Tag Archives: self love

LoveGram: Advance love for your future self.

 

Hello Friend!

Today I send you a love letter you mail to yourself.

I send you clean sheets that smell like lilac, which you luxuriate in when you crawl into bed, exhausted.

I send you a song on the radio, one that you love from long ago, which you hear unexpectedly, and it brings a smile to your face.

***

Welcome to your weekly audio LoveGram.

In today’s LoveGram, we talk about some ways to think about how we can support our future self, especially if there might be bumpy roads ahead.

How can we prepare in advance to offer unbounded support and extra special attention to the self who may need it?

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

***

You can be on the offensive by declaring this a new chapter. Name it for yourself. Plan it.

Or, if it isn’t yet time for the new chapter, let this be an official period of transition/grief.

Don’t push yourself to go too quickly through your experience. It is so essential that we feel our feelings and process whatever loss or hardship is alive in us right now. There’s no rush. Be human!

***

You’ll hear in today’s LoveGram that I’m kinda doing both at once! I’m letting myself feel everything that wants to run through me, whenever it arises. I’m reaching out to friends and leaning in on their love.

AND, I’m setting up an autumn “Advance Love” program for myself.

I’ve created a list of books I want to read that I know will support the ways I want to grieve and grow. I’ve listed a few projects that I will complete. I’ve also made a list of some new skills I want to learn. And finally, I’ve brainstormed some ways I can be out in the real world, meeting people live again and volunteering.

***

Here are some ways you can plan to love yourself — now, next week, or next month— whenever it is time for the next stage of your healing:

  • Buy a beautiful journal for yourself that you will fill with love.
  • Make some audio recordings that let that future you know you care and understand.
  • Make a playlist of comforting or uplifting music.
  • Research meet-up groups where you might get to know new friends.
  • Create a list of books to read that you know will support you.
  • Enlist a friend for exercise accountability.
  • Reach out for places to volunteer.
  • Think about a musical instrument you would like to learn.
  • Make a list of projects that would feel great to complete.
  • List places you’d like to clear free of clutter.

***

My dear friend, I know that the past two years have been filled with grief, loss, loneliness, fear, and disappointment.

I understand.

I also know that this is exactly why we all must fortify ourselves.

This is why we must offer ourselves unlimited kindness now — and why we must plan advance love, too!

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

LoveGram: When “not enough” kicks in

 

Hello beautiful friend.

Today I send you the big beautiful purple magnolia petal that fell from its bloom and brightened up the dirty sidewalk.

I send you the moon I couldn’t see last night because of the heavy clouds.

I send you the siren that blared in the background, that one time I was listening to her playing accordion on the street.

***

Today’s audio LoveGram is about finding the color and beauty in what is, even when we kind of wish for something else.

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

***

There’s an unusual element in today’s audio. In it, I read you something I wrote earlier this week.

I’d been grappling with some old stuff that has to do with “not enough.”

Do you know this place?

[I hear a knock on the door. I open it. “Oh.” My head drops. My shoulders slump. “It’s you again.”]

 

Luckily, during a morning with Laurie Wagner’s Wild Writing video prompt, I heard her say a line that had nothing to do with the actual prompt. But I knew immediately it was my prompt.

Laurie said, “This morning I am not feeling fierce or on fire.”

I set my timer for 15 minutes, set my fingers on the keyboard, and there I went. What came out was a mysterious medicine, sent straight from the Great-What-Else.

***

It’s amazing how something we need to know can come through when we least expect it, right?

You can listen to the whole thing in today’s audio, but here’s a sampling:

  • I am not the pinstriped suit. I am those pink doc martens, with furry pink coat.
  • I am not the bass. I am the ukulele.
  • I am not the  “It girl,” not the headline, not the trophy, not the big gold cube in Central Park. I am the last blue gumball in the supermarket machine by the automatic doors. I am the crumbled slip of paper you notice stuck to your shoe. The one that says, yes.

***

If you’ve ever grappled with that feeling of “not enough” or “not worthy,” or any of the myriad others ways ole Squawky Polly brain tries to make us feel wobbly and uncertain, than I hope my audio today might bring you the knowledge that you are not alone.

I also hope it might bring you an antidote.

Because, you know what? “Not enough” is a monkey mind myth. “Not enough” is a lie. “Not enough” is a distraction from all the goodness, love, kindness, generosity, and willingness that you are.

How do I know this?

Because you are here.

You are someone who is always caring about your life and caring about others.

You are someone who values relationships, truth, and beauty.

You, my friend, are a blooming flower.

I see you.

I see your beautiful heart.

And, as always, I’m grateful to you for being by my side. As Ram Dass says so perfectly, “We are all just walking each other home” — through this pandemic and way beyond to a beautiful new future!

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

Photo credit, big gold cube: Bild

LoveGram: What Soothes You?

 

Hello my beautiful friend  …

Today I am writing to you from that place where it feels as if the veil has lifted a little. You know what veil I mean? That one that is usually there, protecting us from the deep grief that is possible as humans. That veil that allows us to go to the grocery store and wonder whether we should get peaches or plums, oat milk or soy milk, and should we splurge on the sunflowers?

We all know that ordinariness of life. We spend most of our time there, if we are lucky.

And we all know how it feels when we peek behind the veil and we suddenly feel our humanness deep in our bones. We feel the fragility of life. We remember what it is to be heartsick or deeply scared. We know what it means to love so much that it can hurt.

Do you have a sense of what I mean? Can you think of examples from your own life, past or present?

I hope you are doing well as you are reading this. I hope you are in that “ordinary” place. However, I know that someone or many someones reading this might be feeling fear, loss, or grief.

I’m here for all of you.

How do we take care of ourselves when we are going through a heart crisis, nightmare fear, or unimaginable grief?

How do we carry this when it is someone we love?

 

Today, my LoveGram is about finding small spaces that soothe us, no matter where we are in the spectrum of pain. Whether we’ve had a difficult conversation, a hard day, or we’re mourning the unbearable loss of someone we love, it’s crucial to know how to find moments of peace.

Last week, I shared about a specific kind of loss I was experiencing. Since then, a dear friend with the kindest heart and brightest laughter has suffered a heart-wrenching tragedy. As someone who loves her deeply, I’m thinking nonstop about how to stay close by her side in spirit and how to support her.

In this audio, just by talking to you, I discovered a way I could connect without words. I share this with you and hope we all remember that sometimes words are not quite right for the moment, but we can share our hearts and love with soothing music, sounds of nature, or ancient mantras.

Listen to today’s Audio LoveGram by clicking to this page now!

Just scroll down on that page until you see the audio player. Press play.  Voila!

Also, I want to repeat (for me as much as for you) what I said last week about a podcast I’d heard by Brené Brown in which she was talking about “comparative suffering.” While we don’t want to be inconsiderate or thoughtless around others who are grieving, we need to allow ourselves to feel our own pain and not cut it off because someone else is going through something way bigger, harder, or worse. By allowing ourselves to have our feelings, we are strengthening our empathy muscles and it allows us to open our hearts even wider to others.

If someone you love is experiencing big grief, you can still be sad about the losses in your own life. You’ll just want to process those alone or with other friends.

Yes, be mindful … but do give yourself permission to feel. It is the way through to the other side.

We humans were built to feel.

I know this is true.

Just as it is also true that when we open our hearts to what others are going through, it can put things into perspective for us. Not in a scolding or punishing way, but in a soft, gentle, reminding way.

 

It’s all there. We can hold it all. We’re strong enough.

We’re even stronger together.

After you listen to today’s LoveGram, consider what sounds are soothing to you. And if you have a loved one who is in pain, please create an audio for them with your loving voice and include some soothing sounds.

Can you do this?

I’ve been creating these Sunday LoveGrams since March of 2020. Having you here with me throughout this pandemic has been so important.

Being together in our experiences is truly a gift. It is one of the ways we support ourselves in navigating change.

Thank you!

Seek celebration — even in dark corners,

xo Sherry

 

P.S. Here’s the online web page where you can record an audio for someone you care about.

P.P.S. Here is a link to the beautiful song I played by David Ma. You can listen and/or purchase it here on Bandcamp. (This would be so wonderful to include in any audio message you create for someone you love.)

P.P.P.S. Here is a link to the beautiful Radhika Vekaria, who sings in Sanskrit. (This would be lovely to include in your audio note to someone you love, as well.)

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

 

 

 

 

This girl. You.

 

Do you ever catch sight of yourself in the mirror or shadow and think, “Wow, this person has been with me every step of the way. This person has never left my side. She’s trusted me all my life to do the best I can for her.”

I just noticed my shadow as I was rushing up the stairs to catch a train. I felt this flush of affection. This girl has tried so hard all her life to do the right thing, to offer kindness and to find her path. For so many years.. decades!… it all felt so hard. Such a challenge to simply “be.” So many questions of, “Is this enough?” “Am I enough?”

And so this morning, when I noticed her looking kinda Mary Poppins-ish in her shadow, I was overcome with gratitude.

I really like this girl.

And she really likes the world.

Even with all its heartbreak & horrors, she chooses to be here and bring as much light as she can.

She chooses to look for the beauty and love.

It took a whole lot of meditation, reflection, acceptance, and pushing up against internal & external expectations, but this is a new moment. This is a place of permission to be me. Just me, plain & simple.

I wish this for everyone. This feeling that however & whomever we are — through & through— is PERFECT.

We are lovable and perfect exactly as we are.

No hoops to jump through. No masks to don. No uniforms or conformity.

I want to play a larger role in giving people permission to not only be who they are, but to celebrate that person grandly.

I want to help people live & love OUT LOUD.

***

Do you recall a time recently when you felt that permission to be absolutely who you are?

Where were you? Who were you with? What do you think enabled you to feel that acceptance and love for yourself?

I’d love to hear! Will you share your story?

 

Seek celebration — even in the dark corners,

xo Sherry