Posts Tagged With: letting go of regret

Day 1895: Forget Regret

Yesterday, in a group therapy session, people talked about regret.  I said, “Regret is really present in this room. Should we invite Regret to sit down?”   People looked a little less regretful when they invited Regret to sit in a corner.  They also asked Regret questions like “Why won’t you go away?”  I answered in the voice of Regret: “I won’t go away because I think I help you. What would you do without me?”  People said that as the session went on, Regret was still there but was getting smaller.

Near the end of the session, I went over to the chair where Regret was sitting, picked it up by the scruff of the neck, opened the door with my other hand, threw Regret into the hallway, and slammed the door.  I asked people how it felt now that Regret was out of the room.  “Wonderful,” was one reply.

Later that day, I went to physical therapy for my torn rotator cuff, and Regret visited me there.  I got so discouraged about my lack of progress that I focused on my regret for slipping and falling on January 31.  Then, I remembered the group, took Regret by the scruff of the neck and threw it out the door.

Here‘s the song I heard yesterday with the lyrics “Forget Regret.”

There’s only us

There’s only this

Forget regret

Or life is yours to miss

No other road

No other way

No day but today.

Kind and wonderful people — like Dr. Maria Gonzalez Del Castillo and Kate at Beacon Hill Dental Associates — help me forget regret.

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Taking photos for this blog helps me forget regret.

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Forget regret but don’t forget to comment!

I never forget to send a big thank-you to everyone who helps me create this daily blog, especially YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 1855: What Not to Do Today

I often make To Do Lists, especially for Mondays. However, I’ve never made a list of what not to do before.

Here’s my first ever list of What Not to Do Today:

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  • Ignore the cats.
  • Be a perfectionist.
  • Facilitate a group (because my therapy groups don’t meet on Mondays).

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  • Start collecting miniature chairs (since I already collect watches).
  • Regret the past.
  • Be anxious about the future.
  • Avoid.
  • Assume.
  • Beat myself up about what I’m not doing.
  • Ignore the beauty around me.

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  • Bake a cake like that.
  • Be late for work.
  • Specifically ask for comments about what would be on your “What Not To Do Today” list.
  • Forget to thank all who helped me create this “What Not To Do Today” post and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 1822: How to have fewer regrets

Yesterday, I saw this:

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I didn’t write down the tips from that New York Times Magazine article, but I have no regrets about that.

I remember that  the article said regret is the second most common human emotion.  I have no regrets about that, either.

I’ve linked to the same blog post about regrets three times in this post, and I have no regrets about that.

 

Here’s one way to have fewer regrets: decide not to have them.

Another way to have fewer regrets is to spend time with people you love.

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I have no regrets about my other photos from yesterday.

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Think seriously and think honestly  about how to have fewer regrets.

I have no regrets about finding and sharing this YouTube video about how to have fewer regrets:

 

One more way to have fewer regrets:  Express appreciation whenever you can.

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

Day 1679: If I knew then what I know now

If I knew then what I know my blog post topic is now, would I have taken different photos yesterday?

 

If I knew then what I know now about how expensive everything is in 2017, I would have worked harder to get lots of money.

If I knew in 2008 when I got the Arthur Award for “Best Peasant” in Spamalot on Broadway (starring Clay Aiken) 

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… what I know now — that my son Aaron’s cousin Victoria would be in Spamalot at the Regent Theater in Arlington Massachusetts today ….

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… would I have felt any different about being on stage back then?

I often hear people say, “If I knew then what I know now”  when they judge and deprecate their past decisions. If knew then what I know now about addressing those regrets about the past, I would have always replied

You were doing the best you could at the time with the knowledge you had then.

For example, if we knew then what we know now about our new dining room table:

 

—  that is,  how putting certain placemats on it would cause a weird residue to form on the finish — we would have paid money for the extra insurance protecting any future problems. However, because that insurance did NOT cover damage done by cats, we assumed we wouldn’t need it.

If I knew when I booked my trip to Edinburgh, Scotland that real cats would be appearing on stage at the Regent Theater on Labor Day weekend …

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… I might have booked an earlier return date.

If people who have pets knew then what they know now …

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… they might have made different purchasing decisions.

If we all knew then what we know now, we might always look on the bright side of life.

I knew then and I know now that I always like to end with thanks to those who help me create these daily blogs and — of course! — to you, for all you know.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 1539: The No List

No. 1.   Here’s The No List that inspired this post:

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No. 2.  The No List on that napkin holder included

  • No high fructose corn syrup,
  • No hydrogenated fats,
  • No added growth hormones in our fresh meat,
  • No artificial preservatives,
  • No artificial sweeteners.

No. 3.   The No List at Whole Foods ended with this:
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No. 4.  My personal No List includes

  • No bullies.
  • No cruelty.
  • No sexism.
  • No racism.
  • No homophobia.
  • No ageism.
  • No regrets about saying “No” in the past.

No. 5.  Here’s a list of quotes about No:

No is a complete sentence and so often we forget that.
When we don’t want to do something we can simply smile and say no.
We don’t have to explain ourselves, we can just say “No”.
Early on my journey I found developing the ability to say no expanded my ability to say yes and really mean it.
My early attempts at saying no were often far from graceful but with practice even my no came from a place of love.
Love yourself enough to be able to say yes or no.”
― Susan Gregg

“Let today mark a new beginning for you. Give yourself permission to say NO without feeling guilty, mean, or selfish. Anybody who gets upset and/or expects you to say YES all of the time clearly doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Always remember: You have a right to say NO without having to explain yourself. Be at peace with your decisions.”
― Stephanie Lahart

“Say no to everything, so you can say yes to the one thing.”
― Richie Norton

“Most women are all too familiar with men like Calvin Smith. Men whose sense of prerogative renders them deaf when women say, “No thanks,” “Not interested,” or even “Fuck off, creep.”
― Jon Krakauer, Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town

“Whether they’re family or friends, manipulators are difficult to escape from. Give in to their demands and they’ll be happy enough, but if you develop a spine and start saying no, it will inevitably bring a fresh round of head games and emotional blackmail. You’ll notice that breaking free from someone else’s dominance will often result in them accusing you of being selfish. Yes, you’re selfish, because you’ve stopped doing what they want you to do for them. Wow. Can these people hear themselves?!”
― Rosie Blythe, The Princess Guide to Life

“It takes effort to say no when our heart and brains and guts and, most important, pride are yearning to say yes. Practice.”
― Cole Harmonson, Pre Middle Age: 40 Lessons in Growing the Hell Up

“He wasn’t used to people saying no, and Eby felt sorry for him, the way she’d always felt sorry for those who had everything and it still wasn’t enough.”
― Sarah Addison Allen, Lost Lake

“Information overload (on all levels) is exactly WHY you need an “ignore list”. It has never been more important to be able to say “No”
― Mani S. Sivasubramanian, How To Focus – Stop Procrastinating, Improve Your Concentration & Get Things Done – Easily!

“We must say “no” to what, in our heart, we don’t want. We must say “no” to doing things out of obligation, thereby cheating those important to us of the purest expression of our love. We must say “no” to treating ourselves, our health, our needs as not as important as someone else’s. We must say “no.”
― Suzette Hinton

“To exist here, I’ll have to become skilled in saying no—an art in which I was once well accomplished, but one I no longer care to practice.”
― Doug Cooper, Outside In

“It is extremely important to be able to make negative assertions. We must be able to say what is ‘not me’ in order to have a ‘me’. What we like has no meaning unless we know what we don’t like. Our yes has no meaning if we never say no. My chosen profession has no passion if ‘just anyone would do’. Our opinions and thoughts mean very little if there is nothing we disagree with.”
― Henry Cloud, Changes That Heal: How to Understand the Past to Ensure a Healthier Future

“If the person you’re talking with continues to press you for more or can’t seem to accept your answer, then you are being harassed. I know that sounds hard for people-pleasers to accept, but it’s true. No means no.”
― Suzette Hinton

“Many survivors have such profound deficiencies in self-protection that they can barely imagine themselves in a position of agency or choice. The idea of saying no to the emotional demands of a parent, spouse, lover or authority figure may be practically inconceivable. Thus, it is not uncommon to find adult survivors who continue to minister to the needs of those who once abused them and who continue to permit major intrusions without boundaries or limits. Adult survivors may nurse their abusers in illness, defend them in adversity, and even, in extreme cases, continue to submit to their sexual demands.”
― Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

“If something is not a “hell, YEAH!”, then it’s a “no!”
― James Altucher

“Sometimes “No” is the kindest word.”
― Vironika Tugaleva

“Learn to say “no” to the good and the advantageous, in order to receive the best.”
― Sunday Adelaja

“In order for us to practice self-control, we must have a goal. We must have something we are saying “yes” to, which necessarily comes with things that we must say “no” to. We use self-control to maneuver ourselves toward this “yes.” This goal must be entirely our own. The minute another person is choosing and managing our goals for us, we have left self-control behind.”
― Danny Silk, Keep Your Love On: Connection Communication And Boundaries.

“When you say no to the wrong people, it opens up the space for the right people to come in.”

― Joe Calloway, Magnetic: The Art of Attracting Business

“Until you learn how to confidently say NO to so many things, you shall always say YES to so many things. The real summary of a regretful life is a life that failed to balance YES and NO. Yes! A life that failed to recognize when to courageously say NO and when to confidently say YES!”
― Ernest Agyemang Yeboah

“NO” is a complete sentence. It does not require an explanation to follow. You can truly answer someone’s request with a simple No.”
― Sharon E. Rainey, The Best Part of My Day Healing Journal

No. 6.   Heres “Say No to This” from Hamilton. 

No. 7.  Too-expensive tickets to Hamilton have been on my No List, so I’ve said “yes” to just singing along to the soundtrack.

No. 8.  Did you know I said yes to more photos yesterday?

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No. 9. Because not sharing is not caring, sharing gratitude is never on my No List.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, self-care | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

Day 1103: I am aware that I am not ____

I am aware that I am not kidding that this post was inspired by this sign, seen yesterday at work:

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Yes, I am aware that I am not:

  • Phyllis,
  • Adam, who is now sitting where Phyllis sat for years,
  • a marketing writer any more, now that I’m a psychotherapist,
  • sick with a cold,
  • perfect,
  • as young as I used to be,
  • one to stop growing,
  • responsible for other people’s feelings,
  • writing more than one blog post every day,
  • nervous about my audition for “The Voice” next month,
  • focusing on the past,
  • living with a dog,
  • tall,
  • a delicate flower,
  • a mythological creature,
  • too cold,
  • too hot,
  • in Kansas,
  • in Paris,
  • going directly into work this morning, because of a pacemaker clinic appointment,  and
  •  regretful about the many, many things that I am not.

I am aware that I am not including any other photos from yesterday, yet. I am aware that I am not one to hesitate, once I realize a task is due.

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I am aware that I am not a professional photographer.

I am aware that I am not directly asking for comments about this post. I am also aware that I am not unaware that you might have some thoughts and feelings about it.

I am aware that I am not ungrateful to Adam, Phyllis, and all those who helped me create today’s post. I am aware that I am not forgetting to thank you — of course! — for reading it.

 

 

Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 1054: Here and Now

In therapy and in this blog, I invite people to be in the here and now.

Here and now, I’ll try to explain why that is.

If we focus our attention on the present,  we can

  • appreciate the gifts of the moment,
  • be less overwhelmed,
  • be more aware of what we can control,
  • let go of regrets about the past,
  • reduce fear about the future (which is unknown), and
  • identify achievable next steps.

Being in the here and now isn’t easy. It takes practice, commitment, and vigilance  to gently refocus our attention — which wanders  to the future, the past, all over the place —  to the present moment.

Are you with me?  Are you here and now?  Or are you thinking about

  • what’s already happened (which you can’t change),
  • what might happen (or might not), and
  • other places?

Here, now, are some photos presently on my phone:

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Here, now, is music about here …

… and now.

In the present moment, I’m grateful to Rumi, cats, supportive people, healthy food, Gene Kelly, the Gershwin brothers, Pat Metheny, all my senses, and you — of course! — for being here and now.

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

Day 1023: Becoming

I saw this last night.

I found that very becoming, because I was already thinking about how things can become other things, like a spoon becoming a pen …

… caring becoming worry (and vice versa) …

… a slinky becoming something else…

…  “busy” becoming other things…

… and my work computer screen becoming upside down, yesterday.

I was also thinking how Larry David had no trouble becoming Bernie Sanders on SNL this past Saturday, but had unexpected trouble becoming George Costanza (a character unbecomingly based on himself) on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

I believe it is becoming and healing to let go of shame, guilt, fear, worry about the future, regret about the past,  and outdated thought patterns.  However, as many becoming people have said in my office,

That’s easier said than done.

I know that, but saying the change can be the first step to becoming it.

Today, I will not be coming into the Boston teaching hospital where I work as a psychotherapist. Instead, I will be coming to a conference on innovation in medical practice.

Who knows what will become, on this day in October? I know this: another blog post will be coming your way, tomorrow.

I am becoming grateful to every person, place, and thing that helped this post become what it did today. I’m becoming especially grateful to you — of course! — for becoming,  here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 877: Lulls

During a welcome lull in my day yesterday, I saw this:

With all the stress around us, we need to learn to take lulling breaks, wherever and whenever we can find them.

Here are some photos I took yesterday, during some rare lulls in my office:
    

 

Regarding that last lulling image: I observe how there are few lulls in people’s ongoing searches for healthy intimacy in their relationships — with a good balance of connection and personal boundaries.

After yesterday’s  good balance of hard work and rejuvenating  lulls, I took more photographs,  during some lulls in my journey home:


 
      

You may be so lulled, right now, that you miss what I was trying to capture in that last lulling image.  Please take advantage of this lull in today’s post to tell me what you see there.

Personally, I am thinking about these lulls:

  1. The lull before the excitement of the June 6 workshop I’ll be presenting about my therapy groups,
  2. The 3-day lull between that workshop and my audition for a local musical,
  3. The 2-day lull between now and the debut of a non-lulling one-act play which my 17-year-old son Aaron and his friend Cameron wrote and directed,
  4. The lull of  a vacation I’ll be taking in August, perhaps returning  to the lulling and non-lulling Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland with Aaron, and
  5. Hoped-for and helpful lulls in worries about the future and regrets about the past, for myself and others.

Here’s a lullaby I just found on lulling YouTube:

And after a very short lull, here’s another lullaby:

What are your favorite kinds of lullabies and lulls?

Here’s a helpful lull of gratitude for Aaron, Cameron, Doris Day, Gene Nelson, Brahms, people healing in therapy, heavy machinery, creatures obvious and hidden, healthy intimacy, expressive faces, bleeding hearts, the Red Sox, the planet Earth, lullabies on Broadway and elsewhere, those who sleep when it’s dark and those who sleep when it’s light, and you — of course! — for visiting here,  during a lull in your day.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 49 Comments

Day 811: Changing the Inner World

Three days ago, I wrote a post called “Changing the _____ World.”

Yesterday, I saw an image that would have been perfect for that post.

While there was a time when I would have regretted seeing or doing something “too late,” I’ve been changing my inner world enough to let go of regrets.

As long as I’m still here and blogging, I can show you new things I experience, whenever I choose.

Sharing that image with you — here and now — changed my inner world, in some way. Everything does.

Here are more images from yesterday,  changing my inner world:

I am grateful I am alive each day, changing my inner world with every breath.

Two nights ago, I changed my inner world by overcoming anxiety to sing and conduct other singers at a party. Here’s a video of that:

How do you change your inner world?

World-changing thanks to all those appearing in this blog today, to my friend and co-worker Mark for capturing Friday night’s performance (as instructed), to Ali the harpist, to my fellow social workers for the vocal support, to Maria from WordPress for helping me upload The Lion Sleeps Tonight at YouTube a day “late” (and with perfect timing), and to you — of course! — for changing my world, each time you visit.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 50 Comments

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