FIRST OFF, CAN I GET A WOOT-WOOT FOR THE POWER OF COMMUNITY, COMING TOGETHER TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE? WE DID IT!! In these two videos, Anjali Tamang and Sarah Symons share their gratitude for the $4,242 that was generously donated by many in our Seeds of Exchange community in March in support of the school Anjali is building in her village in Nepal to prevent trafficking, reduce child marriage, raise awareness among her people, and offer a bright future for the next generation.
Learn more about Anjali, Sarah, and many other friends’ passionate work to make a difference ’round the world here. (THANK YOU, once again, to all who joined us in this endeavor!)
And yet, even as we celebrate, there is much to lament in our world today. As we make our way, together, I’d like to share an excerpt from an article with you that I read a few weeks ago that is about lamenting the Atlanta shootings. Here’s the thing: It has not stopped coming to mind to share with you, so I didn’t want to waste another moment. This article excerpt is followed by a PoP (Place of Pause) with a focus on “Purpose in Pain” that I hope will give you a place to BE STILL and to tend to whatever is capturing your attention.
I would love to hear your thoughts – your heart’s response – to any and all of it. I hope these words give voice to, invite you into, and inspire and inform your own story.
Lamenting the Atlanta shootings
In it, Kim shares a spoken word piece written by a colleague of hers. I’ve returned to it over and over again and I have a hunch and a hope that it will speak to you, too. When her story moves to sharing her colleague’s soul poetry, might you read that piece slowly and allow whatever is meant for you to rise up and speak to you?
*AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander)
“Late on the night of March 16, my boss texted asking if I’d seen the news about the shootings in Atlanta. I started reading, my distress deepening as the media updated from four victims to eight, from unknown people to seven women—six of whom were Asian, including four Koreans. These victims look like me, I thought as I sat alone in my kitchen…in my moment of personal grief a former colleague [Chris Muller-Tabanera] emails me saying, ‘I wrote a thing‘:
We lament the shooting deaths on March 16.
We cry out from Atlanta to Asia, from the parlor to the province.
The temptation to flee is fierce, but we pause as a protest and hold fast in this moment of incredible pain.
Grasping for breath through a river of tears.
Searching for words through a clouded mind.
Bearing the weight of many faces crowding our hearts.
Longing for home. Longing for a home.
Yet we choose the discomfort of slowing down, to name, to touch, and to comb the depths of our sadness, anger, and fear.
Anguish for the violent theft of innocent Asian lives.
Anger towards everyone and everything all at once.
Fear of being targeted.
Fearing men armed with ignorance and a gun.
Because of the size of our eyes, the color of our skin, and the shape of our bodies.
Are we not human? Do you not see us? What else must we suffer? How long must we endure?
Lives too often invisible, only to be seen in death.
Deliver us from this madness!
We mourn the March 16 murders. We say their names…
Hyun Jung Grant
Soon Chung Park
Yong Ae Yue
Delaina Ashley Yaun
Paul Andre Michels
We lament as a diverse Asian community, but as a people, with our people, and for our people. We remember and honor all those whom without we are not; our grandmas and aunties, our lolas and gomos. We stand in your power and beauty.
We also confess feeling numb to it all. Forgive us, that even with the shocking murders on March 16, as Asians in America, we are not surprised.
We mourn countless memories of being mocked, minimized, and misunderstood.
When we’ve been valued for our strong minds, but asked to leave our culture at the door.
When we’re noticed for our physical features, but our rich traditions are ignored.
We condemn the legacy of unjust policies and systems that shame us, defame us, and re-name us.
As the backdrop of the massage parlor deaths exposes an illicit industry, built on the bedrock of racism and patriarchy, we scream to dismantle all the economies that exploit and profit off of our Asian bodies. If not now, then when?
Are we not human? Do you not see? What else? How long?
Oh, deliver us, now.
We grieve together with our allies; we see you. We thank you all for choosing to be with us, to step into our pain, and stand in solidarity. But we also ask for space.
To the AAPI community, may we boldly hold the space.
As we rush to work, to organize and lead, let us not rush at the expense of our souls.
Even in pain, may we yield no more ground to the ones who rush to ignore us, silence us, or eliminate us.
May this tragedy never be forgotten. And may our moment to mourn not be missed.
READ more of Elizabeth Kim’s story…
“In this ongoing series we reflect on the spiritual truths and principles that undergird the fight for racial justice, the Spirit that animates the fight and the spiritual practices that will sustain us in this very human struggle.” –Transforming Center
A PoP on Purpose in Pain
Today’s exploration is about looking for and finding purpose in pain. As I said a moment ago, there is a lot of pain and much to lament in our world today. It is not easy. It takes courage. But let’s look and make our way together today. ❤️
Let’s first take a moment to BE STILL,
to cultivate peace and calm amidst the storm.
Inhale peace, quiet, rest.
Exhale all that burdens and encumbers. Smile gently and softly.
Your only thing to do here
Next, we’ll look at the story of an incredibly inspiring soul sistah, Christina Noble – founder of the Christina Noble Foundation – whose comPASSIONate commitment has made life better for nearly a million children in Vietnam and Mongolia.
But, before her story today of extraordinary impact, she navigated many years of excessive struggle. It was brutal and her heart was broken. More than once. She found that her dreams, destiny, and joy were nestled right alongside her personal pain and struggle. (As, I believe, are yours.)
A nudge. Take one step towards a current or old dream. This dream may BE one you had, literally while you were asleep, or be one that has been in you for a long time. Trust that it may provide some clues to your destiny, your purpose on the planet. Do one thing today to cultivate a connection to this dream. Do one thing to add fuel to the flame of your story. Bonus nudge: Watch the movie, Noble (the preview is below, too), about Christina’s life. Pay attention to what captures your attention.
Given the state of our world – the Corona virus pandemic, school and work closures, challenges to global markets and personal paychecks – we must take a few moments to BE still and to pause. These days, more than ever, there has been much clamoring for our attention 24-7 with LOUD, FEAR-based, PANIC-inducing messages – but let’s practice peace, together, amidst these stormy days. I share these PoPs so you can FILL UP with peace and navigate this wild and crazy season with strength and courage.
Dear one, remember…
You are loved.
We belong to each other.
Let’s standTALL together and light up the world!
xo, -Sarah DT ❤️
P.S. Thank you for all of your support of our family during in this season of life – it’s been a stormy one, at times, but my gracious! … We have felt such great love and companionship in YOU, our treasured friends and family. Thank you, with all my heart. I’ll soon share an update about our beloved Nana’s service that was on Tuesday this week and about Brandon’s vision. My heart and prayers are with you, too, this day.