At the beginning of my Horseshoe Bay journey last year I was lucky enough to be invited along to talk on a panel at a beautiful meeting for powerful women in London. I remember feeling particularly honoured, not only because the wonderful Sabi Kerr (who organised the space) had faith in me to speak at her event. But additionally, to find out I would be on a panel alongside such an inspirational woman I had heard so much about, was such a joy and a complete honour. The inspiration I speak of, is the wonderful Fabiana Dorea, life coach and overall inspiration, from beautiful Brazil.
I knew from the moment I met Fabi I would learn so much, with beautifully conveyed messages and a wealth of experience behind her I was in awe to be sat alongside her and the love that Fabi shows herself speaks volumes for anyone who listens in.
I want to share some beautiful words from Fabi, in hope that you will soak up all of her positive energy
and learn as much as I do.
"I always knew or at least I thought I knew what I wanted"
Coming from a family of doctors, at a very young age, I decided what I wanted to do for the rest of my life: I wanted to become a lawyer. I wanted to change the world and voice the oppressed. I wanted to represent the minority and fight for their rights.
I had it all figured it out: I graduated at law school and was engaged to an amazing guy who is also a lawyer. I passed my bar exam and got picked by an important company to take on a great deal of responsibility at the young age of 22.
My life was pretty awesome, right? Right?....
As my 23rd and 24th years of age passed by, the emptiness that always had accompanied me just grew and the old existential questioning of what I’m doing here? Who am I? Does life have any sense? Is there more to life? Made a comeback (although it never left me). I watched my confused self at the therapist room thinking I needed fixing, something must be wrong me...
You see, the cultural collective consciousness is something very powerful and I had something that the vast majority of people my was age craved for: an amazing person wanting to marry me, a good job, an incredible loving family, amazing health and an amazing lifestyle.
‘Poor rich girl’ they said, ‘she has no reason for such despair’
But the one thing I knew about me back then is that I‘m not or do I wish to be part of the majority, nor am I one to conform. I’m a seeker and I fear no pain or arduous paths. I never wanted to walk on anyone else’s shoes, but my own.
So I took my first leap of faith and decided that in order to deconstruct my identity, I needed to be away from everything that identified me; my parents, my siblings, my name and everything that came with it.
At the age of 24 I decided to leave everything behind and escape to London under the false pretext of pursuing an LLM degree in International Law (which I did).
One of my first and biggest lessons learnt when I arrived in the UK was to set aside my own judgments about others and myself.
Whilst pursuing my Masters I had to support myself financially
and for the first time I experienced what is to be on the other side of the table.
The news came as a social scandal back home and I could see the headlines in our simplistic newspaper:
"Girl leaves her comfortable sunny life to serve tables across the ocean! Oh what a shock!"
Whereas for me, none of that noise mattered, I was meeting incredibly diverse people from all over the world with interesting stories and to be honest, it was a very humbling experience. It also taught me a lot about myself. It thought me to be resilient and have patience with the process that others and myself were going through.
My graduation day came and I had finished what I initially set myself to do. I was expected to go back and get married
(yes, my fiancée was waiting),
but much to everyone’s surprise, I decided to stay serving tables and living on a flat share until I could find a job in my area of expertise. Once again life thought me how to be resilient and patient. After lots of No’s, experiencing rejection and disapproval from the closest ones for carrying on trying, I finally managed to get a bad paid job in a law firm.
I was now living by myself, employed by a big law firm, in the country I chose to be, it was exactly what I wanted right?...right?....WRONG!
It seemed that no matter where I went, I took myself with me and the feeling of emptiness just kept on growing. For years I carried on waking up to go to work and living life on automatic pilot because like the vast majority,
I knew what I did not want, but I didn’t know what I wanted.
In 2015 I reached my lowest point. I deconstructed myself so much that I didn’t know who I was anymore, I had lost most of my identities. I visited the abyss and held hands with Persephone. I fought my demons daily and for the first time I was scared of getting so lost in this process that I might not find my way back.
It was an incredible painful and lonely year. The deeper I dug, more masks fell, more unsettling truths uncovered, more corners were looked at. Each time I peeled off a layer, something died. It was a constant cycle of deaths and rebirths and Oh boy! I have died way too many times in this life!
I remember as if 31/12/2015 was today. I was in my parent’s beach house in Brazil meditating whilst people welcomed the New Year and at that moment I thought to myself:
People don’t drown by jumping into the water, they drown by remaining in it.
I made a conscious decision that it was time to stop denying, suppressing or repressing my shadow side. It was time to dance with my demons and so I wrote this note to myself and I invite you to read it to yourself in front of a mirror:
‘I invite you to enter into your darkness and I say this in the lightest way possible.
I invite you to look at your dark corners and to sit with your worst fears.
I invite you to enter that long denied space that you have been so willingly hiding it from yourself and from others.
I invite you to take a look at your neighbours and at those you criticise the most.
I invite you to take a look at the mirror and confront your worst enemy: YOU.
For there is no light without shadow and you can only see your light once you have stepped into your shadow.
For whatever criticism you scream at your neighbour is a part of you that demands healing. Because the yin is contained in the yang and the yang is contained in the yin.
Because nothing is a 100% bad or a 100% good, but most of all, because what you can’t be with, won’t let you be’.
Carl Jung once said that knowing our own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of other people and that ‘until we make the unconscious conscious, it will direct our life and we will call it fate’.
True Self-acceptance and self-love required incorporation of my whole being, of all my imperfections and fears,
my colours and nuances.
It implied shedding light into the darkest room of my soul; it made me open the doors of what I had ‘so safely’ locked away.
It reminded me that whatever bothered me in someone else was because it resonated with me,
otherwise it would have passed unnoticed.
I started to notice the judgements I made of others and that whenever I pointed a finger at someone,
there were three fingers pointing right back at me.
Being whole became then, not a matter of choosing between being ‘good’ or ‘bad’,
but acknowledging that they both exist and co-exist within me.
Self- acceptance is understanding that life is made of contrasts and opposite forces: day AND night, winter AND spring, light AND shadow, and so are we.
Wholeness is realising that even flowers don’t blossom year round, so why expect that from ourselves? Even souls have seasons.
The beauty of life is balancing all of what we are into one space. It relays in knowing that even when I was Fabi- the giver, Fabi the selfish never seized to exist. And that there will be times when Fabi-the selfish will need to emerge and therefore ‘good’ and ‘bad’ became a mere matter of perspective and perception.
There is so much power and energy contained in the so called ‘negative’ emotions: rage, anger, shame, but I had been using this energy to battle those feelings, to hide it from me and others because it was a part of me that I didn’t want to accept.
It was only when I used this energy to shed light into those thoughts, emotions and behaviours, that I could then channel it to create movement and transformation and tap into my golden shadow, where all my hidden potential laid untouched.
That’s right, the shadow is not always dark and daunting. For a lot of us, including myself, what scares us most is not acknowledging our flaws, but opening up to our greatness.
According to Nietzsche we experience love through the eyes of the other and our inner child is always seeking for acceptance.
As kids we seek for our parent’s acceptance and so we behave accordingly. When then conform to someone else’s ideal of body, religion, mindset, we want to belong and sometimes being part of something meant that I had to adjust and adapt to someone else’s limitations.
I was too scared to shine, I was scared of envy, I was scared to be thrown out of the group. I was scared of not belonging.
The pain of being stuck somewhere I didn’t belong outgrew my fear of changing, of rejection and of loneliness.
When I finally realised that I was castrating and amputating myself to fit into spaces that became too small for me and that I had been trying to fly when I myself had clipped my wings, I started to embrace my greatness and let my light shine.
There’s nothing worse than trying that old shirt that no longer serves us, so I decided to change my whole wardrobe!
And perhaps most importantly, what I’ve learned by embracing my dark and golden side is that true freedom can only exist when there is acceptance of my whole, indivisible being. Liberty is reached when there is acknowledgement that I am complete but yet imperfect and that everything, every moment, every emotion deserves to be looked at with kind, understanding eyes.
To study thyself is the bravest art and allowing yourself to feel those emotions will make you feel vulnerable.
But what is vulnerability if not a measure of courage?
Allowing yourself to show up and be fully seen lies at the very core of what makes each of us an inimitable experiment of nature and thus unique. No one is better at the art of being you, than...you.
In the wise words of Rumi:
‘This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty, of it’s furniture, still treat each guest honourably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond’.
So dare greatly, show up in the arena, live fully, embrace your darkness, nurture your wounded child for ‘we craft love from heart break, compassion from shame, grace from disappointment, courage from failure, showing up is our power, we are the brave and the broken hearted, we are rising strong’.
Follow Fabi's journey and wise words here: