Tag Archives: sadness

LoveGram: Sad?

 

Hey there, beautiful friend!

Welcome to your Sunday audio LoveGram. 

Today’s LoveGram is all about how we take care of ourselves if/when we wake up into feeling sadness or anxiety.

Many of you know that I’m no stranger to swimming around in the dark. Everything I do — all of the celebration, love, mindfulness, and appreciation practices — have grown from the darkest, hardest time of my life.

While thankfully, a lot has changed thanks to 30 years of these practices, I was just saying to someone that I still often wake up into that darkness.

(Just to clarify: I don’t mean the darkness due to Daylight Saving time! I mean the kind of darkness caused by challenging physical sensations (anxiety or fear!) or thoughts in my head (“you’re too ___; you’re not ___ enough. You should ___. You shouldn’t ___”)

I realized that unless I talk about this more, people will think I just bound out of bed and when I open my closets, colorful balloons stream out.

Nope. It is all practice for me.

You will hear in this audio how living my life in the tiniest slices of moments saves me from the big, scary pit over and over again.

I look for (or create) a pinprick of light as if my life depended on it. Because you know what? It does.

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

**

Some people wake up and exuberantly launch themselves into their days. That’s not me. That’s okay.

If it isn’t you, that’s okay, too!

That’s why we have so many practices to help us lift ourselves up!

I share more into today’s audio.

***

I see you.

I see your sweet, yearning heart. 

I see the way you do good things.

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! 

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

 P.S. In my audio, I mention the Mango Publishing Heart Wisdom Panel called “Navigating Grief During the Holidays.” If you are suffering from loss of any kind, you will find this so helpful. Lots of practical tips! 

P.P.S My book, “Say it Now,”  is currently on sale for for 30% off at the publisher’s website until January 31st. Grab a copy for yourself or as a gift (or stocking stuffer!) in time for the holidays! There are 33 creative and clever (not crafty!) ideas for meaningful gifts they will talk about forever! 

 

LoveGram: You can get through this.

 

 

Hello beautiful friend.

Today I send you a sweet song from the seventies. (Literally!)

I send you the sound of the wind through the trees at the end of a long, hot day.

I send you a chipmunk, scurrying across the porch — bringing a smile to your face.

***

Welcome to your Sunday audio LoveGram

I was visiting my mom last week and pulled out a big ole bin of 45’s. Are you old enough to remember those? They are the little records with one popular song on Side A and one not-so-popular song on side B.

Today I start your LoveGram playing a snippet from one of those oldie-but-goodies. Hope you like it!

Aside from stumbling across records, this week I also stumbled across an Evernote file labeled, “Hard stuff. Loss. Beauty.”

So, in today’s audio LoveGram, we talk about a few reminders about what to do when things feel hard.

I read you what I found in that file. Hopefully it will be as helpful to you as it was to me.

There were some great reminders that are helping me over a few bumps in the road, for sure.

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

 

***

Here are just a few teasers — or maybe you could call ‘em the CliffsNotes. (Yep, weird name, right? I always thought it was Cliff Notes.)

  • Feel your feelings; don’t stuff ‘em down.
  • It’s okay to tell someone that you are going through a hard time or that you are sad.
  • People want to be there for you. You are not burdening them.
  • The hardest part is initially taking off the armor.
  • Someone else has gone through what you are going through; find their guidance and let it support you.
  • Expressing stuff helps it move through us. It feels good. I promise.
  • Let yourself be human! We all have a whole range of emotions. That’s what makes us who we are. Let’s accept all the joy, all the mess, and all the tears and all the smiles.

***

We humans are so odd, aren’t we? We know that we always feel better when we are vulnerable and we let someone support us. But wow, it can be hard.

I’m here to encourage you.

Listen to my audio.

***

Thank you for being by my side. I’m here, walking with you, through all the ups and downs.

You are not alone.

You are loved.

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

When we need help.

 

Hello my beautiful friend.

Here’s your link to today’s LoveGram.

My conversation with you today is about asking for help when we are unsteady on our feet.

***

On Friday I sent you an email confessing how hard it is for me to reach out to people when I am in a hard place. (“Meet Cardboard Sherry!”)

In that email, I included a poem and some beautiful wisdom by my friend, Maya. If you missed it, you can read that here. 

(Her poem is wonderful for when we feel shaky!)

A lot of you wrote to say that just like me, when you are having a hard time, it can be hard to reach out.

You shared with me your own struggles with feeling like a burden or letting down your guard. You shared with me how hard it is to be vulnerable and how it can feel as if once we start crying, we may never stop.

I’m so grateful to each of you. To those who wrote. And to those who didn’t, but who held the space with all of us by silently nodding your heads.

***

I’m grateful to each of you who is feeling strong and who is holding the ground for someone in your life who isn’t.

I’m grateful to each of you who, like me, is practicing every day how to be real with the people we love.

I started these Sunday LoveGrams back in March, 2020 when the pandemic first took us all by surprise. I had no idea how much loss and change and uncertainty was ahead of all of us.

These have been truly challenging times.

And yet, if you are reading this, HERE YOU ARE.

HERE WE ARE.

Together.

Sharing all of our joys and grief. Sharing ideas on how we can love people in our life and let them know how much they mean to us. Sharing ways to celebrate life — even when we are lost in the darkness.

Celebration and sadness are two sides of the same coin. When we are going through hard things and we allow ourselves to connect with people in a vulnerable way, we flip the coin.

The sadness may still be there, but there is a quiet, love-filled celebration that comes from sharing real life with another human being.

***

So, on the audio today I explore more why this is so important to do, even when everything in us wants to hide.

Click here to listen.

Thanks for being by my side. I’m here for you, too.

We are holding ground for one another through all of the everything of life.

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

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!

 

LoveGram: Not always about the confetti (take 2)

 

Hello, beautiful friend.

Here’s what I want to remind you about today: you do not have to earn celebration.

Celebration is not just for special occasions.

It is your birthright to celebrate the whole range of emotions. To celebrate being human.

Yeah, confetti is great. Balloons are fun. Champagne and bubbles of all kinds are festive. But you do not have to be or feel festive in order to celebrate.

Authentic celebration can be as simple as whispering to ourselves, “What do you need, honey?” It can be turning our face toward the sun, even when everything in us feels clouded over with sadness or fear. It can be calling a friend, like I did earlier this week, to say “I am feeling sad and crabby all at once. Can you help?” 

Celebration can be the connection we feel to someone else when we ask for help and they stand by our side and suddenly things just feel a little more okay.

So, my audio LoveGram today is about helping ourselves find tiny moments to celebrate, no matter what.

Click the word, LoveGram up above and when you land on my web page, scroll down until you see the audio player. Then, press play to listen or download to hear on the go.

Hey, this is the quote I read to you on the audio: “Be kind; for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” (This is attributed to several different people: Ian Maclaren, Plato, or Philo.)

Here’s your challenge this week: Can you experience celebration in your own life in times when you are not happy or you didn’t win or it isn’t a special occasion? 

I’m here with you in these still challenging and uncertain pandemic times. We are in this together. Sharing our experiences helps.

Thank you for being here with me.

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

 

LoveGram: not always about the confetti

Hi friend.

Today’s audio LoveGram is about … well, it’s about hard times and difficult feelings.

It’s about grief. It’s about tenderness. It’s about allowing ourselves to be human and to feel our feelings.

You’ll notice that up above there’s a photo of some art I bought. I purchased him from a wonderful artist in Ohio, Gail Trunick.

His name is Guardian and he just arrived this week. I bought him to put on top of my backyard studio, thinking it would be wonderful to be greeted each day by this muse or angel. However, until I figure out how to get him safely perched up there, he’s been hanging out inside my studio.

Since it often feels like he is waiting for me, I started talking to him when I arrive each day. And from there, I naturally started asking for his help. When I know someone in my life is going through a hard time, I just ask him to send some good energy their way.

I find that Guardian is so willing to hold it all. He’s darn good at not judging feelings as positive or negative.

In case you’re thinking, “Hey! What the heck does this have to do with celebration?!” I will tell you.

Celebration isn’t just about confetti and balloons. It’s not just for when things are “good.” We can celebrate being a human being who has a whole range of experiences. We can celebrate moments of connection to people that we love — even when we feel sad or upset. We can celebrate our feelings.

I think celebration needs to be redefined in our culture. When we allow ourselves to say what’s going on or to feel what we’re feeling, when we allow ourselves to reach out and ask for help or offer help, that’s really authentic celebration.

It’s being present in our lives and feeling it.

Take a moment and close your eyes after you read this paragraph. Then, let yourself feel everything you’re feeling. Are there hardships? Is there pain? Is there something joyful? Is there some connection to a person in your life that is bothering you right now or worrying you? Perhaps there’s a connection that you feel good about?

Let it all in.

Take a deep breath and experience it.

That experience is the celebration of being alive.

So, my LoveGram today is about tenderness for ourselves and for others. I hope that after you listen to it, if you’re someone who has a lot of energy right now, and things are going really well, that you will reach out and offer that vibrancy and light to someone.

And if you’re someone who is going through a hard time — I mean, we’ve been going through a year and a half of this pandemic, and there’s been so much loss of many kinds—maybe you’re feeling it. Maybe you’re feeling a physical loss of someone in your life. Or a chapter of your life. Or, maybe it’s about climate change or political upheavals or violence. Or it might be just your own personal “small” trauma — that isn’t small to you because to you it feels big.

If that’s where you are, reach out to someone.

Tell them what’s going on.

You could reach out to me.

Guardian and I will send you love.

Okay?

 

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

LoveGram: Permission to be sad

I hope you are doing well and finding plenty of ways to take care of yourself and the people you love.

This has been a doozy of a week for me because my son moved out to live in a house near his college campus. (That’s us in the photo. A blink of an eye from babyhood to manhood!)

Holy Toledo! There were so many logistics. So many things to buy. And so many tears.

I had no idea how hard it would hit me the first night he wasn’t here with us in the house.

Have you gone through this? Have you closed one parenthood chapter and started another? Or, maybe it isn’t exactly the same as Empty Nest Syndrome, but maybe you’ve left a job that you had for decades or moved from a neighborhood you loved or lost the physical ability to do something that brought you joy?

And of course, most of us have also had to navigate the huge ocean of grief that pulls us under when someone we love dies.

Loss comes in many shapes and sizes. 

If you are going through loss right now, of any kind — big or small — I send you love. I send you a warm blanket that makes you feel safe and cozy. I send you sweet, hot tea in your favorite flowered mug.

I also want to send you a few simple practices that helped me immensely over the past few days.

One of the ways I took care of myself was by posting on Facebook and asking for support and advice. It was the best thing I could have done!

Simply reaching out and asking for help made me feel less alone.

But then, in addition, people offered great advice, support, and love. They posted links to articles. They told me about rituals that helped. Best of all, they gave me permission to feel all the feelings.

If you are facing your own empty nest, I highly recommend that you scroll through these 100+ comments and I promise that you will feel uplifted. People are so loving!

(If you aren’t on Facebook, I’m sorry that you can’t see this post and all the comments right now. However, I am compiling the best advice and links so I can create an “Empty Nest First-Aid Kit.” Stay tuned.)

After a couple days of bawling my eyes out, I also went live on Facebook to share a few things that really helped me get through the sadness, emptiness, and grief.

That video is my LoveGram for today. (Usually I send an audio, but today it is a video LoveGram!)

If you’re going through some big emotions— not just Empty Nest, but any kind of loss and grief, this short video might really help. I hope so.

The three tips I share in the video are a little checklist we can use whenever we are feeling pulled down by the undertow.

I’m here with you in these still challenging and uncertain pandemic times. We are in this together. Sharing our experiences helps.

Reach out to people in your life and ask for or offer support, okay?

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

 

P.S. In case you are one of those people (like me!) who sometimes read the postscripts first, here’s the gist of it for today: If you need a little support for something big you are going through — something that brings with it loss, sadness, or grief —  today’s video LoveGram offers three simple things that can help. (They helped me big time this week when I was bawling my eyes out!)

P.P.S. I absolutely agree with all of the folks who have encouraged me to be grateful and to celebrate this moment in time for my son. I am! I promise. But let’s remember that it is also important to let ourselves move through our feelings so we get to the other side. We don’t have to immediately put on a happy face and pretend we aren’t feeling what we’re feeling. We can be real live human beings who experience many emotions at once!

Who needs some TLC on Mother’s Day?

sherry-mom-kayne-2016

Mother’s Day is coming up in a couple days.

I’m incredibly fortunate that not only am I a mom to an amazing son, I am also the daughter of a wonderful mom. Mother’s Day is a time that I feel celebrated by my family and also when I get to appreciate and celebrate my own mom.

But believe me, I don’t take either of these relationships for granted. I know how lucky I am. I know that for a lot of people Mother’s Day can be filled with longing or loss. It can be a hard day for anyone whose mom has passed away, whose children have died, who were never able to have children, or who may have difficult relationships with their kids or mom. It can also be a hard day for single moms who don’t have a partner to plan a celebration for them or make the day special.

My friend and former colleague, Roberta Brown, wrote a piece for all the single moms out there: Single Mom Confessions: I Hate Mother’s Day—And How I’m Changing That. I am honored that she quotes one of my gift ideas in the article. But more importantly, I am so grateful that she is raising awareness that these kinds of Hallmark holidays can be really difficult for people.

 

[ File # csp8931887, License # 3140331 ] Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php) (c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / dip

I’d love for us all to think of one person in our lives who might experience pain or grief this weekend while others are celebrating. Can we each commit to offering some small gesture of love or kindness to that person to acknowledge them?

That opportunity was handed to me on a silver platter this week when I read Roberta’s wonderful article. I emailed her to ask if she would be open to having me set up a recorded telephone interview with her 12-year-old son as a way of celebrating her. She said yes! I’m really excited to be able to acknowledge Roberta because she is a loving, generous, fun, spirited mom. Interviewing her son about her will be a gift for ME!

Could you do this same thing for a single mom you know? Or perhaps you’d want to write a card about what a great mom she is.

Or if you know someone who will be missing their mom, you could call them and tell them a favorite happy memory about their mom and let them know you, too, are thinking of her.

I’m grateful to Roberta for reminding me to think beyond my own small world — and to consider folks I know who may need an extra boost this Mother’s Day.

Do me a favor, if you do something thoughtful for someone who needs some TLC this weekend, would you be willing to post it on my Present Perfect Gifts page on Facebook? You could inspire others! If you’re not on Facebook, email me. I love to hear from you! You always inspire ME!

And if YOU are someone who is having a difficult time this Mother’s Day, be sure and reach out to a close friend or family member and let them know you need some love. People will be glad you asked.

With special love to all the moms out there and all the children of moms and everyone who loves a mom…

Yours,
Sherry

 

P.S. I’ve compiled some questions for you to ask someone’s child if you want to do this for Mother’s Day. You can edit the questions and use them to interview someone’s mother, as well.

P.P.S. Here’s the follow-up to my interview with Roberta’s 12-year-old son! 

 

 

 

 

{Spoiler Alert} Don’t read this if you haven’t seen “Inside Out.”

help5web

I just watched the animated film, Inside Out again. If you haven’t seen it, and you plan to watch it, stop right here before I spoil it for you.

Still reading? Okay. So that means you know what the visual to the left means. And I can say a bit more about it.

I absolutely LOVE the movie’s message that many of our warm + wonderful connections to people come from a place of darkness, fear, or sadness. Those moments when we’re feeling low and someone offers us a hug, makes us laugh, or gives us any other kind of l’il pinprick of light in the darkness — WOW … those moments are everything.

Today’s note from me is short. It is simply this: let’s all remember that sadness and celebration are two sides of the same coin.

When we’re sad and we call a friend and that friend’s voice is like honey, there’s joy there, right? When someone we know is grieving and we can sit with her, holding her hand, laughing over beautiful memories of the person who died, there is a simple kind of joy there, too. Right? When we extend ourselves to be with someone who is sad, we feel alive and human in the best possible of ways. It connects us to one another in deep and meaningful ways.

In the movie, when Sadness touched a memory, there was a glow. Just like when Joy touched a memory. Let’s keep an eye out for that subtle, but palpable glow in our own lives.

If you don’t know my own story about celebrating in the dark, you can see the video on the website homepage. (This is the story of where “pinpricks of light” came from.)

Yours on both sides of the coin,

Sherry

 

joy-sadness-web

 

 

P.S. I’d love to hear our own experience of the sadness/celebration coin. Does this resonate with you? Or does it make you … er, Angry? (Insert picture of Anger from the movie here.) Got a story to share? Please comment below if you’re on the blog. Or, email me. I’d love to hear.

Note: All “Inside Out” images are copyright Pixar/Disney Studios.