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  • Professor Leão Preto

Capoeira Circles and Square Lives


It's 5:49 AM on a Saturday, and I am standing on a circular wooden deck overlooking the Caribbean sea. I turn to the left and right of me. No one is here.


I think to myself that this scene is perfect. The sun is slowly rising, but it’s already a cool 75 degrees Fahrenheit. I swear I hear the clear water whisper to me, “Welcome to Dickenson Bay Beach,” as it plays hide and seek with the white sand surrounding me.


My camera is ready to film, and I am eager to begin moving. I press the record button, greet my virtual students, and start teaching the African Brazilian martial art of capoeira. It’s not like this every week, but today feels special.


There aren’t any distractions.


The sea is calm. I don’t see pirates or commercial fleets doing any illegal fishing! Watch the Netflix documentary, Seaspiracy, for context to that last sentence and to understand why you should reconsider your next bite of salmon.

The previous night’s tide erased all the footprints from the evening before. Give thanks that no one left a piece of litter on the beach. Maybe the trash washed into the sea, or the resort crew caught it just in time.


Let’s stay positive and believe someone picked up the litter.


Can you see the picture I painted through the opening words of this post? I am working on developing my descriptive writing skills as I write my first novel.


Now, back to the beach.


It felt as if something or a higher power summoned me to that special spot at Dickenson Bay last Saturday. Before leaving, I gained confirmation that intuition brought me there on that morning at that Divine hour.


Last week, I recorded more capoeira instructional content. I made pre-recorded video lessons for the Capoeira In-tune Training Vault and a university support program in the States that serves students from underrepresented backgrounds in graduate education. After wrapping up my work, I trained myself for two hours.



Last weekend, when I took off my shoes and began to move on the deck, I felt at home. For a moment, I traveled back to the fifth grade when my family moved from Chicago to the South Suburbs.


My caring parents' attempt to protect me from gangs took my five sisters and me from 83rd and Calumet to 173rd and Dobson. I wrote about attending school in the city versus the suburbs in my first book. We moved into a beautiful home that resembled The White House with a wooden deck in the backyard.


The material of the beach's wooden circle reminded me of the square deck of my childhood home and former life in the States. Being in that circle pushed me to see the cyclical nature of life.


Like my parents, I moved my family from the city to the burbs. As in all things, I took it a step further and moved out of the country. We left the US to raise our children in a different culture and escape the rat race.


Did you listen to the podcast or watch the video interview I had with Janis Hough that shared my thoughts on parenting abroad, training capoeira, and building community?

I digress, but back to the beach.


Before I left Dickenson Bay, a former student approached me to ask questions about writing a book. We discussed the difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing. She wanted to get my opinion on the benefits, drawbacks, and editorial options.


I shared with her my experiences and offered to lend further support at a later time.


Between teaching on the deck that reminded me of my childhood home’s backyard and the opportunity to give some advice to an aspiring author, I saw the connection between my passion and purposes in life.


Your passion is the thing you can do for hours without any concept of time. Your purpose is how you use your passion to enrich the lives of other people.

Exercise is my passion. Staying healthy to partner with my wife to raise our children, write, create videos, teach, advise, coach, and mentor provides my life with purpose and meaning.


When passion and purpose work together, our lives can allow us to reach depths deeper than the bluest part of the Caribbean sea or the clearest sky on a summer day.

This weekend, look at your regular activities for the underlining meanings about the value of your life. You might be surprised at what you find, but hopefully, it's confirmation of what you know to be true about yourself.


Share this post with one person with plans to run errands or laps during a workout this weekend. Explore the capoeira and meditation content of the Capoeira In-Tune vault at this direct link.

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