If you listened to my audio LoveGram on Sunday, you heard me talk about how sad I’ve been this past week. There’s sure been a lot of emotion coming up!
Obviously, we’re living in a time that is filled with grief, loss, anger, and disappointment of all kinds; we’re immersed in a global crisis that has turned our lives upside down.
Also, here in the U.S. we’re facing issues of social injustice and racism that have been around forever, but which we’ve ignored in many ways.
It’s a lot to hold.
Add to that, our personal and individual losses and grief … and, well, it is a time rife with big emotion.
I read in the Washington Post recently that the Census Bureau data reports that a third of Americans are experiencing depression and anxiety.
Chances are, you or someone you love has gone through or is currently going through a hard time.
Is this resonating for you? Are you noticing yourself or your loved ones getting pulled into the undertow a little — or a lot?
If so, I understand.
I’m no stranger to the dark.
It shakes me up, but it doesn’t scare me like it used to.
I’ve had years of getting to know it. And years of finding practices that help switch on the lights.
I truly believe that one of the major antidotes for sadness and anxiety is to connect with people we love in creative, expressive ways.
That’s why I am a huge advocate for one-of-a-kind gifts of love, time, and experience.
This is what saved my life 30 years ago when I wanted off this planet. And it is a practice that has continued to bring me joy, many times over.
When we use our creativity to connect to others we feel more alive and vital. It gives us a boost of energy. Our bodies relax and we can breathe more deeply.
Secondly, those creative connections intentionally nurture our relationships.
As well, they support us living in congruence with our values. We are expressing our love, and thus deepening it.
This feels really good.
Giving one-of-a-kind gifts of love, time, and experiences aren’t just shallow happy gestures.
They are ways that we express who we are.
They are ways to reflect to others why they are loved.
They are ways to open our hearts.
They ways to feel more alive.
They are ways to live in congruence with our values.
They change how we feel about ourselves and the world.
They invite others to feel differently about themselves and the world.
They are, in essence, what I’ve been saying throughout this time of crisis, ways in which “we are all just walking each other home.” (Thanks, Ram Dass!)
These are no small things!
I have tons of ideas.
Want to try something pretty simple and see how it feels? Read on!
Do This: Create a Custom Coffee Klatch!
Meet Sam Beasley.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, author Sam Beasley has been setting up coffee dates with people as a way to meet new friends and stay connected to old ones.
Here’s the special twist: Sam roasts his own coffee. He asks his coffee date how they like their coffee roasted. Then, he mails that person some freshly roasted coffee. Just before the designated coffee time, Sam and friend brew the same batch of coffee!
I was lucky enough to be invited to a coffee klatch with Sam after we met on an author panel for our publishing house, Mango Publishing.
Sam and I recorded our conversation for you and I’m so excited to share it!
In this conversation, we talk about how alike we all are in our vulnerability and desire to connect, what a gift it is to spend real time with people, how to get over the fear of rejection, who we become in the process of being the “inviter,” and how we can turn an ordinary Zoom connection into a unique gift!
It’s likely that you don’t roast your own coffee, but what can you share? You could buy some gourmet coffee or tea, keep half for yourself and gift the other half.
Maybe you could mail your mom or BFF some homemade brownies — you keep a few! — that you savor while on your call?
Or you could some music that you both listen to in the background of your klatch time?
Maybe you send a book to your best friend and you read the same one — so when you get on the call, you can talk about it?
What ideas come to you as you read this?
Will you follow through and create some love?
Be sure and email me when you try this with your own twist! I can’t wait to hear!
Seek celebration — even in dark corners,
P.S. For my coffee klatch with Sam, I used a very special cup that my friend Rachel in France sent me 30 years ago. I thought that would layer a gift on a gift and give it some added special meaning. (Hi Rachel! Do you remember sending this beautiful mug to me in 1990?)
P.P.S. Be sure to listen to my conversation with Sam. I think you will be inspired by his choice to be “someone who invites.” I’ve been greatly impacted by his statement, “this is just who I am.”