Posts Tagged With: the healing power of music

Day 2066: What I’m not saying

What I’m not saying, here and now, includes many things, because I still have laryngitis.

However, I’m returning to work today, where I will do my best to encourage people to share in therapy what they’re not saying elsewhere in their lives.

Here’s a partial list of what I’m not saying:

  • Some people scare me.
  • I sometimes fear other people’s anger as well as my own anger.
  • I miss my son (who is attending University in Edinburgh) and my late friend Michelle.
  • I’m glad to be home.
  • When I’m away from work for vacation, I fear  I’ve forgotten what I need to know to be a good therapist.
  • When I name my fears, they seem more manageable.
  • If I’m confused, I can take a breath and some time to choose the next right thing to do.
  • I used to have recurring dreams of not being able to speak.
  • Communicating effectively is very important to me.
  • I will do my best to say things non-verbally today.

Whenever I put what I’m not saying into words, I feel better. See how it works?

Let’s see what I’m saying and not saying in my photos from yesterday.

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What I’m not saying about that last picture includes this:

  1. I’ve had that little book since I attended Berklee in the summer when I was in high school.
  2. Those notations include the melody line and some chords for my fourth original song, “Shameless Appeals for Applause.”
  3. When I was on a boat in Iceland recently, the man standing next to me was saying that he was proud of his son, who had recently graduated from Berklee.

What I’m not saying includes the fact that in the 1990s, I helped create Berklee College of Music’s recruitment video.  What I’m not saying is that I haven’t figured out a way to share that video here.

I’m not saying which of these “I’m Not Sayin'” performances I like best.

I’m not saying that those are three different songs but I am saying that I found all three on YouTube here, here, and here.

I’m not saying who wrote that song but you can find that out here.

What I’m not saying, until now, includes saying thanks to Gordon Lightfoot, The Replacements, Nico, Oscar, Harley, Berklee, Iceland, all those who are healing the best they can, and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 1449: Can I get an “Amen”?

Can I get an “Amen” for winter greetings?

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Can I get an “Amen” for another fabulous Christmas greeting masterpiece from my friend Janet?

Can I get an “Amen” for how laundry can become overwhelming?

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Can I get an “Amen” for the healing power of cookies?

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Can I get an “Amen” for my amenable family members?

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Can I get an “Amen” for the wisdom on teabags?

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Can I get an “Amen” for the Amazing Amen chorus from Handel’s Messiah, a piece of music that gave me peace of mind as I sang it, piece by piece, last night?

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Can I get an “Amen” for that performance of the Amen Chorus  by singers from Oman?

Or for this one conducted by Otto  Klemperer (starting at 3:47)?

 

Can I get an “Amen” for staying alert, aware, and active,  but also at peace for the next four years?

Can I get an “Amen” for completing this blog post

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well within the time I need to get to cardiac rehab this morning?

Can I get an “Amen” for everyone who helped me create today’s blog post and — Amen! — for you, my amenable, amazing, and admirable readers?

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

Day 1353: Practice kind listening and kind speaking.

What kind of tea bag would tell you  to practice kind listening and kind speaking?

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A kind and practical one.

I try to practice kind listening and kind speaking in my job as a group and individual therapist.  I think kind speaking is the finest kind and so is kind listening, although I wonder if people can tell I’m listening kindly.

Yesterday, I announced at a team meeting at work that this is my last week before my six-week medical leave, and people there listened and spoke kindly, which made me cry.  That reminds me of a post I wrote my first year of blogging, very soon after the Boston Marathon bombing, called Kindness can make me cry, even harder. If you like reading that kind of post, please be kind enough to click on the link in the previous sentence.

During a day of kind listening and kind speaking, I took these kinds of photos:

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Because my friend Deb was kind enough to give me a ticket, we both listened to and performed all kinds of amazing tunes at a Hamilton sing-along last night.  Here and here are two kind versions of my favorite kind of song to sing from Hamilton.

Gotta run for more kind listening and kind speaking at work today. If you are kind enough to speak your mind in a comment, I shall practice kind listening.

For all the kind people who helped me create today’s  post and for you and your kindness in visiting my blog today, here’s another kind of photo:

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1351: Things We Love

Yesterday, I saw this sign, which I love:

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Throughout the day, I took other photos of things I love.

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Here‘s another thing I love:

Because we who love classical music believe it heals the body, soul, and mind, I’m going to request that classical music be playing during my recovery from open heart surgery, next week.

Here’s another thing we bloggers love: comments!

I hope gratitude is a thing you love, because I’m feeling it, now, for you.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1336: Stress Relief

Because I’m a psychotherapist,  I know about  stress relief. And because I’m a person alive in the year 2016, I sometimes  need stress relief.

Where do you find stress relief?

In a can?

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In the refrigerator?

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In books?

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In travel?

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In other creatures?

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In things you can buy?

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In boo boo kisses?

Tomorrow, I’m going back to work in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.  In two weeks, my only child is leaving for a five-year mathematics program in Edinburgh, Scotland.  In three weeks, I’ll be in Minnesota preparing for my first open heart surgery.

I don’t know about you, but I could probably use some stress relief.

Here’s the first thing I found on YouTube for “stress relief.”

 

Is it possible that leaving a comment for this post might provide stress relief for somebody?

I know that gratitude is great for stress relief, so thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for any stress relief you find or bring, here and now.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 63 Comments

Day 1212: Purpose

On purpose, I took this photo yesterday:

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What are your first associations with the word “Purpose”?

When I take photos, it’s more intuitive than purposeful. But I purposely have faith that each of the photos will serve a purpose in this blog.

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One of my co-workers sent me those, on purpose, through the office mail. I think her purpose was to amuse me and to connect with our mutual love of cats and experience of the local weather.

 

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I purposefully took that picture of my co-worker Megan’s white board.  Megan wrote that with the purpose of helping people improve their self-care.

I took those two photos with the purpose of documenting that THERE WERE NO MATZO BALLS in the hospital’s Matzo Ball soup when Megan and I went to lunch.

 

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I purposely took that photo of a Mongolian Lamb Stool because:

  1. I’d never seen anything like that before,
  2. We’re going to the Sheep Festival this Saturday,
  3. I believed some of my readers might like it, and
  4. I thought it was funny.

On purpose, I just linked that last line to an old blog post, because that finally answers a question I posed two years ago, which nobody here ever guessed. Sometimes it takes a while to fulfill a purpose.

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My purpose in taking that photo was that I believe we’re here to help each other, for free.

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My purpose in taking and sharing that photo is that I like to  celebrate communities everywhere.

My purpose in taking those photos is to share some things I love seeing these days.

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My purpose in taking that last photo of the day was to show that

  • things can happen — on purpose or not — to slow us down or even stop us for a while and
  • with purpose, we can overcome obstacles, especially with help from others.

I hope this post isn’t falling flat, because that is neither my intent nor my purpose.

On purpose, I now show this photo again

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to purposefully introduce some music I was singing yesterday:

I’ve been including music by Prince in this blog lately, on purpose.

While it’s not my purpose to write this blog to elicit comments, I hope you express yourself purposefully in the comment section, below.

Purposeful thank to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — no matter what your purpose is for joining me here and now.

 

 

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1173: Feeling lucky?

Feeling lucky?

I’m feeling lucky.

I feel lucky that, every day, I find lucky inspirations for my lucky blog posts, like this lucky sign I saw early yesterday on a lucky Saint Patrick’s Day morning:

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Even though I didn’t win a prize from any pots of gold, I feel lucky that:

  • I’ve got a lucky number of consistent and kind readers here at lucky WordPress.
  • I do group and individual therapy at a luckily large and well-known teaching hospital in lucky Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
  • My lucky 18 year old son, Aaron, is luckily healthy, happy, and wise.
  • My lucky boyfriend Michael is lucky enough to have met lucky me.
  • I’m seeing my lucky cardiologist, Dr. Mark Estes, today, who luckily knows more about pacemakers than almost anybody else in this lucky world of ours.
  • Today is Friday, which makes a lot of working people feel lucky.

On lucky Thursdays, I am lucky enough to facilitate two therapy groups. Here are all the other photos I was lucky enough to capture yesterday, in lucky chronological order:

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While I didn’t order Lucky Hydrox yesterday, I was still lucky enough to

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sing from my heart, as I was walking to and from my lucky workplace.

Here’s one lucky song I was lucky enough to be singing, yesterday, with all my heart:

When I sang “Soothe” on my tryout for The Voice  last month, I wasn’t lucky enough to make it to the show. However, next month I’ll be lucky enough to sing “Soothe” for my fellow social workers at our lucky yearly party.

Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to see and hear a recording of me singing it, here.

I hope I’m lucky enough to get lots of lucky comments today.

Lucky thanks to all my lucky readers!

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1157: Please Knock

What does “Please Knock” mean to you?

Here are some possible meanings of “Please Knock” currently knocking around in my mind:

  • Announce yourself.
  • Your presence is welcome.
  • Make noise.
  • Insult somebody.
  • Seize an opportunity (instead of waiting for opportunity to knock first).
  • “I am a social worker at a prominent teaching hospital in Boston who is not otherwise engaged in this moment.”

I saw all those “Please Knock” signs, yesterday, when I walked to a part of that hospital where I work and:

What other photos are knocking to be revealed here, on this morning after the Massachusetts USA presidential primary?

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Before I turn the off the lights in today’s post, I want to knock on your door one more time, with this:  I’m seeing my long-time cardiologist, Dr. Deeb Salem, later today.  Dr. Salem (knocking around in this previous post) has always encouraged me to Please Knock with any questions during our appointments.

It always pleases me to know that my knocking is welcome, anywhere.

Please knock with any comments, below.  And knocking good thanks for knocking on the door of my blog, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 1006: It Takes Two

It took two earbuds, yesterday morning, to deliver to my two ears a great Stephen Sondheim song — “It Takes Two.”

It takes two exceptional actor/singers — Chip Zien and Joanna Gleason — from the original Broadway production of Sondheim’s Into the Woods to sing “It Takes Two” in that YouTube video.

It takes two things very dear to my heart — seen on October 2 — to create the first  “It Takes Two” image of today’s post:

It takes two happy moments for me to tell you that’s my wonderful friend  (and ex-co-worker) Mary next to my new yellow car.

It takes two — I and my iPhone camera — to notice and capture pictures I think relate to my blog posts, every day.


  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

As I’m typing this post with my two hands, it takes about two moments for me to come up with more than two associations for “It Takes Two.”

  • It takes two parents to help our son Aaron negotiate the college application process, so I’ve asked Aaron’s father, Leon, to meet with us today after 2 PM, to discuss all that.
  • It takes two days for me to come up with all the wonderful things I can say about my son Aaron, so I’m probably going to spend two hours today at the keyboard creating a “Parent Brag Sheet for College Recommendations.”
  • It takes two people, or more,  in a therapy office to come up with effective ideas for dealing with anxiety, depression, and many other challenges to people’s mental health.
  • It takes two cardiologists — Drs. Deeb Salem and Mark Estes — to give me the level of care I need for my very unusual heart.
  • It takes two doctors — my Primary Care Physician and a sleep specialist — to help me figure out how the heck to treat my mild sleep apnea.
  • It takes two sleep machines for me to conclude that I really dislike wearing a medical machine at night.
  • It takes approximately two minutes for me to attempt to explain why I dislike wearing medical machines at night. That experience is way too close to too many memories I have of being attached to medical machines before the age of 12, when it took two parents to take me and leave me at Children’s Hospital to receive more than two pacemakers between the ages of 10 and 12,  to keep me alive.
  •  It takes two months to reschedule an appointment with the sleep specialist at Tufts Medical Center, so I’m too grateful that I’m finally seeing seeing him, in not too much more than 2 x 2 days.
  • It took two tickets to Boston’s Symphony Hall last night to get me and my boyfriend Michael in to see Mozart’s Requiem  — which I sang 2 x 2 decades ago with the MIT Chorus.  Musical scholars think it took two people to write Mozart’s RequiemMozart and Franz Sussmayr to complete it after Mozart’s untimely death at age 35.

It takes two people (at least) to create a legitimate Wikipedia page, and it takes two sentences from the Wikipedia entry about Mozart’s Requiem to show that it takes two of several different instruments to play the Requiem:

The Requiem is scored for 2 basset horns in F, 2 bassoons, 2 trumpets in D, 3 trombones (alto, tenor & bass), timpani (2 drums), violins, viola and basso continuo (cello, double bass, and organ). The vocal forces include soprano, contralto, tenor, and bass soloists and an SATB mixed choir.

When I sang the Requiem with the MIT Chorus  two years after I had graduated from a college not too far from MIT,  I was an “S” in the SATB (Soprano Alto Tenor Bass) mixed chorus.

Yesterday, it took two people to have this conversation about the Requiem:

Me: Perhaps the best music ever written — Mozart’s Requiem — is playing at Symphony Hall tonight.  Do you want to go?

Michael (after a pause):  Sure, baby.

It takes two words from my boyfriend to make me really, really happy, sometimes.

It takes two seconds for me to decide to share this part of the Requiem (which everybody agrees was written only by Mozart).

It apparently takes two musical numbers for me to successfully complete this post.

It takes way more than two people to help me create every post I write here. Thanks to all of them and to you — of course! — for taking the time to read this.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Day 874: Find a Stillness

Last night, my boyfriend Michael and I went to a jazz event called “Celebrating The Great American Songbook” at a Lexington, Massachusetts church. While we were waiting for it to begin, Michael and I found this:

Earlier in the day, I was able to find a stillness and a description of last night’s event:


When I read that, I found a stillness and an excitement about seeing the amazing Lee Konitz, in person.

Before the event, I was able to find all these (and a stillness) in Lexington, Massachusetts, with Michael:


                                                    

That’s one of the organizers of “Celebrating the Great American Songbook,” breaking the stillness before the performance to tell us that Lee Konitz would not be appearing. A moment later, I found a stillness when he announced that the performers would include the amazing drummer Terri Lyne Carrington.

Here’s the memory I found, in that stillness:

Two decades ago, when I was in my first year of social work school (transitioning from a career in marketing and advertising), Berklee College of Music asked me to create a video for an event celebrating a big anniversary for the school. The narrator for that little documentary I created for Berklee was Terri Lyne Carrington.

I found a stillness last night as I listened to the terrific music and wondered if Terri Lyne had any memory of our working together, so long ago.


       

I found a stillness and a joy when Terri Lyne’s father, Sonny Carrington (left), was invited up from the audience to scat-sing to the last number, a Charlie Parker tune.

After the wonderful performance, I found a stillness to wait for Terri Lyne and to remind her about the voice-over she had provided — in the stillness of a Berklee College of Music recording studio — so many years ago. Terri Lyne found the stillness and grace to tell me she had some distant memories of that experience.

After I spoke with Terri Lyne, I found this stillness, in the church:

About a half- hour later, I was able to find a stillness and some Malt Hydrox ice cream:

When I got home, I found a stillness, but not the photo I have of Terri Lyne Carrington and me at that long-ago Berklee anniversary celebration.

Someday, I’ll find that photo and the videotape I created for Berklee, both still in the stillness of my home, somewhere.

Will I find that photo and video today, in the stillness of this beautiful Sunday in May? I find a stillness, here and now, to say “Time will tell.”

Here‘s something else I just found, very easily, in the stillness of YouTube:

That shows you how Terri Lyne Carrington has been bursting through stillness with her incredible drumming, from a very young age. And I can find a stillness to tell you she is still doing that, today!

Now, I find a stillness to thank Beverly (who told me about “Celebrating the Great American Songbook” yesterday), Michael, Terri Lyne Carrington, Sonny Carrington, Dr. Lewis Porter, Gary Bartz (on saxophone), the bass player last night (whose name I still can’t remember), Charlie Parker, the great American songbook,  Lexington Massachusetts, Lexington Community Education, Rancatore’s Ice Cream, Berklee College of Music, Arsenio Hall, the creator of the hymn “Find a Stillness,” and you — of course! — for finding a stillness (I hope), today.

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

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