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LoveGram: In the Dark

Today’s audio LoveGram is being sent to you from a moment when I can come up for air, in the midst of some darkness.

I talk a lot about the metaphor of a nightlight — that saving grace we can find during times when we feel like we are lost in the dark.

I repeat it a lot because it is always  what I turn to in my own life.

You are my nightlight today! 💡

Our home feels heavy with despair as my sweet son continues to struggle to find his way through a heart-shattering break-up and the isolation of college-from-home.

As well, the air in our city is heavy with ash — the tangible remnants of so many people’s grief.

We had a day this week in which it was pretty much pitch dark the entire day — that seems like an apt metaphor for how life can feel sometimes, you know?

Even the old saying, “The sun will come up tomorrow,” didn’t seem believable for a moment in time.

In the middle of all that, here we are. You, me, all of us … holding hands and walking one another home. (Thank you, Ram Dass!)

And the sun does rise again — and again.

We can watch it together — in the light or from the shadows.

***

When I started creating these audio LoveGrams at the beginning of the pandemic, I thought it was going to last a month or two. I thought we’d all be back to normal by summertime.

It’s September and I still don’t know what’s ahead.

However, I just want to say that I’m here with you.

Still.

And, I deeply appreciate you being here with me.

As I talk about in today’s LoveGram, this connection to you is a lifeline for me. We are one another’s bridges.

Be kind + gentle to yourself and everyone you meet.

As you’ll hear in a poem which I read in the audio, “We don’t know what anyone has swallowed.”

Sending you love and the sound of the mourning doves.  Sending you my red hibiscus flowers, which bloom even when the sky is ash gray. Sending you a burst of lemon and the sound of wind chimes from across the way.

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

P.S. Earlier this week I facilitated a panel for Mango Publishing and the topic was grief and fear. Our two authors shared some helpful practices. Especially about leaning in to both grief and fear in order to move through them. Otherwise, they nestle in.  I encourage you to listen. (That panel was held at 1:30 in the afternoon on Wednesday. You can see how dark it is in my studio. That was our no-daylight day.)

 

Love Gram: Do this for yourself

Welcome to another Sunday. It’s not even 8am and is already hot here in San Francisco.

It makes me miss my mom and barefoot days in Ohio with her — long breakfasts out on the patio, water balloon fights, and bonfires in the evenings. (Hi mom, I know you’re reading this! 👋)

It’s so important that we all stay connected to the people we love‚ even if we can’t be there in person.

Who will you reach out to today?

I’m so lucky to have you and so many people I love on the other side of this email!

Really.

It makes a difference.

You matter.

Today’s audio LoveGram invites us all to belong to ourselves and to life in a new way.

In a small, small way.

I’ve been practicing what saved me 30 years ago and what has saved me ever since — living in tiny slices of time and finding some light for myself and to share with others.

It never fails me.

I hope it serves you.

There’s a lot that can happen for us in a moment or a sliver.

Our whole lives, really.

And everything we are and want to be.

Click here to listen to your audio LoveGram for today. 

Scroll down on that page until you see the media player for this week’s audio message.

I began these LoveGrams at the start of the pandemic. And am so grateful that we can walk through this together.

Be kind + gentle to yourself and everyone you meet.

And be sure to allow yourself to listen for what little things are calling to you, okay?

They are there, waiting for you to claim them. To belong to them.

xo Sherry

You Belong.

Hello,

Earlier this week I was talking to my friend Rosemerry about the “dark night of the soul.”

I don’t know if you’ve ever had one of those periods in your life, but I have.

When I was young, all the way through my twenties, I had a lot of anxiety and depression.

I never felt like I could live up to the expectations I felt — internal or external.

It seemed like my head was always filled with hateful voices about how I was the wrong person, saying the wrong things, doing the wrong things.

I often felt like I was the wrong person.

Do you know what I mean?

Have you experienced that awfulness inside your head?

So, when I was telling Rosemerry about this, I remembered something I used to say all the time: “I think I was a mistake. I don’t belong here.”

That was really how I felt. Like something went awry in the universe and I got born by mistake.

My goodness. I feel so bad for that younger me who believed that nonsense.

I feel so grateful for all of the tools and teachings along the way that have helped me get way past that suffering: meditation, mindfulness, yoga, poetry, therapy, coaching …

…and of course, the moment-by-moment search for pinpricks of light (moments that sparkle.) 

My dear friend, Rosemerry, who is also a talented poet, wrote a poem the day after we talked.

It is called “You Belong Here.” 

I wanted to let you know that in case you ever doubt it, YOU BELONG HERE. 

 

Like Rosemerry says,

“you belong here—

in the alleys, the rooms,

in the meadows, the halls,

in the sacred cathedral

of your body.”

 

You belong here, in my world. You belong to this family. You belong.

Not only that … I trust with everything I know, that you are perfect exactly as you are.

The world needs you. Even when you don’t see it or believe it. 

We do. 

We love you. 

You belong. 

 

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

LoveGram: What Saves Me

Hello, friend.

I’m sending you a pinprick of light this Sunday morning.

May my words offer you a few minutes of connection + uplift.

Today’s audio LoveGram started with the sound of a siren just as I was about to record.

It’s an apt metaphor for this time of so much loss, fear, anger, and distress.

But of course, that’s not all that exists. That’s not all that lives within and around us.

It never is.

I’ve been practicing what saved me 30 years ago and what has saved me ever since — living in tiny slices of time and finding some light for myself and to share with others.

It never fails me.

I hope it saves you — or someone you love.

Here’s your LoveGram for today. Scroll down on the page until you see the media player for this week’s audio message.

I’d love to hear what your pinprick of light today is. And what pinprick you give away.

***

When I started creating these audio LoveGrams at the beginning of the pandemic, I had no idea how long this would go on or all the ways it would bring us to our knees.

I just want to say that I’m here with you.

And that I deeply appreciate YOU being here with me.

We have been, and we continue to be, in this TOGETHER.

We are walking through it with as much love and compassion as we can muster.

Be kind + gentle to yourself and everyone you meet.

And be sure to allow yourself to seek and create pinpricks of light, okay?

They are all around us, quietly glimmering.

xo Sherry

 

P.S. The quote I mangled in the audio really goes like this: “The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.” – Hada Bejar

 

LoveGram: Discovery

Hello, friend.

I’m thinking of you.

And I’ve been especially appreciating you as I created today’s Audio LoveGram.

This LoveGram is still somewhat of a mystery to me.

I think that is the point.

It is about following the breadcrumbs in our daily lives in order to see something or experience something brand new.

It is about allowing ourselves to be opened or changed.

It is about noticing and expressing what is oh-so-specific to each of us — and celebrating that uniqueness.

I’m inviting you to contribute to the discovery today.

Consider how the dots connected for YOU.

When you hear the music, the thunder, the dream, the poem … where does your mind travel?

Where does it take you?

What is your own discovery this morning?

When I started creating these audio LoveGrams at the beginning of the pandemic, I had no idea how long this would go on or all the ways it would bring us to our knees.

I just want to say that I’m here with you.

And that I deeply deeply appreciate YOU being here with me.

We have been, and we continue to be, in this TOGETHER.

We are walking through it with as much love and compassion as we can muster.

Be kind + gentle to yourself and everyone you meet.

And be sure to allow yourself the discovery process, okay.

Life is whispering to you all day long.

Listen. Listen.

Seek celebration —even in dark corners,
xo Sherry

Add your verse

 

RIP Robin Williams.

Six years ago today.

I recently rewatched “Dead Poet’s Society” and although I cried practically all the way through, it was so good for my soul.

If you haven’t seen it recently, grab a box of tissues + a comfy blanket and watch it again.

Here’s one of my favorite lines: “…the powerful play goes on and you could contribute a verse. What will your verse be?“

LoveGram: Go easy on yourself

 

Writer’s note: This was my blog post from Sunday, August 2nd. I guess I must have been so tired, that I forgot to post it! However, maybe there is someone out  there today who needs a break. This is for you! 

It’s Sunday morning and time for my weekly LoveGram.

I’ve been creating audio LoveGrams every Sunday since this pandemic  started as a way to offer a small slice of comfort in an upside down world.

I’m always the first  recipient of that comfort because I love connecting with you and it makes me feel like we’re traveling through this craziness together.

This morning, when I walked out to my studio to create your LoveGram, I was met by a brand new hibiscus bush I’d bought yesterday on a whim.

I appreciated the surprise of it. As if some dear friend had left it on the porch for me.

She had.

It was me.

The yesterday-me had been thoughtful enough to buy a gift for today-me! And she knew exactly what I wanted/needed.

I wanted color. I needed  something bold. I wanted a “hummingbird catcher.” I wanted to be draw those magical creatures closer. I wanted more growth. I wanted nature, at my door.

I needed some brand new joy — something alive and unaffected by pandemics or politics.

When I saw that pretty plant first thing this morning, I realized something else I needed: a break.

It’s been an exhausting week emotionally. Someone very close to me has  been dipping deep into despair. This morning feels like a good time to replenish my reserves.

Thus, I realized that I wanted to send you a LoveGram today, but that I was going to make it simpler on myself by skipping the audio.

You can bet there was some arguments in my head about this. “You gotta be consistent. You should show up no matter what. Don’t let people down. You shouldn’t be selfish.”

I noticed the “should” feeling enveloping me. And “should” is not how I want to relate  to you. “Should” is not what I want to model for anyone, especially myself.

So, while I am a huge fan of showing up for commitments. I am also a huge fan of being present in the moment. I am a fan of checking in with my heart to see what’s true.

Today what is true is that I want to give myself a break. I want to do what that quote up above says: “collect some small sparkles to soothe the heart.”

My hibiscus plant is a sparkle. The poetry journal from my class with Ellen Bass is a sparkle. Listening to this album by Sigur Ros is a sparkle. Taking a walk in nature is a sparkle. Writing a card to a distant friend is a sparkle.

What about you? Do you need to give yourself a break? What would  those small sparkles be?  Is there something you can make a little easier in order to create space for yourself?

I’m giving myself a break this morning.  I hope it inspires you to do the same, if you need  it.

Maybe you are in a great space and you have lots of energy. Maybe you are filled to the brim with sparkle. (Yay!) If so, would you consider reaching out to someone in your life who may be lost, lonely,  or grieving? Can you offer them a little soothing sparkle?

Listen to the whispers of your soul. Be kind to yourself and everyone along your path.

We’re all walking each other home. (Thank you, Ram Dass.)

We’ll get through this.

I’m here with you. Thank you for being here with me.

Seek celebration —even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

 

 

 

LoveGram: What Soothes You?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started creating these audio LoveGrams at the beginning of the pandemic. None of us imagined how long this would go on or how much loss and grief it would bring.

This crisis is impacting people in so many different ways.

Be kind and gentle with all the various stages or waves of emotion you experience.

Let’s be gentle with one another, too.

Today’s LoveGram is about how we support someone we love who is going through hard time.

(And that someone we love could also be ourselves.)

We have been, and we continue to be, in this TOGETHER.

We are walking through it with as much love and compassion — and even joy — as we can muster.

Do what you can.

Let yourself find some slices of light, if possible.

Thanks for being here.

It means so much to me to be connected to you.
xo Sherry

Unexpected Gifts

I’ve been greatly missing my mom. Usually in the summer, my West Coast clan would all travel to Ohio to spend a couple weeks hanging out — bonfires and water balloon fights and homemade ice-cream and card games and such.

It’s one of my favorite times — like camp!

One of things I love to do is sit on the porch with my mom and have our coffee. She always says, “sit outside and nature will put on a show for you.” So we go out, barefoot, and watch the birds and squirrels.

I can’t be there with her right now. But I was thinking of her while having my coffee and sitting on my own little studio porch yesterday. So on a whim, I sent her a couple pounds of coffee + a note saying I was sitting with her on the porch, in spirit.

Amazon just sent me this delivery notice. It made me teary! (See photo!)

That’s the porch we’d be sitting on together. It was a gift in itself that they took that photo and sent it. It isn’t the same as being there, but sending the coffee + getting this lovely photo via the delivery makes me feel so connected to her.

UPDATE:Check out this really funny message my mom just sent me after she read my post: “Let me know the next time you send something Amazon, and I’ll run out on the porch and get in the photo with the package.” (Haha. I wonder if anyone has ever done that?!)

 

LoveGram: Connect to someone you love!

 

I started creating these audio LoveGrams at the beginning of the pandemic. None of us imagined how long this would go on or how much loss and grief it would bring.

In addition to the gravity of death and illness, many of us are really lonely for the people we love.

Today’s LoveGram speaks to that!

You’ll hear about something my friends and I did as a gift for a mutual friend for her milestone birthday. We couldn’t be with her in person, but this was a gift that connected us all.

AND, just as importantly, it was a gift that brought some essential levity and laughter.

Here’s the link to today’s LoveGram, your 15-minutes of self-care.

And here’s the link to the one-of-a-kind gift we made.

Please, do try this at home, folks!

Hopefully it will help you connect to someone you love.

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

P.S. In the Dance Video,  the first three minutes are us dancing, followed by messages to our friend. At around minute 4:15, you can see the awesome response from Laurie as she watched the video while we were all on a video call with her.  Then, as a special bonus, Andrea Scher talks with me about this gift — the behind-the-scenes and some how-to-tips. That’s at minute 9:20.

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