How Capoeira Found Me & How I Found Change
How I Found Change
Throughout life we all go through cycles, at times, we feel that life is at its best and we have almost everything we could ever want. Yet, there are periods in our lives where we find ourselves hearing a little voice inside of us telling us, there is so much more. I found myself living the last ten years questioning my own meaning and what it is that I am meant to do on this earth. I lived a pretty mediocre life, with some friends but not too many, a bit culturally aware but only through the media, and somewhat healthy, but mostly thanks to mom’s cooking. Life was life and I walked through it like most people do, dreaming of this purpose or this light that is going to turn on at some point and make me HAPPY and FULFILLED.
Three years ago I moved to the U.S to study abroad and live closer to my family. My brother, four years younger than me, had opened a Capoeira group that was thriving and me, having trained for four years in Israel, thought to myself-
“let’s get in some shape and move this body”.
Little did I know, this was going to transform not only my life, but me.
I began to train.At first, I complained, I was tired and mostly lazy, I was in a new culture with new people and no matter how I felt about any of them, I had to see them twice a week if I wanted to lose weight and become fit and healthy. But then, out of nowhere, something happened, that light turned on.
I found myself learning not only about the art form, how to defend myself, how to move, how to play music, how to treat people, and how to be a part of a group. I learned who this now 33 year old woman thinks, feels, and behaves. And trust me, it was eye opening. I learned of my insecurities and how deep they were. I learned how full of fears I was and how it disabled me from pursuing my dreams. I learned how powerful I was and how big my influence was on the people around me and how I used it without even knowing, in such a negative way. All of these were noticeable through my interaction with this amazing group, who, without, I would not have become who I am today.
This group, that my unbelievably strong and amazing brother has, taught me to be the real me. I learned to love people, for who they are, and allow them to have their own expectations and not only fulfill mine. I found myself filling up with compassion and love for them, and myself. I became a part of a community, and learned to work with others. Now, don’t get me wrong, when a group of so many different people are together, there are bound to be issues, but you know what, now I know that no matter what they may be, the core is so strong that if I need any single one of them, they will be there right next to me, and I will do the same.
This group made working out, sweating, smelling, hurting and burning (fat) something I cannot stop doing. When people ask me why I do Capoeira, I always answer:
“because I cannot not do it”.
I changed my lifestyle and habits without even noticing and without the struggle to lose weight, eat healthy and work out. I am strong and flexible, and can defend myself if I ever need to.
I found myself digging deeper and deeper into the Brazilian culture and the roots of this art form. Learning songs and folklore, religions and cultures, history and myth. I became more well rounded and broadened my horizons, losing the fear to know more and mostly losing the selfishness of keeping all of my knowledge to myself. Inside the Capoeira group we are all students and we are all teachers. We allow ourselves to share and enjoy the smile on a friends face when they receive an answer to a question they only trusted you enough to ask.
Life began to feel full. I was a part of a cultural community, I went to to parties and even through a few. I began sharing my knowledge and feeling safe enough to ask others to share theirs. I played, and trained, and cried and laughed, and was happy and frustrated, but… I did not do any of it alone.
Capoeira, found me, I may have intended it to find me, but it did not give up on me, and neither my group. I found the one thing that had it all. I am a part of a community, I am healthy and fit, I am strong, I am cultured. I am creating change, I am sharing what I do and helping others do the same, and most importantly, I found out, that it is I who decides what my purpose is, and no matter what it is, it is good, because I have a group that accepts me. That is Capoeira.
I am proud to say I am a part of The Michigan Center for Capoeira.
If you are interested in this amazing group you can check out the website and maybe come to a free introduction class.