A full transcript from my 2019 TEDx talk

Expanding our concept of balance - individual and social - we realize the important role of the feminine in global balance.

If I were a boy

For a long time, I wanted to be a boy. It was exhausting having to fight to do the things I wanted all the time. It seemed so much easier being a boy. I wouldn't have to deal with the problem of gender undervaluing. I wouldn't have to have my period, I wouldn't have to wear a bra and most of all I wouldn't feel insecure and scared all the time. I could go out on the quiet street and my puberty wouldn't get in the way of my freedom.

However, it was natural to fight for my rights, as if someone said I couldn't do something because I was a girl, short, skinny, I would go there and do it. My nickname was 'cria de Maria Bonita' (a dangerous woman, who was the first female figure to join the main band of cangaceiros in the Northeast of Brazil), because in addition to the fierce I had, if no one had ever done something before, I would go there and go be the first to do it, and so other girls would feel represented and encouraged to do what they wanted too. I had no conscience at the time, but I was a child who wanted to change the world. I had this feeling of wanting to give a voice to those who didn't have it, of being able to be free to do what I most liked to do.

bemcla as a kid

And it was with this role that I ended up in the world of electrical engineering. Funny to remember that on the day of my enrolment, one of the people from the department said: “Are you sure you are going to do electrical engineering? Dressed like this, I don't give a semester in the course.”

The day I enrolled in Electrical Engineering Course

I went there and did. But it wasn't easy. Over time, some things started to lose meaning. I was coming into adulthood with that teenage energy, but losing myself.

After two years of course I had to stop. If I didn't stop because I'm stubborn, my body stopped for me. Then I had my first episode of depression. It was at this point that I needed to find my way back home. Unbalance and look within.

My cleaning

I did a cleaning. Like Marie Kondo my life lol I put everything on the table, saw what made me sick and stayed only with what brought me joy. It was a turning point in my life. I understood how sacred we are, how wild and intertwined with nature. It was then that I began to understand why I was born a woman.

In this journey of self-knowledge, of belonging to my feminine essence, I found my purpose. My mother-in-law is an astrologer and she had told me that in this life my soul is in Aries to reach Libra. I didn't understand anything, I just understood that Libra is balance. That I need to come to balance and so my purpose has become to bring balance to the world.

But, what is balance for you?

Balance is holistic

For me, it's not just making yoga posistions. Balance is holistic.

And I found my notes the first time I sketched my purpose in 2016. It's based on a tripod. Personal balance leads us to social balance which leads us to environmental balance. I thought, if I really want to change the world, it starts with mine first.

My first sketches about my purpose

But I needed to discover myself even more, I had only taken one step and I understood that it was a much bigger process of discovery. To understand more about balance I wanted to live in Asia, and I went.

Finding balance in Asia

There it is the cradle of the great religions, and we Westerners think those who are Asian are more balanced and know how to meditate and (more or less). So, I went by suitcase and gourd to the Philippines. I went to take a course on spirituality and global human formation, while working at a social center. I lived in a house with 15 women of 12 different nationalities.

@bemcla posts about life in the Philippines

Living with so many women and living in a very different reality from here I live here in Brazil - little water, little money, little food - I recognize today that my healing was through the feminine.

I recognized my shadows through the girls to reach the light. "Only by really looking at another woman, only by looking at her in depth, can we get out of ourselves and in that spectral gaze a leap takes place." We recognized each other as sacred and that lit my way. I felt safe to trust what the universe allowed. Because true freedom is not worrying about imperfection. This was a very important process for me to balance my feminine, to accept that this is a very important half of me.

Accepting me as woman made me understand that my cause was women. It moved me to be with these girls and improve various realities. From the girl who has never accepted curly hair, to the one who wants to end the trafficking of women in Myanmar.

Bringing balance to Brazil

Then I got a call from Brazil. It was Marcela Fujiy inviting me to co-found a WOMEN accelerator. Guys, it couldn't be. How can I, at 21, open a company? With what experience? I asked why me Marcela? I needed to understand... What do I have to add? Because honestly, when we are at this university stage, it seems that we are never prepared for anything. She told me: "Clara, the work you've been doing at the university and in the Philippines is the deepest EMPATHY with female entrepreneurship".

That's because Marcela got to know my work at the university when I and other students founded the Women in Engineering or Women in Engineering WIE, as part of the IEEE. My biggest wish was to bring balance to my engineering course. We electrical engineering students were bombarded countless times by teachers, classmates and even our parents who doubted our ability to be engineers. This prejudice had to end. I had a responsibility to give a voice because I was one of the only women there. And most prejudices are hidden. According to researchers at the Center for Gender in Organizations (CGO), these gender biases are “cultures and work practices that appear neutral and natural in their face”, but reflect masculine values ​​and life situations of men who dominated the world in the past. development of traditional work environments. And since then I have been working for the (a)diversity that unites us and that brings balance. Both in Brazil and in the Philippines.

The life experience, of every little struggle I had faced since my childhood, was what made the first women's accelerator in Brazil not exist without me. Empathy was a skill I had been training every day.

Yes, I had a lot to add.

It was the change I wanted to see in the world. So, I hit it! and I spent 5 months working as a digital nomad, in a time zone 11 hours apart.

Balancing my Yin and Yang

When it was time to return to Brazil, I was very excited. I thought I was the goddess of balance, but I've always had, perhaps because of my sign, a problem with doing too many things at the same time. When I set foot in Brazil I already had countless responsibilities. Finishing university, starting the company, running new projects, continuing with volunteer work, earning money, succeeding, being rich, fitness, beautiful and wonderful.

I got paranoid... like I was 22 and didn't have my first million? I started to work madly. And more and more I had less space for my hobbies, my loves and my family. I didn't notice. I started having new anxiety attacks. and with each crisis I made less money, I couldn't handle anything. Until a moment came when I exploded or imploded. I lost myself again, again… And it was very painful. It was unbelievable that I had fallen into that trap again. As if the world turned gray and everything that had once taken on color was past tense. Where would I get strength from when tiredness and sadness spoke louder.

I had no air, I lacked ground, a part of me was missing. And this time I already knew the way back home. I had lost myself, because I had lost my balance.

We all have a dominant energy, a tendency to follow. people like me, who have an excess of masculine or yang energy, easily tend to get lost in the same way, doing a lot of things at once, not caring about the part where you stop and breathe. The sum of Yin and Yang form a whole. One effect of this is: as one aspect increases, the other decreases to maintain the overall balance of the whole. So my energy connected to the feminine was increasingly lacking and that's why I had to focus on the feminine.I need to balance my sacred feminine and masculine so that they walk embraced, intertwined and lovingly warmed by each other.

In this process I understood that it goes hand in hand with protagonism. When we are not well with ourselves, nothing flows. It was no use wanting to succeed in a greedy way, it wasn't worth it, because I lost my balance, and when I was down, nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING went right. I needed to balance myself internally to make my projects grow. I only change other people's reality when I change mine.

My balance tripod

So let's get back to the tripod. Personal balance leads us to social balance, which leads us to environmental balance.

My balance tripod

Guys, if because I'm a Gemini my life is a roller coaster, put anxiety, spice and everything that drives a person crazy, together.

I do have a psychiatric disorder and it's uncomfortable to talk about it. It's my biggest vulnerability. It is difficult to accept illnesses that are not physical, only felt. In my family almost everyone has some kind of disorder. It's uncomfortable to live with this every hour of my day. This leads me to do what I do today. look at our yellow hurricane. It is with these people that I am accelerating women who transform society and bring balance to the world through gender equity.

Because social balance starts with gender balance!

Gender balance

According to the World Economic Forum, Brazil occupies the 95th position in the ranking of gender equality.

We need a country where women participate and have opportunity in the economy.

We need a safe and healthy country for women. We need balance in our society.

Gender balance has multiplier effects on sustainable development. women are at the center of our dialogue because we want to bring change to Brazilian families. In a survey carried out by Rede Mulher Empreendedora, it shows that the impact of women on society is multiplier, when they prosper financially, instead of spending only on personal purchases, they invest in their children, family and especially in the community where they live and consequently they are an important instrument of social transformation.

We also need the freedom of the feminine.

The feminine is not exclusive to a single gender, here we are talking about the feminine and not about women. We believe we all have feminine and masculine values ​​and in our society today, feminine values ​​are condemned. I blamed them myself for most of my life. We want a society where feminine values ​​are lived and celebrated. Values ​​such as welcoming, collaborating, integrating, humanizing...

The World Economic Forum also released the results of its survey on the skills of the future. HALF of them are characteristics inherent to our feminine. Times are changing and so are the values ​​we celebrate. We are moving towards balance, including the values ​​we live by.

Creating balance

Thinking where I am now, my reality today, here in the northeast. It is still very difficult to be a woman. There is a long way to go between where I am now and where I want to go, and I believe that the “trajectory is not linear!”, I still have a crazy path to go. Accelerating women was the way I found today to make the future I want tangible. A future where gender doesn't define how high you can dream, nor how far you can go. A future where each of us is able to confidently say: I am free. A diverse, inclusive, abundant future. Where the whole environment in which we live is balanced.

That's why I'm going to keep doing all this, because we need to do something!

If it is not me, who?

We are protagonists of our own history. Be the drop. Be that drop that makes daily revolutions and change realities. But, never forget to come into balance with your own ocean..

Because personal balance leads us to social balance which leads us to environmental balance.

You can bring balance to the world, starting with yours.