Posts Tagged With: self esteem

Day 3176: Moments of Peace

On days like this, I’m looking for moments of peace.

Can you find any moments of peace in my images for today?

On September 11, 2011, how can you find moments of peace?

Today, Joan seems to be finding more moments of peace with the cone she needs to wear as she recovers from ongoing mastitis (which we’ve been treating since we adopted her).

Other beings’ moments of peace increase my moments of peace.

Here’s what I find on YouTube when I search for “moments of peace.”

I am grateful for all the moments of peace I can find and I’m grateful for you!

Categories: cats, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 3079: Compliments

Many people I know — through therapy and elsewhere — are uncomfortable with compliments and often don’t believe or even recognize compliments when they receive them.

I hope wonderful blogger Mark Bialczak and his lovely wife Karen consider it a compliment that I always want to spend time with them when they are visiting Cape Cod. Yesterday, I drove many miles and minutes to spend a delightful few hours with them and their adorable, 10-year-old rescue dog Ellie B.

As we spent time together in beautiful Dennis Port, Mark and I gave each other compliments about our blogs — which both are experiencing dwindling readership. Also, Mark — who used to review music for many years at the big daily newspaper in Syracuse — gave me inspiring and almost- hard-for-me to-believe compliments about my original songs which, honestly, meant the world to me.

I hope everybody considers it a compliment that I wanted to capture all these images of a fabulous day and to share them with you, here and now:

If the noble and irresistible Ellie B read my blog, I assume she’d consider it a compliment that I took so many photos of her yesterday.

I wanted to specifically compliment Karen on her “diamond painting” ..

… which Mark called “my wife’s beading.”

Mark also complimented me yesterday on my Twitter interactions, so I feel more confident sharing these with you today:

It’s more difficult being nice when you’re uncomfortable and our central air conditioning is not working, just in time for a heat wave here. I have to compliment my husband, Michael, who still cooked for me last night …

… and who is going to try to fix our air conditioning system today by locating and replacing the air filter, which is probably somewhere here:

I’m sure our air conditioning system …

… doesn’t consider it a compliment that we’ve never replaced the filter in the FOUR years we’ve been here.

Here’s one of my original songs that I performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, which Mark complimented me on yesterday:

I’ll consider it a great compliment if you comment on this blog post, below.

I’m grateful for all compliments, for great friendships, and, of course, for YOU!

Categories: friendship, life during the pandemic, original song, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 3042: Talk about how awesome you are.

Is it difficult for you to talk about how awesome you are?

Why?

While I used to be afraid of seeming immodest, these days I talk about how awesome I am and I also invite you and others to talk about how awesome you are.

If it’s hard for you to see how awesome you are, keep looking. Ask people you know to talk about how awesome you are. (Many people find it easier to talk about how awesome you are than to talk about how awesome they are.)

It may be difficult to talk about how awesome you are when you’re not feeling your best, but who IS feeling their best these days? Even when you’re not feeling your best, you’re still awesome.

Maybe some of these images will help you talk about how awesome you are.

I won’t stop talking about group therapy, which is an awesome place to talk about how awesome you are.

Here‘s what I find when I search YouTube for “Talk about how awesome you are.”

We all need pep talks, from others (like Kid President) and from ourselves. So please talk about how awesome you are in the comments section, below.

Thanks to all who help me talk about how awesome we are, including YOU!

Categories: group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 2939: Hey, cutie!

Hey, cutie!

I’m writing today’s blog post for all of us who are not feeling particularly cute these days.

You are much cuter than you feel.

I’m not being cute — I know this because of all the years I’ve spent being a cute-enough therapist to many cute-enough people who have trouble realizing how cute they are.

Just last week, I was doing a remote therapy session on the phone with a cute-enough person who was feeling sad, depressed, and anxious about many non-cute realities.

Because I cutely and acutely know that shame and self-doubt often increase during crises, I suggested at the end of the session that, once a day, she look in the mirror and say to herself, “Hey, cutie!”

It was cute how dramatically her mood improved after I said this. I could hear the cute lightness in her tone when she promised she would try my cute prescription.

Hey, cutie! What do you think would happen if you tried that same cute prescription?

Hey, cutie! Do you see any cuties in my latest images?

That last image shows my latest cute attempt to get more cute engagements on Twitter.

Hey, cutie! You’re still cute, no matter how many cute people engage with you on social media and elsewhere.

Hey, cutie! Here are the cute Turner brothers covering a cute Hank Williams classic.

Hey, cutie! Consider leaving a cute comment, below.

Hey, cutie! Many thanks to you and all the other cuties who help me create this cute blog, every day.

Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2840: What’s missing

What’s missing, for me, is

  • good leaders,
  • courage from those with proximity to power,
  • trust,
  • kindness,
  • honesty,
  • accountability,
  • expertise,
  • sanity,
  • common sense,
  • respect,
  • owned responsibility,
  • trust,
  • justice,
  • the USA I thought I knew,
  • in-person meetings,
  • comfort,
  • hugs with friends,
  • peace of mind, and
  • Oscar the cat.

What’s missing in my latest photos?

That last photo shows a question I asked my Coping and Healing group yesterday, after making sure I wasn’t missing other important issues. What’s missing for many women are a sense of self esteem and self worth, so some members of the group had trouble answering that question. Other group members helped provide the missing answers.

What’s missing from this post is missing music,

comments, and thanks to all who support me in not missing a day of blogging, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Election, group therapy, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2779: Minor adjustments

Yesterday, after making minor adjustments so we could connect beautifully on a ZOOM call, my friend Barbara and I talked about her brilliant realization that major issues like the current pandemic can become much more bearable if you make minor adjustments.

During the call, we made minor adjustments so we could see and hear each other better and we discussed minor adjustments to important relationships, interpersonal strategies, our health, nature walks near us, our living spaces, our diet, our weight, Zen-like attitudes, and high school connections. Here are the photos I took of Barbara while we were talking about minor adjustments:

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That’s Barbara showing me a sunset outside her window and also a view within her apartment which reminds her of a Thomas McKnight painting.  Later in the day she sent me a better photo of that view which I should be able to find and share once I make some minor adjustments.  Hold on ….

Those minor adjustments included saving the draft of this post, shutting down my laptop, using my iPhone to find and include that photo, saving the post again, and restarting my laptop to continue creating this post, but I’ve adjusted to the minor adjustments required to bring you these blog posts, every day.

Do you see minor adjustments in any of the other adjusted images I’ve captured recently?

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Yes, I sometimes need to make minor adjustments to my self esteem and reading helpful feedback like Maddie’s helps in a very major way. The minor adjustment I would make to that text exchange is the fact that I am no longer President of my local group therapy organization.  I am having no trouble adjusting to that.

Also, I’m making minor adjustments to the original song I’m planning on singing at my Zoom-based 50th high school reunion in September.  I’ve adjusted this verse …

Now it’s 2020 and we’re all here
To connect over food and beer
To embrace the living and to miss our dead
As we gather here in Marblehead.

… to this …

Now it’s 2020 and we’re all here
To connect and give each other cheer,
To appreciate the living and to miss our dead
As we gather here on Zoom instead …. of Marblehead.

Knowing me, I’ll keep making minor adjustments to that song until I sing it on September 12.

Here‘s “Minor Adjustments” by Zaccai Curtis:

I just made the minor adjustment of following Zaccai Curtis on YouTube.

Please feel free to express minor or major thoughts about minor adjustments in the comments section, below.

Gratitude is another minor adjustment with major effects,  so thanks to Barbara, Maddie, Zaccai Curtis, Thomas McKnight, my family, my high school friends, adjusting cats, and everybody else who helps me create and adjust these daily blog posts, including YOU!

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Categories: life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2352: The black hole

Several times over the course of the Northeastern Society of Group Psychotherapy’s annual conference this past weekend, I heard people, in groups, refer to “the black hole” inside of them, which they were hesitant to reveal or explore.

That invoked, in me, memories of experiencing my own internal black hole, which I am trying to name, here and now.

My best guess is that the black hole is shame — the feeling that there is something fundamentally wrong with you.

The black hole can feel huge.

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It can cause us to lose our balance, our tolerance, and our sense of cohesion.

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It can turn us into stress balls.

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It can isolate us even when we’re in a supportive group.

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It can interfere with our leadership.

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It can prevent us from diving in to new experiences and staying afloat.

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It can make us feel unwelcome even when all the signs are that we ARE welcomed.

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It can make us avoid parties and other social events.

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It can make us feel lost.

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It can make us want to duck and hide.

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The black hole of shame can blind us to our own self worth …

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… and blind us to the beauty all around us.

Here‘s “That Old Black Hole” by Dr. Dog.

The best we can do with our black holes is share them with each other and know that we are not alone.

Thanks to all who have helped me confront my own black holes over the years (especially the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy) and thanks to you, here and now.

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

Day 2205: Hello, beautiful

Hello, beautiful.

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How does that affect you, for somebody to call you beautiful?  What would happen if you called yourself beautiful?

Let’s try that again.

Hello, beautiful. On our beautiful flight to Disney World last week, I wrote a new song called “What Are Other People Thinking About You?” which included this lyric:

What are other people thinking about you?

That is something you will never know.

Then why not assume they’re thinking you’re gorgeous,

Smart, and someone they would want to know.

When I looked at those lyrics yesterday in the harsh, cold light of Boston, I realized I could make them more beautiful if I didn’t rhyme “know” with “know.”

Hello, beautiful. Here are my other beautiful photographs from yesterday:

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My beautiful boyfriend Michael, who made that beautiful Portobello Burger last night, often says these beautiful words:

It’s not where you are, it’s who you’re with.

And since you’re always with yourself, why not enjoy the  beautiful company?

Searching YouTube for “Hello beautiful Minnie Mouse” found this beautiful match for today’s post about song lyrics and other beautiful topics:

Hello, beautiful.  Thanks for reading today’s post and if you leave a comment, that would be beautiful.

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Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 2176: What’s the worst thing that anybody ever called you?

Yesterday, on Facebook, I posted and posed the question: “What’s the worst thing that anybody ever called you?”

Was that called for, to invite people to remember the worst thing they had ever been called?  I believe that if we expose and share the worst thing we have ever been called, we can

Now, somebody may call me out and ask, “Ann, what if the worst thing that anybody ever called me IS true?”  If  there is truth in it, you can decide what you want to do about it. However, in all my years of asking this question, and people answering

  • stupid,
  • lazy,
  • worthless,
  • crazy,
  • selfish,
  • fat,
  • ugly,
  • incapable, and
  • other harsh, hurtful,  and over-generalized judgments,

I have seen no helpful truth there.

We could do worse than examine today’s photos for worst things we’ve been called.

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Has anyone ever called you despicable, including yourself?

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Has anybody ever called you gross? Artificial?

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Has anybody ever called you out for  hanging on for too long?

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Has anybody ever called you weird-looking?  Scary?  Too starey?  Too expressive?   Too transparent?

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Has anybody ever called you an ass? Too distant?

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Has anybody ever called you too spacy?

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Has anybody ever called you foolish?  Greedy?  Not knowing what’s good for you?

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Has anybody ever called you vain?  Up-tight?

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Has anybody ever called you pushy?  Has anybody ever told you you’re not doing enough with your life?

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Has anybody called you thoughtless?  A doormat? Catty?  A baby?

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Has anybody ever called you a psychopath?

I’m working on a song called “Don’t Call Me” (and I’ve called out the lyrics here). Before I can call that song finished, here’s “Call Me” by Blondie.

Also, I found “The Worst Thing You’ve Been Called” on YouTube, which shows the same exercise I’ve done in my therapy groups.

I call that effective.

Now’s the time I call for comments.

I’ve never been called ungrateful (at least to my face). Thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 1802: Beautiful/Ugly

Yesterday, beautiful people in a therapy group talked about feeling ugly.

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I suggested that people practice looking in a mirror and saying “I’m beautiful,” even when feeling ugly.   Especially when feeling ugly.

A few years ago,  I published the post Day 581: Ann’s Beauty Tips. In ugly times, I think it’s even more important to realize one’s own beauty.

Do you find any of my other photos from yesterday beautiful and/or ugly?

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Here’s ugly and beautiful music on YouTube:

No matter how ugly or beautiful you’re feeling, any comment you write will be beautiful to me.

Beautiful thanks to all who helped me create this Beautiful/Ugly post and — of course! — to beautiful you.

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

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