Thursday, 22 December 2016

Amizade, David Whyte

Tradução livre de um texto belíssimo sobre a amizade. Texto original aqui, por David Whyte.
"A amizade é um espelho para a presença e um testamento ao perdão. A amizade ajuda-nos a vermo-nos através dos olhos do outro, e só pode sustentar-se ao longo dos anos com alguém que repetidamente consegue perdoar as nossas transgressões, e temos de encontrar em nós a capacidade de perdoar também. Um amigo conhece as nossas dificuldades e sombras e mantém-se ‘a vista, companheiro das nossas vulnerabilidades mais do que dos nossos triunfos, quando estamos sob a estranha ilusão de que não precisamos dele. A força de uma amizade verdadeira é uma bênção precisamente porque a sua forma elementar é descoberta e redescoberta através da compreensão e compaixão. Todas as amizades, de qualquer duração, baseiam-se no perdão contínuo e mútuo. Sem tolerância e compaixão todas as amizades morrem...
A amizade é o grande transmutador de qualquer relação: pode transformar um casamento problemático, tornar respeitável uma rivalidade profissional, fazer sentido de um desgosto amoroso não correspondido e tornar-se lugar fértil para uma relação mãe-filho madura.
A dinâmica da amizade é quase sempre subestimada enquanto força constante na vida humana: um círculo de amigos que permanente diminui é o primeiro terrível diagnóstico de uma vida problemática: demasiado trabalho, demasiado ênfase numa identidade profissional, esquecer quem estará do nosso lado quando as nossas personalidades blindadas vieram de encontro aos desastres naturais e ‘as vulnerabilidades encontradas mesmo na mais mediana existência...
A amizade transcende o desaparecimento: uma amizade duradoura continua para além da morte, a troca apenas transmutada pela ausência, a relação avançando e maturando num silencioso diálogo interno mesmo quando metade da ligação desaparece.
Mas independentemente das virtudes medicinais de se ser um verdadeiro amigo, ou de se sustentar uma longa relação próxima com outra pessoa, a derradeira pedra-de-toque da amizade não é o aperfeiçoamento, nem do próprio nem do outro, a derradeira pedra-de-toque é testemunhar e ser testemunhado, o privilegio de se ter sido visto por alguém e o privilegio de se ter podido ver a essência do outro, de ter caminhado com eles e acreditado neles, e ‘as vezes simplesmente tê-los acompanhado, por pouco tempo que tenha sido, numa jornada impossível de se cumprir sozinho."

Friday, 28 October 2016

You can be a leader

Thoughts of the day:
1 - Everyone can be a leader. What is your vision for a better world/workplace/etc?
2 - As a leader you will fail. Remember to not take yourself too seriously and that what failed was the idea, the tool, the activity. Not you! 
3 - Learn from the failures. Now you know one thing that does not work. 

This is following a course I did with Seth Godin on Udemy, which I highly recommend.

Pensamentos do dia:
1 - Todos podemos ser líderes. Qual é a tua visão para um mundo melhor? Um local de trabalho melhor? Etc.
2 - Enquanto líder, tu vais falhar. Lembra-te que não foste tu que falhaste. Foi a ideia, a ferramenta, a actividade. Não tu!
3 - Aprende de cada vez que falhes. Agora sabes o que não funciona.
Isto vem na sequência de um curso online que fiz com o Seth Godin na Udemy e que recomendo vivamente.
#lideranca #sethgodin

Saturday, 17 September 2016

How to solve the equation: Wedding planning = 0% stress + 100% fun









Ask why all the time! As soon as you say the word ‘wedding’, prices quadruple, and the world seems to surround you with things you can buy and pay for that would ‘be just perfect’, when in fact you had never even thought of them  and have zero interest in them. Save the dosh and do it your way! Examples of stuff that people tried to sell us:
  • Red carpet!
  • Sound system for the beach ceremony. We almost bought into this because the company were adamant that we wouldn't be able to hear each other during the ceremony. Luckily we went down to the beach and experimented with sound, which made us realise it would all be audible (Thanks priests Jorge & Ryan!). Had we gone with the idea, we would have ended up sounding like a dodgy church!
  • Portuguese beaches have concessionaires who are responsible for the little cafés and life guards on the beach. It's only natural that they see you wanting to get married on the beach and try to get you to pay for a private spot on a public beach. This is fine if you want ‘your’ area to be sealed off and safe from passers by. However, we love the idea that beaches are free and open to everyone and so did not want to create artificial barriers. This was fabulous on the day, as our group became surrounded by strangers who smiled and shouted words of love and encouragement.
Don't be a control freak. Take it easy! It is your wedding day and that has a different meaning to every person; for me and D it was all about throwing a party to celebrate love and show our gratitude towards our family and friends. As a result, we had nothing to worry about!

Do what you want to do and do it yourself (if that's what you want to do). Here are some things we did ourselves:
  • Gifts - I learned the basics of sewing with long distance help from my friend Jona and decided to create little sachets filled with lavender from my grandparents’ garden. This was a way of giving it a personal touch and including my grandparents and their marvellous garden more.

  • Choreography - In our case, we wanted to surprise our guests with a silly fun dance choreography. So we got in touch with a dance school Fujairah School of Arts and designed a choreography with a couple of awesome teachers (Thanks Danny & Andrea!), using a compilation we made (Thanks for mixing, Pedro!).

  • Photography - We looked at no budgets… instead we had 50 honorary photographers for the day! All our guests took photos, and put them onto a Dropbox folder. As a result, we got the most incredible photos, because personal touches and artistic inspirations were all there. D and I then sat down and selected some photos, which D patiently put into an online album. We got it printed out and voila, we have a stunning photo album of our wedding (currently travelling with friends so they can see). As a thank you, we printed out a few photos of each guest and sent them their way, with a thank you note. We did this while on honeymoon - Great to think back to the day!
  • Decorations - My mum is a crochet ninja (Obrigada, mommy!) and created the most amazing bits and pieces for the wedding, as you can see in the photos (bouquet, table pieces, sandals, gloves, flowers and string for sachets). My friend Nela also created something very special: a few boxes for people to write in (Where they see us in a year`s sime, where they see us in 10 years' time, and advice). The seating plan was also homemade - I used an IKEA blackboard and because we love food, each table was a flavour.

  • Vows - Write your own wedding vows and share them with a friend you both trust, if you want the vows to be a surprise to your partner (Thanks Ryan!). Don’t be afraid to dig deep inside you. Again, remember it is your chance to tell your world why you want to marry this person and also to thank them for being in your life.
  • Games - Definitely the best way to get shy people to interact! We supported the Portuguese charity Operacao Nariz Vermelho, who dress up as clown nurses and doctors and cheer up children in hospitals. We did this by buying their clown noses and inserting a bilingual 'find the person who...'. People got to know each other better and had fun!

It might seem contradictory after I told you to DIY, nevertheless you must delegate! Delegating still give you more time to enjoy and you'll be surprised how happy you'll make close friends and family by giving them important roles. A random example of delegation without even delegating was my best women's dresses. They decided what to wear together and surprised us too. Zu & Raquel Tree Rock!

My favourite example of delegation at our wedding, was the cake making. We visited Sandie & Luis about a year before the wedding, and Sandie offered to make the cake. We couldn't believe it, but she insisted and ask what we would like. A surprise, we both said! And what a surprise it was. The most beautiful and delicious cake ever to be seen and eaten at a wedding. Thank you Sandie for baking and Luis for all the sous chef hard work!

Ignore most of the advice you get. Just like with having babies, people think that because they’ve been there, they know exactly what needs to happen, and they are sometimes even right, but if you genuinely want something else you need to do it your way. This is your chance to get it all your way. How sweet is that?
I remember having this obsession with Lenços dos namorados, a Portuguese tradition of embroidery. I had a feeling it might not quite suit my dress, but deep down inside I still wanted to have them on my dress. In fact I wanted it so badly that the feeling overflowed, so I was obviously saddened by one of my best friend’s advice against it. And she justified her logic perfectly; the dress already had some embroideries and twinkles and so it would be a bit out of sync with itself. I thanked her and appreciated she might be aesthetically right, but I had to do it my way. Don’t regret it, just wish I could wear the dress every now and then!
Another piece of advice I got from several people was to get professional make up done. Make up? If you never wear make up, why go all dollie on your wedding day? I would recommend purchasing some make up you love, but keeping youself looking like yourself.

Keep the numbers to a minimum. Think about it for 20 seconds: how many people would you like at your wedding? Right, I mean less than that! This was the hardest of all decisions to stick to, because friends and family are always linked to someone else you would like to share the day with. However, there's only that many people you can actually engage in conversation with in one afternoon/evening!

Be grateful in everything you do. The day is about you and your loved one, you are who you are thanks to the marvellous people around you. We were fortunate enough to marry on paper a few days before the beach wedding and decided to only have our parents there. This was their moment. D and I prepared a BBQ and our parents were able to sit back, relax and get to know each other better. We decided to do this because we wanted to share quality time with our parents, who have taught us so much.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

How much does your pay cheque define you?

Disclaimer: I am writing this filled with anger and have not written down facts and numbers, so this is an opinion-and-feelings filled text.

While on honeymoon in the awesome Azores, my husband and I did some canyoning with a random family of 5; a mum and her 4 kids. I fell immediately in love with this adventurous family, who seemed to be having a great holiday out in the Azores. As we absailed, climbed, crawled and jumped off cliffs we got to chat and find out about each other.

As a Portuguese person, an early thought I had was ‘Wow, they must be well off to travel this far on a long holiday and do all these adventures’. Well, if they were Portuguese, they probably would have to be. Mum could be a doctor, and the older kids would be doing a law degree or something like that. But this Swiss family was different: the older kids were studying; one will soon be a florist and the other an electro-technician. As for the mum, she works in a restaurant. How the…?! Never in a dream would that be possible in my sad old Portugal. I feel entitled to talk like this because I am Portuguese, I have spent most of my life in Portugal and I experienced the pressure of ‘you must get a degree in something that will give you access to a well paid aka good job’, which is the equivalent of virtually forcing all teenagers to spend (and often waste) 5 years in university studying something they have limited interest in.

When I was doing my initial degree to become a primary teacher (which I was lucky enough to be in wild love with and is definitely what I was built for), I ended up writing papers for a colleague who wasted those four years of his life. Nearly 15 years later he is finally pursuing his passion and interest. An area in which he is very creative and competent: carpentry. It is sad that he had to waste a lot of money on university tuition fees and even more importantly than money, that he had to waste 6 years of his life because he had been driven to believe that that was the only way forward, if he wanted to do better than his parents had done before him.

I have nothing against university and learning, very much the contrary. I believe in education, but in a broader way. I believe that every single profession matters: if your job is to lay cobblestones on the road, I expect your job to be done properly so people can drive safely. If your job is cleaning, I expect it to be done in detail, so places are actually clean. If you are a doctor, I expect you to know your science well and treat your patients as human beings to whom their health is an important foundation. This said, I expect every working person to be paid a dignified salary, not the joke Portuguese are paid when on a minimum wage. Not the joke Portuguese are paid in general, excluding the big masters at the top of the iceberg who have mismanaged and robbed for years.

I dream of a Portugal I suspect I will not live long enough to see, but hope will come true one day: a Portugal where your job does not label you, a Portugal where we all do our best at whatever the hell we do. A Portugal where we are not trying to outsmart someone and are not being outsmarted either.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Lucky to be surrounded (close and far) by people who have hearts of gold and goodness to share. People who always see the bright side or at least learn from every hardship. To those who always see the cloud even when it's only in the forecasts or keep feeling sorry for themselves, as if the world owes anything to them, I hope one day you learn to see how blessed you also are.

Sortuda por estar rodeada (longe e perto) de pessoas com corações de ouro e cheios de bondade para partilhar. Gente que sempre vê o lado positivo ou pelo menos aprende com cada dificuldade. 'Aqueles que v'em sempre uma nuvem mesmo que esteja apenas nas previsões, ou que se sentem sempre uns desgraçados, espero que um dia aprendam a ver o quão abençoados são também.

Saturday, 6 October 2012


I wonder what you feel when you listen to this and you don't understand the lyrics. Understanding the language, the context, the winter, the images it portrays... is a bit too much.
So intense, beautiful and painful.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Pokhara, Nepal

the Pokharan sky is tumbling down right now. true tropical downpour.

the last time I felt this earthly smell I was living in the Amazonian jungle. My feet would always be red as it rained every day and the ground was red like fire. that’s where the painted toe nails came from, so despite being muddy most of the time, my feet would always have gloriously colourful toe nails. I still haven’t abandoned the habit of painting my toenails.

the white dust is now being washed off the surfaces, highlighting the vibrant colours that cote each and every object in this country. not that I know the entire country. i spent some days in Kathmandu, having borrowed a rikshaw and taken the “driver” for a ride between Thamel and Kathmandu Durbar Square. At first he was scared, hopping off the rikshaw every time I rode close to a bicycle, motorbike, cow, passer-by, van or taxi. As you can imagine, the road was hectic and very busy, with moving people and objects in every possible direction, so the man eventually calmed down and I think he actually enjoyed the ride.

Anyhow, Nepal is not Kathmandu, so I moved east on a local tourist bus. Headed to beautiful Pokhara and went on a 3 day road trip with Johnny, a real star-boi. If I was a sensible person, I would not have gone, as both him and his best friend told me it was a trip they loved doing, but it was seriously hard core, due to the roads/trails. but sensible is not who I am, rather sensitive to great opportunities and therefore I had to seize the moment and hop onto the bike!

It was my first trip on a bike and wow, how impressive! The sceneries were fascinating at every turn. The time coincided with a big Hindu festival in Muktinath, so the road was quite busy with buses, jeeps and motorbikes, not to mention the poor trekkers. Two days later, I still have a bit of a cough, from all the dust; I cannot imagine what it feels like to be walking up a steep hill while you eat dust… I was literally chewing dust even though I had a scarf tightly wrapped around my head and a helmet too.

but then the view is so awe inspiring, one can only smile at it and be amazed at the power of nature.

at the end of the first night we stopped in Lete and bathed in the hot springs. not as picturesque as I would have imagined it, as the natural springs have now been surrounded by grey cement and stone, but really felt great on the tired body. I also loved the fact that most of the people using the baths were local. They are holy springs, by the way.

And with holy thoughts I leave you, in search of some veggie momos for lunch!
Here's a random bunch of photos. More when I get home.
One love
some lovin' & cuddlin'

it's cool down here, didi (sistah)

lots of suspended bridges

fishing by the bridge

World Peace Pagoda

snow... brr

the red beauty that took us

random gorgeous village
me and my PIC, as happy as dusty, back home and safe!