Posts Tagged With: NaBloPoMo

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 1053: Things I never knew

Every day, I learn many things I never knew.

For example, I never knew there were exactly 100 things I never knew about my  own brain.

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I never knew there was a brain user’s guide available for purchase, even though I used to write user’s guides in the 1970s.

I never knew they made peeps for dogs.

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I never knew how to weld.

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Before I started this blog, I never knew I could write about the coolest topics. I also never knew that writing about something would bring more of that into my life, almost immediately.

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I never knew where I could find the coolest looks, before yesterday.

I never knew all the anagrams for the word “cake.”

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I never knew it was okay to advertise with backwards letters, even though I had an advertising company in the 1990s.

I never knew people decorated cars like cakes.

I never knew cats liked baseball.

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Before I met him, I never knew there was a cat that could be as omnipresent as Oscar.

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I never knew my dentist would read my blog, every single day.

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I never knew it was the 30th anniversary of my favorite ice cream place

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… or that Rancatore’s made a chocolate sorbet.

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I never knew I’d work in a part of Boston with so much noisy construction.

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I never knew there’d be so many fancy places to live in The Fenway, either.

I never knew I had the nerve to put different colors in my hair …

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… or to reveal so much of myself to the world.

I never knew I’d find a dentist’s office that offered hot chocolate, either.

I never knew there were so many different ways to treat sleep apnea.

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I never knew that dental devices could be made with a 3-D printer.

I also never knew I had a  thyrohyoid, or where it was.

I never knew there was a town that encouraged people to walk their bikes on the sidewalk.

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I never knew that same town had a cafe designed for bicycles.

I never knew that same town had an art walk, either.

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I never knew there was a turkey trot in Concord.

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I never knew the name of this tree.

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I never knew I’d rely on an implantable defibrillator for the rest of my life.

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I never knew I’d taste caramel corn ice cream.

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I never knew there was a chocolate galaxy, either.

I never knew how many tastebuds cats have.

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I never knew that driveways could be so active.

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I never knew I’d see so many interesting things in one day, before I started writing this daily blog two years ago.

I never knew I’d find a blogging platform as random as me.

I never knew I’d find perfect music every day, either.

What did you learn today that you never knew?

I never knew there was so much to be grateful for, including wonderful readers like you!

 

Categories: blogging, gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1052: The coolest

I think my readers are the coolest.

Recently, two of them made the coolest comments:

Hey — you seem like a cool cat! That line of work must be very challenging. I admire your consistent, long-running posts, too 🙂 — cmblackwood

Miles Davis for me. He was so cool, if he was alive today global warming wouldn’t be a problem! — Paul S.

Also,  fellow WordPresser  coffeegrounded did the coolest thing: she honored me with the coolest award (even though I don’t do anything with cool WordPress awards besides appreciating them).

What’s the coolest thing somebody has done for you, lately?

I’m trying to decide what my coolest activity might be, today:

  1. Individual therapy, where I work.
  2. Group therapy, which is the coolest therapy (I believe) because “the more the merrier.”
  3. Getting fitted for a dental device for my sleep apnea, which will be much cooler ( I hope) than the C-Pap and Bi-Pap machines I’ve been using through some coolest and warmest months.
  4. Getting my teeth cleaned, pre-medicating with some cool oral antibiotics rather than the intravenous antibiotics I’ve had to use over many of the coolest years around here, in Massachusetts.
  5. Attending a board meeting of one of the coolest professional organizations of group therapists.

Which of these photos from yesterday is the coolest?

Personally, I think it’s the coolest to challenge habitual assumptions and ways of thinking — that’s why I wrote that prescription.

Which of these cool songs is the coolest, to you?

I think having several choices is the coolest.

Coolest thanks to cmblackwood, Paul S., coffeegrounded, Gwen Stefani, Alesso, West Side Story,  all those who help make my life the coolest, and  you — of course! — for being here, now (which is the coolest place to be).

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

Day 1051: Who loves ___?

Who loves the title of this post?

Who loves an explanation of what inspired “Who loves ___?”

This lovely morning, as I was thinking about writing a post about anger (and who loves anger?), my boyfriend Michael (who loves me) said, “Oscar loves you.”

Who loves Oscar?

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Who loves change?  Who loves unexpected change?  Who loves changes in WordPress, this morning?

Who loves these photos?

Who loves expressing love?

 

Who loves music?

 

Who loves this post?

Who loves the way I always express gratitude at the end of my daily posts?

Who loves Michael, Oscar, taking pictures, music, being a psychotherapist, today’s changes to WordPress, and you?  I do.

Categories: inspiration, love, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 1050: So So

Yesterday was so great for so, so many reasons.

I had food that was so delicious at a restaurant that was so, so excellent.

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One of those comments is so me and one of them is so Deborah.

So, who is Deborah?  Deborah is my ex-sister-in-law, whom I love soooooo much. (If you so want to see Deborah in some photos from our so recent and so fabulous trip to Edinburgh, it would be so easy to click here).

Deborah is so funny, clever, and lovely in so many ways, that any attempt to capture her so wonderful essence in one so-imperfect blog post is going to fall so short, no matter how long it is.

Here’s a so-fun exchange we had yesterday morning, when Oscar the cat was being so intrusive on my keyboard:

How does 9:30 sound?
It sounds like music to my ears.
You can park in back of our p
ooops!
Oscar sent that message too soon
You can park in back
if you choose

Ahh over eager kitty messaging
Yes. This is a constant issue.
Oscar also writes his own text messages.
Of course, when I wrote that, he stopped.

32S

See you shortly!

Maybe Oscar has others to text with
Oscar’s messages are very mysterious.

See you soon! And I’ll ask Oscar what “32S” means.

Perhaps an exit on 128?

I just looked it up and Oscar is suggesting that we go to the Burlington Mall.

Yes, Oscar is so so present, so so often.

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Deborah is so so talented, she is transforming a small so-so house in nearby Bedford, Massachusetts, into a home that is going to be SO spectacular.

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I find it so amazing that houses can be changed so radically.  That’s because my brain is so adept at imagining change for people, and so bad at visualizing change for inanimate objects. Yesterday, Deborah — who thinks she has a so-so memory — remembered this from so, so long ago:  Soon after we first met, during the 1980’s, Deborah showed me her home and said, “I’m thinking of knocking down this wall.” I was so, so surprised, I said, “You can do that?!?”

Why was this so memorable, for Deborah?  Probably because I’m so different from her, in that way.

So what else do I want to say about “So So,” now?

  • I am so, so happy about somebody I’ve know for so long becoming my co-worker so soon (three weeks from today).
  • I am so familiar with how focus on the future can take me out of being so present in the here and now.
  • I had some dreams last night that were so weird, including one where there were SO many canaries roosting in my home.  I guess if you look at this photo I took so recently, that dream isn’t so surprising:

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Here are two songs I like so so much that I’m hearing  as I write this So So post.

So, my so dear readers, which do you like better? “Moving in Stereo” by the Cars or Miles Davis‘s “So What?” 

Don’t worry about any comment of yours being so-so; I’m so so eager to read what you have to share.

So what’s stopping you?

I am so, so grateful to Deborah,  Cook.,  the cats, the Cars, canaries,  Miles Davis, and so, so many others who help me appreciate every day so so much (which includes you, I so hope you know).

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 1049: Essence

What is the essence of the word “essence”?

es·sence
ˈesəns
noun
the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, especially something abstract, that determines its character.
“conflict is the essence of drama”
synonyms: quintessence, soul, spirit, nature
PHILOSOPHY
a property or group of properties of something without which it would not exist or be what it is.
plural noun: essences
an extract or concentrate obtained from a particular plant or other matter and used for flavoring or scent.
synonyms: extract, concentrate, distillate, elixir, decoction, juice, tincture

Yesterday, I had an interesting discussion about essence with Newell, Lisa, and Michelle …

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… showing their essences there, left to right.

Newell — who arranged last night’s reunion of people who worked together for years at a psychiatric day treatment program —  broached the subject of essence almost immediately, which reflects the essence of Newell. Newell told us he essentially believes we all have an essence that never changes.  I noted the essence of irony there, since our work focused on the essence of change. I also wondered whether our essence was immortal.

My essence loves the essences of the three people in that photo.

Earlier in the day, I experienced the essence of several things, at Whole Foods Market …

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…  my local Honda dealership …

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… and a watch and clock shop.

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I’m thinking that one of those clocks might have the perfect essence for my new office in Newton, Massachusetts. Which clock would your essence choose?

Finally, here’s the essence of Lisa’s adorable dog …

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Bella.

What do you think is the essence of this post? Does “My Immortal” by Evanescence capture its essence?

Here and now, I’m happy to share the essence of my gratitude for Newell, Lisa, Michelle, music, animals, time, things that change and things that stay the same, and — of course! — you.

Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1048: Time Stops

Every day, I stop and take time to blog. Yesterday morning, after I’d taken the time and the room to write my post, I dropped one of my favorite watches. It fell face down and — with the sound of glass meeting wooden floor — time stopped for me momentarily, as I  catastrophized and imagined the worst:

I’ve broken that watch. I know it’s ruined.

When I picked up my beloved  time-keeper, my negative thoughts stopped because I saw a face neither broken nor scratched.  I then stopped to take the time to put on my watch, carefully.

Later in the day, I glanced at my watch to discover it had stopped.

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I realized it was stopped at the exact time I had dropped my watch at home.

For the rest of the day, time was stopped at five minutes to 10, according to my watch. Nevertheless, I did not stop using my time at work.

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After my time at work had stopped, I went to see a dance concert at one of Boston’s most popular venues, The Orpheum Theater. Throughout my life, I’ve stopped to enjoy performances at the Orpheum by Bruce Springsteen, Pat Metheny, the Moody Blues, and many other amazing musicians.

I stopped to snap these photos:

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At some point during the night, time stopped again as I heard about the violence in Paris — at a soccer field, cafes, and a concert hall much like the Orpheum.

I hope the violence stops.

I’m stopping this post to express my grief about time stopping for so many, last night.

Finally, I never stop feeling grateful for those who dance, those who read, and those who work for peace.

Categories: in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 1047: Room

I hope you have room for some roomy associations with “room” today.

I’m leaving room to tell you that I’ve written three previous posts about “room” — here, here, and here. Perhaps you’ll have room in your day to read them.

Yesterday, in two separate rooms at work, there was room for me to facilitate group therapy.  In every therapy group, no matter what room it’s in, I always make room for a mindfulness exercise. In the first group, people asked to focus on something they noticed in that room:

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After the mindfulness exercise, we had room to talk about the idiom “Elephant in the Room.”

I shall now make room for a definition of “Elephant in the Room.”

an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss.

Later, we made room to express roomy thoughts, feelings, or images about this roomy topic:

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I had room, in that group room, to write and share that one of my core values is making room for myself and others to grow and learn.

Before I  ended the group in that room, I asked if there were any elephants in the room. I hope people felt room to be honest when they all said there were no elephants in the room, besides the little origami one.

Later, in another group room, I asked people to mindfully look up and focus on the ceiling in that room. I had room to share that, when I was a kid, I would look up at ceilings and imagine that the ceiling was the floor, leaving me room to visualize walking on it.  There was also room for me to mention a movie where Fred Astaire dances on the floor, the walls, and the ceiling,  in a room that revolves:

I had room in my head for that wonderful dancing memory in that room, last night, because I knew that tonight I’d be going to see “So You Think You Can Dance” in a great room in downtown Boston.

I assume I’ll have room in tomorrow’s post to write about that.

I shall now make room  for other photos I had room to store on my iPhone, yesterday:

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Speaking of storage room, I’ve been getting a message that my laptop hard drive is running out of room.

Everywhere in my life, I’m making room for the philosophy in this book about decluttering rooms:

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Make room for the important things in your life by throwing away everything you do not love.

I hope you know there’s room for any thoughts or feelings you have about this roomy post, below.

There’s always room for gratitude, so thanks to  therapy groups, people who leave room for dancing, Fred AstaireMarie Kondo, the driver who left room for that “I love science” bumper sticker, everybody who had room for Mama’s vegetable soup at work, those who celebrate Diwali, elephants everywhere, and you — of course!  — for making room, here and now.

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

Day 1046: Great

When people describe progress and other positive things — at work and elsewhere —  I often hear myself saying

Great.

If you think puns are great, we might say I’m great-ful.

Last night, my great boyfriend Michael and I saw this:


I thought that was great that this great cat



has overcome great fear to believe that people are great.

Which of these photos do my great readers think are great?


  


  
  


  
  
  
  
  
All this greatness makes me think of the great Alec Baldwin impersonating Tony Bennett (one of the greats) and singing “I Like Things that are Great.” I couldn’t find that great song anywhere  on great YouTube, but I did find this other great Saturday Night Live skit:

If any of my great readers finds “I Love Things That Are Great,” that would be great if you could post it in a comment below. Actually, any comment would be great.

Speaking of great-ful:

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

Day 1045: Sit down

How much do you sit down, during a typical day?

During the work week, I sit down while facilitating groups and individual therapy. Other people sit down, too, during those sessions.

When I am not sitting down, I am often up and walking around, thank goodness.

Yesterday, I sat down in my car and drove to East Boston to sit down in some chairs for my new office, which sits in Newton, Massachusetts. I want chairs that are (1) comfortable for people to sit down in and (2) easily storable, so other therapists can sit down in that office and use it when I’m not there.

Sit down and see these photos that were sitting on my iPhone:


  
  
  

   
  

The chairs I purchased yesterday for my new office — which are great for sitting down and for storing away — are sitting in one of the photos above. If you sit down and think, can you pick the right picture?

As I sit down, these thoughts are sitting with me:

  1. If we stuff down feelings, they will sit uncomfortably inside us.
  2. When situations and people are difficult, sit down and work it through as best you can.
  3. There’s always  time to sit down and breathe.
  4. Sometimes I feel there’s an angry little kid who sits down deep inside, wanting to have a tantrum. Most times, she sits down comfortably.
  5. When I sat down yesterday, this music was sitting beside me:

On the cover of the album where “Sit Yourself Down”” sits, Stephen Stills is sitting down in snow next to a giraffe. That sits well with me.

Finally, stand up — if you can on Veterans Day — to salute those who help us sit down in peace.
Sit yourself down and accept my gratitude for sitting down next to me, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , | 32 Comments

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