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Last Night I Thought --

Dog Nap ; one of the ways I restore my soul.

Dear Listeners,

Last night I thought, again, that love is the only answer . . . to everything. Not an original thought, of course, but nonetheless profound. When all else fails, when the injustice in the world, the suffering of others (and, of course, our own suffering) becomes too much to bear, all we can do is summon all our love from the depths of our souls and spread it around, now. ( to people AND animals, in my case)

Gail Straub of the Empowerment Institute wrote a book called, "The Rhythm of Compassion," in which she talks about how to rest and rejuvenate when we are otherwise constantly providing support and comfort and healing to others.

How do YOU (each of you) do that? I find that, although I'm widely considered a "solar" personality, I need a great deal of down time, quiet time, time for reflection and time when I don't have to make, or listen to, small talk!

I'd love to hear from each or any of you in this sacred group of Listeners -- and we are a sacred group! -- about how you restore your own weary soul, in between your magnificent efforts to make the world a kinder, gentler place.

With Love, Support and Interest,




Shilpa Balakrishnan's picture

You are right... :-)

Love heals everything. Your picture says it all,that if we give love to animals it will give you too in return....
And thanks for calling us Sacred group. Maybe we should start loving our self to make the world a nice place....

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Self Love

Yes, Shilpa,

Loving ourselves is the hardest part, it seems!

- Sarah

Ridingthecamel's picture

Thank you for posting this,

Thank you for posting this, Sarah... the words were a sight for sore eyes -or a sore soul rather.
You helped us remember what a precious gift, a privilege, it is to be part of this community and this
opportunity of contributing to it as Listeners. I recognize the feeling of needing lots of down time -solitude- to regain energy..

For me, it helps to take long walks or simply spend some hours staring out of the window.. To put all the conversations and other impressions I've experienced that day back into context... to make all the "information" I absorbed that day (people telling their stories in words, motions, etc.) small again.. Not to make it insignificant, but to put it in perspective:
How we're all part of a bigger world, a bigger plan in which we all not only give, but also receive. Regaining this oversight, the feeling of actually being part of something greater in which we all communicate in two directions and in which we are all working together towards a greater goal... because we're hopeful and because we have faith and because we love.... it gives me the energy to be a part of it again and to be enthusiastic about it.
Not sure if this makes sense?

Lots of love and sweet dreams,



Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Thank you, Judith

That's so beautifully expressed and uplifting, I am particularly struck by your observations that "we all communicate in two directions" and that "we are all working together towards a greater goal." These are the precious reminders one needs from time to time, I believe.

And yes, let us always be hopeful and faithful and loving. . .


Karly N's picture

Self Care

Sarah, Thank you for your beautiful post and for the compassion you have for each of us! I love the idea of sharing the ways in which we give love and healing to ourselves. Already, thinking about it has inspired me to make it more of a priority!

Judith, I so appreciate your words of giving yourself the space to process the 'information' of the day, understanding how overwhelming it all can start to become if we don't give ourselves that space.

I have found Kundalini Yoga and Meditation to be my respite, providing an uplifting, soothing and grounding space for my mind, body and soul. I practice and teach this yoga on a regular basis. It is what I turn to at each and every moment I start to feel fear, anger, or overwhelmed with a life that can feel out of my control.

The quote I always turn to that provides me peace in those darker (and lighter!) moments is: "Recognize that the other person is you." (-Yogi Bhajan). This continuously helps me shift my perspective from disconnected to connected.

Thank you Sarah for this opportunity to share!

Sending love and light to all!


Dear Karly,

That's a wonderful quote, and really the foundation of empathy and compassion, I think. To ground yourself in Kundalini Yoga and Meditation is surely one of the most wonderful ways to stay centered.

Years ago, I became a ballerina, and the total concentration and centered-ness required for that daily ballet practice brought me up out of a depression.

So, let's hear it for taking care of our bodies in gentle, loving ways!


Vision40's picture

Time to breath

Again thank you for posting this it was very heart warming to read such insightful thoughts Sarah, Judith and Karly. As I know I often whizz around trying to be the best I can for everyone and at times forget to put myself higher up the priority list. However as I've got older I think I am more aware of it, like this morning I reset my alarm to give myself a bit more down time really before leaping into a highly energised day, listening to my body.

Yesterday I was also on a course and it gave me a little while to step back and rethink the direction I needed to go in. I used to think that it was good not to structure my time outside of work as it made me feel more free as I do love spontaneity. But to make sure the time you have to yourself or with friends is quality, time to really switch off and listen to others, I find it's better to have something planned. I'm part of a running club and this gives me three sessions a week where I can do this. Our club is a mixture of ages and with different motivations but all with a common goal, it just gives me a completely different perspective on life compared to work in a school and a female dominant environment. The older generation teach me so much I often feel like I know so little and it keeps my views balanced.

Above and beyond all of the above, I think it is important to feel valued, that your hard work is appreciated by someone somewhere so you feel motivated to keep making a difference, however small it lifts your spirits to keep going and never give up. Small rays of light on a dark gloomy day just lift it. This group is certainly providing me with some light I didn't even know existed!

Then just as I was about to sign off I realised that the most obvious point was missing...the love shared with my partner. To come home, feel warm, safe and secure just makes it all go around. Perhaps this is ultimately what I'm striving for for everybody else. If I have it why shouldn't everybody have this entitlement? Mmmm now you've got me thinking....
Take care and keep spreading all of your wonderful compassion

First you need to believe you can
Take care

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Yes, feeling valued

Yes, Nicola, and I feel that World Pulse makes us feel valued -- and we make each other feel valued, too! -- which is part of the hopefulness of becoming a Listener.

What you said about your partner is lovely and so important. I have one 2-legged partner and two four-legged partners. Ha!

With Gratitude,


HeidiSB's picture

Big Hug

What beautiful sharings, women. Very appreciated.

As I dash out the door to meet a friend for coffee I will say that - as I reflected on your question the answer that came to me is what I do for self care is simply make the space to ask myself, "What is it I need?".

I'm a mother of three being home full time for the first time, so it is a constant lesson and my time is often not my own.
I find my needs are often changing. For awhile I will say, "I need friends!" so I will set myself the task of reaching out, making coffee dates and dinner plans. Then soon I find myself feeling overbooked, and I retreat inwards. I will say, "I need time on my own" so I will book a sitter or confirm a schedule with my husband, and read or write or... dare I say exercise! Then after time I find myself just thinking of my family. "I need a family game night!" might be next. Sometimes it is just sitting, cuddling the baby and/or the dog, watching the sun in the leaves. Little ones are wonderful teachers of slowing down. Joining this group was certainly a decision in self care. I need connection to something outside my daily life - especially as I am not employed right now. It must involve women (says the mother of three boys) and in some way seek to make the world a little bit better.

Thank you for posing the question and encouraging me to think explicitly of the ever-so-important self care.

Love to you all,

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

"What Is It I Need?"

Dear Heidi,

That's wise and wonderful. I, too, sometimes feel like reaching out and then must retreat. Spiritually, I think that's what we probably need; to find the balance between our extroversion and introversion.

Those brief contemplative times -- "sitting, cuddling the baby or the dog, watching the sun in the leaves" -- are great sources of rejuvenation.

With Great Respect for your Motherhood!

- Sarah

LeanaM's picture


I wanted to comment just to say that I love your doggy's definitely the best form of self-care!

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

You said it, Leana!

I believe that dogs, and all animals, are divine creatures, angels, really, who show us the way to completely unconditional love and steady companionship.


busayo's picture

Thank you Sarah for this piece

Well I had the opportunity to read that book by Gail Straub. It was presented to me by Gail herself when I went for the Empowerment Training at the Empowerment Institute. Before I went to the Empowerment Institute I was the kind of person that hardly relax, It got to the point that I had high blood pressure. It was at the training that I learnt that relaxation and being light is a must to rejuvenate. Visualisation is what I do most of the time when I want to relax and rest. I will lie down or sit up, rest my back on something comfortable. Most of the time I visualise myself as somebody with influence and power and by the time I am there rulling in my world for an hour, I would have been so relaxed. Today not only that my BP is normal but also relaxation has become part of me.
Thanks once again for sharing this with us.


Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Empowerment --

Dear Busayo!

I love what you say about visualizing yourself as somebody with influence and power ruling your world, and how it relaxes you! That's funny and wonderful at the same time.

Visualization is a powerful tool in so many ways, and it's excellent that your health has improved as a result of using it. Wow.

What year were you at the Empowerment Institute? I was there in 2005. What a valuable experience.

With a big hug back to you,

- Sarah

busayo's picture

I Was There

I was at the Empowerment Institute in 2009, it was an amazing experience!


Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Yes, Busayo --

-- an amazing experience indeed!


MariaAle's picture

Kindness and spiritually

Dear Sarah, thank you for sharing this an amazing post, very reflective for me.
The way I recharge my soul and confirming my life mission is to balance my inner power trough kindness and spiritually. To be part of a kindness moment is a happiness that I can't describe with words. When I have my down moments, I try to take a minute, breath,meditate, think positive and not just let my emotions to take over my actions. It has been hard, since I am a very inpatient person and has been part as my life transformation. Everything starts in ourself, accepting as a unique valuable human being and loving ourself at first to be able share our love and help.

Busayo and Sarah, I would like to know a little about your Empowerment institute experience please.


Maria Alejandra Alcaraz

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Empowerment Institute

Hello, Maria,

The Empowerment Institute was a wonderful experience for me. I became certified to offer workshops using the model created by Gail Straub and her husband David Gershon -- a lovely, genuine couple, dedicated to improving the conditions on our planet.

The basic concept is that we each envision exactly what it is we want -- at least for the moment! -- then identify what gets in the way of our reaching this goal, then learn how to surmount the obstacles and continue on the path to our fullest potential. I use what I learned there every day, and I have since been empowering young women, sometimes in group workshops, and sometimes one-on-one, encouraging participants to recognize their own magnificence and to
not be afraid to tap into it.

The Empowerment Institute led me to World Pulse, for which I'll be forever grateful. As a Vision Mentor for the World Pulse Voices of Our Future program, I empower Correspondents.

There's too much to tell in an email, so please go surf the site -- link below -- and you'll get a better idea of what it's all about. There were 40 terrific men and women from all over the world in my class in 2005.

Hope this is helpful.

All the best,


MariaAle's picture

Very helpful!

Dear Sarah,
Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience at the Empowerment Institute! I will definitely surf the site since It sounds amazing. Love that you have been empowering woman and groups. I want to follow those amazing steps!
All best,

Maria Alejandra Alcaraz

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Let me know --

-- how it goes, Maria!

- Sarah

Nabiye Tal's picture

Thank you for this piece

Thank you so much Sarah for this piece. It helped me realized how much i am giving out but don't take the time to rejuvenate myself and then along the line little things begin to upset me. I am inspired by your photo. I will start to do same now, i have a dog and a cat but i have not been so loving to the cat like i am to the dog until recently, usually i would drive her away anytime she wants to sit with me, until some weeks ago, one evening i came back from work, i was so exhausted and all by myself at home, i was angry, and den she came to sit with me, and i held her in my arms so tenderly, i said to myself, oh she still loves me despite my actions to her, since that day i became best of friends with my cat, my heart was filled with love again and that incidence shaped my whole idea of loving people too. When we give love, we get it back. Also i feel so loved being in dis sacred group. I love you all! Thanks so much for inspiring me Sarah. Much Love. Xoxo.

Nabiye Tal,
Founder/CEO- IEVAWC.
@nabiye, @ievawc

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Animal Love

Hello, Dear Nabiye,

Thank you so much for sharing that experience about your dog and your cat. Cats are divine, loving creatures, too, and very smart. I've been delighted to find out how many of us in this group -- and on World Pulse -- love and take great comfort in our animal companions.

And yes, Nabiye, you are loved in this two-legged group, too!


Tam's picture

Love and Regeneration

Hello Sarah,

I have been thinking of your words and invitation to share thoughts on this within this extraordinary Circle. I am still learning how to rejuvenate, but getting more experienced as time goes on and I realize that if I am to give out well, I must be centered, myself. I breathe deeply, to stay in tune with the Universe. I pray in my own way every day to keep an open mind, a heart full Universal love, words full of love and compassion, hands doing good work, feet on my path. Taking the time to not feel anxious and rushed seems impossible sometimes, yet I know I must, and that what I can then give out is stronger, more effective. I haven't got it down perfectly, but I keep trying. I know enough to know that the more I do replenish myself, the better the results. When I take the time to remember the positives, no matter how tiny, the more I experience joy in what wonderful events are taking place, and the more strength I feel that we can do this, that we are here to do this, and we are not alone.

With love and In Sisterhood to all,


Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

"We Are Here To Do This"

Thank you so much, Tam. I, too, believe that we're here to do good works, and the older we get, the more crucial it is.

Your eloquent ad profound words are comforting and supportive.

With Love and Appreciation,


Y's picture

Dear Sarah, It is with fear

Dear Sarah,
It is with fear of feeling overwhelmed by the thought of 50,000 women wanting to be heard that I approach the task of being a community listener. Where does one start with healing the earth when there are so many wounded women and other sacred parts of our eternal selves in our shared universe?

I hunger for more contact with empowered people. This is what draws me to work with World Pulse as a volunteer. I so wish we had ways to actually meet in person on a predictable schedule. I like to see, smell, touch, and hear the people with whom I share The Sacred Spirit.

Continue to be a blessing.


Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture


Dear Yvette,

Hello and thank you. Ironically, your honest and genuine words came while I was in NYC, spending time with three of the women whose work we have been reading this past year and back to 2013. It was intense and rewarding, and sometimes sad, to hear what they have been through and to recognize the reality of rampant cruelty in our world.

You'll be an excellent Listener. It's very much the same, I feel, as mentoring, in that we're here to give love and support, and to remind everyone (including ourselves!) that self-care is crucial in all this, too.

I wouldn't be surprised if everyone of us -- staff, volunteers and the women who tell their stories on WP have felt what you express so beautifully: "Where does one start with healing the earth when there are so many wounded women and other sacred parts of our eternal selves in our shared universe?"

So often, everything we do feels like an ineffectual drop in a gigantic bucket! But not so. I have come to realize that it's so true that every tiny (minuscule) good and kind thing we do does ripple outward (as Bobby Kennedy said) and in that way have a larger effect than we'll ever really know. I tell those who express discouragement to remember that, and you are wise and can embrace this outlook, I trust.

So, I bow to your eloquent words and expressions of vulnerability, while also recognizing your strength!

With Support and Appreciation,
- Sarah

Y's picture

Thank you so much for

Thank you so much for honoring my vulnerability without patronizing me, Sarah.


Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

: )

I'm smiling at you!

weareone's picture


Dear Sarah:
Thank you for taking the time to share with us a beautiful piece of you. I have not have the opportunity to read that book by Gail Straub, but i can just imagine that every line of each chapter seeks to empower and build self-esteem. I believe that we all have a purpose here on earth and in finding that purpose resolves around simplicity. To become balance, one must be complete within himself and try to live in a peaceful state of mind filled with love. Against this background, is the popular saying, " so a man thinketh so is he". Thus, if you are consumed by love and your energy is charged with
positivity you will be able to strengthen and empower those who are around you.



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