Cherry Blossom Soup

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I was just writing a note to my mom to tell her how awesome she is and how much I appreciate her unique brand of humor, which she is able to access even in hard times.

While I was addressing the envelope, ZING!, an idea dropped in my head.

Wouldn't it be fun to hear some of the things that people love best about their moms?! What if I invited folks to send me an email or post on this blog three things you love about your moms?

Would you do it?

(I think I heard a resounding yes! I hope so! C'mon, it'll be fun. I promise!)

Everyone who responds will receive a lil thank you gift from me so be sure to post your email address if you respond online instead of via email. AND, I'll toss everyone's names in a hat and send a special gift to your mom in time for Mother's Day.

(What am I going to send her? Honestly, I'm not sure yet! But I want to make it something fun that all kinds of people might like, since I won't know your mom! I'm still ruminating on it!)

You can respond to this even if your mom has passed away. Keep her memory alive by telling me what you loved about her. If your name gets pulled from the hat, you can send the gift to someone else in honor of your mom!

Email me or post here by 12 noon PST May 4.




(P.S. That's my mom in the photos above. She's so much fun! Hi Mom!)


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I've been thinking a lot about what creativity is and simple new ways to bring it into my life. You may have read my post last week about Finding Creativity in Tiny Spaces, in which I share some stories about things I do in five-minute increments to add oomph to my days.

Today I want to share some more ideas with you about bringing more creativity into everyday life.

I was lucky enough to get two creative juju gals —Andrea Scher and Laurie Wagner— together on a phone conversation. The call was totally unscripted. We just wanted to see what kind of conversation might naturally happen around the ideas of creativity and everyday life.

Wow, was it chock-full of energy and inspiration! Scroll down to listen.

Here are a few of my fave quotes from the call:

  • Creativity helps us to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It helps us navigate the world with more courage, confidence, and trust. (Andrea)
  • We have the opportunity to show up naturally, to shush out all the critical voices. When we stop judging ourselves and worrying about what others will think of us, then we can really let our hair down. Then we can be free. (Laurie)
  • I don't think there's a moment that I'm not scanning for what's beautiful, colorful, or interesting outside. It's something I've taught myself and it nourishes me in so many ways. (Andrea)

Listen to this quick conversation (just 20-minutes!) with Andrea Scher and Laurie Wagner about bringing creativity into everyday life

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

To download, right-click this link.

If you are having problems with the audio player, click here to view online.


Laurie and Andrea are hosting an amazing workshop all about this!

Opening the Creative Channel Workshop

June 8-12, 2014

Maycamas Retreat Center in Calistoga, Ca. (Wine Country!!!)

Click here for more details!



Friday, April 11, 2014

So often we think of creativity as an ends to a means. We use our creativity so that we can write that story, paint a picture, make a piece of jewelry, or create some other end product.

But as someone who is profoundly interested in moment to moment life experiences, I see creativity as its own reward. I have an expression I use a lot with my coaching clients, "the payoff is in the moment." Instead of the end product being the payoff, our life experience (the vitality and energy we feel) is the payoff. 

I've been playing around with this for the past month or so. How would my life feel differently if I consciously brought more creativity into everday life for no reason other than to simply enjoy the self-expression?

The answer? Wow!


Here are a few things I did — all of which can happen in 5 to minutes:

  • Leave my pink ukulele out and strum it for two minutes.
  • Throw on that polka dotted scarf, crazy blue shoes, or lacy fingerless gloves for added oomph.
  • Set the timer for 5 minutes and respond to a free write.
  • Turn on "Happy" and dance around crazily for four minutes.
  • Take a two-minute walk outside and make a recording about everything beautiful I notice.
  • Practice juggling with my son for just one song per night.



I've been paying special attention to nature's own form of creativity. Specifically in the growth of the lil cherry blossom tree we planted outside our house. Here's a piece I wrote during a five-minute "Messy Beautful Pages" freewrite offered by Firefly Creative Writing. I spent five minutes writing and then another five cleaning it up. In just ten minutes, I felt like I connected to myself and to the world in a creative new way.

It really doesn't take a lot of time to feel a lot of life inside!


Ode to the First Cherry Blossoms

This has been a spring of the very first cherry blossom flower nudging its way to the outside world.

We planted the tree the second week of February — just a tiny little stick of a tree. It looked so frail. Elderly, even. Someone made the requisite joke about it being a “Charlie Brown Christmas tree.”  It was so spindly we feared it wouldn’t take root. Or that the crazy urban life would be too much for this pale, wisp of a tree. 

You never would have guessed that cotton candy flowers were waiting inside that thin brown twiggy tree. They were a gaggle of a twelve-year-old girls, giggling in the musty gym, huddled together when the music began for the very first boy-girl dance. They were young violinists, trying to be serious during lessons, but thinking of the mini-cupcakes they’d be rewarded with after Beethoven and Bach. Oh, that one perfect bite of red velvet with cream cheese frosting or the chocolate cake with a single swirl of caramel.

These bold, puffs of cheery blossoms were all squeezed in nature’s green room, holding their glittery breaths, waiting. They would turn up their faces to whatever small wisps of sun soaked in. They would sleep the sleep of three-year-olds after a day of chasing butterflies and rubber balls.

These buds, all curled up tight inside that stick, were pimply-faced, but full of possibility. They primped and preened behind the scenes, knowing when the right cue came, they would burst onto the stage, flawless and fabulous— full-fledged dancers in layers of tulle as fine as stardust. 

This has been the spring of their awakening. Like young geishas-in-training, their beauty is all in their plump pink cheeks and innocence. 

—Sherry Richert Belul 


Thursday, March 06, 2014

The car battery died this morning and it makes me smile.

After dropping my son off at school, I pulled over for an hour-long phone meeting. When I tried to start the car, it wouldn't start. I immediately blamed myself, thinking I must have left the lights on or a car door open or something to drain the battery.

I called AAA and they arrived in less than 20 minutes. The guy was so friendly and efficient. Turns out the battery was eight years old and had just simply keeled over and died. Within 10 minutes he had installed a new one and off I went.


Why was it such a celebration?

1. I got to see this process of how quickly I think I've done something wrong. How helpful is that?

2. I got to have a very pleasant interaction with another human being.

3. The battery didn't die later tonight when I'm at a poetry reading across the Golden Gate Bridge, when it would have been late and really inconvenient.

4. I am so fortunate to have the money to buy a new battery.

Thanks, Life.


P.S. I don't have a convertible nor am I young with long hair. But I was smiling and waving like that when I drove away this morn. :-)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Hi! Sending you love on Valentine's Day.

{I'm also sending a few tried & true last minute gift ideas that you can whip up quickly.}

Oh, and — a lil reminder ...

Do you know someone who is alone, lonely, or grieving today? Can you take 20 minutes to send them off a Love List?  Template below. Seriously, 20 minutes of your time could change everything for someone who is having a hard time. Consider it. Please.

PDF links below the photo!



Click here to download this free PDF

Click here to download the Love List Template