Posts Tagged With: The Smothers Brothers

Day 1013: Compliments

It’s a compliment to the power of compliments that I’ve already blogged about compliments twice before, in Day 191: Compliments and Day 795:  How to Accept Compliments.

It’s a compliment to the Smothers Brothers that I was inspired to create another post about compliments today.

If you pay me the compliment of watching a video I’ve chosen for you, you’ll find that Smothers Brothers performance of “Boil That Cabbage Down”  at Boston’s Symphony Hall contains much about compliments.

I shall now pay a compliment to Tommy Smothers, who has a lot to say about  family compliments: I am proud we both share the birthday of February 2 (a date that pays a compliment to groundhogs in the USA).

Speaking of family compliments, I know a  very effective exercise that helps families give compliments to each other. Here’s how it works:

  1. The family gathers in a room, with a writing implement and some nice paper.
  2. One member of the family leaves the room.
  3. The rest of the family members come up with compliments about the person who is not there. (These must be authentic, unqualified and non-left-handed compliments.)
  4. One of the family members writes down the compliments.
  5. When the person who left the room returns, that person is given the list of compliments from the rest of the family.
  6. Repeat Steps 2 through 5, for each family member.

I am going to pay a compliment to my old friend, Joe: I really appreciate him for telling me about this family exercise, decades ago.

Here’s a photo of some of the compliments I got from my family (including my sister Ellen, my late mother, my late father, and my ex-husband) when we did that family exercise:


It’s a compliment to my family members how I’ve saved and cherished that list for so many years.

Here are some more complimentary thoughts from me about compliments:

  • I’ve witnessed many people in group and individual therapy struggle to accept compliments that are sincerely given.
  • Receiving a compliment that does not fit your perception of yourself can feel painful at times.
  • I like to give people compliments, authentically and freely.
  • I believe that learning to accept compliments can be powerfully healing.

I wonder if I’ll get any compliments about these photos I took yesterday.

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All my photos are taking forever to load in WordPress today. Since I have paid WordPress the compliment of buying additional storage space and I have paid my readers the compliment of spending hours in the service of helping my photos load more quickly, I hope this is temporary.  Otherwise, I may have to pay some left-handed compliments to WordPress over this long weekend.

I shall now pay myself the compliment of sharing my first ever tweet with hashtags, which I created on Twitter while I was waiting for my photos to load here:

I love being in the moment, especially when that moment is a Friday night of a long weekend.

I shall now pay a compliment to my cat Oscar and my boyfriend Michael by including this photo from August, two years ago (which I hope pays us all the compliment of loading easily).


Feel free to include any right-handed or left-handed compliments in a comment, below.

Complimentary thanks to my family, to Michael/Mike the boyfriend, to Joe the friend, to Oscar the cat, to the Brothers Smothers, to WordPress, to Twitter, to people who do their best to give and receive compliments, and  to you — of course! — for paying me the compliment of visiting here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

Day 1010: I talk to myself

If you — like lots of other people — have automatic negative thoughts, some therapists recommend that you talk to yourself.

Here are some examples of how I talk to myself, challenging habitual and unhelpful thoughts:

That person seems to have a negative opinion about me BUT I ACTUALLY DON’T KNOW THAT.

If that person has a negative opinion about me IT WON’T HURT ME AS MUCH AS I FEAR.

My writing sucks right now BUT IT’S GOOD ENOUGH, AND I CAN MAKE IT BETTER.

I feel like I look really weird BUT NOBODY NOTICES THAT.

I’ve made a mistake BUT IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD.

I may feel like I’m alone with this problem BUT I CAN ASK FOR HELP.

I just talked to myself and told myself those were enough examples.

If you have this thought:

People are going to think I’m nuts if I’m talking to myself!

… take a look around and talk to yourself like so:

Don’t most people look like they’re talking to themselves, these days?

And who cares what they think, anyway?!?!?!

Can you imagine how I was talking to myself, yesterday, as I was taking these pictures?




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Now, I’m talking to myself about what music to include in this post.

There’s this, with Clint Eastwood singing to himself:

And there’s this, with the Smothers Brothers talking to (1) Judy Garland, (2) themselves, (3) each other, and (4) a TV audience:

Don’t talk to yourself about this post; instead, share that self-talk in a comment.

I talk to myself all the time about how grateful I am to have this blog. Today is no exception! Talk to yourselves, please, about how much I appreciate you for visiting here today.

Categories: blogging, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 56 Comments

Day 702: Associations

I don’t know about you, but I have the kind of mind, heart, and soul where I make a lot of associations, as I make my way through space and time.

Yesterday, I encountered several challenging, overwhelming, and difficult-to-resolve situations at work and elsewhere, and my associations with that included:

I just made associations with most of the cognitive distortions I listed, above, by doing a WordPress search through my past posts for the name of each distortion, and then linking to it. However, there was one cognitive distortion with which WordPress had no associations,* so that one is different (and, perhaps, guilty by association). My association with that is that it’s probably time for me to define that one link-less distortion here:

We come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or a single piece of evidence. If something bad happens only once, you expect it to happen over and over again. Example: seeing one incident of rejection as part of a never-ending pattern of defeat and failure.

My association with that?  That sounds about right.

In the past, when I’ve been making unhelpful associations, I sometimes write down my associations freely, without judgment or restraint,  in order to move my thoughts, feelings, and experience into a different place.

My association with that?  I need a starting point, for those associations.

So what should I associate with, today?

How about a photo I took yesterday?


Here are my associations with that:

I take photos, sometimes, when I’m stuck in traffic or waiting, as a way to pass the time, reduce anxiety, and gather ideas and images for this daily blog. That truck shows batteries, which reminds me of pacemaker batteries, which I’ve been dependent upon to stay alive for the past 52 years. I can’t make out or recognize all of the images on the back of that truck, but I assume they might have something to do with NASCAR racers. I can’t read the whole slogan on the bottom, but I see the words “past” and “Built to last.”  “Built to last” reminds me of my current fears about my health and makes me think about human fragility and vulnerability.

I don’t know what those associations did for you, but I would like to move on to associations with another image:


 I think those images, on the side of that truck, are supposed to be reassuring, but they are reminding me, in the moment, of two things I’m having some worries and concerns about: (1) my possibly needing heart surgery in the near future (left) and (2) the challenges I’m having with the masks on my C-PAP machine (right) and how I got a call from the C-PAP machine people yesterday wanting to Repossess the machine,  since I haven’t been using it 70% of the time, which was a requirement I didn’t even know about until last week, but maybe that’s for the best, because I ‘m going to try a different kind of sleep treatment (a dental device) instead.

I don’t know what those associations did for you, but I would like to move on to associations with a different photo:


Last night, on my drive home after my challenging day, I passed by something that made me laugh out loud, despite everything I was thinking, feeling, and experiencing, so I turned around and circled back to take a photo of it. I could ask you your associations with that photo, to see if you might guess what I saw, but why should I waste your time? My iPhone couldn’t capture it, obviously, but that was a bright, illuminated snowman up a tree, above, which made me — at least momentarily — happy.

I guess you had to be there.

What associations might I make now, in this post, to link with some musical association?

(YouTube video of The Association, associating with The Smothers Brothers, found here, if you care to make that association.)

Do you have any associations with that or with anything else in this associating post, today?  If you do, I hope you consider joining the association of people who comment on this blog.

Thanks to everybody, everywhere, who makes associations of any kind (including you, with whom I am always pleased to associate).

* It turns out that WordPress had no associations with that cognitive distortion because I typed “overgeneralizing” instead of “overgeneralization.” My association with that?  Nobody’s perfect.

Categories: blogging, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

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