Posts Tagged With: self acceptance

Day 3438: Learning

I keep learning every day and I try to share some of that learning in this blog.

Yesterday, in a therapy session, somebody compared learning self-acceptance to maintaining a home. While we might wish that our hard work is finally done, we learn to keep recommitting to the upkeep, which is never finished.

This weekend I’ll be learning more about facilitating groups at the annual conference of the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy. I’m never done learning more about groups, too.

I have to say that what I’m learning about my country can be very scary and discouraging. I hope that people in the USA are learning that they have to vote in November if they care about the future of their country and the world.

Do you see learning in my images for today?

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “learning.”

Thanks to all who support my learning, including YOU.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 2440: It’s okay!

Yesterday, somebody in a “Coping and Healing” group suggested that we share thoughts and feelings about “It’s okay,” especially since the week before we had focused on “It’s NOT okay.”

I hope it’s okay that I share what I wrote in that group:



It’s okay that my “It’s okay!” poem is on its side.

Here are more photos residing on my okay iPhone:












It’s okay that I missed last night’s spectacular sunset, because I was facilitating the Coping and Healing group.  Yes, somebody else took that much-more-than-okay last photo.

Here‘s OK (Anxiety Anthem) by Mabel:


Whatever comment you choose to leave, it’s okay.

I know it’s okay for me to end these posts with gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create another okay post and — of course! — to YOU.



Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2342: Practicing happiness

Yesterday, at a Coping and Healing group where we were practicing reframes, forgiveness, the serenity prayer,  acceptance of ourselves and others, and some new perspectives,  one of the group members spoke about the concept of practicing happinesss — much like one practices a musical instrument. We practiced that by going around the room and naming specific ways we could practice happiness, starting now.

One of my named ways to practice happiness was listening to music I love.

I heard “Down the Line” last night by Jacob Collier (who has obviously been practicing a lot) as I was walking down the line through the Fenway after work.

I’ve also been practicing happiness daily by blogging and by taking the photos I share here at The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally.  Can you see any examples of practicing happiness in today’s pictures?



















Voila!  When you practice happiness, just like when you practice anything else, you get better at it.

I look forward to practicing happiness later by reading comments, below, about how you might practice happiness, here and now.

Practicing happiness includes expressing gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me write this practicing-happiness post and thanks to you, for reading it.



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

Day 1725: Just Right

On the eighth day of my long blogging journey, I wrote a post titled “Too ____, too ____, or just right? (Thanks a lot, Goldilocks.)” Today, on the first anniversary of my open heart surgery AND the first day of the Jewish New Year, it’s just right to share this photo:


Yesterday, it was just right to discuss ‘Just Right” at a just-right therapy group.  It’s just right that I  share what I wrote about “Just Right” in that group.



It’s just right for me to show you my other photos from yesterday.









Are any of those photos just right for you?

My friend Dave, whom I met at just right Berklee School of Music in 1969 and whom I just recently reconnected with, has just right musical taste. He recommended I just listen to Jacob Collier, who is a just amazing singer, musician, arranger, etc.  I think this song is just right for today’s post.

It would be just right if you left a comment, below.

Just right thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for being just right, exactly how you are.



Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 1110: Life as a work of art

If somebody asked you to write, draw, or otherwise express your thoughts, feelings, and associations about “Life as a work of art,”  what work of art might you create?

Last night, in a therapy group — after we discussed many  topics including life, death, school, work, parents, what other people think, music, painting,  injury, healing, routines, miracles, safety, self-care, imperfection, immortality, wishes, Alan Rickman, and David Bowie —  I asked people to do just that.

Now, I shall attempt to turn my thoughts, feeling, associations, and other aspects of my life into a blogging work of art. Here are some artless and artful photos I took at work,  yesterday:

How do you judge or create works of art?

Yes, thou art being asked to work your responses into a comment, bringing more life and art into this post.

Lifetime-work-in-progress thanks to all who helped me create today’s work of art and special thanks to you — of course! — for the living art you practice, every day.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 1109: Everything is beautiful in its own way

Yesterday, when some things were beautiful and other things were not, this sign was in my way:


… which triggered a 1982 memory I have of Boston stand-up comic Lenny Clarke.

My ex-husband and I had gone to see E.T. the Extra-terrestrial at a local cineplex.  While we were waiting to be let into the theater, I noticed Lenny Clarke — whom we’d seen at many local comedy clubs —  in the large crowd. The wait dragged on for a loooong time, with management giving us updates about problems with the projector.  Just as the mood threatened to turn ugly, Lenny Clarke yelled, “Okay, everybody!” and sang out “EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL  IN ITS OWN WAY ”

If you’re not familiar with that song by Ray Stevens, here it is:

Do you think that song is beautiful in its own way?  Do you think any of the other photos I took yesterday are beautiful in their own way?





Everything is beautiful in its own way, especially if we

  1. accept the beauty within ourselves and
  2.  get out of our own way.

Okay, everybody! Everything is beautiful in its own way!

Beautiful thanks to all (and feel free to sing along).

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 56 Comments

Day 936: Do, Do, Do

Here’s something I do, do, do in therapy sessions: remind people they do, do, do not have to do, do, do in order to be worthy, worthwhile, worthy-of-love human beings.

I do, do, do this, too: I remind those people who do, do, do all the time that we are

Human BEings


Human DOings

and it’s okay to just be, be, be.

Do, do, do you believe that I heard this song yesterday, which I do, I do, I do love?

Stevie Wonder does, does, does what he can do, do, do better than anybody, and in that YouYouYouTube video he is singing “Do I Do” live, in London.

I do, do, do assume there will be lots to do, do, do soon, soon, soon, north of London,  when my son and I do, do, do Edinburgh’s Festival Fringe for the third year in a row, row, row.

Do, do, do you assume, dear, dear, dear readers, that I do, do, do intend to show, show, show another song, now?

I do, do, do love Michael McDonald too, too, too, and three Michael McDonalds  do, do, do “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”!

Do, do, do you prefer any of these pho, pho, photos?




Do, do, do tell.

Do, do, do you know that I am very, very, very grateful to Stevie Wonder, to  Jimmy Fallon, to Justin Timberlake, to Michael McDonald, and to you, you, you?

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , | 50 Comments

647: Reflection

The title of today’s post (in case you didn’t notice) is “Reflection.”

Exactly 104 days ago (but who’s counting?), I wrote a post with the title “Reflections”.

Here’s a definition of the word  “reflection,” (according to



: an image that is seen in a mirror or on a shiny surface

: something that shows the effect, existence, or character of something else

: something that causes people to disapprove of a person or thing

WHAT?!?!  I will reflect something with you now: I disapprove of that last definition. I have never heard such a judgmental, negative description of “reflection” before!

My understanding of “reflection”  is that it’s a neutral word.  If we reflect negatively or disapprovingly, that’s our choice (and not intrinsic in the word itself).

Rather than reflect further on what Merriam Webster could possibly have been thinking there, I shall try another dictionary site. How about

[ri-flek-shuh n]
Synonyms Examples Word Origin
1. the act of reflecting or the state of being reflected.
2. an image; representation; counterpart.
3. a fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration.
4. a thought occurring in consideration or meditation.
5. an unfavorable remark or observation.
6. the casting of some imputation or reproach.
7. Physics, Optics.
the return of light, heat, sound, etc., after striking a surface.
something so reflected, as heat or especially light.


#5 and #6, at, are negative, too!

Honestly, I am shocked. Throughout my life, I have been assuming that “reflection” does not imply anything negative, by itself.

I’m reflecting, now, whether I’ve been naive and in denial, all this time.

Or, perhaps, the definition of “reflection” has changed in my lifetime. That can happen, you know.  Any language, including English,  can shift and change (even though we may not want it to).

If the definition of “reflection” has changed — since I first learned it — to a more judgmental one, I’m reflecting  that might have happened during the time I’ve been working on letting go of judgment (here and elsewhere).

Another reflection, from me: that would be ironic.

I am going to re-reflect a definition, one more time, to see if it reflects my own experience of “reflection.”

Here’s the definition reflecting from Google, right now:


1. the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it.
“the reflection of light”
synonyms: sending back, throwing back, casting back
“the reflection of light”

2.  serious thought or consideration.
“he doesn’t get much time for reflection”
synonyms: thought, thinking, consideration, contemplation, deliberation, pondering, meditation, musing, rumination; formal cogitation
“after some reflection, he turned it down”


I’ll reflect this:  I like that definition MUCH better. The last line DOES reflect somebody responding in the negative.  However, as I’ve discussed with people many times, turning down something — saying “NO!” — is often a healthy expression of setting limits and honoring the importance of your own needs and preferences.

Okay! Now that I’ve found a definition that reflects my preferences, what else can this post reflect back at you?

Here are some recent photos that reflect today’s topic (in order of their reflections in my retina and my iPhone).


IMG_0404 IMG_0415  IMG_0461

That last photo shows a reflection of Melvin, who is leaving Starbucks and the state of Massachusetts today. I’ve been reflecting this to him, since I found out he was leaving: I’m going to miss him.

Melvin may not like that reflection when he sees it,  and he might ask me to remove that photo from this post.

Why? Because nobody seems to like the photos I take of them! Do you think that’s a reflection of

  • my photos or
  • something else?


IMG_0175 *

Melvin lets me keep that photo in this post.

Because, if he does, that’s


Thanks to all reflections in this post and — of course! — to you, for reflecting with me, here today.

* Last week, I wrote about that pink sign on a door at work, and we reflected here that it might say “hope” OR “nope.” I promised I would check the other side, and reflect that back to you in a future post.

Ooops!  I could have sworn I reflected the other side of that sign onto my iPhone camera, but I can’t find it anywhere.

You’ll just have to trust this reflection: The other side was blank.

Any reflections on that?

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

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