him: (laughs)

Me: I do a daily blog. Could I take a photo of you saying, “Don’t be afraid”?

He was not afraid to grant my request.

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Last night, walking back from seeing the wonderful musical Dear Evan Hansen with two  dear friends, I noticed this sign:

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Don’t be afraid of  these other recent photos from my stay in NYC and don’t be afraid of clicking on any photo to enlarge it.

Don’t be afraid of “You Will Be Found” from Dear Evan Hansen.

Don’t be afraid to leave a comment, below.

Don’t be afraid to express gratitude and to accept it, every day.

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

Day 2532: 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 2425: Here we go again!!

Yesterday morning, after publishing Day 2424: 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: , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 2331: 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 2224: 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: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

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