It seems that the world is FULL of such noise, division, and sorrow these days. May this note from my heart to yours enCOURAGE and console your soul to the core as you comb through these stories from beloved and inspiring friends of ours:
… Lean and and learn from our little sister Sonali in India who spoke with Michelle Obama and shares some powerful words of insight to us all
… Be inspired by Hannah who is a powerful leader among her community and activist fighting for human rights in Nepal (which leads us into this week’s PoP – Place of Pause)
… Bask in the beauty of our sisters in Ecuador whose smiles light up their community and whose artistry is changing the future of their families
… Catch an intimate glimpse of the challenges and goodness going on in our family these days
I have a hunch you will BE greatly inspired, learn something new, and BE ignited to fan the flame of YOUR OWN STORY when you hear from these dear ones. I hope you find a glittering gift or two in these stories that lightens your load and buoys your spirit today. ❤️
A beautyFULL Exchange (between Michelle Obama & Sonali Pathak)
You likely know how much we LOVE and CELEBRATE the work of Her Future Coalition, co-founded by our soul sister, Sarah Symons. We’ve talked on the Seeds Storyteller Series with her daughter, Anjali Tamang (about her school and fight against human trafficking in her village in the far east of Nepal) and country director in India, Soma Seal (who shares about her passion for her work to love and empower women and fight human trafficking from the rooftop of her home in the country, just outside of Calcutta). If you missed these, take them “with” you on your next drive or walk … they are each SO incredible!
And, then, our sisters at Her Future Coalition shared this gem ... A 12-minute clip of a conversation with Michelle Obama and Her Future Coalition’s own, Sonali Pathak, along with several other extraordinary sisters. I bet you, too, will be inspired by this conversation about our calling to be an interconnected and compassionate global community that cares well and tangibly for one another.
Here is one of my favorite exchanges, followed by a quote from Sonali, from this short clip:
Girls are almost like magic. They have good sense that combines mind and heart
and so they can help fix the planet. -Sonali Pathak
[Responding to Sonali.] It’s true. Women, girls – we provide a special something in the world … a unique combination of intellect, nurturing, warmth, and compassion. (Not to say that men and boys don’t have that, too.) We are all put on this earth for something special in life. -Michelle Obama
We need to say yes to girls. People tell us ‘no’ our whole lives. -Sonali Pathak
Watch the whole thing here or below. (The conversation between Sonali and Michelle is found at the 5-minute mark.)
(Be sure to check out The Girls Opportunity Alliance, one of Michelle Obama’s passionate endeavors.)
A PoP on Dignity from Dust
In today’s PoP, I share a story about a beloved and heroic soul sister of ours in Nepal, Devisara Hannah Badi. She embodies extraordinary dignity, courage, and hope, even after experiencing great hardship due to her sisters being trafficked to India (they are now both free!), injustice due to caste and gender, and her people’s marginalization for generations. Here is a glimpse of Hannah’s epic story …
She is handed a black round thing. Her heart is beating fast because she knows what this is. A bomb. Her name is Hannah.
She is eight years old, and she has no choice but to carry it. The year is 2003, and the Maoist rebels have been hiding out in her village in Nepal.
It’s the ideal location, as not many care about her people, called the Badi. They have been legally categorized, since 1854, as Pani Na Chalne (“Impure and Untouchable”) in Nepal’s legal code. They are the lowest ranked untouchable caste in western Nepal, called by many the “untouchables among the untouchables” and the “dust of Nepal.” The Maoists figure they are safely invisible living among these untouchables, this dust.
“Careful,” he tells her. “One wrong move and you’ll blow up. You’ll be dead.”
Hannah knows this story well. She has been told what to do her whole life. As have her sisters, mother, and grandmothers. They are Badi women. They know what they cannot do: walk, eat, or drink with people of higher cultural standing and caste. No one wants to be near them, to touch them, to walk on the same village path as them … until it comes to sex. When sex is desired, these untouchable Badi women become very touchable. (Read more in this PDF excerpt from Soulfully Ablaze.)
Hannah is a leader, a COURAGEous warrior of love.
She inspires and awakens.
She has ignited not only the women of Nepal,
but countless others
with her passion to set the world ablaze with hope.
Today, Hannah is free,
dancing her way through life,
whirling around the world,
sharing stories and inviting us to join her as sisters and brothers,
to flood the dark places in the world with light, together.
Let’s take a moment to BE STILL, to tend to your story today. (I wonder … where do you need and long for courage today?) Let’s practice cultivating peace and calm amidst whatever storms surround, in the lives of those near and dear to you, and with those in distant places and lands.
BE Still. Surrender.
Yes, pause here.
Especially pause here,
in these moments following a story with elements
of great pain and injustice – or if your own life is filled with difficulty.
There is hope.
And, here, there is peace.
BE free of any burden to carry, to worry, or to to do anything other than BE.
Exhale, let go.
A nudge. Light a candle as an act of kindling the light in the places of darkness in the world. Meditate, send some juju, or pray about the abhorrent global reality of human trafficking … or another challenge in the world that captures your attention. Envision some rays of love and hope penetrating the darkness, bringing freedom and justice, and raising up people to join the fight. (Maybe you will BE one of those raised up to fight…)
For a full-guided Place of Pause (PoP), check out the video below about today’s PoP, or the complete video series (both are free) of 10-minute PoPs.
Fair Trade as an Act of Justice
These smiling sisters are from Ecuador. ❤️ CHECK OUT some of the gorgeous and bright pieces they create in the pictures below and head here, for more goodness!
Everyday acts – such as shopping – can be acts of everyday philanthropy and difference-making. Let’s declare that how and where we shop will be done with a commitment and connection to our sisters and brothers near and far. As more of us commit to such actions – to voice what matters to us with our dollars, with our time, and in our conversations – this change will be even more likely to have an impact. When we commit to BEing and DOing life together, we then become part of something big. It then becomes the stuff of movements, powerfully rooted in and growing out of the everyday. This is why we love our partnership with our sisters at Threads Worldwide! (Learn more about what we’re up to.)
A few nudges.
SHOP NOW to celebrate all the influential women in your life! (Threads is offering free shipping through May 9, so you can gift to everyone around the country!)
– Thank your kids’ teachers: Teacher Appreciation Week is May 3-6th
– Honor a nurse: Nurses Day is May 6th
– Show love for Mom and the other motherly figures in your life: Mother’s Day is May 9th
CHECK OUT their online gift guide (to make things easier than ever)!
CONNECT with our sisters to share gratitude and how much you love their craftswomanship.
Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. -Nelson Mandela
Let’s ACT FOR JUSTICE in more moments of our lives, loves!
Family DT Update
If you’ve been following what’s been going on in our family’s health journey, I wanted to share the happenings of these past few weeks.
Brandon’s vision. Good news: His right eye is healthy and strong as ever! Not good news (yet): His left eye is still in the range of 80-90% loss to his vision. So many have been asking, “HOW has this happened?” The short answer is this: We don’t fully understand. The longer answer is this: We’re exploring all kinds of possibilities with an amazing team of health care workers, healers, and friends upholding us with HOPE and enCOURAGEment. We are not giving up our prayers for a full return of his sight and are doing all that we can to make that happen! His spirit and heart are as strong, bold, and light-hearted as ever … and this challenge has been forging some deep bonds in our family and reserves of strength in Brandon! Overall … Brandon and the DT family are abundantly well.
Nana’s celebration of life service on April 6 was absolutely a JOY. Truly, it was a joy … because she has brought so much joy to so many! So, naturally, as we spoke about her life, her hope, her love, and her joy continued to inspire. Our whole family spoke – including our kids – and Soph and I sang a song, which, I’ll be honest, took some courage for me. But, ultimately, to join voices with my girl in celebration of our beloved Nana was an extraordinary thing indeed.
We had the day’s celebration recorded and I share it here, with our Momma Sue’s permission and blessing. (Make sure you get to the end, when Momma Sue speaks a spoken word piece she wrote for her beloved Momma.) Whether you, too, knew and loved Nana or not – I have a hunch you will laugh and cry your way through this memorial and be wholeheartedly inspired.
And, my health – thankFULLY, continues to get stronger than ever. Not only that, but gifts from last year’s lingering and sustained challenges with COVID’s long-hauler symptoms continue to emerge with great force. As I practice taking those daily PoPs, I am becoming rooted more deeply than ever in the reality that in it ALL, I am loved … I belong … and I am here to standTALL and light up the world, T O G E T H E R , with YOU.
All for now, my friend. As always, please do share any ways I can be thinking about, sending love to, and praying for you and those you love.
Dear one, may you remember…
You are loved.
We belong to each other.
Let’s standTALL together and light up the world!
xo, -Sarah DT ❤️