Posts Tagged With: the South Shore of Boston

Day 2373: Maintaining Positive Mental Health

In yesterday’s mostly positive post, I shared this information about maintaining positive mental health:

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Tip 1: Connect with others.

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Tip 2: Be physically active.

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Tip 3: Get professional help if needed (not pictured, but click on the link if needed).

Tip 4: Celebrate every moment.

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Tip 5: Be aware of the time, so you can savor it without rushing.

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Tip 6: Try not to get overwhelmed by all the data out there.

Tip 7: Observe, just notice.

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Tip 8: Welcome everyone and everything.

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Tip 9: Travel thoughtfully.

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Tip 10: Spend time with people you love.

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Tips 11 and 12: Smile and travel light.

Tip 13: Use any excuse …

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… to share music you love (here and here on YouTube):

Tip 14:  Practice the helpful antidote to the cognitive distortion of mind reading  by reality testing — asking for reactions from people you respect (that’s you, readers!)

Tip 15: Express gratitude, every day.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 2366: Visitors may catch a glance

Yesterday, when I was catching a glance of millions of things, I noticed this sign:

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It was not a summer’s day, but I’m always looking to catch a glance of snowy egrets, as you shall see at a glance.

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I also caught a glance of this t-shirt but not the glance of the owner.

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That t-shirt says  “Lonely Forever Club,” which caused me to catch a glance of other people on their own, at least for the moment.

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While I was taking those photos alone, I caught a glance of an inadvertent change of filter, which I changed back.

Sometimes I feel like a visitor and sometimes I feel like I belong. The difference often depends on how I’m filtering what I’m glancing.

Visitors may catch a glance of ellipses, memorials, flowering trees, numbers, waves, stones, pets, weirdness, whimsey, money, health, kindness, a kite, a robot, resting places, the past, sweets, gardens, groups, a pug imitating Napoleon, connections, and different perspectives.

 

Did you catch that glance of Oscar almost making a break for it, last night? Here’s another glance of that.

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I’m curious what my visitors are catching a glance of, here and now.

Today I’m going to catch a glance of a fund-raiser for group psychotherapy, spanakopita (which Michael is making for the fund-raiser), and the ending of Game of Thrones (even though I’ve just recently started catching glances of that series).

Here‘s what comes up on YouTube for “Game of Thrones at a glance.”

I then caught a glance of Emilia Clarke on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert show, describing catching a glance of death in real life and also the end of Game of Thrones.

Now I’m ready to catch all the glances of this new day.  And I look forward to catching a glance of comments, below.

Finally, here’s a glance of gratitude for all, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2365: Millions of Ideas

Over my long life, I’ve had millions of ideas.

Some of them are private and hidden.

Some of them are inexplicable.

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Some of them are rebellious.

Some of them are blooming.

Some of them seem random but aren’t.

Some of them are beautiful.

Some of them seem repetitive.

What do they all have in common?

Hope is what they all have in common. And I hope you share some of your millions of ideas, below.

I have some ideas about which music to share (here and here on YouTube).

Here’s another idea: music is like a time machine for me.

Millions of thanks to those whose ideas helped inspire today’s post and — of course! — to YOU, for all the ideas you bring, here and now.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2364: Where would you go in a time machine?

Yesterday, before I met my dear friend Megan and her wonderful daughter Kathryn for lunch and a stroll at a nearby beach, I was reading many of my past blog posts (including ones with Megan here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here,  here and here).

Whenever I read my past blog posts, it’s like traveling in a time machine.  For example, when I was reading all those posts about Megan, I definitely traveled through time …. all the way back to 2013, my first year of blogging, and beyond!

This week, I’ve spent some time traveling in the time machine of memory to my May vacation week of exactly one year ago, during which somebody made me lunch and then travelled in a time machine to recount years of resentments.  Personally, when I travel in my time machine, I prefer to visit moments of love, not  times of resentment (even though my time machine goes everywhere, to moments of pleasure and pain).

My time with Megan and her daughter, yesterday, was truly a reparative experience, which I hope you can see, as you take the time to travel through my latest photos:

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Throughout time, I’ve been sending photos of pugs to my friend Jenn, because she loves them.  Yesterday, I sent Jenn that photo of Megan’s neighbor’s dog, Ruby.

If you had a time machine, where would you go?  One place I would (and do) revisit is the first time I heard Pat Metheny play, at the Paradise Theater in Boston in 1979.  On that day, I heard and saw Pat and his group play music from the album American Garage and I was never the same again.  Here and now, I’m traveling in my  personal time machine to the FUTURE — next week, when I’ll be seeing Pat live, again, playing solo guitar.

YouTube is a kind of time machine, too, allowing me to travel back to 1979,  the year of American Garage (and, coincidentally, the year that Megan was born!)

Here’s a comment about that video of the Pat Metheny Group circa 1979, in which nctomatoman is time traveling:

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1 year ago
My first Pat Metheny concert was in 1980 at the chapel on the UVermont campus in Burlington. He played this, Unity Village, Phase Dance, San Lorenzo – and an early version of As Fall Witchita, among other songs. Breathtaking – changed my musical life for good and I’ve seen Pat nearly 20 times in concert – Waltham, Philadelphia, Seattle, Raleigh….The Way Up, to me, is the peak of his art. I so hope that the PMG reunites, though the Unity Group is wonderful as well.

The last line of that comment and the word “wonderful” takes me back to yesterday, when I took this photo …

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…. assuming, at the time, that the title for today’s blog post would be “Wonderful.”

So, my wonderful readers, where would you go in a time machine?

Now I’m going to travel through time to recall years of gratitude, here at the Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally, for all those who help me create these daily posts and — of course! — for YOU.

 

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 2361: If life seems hopeless

Yesterday, after I heard about the death of a patient who seemed hopeless at times but who often gave other people hope in my therapy groups, I noticed this sign:

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If life seems hopeless,  look for

  •  hidden treasures,

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  • signs of renewal,

 

  • neighbors,

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  • beauty that lives on,

 

  • attainable and satisfying goals,

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  • humor,

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  • comfort,

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  • inspiring stories,

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  • and good conversations (here and here on YouTube).

Gratitude helps, every day, so hopeful thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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

Day 2358: We want to know what you think!

I don’t know what you think, but when I see a sign that says people want to know what I think …

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… I often think this:

They want to sell me something.

I think I might be too suspicious, especially since I always tell people in my Coping and Healing groups that I want to know what they think.

I let people in my groups know that I want to know what they think (and feel) by naming what I’m curious about in the moment, which often includes

  • their experience of whatever mindfulness exercise we did at the beginning of the group,
  • everything that’s happened since the last time I saw them,
  • what’s going on for them in the moment (including thoughts, feelings, and body experiences),
  • anything they’re aware of that might be contributing to what’s going on for them in the moment, and
  • many other curious thoughts I’m having.

Then I shut up, to let them know I’m more interested in what they think than I am in what I think.

I want to know what you think about my other photos from yesterday.

 

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I want to know what you think about things I might do during my week off from work, besides

  • walk and observe nature,
  • see lots of flowering trees,
  • spend time with friends,
  • enjoy delicious food,
  • complete a *%$*&#@ form for the Internal Revenue Service,
  • chair a board meeting of group therapists,
  • let people know about the Northeastern Society for  Group Psychotherapy‘s June conference,
  • celebrate Mother’s Day,
  • miss my late mother, and
  • appreciate each precious moment.

I want to know what you think of this song:

 

We want to know what you think of this post, of course.

Do you want to know what I think?  I’m thinking thoughts of gratitude for all those who helped me create today’s blog and — of course! — for YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 2339: Mother Earth

Today is my late mother‘s birthday AND Earth Day

As my mother (who loved the ocean, animals, and her family) used to say, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.”  So how do I celebrate her birthday and Earth Day well?

Here’s a card I saw yesterday that seems like something else my mother would say to me:

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I can do this: I can tell you that I love my mother and Mother Earth very much and I try to celebrate them every day.

Here are almost all my other photos from yesterday:

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Here‘s a Mother Earth Song:

How are you going to celebrate Earth Day?

As I do every day (and I hope I do it well), I express my gratitude. Here’s the other photo I took yesterday:

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After I published this post, this photo of my  mother and me showed up on FaceBook:

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

Day 2335: In a perfect world

In a perfect world,

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trees would always be flowering,

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everybody would get to live exactly where they want,

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there would be effective and meaningful communication despite skepticism, religious differences, difficult people, and cognitive distortions like blaming,

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we would be looking to the future for our children,

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the best things in life would be free,

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potato chips would be good for you,

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people would greet each other without fear,

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there would be safe places for people to work things out together, and

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every home would have a cat and every cat would have a home.

 

In a perfect world, all people would be able to express their thoughts  and feelings about their perfect worlds (which you can do, below).

Searching for “in a perfect world” on YouTube finds this

and this.

I find Phora‘s lyrics so perfect that I’m going to include them here:

In A Perfect World

by Phora

Ain’t nobody perfect
Ain’t nobody perfect
Ain’t nobody perfect
Ain’t nobody perfect
See, in a perfect world it would all be so simple
Sometimes simple isn’t worth it
Cause all the hard times I’ve been through
Made me the man I am today
And I ain’t nowhere close to perfect
But I’m perfectly fine with that, I’m still breathing
So many scars and wounds that’ll never heal
I’m still bleeding, I know you see ’em
All those imperfections in yourself
You’re just stressing it too much, but life’s a lesson in itself
One day we’ll learn what it means
One day we’ll learn to be free
Baby, I’ve been trying to separate my wants and my needs
But what does perfect mean?
Lately I’ve been asking myself
If I paint you this picture maybe you’ll answer yourself
You see, a perfect world to me is no more violence
No more gunshots at night, homie and no more
Sirens
No more kids losing their life too soon and no drunk driving
I seen it a lot happen way too many times and we ain’t trying
We ain’t trying hard enough to change it, broken hearts and hatred
A perfect world to me is a world free of this racists
So who are you to judge a person by the color of skin
How hard is it just to smile and treat each other as kin
I wish, there was a world where our children could play outside
Without a drive-by, curving and watching straight bullets fly
But why, why does it feel like we’re not ready?
When I talk about change, man
Why I feel like they don’t get me?
Well, I guess I ain’t perfect enough
One day the money and jewels gon’ be worthless to us
We gonna value ourselves based of the love in our hearts
Not the cash in our pockets
I’m thinking what if we start a perfect world
Where the music ain’t downgrading our women
And they stop degrading themselves
They lost faith in our women
Trust me, I’m the one to judge, can’t stand the way that I’m livin’
We all dream of that perfect place and man, I’m way beyond vision
See, I can hear it, taste it and feel it
The scent of it is so potent
Perfect like your first love before your heart was broken
Perfect like the sound of crashing waves in the ocean
It’s perfect like the sound of music when you play it while smoking
So many, perfect imperfections in this world, still I love it here
Only 21 and I hope to make it another year
But if not, my soul will be perfectly free
She might not be perfect to you, but man she’s perfect to me
Yours Truly
Ain’t nobody perfect
But we’re all worth this life
Don’t matter where we’re going
As long as we’re living right
Ain’t nobody perfect
But we’re all worth this life
Don’t matter where we’re going
As long as we’re living right
We only got this one time, one time
Before we’re living in time
We only got this one time, one time
Before we’re living in time
We only got this one time, one time
Before we’re living in time
We only got this one time, one time
Before we’re living in time
Ain’t nobody perfect
You see, the very end of it
I didn’t know where I was
All I know it was peaceful
Almost like a place nothing could go wrong
A place so perfect
I’ve always imagined a place like this
Ever since I was young, I was
Never really able to sleep
My mom always told me:
“Close your eyes, picture the waves crashing
Imagine yourself there with no worries”
That’s the only thing that ever really helps
So much going on in this world
Sometimes I wonder if we were able to think our
Own heaven into existence
What would mine be like?
Well, I think I finally found it
Better yet, I think it’s been with me all along

I think gratitude has been with me all along, so thanks to all who helped me create this post today and — of course! — to YOU, for making my world more perfect.

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

Day 2334: How many brains do you have?

According to this book I’m reading …

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Humans have four brains! What are we doing with them, these days?

Here are four human quotes about brains from Brainy Quotes:

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy.  Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. — Dalai Lama

The human brain works as a binary computer and can only analyze the exact information-based zeros and ones (or black and white).  Our heart is more like a chemical computer that uses fuzzy logic to analyze information that can’t be easily defined in zeros and ones. — Naveen Jain

I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells.  — Dr. Suess

The point is that when I see a sunset or a waterfall or something, for a split second it’s so great, because for a little bit I’m out of my brain, and it’s got nothing to do with me. I’m not trying to figure it out, you know what I mean? And I wonder if I can somehow find a way to maintain that mind stillness.  — Chris Evans

All of my brains noticed these images yesterday:

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I hope some of your brains know that you can click on any of those images to enlarge them, if your heart wants to.

Here’s something that came up on YouTube when I searched for “Humans have four brains.”

All my brains loved hearing this tune yesterday:

I wonder if any of your brains want to leave a comment.

My brains always want to express gratitude at the end of every post, to all the brains who helped me create it and all the brains that are reading it, here and now.

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Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2331: ASK FOR HELP!

Last week, somebody who was joining my Coping and Healing groups said to me, “I have trouble asking for help.” I hope it helped when I replied, “You’re not alone.  Many other people in the groups also struggle with asking for help.”

Yesterday morning, when I was writing my second Letter from the President for the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy (NSGP) newsletter, my boyfriend Michael started talking in his sleep.  Michael sometimes talks in his sleep in the mornings, but I can never hear what he’s saying. It doesn’t help that he mumbles while sleep-talking.  Yesterday, he said

Don’t (…unintelligible mumbling…)    ASK FOR HELP!!

“ASK FOR HELP!” was so loud and clear that it startled me and the cats. Inspired by that message from the sleeping Michael, I immediately sent my latest version of my Letter from the President to a helpful friend and NSGP board member, and asked for her help in reviewing what I’d written.  It really helped that I asked for help that way, because (1) she was very positive and helpful in her feedback and (2) this morning I restarted my computer and would have completely lost all my latest work if I hadn’t sent her that draft.

As Michael said, ASK FOR HELP!

I heard “ASK FOR HELP!” in my head yesterday  as I looked for helpful images to capture and share. You don’t have to ask me to include them here and now.

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Right before I took that last photo, I heard many cat noises coming from inside our house, so I asked for Michael’s help in identifying them.  Since I asked for help, he showed me this video:

Those hungry cats were asking for help, and they got it.

After our long walk near the seashore yesterday, I received an email about Open Mic’s around Boston.  Because it helps to practice my original songs, I asked for help in signing up for a slot tomorrow night.

Last night, Michael and I had dinner with my friend and co-worker Alice and her husband  (not pictured).  I said, “I think Alice and I have the female equivalent of a bromance.  I wonder what that’s called?” Later, I asked for help in identifying that term.  Would you like to ask for help in discovering what that word is?

It’s “womance.”

If you have trouble sharing your thoughts and feelings in a comment below, ASK FOR HELP!

Every day, I ask for help in expressing my gratitude to all those who help me create these posts and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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