I’ve been making space for reading again in my life recently. For as long as I can remember, reading has been like breathing to me; and if you stop breathing, you stop living.
I’ve still been reading but it had shifted from allowing myself to get lost between the covers of a great book to finding myself lost amidst emails, and Facebook posts. As I pull books from my shelves again and dive in, one after another, I find myself feeling more centered.
I always have a book with me. On the few occasions I’ve found myself without, I’ve vowed never again. You never know what life is going to bring, and I like to be prepared with a book.
I read whatever calls out to me in the moment. If I find I’m not feeling it, I put it down and try again.
The right books have been finding me. The ones that I settle in with and quickly feel a sense of ease, of belonging, and that I’m learning exactly what I need to know right now.
Since reading is such a big part of my life, I’m going to be dedicating some space on the blog for sharing my favorites with you. Some will be about pregnancy, motherhood and healthy living, and some may be just fun. I’m keeping it loose and we’ll see where it leads. I just know that it feels right.
For today, I want to tell you about The Alchemist.
My journey with The Alchemist began years ago, back when I was working in a bookstore. I loved working in that environment, but I developed an aversion to the books that became insanely popular. Maybe it was because I just got sick of hearing the titles, or maybe I thought it was just a fad and I wanted to save myself for the books that were hiding out on the shelves, waiting to be found by me.
I don’t know if I would have picked it up anyway, but The Alchemist fell into this category and therefore off my reading list. Since then, I have heard mention of it, with many people whose opinions I trust holding it in high regard.
I was recently at my mom’s house helping her clear out some old books and organize the ones she wanted to keep, and my eyes fell upon this book again. Maybe it was the different cover (she has the 10th anniversary edition, not the paperback that my eyes were so accustomed to), maybe it was the fact that I had distanced myself enough from those thoughts of aversion, or maybe, as seems to be happening often these days, this book was just what I needed in this moment.
I took it home, and within 36 hours I had found my way to the end. “This is a book I could read over and over and over again,” I found myself thinking. It’s true. It may become my book to kick off November with every year. I’m curious to see how revisiting these pages will change for me as I grow on my own journey, just as the boy in the story did.
It is a story of dreams, of losing it all to gain what is most important, of trust in oneself, and in courage in the face of adversity. It is about what Paulo Coelho calls the Personal Legend – that which we are here to do, our purpose in life, our calling. This is not to be confused with what we do in our day to day to get by and pay the bills. This is our soul song, the passion that burns brightest for us. This is a tale that opened me up to pieces of me that the world has tried to shut down, but I will no longer let them hide.
In The Alchemist, Paul Coehlo writes, “When you want something, the whole Universe conspires to help you realize your desire.”
When we listen, deeply listen, we find ourselves on the path to our desires, our dreams, even if they weren’t what we once imagined. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, it takes work, it takes thought and effort. When you know you are on this path, the world opens up and it’s a beautiful thing.
What is like breathing for you in your life? How can you honor it and give it more presence?
If you’d like to read The Alchemist, you can find it here. (Note: I get a small percentage from sales made via this link)
Peace, Love, and Wellness,