Posts Tagged With: taking helpful actions

Day 871: What’s taking up space in your head?

What’s taking up space in your head?

… is the question that was taking up space in my head, when I woke up earlier this morning.

Why was that question taking up space in my head?

Here’s why: Some negative people and difficult situations are taking up too much friggin’ space in my head, right now. And, I do NOT want to be renting them so much — if any — of my valuable mental space.

Why do negative people and difficult situations take up so much space? I mean it’s my head, dammit! Why, on earth, am I NOT renting more space to positive people and things, including

  • my ongoing recovery from my recent cardiac-related surgery,
  • my extremely good chances, according to my trusted cardiologists, of avoiding dreaded major heart surgery in the near future,
  • people and animals I love,
  • my wonderful experiences here in the blog-o-sphere,
  • the therapy groups I get to do every week at work,
  • my upcoming presentation on these groups, at a group therapy conference the first weekend of June, and
  • my upcoming chance to sing a song I love — Sondheim’s “Green Finch and Linnet Bird” — and KILL it at an audition (if I’m not too nervous)?

I would prefer to be giving ALL my mental space to those and other positive things in my life, today. So why am I spacey enough to give any head-space, at all, to:

  • negative people and
  • disappointing situations?

Here’s a possible answer to that, which is taking up space in my head:

Perhaps we spend a lot of time and energy on difficult people and situations because our mind is doing its best to solve “the problem.”

Well, giving those things too much head space can be a problem, too.

So how can I start giving negative people and difficult situations less space, right now?

I could:

  • recognize that those negative people and situations do NOT have as much power as I fear,
  • rent space to those negative people and situations only during times when I am able to take some helpful action in response,
  • serve them an eviction notice, over and over again,
  •  deliberately make space for other things (for example, these pictures I took yesterday, in chronological time and space):


  • and, finally, focus my head on interesting puzzles, like …. what was the word on that sign, above, before it got damaged?

Is there space in your head, right now, for some music? How about renting some space to something from the musical Rent?

In my head, the song “Santa Fe” is about people renting new space,  in their heads,  for hope and for change.

If your head has space to leave a comment in the space below, my head will become less spacey and more happy, I’m sure.

Finally, I shall now take up more space in your head with my space-filling gratitude for all the positive situations and people in my life …. including you!

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Day 535: Making sense of it all

This is one of those days where I’ve REALLY given myself a challenging posting task. How the heck am I going to make sense of it all, in one post I make up in an hour?  I’ll be lucky if I make sense of some cool photos* I want to show you.

As I often say, I shall do my best.

Yesterday, my local car mechanics did not return my phone calls about my flat tire. I didn’t know how to make sense of that, since they’ve been very helpful in the past.

Sometimes, when people don’t respond quickly to a request, I can feel helpless and upset. Yesterday, I was  mindful of that old pattern and changed it, by taking a helpful action.  I drove to another mechanic, whom I knew from previous experience, near where I work, and arranged for the car to be worked on today.

After making a sensible plan with this mechanic, I realized I was probably going to be late for a group I run at work.

Usually, when I’m late, I can feel helpless and upset. Yesterday, I was mindful of that old pattern. I was also aware of what I tell every new member, before they join one of my groups:

It’s better to get to the group on time, because then you’ll get the most out of it.  However, life happens, and you may be late. There is no judgment or shame about that. If you are late, just enter the group room quietly, because we may be doing a mindfulness exercise.


So, I said to myself yesterday: maybe there’s no shame for the group leader being late, either. That didn’t make total sense to me, based on my training and value system, so l  called Jackie, at the front desk, so she could inform people that I would be a little late.

As I made my way to my group, I had old, familiar images and thoughts about my being late. These included visualizing the group members disappointed, disconnected, or otherwise disgruntled.

When I got to the group room, I found people acting the opposite of these fears. Instead of being upset, the group members were already on their way of making sense of it all together, without me.

For the rest of that day, I had many places to travel. But I needed to go slow, because of that temporary spare tire still on my car.

By traveling so slowly and carefully, I observed many interesting things. And, because of my state of mind, I did not need to make sense of everything I saw.

I shall now present photos I took yesterday, in order of appearance (as is my usual pattern). How do you make sense of these?











I can help make sense of that last photo, for sure. That’s Harley, one of our cats, out on the front porch.  Also on the front porch with Harley?  My boyfriend Michael, having returned yesterday from a week-long work/cooking adventure away.

Everything makes more sense, with Michael around.

Thanks to my car mechanics, to the members of my therapy groups, to Anne Tyler, to indoor and outdoor cats,  to actors and other expressive artists everywhere, to people who do their best to make sense of it all, and to you — naturally! — for journeying here today.

* Calling these photos cool doesn’t really make sense, for two reasons: (1) Who is to judge whether these photos are cool or not? (2) Since I readjusted the greenish-blue filter on my iPhone yesterday, all of today’s photos are, literally, less cool.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Blog at