Sweet sensual lovers, the Huffington Post recently wrote a detailed article about “What Brazil Can Teach us About Living Well”. I wanted to give my own account of Brazil in response. Brazil is a beautiful mess and the favelas are the glorious, ramshackle epicenter of that.
I recently moved out of the posh, yet soupy Copacabana. I needed inspiration to write ‘Be the Flower- the Aromatherapy Recipe for Sensual Living’ (out February 2015 by Skyhorse), and I found it in Vidigal. Vidigal is a favela on the side of a mountain overlooking the sea, right beside the most expensive real estate in Brazil. The views are breath-taking, as is the steep climb up. Favelas are Brazilian slums and rife with negative stereotypes. (I have been told that people in the favelas prefer the word ‘community’). Favelas are traditionally associated with poverty, gang violence, murders, and drug trafficking. It’s a tough image to shake. The favelas are also the cultural and community hubs of Brazil. Samba and Brazilian Funk were born here, and the community spirit is palpable and pumping every night of the week. (Confession: I did skirt the truth when I told my parents where I was living).