Posts Tagged With: letting go

Day 2118: Having too much on your plate

Yesterday, in my therapy groups, people talked about having too much on their plate.

I don’t have too much on my plate to share the meaning of that idiom.

Idiom – Too much on my plate or A lot on my plate or Enough on my plate. Meaning – To be too busy. To have too many things to deal with or a lot of things to worry about. This expression is used to signify that a person has too many different things to cope with.

Coincidentally, there were paper plates in the group room, because of a retirement party earlier in the day. I suggested that people take a plate, write and draw what was on their plate, and then, if they wished, throw the plate away. People threw away plates heaped with politicians, responsibilities, stress, fear, guilt, anxiety, shame, self-doubt, bureaucracies, traffic, abusers, unhelpful thoughts, and (on one plate) Florida.

I had too much on my plate yesterday to take pictures of the plates people created and threw away, but I can share these:

If I didn’t have too much on my plate right now (physical therapy for my shoulder, work, a presentation about my groups, and a live performance of “So You Think You Can Dance”), I’d come up with a pun about home plate.

Do you have too much on your plate to watch this video?

https://youtu.be/qSshr-EQmLM

I never have too much on my plate to thank all those who help me create these posts and — of course! — YOU.

Categories: definition, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 1659: Everything must go

Because today is moving day, everything must go, including everything I photographed yesterday. 




Everything must go, including that important message I wrote yesterday. 

Here’s “Everything Must Go” by Steely Dan, who are everything. 

Before everything must go to our new home by the ocean, I must go to sincere thanks to all who helped me create this everything-must-go post and — of course! — to you, for going with me. 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Day 1656: Holding on

I’m holding on to many things as we pack up to move, including

  • my sense of humor,
  • things I find valuable,
  • my job,
  • creatures I love,
  • my thoughts,
  • my feelings,
  • my sanity, and
  • my iPhone, so I can be put on hold and also take pictures of my holdings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Before I started writing today’s blog post, I got a little ferklempt at the end of this excerpt from last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Show (which is holding on here at YouTube):

 

As always, I’m holding on to gratitude for all those who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — for you, who keep me holding on.

 

 

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

Day 1654: What’s wrong with me?

What’s wrong with me, that I keep writing posts with similar titles?

What’s wrong with me, that I feel the need to link to those past posts here, here, and here?

What’s wrong with me, that when I read posts I wrote when I was dealing with so many health problems, I cry?

What’s wrong with me, that I’m having so much trouble sleeping as we prepare to move?

What’s wrong with me, that when I write these blog posts, I have to close one eye to see better, unless I’m wearing my glasses?

What’s wrong with me, that I don’t immediately put on my glasses when I start writing these posts?

What’s wrong with me, that I keep catastrophizing about what’s going to go wrong with the move and with our new place?

What’s wrong with me, that I second guess so many of my decisions, including those I’ve made so far in writing this post?

What’s wrong with me, that I’ve taken to heart some critical comments one person made about my writing when I was in college, which I rediscovered when I was going through old papers in the basement?

What’s wrong with me, that I always share photos I took the day before?

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What’s wrong with me, that I’ve saved old get-well cards and my son’s old Halloween costumes, like when he dressed up as static cling?

What’s wrong with me, that I try to include relevant music in my posts? What’s wrong with me, that I thought the title of this song was “(What’s wrong with) Peace Love and Understanding?”

What’s wrong with peace, love, and understanding?  Nothing.

What’s wrong with ending every post with gratitude, when I’m so grateful to all who help me create these posts and to my readers, too?  And I hope you know there’s nothing wrong with you (or with me).  ❤

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Day 1439: Let things come to you

I let things come to me every morning after I wake up, including the title of my daily blog post.  This morning, I was considering naming this post “Self Care,” since that was the topic of my therapy group last night. However, lately I’ve been following a new tradition of getting my blog post titles from teabags, and this is the teabag that most recently came to me:

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Let things come to you, including these three other photos I took yesterday:

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I’m letting these things come to me, here and now:

  1. The realization that I left a few words out of the questions I wrote on the white board during group last night.
  2. “Just do it” is good advice about self care AND about letting things comes to you.
  3. My Secret Santa at work is letting chocolate come to me.

Let things come to you, including this music:

Now I’ll let things come to me, including comments from you.

Let my gratitude come to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for coming to this blog today.

 

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

Day 1252: Another day, another _____

Another day, another blog post.

Another day, another question: How would you fill in the blank of “Another day, another _____”?

Another day, another memory:  “Another day, another dollar.”

Another day, another milestone: My son is graduating high school today.

Another day, another

  • opportunity
  • hope
  • step
  • gift
  • surprise
  • connection
  • adventure
  • lesson
  • day older
  • debt
  • meal
  • improvement
  • expectation
  •  disappointment
  • treat
  • journey
  • gain
  • loss
  • triumph
  • worry
  • interest
  • quest
  • injustice
  • restitution
  • whimsey
  • celebration
  • joke
  • sadness
  • joy
  • frustration
  • walk
  • race
  • rest
  • dance
  • treasure
  • creation
  • change
  • delay
  • movement
  • mystery
  • awkwardness
  • grace
  • ease
  • smile
  • frown
  • confusion
  • awareness
  • judgment
  • acceptance
  • forgiveness
  • fascination
  • friend
  • stranger
  • ride
  • freedom
  • revolution
  • revelation
  • idea
  • test
  • discovery
  • care
  • experience
  • discomfort
  • perspective
  • exploration
  • disaster
  • recovery
  • conflict
  • resolution
  • hassle
  • happiness
  • hello
  • goodbye
  • birth
  • death
  • healing
  • day closer to what the future holds
  • look around
  • lifetime
  • sunrise
  • sunset
  • bunch of photos:

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Another day, another song choice.  Here are three tunes I’ve been hearing in my head, as I write another blog post:

#1 Sixteen Tons.

 

#2 Sunrise Sunset.

 

#3 The Schuyler Sisters (from the musical Hamilton, with the lyrics “look around, look around”).

 

Another day, another request for comments.

Another day, another thank you to all those who helped me create this post and to you — of course!  — for another visit.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 41 Comments

Day 1079: Trash

Here are my first associations with “trash” this morning:

  1. In order to make room on my hard drive, I am trashing many things which do not stay trashed until I empty trash many times.
  2. My boyfriend Michael, almost every trash day, wonders why taking out the trash can feel so arduous.
  3. He who steals my purse steals trash.” — William Shakespeare
  4. One person’s trash is another person’s valuables.
  5. Every time I write something (including each daily blog post), I am deciding what to keep and what to trash.
  6. In my work as a psychotherapist, I help others trash unhelpful and habitual ways of thinking which are difficult to trash (like the trash described in #1, above).

What are your associations with the word “trash”?

Should I have trashed any of these recent photos and why?

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I would never consider any comment from you trash. And remember, only you can decide what is valuable and what is trash, in your life.

Valuable thanks to all who helped me create this trashy post and special thanks to you — of course! — for reading it.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 529: Closer (with feeling)

On my way to and from work yesterday, I saw things that revealed more, when I looked closer.

For example …

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and then closer:

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and then closer:

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and then closer:

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and then closer:

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At work,  I encountered some other surprises.  For example, the hospital was giving out little bags of Cracker Jack.  And there was a surprise inside.

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I didn’t try to guess what the surprise was; I just opened it:

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I had no expectations about what the surprise should be, but I recognized this was NOT a great prize, for my location.  Wrong baseball team AND wrong side of the country!

I had some other disappointments during the day.   For example, one person told me that another person had said “ungracious” things behind my back.

What might you do, in that situation?

Here’s what I did.

  1. I felt hurt. Then I looked closer.
  2. Based on past experiences, I was not surprised. Then I looked closer.
  3. I felt anger. Then I looked closer.
  4. I considered options of action. Then I looked closer.
  5. I realized the situation and the person involved could NOT really hurt me, in any way.

I still held some hurt and anger, though.

As I was walking away from work, this song came on:

(here, on YouTube)

And, as I discovered earlier during this blogging journey, when I direct strong feelings into an expression of music:

  • I express — rather than repress– the emotion more fully, letting it flow through me, and
  • I sing the sh*t out of a song.

I love giving loud, proud voice to my feelings, these days.  And nobody seems to mind, especially those who are close.

That includes this guy, yesterday, on my walking-and-singing way:

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Thanks to that interested and non-flinching bunny, to Idina Menzel*, to those who look closer, to people who do their best expressing (or receiving) emotions effectively, to everybody who sings out, and to you — OF COURSE! — for getting this close, today.


* Idina Menzel sings “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished” from Wicked  John Travolta wasn’t even close, when he said her name at the Oscars this year.

** If you look closer at the links today, you might find some treasures.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Day 282: What Would it Give You? (Yearnings)

When somebody wants something (especially something that seems out of reach), this can be a helpful question to ask:

If you had it, what would it give you?

I’m going to ask that question, right now, regarding some things I’ve yearned for in my life.  Some of these yearnings are way in the past, so I’ll do my best to answer them, in retrospect.

When I was a little kid, I really wanted to fly like Peter Pan.

What would that have given me?

Freedom.  Mastery. Joy.  Being above it all.

When I was a little kid, I really wanted to have a cat. And for a while, I couldn’t get one.

What would that have given me?

Another creature to sit with, silently, without expectations.  Somebody to love, simply, with all my heart.

I’m glad I asked myself those questions, this morning.

Now I’d like to focus on some recent yearnings:

Lately, I’ve wanted acknowledgment of my talents, at work and through this blog.

What would that give me?

A sense of self-worth.

Okay!

Whenever you ask the question, “What would that give you?”, here’s  a follow-up question, that can be quite helpful:

Now that you know what you yearn for, are there other ways you might get that, right now?

For the purposes of this morning’s post, I’m going to ask that follow-up question, focusing on the more recent yearnings.

In other words, are there other ways I might get a sense of self-worth, right now?

Yes.

How?

From within.

At this point, I would like to refer my readers to a recent blog post, which helped me, a lot, on  Day 258.

All of you is lovable.

When I re-read that post, this morning, one thing that feels “missing,” for me,  is an image.

Let’s see what Google presents,  in response to the word “lovable.”

Here’s something:

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Hmmmm. While that’s a quote from a Classical writer, studied long ago, that doesn’t quite work, for me, right now.  My yearning is to rearrange the words, somehow. (That particular yearning makes sense to me, since the order of words in ancient Latin is often “topsy-turvy”).

What else did the Google Buffet serve up, this morning, for “lovable”?

This one caught my eye …

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…. because I’m afraid of heights AND I can’t swim very well.

However, I’m still not there yet, regarding an image. Right now, I’m yearning for more. For something else.

Here’s another one:

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I can think of lots of reasons why THAT caught my eye, including:

  1. Unfreezing is a word that’s occurred to me, several times, during this Year of Loving* Non-Judgmentally,
  2. The weather, in these parts, is turning cold, and
  3. It’s a friggin’ heart in a friggin’ block of ice, people!

Well, that was fun, but this post still feels left unfinished, image-wise.

Hmmmm. Maybe I’ve embarked on the “wrong” search, here.  I’m going to re-read this post, and see.

Aha!  How about I search on this, instead?

From within.

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There we go.

No more yearnings, right now.

Time to publish!

Thanks to Ovid, Buddha, wise people throughout time, yearners and non-yearners (in the moment), and to you, of course, for reading today.

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* I noticed this “typo” hours after I published this post. I am letting it stay, as is.

Categories: personal growth, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Day 206: Letting Go

When I do my therapy groups, I always start the group with a mindfulness exercise.

When somebody new joins the group, I always acknowledge, honor, and celebrate that by doing a particular mindfulness exercise.

In this mindfulness exercise, I ask people to focus on their breath (a very common focus for a mindfulness exercise).

I invite them to observe, just notice, the breath. They don’t need to change the breath, in any way.

I also invite them to do the following: Breathe in something they would like to take in more of — from the room or from the universe. And breathe out something like they would like to let go of.

Because examples help explain things (especially something new), I always predict how I might do this mindfulness exercise.

I say something like this: “I don’t know what I’m going to breathe in and breathe out, but I’m going to make a prediction. I might breathe in gratitude for all of you being here, and I might breathe out any anxiety about doing something new, because every group is new.” (Other things I’ve predicted  I’m going to breathe in during this mindfulness exercise: hope, connection, and the awareness of each moment. Other things I’ve predicted I’m going to breathe out:  distraction, fear, and anything that gets in the way of my being in the moment.)

I really like this mindfulness exercise.  Even if I’m too distracted to focus very well, even if my mind wanders a lot (because that’s what minds tend to do), it helps to just allow for the possibility of — to make some space for — breathing in something helpful and breathing out something that gets in the way.

Yesterday, when I did one of these groups, there was somebody new there. (And, as I wrote about yesterday, somebody was missing, too, for a very good reason.)

So, because somebody new was joining the group,  I did that mindfulness exercise.

And, as often happens when I do that exercise,  I breathed in gratitude and I let go of …. anxiety.

I had a good reason to be anxious yesterday.

Doing something new is always a “good reason” for increased anxiety.

Here were some of the new things I did yesterday:

  1. I facilitated a therapy group, with a new mix of people
  2. I needed to get my 3-month teeth cleaning and I had to go to a new place to get the Intravenous antibiotics I require whenever I get my teeth cleaned.
  3. I went to a new dental hygienist, to get the teeth cleaning.

Probably some explanation would be helpful, right now, especially regarding #2 and especially for people who don’t know me and/or haven’t read every friggin’ blog post I’ve written this year.

I have a Very Unusual Heart. My VUH is prone to endocarditis (which is an infection of the lining of the heart).  (I wrote about this in detail, on Day 65, when I thought I might have endocarditis again.) Since I’ve gotten endocarditis three times so far in my life, my doctors and I came up with this plan: I will have my teeth cleaned every three months and I will receive an intravenous dose of antibiotics before each cleaning.

This is routine for me, now.

However, many things about this process were new, yesterday.

Some of these things were new because of a change I had chosen –  to go to a new dental hygienist, who works with my wonderful dentist, whom I wrote about here.

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That’s my dentist, Dr. Luis Del Castillo (in a photo I took on April 13). (I didn’t take a picture of my new dental hygienist yesterday. Perhaps that’s because I was too ….. anxious?)

Some of the new things I encountered yesterday were due to changes beyond my control.

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That’s my beloved IV nurse, Kerri. She left her position a couple of months ago — eeeek! — but, thank goodness, moved to another place within the same hospital, so  I could still work with her — Yay! (By the way, that picture was taken four months ago, at the old location. I didn’t take a picture of her at the new location yesterday.  Any guesses why that might be?)

Yesterday, I was breathing out and letting go of anxiety, every step of the way, as I encountered new things during this process of getting my teeth cleaned, this process of not getting endocarditis, this process of staying healthy and alive.

And when I’m doing something new (and when the possibilities of illness — and death — are more in my consciousness), I definitely have more anxiety to breathe out.

My new dental hygienist (not pictured), named Michel, said a lot of things to me yesterday as she was cleaning my teeth. I didn’t say much because, well, she was cleaning my teeth.

Here are some of the things she said to me yesterday that are sticking in my mind, right now:

  1. “I don’t expect you to trust me immediately. You are just meeting me.”
  2. “It’s very important to trust your dental hygienist. It’s a relationship. It’s especially important for YOU to be able to trust your dental hygienist.
  3. “Let me tell you all the reasons why you won’t get endocarditis by getting your teeth cleaned here.” *
  4. “With your history, I would expect that sometimes you might obsess about keeping your teeth perfectly cleaned and other time you wouldn’t want to deal with it, at all.”
  5. “Let me know if you are uncomfortable, for any reason, at any moment.
  6. “A lot of people cry here. “

She said that last thing, when — in response to her understanding and empathy — I let go, in a rush of tears.

I never cried with my old dental hygienist. That might be a reason why I left, and found a new one.

That concludes this blog post for today.

Thanks to Michel, Dr. Del Castillo, and Kerri; to everybody who has ever helped me stay healthy; and to you, too, for reading today.

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* A teeth cleaning at the dentist is the leading cause of endocarditis, for people who are prone to it.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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