It was great to hear from so many of you that it touched something in you and made you feel less alone.
Along those same lines, if you haven't yet watched the video on the home page of my website, I hope you'll do so now.
I share my journey from battling depression to creating a life of celebration. It'll help you understand why seeking and creating these "pinpricks of light" is so essential. (And why I talk about 'em so much!)
I love hearing from you. If you're visiting on the blog, leave a comment below. Or email me.
Seek celebration, even in the dark corners,
P.S. If you haven't had a chance to listen to last week's audio, listen now! I'll give a little spoiler to say that there's a coconut in there. I especially love what one reader, Danny, saw about this: "A coconut is hard on the outside, and it can appear that there's no way to open it. But if we recognize that with some effort we can open it, and make that effort, it's worth it because of the sweetness available to us once we do. In the same way, it's worth using whatever tools we have to break through the hard shell (iron wall) of suffering because the experience of the sweetness inside is such a great reward for doing so."
Danny is so right. It is worth the effort to use whatever tools we have to break through that iron wall of suffering. Even the smallest sliver of joy can make a difference.
P.P.S: If you like the video on my home page, I'd be so grateful if you will scroll down to the bottom of that web page and click on "share" so others can find out about the simple practice of pinpricks of light.
This week I've been talking to a number of people about depression and/or being blue.
I got inspired to create an audio about this — with a few things that have really helped me whenever I am stumbling in the dark and need a boost.
I don't have anything against Hallmark. Or Valentine's Day.
I don't have anything against special occasions. Or celebration.
But what irks me is this: when we're fed ideas about these "picture perfect" lives that for most people simply don't exist. Our culture tends to lure us into specific ideas about what our lives should look like. Those shiny heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, the perfect red roses, and the even-shinier and rosier laughing faces of lovers at an expensive restaurant can be a set-up for deep disappointment, loneliness, and regret.
If you've got that Hallmark card kinda life, great! I'd almost say there's no need to read on. But that's not true. Because even if you do have a life that looks like that, I dare risk it to say, that there's still something much better waiting for you this Valentine's Day. And it doesn't come in a box — heart-shaped or otherwise.
And if you don't have that Hallmark kinda life, join the crowd. Most of us don't have lives that look like catalogues and commercials. But you know what? Even if our lives don't look like that, they can feel like we've always imagined.
What if Valentine's Day weren't about jewelry and chocolate and hearts and lovers? What if, *gasp*, it were simply about love?
What if we chose to make it about love? Of all shapes and sizes.
What if each of us set out on our own small personal mission to create a few pinpricks of light for people in our lives this Valentine's Day? Sure, one of those people can be someone we romantically love. But what if we included our family, our co-workers, and people we never met?
Here are a few ideas:
Create some paper bag love at your house or office for Valentine's Day:
These mailbags o' love are great for love of all shapes and sizes. Fill 'em with sweet treats or sweet notes.
* Purchase some colorful bags. (Try your local dollar store or make 'em out of brown paper lunch bags.)
* Find a central location in your home or office to leave the bags visible.
* Label the bags so that everyone has one.
* Provide blank paper, note cards, or stationery near the bags.
* Explain to everyone that these bags are for people to leave secret or signed notes of things they're grateful for about the person, special memories, happy stories, inspiring quotes, etc.
* As the organizer, see if you can get the ball rolling by leaving at least one note or two for everyone. Model how it's done!
* Watch the magic happen.
Make a Love List. Make a Love List. Make a Love List.
If you've been following along with me for any length of time, you've heard me talk about Love Lists on countless occasions. Well, here I go again. And you know why? Because they work. Because they bring great joy to the Love List maker as well as the Love List receiver. Because they never get old. Because no one ever gets tired or hearing what makes them lovable. Because no matter how tired or depressed or anxiety-ridden we are, making and giving a Love List is a quick path to the light. Download your free printable here.
Send a note or letter to someone who is lonely, depressed, or grieving.
Don't wait. Do it now. Think about someone in your life who may need an extra boost. And simply write a few lines on a handmade greeting card, printed photo, or notecard and let them know that you are thinking of them with love. Real words. Authentic feelings. You don't have to say a lot for it to mean a lot. Also, watch how good you feel when you drop this in the mail. Sweet as chocolate.
The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure. —Joseph Campbell
You've heard me say this many times. But it bears repeating: lower the bar.
It's the holidays. And that means visions of Martha Stewart dancing in our heads. Somewhere along the road, the holidays have come to mean huge meals, dozens of presents, glimmering decorations, piles of sweet treats, and festive gatherings galore.
Holy heart attack, Bat Man! That's a lot of planning, preparation, money, and time.
In case it's a little too much for you, you can join me in a little ditty I sing aloud a lot this time of year. It goes like this, "Let it go, let it go, let it go." (Sung to the tune of "Let it Snow.")
Oh, and need a little added encouragement? Here it is, just there below, in the form of a permission slip.
Ease and peace,
About Sherry Richert Belul
- Create that technicolor feeling in your daily life
- Sometimes we need to celebrate even when we fall flat.
- Is there something in your life that you really want to learn to do, but squirrel-mind is keeping you from it?
- Can you let yourself be fully alive and expressive — whether that looks like joy, confusion, despair, bliss, or grief?
- The secret to living an extraordinary life can be found in tiny, ordinary moments.
- How can we love the one we’re with when either —or both— of us is not quite exemplifying star-quality at the moment?
- Confessions of a packrat
- Do I have a deeper relationship with the person I think I should be than the person I really am?