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”

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”

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”

Global Village

This seed is from Taiga Gomes.


 

This is a space to get in contact with stories from people we don’t know. I believe that to listen respectfully and attentively is even more important than to talk. In order to really listen to the other, we have to be humble enough to recognize that it is impossible to be right about all our convictions and that it is possible to change our minds. Continue reading “Global Village”

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.