Posts Tagged With: What helps

Day 2610: Welcome to My Happy Place

Welcome ….


… to my happy place.


Every day, this blog is my happy place, because I choose to focus on

  • kindness,
  • love,
  • gratitude,
  • humor,
  • music,
  • cooperation,
  • connection,
  • hope,  and
  • what helps,

rather than

Sometimes, I get bored with humans who focus on those other things.





I look for photos and stories to make this my happy place.



























While that dog doesn’t look happy, I saw that at somebody else’s happy place.

Here‘s “My Happy Place” by Odds.


What’s your happy place?

Thanks to all who make this my happy place, including YOU.



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

Day 2565: Lost and Found

Six years ago, on Valentine’s Day, I wrote another “Lost and Found” post, “dedicated to my boyfriend/inamorato/whatever Michael.” I’ve lost the need to use those words to describe Michael since we found ourselves calling each other husband and wife on December 27, 2019.

Yesterday, I realized I had lost my wallet when I was at a doctor’s appointment. I immediately lost all focus on everything else. I found the memory of looking in my wallet to make sure I hadn’t lost the card I needed for the doctor’s visit while I was walking by Fenway Park (where the Boston Red Sox lost lots of games before they found themselves in the World Series).  I figured I lost the wallet soon after that.

I found the phone number of somebody I thought might be able to help me find what I’d lost. Here’s the phone conversation of me trying not to lose it:

Person Answering Phone: Hello?

Me: Hello!  I need to reach the Ipswich Garage.

P.A.P.: This is not the Ipswich Garage. This is the parking office.

Me: I know!  I need to talk to somebody at the Ipswich Garage. I’ve lost my wallet!

P.A.P.: You can’t call the garage.

Me: I need to contact them.  I think I dropped my wallet while I was walking to the garage.

P.A.P.  I can call the garage. What do you want me to tell them?

Me: Tell them I dropped my wallet. I think it’s near the statues outside of Fenway Park.

P.A.P.: If your wallet is not in the garage, they can’t help you.

Me (losing the ability to express myself in words): Arrrghhh!

P.A.P.  Give me your phone number.

Have you ever lost your wallet?  I was thinking about all the time lost in the future, cancelling credit cards, getting a new license, etc. etc.  I lost the ability to be in the present as the medical assistance tried to measure my blood pressure (she couldn’t).  When I walked into my doctor’s office, I told her I’d lost my wallet and wanted to leave to look for it. My doctor, whom I luckily found eleven years ago (and whom you can find posts about here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), found a lot of empathy for my situation and told me to go. At that moment, my cell phone rang.

Me: Hello?

P.A.P.: Hello. They found your wallet.

Me: I love you.

P.A.P.: Thank you.

Here’s the lost-and-found wallet:


That wallet is made out of recycled billboards and I’m so glad it was found. (If you click on the link in the previous sentence, you’ll find that the wallet was lost and found before.)

Here are all the other new photos I’ve found on my phone this morning:













I’m so glad I found

when “I” becomes “we,” “illness” becomes “wellness”

… which was posted on Facebook yesterday by a group therapist I love.

I’ve found a lot of tunes titled “Lost and Found” on YouTube. Here‘s one of them, by Jorja Smith:

I’m hoping to have found comments about this lost-and-found post in the near future.

No matter what I’ve lost and found over the years, it’s always been easy for me to find gratitude. Thanks to all who helped me find what I needed to create todays post, including YOU.


Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 2230: Who do you miss?

Who do you miss in your life, here and now?

Sometimes, I am more aware of who I am missing than I am of who’s here. Then, I redirect my awareness and attention to those who are showing up.

That helps.

Who do you miss in my recent photos?



















I miss the person who is singing “Miss Otis Regrets.”


Would you miss me if I didn’t express my thanks, for being here,  at the end of each blog post?



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

Day 2077: Applause

Several times in therapy groups this week, there was spontaneous applause, as people supported each other’s perspectives and progress.

I remember attending an “Opening the Heart” weekend workshop many years ago, where each one of us received thunderous, sustained applause after introducing ourselves. I still vividly recall how that applause felt, after I had revealed myself and my vulnerabilities to many strangers.

How do you respond to applause?

Last night, I was surprised by the timing of the applause to my latest original song, “Shameless Appeals for Applause.”


I now shamelessly appeal for applause for my photos from yesterday:


No matter what kind of comment you leave below, you’re sure to get applause from me.

Gratitude is a kind of applause, so I’m now clapping for all those who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.


Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 2014: How do you stop catastrophizing?

When there are so many catastrophes around, how do you stop catastrophizing?

Do you share what you observe?

When the cupboard is bare, do you stock it?

Do you imagine a world without cancer?

Do you keep calm and carry on?

Do you get in touch with your strengths?

Do you change your life?

Do you try to see your way through all the clutter?

Do you let go of judgment and cognitive distortions, focusing on what helps?

Do you try meditation?

Do you turn to music?

Do you share your catastrophizing with other people?

Do you forgive yourself and others for mistakes? Do you gird yourself for the next catastrophe? Or, do you focus on gratitude?

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 1629: What helps and what doesn’t help

When I help people join my therapy groups, I tell them we will work on doing more of what helps and less of what doesn’t help. I help people understand that by saying, “What helps and what doesn’t help  might include thoughts, behaviors,  and other people.”  Because it helps to change old habits by writing things down, I helpfully suggest they keep track of what helps and what doesn’t help them.

Because it helps to know you’re not alone, I explain that I also keep track of what helps and what doesn’t help me.

What helps me?

  • Acceptance.
  • Love.
  • Creativity.
  • Flexibility.
  • Peace.
  • Connection.
  • Nature.
  • Forgiveness.
  • Blogging.
  • My work.
  • Family.
  • Friends.
  • Groups.
  • Mutual healing.
  • Curiosity.
  • Openness.
  • Authenticity.
  • Music.


What doesn’t help me?

Does it help to look at these photos?








What also helps me is gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 1614: Attachments

My attachments include

  • this blog,
  • my readers,
  • my family,
  • my friends,
  • home,
  • the planet earth, and
  • my therapy groups.

Last night, my therapy group discussed the topic of “Attachments.”  I wrote this:


If you’re attached to easy reading, here’s what I wrote there:


What is your personal experience of attachment?

I get very attached to things. Lately, I’ve been working on being less attached. I am probably going to throw out a lot of things in the next few months.

My iPhone is a useful attachment for taking pictures.





I’m trying to lose my attachment to telling myself “I should have known better.”

I’m  very attached to music, including this:


What are your thoughts about attachments?  Please attach a comment to this post, below.

I do not want to lose my attachment to gratitude, so I am attaching this thank you note  to all who helped me attach this post to my blog today and to you — of course! — for attaching yourself here, now.

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 1318: What helps you do what’s healthy for you?

Yesterday, in a therapy group, one of the members asked this great question:

What helps you do what’s healthy for you?

Do any of my photos from yesterday help?





What helps you do what’s healthy for you?

As you might notice, humor, music and dancing are on my list.  Here’s something healthy  that includes all three:



Gratitude is on one of my lists, too.  Thanks to all who helped me create this post and to you — of course! — for visiting, here and now.


Categories: group psychotherapy, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 1269: Balance

My balanced intention, this morning, is to create a  blog post with balance.

I wish to balance

  • light and dark,
  • courage and fear,
  • joy and sadness,
  • reality and dreams,
  • rest and movement,
  • routine and spontaneity,
  • solutions and problems,
  • contentment and exploration,
  • active and passive,
  • structure and play,
  • caring and not caring,
  • my needs and the needs of others,
  • yin and yang,
  • beginner’s mind and hard-won wisdom,
  • thoughts and feelings,
  • facts and intuition,
  • social connections and  time alone,
  • health and illness,
  • the past and the future,
  • the here and the now,
  • talking and listening,
  • awareness and distraction,
  • the new and the familiar,
  • engagement and escape,
  • sense and nonsense,
  • patience and impatience,
  • humor and seriousness,
  • the important and the trivial,
  • work and time off,
  • sweet and sour,
  • trust and caution,
  • trying and letting go,
  • noise and silence,
  • sun and clouds,
  • day and night,
  • comfort and discomfort,
  • hot and cold,
  • so on and etc.

That’s a lot to balance!  Let’s see if my photos from yesterday will help.




What would you choose to balance in your life?

Here‘s my favorite singing group — Take 6 —  in Paris,  balancing their beautiful voices in a song balancing smiles and sadness:

I’m balancing that performance of “Smile” with a differently balanced one from Take 6’s live album Tonight (balancing here on YouTube):

I hope you balance my thoughts and feelings about balance  with yours, in a comment below.

I feel more balanced when I express gratitude.  Thanks to all those who helped me create this balanced and balancing post and to you — of course! — for the balance you bring, here and now.

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

Day 371: Something to look forward to

Someone I know just wrote this post on Facebook: “Lunch on Wednesday? I need something to look forward to.”

Don’t we all.

Yes, I write and talk to people about being in the moment, about letting go of expectations, investments, and other future-oriented thoughts.

But studies* also show that people need to have hope about the future. When times are challenging, especially, it helps to know something good is coming up.

I’m thinking about these challenging times this morning:

  • Students returning to school, after a long vacation.
  • People returning to work, after time off.
  • Dealing with medical issues.
  • Dealing with uncertainties.

In the past, here are some things I’ve looked forward to, that have helped with challenging times:

  • Getting a cat.
  • Seeing a musical.
  • Going to a movie.
  • Going out to a restaurant.
  • Communicating with a friend (on the phone, through mail**,  or in person).
  • Having time to myself, when I can sing and dance with nobody watching.

I have vivid memories of how it helped to look forward to all those things, when I was a kid.

And I’ve looked forward to those things recently, too. And, guess what?  All of those wishes have come true, within the last couple of months!

So that list includes the far past, the near past, AND things I can look forward to in the near future, too.***

Knowing all that helps, this morning.

That list also reminds me of a much bigger list, hanging in my office, that people have been adding to for over a year:


Right now, I can look forward to seeing that list, very soon.

Before I end this post, I also wanted to introduce you to somebody I met over the weekend:


That’s Dorothy Oja, She works at a very cool boutique, Thirty Petals. She’s an astrologer and an artist (that calendar in front has her artwork in it). She told me, “I’d be on the computer or the phone all the time if I didn’t get out,” and eight years ago, she started working at the store after she saw a Help Wanted sign in the window. She loves working there. She’s very interested in writing and artists. She told me she was one of the first people to create an email newsletter, which she’s been writing steadily for 16 years, and she seemed delighted when I told her about my blog.

That’s something else I look forward to. Meeting kind, interesting people.

Thanks to my Facebook friend, to Dorothy Oja, to all those who are looking forward to something and to you, especially, for visiting today.

* Perhaps you thought this footnote would include some sort of citation of real data. It doesn’t.

** Yesterday, I wrote about mail-related anxieties. However, there have been many times where I’ve really looked forward to getting mail.

*** The least likely one to come true in the near future is getting another cat. Although, who knows? And, just to review, here’s the current cat tally:

IMG_2527    +   IMG_2537  =  TWO

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

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