Today, I am owning
- my mistakes,
- my wounds,
- how I have wounded others,
- my power,
- my internalized isms (racism, sexism, ageism, antisemitism, etc.), and
- these photos.
What do you own?
I continue to own gratitude for all of you.
Today, I am owning
What do you own?
I continue to own gratitude for all of you.
Yesterday, in a therapy group, I randomly picked this “angel card”:
We all have power. Soon, I will be taking on more power as the President of a professional group therapy organization. I hope to use that power well.
A few days ago, I noticed that the cafeteria in the hospital where I work had stopped including vitamin-K-rich spinach in their salad bar. Because I take the powerful medication Coumadin. I need the power to control the amount of Vitamin K in my diet, and I usually do so by taking the same amount of spinach every day from the salad bar. I owned my personal power and asked to speak to the person who had the power to decide what items to include in that salad bar. She told me that the hospital had decided to feature local produce and had replaced the spinach with locally grown kale. I told her about my taking Coumadin, which is a very common drug, and explained that kale had too much vitamin K and that I can’t eat kale. As I was explaining all this to her, these were my powerful thoughts, “Why am I doing this? I don’t have any power here. They’ve already made this decision. I’ll have to figure out how to regulate my vitamin K a different way.”
The next day, I saw this at the hospital salad bar:
Sometimes we have power even when we think we don’t. The powerful moral for me: keep speaking up, because maybe somebody is listening.
Do you see power in my other photos from yesterday?
People have the power to decide whether they want their pictures taken. My son Aaron was okay with that last night (and Michael wasn’t).
The ocean has the power to heal, I believe.
Today, Aaron and I will be experiencing the power of “West Side Story” at Boston’s Symphony Hall. I never get tired of the power of that score by Bernstein and Sondheim and I’m glad that YouTube has the power to provide the musical clips I need for this blog (here and here).
I look forward to the power of your comments, below.
I always end these daily posts with the power of gratitude to all who help me create them and — of course! — to YOU.
Three hundred and sixty-nine days ago (but who’s counting?), I wrote Day 1505: The Year of the ______. In that post, I hoped that 2017 would be, among other things, The Year of the Water View.
And it was! That water view helped me deal with many things in 2017, which was The Year of the Cock/Rooster/Bird.
Yesterday, in honor of the first day of The Year of the Dog, I did a special mindfulness exercise in my therapy group. I asked people to focus on images and memories of dogs. Even though I’m a cat person, I found that mindfulness exercise very helpful, relaxing, and soothing.
Vivian, the Social Work intern who helps me facilitate that group, texted me this photo afterwards:
I texted back “Oooh! It’s the year of that!”
I plan to practice mindfulness and look at more great photos this year, because 2018 is going to be
I doggedly hope The Year of the Dog is also
As is every year here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally, it’s The Year of the Thanks.
Terry, a co-worker of mine, has The Daily Bitch calendar. That calendar has shown up in this blog before, but I’m too much of a b*tch to spend time, right now, looking for those previous posts.
Yesterday, Terry showed me the daily batch of The Daily Bitch:
One of those Daily Bitches made this b*tch laugh out loud. Which one, from that bitching batch, is your favorite?
Some more b*tchy thoughts from me, your daily blogging bitch:
That Storm Jonas sure is a bitch of a blizzard, threatening 29 million b*tches. By the way, this bitch is glad that storms are now named after female bitches and male bastards (like Jonas), as opposed to just getting bitch names, the way it was when I was a little bitch.
This older b*tch is hoping for a big batch of bitchy comments from her bitchy readers.
And, I don’t meant to be such a bitch, but WordPress is being such a bitch as I’m writing this bitchy post that it won’t let me use more than one asterisk in a paragraph without becoming totally b*tchy.
What do you have to bitch about in your life today, my b*tches?
B*tchin’ thanks to Terry and everybody else that helped me create this bitching post. Thanks to you — of course! — no matter what you have to bitch about, here and now.
This month of November, I’ve committed to posting every day. This does not feel like an onerous obligation to me, since I’ve chosen to post once a day since January 1, 2013.
I’ve determined that daily posting is not an obligation to anybody else, but rather a personal commitment to growth and healing.
Obligations feel a lot different than choices, don’t they?
Yesterday, my therapy group decided to discuss the topic of “obligations.” Here’s something Olivia, the social work intern, shared with the group participants:
Since I told Olivia I was going to include her drawing in today’s blog, I’ve now fulfilled that obligation. I also choose to explain that Olivia did a great job, yesterday, describing how hidden and unclear obligations make it more challenging to be obliging.
It’s not my obligation to share with you what I shared with the group yesterday, but I am choosing to show you this:
What are your thoughts and feelings about obligations?
I wonder who will feel obligated to respond if I ask which of these photos best represents the word “obligations”?
I feel obligated to tell you that this photo best represents obligations, for me …
… because it says “WASH ME.”
… could also represent new and daunting obligations to me, since those are the keys to my office, in Newton, Massachusetts. From now on, for one year, I have an obligation to pay rent for that space. However, providing group therapy in any location feels more like a privilege, to me, than an obligation.
Do I have an obligation to my readers to include music in this post? Do you have an obligation to listen?
Obligatory AND sincere thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and special thanks to you — of course! — no matter what your obligations are, today.
What’s so interesting to this cat, on any day?
What’s so interesting about this plate of food, on Monday?
What’s so interesting about these words, on Thursday?
What’s so interesting about this, on Friday?
What’s so interesting about any of these, on Saturday?
What’s so interesting about these, on Sunday?
What’s so interesting about the day ahead of me, on a Wednesday? Today I’ll be
Are you interested in my supplying more information about anything in particular, at this point?
What’s so interesting about the song “Seven Days” by Sting, which I heard yesterday, on Tuesday?
In any moment, only you can decide what’s interesting to you.
Whatever it is, I’m interested.
Thanks to Oscar the cat, Ada, Michael, people who heal as best they can, Sting, and — of course! — you, for being interesting and interested, here and now.
I would like to share some Random Thoughts on personal power, on a Saturday morning (after an exhausting week at work and during a morning where I have just re-read two of my blog posts from earlier this year — Post One and Post Two).
(Why did I re-read those particular blog posts? Because I noticed that somebody in Finland had just read the first one and there was a link — or ping-back — in the first one to the second one.) (Talk about random ….)
Random Thoughts About Personal Power
(“Random,” in this context, means, “I have no friggin’ clue how I am going to organize or choose among all the thoughts I am having about this, right now.”)
1. There are times, in our lives, when our personal power is greatly restricted or non-existent, to our detriment and pain.
Obviously, this is true if we are subjugated to unjust laws that restrict freedom and cause suffering.
This is also true if our role or position intrinsically has less power. (Being a child is just one example.)
2. Sometimes, it is difficult to figure out how much personal power we have in a situation. When we perceive that we are powerless, it is difficult to act. We might focus our energy and thoughts on survival, rather than on the possibility of change.
3. Often, we need the help of others to leverage and support our personal power.
And on a more personal note …
4. The Tiger (which has shown up in my blog posts here and — what amazed me this morning — in both the blog posts I referred to, above) might stand for anger…. or it might stand for Personal Power.
Before I end this post for the day (so I can go out into the world and, perhaps, exercise some personal power, in some small way), I would like to tell you about a Worksheet I use in my groups.
I hand out worksheets, about topics that often come up in groups. These worksheets have a few questions on them. The participants write their thoughts down and then the group members share these thoughts and discuss them.
One of these worksheets is on the topic of Personal Power. The questions are something like this (I can’t access the exact language, because I am not at work today):
Worksheet on Personal Power
1. What does “personal power” mean to you?
2. What are some examples of times when you were able to exercise personal power? What are some times when you were not?
3. What gets in the way of you having personal power?
4. What helps you recognize and use your personal power?
(I am now letting go of judgment about how well I was able to remember those questions as well as judgment about the questions themselves.)
Okay, I now need to end this post, to obey the rules of time and space (and get to an appointment on time).
Thanks to all,
Last week, I met with Megan, who — like me — has a name that gets misspelled and mispronounced a lot. (It’s “Mee-gan” instead of “Megg-an.”)
I’ve known Megan for many years, as a co-worker and a friend. She specializes in holistic health counseling, and I wanted to talk to her about eating and nutrition.
“Holistic” is a great word to describe how she works, because she is interested in the whole picture of the person she’s counseling. We touched on many different aspects of health, related to eating and nourishment.
Not surprisingly, we talked a lot about The Stomach. Or, as Megan often refers to it, The Belly.
Here are some of my immediate associations with the word “stomach.”
Here are some of my immediate associations with the word “belly”:
The emotional stamina and vigor, passion, or inner drive to achieve something, to take action, etc.
Both words refer to the same location in the body, and Megan told me something I didn’t know about that place: it’s the location of the Chakra for personal power.
At the end of our meeting, which was very helpful, Megan and I chose some next steps for me to move forward, including this one:
Be aware of the stomach as a source of personal power. And, love it exactly the way it is.
Thanks to Megan, to all the bellies out there, and to you for reading today.
The original title for this post was “Things That Would Be Helpful to Me Remember Today.” And I started to write a list.
And then I realized that a list already existed: “The Personal Bill of Rights.” This is from a book, “The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook” by Edmund Bourne. (Believe me, you don’t have to be anxious or phobic to get something out of this book.)
I’ve used this list in group and individual therapy. I’ve seen people react strongly to it, stating, “I am going to post this somewhere, so I can see it every day.”
I assumed that if I googled “Personal Bill of Rights” (without naming the book or the author), that this list would show up, several times, in many different places for many different reasons.
And it did.
Here it is:
Personal Bill of Rights
1. I have the right to ask for what I want.
2. I have the right to say no to requests or demands I can’t meet.
3. I have the right to express all of my feelings, positive or negative.
4. I have the right to change my mind.
5. I have the right to make mistakes and not have to be perfect.
6. I have the right to follow my own values and standards.
7. I have the right to say no to anything when I feel I am not ready, it is unsafe or it violates my values.
8. I have the right to determine my own priorities.
9. I have the right not to be responsible for others’ behavior, actions, feelings or prohlems
10. I have the right to expect honesty from others.
11. I have the right to be angry at someone I love.
12. I have the right to be uniquely myself.
13. I have the right to feel scared and say “I’m afraid.”
14. I have the right to say “I don’t know.”
15. I have the right not to give excuses or reasons for my behavior.
16. I have the right to make decisions based on my feelings.
17. I have the right to my own needs for personal space and time.
18. I have the right to be playful and frivolous.
19. I have the right to be healthier than those around me.
20. I have the right to be in a nonabusive environment.
21. I have the right to make friends and be comfortable around people.
22. I have the right to change and grow.
23. I have the right to have my needs and wants respected by others.
24. I have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
25. I have the right to be happy.
Thanks to Edmund Bourne and thanks for reading today.