Posts Tagged With: personal medicine

Day 1894: Prescriptions

In my work as a therapist, sometimes I write prescriptions for people.  I’m not licensed to prescribe medications, so those prescriptions have included

  • Rx:  Keep doing what you’re doing.
  • Rx:  Be kind to yourself.
  • Rx:  This too shall pass.
  • Rx.  One  day at a time.
  • Rx:  One minute at a time.
  • Rx: Follow your heart.
  • Rx: Stay safe.
  • Rx:  Forgive yourself.
  • Rx:  Love yourself.
  • Rx:  Speak your truth.
  • Rx:  It’s safer than it feels.

I happen to have a blank prescription here.


What prescription would you write for yourself, here and now?

My daily prescriptions include writing this blog and sharing photos.










Those Yogi Tea sayings seem like prescriptions to me.

What’s the prescription for the rockin’ pneumonia and the boogie woogie flu?

Prescribed thanks to all who helped me write today’s blog post and — of course! — to YOU.


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 1759: What do you like most about yourself?

What do you like most about yourself?

What I like most about myself is that  …

  • I offer  therapy/support groups where people  bring in and answer excellent questions.



  • I follow my own values and standards.


  • I try my best to live righteously and love everyone.


  • I appreciate and share great music.


  • I express gratitude, including thanking all who help me create these daily blog posts and — of course! — YOU.


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

Day 1640: Personal medicine, again

Because this blog is personal medicine for me, I’ve been publishing daily posts since January 1, 2013.  During that time, I’ve personally blogged twice before about personal medicine (here and here).

Yesterday, in a therapy group, it was personal medicine for all of us to share our personal medicine.


Notice that the first item on my list of personal medicine is my sister. That’s because Ellen had texted me during the group that she was in the building where I work. After the group, I had the personal medicine of hanging out with Ellen in the lobby of the hospital. She showed me a graph she had created about how Perceivers perform tasks.


Ellen showed me the personal medicine of that chart because, in Myers-Briggs lingo, I’m a perceiver and she’s a judger. I was initially interested and excited, then I got diverted by other priorities.

One of my other priorities yesterday was to go on a walk-through — with my boyfriend Michael, our realtor Jane, and the current owner —  of our very-soon-to-be-new home near the ocean.



It’s personal medicine for me to look at that last photo. Imagine the personal medicine of living there, after the closing today.

When Michael and I got back to our soon-to-be-not home last night, we found a note from my son Aaron. Michael did his own personal medicine of  writing back on the note.


Did you see that music is also on my list of personal medicine, above?

I hope you know your comments are also personal medicine for me. Please share your personal medicine, below.

Personal thanks to all who helped me create another personal-medicine post and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: blogging, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 1115: How to let go of embarrassment

Is there any thing you’re embarrassed about, right now?  If so, let’s figure out


What do you know  about letting go of embarrassment, based on your past experience and your own wisdom?  If you can’t think of anything, please don’t be embarrassed.  When somebody unexpectedly puts me on the spot and asks for answers, I’m embarrassed about how long it can take me to think of something useful.

I’m also embarrassed that I can’t remember everything people came up with, yesterday in my office, when we were brainstorming about how to let go of embarrassment.  I do remember the list included:

  • acknowledge what’s embarrassing you,
  • recognize how the embarrassment is affecting your thoughts, feelings, and actions,
  • figure out who originally gave you the idea you should be embarrassed in this situation,
  • challenge that assumption,
  • share your thoughts and feelings with somebody you trust,
  • recognize that other people get embarrassed,
  • let go of the embarrassment as quickly as possible, and …


Because I’m a little embarrassed about my handwriting, I’ll point out that #9 says “Treat yourself kindly.”

As usual, I have an embarrassment of riches, photographically, that I’d like to share with you today:


Which of those images are most embarrassing to you?  How might you begin to let go of that embarrassment?

It’s embarrassing how easy it is for me to ask for comments for my daily blog posts.  Please don’t be embarrassed to leave one, below.

This might be embarrassing, but I’m not going to thank anybody for their help in creating today’s blog.  I’d definitely be embarrassed, however, if I didn’t thank you — of course! — for reading it.


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , | 29 Comments

Day 1037: Candied

Dear sweet readers,

Can you guess why today’s post may be Candied?

Many of us, this time of year, buy too much candy for Halloween, and get candied ourselves.

IMG_6499 IMG_6500

Candied, indeed.

Yesterday, many sweet people in therapy talked about eating candy (among other things) and how that made them feel.


All that sugar activated my sweet tooth, so  I tried getting candied …


… and got cookied, instead.

As I suggested to others throughout the day …


… mindful eating includes recognizing slips and self-forgiveness. Our self-worth is NOT dependent on what we eat or how we look.


By mindfully letting go of the extra sugar I’ve been eating lately, I was able to notice and appreciate other sweet things around me.

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Now it’s time to share some sweet music in this candied post.

Candidly, I chose today’s title partly because of this:

The Candide Overture by Leonard Bernstein is here on YouTube, with over one million sweet views.

What are your candied thoughts and feelings, now?

Sweet gratitude to all who helped me create this candied post and special thanks to you — of course! — for bringing your sweet self here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 730: Honestly

Honestly, I’ve been wondering what kind of post to create on the last day of this year AND my second year of blogging.

Honestly, I could reminisce about the highlights,


the lowlights,


and the midlights


of the days and nights of 2014. But honestly, it would take me a long, long time to go through all the photos and all the experiences I shared with you in 2014.

Honestly, I’d like to write a regular, run-of-the-mill post today, because isn’t today just another day (no matter how much significance we tend to give certain days over others)?

Honestly, all the posts I wrote for you (and — honestly —  for me, too)  this year included:

  • some acknowledgement of the past (usually, a link to the day before),
  • a list or other collection of connections,
  • a mixture of light and dark,
  • an invitation to let go of fear, dread, shame, or something else that gets in the way,
  • some ideas about moving forward,
  • a mixture of thoughts and feelings,
  • randomness,
  • love, and
  •  honesty.

Honestly, every post I wrote for you and for me in 2014 helped me

  • learn,
  • grow, and
  • face the day ahead with more courage.

Honestly, if it weren’t for this blog, I don’t think I would have seen, heard, thought, felt, and experienced as much wonder, curiosity, and hope in 2014.

Honestly, having this blog was like confiding in a community of great listeners,  carrying everybody’s presence with me no matter where I went, and enjoying everything so much more, because I knew I could show it to you the very next day.

Honestly, I saw these yesterday, and looked forward to sharing them with you today:


IMG_4329 IMG_4330 IMG_4331 IMG_4332 IMG_4333 IMG_4336

Honestly, I think Harley’s gotten more comfortable with everybody, in 2014.


Honestly, I really need to straighten up and clear off my blogging table.


Honestly, I took only ONE of all those delicious chocolates offered to me at work yesterday. Would you like to guess which one I took? Which one would YOU have chosen?

Honestly, whenever I ask you to guess, listen, look, or respond  in these posts, I don’t need you to do anything. I’m just glad you’re here.

Honestly, whenever I say that I heard a song on one of my walks that fits a blog post perfectly for me, I’m telling you the truth. For example,”1999” by Prince was the first song that came on yesterday and I thought,

Wow!  That’s always seemed like the PERFECT New Year celebration song, ever since I first heard it in 1982. I can’t wait to use it in my end-of-year celebration post!!

Honestly, I can’t find “1999” anywhere on YouTube right now.

Honestly, every time I’ve encountered an obstacle in 2014, whether in blogging or elsewhere ,  it’s all worked out — maybe, even for the better.

Honestly, who knows?  We’re all just doing the best we can.

Honestly, as I was dancing yesterday, next to my car in my work-place parking lot …


…  I heard a song which reminded me of the one video I kept meaning to share with you in 2014.


Honestly, this is why I love that video of Carly Rae Jepsen, Jimmy Fallon, and The Roots playing “Call Me Maybe” with kids’ classroom instruments, so very very much.

It’s filled with honest, heart-felt joy.

AND bongos*!

Call me maybe, tomorrow? I’ll be here.

Many honest thanks from me to you, here and now.

* Also found, in 2014, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Categories: blogging, gratitude, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Day 231: Back to work

I feel ready to go back to work, although I continue to have some trouble sleeping The Night Before Something Important.

Of course, every day is important, but my brain seems to think that some days are more important than others. (For a great joke about the human brain, by Emo Philips, see this short post.) (And while we’re at it,  here‘s another great Emo Philips joke, in another end-of-vacation post, no less.)

Before I went to sleep, a few hours ago, I tried taking a half-dose of  an over-the-counter, “traditional” herbal sleep aid I bought in the UK last week.  Usually I avoid any kind of sleep aid medicine, just because I haven’t had good experiences with them. And it’s not working (yet).

So I’m going to try another sleep aid, which HAS worked for me before: doing a quick blog post in the middle of the night.

Yesterday afternoon, on my Last Day Before Returning to Work After My Unusually Long, Two-Week Vacation, I went for a long walk, listening to lots of favorite tunes.

As I often do, I found that a joyful experience.

Here are some shots I snapped along the way:







The weather, on that walk yesterday, was “gloomier” than it had been days before, when I took these photos, nearby:



The point I wanted to make, right now, was there was beauty to be seen, no matter what the weather, no matter where I was walking.

I saw beauty in London and Edinburgh, of course, last week.  In those places, it was impossible to miss.



But beauty is everywhere, if I’m open to it.

When I return to work tomorrow, there’ll be beauty there, too. My own worries, tiredness, expectations, and “cognitive distortions” might obscure that beauty, for moments.  But it’s always there.

I look forward to seeing it, in the days ahead.

Thanks for reading, everybody.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 189: Something lifted (and movie medicine)

Yesterday, I wrote what felt like a VIP (Very Important Post).

It included a story I’ve been meaning to — perhaps yearning to —  tell, about my mother and her death.

Writing it definitely released something.

Including tears. Tears when I wrote it and tears, again, when I read the post several times throughout the day.

And yesterday, dread and anxiety left the room.

Last night, my bf, my son and I watched a movie I’ve seen only once before.  I’m not sure why I haven’t watched it more, since I LOVED it when I first saw it in the ’80s, when I was in Film School.

Here’s the film:



Certain films, for me, are pure pleasure.  “Adam’s Rib” is one of them.

What I’d like to do, today, is name some more movies like that, for me.

My Year of Blogging Daily is half over, so it’s about time I did a Top 10 List, y’know?

Each one of these movies has been a kind of “personal medicine” for me, at some point of my life.  They’ve all given me hours of amazement and joy, and I love them all.

Here they are, alphabetically:











While it was REALLY tough to stop at 10, I think that list is good enough, for now.

Thanks for reading today. And feel free to share movies that are personal medicine, for you.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Day 174: Surprised by joy

Yesterday, I was in a negative mood, which I blogged about.  After finishing that post, I grabbed some food (my self-prescribed personal medicine) and decided to go for a walk.

When I’m feeling down, anxious, or negative, it’s difficult for me to leave the house, even when I KNOW that’s going to help me. (Whether it’s walking, listening to music, talking to people, or any of my other personal medicines, it’s tough to do any of those things when I’m feeling bad.  I hear similar things from people in my work, along with accompanying shame-based thoughts such as, “What is the matter with me? I know what will help …. why don’t I do those things?”)

There’s a DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) skill called “Opposite to Emotion Action,” which is helpful in overcoming the resistance to doing helpful things.  Another way to remember that skill is this:

Just do it!

Easier said (or written) than done, right?  And it did take me a little while, yesterday morning, to get myself out of the house.  (I’m not sure what I’m afraid of, when I have trouble getting out. Maybe just the possibility of  something bad happening.)

So, feeling a little dread and resistance, but resolved to

 Just do it!

… I hunted for the things I needed for my walk. Finding my sneakers took several minutes and go-rounds through my place (see here for a post about losing things), but, finally, I was ready to go. I  had everything I needed:  (1) my sneakers, (2) my keys, and (3) my combination phone/camera/music-player/Starbucks-charge-card:


And I went out for my walk.

With every step, with every photo, I felt better. And I was surprised — and not surprised — by all that.

Photo essay time!

How I Spent My Saturday Morning

 by Ann

When it gets into summer, I am not as hyper-aware of the colors outside — compared to how I am when spring arrives after the long winters here.


But, if I look around, the colors are still there, for the noticing.

Very soon, on my walk, I noticed evidence of Boston’s involvement in the Stanley Cup hockey playoffs:


Even the trees are fans around here. When I saw this, it reminded me of another tree-related piece of whimsy that pleases me whenever I see it. I thought it was nearby, but wasn’t sure of the exact location. I turned down the next street, and voila!


Finding this so quickly made me ridiculously happy.  Already, I knew i was in a much better mood. I also noted that whoever is using that door, they’re not too focused on neatness or what the neighbors might think about their front yard.  This made me happy, too.

That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate people taking care of their front yards and gardens.  Whenever I see people working with flowers and plants, I recognize that as personal medicine, too.



I’m just glad I don’t have to take care of a lawn, myself.  That adds to my enjoyment of other people’s hard work.

(At this point, I’m reminded of a quote from Catch-22, by Joseph Heller:

… there were many officers’ clubs that Yossarian had not helped build, but he was proudest of the one on Pianosa … It was truly a splendid structure, and Yossarian throbbed with a mighty sense of accomplishment each time he gazed at it and reflected that none of the work that had gone into it was his.)

Back to the walk. Soon, I was near a surprising body of water.


I don’t know if this body of water is man-made. I haven’t stumbled upon anything similar in these parts.  But I’m always glad to see bodies of water, expected or not.


Next, I walked along a kind of “rail trail” —  a path that’s next to an active train track.


This is a pret-ty thin stretch of nature here, sandwiched between the active train track and suburban development. However, I found a lot there yesterday.

I saw parts that reminded me of piece of art I love very much:




There was some flora:



And some fauna:


That’s a wild turkey. I saw her moments after I had decided to give my phone-camera a rest. What you can’t see in that picture, because they are now in the deep grass, are the little baby turkeys that were following her.

Soon afterwards, two nice people walking by told me they had actually seen DEER on this path.

Another surprise.

End of Photo Essay

Before I end this post, on a beautiful Sunday morning, I just want to note some progress I’ve made from a year ago, around this same time.

Last night and early this morning,  we (and by “we” I mean inhabitants of Earth) were visited by the summer Supermoon.


(That’s an image I just grabbed off the internet, posted by CBS news.)

Now, I LOVE seeing the moon so big and beautiful. It’s one of the joys of my life.

Last year at this time, I had resolved to see the Summer Supermoon in all its glory. I needed to see it. I researched it on the web. I went out looking for it, in my car.  And I “failed.”  I couldn’t figure out a way to see it — in its most spectacular form. I drove around and looked for it, with a strategy that just didn’t work.  I saw it, eventually, but by that point it was high enough in the sky that it wasn’t all that spectacular.

And I felt bad. I had thoughts like this, “How could you screw THAT up? How could you look for, and not find, a friggin’ SUPERMOON?  What is the matter with you?”

Yesterday, I knew the Supermoon was coming. And I knew, approximately, when the best viewing times would be, last night and this morning.

But I resolved to take the idea of “success and failure” out of the experience this year.

And this is what I did last night: I went back to that same walk I’d taken that morning, this time  with my son and my bf.  We spent some great time together. I looked for the moon, but letting go of my investment in the outcome. I didn’t NEED to see it.

And we saw it. It wasn’t at the most spectacular moment — it didn’t look anywhere as amazingly huge as it does in the photos on the internet. But it was beautiful.

(Note that there are no pictures at this point in my blog post. I’m doing a non-photo-essay here, because I had decided not to take pictures last night. Instead, I just wanted to be in the moment with people I love.)

This morning, I got up in time for another viewing opportunity, according to what I had understood on the internet. I decided to go out, to see if I might encounter that Supermoon again, at its most spectacular.

Again, I had no investment in the outcome.

And I didn’t see it, this morning.

As a matter of fact, I drove around some of the same places I went last year, when I was feeling shame and thinking thoughts of failure. This year, however, was a totally different experience. I thought, “If I see the moon, I will be surprised by that joy.” And when I wasn’t seeing it, I was taking in the beauty of what I WAS seeing.  (No photos of that, either. I ‘d left my combination phone-camera-etc. at home.)

I guess this Year of Living Non-Judgmentally is making a difference for me.

Thanks to Joseph Heller, Yossarian, Elisa Tenenbaum (the artist of the pastel landscape), the Supermoon, fans, gardeners, walkers, and elves everywhere.  And thanks to you for reading, and for whatever surprises you were able to find here.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 170: Kicking it to work

Two days ago, I wrote about a dream I had about dancing, which included my doing some very amazing kicks.

I’ve also written posts about letting go of self-consciousness this year, as I’ve been singing out loud — and even dancing a little —  while listening to music in public. Nothing too outrageous, mind you. But it’s been freeing to realize that other people don’t notice, so much, if I  vocalize or step out a little.

Yesterday morning was a particularly beautiful day. I had some extra time for my walk to work, so I took my detour, along the banks of a little river.

Some pret-ty danceable music kept playing in my headphones on the way.  I really wanted to get into it, dancing-wise, more exuberantly than I ever had before in public —  but I still felt a little self conscious about this.  Luckily, while “It Keeps You Running” by the Doobie Brothers was playing, the coast was pretty clear in front of me (everybody was facing away):


And nobody was there, in back of me:


So I had no compunction, at all, in doing some dance moves.

I really started to get into it, doing some side steps, some kicks,  and even a grapevine or two. I had memories of dancing in my basement to musicals, when I was a kid.

I passed some geese, but they didn’t seem to care.


Geese to the right of me, geese to the left of me, all indifferent to my moves.


Then, as Michael Franks’s bouncy tune “Eggplant” started playing in my headphones, I noticed a lot of human traffic ahead.


Oh, no! I thought. I guess I’ll have to cut back on my kicking when I get close to that heavily trafficked bridge.


However, by the time I crossed that bridge, nobody else was on it. Also, the view from the bridge was nice enough to distract anybody away from my antics:


Lots of beautiful distraction, everywhere:


And when I got to the other side, the surrounding population was sparse again, making it easy to kick it, without concern.


I had so much fun walking/dancing to “Eggplant” as I continued along.


While there were waves of people moving by, they were  always in the distance and not looking in my direction.  They were focused on getting to work (or wherever else they were heading).


Then, when I reached this point in my walk …


I realized that, in order to get to work on time, I had to keep moving  forwards — deliberately, consistently, and quickly. In other words, I had to stop sashaying and really start hoofing it. One of my favorite tunes of all time, “Hard Eights” by Lyle Mays, kicked in right then. Now, THAT’s a song that always energizes and propels me.

So, I flew to work, keeping pace with the music, and with some delight on my face.  On my way, there were lots of people on the sidewalk to weave around.


Which I did, with a modicum of grace. (At least, no collisions.) I got to work in plenty of time, too.

Thanks for steppin’ along side with me today.

And, if you want to check out “Eggplant” (perhaps for a little personal kicking),  here it is:

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

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