Posts Tagged With: self-judgment

Day 1642: Self Centered

Welcome to another self centered post here at the Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally.

SELF

Notice how self centered this post is already?

Yesterday, I told  people in therapy sessions not to judge themselves for being self centered.  How could we not be self centered? If we don’t put ourselves in the center of our own lives, who will?

I, myself, constantly witness people judging themselves very harshly for being self centered, labeling themselves too selfish, too self-absorbed and even narcissistic.  This is what I tell those selves:

“If you worry about being a narcissist, you’re not.”

I know my self well enough to know I’m not  a narcissist, even though I’ve stopped worrying about that.

Here are some self centered photos from yesterday:

IMG_1921

 

IMG_1918

IMG_1919

IMG_1916

IMG_1913

IMG_1926

IMG_1924

IMG_1925

IMG_1928

Michael himself centered that delicious food on a plate for me last night after my self-centered therapy group.

Here’s some Self Centered Blues:

 

This self is looking forward to some self centered comments, below.

Thanks to all the selves who helped my self create another self centered post and to you — of course! — for being your self.

 

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

Day 1600: Round numbers

Today is the 1600th day in a row of blog postings, here at the Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally.  1600 is a round number and a much bigger number than expected when I began this blogging journey back on January 1, 2013.

Do you have any reactions to round numbers?  In therapy, people often describe negative reactions they have about reaching round numbers as they age. For example, somebody yesterday talked about turning 40 with a lot of self-judgment.  For some reason, when people approach round numbers, they can roundly judge themselves about their accomplishments and life situations.

A round number is just a number, no more significant than any other number. And yet,  here I am roundly noting it.

However, I am not going to get into a round of self-judgment about my posts. Instead, I’m going to post two musical round numbers (going round here and here on YouTube).

Here’s a round number of photos I took yesterday:

IMG_1156

IMG_1155

IMG_1151

IMG_1150

IMG_1159

IMG_1157

IMG_1158

IMG_1162

IMG_1163

IMG_1166.JPG

This is my blogging world, and I’ve tried to shape it as best I can.

A round of applause for the large number of people who’ve help me create these 1600 posts and — of course! — for you, on this round-number day.

IMG_1165

Categories: blogging, celebrating, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 1126: You can’t be good at everything

The title of this post

You can’t be good at everything

is something my ex-business partner, Jonathan, said to me when I was being self-critical about a task I wasn’t good at, decades ago.  My memory — which can’t be good at everything — tells me Jonathan said

You can’t be good at everything

when I was feeling shame about my living space being cluttered and not “guest-ready. ”

At various points in my life, it’s been helpful for me to say to myself

You can’t be good at everything

about other things, including

  • doing my taxes
  • drawing
  • penmanship
  • cleaning
  • maneuvering gracefully around other people while walking
  • keeping my cat away from my laptop
  • calculus
  • being a perfect mother
  • singing loudly
  • discussing politics
  • keeping my hair neat all the time

IMG_8944

  • and many more.

Sometimes, I seem to think that I SHOULD be good at everything, but I hope my readers know that being good at everything  is completely impossible, even if somebody wrote this in your 9th grade yearbook:

IMG_8945

You can’t be good at everything, even if you encounter a kind person like Roger sometime in your life.

I can’t be good at everything, including capturing all the wonderful images around me, every single day.  For example, yesterday I took only these three shots:

IMG_8941

IMG_8942

IMG_8943

You can’t be good at everything, but I hope you’re good at leaving good-enough comments for this blog.

Good thanks to Jonathan, Roger, my neighbor Karen (for the custom-made bumper sticker on her car), and all the other good people who helped me create this post. Also, great thanks to you — of course! — for reading this, here and now.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 55 Comments

Day 1084: No judgment

“No judgment” is …

  • a goal of this almost-three-year-old daily blog,
  • something people say a lot in my therapy groups,
  • a state of mind very difficult to maintain,
  • particularly important during times of new challenges and transition,
  • hereby making its first appearance as a post title, and
  • two words I saw in a store, last night.

IMG_7937

Do you agree that “No judgment” should be the only one real rule to any game? What’s your judgment about that? Is having no judgment even a possibility for us human beings?  Is it something we should strive for?

Would you have no judgment if I asked you to judge the photos in this allegedly no-judgment post?

 

Personally, as the end of 2015 approaches, I would like to strive for no judgment about:

  • what I have or have not done in the past,
  • my capabilities, as I try my best in many different arenas, and
  • Christmas monkeys and other puzzlements.

No judgment from me about any thought, feeling, or judgment you leave in a comment, here and now.

No judgment, but yes gratitude,  for another day of life.

 

Categories: gratitude, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Day 639: Easy/difficult as pie

There is a saying

easy as pie

which I’ve never understood, because I’ve never learned to bake a pie. It’s certainly easy to EAT a pie, especially as the weather turns colder.

My favorite pie, when I was growing up, was blueberry pie.

Here’s something I wrote in 2nd Grade, when I was about 7 years old:

IMG_0124

IMG_0126

That’s difficult to see, isn’t it?  To make those words as easy as pie to read, here’s that faded, long-stored-away, historical document transcribed:

The Roller Skate Who liked to eat blueberry pie

Once there was a roller skate

Who liked to eat blue berry pie

He loved it so much that

he would gobble it

up and he was all through,

so he grew up with

awful table manners.

One day a manner professor

came to the little rollerskate’s

house and just at that

time he was gobbeling the

pie down. The manner professor

arrested the little roller skate and

he spended the rest of his

life in jail.

The last time I looked closely at that piece of pie writing — over thirty years ago —  I was charmed at my easy imagination.  When I read it recently, after rescuing it from a long storage in a Boston basement, I thought

Geesh!  That’s kind of harsh punishment for bad table manners, isn’t it? I love blueberry pie, too!  If I were observed gobbling it up, might I be arrested and spend the REST OF MY LIFE IN JAIL?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately — as I daily write this letting-go-of-judgment blog and talk to people who want to heal and feel better — about

  • the harshness of our self judgments,
  • how we so easily condemn ourselves to the jails of Guilt and Shame, often for very minor crimes, and
  • how difficult it is to change those old habits of self-jailing.

Yesterday, at the end of a long but inspiring work day — as  manner professors, jails, blueberry pies, and roller skates were rolling around in my tired head (among many other things) — I thought:

Eureka!  I’m going to improve the moment  and find the Best Pies in Boston (as opposed to the Worst Pies in London).

So I googled “Best blueberry pie Boston” and found this:

When it comes to pie, we like our hand-pressed crusts substantial and loaded to the brink with butter. So too does Petsi, and the Somerville and Cambridge shops augment their expertly sound pie foundations with just-as-serious fillings—blueberries with a big boost of cinnamon, say, or a bourbon-chocolate-pecan combination that makes for an irresistibly decadent wedge.

So, I gave myself a Mission Possible, which I chose to accept.

(I found that YouTube video here)

To find, secure, and deliver home the Best Blueberry Pie in Boston, braving numerous  dreaded dangers, including:

IMG_0119 IMG_0121 IMG_0122

Mission Accomplished!!!

On the scale of easy-to-difficult, I would rate that experience …

Hmmmm. I’m having difficulty judging that right now, I have to say.

On the one hand,  the traffic was ridiculous (or, at least, worse than I’m used to), there was no legal parking in sight, and it took a lot longer than usual to get home.

On the other hand, because I was focused on a mission, I enjoyed every minute of it. AND I defied my internal manner professor and PARKED IN AN ILLEGAL SPOT. And — I’m happy to report — I am NOT spending the rest of my life in jail.

So, getting and eating the pie — all in all — was easy. And delightful.

Further into the evening, things got more difficult.

I belong, on FaceBook, to a group of people who have my very unusual heart (called congenitally corrected transposition of the great vessels or LGTA or lots of other things) or who have children with my very unusual heart. Last night, in a continuing attempt to keep learning useful and new things, I watched a recommended Webinar titled

Aging with Congenitally Corrected Transposition 

I was hoping for some easy-as-pie or — at least — some achievable tips on self-care and other useful things.

Instead, I found myself listening to an expert doctor making the case that it was difficult, if not impossible, for people with hearts like mine to reach my ripe old age of 61.

At least, that’s how I heard it.

I have to admit that my son and my boyfriend, overhearing bits of the webinar from another room, recognized how difficult-as-pie this was to listen to and they both told me to do something as easy as pie: turn the friggin’ thing off immediately.

Which I did.

Then, the three of us spent some easy-as-pie moments together, saying all sorts of hopeful things, including:

  • You’ve already beaten those odds. — My son, Aaron.
  • Stephen Hawking was told when he was 20 that it was impossible for him to live even another few years … and HE’S IN HIS SEVENTIES. — My boyfriend, Michael
  • This reminds me not to worry about all those petty things that can clutter my mind, because that’s JUST RIDICULOUS.  — Me.

Then, I had another piece of pie, this time with chocolate ice cream on top:

photobpieandice

… ignoring all the manner professors in the world (including Michael, who would never, ever eat blueberry pie with any ice cream except vanilla).

After that easy pie, I posted some thoughts on the FaceBook group page, including:

I was reading through some posts on this page and found suggestions about watching a webinar about “Aging with Congenitally Corrected Transposition of the Great Arteries.” (http://vimeo.com/50410991) I watched a portion of it tonight and — honestly — I got pretty freaked out by the language and the conclusions I was hearing. Yes, I have heard all of this before — including concerns about my ventricle failing because it’s doing heavy work it wasn’t designed for — but the webinar, to me, seemed especially negative. I turned it off after I saw the graph showing people in a study all dying before the age I’ve currently reached (61). So I’m curious, and want to ask people who watched the whole webinar: does it get more positive? … This is an inherent challenge of having a congenitally corrected heart, I think … feeling safe enough to thrive and engage with life without fear, as we age.

I just went to FaceBook to check responses I got from the good people there, and those comments are helping me feel easier (if not as easy as that delicious blueberry pie from Petsi Pies) this morning.

Now, I need to go to work — where I get to sit with people who are dealing with things much more difficult than pie.

I just want to say this, in conclusion: I’m very grateful for the whole pie — blueberries, ice cream, and everything else. So, thanks to roller skates, manner professors, pies, and people everywhere who deal with the easy to the difficult every day — including you, of course!

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 581: Ann’s Beauty Tips

Step 1.

Consider this:  When you love people, they look beautiful to you.

DSCF0570_face0 DSCF0632_face1   DSCF0547_face1 DSCF0546_face1 DSCF0550_face0 DSCF0565_face1 DSCF0545_face0 DSCF0545_face1  DSCF0572_face0  DSCF0579_face3  DSCF0579_face0 DSCF0580_face0 DSCF0598_face0 DSCF0603_face3  DSCF0652_face1  DSCF0566_face0  DSCF0575 DSCF0650 DSCF0612_face0 DSCF0646DSCF0637 DSCF0553 DSCF0571DSCF0654 DSCF0617 DSCF0632  DSCF0639 DSCF0601 DSCF0625  DSCF0552_face2 DSCF0659_face1 DSCF0661_face1  DSCF0655_face0

It doesn’t matter what they (or anybody else) might think.  To you, they are beautiful.

Step 2.

Do the best you can, letting go of any negative thoughts you have about how you look (including memories of any “bad” pictures you’ve ever taken).

Step 3.

Get in touch with as much self-love, as you can. Also, imagine seeing the world through the eyes of those who may love you.

Step 4.

Look at yourself.

 

Thanks to all the people I love, including those who appear in — and took —  the photos in this post. Many thanks to you,  for the beauty you bring here today (especially if you have trouble seeing it).

Categories: friendship, inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 50 Comments

Day 299: Why haven’t I published anything (outside of here)?

This morning, I am posing questions about where I am in my life, right now.

I have enough expertise and skill to be a published author. Why haven’t I made that happen, so far in my life?

What’s gotten in the way of that?

Here are some things I can think of:

  1. Doubts about my (previously mentioned) expertise and skill.
  2. My ability to think of a kashmillion things I would rather be doing other than writing something for publication.
  3. Concern (and perhaps some other feelings) that other people would  have the control to accept or reject something that was important to me (and what makes THEM such friggin’ experts, anyway?!??)
  4. My short attention span. (Look!  It’s a baby wolf!)

baby_wolf_cub-600x618

Where was I?

Oh, yes. I was asking the question:

Why haven’t I published anything, so far in my life?

Oh, I wanted to state the obvious, at this point.  I’m not counting what I’ve published here, at WordPress. Because if I did, I’ve published almost 300 times.

I’m discounting that.

Hmmmm. I’m wondering if I’m discounting anything else?

Because, recent data suggests that I can forget things that I’ve done.  By “recent data,” I am referring to my blog post, two days ago, where I forgot that I had actually taken a photo of Carl Yastrzemski, when I was at the 1st game of the World Series, at Boston’s Friendly Fenway Park.

So, let’s see. have I published anything, outside of  these blog posts?

Hmmm. I guess you could say I have.

About 20 years ago, when I was in Social Work school, I wrote a paper about how people with disabilities were portrayed in the media. I interviewed people from a local chapter of (I believe) the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, and they asked if they could publish a version of my paper in their national publication. Which they did.

And in years past, if you Googled my name, that article appeared. But I can’t find it now, to check my facts (and support my bragging).

So maybe I’ll see if I can find that article, later.

But in the meantime, it’s a beautiful day!

Which means, I would like to wrap this post up.

Before I do, here’s what feels left undone.

I want to ask  myself another question:

Do I WANT to publish (or do I just think I SHOULD publish)?  (Psssst!  The word “should” can indicate a cognitive distortion.)

Hold on, I’m thinking ….

Here’s the answer.

I do want to publish, if it’s something:

  1. I feel passionately about, and
  2. I think would be helpful to share with others.

So what might that topic be?

I’m interested in communication of all kinds, verbal and nonverbal. Maybe I should write a paper on something like this:

The people in the following image (from a national TV broadcast) are having an experience that most would consider joyful:

Slide3 (2)

That is, they are attending a World Series Game, where their home team is leading by a score of 8-1, one strike away from victory.  What emotions are they communicating, non-verbally? What are the factors influencing those non-verbal communications, from the stand-point of those sending AND receiving the communications?

That’s definitely an interesting topic.

However, I can think of another topic, that’s probably a better fit for the two criteria I listed above: The therapy groups that I have created and facilitate, where I work.

So I would like to take steps to publish, about those.

One last thing, before I end this post: I believe it helps, once you have identified a goal, to make a commitment for action, ideally witnessed by others.

Therefore, I hereby commit, to my group of WordPress readers, that I will take a measurable step, by the end of this year, to publish about those therapy groups.

Okay!

Thanks to  Dan Shaughnessy (the author of “One Strike Away: The Story of the 1986 Red Sox”), thatcutesite.com,  baby wolves (and other distractions), the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, verbal and non-verbal communicators everywhere, and to you — of course! — for witnessing today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Day 287: Opening a can of worms

“Opening a can of worms” is an idiom.

“Idiom” is a word I avoid, sometimes, because it sounds like the word “idiot.”

When people use this idiom, it’s a warning about a possible negative result of change.

If you […insert change here….], you’ll be opening a can of worms!

I hear this a lot, from within and without.

If you try something new, and it doesn’t work, you’ll feel like an idiot!

If you ….

  1. change a process, at work or elsewhere,
  2. talk to somebody about something upsetting,
  3. introduce somebody new into your life,
  4. move, one way or another,
  5. take a risk, of any kind

… you might be opening up a can of worms.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeek!   Worms!!!

Image

Last week, at work, we were discussing a possible change, and a manager used that expression.

Yesterday, at home, I was discussing a possible change with my boyfriend, and he used that expression.

I’m not kidding, people, I hear that expression a lot.

This is what I said to my boyfriend, though:

Wait a minute!  We might be opening up a can of worms, it’s true.  But, Michael!  It’s just a can!

Because I was picturing a can of this size:

Image

and so was he.

So I asked,

Why are people so scared of opening a can of worms, then?

Here’s a quote, from Mental Floss, about the idiom:

Metaphorically speaking, to open a can of worms is to examine or attempt to solve some problem, only to inadvertently complicate it and create even more trouble. Literally speaking, opening a can of worms, as most fishermen can attest, can also mean more trouble than you bargained for.

Here’s another one, from Yahoo Answers:

Opening a can of worms means to start to reveal something that will be messy and hard to conceal. A literal can of worms would be filled with hundreds of squirmy worms that would fall all over the place. Attempting to catch all of them and get them back in the can would be very difficult. The same goes for so many things in our lives. Sometimes there are things that we say that can’t be reversed or put back in the can, as it were. And like the worms that spread out everywhere the thing in question will spread out and impact other people.

Hmmm.  So I guess the fear makes sense, doesn’t it?

But, as I said to Michael,

What if the worms DO all escape?  How can they hurt us, really?

I mean, it’s not like we’re opening up a Tanker of Tarantulas.

Image

I don’t know about you, but I’m not so scared about opening up a can of worms, right now.

Thanks to Michael, grasshopper_ramblin, spaghetti in cans, worms everywhere, people considering a change, and to you, of course, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 284: We never know how we affect people (The Ta-Da Pose)

I think, within the last 283 days,  I wrote another blog post about this:

We never know how we affect people

However,  I can’t locate that post right now.

But that’s not really important. Here’s what I wanted to write about, today.

Many years ago, I was driving alone at night, feeling low and discouraged about something.

I can’t remember what the hell I was feeling bad about, now.  (Isn’t that usually the way it works?  Problems that seem so important at the time often fade away, as time passes,  to nothing.)

I remember I was about to exit a supermarket parking lot, and I was waiting for a pedestrian to walk by.

I remember that pedestrian, quite well.  I wish I had a picture of him that I could share with you.

But I don’t.

Let’s see if I can capture and convey the experience to you.

I think the guy was wearing something unusual. I don’t have a great visual memory, so I can’t tell you what kind of clothing he had. But I think it was casual.  Maybe it was colorful.

He wasn’t  a serious, conventional business person. I know that. He looked like a “free spirit.” Again, my visual memory, for details, is fuzzy.

Here’s what I do remember clearly. As he crossed in front of my car, he caught my eye.

And without missing a beat, he made a “Ta-Da!” gesture.  That is, he stopped, smiled, put his arms out, and maybe even jumped a little, as if he was hearing, or making, a silent, triumphant trumpet noise.

.

(Just for fun,  I’m going to Google-Image “Ta Da Pose” and see what I get.  Amazing!  Here’s the first thing that comes up:

Image

Here’s another one, with eye contact:

Image)

That night, after the guy struck that Ta Da Pose ever-so-briefly,  he moved on.

I remember smiling back, then. Maybe I even laughed a little. (I’m not sure, because I was, after all, feeling very down.)

But I do remember this: I drove away, after this brief encounter, feeling changed.  Feeling better.

And to this day, when I am walking down the street, feeling and showing joy, I often think about that guy I met, many years ago.

He made a difference to me.

And who knows?  Maybe I sometimes make a difference like that, too.

Thanks to that guy, Endorphin Dude,  pose-strikers everywhere, and to you, of course, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Day 273: The Show About Everything

I told some people I love, yesterday, when we were in the middle of the home stretch of a “Breaking Bad” marathon, that my punchline about the show was this:

While

download

was The Show About Nothing,

“Breaking Bad” was the The Show About Everything.

Here’s one random thought, this Monday morning,  about The Show About Everything:

People are hungry for great stories, about interesting people who change.

.

Here are just  a few of the themes I noticed, over the weekend, in The Show About Everything:

Secrets/Revelations

Lying/Telling the truth

Trauma/Healing

Everything we do affects others, in ways we often cannot predict.

There is bad and good in all of us.

.

The moment that is lingering for me, right now, after watching every episode, except for one*?

Walt, finally, saying something like this:

What I did, I did for myself.  I liked it. I was good at it.

.

After the show was over, I said, to anybody who might have been listening at that point, “See?  Do what you love. Do what you’re good at.”

I assumed that I didn’t need to add something like this, “Of course, you need to make better choices than Walt did.”

I’m sure they know that, by now.

Okay!  I’ve got to go to work. (Not to cook, but to listen to stories.)

Thanks to those who do what they love, to people who have both good and bad in them, and to everybody making choices today. And many thanks to you, for being here.

___________________________________________

* I skipped watching “Rabid Dog,” on the advice of practically everybody.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.