Posts Tagged With: trusting others

Day 1149: Hope and Love in Times Square

I took a train from Philadelphia to NYC, yesterday, to attend a group therapy conference at a hotel located in Times Square. Because the weather was so beautiful, I walked the entire way with my suitcase from New York’s Penn Station to Times Square.

What are your associations with Times Square in New York City?

Personally, my immediate association with Times Square is the massive New Year’s Eve celebration there, every year. Yesterday, Times Square wasn’t quite as crowded, so there was plenty of room for hope …

… and love.

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As I was rolling my suitcase through Times Square, I met a lovely and helpful Public Safety Officer named Joseph. Encountering kind people, especially in a place like Times Square, always gives me hope about humankind.

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At the end of our brief conversation, Joseph and I gave each other a high five — a very hopeful and lovely way to connect with another person, don’t you think?

For me, there are certain things that can get in the way of accessing the hope and love  available in any location, including:

  • insufficient self-care, like not enough sleep, nourishing food, water, or access to what sustains me  (nature, music, art, animals,  etc.),
  • negative assumptions about other people and their intentions,
  • worry about the future,
  • fear of the unfamiliar,
  • dread about repeating past difficult experiences, and
  • doubting my own strengths and abilities.

Which of the images in this blog post convey hope and love to you?

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Hope and love to you — on  this 23rd day of February, 2016 — from Times Square.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 41 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?

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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

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