Despite the many close calls I’ve had since I was born in 1953 with a very unusual heart, I’m still alive to blog another day and to share my latest images with you.
Tomorrow (which is National Talk Like a Pirate and National Butterscotch Day), this wife will be working from home providing psychotherapy for people who are still alive. (Usually I’m in-person at the hospital on Mondays, but since I’m still alive after my T.I.A. last week, staying home seems like the smart thing to do.) Because my love of group therapy is still alive, my plan is to keep doing this work for as long as I’m still alive.
Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “still alive.“
As long as I’m still alive, I’ll be expressing gratitude for YOU.
As a therapist, I often think about the proper response to what people share in groups and individual therapy. In the therapy biz, we call that “an intervention.” Sometimes, focusing too much on the proper response or the “perfect” intervention can get in the way of being present in the moment with people.
Because I’ll be offering groups to the doctors at the hospital where I work, I just joined The American Balint Society and signed up for their online training program, so I can give the proper response when I facilitate Balint groups for the first time.
The Daily Bitch Calendar today is all about the proper response.
Do you see the proper response in any of my other images for today?
I don’t know what the proper response is to those National Days, especially since I’m trying to lose a little weight before my trip in September.
Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “the proper response.”
I hope you know that any comment you choose to leave is the proper response to this post.
The proper response at the end of my blogs is always gratitude for YOU.
Yesterday, I saw this “Message in a Bottle” at a public art installation near the hospital where I work:
Here’s the description of “Message in a Bottle” by Janet Kawada and Bette Ann Libby:
For centuries, bottles have been used for preservation and as vessels to carry thoughts and memories. They have the capacity to last much longer than we anticipate. Finding an unexpected relic of a bygone time gives the discoverer a moment to consider. WHO left it, WHAT was that person doing here and WHERE did they come from? Yearning for peace, love, a better future, frightened, hopeful, adventurous or all of the above. Did we welcome them? Maya Angelou states, The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
In a way, every blog post is a message in a bottle from me — yearning for peace, love, a better future, frightened, hopeful, etc. Also, my photos often try to capture a message in a bottle from somebody else.
What message in a bottle do you notice here, now?
Because it’s National Tell a Joke Day, here are some “message in a bottle” jokes.
I often gain enlightenment by interacting with others and somebody on Twitter shared this enlightening image in response to my question about to-do lists:
Here is an enlightening definition of enlightenment:
Here and now, I’m going to make up a new definition of enlightenment: the realization that one of the reasons you’re not sleeping well is that there is too much lightenment in your bedroom because there is no way to hang blackout curtains.
Perhaps one of my readers will offer some enlightenment about how to fix that problem. In the meanwhile, I have en-lightened my wallet by ordering several sleep masks that, so far, aren’t comfortable enough.
Can you find enlightenment in any of my other images for today?
I think it’s funny that I’m blogging about enlightenment and light on National Daylight Day and the longest day of the year. If you need enlightenment about any of the National Days in June, here’s an enlightening link:
People often come to therapy for good answers to troubling questions about life.
This book, which was recommended by my good friend and fellow therapist Megan …
… is giving some good answers to the question of how to deal with painful feelings in ourselves and others. Here’s what I’m reading this morning:
Though all emotional healing requires it, listening to pain is difficult — and the greater the pain, the more difficult it is to listen to. The dark emotions are uncomfortable; they are also contagious. Their energies flow through and between and among us without regard for the boundaries we erect to keep ourselves separate. If we are unable to tolerate some discomfort, it’s hard to listen to dark feelings in ourselves or others. Our best, most compassionate intentions are thwarted, our connections marred by the shadow of intolerable emotions. We become inured to the incessant cacophony of the world’s suffering, limited in our authenticity and responsiveness. And we suffer from not knowing the darker side of ourselves.
Greenspan, 2004, p. 15
Often a good answer to the unrelenting grief, fear, and despair in the world is to take a break from all that. Those breaks can be moments of deep breathing or getting away for a vacation. A good answer for me, here and now, is taking two weeks off from work, starting this Saturday, and flying to Portland, Oregon to visit my college roommate Maria.
Do you see good answers in any of my other images for today?
The Daily Bitch often has good answers, don’t you think?
Here’s my good answer to my own question of what music you would like to share with others:
I look forward to people’s good answers in the comments section, below.
Gratitude is a good answer for everything, so thanks to all who visit my daily blog, including YOU.
I think we all deserve a pat on the back for getting through months of this pandemic, as well as other soul-sucking challenges that could easily break our backs.
Not to pat myself on the back too much, but my job as a group therapist for a major Boston medical center is important and also very stressful. I’m feeling more stressed than unusual today because I’ll be returning there in-person one day a week, starting tomorrow. In response to the stress, I’ve developed a new nervous habit — scratching myself on the back. This morning, I decided to transform that into a more adaptive habit: whenever I notice that I am scratching my back, I will consciously pat myself on the back instead.
Do you think I deserve a pat on the back for that helpful transformation or for any of the images I’m choosing to share today?
Patting oneself on the back takes practice, so I am now going to pat myself on the back for keeping several awesome friendships over the years.
Also, when I look at the National Days for today …
… I notice that several are related to giving pats on the back.
I’m also patting myself on the back for choosing to spend part of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 yesterday by listening to the uplifting score of Come From Away — themusical based on the true stories of the planes that were rerouted to remote Gander, Newfoundland after the Twin Tower attacks.
I think the creators of Come From Awayshould pat themselves on the back for transforming the pain of that day into such a deep, compelling, and healing work of art. Here’s a number from the show plus a recent interview on Good Morning America :
How can you pat yourself on the back, here and now?
Finally, I will pat myself on the back again for sharing my thoughts, feelings, and gratitude with wonderful people who have my back every day, including YOU!