The Beginning of a Journey

Karina Rodriguez - Brazil


April 26, 2012

Life, the universe, gives us things when we are ready, how we maneuver through these gifts is our own obstacle. There are moments in my life where I feel alive in every part of my body, where there is a pain in my stomach and heart, where I feel like the wind has been kicked out of me by a strange, intricate force of energy from the universe. These are the moments in my existence that will transform and shift my life forever. These are the moments that I see what life means. These are the moments I fight to pChapada Diamantinaut into words for others to understand; all the while knowing that these moments cannot be proved through this new realm of manufactured documentation – what we now see as the physical forces of the universe. But these moments are not tangible, they cannot be held. You cannot be taught about them, told about them, taken to them. You can only live them, be awakened by them. These are the moments we have to live and breathe and feel in every cell of our existence.

I have never known what it was to be spiritually awakened, to be connected to the Earth in ways that are not having a plant in your home or a garden in your backyard. I have only begun to taste, hear, see, feel and live these things now.

        Here is a magical (yes, magic is real) world that seems to be the answer to a prayer I didn’t know I was saying. My journey through life, since the moment I was conceived, has been to here. They say in life that it is not the destination so much as the journey taken to get there. So here is my journey, not my destination. Here is May 5th, 1993, Global Citizen Year, Brasil, Terra Mirim and so much more. It is a fate designed by the universe, guiding me to a grander purpose – which I have yet to fully discover. She gives us “obstacles” in our lives to make us stronger, to test us, to see us. She never gives us what we cannot handle. And every time we grow stronger, so do our “obstacles.” And they are not bad or good. They are reflections of us, of our choices and thoughts and feelings.

On this part of my journey, I have begun to understand what she – the universe – has been giving me. And every day, I grow more attuned to her calling, her guidance. Being here at Terra Mirim, my homestay and apprenticeship (words far too generic and empty to describe this place), has taken me one step further in my journey to my own, inner healing. Terra Mirim is a small community that works with Shamanism to create a profounder connection to all that exists in the past, present and future. A shaman is a person who lives to heal his/herself through the healing of others. We search for our own healing through the practices and teachings of our ancestors and those who walked the Earth before us, of all the spirits of the Earth and the elements. This is as far as I will go in my explanation.

There are many things that have been sewn into my heart, body and soul since I arrived here. I have learned what it is to appreciate, to feel and to love. I have learned to let go of what makes me angry and sad. I have learned what it is to see beyond what is fed to us by systems of the manufactured world. I have learned to value what matters. I have begun my process of transformation, consciousness and healing. This pain in my chest and stomach comes from an emptiness that used to exist within me, and is now being replaced by the meaning of life and death and all that makes the universe what it is. I am opening myself in ways I never thought possible. I am being restored and remolded. But the process is long and hard and complex and beautiful. There is much to see and learn and live. So this is just a small phase in my journey to life.

Karina Rodriguez