Which color is your soul?

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When people ask me where do i come from, i usually say, i come from Portugal. I don’t say i grew up in the suburbs. Not that i want to hide my past or to forget about it. It’s because it’s to sensitive for me to go back there again. To a time where i felt so much insecurity and fears.

Was also a time that i developed big friendship and connection with some people. Not only sad moments are left behind, also some happy moments and experiences of Love and Strength.

But growing up in that environment left it’s deep marks on me. Marks that i am still fighting to let go. Life there wasn’t easy. I grew up with unsafety, poverty, preconception, discrimination and social exclusion..

While growing up, i did not understand why some people didn’t accept or believe in me. Looked down on me as if i was less worthy. Why they categorized me because of the color of my skin or from where i came from.

I didn’t choose where to be born or to have a certain color in my skin when i came into this world. But i could choose where i wanted to go ahead, and who i wanted to become..

I had allways been a shy litle girl, but i had also a very funny and social side if i was in the mood. That maybe is what made my path back then. Despite all that negativity, i had often a humble smile in my face and a hope that everything would be allright in the end. No matter how long it took..

I left behind all the shadows from my past, and today fully enjoy my skin color and even my natural afro hair, the more self confident i get, the more i grow and accept myself as i really am..I have dark brown skin and i am proud. I am beautiful as i am, both inside and outside.

Even when i sometimes feel the wings of racism trying to embrace me again, i set free without grudge. I stay calm, positive and think that WE ARE ALL THE SAME, EQUALLY VALUABLE.

The real question is which color is our souls? How do we treat people around us? Are we bright or dark on the inside?

All i wanted while growing up was to go towards a brighter and more colorful life. Now all i want is my soul to go beyond the colors of the rainbow.

Arvidsjaur, 2018, by Marlene Lima

Connecting with the Roots

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Drop the anchor for a while, when you go back to the roots.

 

It is  important to reconnect to your own roots in order to accept them and then be able to move forward.

I had always been confused about my identity. I grew up in a country, learned my parents culture from their home country, moved to another country. It was too much cultures in one to handle. Portuguese in the heart, capeverdean in the blood, swede in the mind, universal in the soul..

To be able to develop and manage this multiculturalism i realized i had to first find my roots, accept them, understand them and then move on.

I traveled again to my parents home town in 2017, and there i awoke this other part of me that has been hidden for a long time.

Traveling to Cape verde this time was more than a vacation trip to meet the magical Sun and blessing Ocean. It was a trip to my heart and to the past. An inspiring trip that lasted only two weeks in physical ground, but forever in my memory.

I experienced flavors from childhood, curious looks, nature, and took home some beautiful memories in my luggage.

In this charming place i never wondered about the next destination. I was THERE, fully present.

Cape Verde’s blood runs through my veins. The hot sun heals and nourishes me, the high mountains inspire me, makes me seek for adventure; makes me feel small, as daughter of Mother Nature. The eternal ocean balances me like a small child in it’s parents lap; feeling safe and that i belong. A child that for that moment doesn’t want to grow, wants to sleep and wake up in the same warm and lovely place. When it does grow, it feels ready to explore the world, be itself, having a safe ground in the baggage. Spreading Light and Love.

I experienced another paradise, on the outside; another home; a “distant” root. For that i am Grateful. 😊

Cape Verde, Sao Vicente Island, 2017, by Marlene Lima

M.L.

Consciousness: a universal language

Depression and stress symptoms are not the only thing that disturbs my spirit sometimes..

I find out that i have something that is called : “HSP“: highly sensitive person”. It is not a diagnose, it’s a kind of personality “feature”, some say is a milder variant of ADHD.

Since i was younger i have so much difficulty focusing if it is too much people around me, too much light, too much noise. It just soaks up all my energies. It’s not that i don’t want to spend time with people. I am very social and happy to meet people. It’s just that i feel bad with it after, if it was too much impressions or heavy energies. I am really good reading them, and taking them home with me, unfortunately.

I rather be in calm, quite places, with not so many distractions. The days that i was tired were even worse. I just wanted to close myself in four walls, with nobody bothering me.

It was nice for me to find out with words what more was “wrong” with me. It’s not so common to find people suffering of this kind of personality variant.

Depression was easier to identify because it’s a common disease nowadays. Also because i have it in my family history, and due to the environment i grew up in, it’s higher the risk to suffer off it…

 

When you are conscious, have pure heart and put love in all that you do, God will show you the way 🙂

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Picture: Storavan lake, 2018, by J. N.

❤ M.L.

Being a parent

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Arvidsjaur, 2018 by M.L.

One of the most challenging new starts so far has been the blessing to become a mother. It became a turning point in my life, in many ways. Both positive and negative.

I hided a depression after my baby’s birth, from everyone around me. The one that develops with the so called: “baby blues”.

I did not understand why i was surrounded with so many negative feelings mixed with positive, if it happened such a blessing in my life. I expected and gave birth to the most beautiful little girl in the world! I connected with her from day one in my belly, but even though i felt going downhill.

I realized “baby blues” is not taken seriously as it should. Before birth i heard now and then some people talking terrified about some mother that didn’t connect with it’s child..and so on, related to it..

Becoming a parent changed my perspective of seeing life. Suddenly i was not anymore only a dotter. I am a mother, such as my mother is to me! It is a change that it can not be explained in words. The amount of joy, feelings, responsibility, plans, expectations that follow almost suffocate me and got worse my depression.

I never admitted to myself and i did not search for help because somehow i felt ashamed and afraid of being questioned and critisized . I thought that i could manage it by myself..

I could despite all those inner fights, keep on living, my new life, my new role. But it wasn’t easy in the beggining.

It is certainly not the easiest task in the world. There should be an intensive training both from society and from your own parents! More attention from medical care, as equal focus on the mother also.

For the first, i am still learning to know myself, and at the same time dealing with challenges in life.

For the second, i don’t have my own parents or nuclear family close to me to support me.

But I learn everyday as long as I see her growing. We learn with each other. She learns to live, i teach her all I got at the same time that I learn more about parenting.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to give LOVE. And don’t care anymore about parent competition and comparisons of their kids and ways of raising them. I care to do how it works for me and not how everyone else does or thinks.

I really raise my hat to all the parents out there fighting to give a good education to they kids and to raise them as good people. You are strong!

I see the “perfect family” as the one that THAT TRIES IT’S BEST, gives LOVE, TIME, DEDICATION, PATIENCE and FORGIVENESS. It learns from mistakes and develops from challenges. It has a goal, to build a family based on good values and carry them on.

I am blessed to be in this new role in my life, but i still feel sometimes that it is very overwhelming.

Most of all i discovered a LOVE that i didn’t know it existed in me. A love that can’t be explained in words, even though i try..

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Picture: Arvidsjaur, big lake, 2018, by Marlene Lima

M.L.

Sources of inspiration

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Arvidsjaur, winter 2017, by M.L.

 

For a long a long time ago, i went away,

left my family and best friends behind,

didn’t know that i was going so long to stay,

in a place so unfamiliar, so far away..

Some days were a battle

some days were fun

but mind in two countries

body in one

I had no choice, but to stay..

by M.L. 2013

 

Moving to another country was not easy. Its was a daily fight to feel i belong, swimming through unknown waters and a ocean that only calmed down once in a while, before a new storm striked again.

It has been eight years now since i decided to go on a new adventure, leave my comfort water, find other places and persons. I chose volunteering within a european social project in Sweden (Leonardo Da Vinci, EVS), because i felt a call there, i just could not explain why. But today i know.

My first time was unforgettable, with happy moments, the so called “honey moon stage” and discovering love in many forms. Later on, when the honey moon was over i started to miss my family, to miss the sun in the cold and dark winters. I started to lose myself, to change.

I accepted this hard challenge and i believe it was meant to happen.

North of Sweden, also called “Lappland”, is the last place on earth i ever thought i was going to end up in.

Arvidsjaur means the “generous lake” (“den givmilda sjön”) and has 4.000 beautiful lakes.

This village its located 110 km from the Arctic circle, with very long days in the summer, blessed with the midnight sun; very short days in the winter, blessed with the northern lights. In the summer can be around 22°C, in the winter around -32°C. A place i never even in my imagination could think it existed..

Sweden has an “exotic weather” but in a colder way. Summer,spring and autumn seasons are very short.Winter is very long in the north.

It has a lot of enchanted forests where time seems to stop. Every season has its magic. The lakes are similar to mirrors when its no wind. Its so silent that you get surprised when you hear something, such as a bird that starts to sing. The water of the lakes and the air are so pure and fresh, as i never experienced before (when i was a city girl).

Everything is so close, the places, the nature, the people, and that made me really appreciate every moment.

 

A new place, a new journey, a new me 🙂

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Cascais, “Rota Jovem”
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Arvidsjaur, midnight sun, summer 2017, by M.L.

 

M.L.

 

About me..

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Namaste ❤

pic: 2018, by Miura L.

My name is Marlene, but you may call me Marly :). I come from Lisbon (Portugal) but have been living in Sweden for nearly 9 years now. Originally i have roots in Cape Verde islands in west coast of Africa.

In the calm northern swedish landscape i found a lot of sources of inspiration that made me improve expressing myself through ways that i have been exploring before (writing, dance, music), and finding out new ways of expression (photography)..

With this new experience of leaving my country i learned to appreciate more beauty through simple things; to begin focusing more on positivity and choosing a brighter side of life.

This blog is a form of sharing my experience that hopefully inspires; showing my art through a variety of poems, thoughts, spirituality, photography (mostly from northern Sweden)..everything that makes me happy and that i need to pass on, to make someone else happy :).

Nature, Art and Love, is a divine gift from God. For that be humble and grateful.🙏🌍💖

Love and Light to you, and big welcome to my blog 🙂 💖