3 Acts to enCOURAGE

Sarah Davison-Tracy, Costa Rica | photo by jenniferdavidsoncreative.com
Sarah Davison-Tracy, post surf-sesh glow | Nosara, Costa Rica [Photo cred: J Renae Davidson]
Sistahs in Nepal
Sistahs in Nepal: Sarah DT + Sistah Junu | Tikapur, Nepal (1/11)

These are several pieces I have written over the past year and woven into what I’m calling 3 acts – sharing a glimpse of the deeper story of my journey this past season. You’ll notice a few rather consistent themes…they have brought be to LIFE with more compassionate purpose, courage and meaning than ever before! -xo, dear ones.

Act1 |A film short

I recently spoke to a group of women about my trip to Nepal in February and March of this year. As I went to bed the night of my talk, the evening flashed before my eyes, as if watching a film short.

Due to a technological glitch, the side-show I’d prepared as the backdrop of my talk didn’t work. I’d envisioned sharing the eyes and smiles, colorful clothes, food, dances, voices, geography of these Nepali sisters I’d come to love.

I saw the moment in which our last effort to display this visual story didn’t work. A light sweat had formed on my brow. My heart started to beat faster. I pulled out my notes and took a deep breath, smiled, and began to speak. I felt the fire ignite in me to simply and courageously voice this story.

Then, into this film short, a flicker of darkness. While speaking, I saw myself scanning, looking for input from the audience. Longing to see a glimmer of approval and I felt the butterflies in my stomach for fear of the opposite. This scene is not new. Indeed, it has been replayed many-a-time in my life.

And, no – seriously? There is a woman in the audience who has nodded off. Literally, she has fallen asleep. No, I’m not kidding. And, over in the corner – is that woman scowling? Is it something I said?

Then, in a flash, the judgmental and taunting voices come into my head.

I am not funny enough,

my voice is not strong enough,

I am not wise enough,

not intelligent enough.

‘What do you think you are doing here, anyway? Who do you think you are?’ There it is. There has been this undercurrent in my life,rigorous attempts toprovemyworthto the perceived onlookers of my life.

I’d be buoyed up with energy when successful,deflated when not. Into this awareness, this moment,comes a whisper. Beckoning me – here and now,to listen.

You belong. You have worth. You are loved.

I belong. I have worth. I am loved.

Not after I do one more thing,figure out another piece of my calling,am more successful.

But now.

The film short of this evening gently takes on a different texture and narrative. I am beckoned to shift my focus from darkness and low-lying clouds of shame, anxiety, judgmentto let in the light. love. BElong.

To cultivate the vibrant roots of an identity that is solid,that can withstand blazing sun, gale-force winds, bitter cold,the crazy stuff that knocks the wind out of mein moments like this,vulnerable and exposed in front of these women.

So, I say yes to this invitation, this gift,

that brings deep rest, deep exhale.

I inhabit this deep place of solitude, quiet, stillness,

of being.

Loved and Loving.

Can it be? That in this place of being beloved, I will meet the world. And, my callings will come. From Love.

As I return to the audience of women with whom I was sharing my story, my gaze changes.My scanning eyes relax, soften,less eager to seek and find approval. Instead, my energy is fueled with a hope and prayer thatthey will sense their own worth, belonging, and belovedness.

I invite them to connect with, see, value, respond to their own story,to the stories of each other andmaybe even these women halfway around the world, in Nepal.

Act 2 |Switchfoot

I fell in love with surfing just a few years ago, around my 40thbirthday. I mean, I loooooooooved it. I stumbled onto this beautiful gift while on a yoga retreat with the amazingDiane Sieg. I came home from my accidental surf trip telling family and friendsthat I didn’t remember loving something so thoroughlythat was so bad at. It’s hard. Really hard. Yet, in the water, in the moments between getting hit by wave sets, I felt peace, joy, bliss that took my breath away.

After one such surf sesh, I remember commenting to a friend“I wish I’d learned about surfing when I was younger.”Just a few minutes later, we heard 2 girls, each about 8talking about a “little kid” they’d just seen ripping it up in the waves. “He’s so lucky,” they said. “He got to start surfingwhen he was sooooooo much younger than us.” So, yeah, there’s that. I’m not 5 and I’m not 85.

OK, so back to this surfing moment. In surfing, this back leg, foot is what leads…it is the leg most dominant and strong. For me, it’s my right foot in the back. It’s what’s most comfortable, natural. It’s where the power originates. It’s the source of my aerials and riding those barrels (in my dreams, at least :}).

And this…[demo’ing switchfooot] This is called switchfoot.You float between your dominant, comfortable stance and literally switch your feet.I can’t do it [yet] on a surfboard.

There are times that I sense an invitation to switchfootas I surf through life. To change from what’s comfortable, easier, and “how I’ve always done it”…To what’s new, versatile, empowering, beckoning. Sounds great, right? But, it’s not easy. And, it’s certainly not natural.

I see many examples of this invitation in my life. I’ll share just one today around being and doing.When I am led, fueled, and dominated by doing,I have quickly found myself on a treadmill, a frenetic hamster wheel.

Little rest, pause.

Furrowed brow,

tight gut,

shortness of breath,

rapid movements.

Often running…

running late.

Up late.

Yet, with all of this working to the max –there has often been a sense that

I still am not enough.

There’s always more.

Try harder!

My experience has been that when doing is the source of who I am, is what I rely on to inform and shape my identity, myself, I wipe out. Hard. And, after I wipe out &come up sputtering, gasping for air,there have been moments in which I have sensed an invitation deep in my soul.

“There is another way,”I hear.

“You don’t have to try so hard.”

“Be still.”

“Breathe.”

“Relax and let go.”

A nudge to switchfoot. To be fueled less by doing and more by being. A while back, I began to say yes. It has been a-maz-ing. [More on that in a minute.]

OK, OK, you might wonder and challenge. We’re clear about doing, right?

But being? What does that mean?

Is it meditating, practicing yoga, becoming a monk or nun, napping a lot, living in a cave? C’mon, Sarah, be realistic.

I’d like to suggest we un-do our doing.

That we embrace, practice, claim things like

stillness, belonging, cherishedness within – not because of or after – the activity.

The switchfoot for me exists in this saying yes.

Saying yes to this deep invitation to be.

Be me.

Be at peace.

Be valuable, worthy.

Be long.

Be loved.

Apart from my doing.

Within my doing.

I have begun to take flight, to find more and more moments

of riding the wave of life with joy, freedom, peace, courage.

I have not done this alone. God, my kula | community, and daily rhythms & practices sustain and fuel my journey. They pick me up, encourage me to keep on goingafter a crazy wipe out. They hold up a mirror,cheerlead me when I’ve felt I’ve got nothin’ – or worse, that I am nothin’,are a safe place for me to live, move, have my being. With these treasured companions, I find that the striving and fear has diminished.

The fear some days that I am too much, other days not enough.It’s not gone – but I find I’m led less by fear and more by love. Ahhhhhhhhh.

Now, the doing is different.

I have a longing to do, serve, love –

these are part of my calling and destiny.

My passionate purpose comes to life in both the being and doing.

I’m fueled for life by these grounded, restoring, foundational ways of living.So, today, I practice switching my stance.And, within it all, listen for and saying yes to the invitations to

Be loved.

Be long.

Be valuable.

Be me.

Act 3 | {BE}loved

Do you hear it?

No?Then, Iwill whisper it.

You are loved.

Like, crazily, over-the-top-ly, fully.

NOW.

Loved. Celebrated. Cherished. Delighted in.

You are Loved.BE{loved}.

Take it in.

Inhale it.

Let it take root.Flourish.

The courtroom

– judgments and words of

“too much/not enough” …

“good/bad” …

“beautiful/ugly” –

It’s adjourned.

Over. Now. And tomorrow. And the next day.

And the ones after…to infinity.

Imagine the possibilities!

Oh, baby, the places you’ll go!

You are free to be you.

Come!

Take your place at the table in this feast of life!

You.

Belong.

Here.

***

Sarah Davison-Tracy is the founder of Seeds of Exchange {www.seedsofexchange.org}. She loves cultivating an organization that encourages usall to say YES to our unique and one-of-a-kind gifts to be and do. {She cannot wait to here more about YOUR story and passions in life…}

Sarah is committed to fostering flourishing lives and opposing systems of injustice. No one…not women, children, or their families should betrafficked, enslaved, silenced and abused.

May we make room in our hearts, in our lives, for ALL to feast andcelebrate together. Everyone BE{longs} at this table of life.

For much of my life, my heart has been quickened by the stories ofwomen and their families around the world, particularly those who are vulnerable andwithout freedom {yet}.

Capturing my heart right now is a community, a caste – called the“Badi” – in Nepal. Until this generation, Badi girls have 1 choice for work when theyare born: enforced prostitution – sexual slavery.

[The picture of 4 women with the caption "From left to right: Pabitra, Sarah, Ruth + Hanna | City Park, Denver" is of 3 of the Badi women with whom I'll be working.]

Some of these women have become my BE{loved} friends andpart of our Seedskula {community}. A growing number of Badi in this generation are free for the firsttime in many, many years. Free from sexual trafficking, slavery… free to be educated, to havedreams and hope for the future.

In May, she plans to return to Nepal to explore a project incollaboration with these friends to write their extraordinary story.

She is fueled for this amazing work by Love. Loving and being loved by God, her sistas and brothas near andfar.

Transforming the World from the Inside Out

Comments 5

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Tamara Kubacki
Mar 28, 2016
Mar 28, 2016

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for sharing your stories. Many of us understand that voice that tells us we aren't good enough--thanks for the reminder that we are. Your experiences show us how to move beyond those voices to do real good in the world. I hope the community you are working with will find their voice, too, to understand the good they already bring to the world and to their families and friends.You are right that everyone belongs at this table of life. I appreciate the efforts you are making to bring everyone to the table.

Sincerely,

Tamara

Smeeta Hirani
Mar 29, 2016
Mar 29, 2016

Hi Sarah,

Such a great reminder to tame the inner critic that seems to take a life of its own some times. 

Thank you for your contribution!

Smeeta

sarah-seedsofexchange.org
Apr 05, 2016
Apr 05, 2016

Dear Smeeta, thank YOU so much for your response. Whew - that inner critic can be pretty pesky + intense!  But, with a kula like ours, we can be stronger! :)

sarah-seedsofexchange.org
Apr 05, 2016
Apr 05, 2016

Hello there, sistah Tamara! :)  What a JOY to connect with you this day + hear your insights.  Thank you for your enCOURAGEment ... it is a gift. :)  We need each other, aye? :)  Have a beautyFULL day, my friend!

Apr 05, 2016
Apr 05, 2016
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