[All links lead to Portuguese language pages]
Launched in September 2013, #AmoMeuFazer (#AMF) is a quarterly digital magazine about people who love what they do, sharing their stories and creative process:
Gente que – a partir de seu fazer – mudou sua trajetória de pensar, sentir, se relacionar, trabalhar e viver. Ou simplesmente encontrou uma forma de realização e de alegria cotidiana naquilo que produz. Retratamos os mais diversos fazeres, seus processos criativos e a beleza de cada um.
People who – through their doings – have changed their ways of thinking, feeling, relating, working, and living. Or simply people who found a way to everyday fulfillment and joy in what they do. We portray their various doings, their creative process, and the beauty of each one of them.
It all started with a blog, A Florista (The Florist), which for three years had been collecting stories of people who love what they do, the so-called “flowers”. Bit by bit, the bloggers – Karine Rossi, Gleice Bueno and Dani Scartezini – realised that what they most liked about the blog was “finding, getting to know, portraying and sharing real and transforming stories.”
The blog turned into the Editora Florista, a publishing house whose first publication is the digital magazine #AMF, which celebrates its first three months of existence with 18 interviews that come together with beautiful photos and, some of them, videos. The second fruit of the publishing house, the Escola do Fazer (Doing School), is a project that aims to bring together people who love what they do, with people who would love to learn an activity in which they may find joy, sharing the experience of doing.
For this post, we have selected five of the women featured in the #AmoMeuFazer magazine who had the courage to leave careers and jobs to do what they loved, and who started to love what they do.
The architect turned educator
Fabi Diaz graduated in architecture, owned a popular bar in São Paulo, and left everything behind to live in the state of Bahia, where she became inspired by the contrast between the beautiful scenery and local poverty to work in children's education. Six years ago, she started the Jardim do Cajueiro School, a space for learning through art, music, social living and environmental awareness:
The always present courage, the glance at the children, at their needs and their families have guided us, and the work has been sewn through much study, anthroposophy and Waldorf pedagogy. [ ... ] The school relies on sponsorship of people who pay the costs of keeping a child in school. As 75 percent of our students have scholarships, these sponsorships are essential. Each person helping is important, and we are always battling to get more sponsors.
This year, we got financial aid to build our own school, another big dream! The city government gave us a plot of land in recognition of our service, and after a year of struggles we have begun construction. We only have one-third of the total value of the building, and, to complete this important step, we need the participation of everyone who can help in any way, either donating or helping us fundraise.
The size of the school, 70 children today and with a growth forecast of one class per year, is already too large and no longer fits in rented houses. We really need our space. Our plans are big, and there is no way back now that are many, many families, many lives, many destinies… The feat is huge.
I feel that we need more and more people dreaming with us: our goal is to touch hearts, transformation through love is our challenge. With this story, I want to give a real focus to illuminate the various possible paths that exist for those who cross ours, and who want to help make a better world.
The dancer turned doula
Maíra Duarte decided to leave her three jobs and go traveling “to see the sea, meditate and think about life.” In a simple village with no electricity, she re-discovered her talent for various therapies, and having her kids through natural childbirth was one of the most important steps for her to start her career as a doula:
I had no money to go back home and my plan A had not worked out. “What am I going to do now?” The owner of the house where I was staying said, “when I do not know what to do, I go down the river.” I picked up a very large buoy and went to the Caraíva River. The current would take me to the sea. Looking at the sky, crying, wiping my heart, I let my body follow the course of the river. And I gave my fears to the sea. On the way, I started a mental retrospective. I was reminded of the fundamental things, the key people of my dance classes, and the massages I had learned there.
On arriving at the beach, I had an idea. I wrote on a T-shirt: “Massage! Talk to me” and drew an open hand with a spiral in the center. I asked a massage therapist friend who was there to give me some basic tips, recalled what I already knew and trusted my senses. I went for a walk on the beach wearing the shirt. I was soon approached by a person who was interested, then another and another… It was a month of hard work. I came back with money in my pocket and knowing my first step in the new cycle: to study Ayurveda [ ... ].
I follow pregnancies with a therapeutic prenatal, side by side with doctors, offering massages, chats, and ayurvedic guidance. I seek to create an open space for the mother to get information, work on her fears, prepare herself physically and emotionally for childbirth and postpartum. This space is also for partners (in some cases female) to find their place in all this. So they learn to take care of women and themselves, having a better understanding of this process of which they have excluded for decades. Massages are moments of strong connection between the baby and the mother. I feel very connected to them at that particular time. Massaging a baby inside the womb of their mother for several months establishes a deep bond. And this way, we forge a path together for that pregnancy. This may involve conversations, therapeutic baths, dietary guidelines and breathing practices. Every pregnancy has a certain demand that we get the feel for as the pregnancy moves along.
The teacher turned baker
Luciana Sápia majored in social sciences, studied pedagogy, worked as a teacher, a storyteller and an actress. When she became a mother, she discovered her hands and, with them, went on to make breads, cakes and other treats. The Confraria Santa Bárbara, a “homemade bakery that uses traditional methods for the preparation of food, rescuing traditional knowledge creatively”, started in her kitchen:
This way of acting in the world allowed me to solve the dilemma of many modern mothers: how to work and take care of my children?
Before working as a baker, I was a teacher in a small kindergarten, not earning enough money to cover the cost of living, and I did not want to be absent from the daily lives of my children.
Taking part in the labour market through a “conventional” job with a secure salary would consume many hours a day and certainly would not meet my soul needs, and I might not be able to do everything I wanted: being a mother, wife, and friend, cook, paint, plant, dance… be truly happy.
So I started making bread. It was just a way to increase my monthly income by doing something I liked and offering something good to people, but I soon realized that if I really wanted it, I could afford to pursue it all the way.
I bought the oven, tidied the kitchen up, arranged bread in a basket, and now we're here! So here, in my house, in the comfort of my home, next to my children when I ask you: would you like some freshly baked bread?
My dreams are big. And with each loaf of bread, I make them come true and feed each a bit.
The designer turned dressmaker
Gisele Dias left behind a career as a designer to become a dressmaker, specializing in romantic and feminine clothes, made with lace and flowers. When working with tailor-made orders, she tells love stories in the form of dresses:
The ‘A Modista’ shop opened in 2005. There were so many difficulties… It is normal to stumble upon many of them when we decide to do something new, that we do not know much about. Leaving a profession is difficult. The transition from one thing to another implies choices… Picking and choosing right is a difficult task! In my case, I am an example of someone who had a career and left it for trading. Yes, it is trading! We do not remember this part when we have a creative mind and decide to start a business.
I particularly suffered a lot dealing with people. I confess that I'm not the most sociable person on the planet. I'm very, very reserved, never had much contact with the public and trading forced me to do it. It was very difficult at first. But in fact, it was a great school. Difficulties make us grow when we have the humility to learn from them . [ ... ]
I am very happy with what I do, but I think I am unconditionally unsatisfied ;-P. When it's not something, it is another, and, in my view, we are just beginning despite eight years of business. We have many achievements in hand, many goals yet to be reached and that is what moves me and makes me look forward and to the future. To make a living doing what you love, you need humility and unconditional surrender. Undoubtedly, what moves the desires of any person is also a lot of determination and courage. There willl always be difficult moments, moments of total bliss, so… I always remember a zen saying about the secret: to be flexible like a tree and swing with the wind without breaking. In my life, I think that everything happens in a very organic way and not very rational. All very moved by emotions.
The attorney turned therapist
Titi Vidal worked as family law attorney for some years, had a good job and office, but it was through a hobby that she found her true calling. Today, Titi is an astrologer, tarot reader and holistic therapist, working 12 to 14 hours a day, and has never been so happy:
One day, after asking for signs many times, I received a very clear one and I resigned from my job. Had received several small signs, but this one I could not avoid listening to. At that time, I was doing a course in mythology. The teacher spoke of a certain myth when, on the same day that I had asked the angels for a clear signal, he interrupted the lesson out of nothing to talk about Apollo, which had nothing to do with the lesson so far. Clearly, he said that in life we had to be like Apollo, who left everything to follow his true vocation. And he talked about it for a considerable amount time, perhaps until I realized that the message was for me. So I decided to resign the next day. To my surprise, I was offered twice the money to stay. And thought “What now? Was this the reason for the sign?”. But I stayed strong in my decision and started to devote myself full-time to that which was soon to become my profession.
And it was and still is so. I am an astrologer and tarot reader. And from the therapeutic techniques I practiced, I found myself mostly interested in dowsing so I also became a dowser. And these are my professions, my areas of expertise and what make me very happy today. I love what I do.