Posts Tagged With: Yogi Tea

Day 2568: Downs and Ups

Every day has downs and ups, for all of us.

My day included many downs and ups, including

  • worrying about performing a Steely Dan song and an original song at an Open Mic last night,
  • buying a ticket to see Jacob Collier at Boston’s House of Blues in May,
  • losing my lyrics sheet for my original song,
  • reconstructing the lyrics as best I could,
  • reconnecting at the Open Mic with Nat, who co-led groups and co-wrote a song with me last year,
  • feeling empathy for the little girl who cried when she forgot how to play “Jingle Bell Rock” on the electric guitar,
  • two people talking loudly during my introduction to and performance of my first song,
  • those people leaving before my second song,
  • forgetting a chord in “Pretzel Logic,”
  • making it through “Pretzel Logic” and my “country” song, “What’s Keeping Me Up is What’s Going Down,” and
  • cheering for the little girl who returned with her acoustic guitar and played a great “Jingle Bell Rock.”

What downs and ups do you see here?

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Here are the downs and ups of my Open Mic performance last night:

I keep writing new lyrics down for “What’s Keeping Me Up is What’s Going Down.” It’s time to put these up on WordPress:

What’s Keeping Me Up is What’s Going Down

by Ann Koplow

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down,

I’m sleepless and hopeless and wearing a frown.

Problems abound, no solutions to be found.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

In my local and the global news

There’s no quick fix I can find to choose.

No matter what your state or views

There’s no relief, just a belief in booze.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

I’m sleepless and hopeless and wearing a frown.

Problems abound, no solutions to be found.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

As I turn to everyone I see

And I ask if they relate to me.

They haven’t got one moment free.

They seem crippled by anxiety.

What’s freaking me out is what’s rushing in.

I’m tired and helpless, no reason to grin.

Fighting with kin, politicians who spin.

What’s freaking me out is what’s rushing in.

As I try to end this song with hope,

Hope seems to be beyond my scope.

Is the answer just to smoke some dope?

When I’m stoned I’m just inclined to mope.

What’s freaking me out is what’s rushing in.

I’m tired and helpless, no reason to grin.

Fighting with kin, politicians who spin.

What’s freaking me out is what’s rushing in.

What’s keeping me up is what’s going down.

© Ann Koplow, 2019

Feel free to write down any thoughts and feelings about downs and ups in the comments section, below.

Now it’s time to get down with gratitude, which always cheers me up!

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Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2550: Narrative

Because of the kind of narrator I am, I’m going to start today’s narrative with a definition of “narrative”.

NARRATIVE

noun
1. a story or account of events, experiences, or the like, whether true or fictitious.
2. a book, literary work, etc., containing such a story.
3. the art, technique, or process of narrating, or of telling a story:
“Somerset Maugham was a master of narrative.”
4. a story that connects and explains a carefully selected set of supposedly true events, experiences, or the like, intended to support a particular viewpoint or thesis:
“to rewrite the prevailing narrative about masculinity”; “the narrative that our public schools are failing.”

Because I’m a psychotherapist who uses narrative therapy, I’m going to add to the narrative here with a description of that.

Narrative therapy is a form of psychotherapy that seeks to help people identify their values and the skills and knowledge they have to live these values, so they can effectively confront whatever problems they face. The therapist seeks to help the person co-author a new narrative about themselves by investigating the history of those qualities. Narrative therapy claims to be a social justice approach to therapeutic conversations, seeking to challenge dominant discourses that it claims shape people’s lives in destructive ways.

Yesterday, I noticed some self-destructive, outmoded, and fixed narratives, including

  • I am worthless.
  • I cannot trust anyone.
  • I am stuck forever.
  • I am weak.
  • If people knew the real me, they would reject me.
  • I am worthwhile only when I’m at my best.
  • People don’t want to listen to me.
  • Speaking up is dangerous.
  • Not speaking up is dangerous.
  • People who dislike me can ruin my life.
  • I am helpless.
  • If I ask for help, I won’t get it.
  • People, including me, are not capable of change.
  • There is no hope.

I always have hope that people can change their narratives.  After all, there are so many different ways to tell a story, even the story of your life.

Do my photos from yesterday create a narrative?

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The people at SoundBot are sharing the narrative, above, that every moment deserves a song. Here‘s a song — which intertwines lots of narratives — that I was listening to yesterday with my new SoundBot wireless musical earmuffs:

We all have a different, personal narrative of the events of September 11, 2001, but we all share elements of that painful narrative.

I look forward to the narratives in the comments, below.

I end every narrative here with gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU.

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

Day 2549: Our world deserves more _____

Our world deserves more

  • love,
  • care,
  • attention,
  • connection,
  • understanding,
  • trustworthy leaders,
  • humanity,
  • music, and
  • people like you.

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Our world deserves more wonderful, fortunate, and  transformative musicals like Come From Away.

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Our world deserves more healing of traumatic events like 9/11 through art, as shown in Come From Away’s “Me and the Sky”.

 

Our world deserves more

  • focus on the here and now,

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  • welcoming entrances,

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  • spaces for play,

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  • innovation,

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  • things worth waiting in line for,

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  • choices of transportation,

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  • outside and inside messages,

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  • cats like Oscar,

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  • tea and other kinds of comfort,

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  • and, of course, more gratitude for every moment.

 

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, theater | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2545: Transformation

When I search my old blog posts for “transformation,” I immediately find this:

Day 2395: Self-Transformation

When I wrote that post last June, I was definitely performing some self-transformation, as I often do with this blog.  That day, I was transforming the sadness, anger, and shock I felt about somebody’s behaviors into a positive and upbeat blog post.  I left some subtle clues about that transformation in my photos of book titles (which include lots of “f-cks,” one “sh-t”, and a “You Can’t Hurt Me”).  That behind-the-scenes transformation helped me cheer up, move on, and face another day.

Today, I want to share transformation of a different kind.  Yesterday, my Coping and Healing group transformed our roving thoughts into focused mindfulness by using the angel cards which a past transforming group member left me years ago.  One of the members chose this card:

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I chose this card  …

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… which was one of the few blank cards in the pack.  When I focused on that card during the mindfulness exercise, I noticed a transformation.  Somebody had tried to write something on that card, with a pen that had no ink.  Can you see it?

I tilted the card into the light, to try to discover the hidden markings.

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At first, I thought the hidden word (which definitely started with a “T”) was “Thankfulness” ( probably because I find thankfulness so transformative). After many moments of mindful scrutiny, I finally discovered what somebody had tried to write on that angel card, years ago.

Transformation

Then, when it was my turn to check in, I shared that transformation with the rest of the group.

Do you see transformation in any of my other recent photos?

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One of the group members yesterday asked the rest of us how we would transform ourselves, if transformation was possible.   Somehow, that transformed into a conversation about ducks, including

  • how some of us are ducks — calm on the surface with lots of action below,
  • the transforming coping strategy of letting things roll off one’s back, like a duck, and
  • how to duck other people’s negativity.

Here‘s “Vital Transformation” by John McLaughlin and The Mahavishnu Orchestra, which I experienced as very transformative during the 1970s.

Now it’s time for another transformation — I shall transform this blog post into a guessing game!  Last night, Michael chose this classic Tom Jones song for us to dance to after dinner:

Michael told me that the young guitarist playing on that track later transformed into one of the most famous guitarists in rock and roll.  After I guessed Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and others, I finally came up with the right answer.  Can you?

Feel free to transform your thoughts and feelings into a comment, below.

As always, I end these posts with a transformation of thankfulness for all who help me create this daily blog, including YOU!

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

Day 2543: What are you looking at?

What are you looking at?  This blog post?

What is Harley looking at?

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What am I looking at?  The clock, because I overslept and I’m supposed to be at work early today. I’ve got to get this blog post done!

What are we looking at?  Some of my other photos from yesterday.

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I made it!

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Thanks to all who helped me create this very quick post for you to look at, here and now.

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

Day 2340: May this day be the day

May this day be the day to lead us to peace, to happiness and to joy.

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May this day be the day where all my photos are relevant to my title.

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May this day be the day that Michael makes another delicious meal for me.

May this day be the day that I share a great song with you.

May this day be the day you listen to “Beautiful Day” by The Levellers featuring Imelda May.

May this day be the day I express my gratitude to all who helped me create another daily post and — of course! — to YOU, for your time and effort on this day.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2326: Special Attention

If you’ve paid special attention to this daily blog, you might know that I wrote two posts about attention in my first year of blogging (Day 31: The Effect of Attention and Day 319: Paying attention) and one additional post about attention a year ago.

Why am I writing about special attention today?

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That “SPECIAL ATTENTION” tag is from a dry cleaner, informing me that they gave special attention to a stain on a silk skirt but were unable to remove it.  When I picked up the skirt yesterday, I said to them, “Thanks for giving this special attention.  We all need special attention sometimes.”

When you pay special attention to that last sentence, do you agree that we all need special attention sometimes?  When do you need special attention?  How do you get that special attention when you need it?  Do you ask for it? Or do you hope that special people will know that you need it without your asking?

I’ve been giving special attention to my second letter from the President for my professional organization’s newsletter. I’ve been working on that special letter for days and no matter how much special attention I give it, I don’t like what I’m writing. Maybe I’m giving it too much special attention.

When I have special trouble writing or completing other special tasks, I especially take  breaks and turn my attention elsewhere. Which of my latest photos deserve your special attention?

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I’ll be paying special attention to a podcast about coronary heart disease because it’s my first appearance on a podcast! Firsts are always special. I don’t have coronary heart disease but I did ask some questions about my special heart condition.

Here’s “Special Attention” by Ambelique.

I hope you know I’ll be giving special attention to your comments for this “special attention” post.

Special thanks to all who helped me create today’s special post and — OF COURSE! — YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2321: Responsibilities

My responsibilities today include

  • letting you know I’ve never written a “Responsibilities” post before,
  • facilitating two Coping and Healing groups at work, and
  • sharing my photos from yesterday (which has recently become more difficult, for some unknown reason, and I don’t know if WordPress or my laptop are responsible).

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My responsibilities, here and now, include telling you that “Responsibilities” was the topic chosen by yesterday’s Coping and Healing group, and that this is what I wrote in response to the question “What is your personal experience of responsibilities?”

I can be over responsible, which can get in the way of enjoying the present moment. “What do I have to do right now?”  “Nothing except be here, now, as best I can.” I am going to ask myself that question, with that answer, more often.

What is your personal experience of responsibilities?

I have a few more blogging responsibilities right now:  inviting you to be kind,

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sharing this photo of Michael’s delicious chicken parmesan from last night,

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… posting a song about responsibilities,

asking for comments, and expressing my thanks to all who helped me meet my responsibilities with today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: blogging, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2319: People who love are forgiving.

Please forgive me, my loving readers, for starting this post with this image:

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I love blogging every day, so I forgive WordPress or my computer or my phone or technology in general for making it SO difficult, just now, to upload that ONE photo out of all my new pictures.

Forgiving is lovely. I recommend it.

Let me know if you love and/or forgive any of my other photos from yesterday.

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I love people who vote. I’m not sure I forgive people who don’t vote, but I’m working on it.

Here‘s what comes up on YouTube when I search for “people who love are forgiving.”

I look forward to your loving, forgiving comments.

I love ending posts with thanks to all who help me create them and — of course! — to YOU.

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

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