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A Note from Dana:
Entering a new year, bringing inspiration, hope, and light is usually my jam; I have and will continue to do so. However, these first two weeks have created a new lens to bring 2021 into sharp focus. ‘21 told us immediately that we cannot and must not go back to sleep. Just because we survived 2020, a change in the calendar won’t shift the reality in which we live.
We, as humans, tend to have limited tolerance and short memory when we don’t want to deal with a seemingly endless, difficult situation. The most common responses are, “I’m over it, I’m checking out, it’s too much, I need to turn off the news and focus on me….” You know and I know because we all do it; overwhelm & burnout are real. Yet, this is not going away friends; covid, racism, and inequality are up close and personal, while continuing to gain momentum.
When the Tests Come
This past week we have been tested once again. We have seen the best and the worst of what is the culmination of who we have become as a nation.
On January 5, Stacy Abrahms' unifying leadership, powerfully and skillfully, led Georgia voters safely to the polls in record numbers for the Senate runoff election to have their voices heard. At the same time, our nation lost its soul, for the world to witness, on January 6 at our nation’s Capitol. People suffered bodily harm and personal trauma protecting our nation, while others created chaos, fear, and division. We cannot take credit only for the good; we must accept responsibility for the whole.
Though we cannot fix it all individually or even as a committed community, we can and we do take small steps each day to make our world more fair, just, and peaceful.
A Story of Courage
Let me share with you a relevant story in the news about a man named Jamie Raskin. Jamie is an American lawyer and politician who has represented Maryland's 8th congressional district since 2017. His 25 year old son, Tommy Raskin, died by suicide on New Year’s Eve, was buried on January 5, and yet Jamie still he went to work on January 6 with his youngest daughter, Tabitha, who urged her dad not to go.
Jamie Raskin had every reason to stay home yet he said to this daughter, “This is an essential constitutional moment.”
Luckily they survived the rampage on our nation’s Capitol, Jamie did his duty on the house floor, and then immediately set to work preparing articles of impeachment against the president of the United States.
All of that in one week, all the while ‘running on fumes & living off skittles & Cheez-It’s’ to uphold his duty to defend our democracy and honor the life of his son. (Read the full article in the Atlantic:
Jamie Raskin Lost His Son. Then He Fled a Mob.)
Also, I encourage you to read about the life of Jamie & Sarah Raskin’s son Tommy. It’s a beautifully, tragic piece featuring their precious son and the lessons his life has taught them.
Statement of Congressman Jamie Raskin and Sarah Bloom Raskin on the Remarkable Life of Tommy Raskin
You Are Not Alone
I know this story and topic may bring up a lot. If you want to connect, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Always glad to hear from you. Help is always available and we care about our Embody tribe. Another resources is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK). Feel free to share this number and resource widely. To learn more about how the lifeline works, you can also find more information here: Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Tommy and Jamie’s stories are almost too much to hear let alone withstand, yet they can offer us all hope. Their lives and stories serve as inspiration, illuminating the resiliency of the human spirit! We can do hard things. We can overcome insurmountable odds. Though we all have different narratives that define our days, essentially we are more alike than different. Jamie did and continues to do what needs to be done; so can we. Come back to the well again and again. Chop wood, carry water. Fall off the bike; dust yourself off & get back up.
How We Move On from Here
It is our duty not only as citizens of a great nation but as humans on this planet, to anchor firmly in our values. Together we can steward our earth, uphold our democracy, and be an example to our children that as American citizens we are more united than divided; we are the ones who work to make it so.
Let’s all breathe, anchor and gain perspective. Self- care is critical, yet it is only part of what we can and should do at this time. All of us are called to be part of the solution of healing our nation, for we are all tied to what happened in America on January 6. If Jamie Raskin can pull himself out of the unthinkable and act for the betterment of our country, I know each of us in our own way can too. My heart is full of grief and gratitude for Congressman Raskin and his family. My heart is full of grief and gratitude for our nation and world. My heart is guided by hope knowing as a community we continue to do our sacred duty each and every day to heal our hurting hearts & broken world, knitting the pieces back together with compassion, love and peace.
May it be so,
Dana Christian Lee
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New Year Kick Off
Wednesday, January 13, 2020
3:30pm PT | 6:30pm ET
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“The EmbodyGR community embraces and supports, says ‘yes you can’ when the noisy inner voice says, ‘no you can’t’ – Kari Wilson, Community Member