I share a story today about Dinithi, a little girl who lives halfway around the world from those of us in the United States – and to whom many of you reached out, with jaw-dropping love, in late 2019. I also want to invite you – and all of us, together – to pause and send a blessing to someone far away from you – whether it’s a person you know well, one you’ve heard about in the news, or our little sister in Sri Lanka. I believe, with everything in me, that as we practice, together, this way of being compassionately attentive and reaching towards those in distant lands, it expands our vision for how we can live united and love one another in tangible ways that feel good and make a difference.
April 21, 2019 | Sri Lanka
A bit over a year ago, many in our Seeds of Exchange community partnered with some change-making friends of mine in Sri Lanka who were serving those impacted by the “Easter Bombing”. You may remember that on April 21, 2019, three churches and three hotels were targeted in a series of bombings in Sri Lanka. Our project aimed to help rebuild lives by showering love – through education and community – on many who had lost what was most dear to them: family, friends, homes, and an everyday sense of security and hope. We reached out “with love towards our kin” (translated “parapurata premayen” in Sinhalese, the primary language spoken in Sri Lanka), and in a mighty flood of generosity, $4,000 was given.
With these funds, we began our scholarship and support of Dinithi in 2019 (then, in grade 4), whose father passed away in the Easter Bombing attacks in Sri Lanka. (Read more about our partnership with Educate Lanka in Sri Lanka or watch my conversation with Educate Lanka’s impassioned founder.)
Like so many millions in the world, Dinithi’s young life has been greatly impacted by COVID and she colored this picture, just for us, to share a bit of her story. What she conveys here sensitively and powerfully express the hardships that so many people are experiencing right now.
Her drawing has become a simple and beautiful reminder to me of our shared humanity and kindredness around the globe. As you look at this picture, might you send a blessing of love and hope, a prayer, or a wish for well-being with Dinithi, and anyone else in need, who is capturing your heart’s attention today?
Place of Pause
Our Place of Pause (PoP) is an important one for today for those who are struggling or companioning those who are in a rough season of life. Being human can be hard. Bugger moments of heartbreak arise in and around you all the time.
Maybe life has been clipping along at a satisfactory—or spectacular—rate, but you are aware of pain in the life of someone you love or in the lives of those in far-off places. Or perhaps it’s been a really tough week, month, and year for you … a too-long-stretch of hard days filled with confusion and overwhelm. The everyday human strains of health, finances, relationships, or work may have fallen heavy and hard in your lap.
Here, right here, relax.
Let go and trust that wherever you find yourself
-right here, right now-
Is just the right place.
At this very moment, there are treasures to be found in the dirt,
in the hidden, in the deep, dark crevices,
in the real bits and pieces in and around you.
Don’t give up.
Don’t go it alone.
I’m sending an ocean of love to you, right here, right now.
May you receive just what you most need as you BE and breathe in this moment.
Take a moment to PONDER + imagine:
Whatever is burdening you, imagine tucking the biggies into a backpack. Is it heavy? (Whew—mine sure can be, too!)
Imagine, for a moment, that you take off that heavy backpack and set it aside. Yes, yes—there may be things in it you’ll need to tend to later. But for now, can you, one strap at a time, take it off, and put it down?
And – now consider ENGAGING or committing with inspired action. A nudge. Set up a text thread, a regular video call, or conference call to check in and promise to keep it raw and real with a soul friend or two. Use the power of technology to connect real time throughout the amazing and hard days of life.
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. There is much clamoring for our attention 24-7 with LOUD, FEAR-based, PANIC-inducing messages. Not only are we better, together, but dare I say that our lives depend on it now more than ever?
As a FRAMEWORK for these PoPs, I’m using my book, Soulfully Ablaze: A 40-Day Journey to Light Up Your Life (And the World). For a guided Place of Pause (PoP), check out this PDF reading (about “When Life is Hard”) or video series (all are free) of 10-minute PoPs. Also, check out the books Soulfully Ablaze and Live Ablaze.
I share these PoPs so you can FILL UP with peace and navigate this wild and crazy season with strength and courage. 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.
OK, my dear friend – will leave it here, for now. As you journey deeper into this new-ish year, my heart and prayers are with you.
You are loved.
We belong to each other.
Let’s standTALL together and light up the world!
xo, -Sarah DT ❤️