Posts Tagged With: letting go of regret

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: , , , , , , , , , | 48 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

Day 540: I Spy

I chose this title today because:

  • “I Spy” reminds me of an old game (“I spy with my little eye …”),
  • I Spy” reminds me of an old TV show (and its theme song)

(video on YouTube here)

  • and “I Spy” is one of those topics that lets me post whatever images I want.

Let us begin!

I spy, with my little eye, something that begins with the letter “d”.

 

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Hmmm. That’s probably difficult to see, with the angle of the picture and the barrier of that fence.

Let’s do that one over, with something closer, more recent, and easier on the eyes. Again, I spy, with my little eye, something that begins with the letter “d.”

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That’s my neighbor Karen’s new dog, whom I met yesterday morning.  That puppy spied me, too:

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Let’s face it, I might as well just end this post here. Everything from now on is going to fade in comparison, cuteness-wise.

But there’s more to life than cute, right?

I spy, with my little eye, things that begin with the letter “t.”

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Again, I’m making this difficult, aren’t I?  Indeed, when I saw that, this weekend, in Arlington’s Bicentennial Park, I remarked to bf Michael, “Can anybody really tell what those are?” Michael pointed out that stone carvings were not easy to execute, and he suggested I not be so judgmental.

I’d like to give you a better chance with that one, too. I spy, with my little eye, things that begin with the letter “t.”

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Those are all trees I saw at Tower Hill Botanical Garden, shown previously in this post. I am happy to present them to you again, in their true colors, since I inadvertently was filtering all my photos back then.

I have to tell you, when I look at those filtered photos (in posts starting here and ending here), I still feel a little bad. Slightly green, perhaps. As a matter of fact, I have been avoiding revisiting those posts. And when I do, I have thoughts like these:

What was I thinking? How could I have NOT noticed how odd all those photos look?  It’s SO obvious to me, now.  And I pride myself on my ability to see and observe! Ha!

But then I remember how it helps to

  1. let go of the actions of the past, and
  2. embrace the idea of “good enough.”

And sometimes, you get a do-over. Like here, today!

As for those original posts with the greenish photos, I am leaving them as they are, for the most part.  However, I’m going to change all the photos of people in my life, because I want them to appear to others, as they do to me, with all their beautiful colors.

I spy, with my little eye, things that begin with the letter “f.”

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“Friends.”

Before I’m something that begins with the letter “l” — “late” — let’s do one more game.  I spy, with my little eye, something that begins with the letter “c.”

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you might guess that it’s …

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But it’s actually this:

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That can’t possibly be good for me, could it?

Thanks to “I Spy” (both versions), dogs, my downstairs neighbor Karen, people who do their best, trees (no matter what color), friends, cats, chia, chocolate, and — of course! — you, for spying here, today.

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

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