This letter is written to the Amani team, by our Fellow Amalia Vazquez. You can find the original post here.
Everything happens for a reason.
In February 2017, the fire within me, full of ambition, success and the need for approval, took over, and I started running a project focused on waste awareness on Ilha Grande. I managed to set a date to go to the island and to arrange to stay there for free in the house of the man leading the effort for sustainability. I also started raising awareness about the problem with the help of Carol and Hugo who pushed me to do things like this video. We started raising funds to go there. It seemed perfect! ALL of this was driven by my values of EFFICIENCY and RESOURCEFULNESS.
And yet we failed! I failed! The details of the outcomes and of what I learnt during this first part of the innovation project can be found here. Essentially, I realised that running this project tired me a lot because it was coming from the wrong place. This was end of social innovation part 1.
I learnt that the most important thing is not the ‘’what you are doing’’, but ‘’how you are doing it’’ and WHY.
It seemed that it was time to look within myself and understand what were the pulls that were driving me with such an energy toward things that I did not care for that much. Here started the social innovation part 2. It was all about forgiving myself, accepting the reality and discovering who I am.
It was the first time in my life that I was being gentle and compassionate with myself. I failed with the project but I forgave myself! I gave myself the challenge of waking up every morning for a month and asking myself — How can I honour myself?
I understood that discovering the true Amalinha without conditioning and social pressure was the purpose of this time! And guess what happened when I start freeing myself?
Creativity began fuelling my days. I discovered that painting and writing are my channels to speak my truth to the world. I discovered that I can use arts to say all the things I want to say. I can live my core values of justice, freedom and education through arts. This hidden talent opened my eyes. I always wanted to spend time on the arts but always thought that I wasn´t good enough.
I started to look to myself with other eyes. What other hidden talents do I possess? What other gifts am I repressing?
This led to Social Innovation Part 3. It was all about self-appreciation and renewal. I decided to leave everything that I had in Sao Paulo (my home, my part-time job and my old self) and to embark upon a solo journey to really meet myself.
After 3 days of painting, nature quests and spending time with myself, I started producing things… Genuinely.
The project is called Can we be more like kids? The video to promote the initiative is here. It is a call to bring alive the kid that we all have inside of us. I want to do a collaborative project and use visual art, such as photography, collage and even poetry.
Appreciating my journey and finding out what is the purpose in life
During my solo journey I started to leave behind all the burdens that I had been carrying for a long time. I wanted to be in peace with myself. So, I started healing relationships with people from my past (relationships are what I really care about).
Of course, as all of you know, my biggest challenge was my family. So, I wrote an open letter to my father, where my other core value — honesty — was the protagonist. I started with what success and happiness meant to me, and I finished the letter by making a request… Would you consider supporting and loving me even if I decide to take an unconvential path?
Now, I am 14 days into my solo journey. After paying attention to myself, after covering the needs that every human has in terms of self-love and self-appreciation, I have found myself naturally drawn to creating and doing something for the world, coming from the right place. I want to inspire people to follow their wildest selves, to dare them to take steps towards the things that make them feel alive. I want to use the medium of creativity to make people question who they think they are. Now I see that I don’t want to change the world, I want to bring more love, creativity and knowledge to the world.
I am in love with human nature and the power of awakening the human condition.
We are all humans but not all of us are aware of their human condition.
Yesterday, I shared this post on Facebook, where I am inviting people to come to my home, to get inspired by human vulnerability and foster human creativity. I was thinking that serving the world to bring wellbeing to people is quite a beautiful job. I wanted to express my gratitude to the work that you, the Amani team, are doing. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to go through your learning process and have met some of the wisest people in my life. Thanks for bringing another light into the world. Thanks for changing the world, one by one.
With all my love,