Hello my friend,
I’m reaching out to you to bring you a moment of light and some hope.
We have experienced huge doses of tragedy and sorrow around the world — the unthinkable number of deaths from last week’s Turkey-Syria earthquake and the Michigan State University shooting to name just two.
It’s impossible to read the news without feeling shattered by the grief and fear blanketing all of the heartbreaking happenings on our planet.
Of course, we want to be aware. We don’t want to turn our heads and pretend the world doesn’t need us.
We want to send money or supplies. We want to join organizations that help create change. We want to brainstorm how to stop violence or how to aid those in need.
We want to help.
And, at the same time, we must remember that in order to give, we have to take very good care of ourselves — of our bodies, of our minds, and of our hearts.
Yesterday, I was facilitating a Heart Wisdom Panel for Mango Publishing. The topic of self-care came up. Mango Publisher Brenda Knight, said, “I think self-care is still too often viewed as selfish. It’s still got a bad rap. We need to reframe it somehow.”
I agree. Our culture often paints a picture of self-care as facials or massages. It can be seen as frivolous luxuries or pampering. (Not that there is anything wrong with that kind of self-care; it’s just not the whole picture.)
The truth is, self-care is about nurturing and tending.
It is about reminding ourselves that we are traveling around in a living BODY, which requires care and feeding in order to have the energy, clarity, and generosity to serve others.
I want to repeat that. We MUST care for ourselves in order to care for others.
We all know this. We see how we get stressed or sick when we don’t care for ourselves. But are we practicing it?
You might be thinking, “Did Sherry label this email incorrectly? What does any of this have to do with celebration or light?”
What the heck does this have to do with the photos at the top of this letter?
It is this: To truly care for ourselves, in addition to nutrition, sleep, and movement, we need JOY.
We. Need. Joy.
When we are weighed down by sorrows and fears, it can be impossible to move. We can become paralyzed and unable to take action. We might feel so overwhelmed that we hide under the covers.
Joy releases energy and creates energy. It fuels creativity and generosity.
We need to serve ourselves up some warm ‘n fuzzy happiness in the same way we serve up hot soup or slip into hot yoga class.
These photos (up top) are from an event my beau and I attended over the weekend called, Napa Lighted Art Festival.
There was a lantern-making tent, music, a Light Parade, and many lighted sculptures installed around town.
Napa set the stage for people to experience light in the darkness.
They set the stage for community, connection, and laughter.
We. Need. This.
Ian and lit up our tandem bike (and ourselves!) and rode around delighting in the art and also the artful people.
Many families had taken the time to create or buy light-up accessories: angel wings, jelly fish, moons, and more. People had lit-up hats, shoes, balloons, and baby strollers. And of course, lanterns of all shapes and sizes.
Later we were sipping sangria against the backdrop of some lighted jellyfish (see photo!) and found ourselves just grinning. It was so uplifting to be surrounded by light and creativity.
Everyone we talked to seemed lit-up on the inside as well as outside.
Most of you know my story of feeling so depressed as a young woman. It felt like a heavy iron wall was closing in around me. Any small moment of well-being or joy was like a pinprick of light in that iron wall.
Those pinpricks of light got me from one moment to the next. They changed everything.
A tiny bit of light in the pitch black does change everything, right?
Well, that’s what the lights Saturday night were. Pinpricks of light in the midst of a lot of darkness. (Literal nighttime darkness. And metaphorical sorrowful darkness.)
So my moment of celebration for you today is, as it often is, a pinprick of light.
Maybe these photos will be that for you. Maybe you will look up from reading this and something glimmery will catch your eye. Maybe you will call someone and say, “I love you. You light up my life.”
Do you think you might do that?
Seek and create pinpricks of light. They are not selfish. They are self-care. And their ripples will light the day for someone else who needs a smile.
I love you and am cheering you on, always.
We’re all in this together.
Thanks for who you are and for your big heart — and your BRIGHT LIGHT.
What will YOUR celebration moment today be? Email and let me know!
Seek celebration — even in the dark corners,