Posts Tagged With: Rupi Kaur

Day 2755: Fragility

In my therapy groups and in my therapy group organization,  I am witnessing conversations about fragility (defined as “the quality of being easily broken or damaged”).

My experience is that focusing on the fragility of ourselves, other people, and established systems can lead to

  • fear,
  • resistance to change,
  • avoidance of action, and
  • silence.

Yesterday, during a conversation about racism in a racially diverse group, I brought up the concept of “white fragility,”  defined by Robin DiAngelo as follows:

White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include
the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such
as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. Racial stress results from an interruption to what is racially familiar.

I was the only person in this group who had heard the term “White Fragility.”  As we discussed the concept, people nodded and shared their experiences.

In group discussions, I often witness vulnerability, which Brené Brown describes  as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure” and the unstable feeling we get when we step out of our comfort zone or do something that forces us to loosen control.

It occurs to me now that fragility and vulnerability are two very different things, although both are, of course, human.

My hope is to face the future with more vulnerability and less fragility.

Do you see fragility or vulnerability in any of these recent photos?

 

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When I search for “fragility” on YouTube, the second thing that comes up is this video by Newsbroke:

What are your thoughts and feelings about fragility, here and now?

Strong thanks to all who are reading this “Fragility” post today, including YOU!

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Categories: definition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 2742: Community

On June 13, I am going to be facilitating an online community meeting for an esteemed community of group therapists.

Here’s an online definition of community:

com·mu·ni·ty
/kəˈmyo͞onədē/

1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.

2. a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

As I’m looking at that definition, I’m thinking how important difference and diversity are (not just things shared in common) for enriching a community.

I’m planning on asking people questions during the online community meeting, like

  1. What does community mean to you?
  2. What gets in the way of community for you?
  3. What helps you connect to a community?

I’d also like to share the poem “community” by rupi kaur, which was featured in my previous blog post about community:

when the world comes crashing at your feet

it’s okay to let others

help pick up the pieces

if we’re present to take part in your happiness

when your circumstances are great

we are more than capable

of sharing your pain

Here‘s a video on rupi kaur  from the community of the Sikh Foundation of Canada.

 

Do any of my photos from yesterday relate to community?

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Because part of community is creating a safe enough space for others to participate, what are your thoughts and feelings about community?

I am grateful for all my communities, including this one!

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Categories: definition, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2431: Community

My dear blogging community,

After almost seven years of blogging daily about the healing power of community, I discover, here and now, that I have never, ever titled a post “Community” before.

COMMUNITY noun, often attributive
com·​mu·​ni·​ty | \ kə-ˈmyü-nə-tē \
plural communities
Definition of community
1 : a unified body of individuals: such as
a : the people with common interests living in a particular area
broadly : the area itself
the problems of a large community
b : a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society
a community of retired persons
a monastic community
c : a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society
the academic community
the scientific community
d : a body of persons or nations having a common history or common social, economic, and political interests
the international community
e : a group linked by a common policy
f : an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (such as species) in a common location
g : STATE, COMMONWEALTH
2a : a social state or condition
The school encourages a sense of community in its students.
b : joint ownership or participation
community of goods
c : common character : LIKENESS
community of interests
d : social activity : FELLOWSHIP
3 : society at large
the interests of the community

If you’re looking for a definition of “community” by Merriam-Webster,  that’s it.

When I look at news stories from the world community, I do not find a focus on community, Instead, I see divisiveness, “other”-ing, and antonyms of community like inequality, conflict, polarity, incompatibility, incongruence, disproportion, imbalance, disagreement, discrepancy, disparity, dissimilarity, unlikeness, forlornness, and loneliness.

Do you see community in my photos from yesterday ?

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Don Henley, who used to be in a community of Eagles, has created several songs about community, including this one

… and this one.

It’s difficult to find Don Henley songs in the community of YouTube, but here’s a slower version of “The Boys of Summer.”

I look forward to hearing from my community of readers.

No matter what community  I’m in, I’m always looking for expressions of gratitude.  Thanks to the community of people who helped me create this post and — of course! — thanks to YOU.

 

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Categories: definition, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 2347: Optimal Fuel

What is your optimal fuel?

Is it

  • a good night’s sleep?
  • naps?
  • supportive people?
  • animals?
  • community?
  • poetry?
  • music?
  • friends?
  • peace?
  • forgiveness?
  • magic?
  • beliefs?
  • humor?
  • hope?
  • nature?
  • travel?
  • the city?
  • the country?
  • walking (or other exercise you enjoy)?
  • work?
  • celebrations?
  • taking time for yourself?
  • wishes?
  • writing?
  • observing?
  • questions?
  • answers?
  • love?
  • nutritious food, including kale?

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Two optimal videos show up (here and here) when I search YouTube for “Willie Nelson Optimal Fuel”:

Gratitude is one of my optimal fuels, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s optimal post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2278: Stress balls

What are stress balls?  Are they squishy balls that you can squeeze when you’re stressed?

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Are they creatures who are feeling lots of stress?

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Harley does not look like a stress ball in that photo, but usually he stresses and runs away when I try to take a picture of him.

Even stress balls, like Harley, can relax at times.

I’m a stress ball today because I have to do many things (including giving a presentation about my therapy groups, singing songs in meetings,  running a board meeting, preparing for a trip to L.A., planning a dinner in L.A., and more) all while dealing with a bout of insomnia and some ambivalence about possible choices.

What helps when you’re a stress ball, besides squeezing a stress ball? My niece Julie, of The Joy Source, suggests changing the words “have to” (see previous paragraph) to “get to.” So, it’s not that I have to do many thing (including giving a presentation, etc.) , it’s that I get to do many things (including giving a presentation, etc.).  That shifts me from being a stress ball about too many obligations to being grateful about having the opportunity to do all those things, connecting me with confidence in my skills to get things done adequately enough.

I don’t have to share my other photos from yesterday, but I’m glad I get to share them with you.

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Here‘s what YouTube gives me for “stress ball song”:

 

Somehow, I’m not a stress ball any more.

What helps you be less of a stress ball?

Thanks to all who helped me stress less by stressing all the things I stressed in this “stress balls” post and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2133: A loud uprising

Yesterday, in a therapy group, we discussed this quote by Nikita Gill.

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To love yourself should be no quiet affair, but a loud uprising. — Nikita Gill

About a month ago, when I watched a loud uprising of men’s and women’s anger about the USA’s latest Supreme Court Justice, I wrote a song — “I’m Mad About You” — which I debuted last night at an Open Mic.

In case those lyrics aren’t loud enough in that video, here they are, uprising:

I’m Mad About You

I’m mad about you.

You make me feel blue.

You make me so angry

And that isn’t new.

The things you do to enrage me,

Cage me and disengage me

Make me scream and dream of murdering you,

And I’m mad about you.

I’m mad about you.

You’re worse than the flu.

I’m pissed that you’re out there

And that’s always true.

You make me want to annoy you,

Toy with you and destroy you,

Yell and tell the horrible things that you do.

And I’m mad about you.

You may be curious

Why I’m so furious.

I’ll try to make things plain,

As I continue to womansplain.

The things you say to inflame me,

Shame me, blame me, and maim me

Should return, concern, and burn you-know who.

Because I’m mad about you.

I’m mad about you.

No, I’m not quite through.

You make me so bullshit,

I spit this at you.

I wish I could disappear you,

Never hear or be near you,

Oy, oh boy, the joy to be rid of you,

Because I’m mad, not sad, not glad, just mad about you.

© Ann Koplow, 2018

Two people yesterday told me they believe that song could go viral, which would be a loud uprising for me. Every loud uprising starts with a small sound (especially if you have only 11 subscribers on YouTube), so I’ve quietly posted that performance here.

Do you notice any loud uprisings in my other photos from yesterday?

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The gentleman on the right in that last photo is Ben, who creates a loud and supportive uprising at the start of my performance of “I’m Mad About You”.

I’m looking forward to a loud uprising at the USA mid-term elections on Tuesday, November 6. I’m also looking forward to uprisings of any volume in the comments section, below.

Thanks to all who helped me create the loud uprisings in today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2025: Backbone

The first photo I took yesterday showed some backbone.

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Here‘s a definition of “backbone”:

1 : spinal column, spine
2 : something that resembles a backbone: such as
a : a chief mountain ridge, range, or system
b : the foundation or most substantial or sturdiest part of something
c : the longest chain of atoms or groups of atoms in a usually long molecule (such as a polymer or protein)
d : the primary high-speed hardware and transmission lines of a telecommunications network (such as the Internet)
3 : firm and resolute character

I hope I’m exhibiting firm and resolute character as I send you this blog post over the primary high-speed hardware and transmission lines of the internet.

Do you see any backbone in my other photos today?

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There are several “Backbone” songs on YouTube, including this one:

Feel free to show some backbone in a comment, below.

Gratitude is a backbone of this daily blog, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: definition, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 1951: Vivian

Vivian is a social work intern who makes me smile, especially when she shows me photos like this:

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Yesterday, Vivian and I  made each other cry because it was her last day at work.  Soon, as a new graduate,  she’ll be off on her own road trip to Chicago.

In the final Friday therapy group she facilitated with me, we discussed goodbyes and helpful phrases like “The pain of a loss is a direct reflection of the importance of the connection” and “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Vivian, who is a very gifted student, shared many gifts yesterday.

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In honor of the many  things Vivian and I shared this year,  here‘s Jackie Chan singing “Believe in Yourself.”

I hope Vivian believes in herself,  as many of us in her community believe in her.

Vivian let me know she appreciates my gratitude. I am very grateful for Vivian, Jackie Chan, Nikita Gill, A. A. Milne, Rupi Kaur, healing groups and communities, and — of course! — YOU.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

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