Posts Tagged With: MA

Day 125: Feelings, briefly

I am writing this post in the evening of a day where I experienced a range of emotions, including:

  1. Joy, because I reunited with a childhood friend who is writing a wonderful blog here (and was at least partially inspired by this blog) AND
  2. Disappointment, because I realized that my fantasy of giving a “big” presentation in June might not turn out as I wished.

There were lots of other feelings I experienced today, but those are the ones that are standing out for me right now.

Boy, feelings can really get things going, can’t they?  And I don’t know about you, but I am more comfortable with joy than I am with disappointment.

But all the feelings of this day passed through me, just like weather moves through our atmosphere.

Which is great, because now I can be totally present in this moment, and do what I really want to do:

Post a goofy picture.

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I took this photo last week, when I was driving through Watertown, MA, a town that has been in the news lately. I saw this Giant Tooth jumping around, apparently trying to sell something. When I pulled over to get a photo of him/her/it, I got two thumbs up.

We both had big smiles, then.

Thanks for reading!

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Day 109: 7:09 AM These guys are turning my world into a violent movie

I live in one of those communities, shut down, right now, by the escaped Boston Marathon bomber being on the loose.

I’m writing this as I’m watching this on TV.  I assume many of you share this with me — seeing these scenes.

It’s hard to feel safe right now.  Again, as on Monday, I am getting messages from people who are NOT here, asking me if I’m okay.  I appreciate people reaching out.  That does help.

I just got a phone call from the local police, telling us not to leave our homes.  I am picturing this guy, roaming the streets, becoming more desperate, perhaps about to break in to my home.

My bf came downstairs, while I was in the kitchen, and I jumped. I jumped out of involuntary fear.

Every place that is shut down, right now, is a place where I’ve lived, worked, or gone to school.

As I am writing this, the media are showing “an unfolding scene” in Kenmore Square, another place I’ve spent many, many normal, pre-2013 Marathon Day hours.

The whole world is watching, as the media — right now — is filming this “movie”, this story, filled with speculation and fear, with “tension so high” (I am quoting the TV commentator, as I am watching too, right now).   I’m in a movie I didn’t choose — that I didn’t want — right now.

I recognize all the scenes they are showing, on TV —  as these two guys have been wreaking more havoc– these guys, whose movie I am apparently in, right now.

I’ll say it.

This feels traumatic, on some level.  This is — in the moment — changing my world in ways I cannot control. It is making my world look different  It is making my world — all these familiar touchstones of my entire daily life — look dangerous.

I am in the first stage of trauma, I guess. Shock.  Not understanding.  Trying to make meaning, in the midst of violent chaos which also FEELS VERY FAMILIAR, but in a new way. What’s being reported by the media — more bombings, shooting, escapes, chases — are familiar to me from movies.  The location, the geography, the visuals, are super familiar to me, from every day life.

I don’t know about you, but I get really affected, when I see a local scene I recognize in a friggin’ movie.

This is new, though. Not sure how it’s going to affect me.  I am aware of lots of people, all around me, being affected — being changed by a new experience.

This will have an effect, for a while.  I’ll see it in myself, in others who live where I live. I’ll see it, in my work, as a psychotherapist, who works at one of the affected hospitals.

I don’t know how this story is going to end, but I do know that I’ll be seeing the effects.

I know that I — and lots and lots of other people — will be trying to make meaning of this, in order to regain a sense of “enough safety.”

Like I am trying to make sense, right now.

I wrote on my Facebook page, earlier this week, the following:  “I’m grateful I live in a world where I can blog. Really.”  I wonder if people knew what I meant?  I wonder if that makes sense to you, right now.

When I was working with people in groups, yesterday, we were making lists of “What Helps Right Now.”  People named these things:  “Distracting,”  “Helping Others,” “Taking Care of Myself,”  “Not watching TV”, “Connecting with others.”

My addition to the list?  “Writing about it.”

Here.

Thanks for reading.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 71: The Secret to Life is Three Things

Cristian Mihai is one of my favorite bloggers here.  This post of his showed up in my reader today.

That post, titled “Three easy steps to achieving what you want,” inspired me to write about something that I consider one of the most valuable gifts I’ve ever received.

About 20 years ago, I attended a weekend retreat — the  Opening the Heart Workshop — run by an organization which was then called “Spring Hill”.  (Spring Hill was a gorgeous location in Ashby, MA, and there are some pictures of that beautiful spot in the link above.)

During that weekend, one of the presenters told us this.

The secret to life is three things:

(1)  Show up.

(2)  Be gentle.

(3)  Tell the truth.

That’s it.

Since that weekend, I have shared that gift with many, many people.  I sometimes invite people to notice that “be gentle” also means to be gentle with yourself.

A lot of people have told me they find this gift really useful.

20 months ago, when I left the day treatment program where I’d worked for 12 years, one of my esteemed colleagues there gave me this clock as a going-away present:

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I keep this clock in my office.  I sometimes show this clock to people who come to therapy for the first time.  I think it’s a pretty good beginner’s How-To description of therapy.

So now that we’ve discussed the secret to life, I guess it’s time to end this blog post.

 

One more thing, though. When I got the photo of the clock off my phone, I noticed another photo I took recently, which is making me wonder if I should amend the title of this post.  

Maybe the secret of life also includes a fourth thing:

 

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(4) A bunny cake.

Thanks for reading, everybody.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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