Our first seed

This seed is from Katja and Taiga


 

Life is a series of interwoven stories, not a set of concepts.

Storytelling, one of the oldest gifts of humankind, exists in every part of the world, in every culture and every religion. Stories were told in front of campfires, during war between battles or bombs to distract the fearful mind, at bedtime to make children fall asleep. A story, with its array of meanings and richness of details, is much closer to real life than abstract theories.

This is our real life story, how our little seed for Sharing Seeds was created and planted:

On our way to a retreat in Chiba, Japan, we started to talk about all the information we come across everyday, and how they are mostly negative. From this fruitful conversation between two dear friends, emerged the first seed of this project: the idea to create a communication platform for everyone in the world to share their stories.

We will call the contributions seeds, because any kind of story can become a seed of inspiration, peace, knowledge, comforting. We welcome here seeds of any form and from any origin, as long as they have the potential to contribute to a virtuous circle. From this website and other social medias, our goal is to gather, connect and spread multicultural ways of looking at this confusing and complex reality around us, always from a positive perspective. A story, a picture, a video, a poem… If you think your message can be a seed, you just have to send it to one of these two e-mails:

katja@sharingseeds.co

taiga@sharingseeds.co

This is a non-profit initiative. We are donating our time to moderate and publish seeds and try to build a virtual place where people will know they can always find something soothing, uplifting, good.

My girls

My girlfriends. My life’s path is punctuated by them, they guide me, inspire me, give me strength, push me forward. Through childhood and adolescence, I was shy and lonely. I had few friends. But those friends were responsible for my happy memories from this complicated life period. Maria Paula, Mônica, Eduarda, Maria Eugênia, Fernanda, Luciana, Aline. Long talks, sharing, conflicts, immature dramas. Fernanda has been, for almost 30 years, the sister I didn’t have. I don’t know if there are other lives, but if they exist, we’ve been together in all of them.

The school years, so hard for me, gave space to freedom and the first contact with texts and teachings that began to make some sense. In the end of College, Adriana joined me in an unforgettable trip, a transition from the freedom of youth to the uncertain and scary beginning of adult life.

First job, a group of young journalists full of ideas and energy. Cristina, Aninha, Teresa, Giane and so many others helped me stumbled across that world that was so new, and from where I left soon after realizing that it was not my world. Marriage and kids brought me Tiane, Viviane and Ana. The first became family, baptized my son and gave me hers to baptize. She understands me better than I do. She knows what I’m feeling before I’m able to see it. Viviane is confident, an example of strong woman who believes in her coherent and beautiful ideal. Ana, strong, generous friend for me and so many others, has always energy to help, inspire, understand.

I left my first job to try to find out what I wanted to do with my life. I went back to the university. During my Master’s degree, Larissa, Érica and Ana Lúcia shared with me the same teacher, and theories, questions, readings and learnings. Because of my daughter, who now begins to make her first friendships, I met Carla and Tati. Carla teaches me so much about education, Tati is the mother of Isabel’s first best friend and also became my friend.

After years studying and raising my kids, always supported by many of these women above, a new job brought me another Carla, one more Fernanda, two Julianas, Irene, other Anas. Friendships interrupted by my moving to Japan. And then, I was alone, no friends.

In the emptiness, I realized the immense space that my girlfriends occupy in my life. For a woman, friends are the rudder that controls the boat we steer through the sea that is so unpredictable. How could I go on without the talks and lunches with Vivi? How could I go on without Fernanda’s hugs and complicity? Or without the weekends with Tiane and my extended friend-family?

In the beginning of my journey in this different country, one more Ana appears. So generous, sweet, the first friendship I had in Japan. And inside the silence of this new life, I finally found out what is my passion. My passion is writing. And I begin to publish in my blog, and I get strength from, of course, more girls. Reader friends. Cristina, Tamara, Eduarda (the same of my childhood), Lúcia. Compliments full of love and incentive. Because of them, I keep on writing.

Today, I have beautiful friends because of Japan. Anna Cláudia, with whom I shared so many of my life stories. Our long talks were worth more than any therapy. Estela, Alessandra and Donatella, who dive with me in this country that is so fascinating and who help me learn looking outside and inside. Katja, full of light, who conquered my heart so fast. She introduced me to Micaela, Sarah and Kirsten, partners in exchanges that are much more mature than the ones in the past – now about marriage, sons and daughters, the many uncertainties and delights of the expat life. They are from Austria, Argentina, Italy and Germany. That is the proof that friendship between women is not related to culture, roots or identity. It is about womanhood. We women have an immense space in our hearts to accommodate the girls that come up during our path in life. And I am not complete without them.

Our Relationship with our Earth

Stephanie Fukui, originally from Chicago, has lived in Japan for 30 years. After losing a stillborn daughter, she founded the SIDS Family Association Japan www.sids.gr.jp in 1992. While supporting bereaved families, she and her Japanese husband raised two sons, their finest accomplishments. Stephanie now teaches yoga as a certified Iyengar Yoga instructor www.newlifeyoga.org.


Many years ago a wild Japanese macaque came to our central Tokyo neighborhood to live (really). He was quite destructive to the trees in our garden and would splash around in our little pond outside the den window. My husband was enraged. He said “It is my pond and I have to show him its mine!” He fought the monkey off with a ski pole on more than one occasion.

Continue reading “Our Relationship with our Earth”

No going back – On Listening and Not Listening to your Inner Voice

This seed is from Leza Lowitz.

Leza Lowitz is an accidental global citizen–bicultural mother, modern yogini, and multi-genre, award-winning author of twenty books. This post is adapted from her memoir about her journey of adapting and adopting in Japan, a quest for motherhood that stretched across two continents, two decades and two thousand yoga poses: Here Comes the Sun: A Journey to Adoption in 8 Chakras.

Her Young Adult novel in verse about Japan’s March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Up from the Sea, was just published by Crown Books for Young Readers/Penguin Random House. Her book Yoga Poems: Lines to Unfold By is an amazon best-seller, over a decade after publication.

 Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Yoga Journal, Yoga International, Wanderlust.com, Elephant Journal, The Manifest-Station, Shambhala Sun, Best Buddhist Writing, the Huffington Post, and the Japan Times.  Lowitz lives in Tokyo where she runs the Sun and Moon yoga studio, tends her century-old garden and cares for her young son, husband, and two half-wild wolf dogs. Please visit her at www.lezalowitz.com and www.sunandmoon.jp.


 

I never thought I’d open my own yoga studio, let alone one in a foreign country. Years ago, while I was meditating at a yoga retreat in Haiku, Hawaii, a voice had said, “You must move to Japan and open a yoga studio in Tokyo.” Was it my inner voice? The voice of island’s Goddess Pele? It didn’t matter. I didn’t listen. Continue reading “No going back – On Listening and Not Listening to your Inner Voice”

Silent day

This seed is from Taiga Gomes.


 

One full day without electricity or fire, no work, no fun, and no permission to leave home. For 24 hours, only emergency vehicles are allowed on the streets. When the night comes, not even one candle can be lighted, it’s total darkness.

Sounds unbearable? For the Balinese, it’s a cleaning process. I would call it an emotional detox. Continue reading “Silent day”

A Haiku Seed

This seed is from Simone K. Busch

Simone is from Germany and lives currently in Tokyo with her family. She loves to write Haiku poems and is a very talented photographer. If you like to read more haikus from her, please check out her haiku blog: simonekbusch.blogspot.jp


Some years ago, a book full of haiku in English found its way into my hands in a bookshop in Monterey, California. I was deeply impressed by the truth lying in these tiny poems and as a writer and teacher for Creative Writing I had to try to write them by myself. Haiku were born in Japan but are written all over the world today in many different languages and styles. Authors exchange via internet and publish their work in journals, e-zines, competitions or elsewhere. Compared with poetry in western tradition haiku don’t tell, rather they just show what the author experienced and leave space to be filled with the reader’s own thoughts and emotions. So haiku can be seen as a seed which hopefully blossoms with the reader.


Give your seed a voice: you can have your story published and shared. This is who we are and how you can be a part of this virtual platform: Sharing Seeds

 

Feast on your Life

This seed is from Rashmi Aggarwala Zimburg, who lives currently in Tokyo. Rashmi is a global citizen, mother of two daughters and passionate about food. She has lived many different lives with careers in Finance, Cross Cultural Training and now as a Life Coach.


 

This poem is one of my most favorite. I reach out and read it over and over when life and I find ourselves in the doldrums.

A time will come when with elation you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door in your own mirror and each will smile at the others

welcome and say, sit here, Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was yourself.

Give wine.

Give bread.

Give back your heart to yourself, to the stranger who has loved you all

your life, who you have ignored for another. Take down the love letters

from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the

mirror.

Sit.

Feast on your life.                   (Derek Wolcott)

 

So, loving oneself and feeling compassion for oneself, is a ritual that we all forget! Sometimes, words of a poem like this, or a wonderful yoga practice or a meditation may help us remember.

Every time, I have moved to a different country, feeling alone has been the gift that allows me to spend the time to stop and look again. To access the tools of coping that I hold within me. And then miraculously all that is in chaos around me falls into place. The resources appear, the solutions are visible and life continues.


Give your seed a voice: you can have your story published and shared. This is who we are and how you can be a part of this virtual platform: Sharing Seeds

I only know that I’m doing my part

This seed is from José Júnior, a social entrepreneur from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Translated from Portuguese by Taiga Gomes. The featured image is from J.R. Duran.


From one favela to the world

In 1993, I created AfroReggae, inspired by the initiative of a group of friends who promoted Reggae parties in Rio de Janeiro. The great success of the events launched the creation of AfroReggae News – an informative newspaper that promoted the black culture and the favela’s way of life. It was the beginning of AfroReggae Cultural Group. Continue reading “I only know that I’m doing my part”

Increased Awareness

 

This seed is from Katja Otter


 

We humans think our way of communicating is unique, but the more we study other species, we realize they are communicating on a deeper level than we know. There is a theory about the “Hundredth Monkey Effect”, based on a study of monkeys conducted in the 1950s by Japanese scientists on Koshima Island. Continue reading “Increased Awareness”