Tag Archives: birthday

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.

 

 

Uplift Gift: Pretend Birthday!

 

Hello my beautiful friend!

Hey, I have an idea for you of something super simple you can do that will really make someone in your life HAPPY.

For this uplifting and joyful gift, all you need is a birthday card — store bought or homemade — and a date on the calendar to spend time with someone you love.

If you want, you can also add in flowers or a balloon or dressy clothes or bubbles or a tiara or other celebratory sumpthins. But none of these are necessary for this gift to have an impact.

***

So, what are we up to?

We’re gonna surprise your person with a “Pretend Birthday!”

This is a way of adding some unexpected appreciation and celebration during a time in the world when life can feel really hard.

***

The Pretend Birthday:

So, what do you do?

Write out your card. And, like I said, if you want to add any extra fun things, get ’em ready.

Then, you show up at the expected time and meeting place and immediately give your person a BIG HUG — if that feels Covid safe!

You immediately hand them the card and say, “Happy Pretend Birthday!” Then add, “In honor of your AMAZINGNESS, we are pretending it is your birthday today. I’m treating you to dinner/lunch/dessert/whatever and we are going to celebrate YOU!”

***

Then, put on your best extra-special sparkle and charm.

If it feels organic and authentic, tell this person some things you love and appreciate about them.

Ask them if there is any support they need or any way you can be especially helpful.

Really, truly pretend as if it is their birthday and make it SPECIAL in any way that occurs to you.

Note: You could even tell your server at the restaurant that it is your table mate’s birthday and ask for a candle in the dessert!

Why not?!

***

How fun would it be to do this for someone who isn’t expecting anything but a lovely time with you?

It layers on the love and goodness!

***

This idea came from a Club House conversation I had with my friend, Elise, a few months ago. We called it, “Let’s Pretend it’s Your Birthday” and we encouraged people to celebrate themselves.

Now, it just so happened that later that same day, I was meeting my friend, Tricia, for a sunset dinner in Sausalito.

I found a birthday card in my box o’ emergency greeting cards and wrote a short message to her.

Then, I did exactly what I said to you: when we sat down, I let her know I was celebrating her pretend birthday and wanted to treat her to dinner.

It was so much fun!

***

Making these kinds of “I celebrate you” gifts for others has literally changed the shape of my life.

My connections to people have deepened over the years.

I feel more positive because I am on the lookout for unique ways to celebrate.

It is a lifestyle that we can choose.

I want this for you, too.

Hope you will try this uplift gift for someone you love.

I promise you, it will feel like a gift for you, too!

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

P.S. My book, Say it Now, is filled with dozens more creative ideas like this to celebrate and appreciate people you love!

 

LoveGram: Permission

 

Hello.

Today I want to talk to you about “permission.”

It is my birthday week and I’m swimming around in the shadows — as you can see from the photo up above.

Some hard things are happening. I’m feeling some loss, grief, and uncertainty.

It’s okay. I’m okay. I’m just knee-deep in the muck right now.

We all have periods like that. It is a part of life.

There’s something very important I want to say around this. Many of you know that I am currently midstream in my Birthday Kindness Project. I’m writing 57 letters in 57 days to 57 strangers. Many of these letters are going to people who are grieving, ill, disappointed, lost, or lonely.

These letters are a reminder to me that at any given time, while there is tremendous joy in the world, there is also sorrow of many kinds. The letters are a reminder to me to practice sitting with people in their shadows.

We don’t need to hurry people through their dark times. We can sit with them and help carry the weight.  

This is what I call “celebrating in the dark.”

It is the connection and love we offer (or accept) when times are rough. This quiet kind of celebration is often overlooked because it is more complex than bursts of balloons or confetti. However, it is well worth it.

Maybe you can remember a time when you or a loved one was going through something hard and yet, there you were together. There you were sharing authentic connection and maybe you were walking in nature or sharing a meal. There is a deep sweetness, even in that sorrow. You know what I mean?

When we are looking at celebration in our lives, please let’s remember that we can celebrate our lives and our relationships, even in the midst of the muck.

Something else really important about this, is to be aware when you are going through something hard. Pay attention to yourself. And support yourself in any way you can. Treat yourself like your own best friend.

See me in that photo? See what I’m carrying? Those are sunflowers, my favorite flower, which I bought for myself.

Sunflowers delight me when the first pop out their pretty yellow faces, when they grow and thrive, and also when they start to nod and droop. Even when they hang their heavy heads, they are beautiful! I love all their stages. And when they die, they offer so many seeds to plant. 

A beautiful metaphor for seasons of our lives, right? And I don’t just mean birth to death. We might go through that “sunflower process” many times in our lives.

Sunflowers are just one of the ways I’m caring for myself.  I’m also looking for places where I can give myself a break. I hope you will do this, too, when you need it.

As you are reading this, I hope you are thinking whether YOU need some permission to let go a little. 

Or, if not for yourself, is there someone in your life who may need permission? Can you encourage someone who needs it to give themselves a break?

Below are a few places I’m giving myself permission. Feel free to borrow these and adapt as necessary for yourself!
* I am giving myself permission to send you only a written LoveGram today, no audio. Although I love talking to you and creating audios every week, it requires a lot more work than writing. I’m taking the easy road this week.
* I am giving myself permission to feel grateful for my life and to celebrate being alive, without having to be “happy,” as in “Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday.”
* I’m giving myself the “simply” part of Simply Celebrate, which is the simple joy of connecting with a friend who is able to hold the complexities of life. Or the simple joy of walking in the sunshine, curling up with my butterscotch tabby, listening to a song I love, or taking a mid-day nap.
* I am giving myself permission to feel.
* I am giving myself permission to not respond to the very loving and well-meaning people who want to use my sadness as a moment for them to teach or offer unsolicited advice.
* I am giving myself permission to have conversations with the people I want to talk to, to read the books I want to read, to walk the path that calls to me, to follow my instincts and intuition. (In other words: permission to banish the “shoulds.”)
* I am giving myself permission to dance instead of do kettlebell today.
* I am giving myself permission to lie low, to meditate more, to push less, to pause.
* I am giving myself permission to let the open-heartedness be a gift and to not be afraid of what might fly in.

Those are just a few things I’m permitting.

I ask you again, and please take a minute to really think about this: do you need to give yourself permission today? And what is that permission for?

As always, thank you for being here. YOU MATTER. Never forget that your presence and energy are the biggest gifts of all.

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,
xo Sherry

P.S. Thank you to everyone who wrote and requested Birthday Kindness Letters. I received way more responses than I’ve been able to fulfill just yet. If you haven’t heard back from me, please bear with me!

P.P.S. If you want to listen to an audio LoveGram, I encourage you to scroll through these blog posts or search the word, LoveGram. There are dozens of them posted since March, 2020. Let your intuition guide you on a topic, then click through and listen. (In August, there is an audio called “Permission to be Sad,” if that is a kind of permission you need. Or, July 2020’s, “What Soothes You.” might interest you.) Chance are, you will hear something brand new, even if you have heard that audio in the past!

 

{Uplift Gifts} Make a Musical Memory Lane

 

I have a great gift idea I call the “Musical Memory Lane.”

The idea is to create a gift for someone that is centered around a collection of songs — it could be even just one or two— that have significance to you and this other person. 

Music has a way of connecting us directly to a period of time or an occasion.

I know this, because just a few minutes ago I created an audio note for a college friend. On a whim, I started and ended that recording with songs from the 1980’s — since that is when I met her and when we were at university together.

I want you to try this yourself because adding those songs in really deepened my connection to my friend.

It was like time travel! I saw her playing the piano for me in the big common room. I saw us laughing together as we dressed for an island-themed party. I saw us having burritos and studying together in the library.

Something about music does this. It strikes a chord in us! (hee hee)

Right now, think about someone who is graduating, getting married, or who has a birthday coming up. You could also think about this as a Father’s Day gift for your own dad — or any dad in your life.

But listen, you can also do just what I did: simply add a song to an audio note for a friend.

It doesn’t have to be a big deal! 

Or, if you don’t want to fuss with making an audio recording, you can just copy and paste a link to a music video into a text. Add a few words, “This song made me think about the time we ____. I love you.”

It can be that simple. 

Will you give it a try?

Let me know!

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

P.S. Here’s a link to an article that tells you all about the Musical Memory Lane — some background info plus the how-to, step by step. Or, if you prefer visuals, here’s an infographic posted to Pinterest.

P.P.S. If all that seems like too much, remember, you can simply send one song to someone. That, too, is a gift. Take the time for this. YOU will love it, I promise.

Coffee Klatch?

 

I hope that 2020 has been off to a good start for you!

I’m enjoying a long visit with my wonderful mom, who lives in Ohio. My San Francisco family was here to celebrate the holidays and I stayed on after the guys went back.

I get two more weeks with my mom!

Many of you were kind enough to send her birthday cards a couple years ago. She still has every one of them! 💕 I love to hear her talk about “Linda in New Jersey,” “Diane in Colorado,” “Chantal in Austria,” and dozens of others of you who reached out with such love and joy.

(If you are new to my world, two years ago I surprised my mom with a Birthday Card Bonanza. You can read more about it here. Try it for someone YOU adore!)

It’s been lovely for me to have this time with my mom. And also, to have more quiet, down time than I usually have at home in San Francisco.

I’ve been brewing up some new ideas for this upcoming year and I’d love your help! 

Would you have 10-15 minutes to hop on a phone call with me and simply chat? 

I’m looking for 10 or 15 people to schedule coffee klatches with. (Coffee not required, but I love the alliteration and I happen to be sipping some right now as I write!)

I want to get your thoughts on family, dreaming, happiness, and hope. I also want to share a couple ideas and see what you think.

I know I could do a written survey — but it seems like a lot more fun to get on the phone and hear your voice. (Don’t worry if you live outside of the United States. We could talk via a Zoom phone number.)

If you’d be game, email me

Please know how grateful I would be for your time. I understand that it is one of the most precious resources you have!

I look forward to chatting with you! Yay!

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,
xo Sherry

55-55-55 Birthday Kindness Project

 

 

It’s that time of year again!

My 55-55-55 Birthday Kindness Projects kicked off on Friday.

Every year for the past seven 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. 48 letters to 48 strangers in 48 hours. Yikes! I don’t think I got any sleep those two days, trying to finish so many letters. It was exhilarating. But also, frankly, 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. Much more sane. As well, I quickly noticed that the sense of connection and quiet joy extended to a much longer period. I like that I’m immersed in this expansion of love for nearly a couple of months.

I turn 55 on October 2. If my math is correct, which I hope it is, Friday was Day One.

As always, I need your help.

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

The way this works is that I have you email me that person’s name and snail mail address. I also ask that you share just a few sentences about what they are going through and also what you love best about this person. Lastly, I need to know if you want the love letter to be sent anonymously from the Universe, or on your behalf.

I’ve already put out a call for the first ten letters — which went out to my Simply Celebrate community who receive my emails every week. (If you aren’t on that list, please join me! Click to the main page/home of this website for the signup.) I want to invite my blog readers to also participate!

If you are one of the first five 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. (This will ensure my letters are timely.)

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. 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?

Joy Jar Redux

Two days ago, I told you a story about a Joy Jar Love List I made for my niece for Graduation. I wanted to share another story with you, in hopes of inspiring you to create one of your own …! 

Here’s another example of a Joy Jar. This was a gift to ME from my teammates at the Burchard Group. They surprised me with it the day my book launched.

I cannot even begin to tell you how much this gift meant to me.

Being able to receive all of that love and support on a day that was a milestone for me, was the BEST feeling ever.

The fact that they all took the time to create this in advance and to shower me with love and support was huge.

AND … receiving a gift that was a gift idea from the book truly grounded me in the joy of these gift ideas. It reflected back to me in a tangible way what it truly means to say it now!

I also wanted you to see that this Joy Jar is basically a mason jar, which you can buy in the kitchen supplies area of stores like Target, Big Lots, or Walmart. Or even a lot of grocery stores.

Also, the notes were printed on plain white paper and cut into strips. If you don’t wanna mess with label paper and color backing, this is an easy alternative. And it is filled with every bit as much love!

To watch a five-minute video with step-by-step instructions for creating a Joy Jar, click here!