Posts Tagged With: letting go of the fear of public speaking

Day 882: Brains

Last night, before my  boyfriend Michael and I left for our weekly food-shopping, I overheard him using his brain to say to Harley …

What is it, my precious pea-brain?

… which got my brain going, like so:

  • Are cats’ brains the size of peas, as Michael has been mentioning since the day I met him?
  • If cats’ brains are the size of peas, does that mean that all the intelligence and soul I see in them is a figment of my own brain?
  • If cats’ brains are the size of peas, what kind of peas are we talking about?


  • If cats’ brains are the size of peas, what vegetable are dogs’ brains the size of?

  • If cats’ brains are the size of peas, what  vegetable are human brains the size of?

Regarding that last question, I’m thinking maybe cauliflower, but I wasn’t brainy enough to get a picture of that last night.

  • If human brains are the size of a large vegetable (not pictured), how do they create and comprehend all the things my brain encountered at the supermarket?





How would you use your human brain to guess what that last item is?

Speaking of human brains, here’s Al, whom we see on Sundays at the supermarket:

Al is always brainy enough to open every carton of eggs, to make sure they’re okay. Last night, I used my brain to ask Al how he uses his brain when he inspects those eggs. Then, Michael and Al used their brains, as follows:

Michael: Here’s how I make sure the eggs here are good, Al.  I lick them.
Al:  You want to know the best way to test eggs? Bounce them off the floor.

At this point, how do you use your brain to comprehend  Michael’s, Al’s and/or my brains? What about your own brain?

Now I need to use my brain, one more time,  to choose a song for today’s brainy post.

Using my brain to look back at this post, I could

from YouTube:

… but my brain has noticed that videos from the brains of certain artists tend to go away, in these posts.

So how about this brainy song?

Now, I have to use my brain:

  • to interact with animals and humans,
  • for my work as a therapist at a Boston hospital, and
  • to prepare for my conference workshop this Saturday about the therapy groups I’ve created with my brain (and my heart).

Brainy thanks to Michael, Al, Harley the cat, Faxy the dog, The Wizard of Oz, peas and brains and hearts of all sizes, artisans and artists known as Prince, cauliflower (not pictured), and you  — of course! — for bringing your brain (and the rest of you) here, today.

Categories: fun, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 664: Who are these people?

In a few hours, I shall be making a presentation to a room-full of people, about a method  of group therapy I conduct, four times every week, at my place of employment.

I could be asking — myself and the universe — lots of questions about this imminent presentation, including:

  • How am I going to perfectly translate all my knowledge and experience of group therapy into a neat, comprehensive, and engaging 70-minute package?
  • How am I going to make “small talk” during the “breakfast” portion of this “breakfast club” event, prior to my presentation? Won’t I be too nervous?  Won’t chatting with people, that way, feel inauthentic?
  • How can I surreptitiously check my teeth after eating all sorts of food that will indubitably include green, red, and other colorful objects,  to make sure that there’s nothing obvious stuck there, to distract my audience?
  • If I screw this up completely, what will the consequences be?

Actually, it helped me to ask that last question, because I can see that the answer is:

No lasting consequences that I can identify, at all.

However, the main question I wanted to ask in today’s blog is … surprise!  …  the title of this post.

Who are these people?

This is a question I’ve asked before, when I’m:

  • stuck in a long line at the grocery store,
  • not moving because of lots of traffic,
  • observing a crowd of people gathering, for a reason I can’t immediately identify, and
  • other situations that I can’t remember, right now (but that’s okay).

Today, that question mainly refers to:

Who are these people I am going to see in less than 2.5 hours?   Who are these people who made the decision, the effort, and the monetary commitment to sign up to hear me speak today?

Since I do not know who they are, at this writing, I am perfectly capable of projecting all sorts of fears, assumptions, and worries onto them.

Actually, this is not entirely true. I DO know some of the people who will be there today, including Maxine, who reads this blog (I think) and who did a kick-ass presentation of her own, last year. And I know some of the organizers for the event, including Marc, who sent me this email yesterday:


One more short day till game time, if you would like me to add to this introduction please let me know. Personally I like it as it stands

See you in the morning,


… and directly below that was the response I had sent, weeks ago, to Marc’s request for a “bio,” to help him prepare for his introduction of me this morning.

How about this as a bio, Mark?

This is Ann Koplow.

She knows what she’s talking about.

Listen to her.

I’ll work on a better bio, soon.

Thank you, very much.


Here’s what I notice, now, about that email I had sent Marc (which I completely forgot about until yesterday):

  1. I misspelled both his name and my name.
  2. That’s a pretty good introduction.

So, I guess I’m as ready as I’ll ever be for my presentation today.  But, to complete this blog post, I want to show you some photos I’ve taken recently. It’s up to you to decide whether these images fit today’s topic.

IMG_1326 IMG_1330   IMG_1349 IMG_1358 IMG_1365 IMG_1376 IMG_1378 IMG_1379 IMG_1382 IMG_1383 IMG_1388

Before I end this post,  I also want to include two songs that answer the question — “Who Are These People?” — very differently. That is, they reflect how I see people when I feel (1) unsafe and (2) safe.

(“People are Strange” by The Doors found here on YouTube)

(“Shower the People” by James Taylor found here on YouTube)

Thanks to all the people who showed up in this post. I know who they are and I’m grateful I do. I’m also grateful I could shower you with my thoughts, feelings, and experiences, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism, taking a risk | Tags: , , , , , | 31 Comments

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