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About becoming a bridge builder

"Our grief, our outrage, our fear arises from the depth of our caring and the truth of our interconnectedness with all beings”

Joana Macy

In a forever process of becoming the Self I came to be. a Brigde Builder, believing that interconnectedness is the only way forward.

It was my last day in Baja California, Mexico, before coming home. My last sunset over the Ocean, after spending 31 days at sea sailing with 11 students, 4 co-instructors, and all the More-than-Humans around us. A public beach, me with my headphones, some amazing Latin music, and suddenly, I was dancing. To the Sun, to the Ocean, to the Seagulls, to myself… as if I was alone with the Elements, no other humans around. I was dancing, laughing, loving, and at times, crying… all at once!

The next day, I came across a quote on a book:

"[pleasure] is that place in our hearts where we are grateful for all that we’re receiving and, for a moment, want nothing more”.

Toko’pa Turner (on Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home)

And it all made sense! That was exactly the place I was at, while witnessing the sunset the day before. I was - I AM! - grateful to all that I received and, for that moment, I wanted nothing more!

It was quite a journey to get to the point of feeling this grace, to have experienced it, and to be okay with letting it go, no attachments. In a way, I know my journey began the day I was born and won’t be over until I leave this body. But I guess it would be a very long story to tell in just one writing. So, how about you just follow me back to 2020?

I was living in the United States, working for Outward Bound, as a Wilderness Educator, when the pandemic hit. I was suddenly faced with the decision of staying or making my way back to Brazil, where my roots are. As hard as it was to leave the life I had built to myself, I chose to come back. It was soulbreaking! I couldn’t find my footing for quite a while. In the midst of feeling lost, I joined a group of female friends to read “Women Who Run with the Wolves”, by Clarissa Pinkolas Estés, and meet weekly to discuss it.

reading Clarissa Pinkolas Estés’ book in São Sebastião, Brazil - photo credit: Juliana Pereira

As we read and met, I’ve navigated pain, shadows, wounds, and losses. It was only when we got to Chapter 10 that I started feeling some healing happening:

“To lose direction is to lose energy. The absolutely misguided attempt when we lose direction is to run to fix everything again. To run is what we shouldn’t do… to sit and rock is what we should do. Patience, peace and rocking renew ideas. Just the act of entertaining an idea and the patience to rock it are what some women might call great pleasure”.

So, I waited. I finally made peace with being back to Brazil, while sitting in patience, waiting for which that was yet to unfold. And that’s when I got the news I will be part of another wonderful and powerful women’s circle: Be the Earth’s Aura Fellowship!

sculpture on sand during an Aura Monthly Gathering, April/2021, in São Sebastião, Brazil - photo credit: Fabi Pereira

Being part of a community of courageous women willing to be vulnerable brought me back to myself, helped me on redirecting my journey, and gave me strength to investigate that which finally started to unfold. Our monthly gatherings, our personal interactions, my midwife Eve Annecke and my three mentors - Sue Davidoff, Marlene Zehnter and Bruna Maia - brought magic back into my life.

students, co-instructors and I during our sailing expedition in Baja California, Mexico, January/2022 - photo credit: Eliza Webb

Magic is the act of behaving as if the thing we are becoming is guaranteed, speaking and moving as if it carries that secret in each step. Choice, and the lucidity to make choices, is where the real magic lives. As I choose to embrace my own medicine as a BridgeBuilder, (re)connecting the Human and the More-than-Human worlds, I walk with it and share it wherever I go, with all the doubts, fear, and beauty that walking my own journey entangles. And as I do so, friends remind me, simply by bearing witness, that I have become something new and, with the corroborative power of gathering in ceremony, I can never wholly un-become it.

Fabi Pereira is a wilderness educator, trauma counsellor, a listener, and most of all a Latin woman, with Italian roots, that found her way back home to the More-than-Humans all around.


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