Consider for a moment the adventures of the famous European explorers, Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama. When they set sail from their ports and navigated through unchartered waters, did anyone have any inkling of what they were going to discover?

I will focus on Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer. He and his crew sailed from the port of Lisbon with a primary tool, the compass, to steer them North, South, East, and West. They chartered their pathway and monitored it each day, adjusting accordingly. They weathered many a storm and severe illnesses that might have been worse than Covid with no medical facilities. They overcame deaths, mutinies, and starvation, travelled with no technology, and communicated only with onboard crew members. Despite all of these hardships and challenges, the Portuguese never lost sight of their vision, remained focused on their destination and planted their flag in Africa, South America, and the Indian subcontinent. Before setting out, could they have ever imagined the beauty of their discoveries and the impact that their adventures and explorations would have on the world?

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I have been told that my paternal grandmother Rose Fernandez, nee Pereira, of Portuguese ancestry, was baptized in Kenya, Africa. Her family then travelled to the Portuguese colony of Goa, India where tragedy hit them, and my grandma was orphaned and placed in a convent. From there she sailed to Karachi, today’s Pakistan, to be married to my grandfather Ephraim Fernandez. Now here I am, her granddaughter and namesake several decades later, enriched with the opportunity of a global experience of having worked and travelled in many different countries and now living in Toronto, Canada. Who knows where my next port of call will be? I am up for the adventure.

These are the thoughts that went through my mind when I woke up one night last year thinking of what I should write in my monthly newsletter. Empathy, Forgiveness, Gratitude—but I had done those already. I realized that these themes had an alphabetical sequence. I literally jumped out of my bed as the idea hit me. An “aha” moment! My heritage and my own life’s journey gelled with the 26 Alphabets of Pathways that were and have become the pillars of my life and practice. Did Grandma Rosie visit me that night?

I curated the Guidebook, 26 Pathways to a Life my Way with great enthusiasm and I am eager to share it with you. Notable are the many different connotations of the word pathway. Some of them may have meaning for you.

  • A clearing that leads to a place
  • Has a beginning and an ending
  • Simple and easy
  • A way that is not used as a thoroughfare
  • A way that is not long and complicated
  • A connection between two places, point a and point b
  • Take a route off the beaten path

There will be more details in the Guidebook that will be made available to you soon!

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Register here and join me on November 10 at 3pm for an exploration of one of the pathways, “T for Tenacity.”