All posts by sherry belul

LoveGram: Love in Action

 

Hey there, beautiful friend!

Today I send you this beautiful virtual music player and its whimsical and tender characters reminding us of how quickly times goes by.

I send you its mother duck and ducklings, its stooped-over grandma, and the couple who meet on a park bench and spend their lives together.

***

Welcome to your Sunday audio LoveGram.

The music you hear at the start of your audio LoveGram is that music box, by Jane Bordeaux.

Today’s LoveGram is just about ten minutes, a little shorter than usual, because for many people in the United States this is Thanksgiving Week. That means, extra travel, extra connections, extra cooking.

So, my message is a tad shorter, but as much from my heart as always.

(To listen to the audio, just click over to this page, scroll down, and hit “play” on the audio player.)

***

On Friday, I had the pleasure of offering a workshop to forty-plus really wonderful women. We explored the topic I shared with you last week, “How to Make the Holidays Your Own.”

One of things that touched me the most is the people who said to me afterward, “Thank you. I needed permission to make the holidays a little less stressful and a lot more meaningful for myself. Reflecting on this gave me some ideas to talk to my family about.”

That’s what I am hoping for YOU. Remember that this is YOUR life and you can be the one to initiate conversations with your family and friends about what you need!

If you missed that LoveGram, you can listen here. Or, you can read an article I published. (Make sure you journal about the questions in there!)

***

If you listen to this week’s LoveGram, you will hear more about this. But also, about a new favorite topic of mine: “Yes is not theoretical,” which I learned from my Zen Sangha this week.

Love is not passive. It is an action word. This week, as you connecting with family and friends, I hope you will be intentional about who you are, how you show up, and what you bring to the table.

(Ha Ha, I wrote that and immediately thought PIE! But really, I meant the metaphorical table!)

I explain more in the audio!

***

Sending gratitude to you for who you are.

I see you.

I see your generous heart. 

I see the ways you care and how you offer love. 

As always, I’m grateful to you for being on this journey with me.

As Ram Dass says, “We are all just walking each other home.”

You don’t have to do it alone! 

We are here, together.

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

P.S. Oh! Here’s the workshop I mentioned in today’s audio! It is hosted by a wonderful organization, Reimagine. We’re celebrating The New Black Friday! Bring your children, family, or BFF’s! Come in your pajamas and put LOVE INTO ACTION!

LoveGram: Make the holidays your own

 

 

Hello beautiful friend. 

Welcome to your Sunday audio LoveGram. 

Today I send you a tiny brown bird with a yellow belly. 

I send you a shiny penny on your path. 

I send you a dark sky overhead, studded with stars. 

***

Thank you for being here with me. 

I love that we get to share these conversations. 

I’m grateful for the times you respond and let me know what you are thinking about or how the audio landed for you! 

I’m grateful when you listen and reflect all on your own. Or, maybe you talk to someone in your circle about the ideas here. 

It means a lot to have a chance to share what’s on my mind with YOU! 

In today’s LoveGram, we are creating space to think about the upcoming holidays. 

For some people this time of year can be stressful and exhausting. For others, it feels too quiet and lonely. The holidays can be extra happy and bright. Or, they can feel like a drain on time, energy, and money. 

(To listen to the audio, just click over to this page, scroll down, and hit “play” on the audio player.)

***

There’s no judgment AT ALL for whatever your feelings are about the holidays. I hope you will offer yourself the gift of being able to assess ’em without feeling like there is a “right way” to feel or be. 

There’s not! 

It is essential to give ourselves room to choose who and how we want to be in our lives — even at the holidays!

So, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t or can’t choose to go along with some age old rituals that other family or friends love. 

It just means we can be intentional about choosing — and not simply stumbling through all the holiday happenings in a trance, as if this is a play and the script has been finalized. 

I hope you will take 15 minutes to listen. 

***

Thank you for being here and being someone who cares deeply about living a life that is aligned with who you are and your true values. 

Thank you for who you are and for your wonderful, loving heart! 

Listen to your audio LoveGram now.  

I’m grateful to be on this journey with you. 

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

P.S. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, come to this free workshop in Mill Valley on Friday, November 18th. I want to meet you!! We’ll be talking about how to make the holidays more meaningful. AND, I will be walking everyone through the joyful process of creating a LOVE LIST! Register here!

P.P.S. Just published an article in Kind Over Matter on this very topic! Find more reflection questions here! 

 

LoveGram: I’m sorry?!


Hello beautiful friend. 

Welcome to your Sunday audio LoveGram. 

Today I send you a road trip on a quiet highway. 

I send you a trombone you play for the fun of it. 

I send you lamplight in the cold and dark. 

***

Thank you for being here with me. I appreciate you! I celebrate your beautiful heart and your willingness to go deeper with your relationships. 

Last week, we talked about how to show up for people and truly let them know we are listening. 

In today’s LoveGram, we take a look at what happens when we have plans with someone, but we just don’t feel like it. How do we know when to keep our commitments and when to bail? 

Also, is there something more empowering and appreciative than saying “I’m sorry?” when we cancel?

We’re talking, as we often are, about how to love better — and this always includes how we love ourselves! 

(To listen to the audio, just click over to this page, scroll down, and hit “play” on the audio player.)

****

We all know what it is like to make plans with someone and then, when that day rolls around, suddenly we don’t feel like it. We may be tired or over-extended or simply feeling the need for solitude. How do we handle this? Do we keep our commitments or cancel? 

That question of “keep or cancel” plans is one thing we are exploring in today’s audio. 

The other thing we are looking at is how and when to say “I’m sorry.” 

***

Thank you for being here and being someone who cares deeply about loving yourself and others. 

Listen to your audio LoveGram now.  

I’m grateful to be on this journey with you. 

Thank you for who you are and for your wonderful heart! 

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

P.S. The song at the start of today’s audio LoveGram is “I’m Sorry” by Hot House Flowers. 

 

 

LoveGram: Show Up, Love!

Hello beautiful friend.

Welcome to your Sunday audio LoveGram.

Today I send you a listening ear.

I send you a whispered, “yes.”

I send you a a kitten, a ball of yellow yarn, and some accordion music.

****

In today’s LoveGram, we are talking about how we can give people what they want most in the world: our full attention.

We’re talking about some simple things to do that will show you’re listening and that you care.

We’re talking, as we often are, about how to love better!

(To listen to the audio, just click over to this page, scroll down, and hit “play” on the audio player.)

***

You know me. I love to talk about creative gift giving. I love to offer ideas of fun things we can do and make and experience as gifts to others.

But you know what? The simplest and easiest gift is to BE PRESENT!!!

It sounds so obvious, but the question is, do we practice it?

We must! In earnest!

Because — the people in our lives deserve it!

***

[Spoiler Alert]

I know some of you love to listen to the audio, but others prefer to read. There’s always so much more in the audio— music, laughter, glitches, subtleties! But if you must rush, here are your CliffsNotes!

Simple Ways to Show Up and Show You Care:

  • Schedule time with people you love. (Or, stop what you are doing when they walk in the room!)
  • Clear your mind before meeting them or take a deep breath to center yourself when they show up.
  • Put your phone down — or away!
  • Greet them with joy.
  • Look in their eyes.
  • Don’t fiddle.
  • Don’t interrupt.
  • Nod or make agreeing kinds of sounds.
  • Say, “this is so interesting!” or “I love that!”
  • Say, “tell me more!”
  • Keep the conversation flowing in the direction they were going!

***

Thank you for being here and showing up because you care.

Listen to your audio LoveGram now.

Thank you for your generous heart and kind spirit.

I see you!

Thank you for wanting to love and be loved as best you can.

I’m grateful to be on this journey with you.

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

LoveGram: Celebration and Sadness

 

Hello beautiful friend. 

Welcome to your Sunday audio LoveGram. 

Today I send you sixteen sunflowers, standing tall. 

I send you the woman crying, who says, “it’s okay I cry; talk to me anyway.”

I send you a scrub jay, a lemon, a fresh bar of soap, a single cypress tree.  

***

In today’s LoveGram, we are talking about how sadness and celebration are two sides of the same coin. 

We’re human beings. We get lost and we lose things. We are beauty and we see beautiful things. 

And everything in between. 

(To listen to the audio, just click over to this page, scroll down, and hit “play” on the audio player.)

***

If we want to have deep, meaningful, and connected relationships in our lives, we have to learn how to be together in the hardest of times. And also the happy times, too. 

We have to be willing to accept that it is all a part of being human. 

But most of us weren’t taught how to do this! 

Today, I talk about the practice of allowing ourselves to feel the whole range of human emotions and not to judge ourselves for any of them. 

***

I think we do ourselves a huge disservice in our lives when we think that life needs to be black and white, or when we think that our emotions need to be this or that. We’re so complex. 

What if we stopped fighting it?

***

Thank you for being here and showing up for all of it — for the ups and downs and everything in between. 

When we are open to celebrating ALL of life, it allows us the spaciousness to find connection and meaning in the hardest of times and also in the happy times. 

Flip! Two sides. Same coin. 

Listen to your audio LoveGram now. 

Thank you for your beautiful heart. 

Thank you for wanting to love and be loved as best you can. 

I’m grateful to be on this journey with you. 

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

P.S. I love this new podcast on grief by Anderson Cooper. It is tender and filled with love for humankind. 

P.P.S. Just a reminder that any loss in your life can be filled with grief — death, illness, divorce, miscarriage, empty nest, job loss, alienation from a friend, etc. If you feel something as sadness or grief, I hope you honor it, seek support, and let it move through you. 

LoveGram: This is not an easy topic.

Hello beautiful friend. 

Welcome to your Sunday audio LoveGram

Today’s LoveGram comes to you from Oakland, California where I’m in the midst of a three-day slumber party with a couple of girlfriends, Alison Luterman and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer. 

Both of them are writers and extraordinarily intentional about their lives and their relationships. I knew I wanted to have them as special guests on my LoveGram — but didn’t know exactly what the topic would be. 

However, as it turns out, when we first got together, our conversation turned to grief. This seemed like a good conversation to share with you. 

I realize this is not a light nor breezy topic. But I feel it is an important and necessary one. 

Thus, in today’s LoveGram, we are talking about this challenging, yet powerful, topic: how to be with one another in times of loss and grief. 

***

If we want to have deep, meaningful, and connected relationships in our lives, we have to learn how to be together in the hardest of times. 

We have to learn how to ask for support, allow support, and give support. 

But most of us weren’t taught how to do this! 

***

I’ve been hosting weekly groups called Grief + Growth, in which we talk about aspects of grief. In the most recent one, last Thursday afternoon, one of the participants asked if anyone else had close friends and family who had abandoned them in times of grief. 

Almost everyone in the group raised their hand in an acknowledgement.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot. How can we open ourselves up to learning about ways to show up for each other even when it is hard and we may feel inadequate? 

  (To listen to the audio, just click over to this page, scroll down, and hit “play” on the audio player.)

 

***

Here are some of the topics we cover in today’s audio LoveGram: 

* Some of the reasons why we may not show up for people we love when they are grieving — or why they aren’t there for us. 

* What to say or do. And, how to be with someone grieving or challenged by loss. 

* What to do or how to get support for ourselves when we need it. 

Grief is a part of life. We are all going to experience it. Talking about it together can help us learn how to ask for the support we need and to give support to people we love. 

***

Thank you for being here and showing up for all of it — for the ups and downs and everything in between. 

When we are open to celebrating ALL of life, it allows us the spaciousness to find connection and meaning even in the hardest of times. 

Listen to your audio LoveGram now

Thank you for your beautiful heart. 

Thank you for wanting to love and be loved as best you can. 

I’m grateful to be on this journey with you. 

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

P.S. Ali and Rosemerry are both phenomenal women and beautiful creatives. You can learn more about Alison’s work here. And Rosemerry’s work here

P.P.S. Just a reminder that any loss in your life can be filled with grief — death, illness, divorce, miscarriage, empty nest, alienation from a friend, etc. If you feel something as grief, I hope you honor it and seek support. 

P.P.P.S. See our sweaters in the photo up above? Did you notice that they all have the words “faerie lights” embroidered on them? Rosemerry did that! These sweaters were an oh-so-special surprise gift with beautiful, personal meaning to us! The last time we three were together, we made up a “band name” for ourselves, The Faerie Lights. Rosemerry took that fun detail/memory and made a “Say it Now” kinda gift. Note: That thoughtful gift inspired us to make up silly songs all weekend long, pretending they were for our first album. It’s been so much fun! Think about how you can do something like this as a creative gift for someone in your life!

LoveGram: What’s to Celebrate?

 

Hello beautiful friend. 

Welcome to your Sunday audio LoveGram

Today I send you tiki lamps, string lights, and sunflowers. 

I send you a gal in a pink wig and a guy in a pork pie hat on a green tandem bike. 

I send you cream-colored vintage luggage on the steps of a blue and red cottage. 

***

In today’s LoveGram, we are talking about something the world really needs right now: celebration and play! 

In my audio, I share with you some insights I had after making a list of some “must-haves” for my birthday last week. I hadn’t realized that these weren’t just fun party things, they were truly an elixir for my spirit. 

(To listen to the audio, just click over to this page, scroll down, and hit “play” on the audio player.)

***

Here’s what I want you to know: 

Celebration isn’t just for birthdays or other special occasions. 

Celebration doesn’t have to be earned. 

Celebration isn’t just for when we’re feeling happy. 

Celebration is essential for us to create meaning in our lives and to make moments memorable. 

***

After the last two years of so much grief, loss, and disappointment, it is time for us to bring some play and celebration to ourselves and others. 

How will you do that? 

Here are a few questions that may spark some thoughts on your own brand of celebration:

  • When was the last time you celebrated something?
  • What needs to happen for you to plan a celebration? 
  • What kinds of things help you to feel celebratory?
  • What settings feel like a celebration? 
  • Who are your favorite people to celebrate with?
  • Have you ever celebrated something or someone when you were sad? 
  • In the next two weeks, what celebration is coming up? How will you plan for it? 
  • Would you consider celebrating “just because?” What would that look like? 

 

***

I today’s audio I share more ideas with you about creating memorable moments for yourself and people you love.

Listen to your audio LoveGram now! 

***

Be willing to step out of the same-ole, same-ole and create some magic. 

You will be so happy that you did! 

I can’t wait to hear!! 

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

P.S. Save the date for Saturday, October 15th at 9am PT/12n ET for our next Secret Agents of Change Mission. Make sure you are signed up on our email list so you receive the information on how to participate. 

LoveGram: About Birthdays!

Welcome to your Sunday audio LoveGram.

Today I send you a pink flamingo.

I send you a sunflower, suddenly blossomed, in your front yard.

I send you a song, sung just for you, with just the right words to make you feel loved and understood.

***

Hey! Today is my birthday! (That’s little me, up above in the photo. I guess I loved hats even 50+ years ago!)

So, in celebration, today’s audio LoveGram is focused on ways to celebrate someone without that cookie-cutter imperative, “Happy Birthday.”

AND, we also touch on how to make YOUR birthday fit where you are in the moment. (It’s your birthday, you can cry if you want to!)

In other words, balloons and confetti are great when they suit the mood and feel real. But let’s pause at birthday time (yours or someone else’s!) and think about what’s right for this moment.

Don’t just rush at ’em with that overdone birthday song, put yourself in their shoes and imagine what kind of love they really need.

(To listen to the audio, just click over to this page, scroll down, and hit “play” on the audio player.)

***

Special thanks to Becky DeRoches, whose personalized birthday song to me kicked off our audio today! You can listen to the whole song on the audio LoveGram page for this week.

Becky sent me this song for my 50th birthday, eight years ago. I listen to it every single year on my birthday. It is a shining, beautiful example of “Say it Now” in action.

***

[Spoiler alert]

I know that some of you prefer to read rather than listen. So, I’m gonna give you the nuts and bolts right here. However, I encourage you to listen because there is so much subtlety to this topic.

(And, you will get to hear Becky’s song!)

Ready?

Here are two things I want you to think about when it comes to birthdays:

When it is your birthday, give yourself permission to ask for what you want or need.

Your celebration could be a dinner party or dancing. It could be tea with a friend or reading a book under a tree. Follow YOUR energy and heart. And reach out to ask for people to show up in a way that will most support you.

When it is your birthday or someone else’s birthday, there is no requirement to have a “Happy Birthday.”

Please try to pause before you sing the birthday song to someone or text a dancing “Happy Birthday” gif to them. Consider whether they are grieving, lost, or lonely. If they are having a challenging time, send them love and appreciation. Be real. And thoughtful. Don’t simply resort to a sing-songy message that may leave them feeling worse.

If you want to hear a more in-depth explanation of why these are so important and necessary, listen to your audio LoveGram now!

***

Thank you, as always, for being here. I love sharing life with you. 

I know you. I see your generous heart. 

I know you want to bring more life into your life. 

I applaud you for being someone on a path of awareness and who practices joy. 

Be intentional. 

Be courageous. 

Be willing to celebrate yourself and others in ways that are authentic and perfect for the moment. 

Sending you love.

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

P.S.  I launched my Birthday Kindness Project earlier this week and opened up slots for letters to people who needs boosts of love. Thank you to everyone who responded! I love you and will get back to each of you within a few days! 

P.P.S Want to help me celebrate my birthday in the best way possible? I would be so grateful if you would purchase my book, “Say it Now.” The message of expressing our love and appreciation is so important to me. Your support means TONS! If you’ve already bought a copy, would you consider clicking that same link and leaving a review or purchasing a copy for a friend or your local library? THANK YOU! 

Birthday Kindness Project 58-58-58

 

Hello friend.

My 58-58-58 Birthday Kindness Project is launching today! It is my decade anniversary of doing this project. (Holy smokes! The years fly by!)

Every year for the past ten years, I have been sending letters of love and kindness to strangers as a way of celebrating my birthday.

The first year I did this, I wrote as many letters as the age I was becoming —  in that number of hours. {Yikes!} 48 letters to 48 strangers in 48 hours.

I don’t think I got any sleep those two days, trying to finish so many letters. It was exhilarating. But also, exhausting.

Starting the next year, I got a little smarter and changed it to “writing as many letters as the age I am becoming in that many days.”

Ahhhh. More sane.

I quickly noticed that the sense of connection and quiet joy extended for a much longer period. I like that I’m immersed in this expansion of love for nearly a couple of months.

I turn 58 on October 2 and I am requesting your help with my project.

Do you know someone who is lonely, lost, disappointed, grieving, or blue? Someone who is going through a difficult time right now and could use a boost of love?

For the past two years, the world has been unsettled and uncertain in so many ways. There has been a lot of grief, illness, and loneliness.

There are a lot of people who need extra TLC.

Think about your circle and community; who is grieving the loss of someone they love — a death or divorce? Who is afraid? Who is disappointed or feeling let down by life? Who is in physical pain? Who is caregiving for someone they love?

Let’s reach out to them with love.

***

Here’s how the Birthday Kindness Project works:

I open up spaces for letters a dozen at a time. I’m reaching out to you, my beloved community, FIRST!

Right now, I am opening up 12 slots for letters.

By limiting the numbers at each request, I know that all these letters will be sent within the next two weeks. That’s important because a lot of the times there is an urgency to the situation.

Then, at some point I will put out a call for more letters. In between I also take requests that come from my blog, social media, and other places.

***

How to request a letter:

It’s simple.

* You email me your person’s name and POSTAL mail address.

* You share just a few highlight sentences about what they are going through and also what you love best about this person. (These are really important because they help me craft a meaningful letter.)

* You let me know if you want the love letter sent anonymously from the Universe, or on your behalf. Note: Only you know whether it will have a greater impact for the letter to come from the Universe or from you. Some people love the magic of an anonymous letter. For others, it might creep them out!

If you are one of the first twelve people to contact me right now, I will let you know and we’ll make sure your friend or loved one receives some love in the mail. If not, I will apologize + invite you to respond next time I ask for help.

Make sense?

***

I want to tell you that what I love MOST about this project is that there is a circular motion of love in action.

You contacting me about someone who needs a boost is an act of love on your part. Pay attention to that. Feel it.

When I receive these requests, I get filled with a sense of loving YOU for being the kind of person who cares so deeply. Then, when I write and send the letters, I get to be filled up again with so much love for the person I am writing to.

Finally, if the letter is sent on your behalf, you will likely receive a rush of love from the person who got the letter. (If the letter is sent anonymously, we can all imagine how uplifting it will be for that person to receive unexpected kindness in their mailbox.)

The love just keeps going ‘round and ‘round.

What I also love most, is that when I am in the midst of this project, I am reminded every single day that we can always expand the container of love.

We can expand how we love, who we love, and the ways we love.

***

I used to feel lonely a lot.

Then, over the years, I started to understand that anytime I was feeling lonely all I had to do was offer love to someone in my life, and voila (!) my heart would be full and I would be connected.

Doing this Kindness Project has taken that concept to a whole new level. It has taught me that there is always someone I can offer love to — and I don’t even have to know them. That means there is an endless of supply of love at the ready. I just need to start the ball rolling by offering some.

I have this profound understanding now that I can choose to feel connected any time I am willing to reach out.

Do you know what I mean?

Have you ever felt this?

I hope you might give it a whirl yourself today.

Reach out to someone and offer a kind word or a gesture of love. Then watch how you feel!

Thank you for being a part of my world. Our connection means so much to me.

YOU mean so much to me.

We’re all in this together.

Seek celebration — even in the dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

P.S. A reminder that when I asked, “Do you know anyone who needs a boost of love,” that person could be YOU. Never leave yourself out of the equation of love. Reach out if you need a boost, okay?

P.P.S Sometimes requests pour in right away. I never know how many when I first request ’em. I may not be able to respond to you right away if you email me. Rest assured, I will respond as soon as I can. I promise.

 

 

LoveGram: Who do you want to be today?

Hey there, beautiful friend!

Today I send you a double rainbow.

I send you a four-leaf clover right there, where you are about to step.

I send you a tiny bug, inching its way across the sidewalk, doing its best to get where it wants to go.

***

Welcome to your Sunday audio LoveGram. 

In today’s LoveGram, I share a very simple practice with you that you can do in the morning —or any time at all— to help you remember who you want to be in the world.

You will love this tiny tool!

(To listen to the audio, just click over to this page, scroll down, and hit “play” on the audio player.)

***

This practice is deceptively simple.

You’ll see.

If you try it, you will feel a big impact from just a little bit of “work.”

***

[Spoiler alert]I know that some of you may prefer to read rather than listen. So, I’m gonna give you the nuts and bolts right here.

Ready?

What you want to do right after you’ve awoken in the morning — while you are having your tea, when you are out on your run, while you are in the shower, while you are simply sitting watching the morning begin, or whatever — is to take a few minutes to think about all the things you have on your plate for the day.

THEN … ask yourself this question: “Who do I want to be?”

Do this for every activity on your schedule.

  • Who do I want to be when I have that Zoom call with my work?
  • Who do I want to be when I have lunch with my sister?
  • Who do I want to be when my kids come home from school?
  • Who do I want to be when I have that challenging conversation I’ve been dreading?

My mentor, Brendon Burchard, suggested you assign three specific words to how you want to feel. If you have a meeting with your boss, maybe you want to be confident, collaborative, and open.

For that difficult conversation I mentioned up above, maybe you want to be brave, honest, and loving.

When you are with your children, after dinner, perhaps you want to playful, open, and present?

That’s it!

Or, as they used to say at the end of Looney Tunes, the-the-that’s all folks!

If you want to hear a more in-depth explanation of why this is so powerful, listen to your audio LoveGram now!

***

Thank you, as always, for being here. I love sharing life with you.

I know you. I see your generous heart.

I know you want to bring more life into your life.

I applaud you for being this kind of person. The people in your life love you for this, too.

Be intentional.

Be courageous.

Be willing to step out of the same-ole, same-ole and live into who and how you want to be.

You will be so happy that you did!

I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

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