Christmas tale: The pine tree in St. Martin (ENG, PORT, ESPA)

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PARA LER EM PORTUGUES CLICAR AQUI> O pinheiro de St. Martin
PARA LEER EN ESPANOL CLICAR AQUI > El pino de St. Martin
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On Christmas Eve, the parish priest of the little village of St. Martin, in the French Pyrenees, was getting ready to celebrate Mass when he began to smell a delicious perfume. It was winter, the flowers had disappeared a long time ago – and yet there was this pleasant smell as if springtime had appeared out of season.

Intrigued, he went outside to look for the cause of such a marvel, and came across a boy sitting in front of the school door. By his side was a kind of golden Christmas tree.

“But what a beautiful tree!” said the vicar. “It seems to have touched the sky, for it gives off such a divine scent! And it’s made of pure gold! Where did you find it?”

The young man did not seem very happy at what the priest had said.

“It’s true that what I carry with me was growing heavier and heavier as I went along, and the leaves did get harder. But it can’t be gold, and I’m afraid of what my parents are going to say.”

The boy went on to tell his story:

“This morning I left to go to the big city of Tarbes with the money that my mother gave me to buy a nice Christmas tree. But when I was going through a village I happened to see a lonely old woman who had no family to spend the great feast of Christianity with. I gave her some money for her supper, because I was sure that I could get a discount on the tree I was going to buy.

“When I reached Tarbes, I passed in front of the big prison and there was a bunch of people waiting outside to visit the inmates. They were all sad, for they would spend the night far from their beloved ones. I heard some of them commenting that they did not even have enough to buy a slice of Christmas cake. Right there and then, moved by the romanticism of people my age, I decided that I would share my money with those people, who needed it more than I did. I would keep just a very small amount for lunch; the florist is a friend of my family and he would surely give me the tree, and then I could work for him all next week to pay off my debt.

“However, on reaching the market I found out that the florist I knew had not come to work. I tried as hard as I could to find someone who would lend me money to buy the tree elsewhere, but it was all in vain.

“I convinced myself that I would be able to think better what to do if I had something to eat. When I approached a bar, a foreign-looking boy asked me if I could spare him some money, because he had not eaten in two days. Since I imagined that the child Jesus must once have been hungry, I handed him the little money that I had left, and returned home. On the way back I broke a branch off a pine tree; I tried to make it look nice by trimming it, but it just grew as hard as metal and it’s far from being the Christmas tree that my mother is expecting.”

“My dear boy,” said the priest, “the perfume of this tree leaves no doubt whatever that it has been touched by Heaven. Let me tell you the rest of its story:

“As soon as you left that lonely old woman, she immediately asked the Virgin Mary, a mother like herself, to return to you such an unexpected blessing. The parents of the prisoners were certain that they had come upon an angel, and prayed thanking the angels for the Christmas cakes that they bought. The boy that you met gave thanks to God for satisfying his hunger.

“The Virgin, the angels and Jesus heard the prayer of those who had been helped. When you broke the branch off the pine tree, the Virgin bathed it in the perfume of mercy. As you walked along, the angels touched the leaves and they turned to gold. Finally, when everything was ready, Jesus looked upon the work and blessed it, and from then on, whoever touches this Christmas tree will have their sins forgiven and their wishes fulfilled.”

And so it was. The legend goes that the sacred pine tree is still there in St. Martin, but that its force is so great that all those help their brothers on Christmas Eve, however far they may be from the little village in the Pyrenees, are blessed by it.

(inspired by a Hassidic tale)

Closing cycles

ESPANOL AQUI: CERRANDO CIRCULOS
PORTUGUES AQUI: ENCERRANDO CICLOS
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One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through.
Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters – whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished.

Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents’ house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden?
You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened.

You can tell yourself you won’t take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that.
But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister.
Everyone is finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill.

Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away.

That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home.

Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts – and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place.
Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them.

Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.
Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood.

Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the “ideal moment.”

Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back.
Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person – nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need.
This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.

Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life.

Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust.

Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.

It is not a sin to be happy

“We must care for our body. It is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and deserves our respect and affection.

We must make the best use of our time.

We must fight for our dreams, and concentrate our efforts to that end.

But we must not forget that life is made up of small pleasures. They were placed here to encourage us, assist us in our search, and provide moments of surcease from our daily battles.

It is not a sin to be happy. There is nothing wrong in -from time to time -breaking certain rules regarding diet, sleep and happiness. Do not criticize yourself if -once in a while -you waste your time on trifles. These are the small pleasures that stimulate us.”

20 sec read: We are all concerned with taking action

Image result for relax
We are all concerned with taking action, doing things, resolving problems, providing for others.

We are always trying to plan something, conclude something else, discover a third.

There is nothing wrong with that -after all, that is how we build and modify the world. But the act of Adoration is also a part of life. To stop from time to time, to escape one’s self, and to stand silent before the Universe.

To kneel down, body and soul. Without asking for something, without thinking, without even giving thanks for anything. Just to experience the warmth of the love that surrounds us. At such moments, unexpected tears may appear -tears neither of happiness nor sadness. Do not be surprised at that. It is a gift. The tears are cleansing our souls

 

In By the river Piedra I sat down and wept

Character of the week: Rilke

RILKE_1.jpg Producción ABC.
” For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation. I hold this to be the highest task for a bond between two people: that each protects the solitude of the other.
This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love: the more they give, the more they possess.

There are no classes in life for beginners; right away you are always asked to deal with what is most difficult.

Believe that with your feelings and your work you are taking part in the greatest; the more strongly you cultivate this belief, the more will reality and the world go forth from it.
If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for the Creator, there is no poverty.

Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.
The deepest experience of the creator is feminine, for it is experience of receiving and bearing.

The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens.

Let life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right, always.”

Rainer Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926) was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and art critic

Crowns on the Torah

When Moses ascended to Heaven to write a certain part of the Bible, the Almighty asked him to place small crowns on some letters of the Torah. Moses said: “Master of the Universe, why draw these crowns?” God answered: “Because one hundred generations from now a man called Akiva will interpret them.”

“Show me this man’s interpretation,” asked Moses.

The Lord took him to the future and put him in one of Rabbi Akiva’s classes. One pupil asked: “Rabbi, why are these crowns drawn on top of some letters?”

“I don’t know.” Replied Akiva. “And I am sure that not even Moses knew. He did this only to teach us that even without understanding everything the Lord does, we can trust in his wisdom.”

 

Dreams: the 12 steps

When Joseph Campbell created the expression “follow your blessing,” he was reflecting an idea that seems to be very appropriate right now. In “The Alchemist,” this same idea is called “Personal Legend.”
Alan Cohen, a therapist who lives in Hawaii, is also working on this theme. He says that in his lectures he asks those who are dissatisfied with their work and seventy-five percent of the audience raise their hands. Cohen has created a system of twelve steps to help people to rediscover their “blessing” (he is a follower of Campbell):


1. Tell yourself the truth

Draw two columns on a sheet of paper and in the left column write down what you would love to do. Then write down on the other side everything you’re doing without any enthusiasm. Write as if nobody were ever going to read what is there, don’t censure or judge your answers.
2. Start slowly, but start
Call your travel agent, look for something that fits your budget; go and see the movie that you’ve been putting off; buy the book that you’ve been wanting to buy. Be generous to yourself and you’ll see that even these small steps will make you feel more alive.
3. Stop slowly, but stop
Some things use up all your energy. Do you really need to go that committee meeting? Do you need to help those who do not want to be helped? Does your boss have the right to demand that in addition to your work you have to go to all the same parties that he goes to? When you stop doing what you’re not interested in doing, you’ll realize that you were making more demands of yourself than others were really asking.
4. Discover your small talents
What do your friends tell you that you do well? What do you do with relish, even if it’s not perfectly well done? These small talents are hidden messages of your large occult talents.
5.Begin to choose
If something gives you pleasure, don’t hesitate. If you’re in doubt, close your eyes, imagine that you’ve made decision A and see all that it will bring you. Now do the same with decision B. The decision that makes you feel more connected to life is the right one – even if it’s not the easiest to make.
6.Don’t base your decisions on financial gain
The gain will come if you really do it with enthusiasm. The same vase, made by a potter who loves what he does and by a man who hates his job, has a soul. It will be quickly sold (in the first case) or will stay on the shelves (in the second case).
7. Follow your intuition
The most interesting work is the one where you allow yourself to be creative. Einstein said: “I did not reach my understanding of the Universe using just mathematics.” Descartes, the father of logic, developed his method based on a dream he had.
8. Don’t be afraid to change your mind
If you put a decision aside and this bothers you, think again about what you chose. Don’t struggle against what gives you pleasure.
9. Learn how to rest
One day a week without thinking about work lets the subconscious help you, and many problems (but not all) are solved without any help from reason.
10. Let things show you a happier path
If you are struggling too much for something, without any results appearing, be more flexible and follow the paths that life offers. This does not mean giving up the struggle, growing lazy or leaving things in the hands of others – it means understanding that work with love brings us strength, never despair.
11. Read the signs
This is an individual language joined to intuition that appears at the right moments. Even if the signs point in the opposite direction from what you planned, follow them. Sometimes you can go wrong, but this is the best way to learn this new language.
12. Finally, take risks!
The men who have changed the world set out on their paths through an act of faith. Believe in the force of your dreams. God is fair, He wouldn’t put in your heart a desire that couldn’t come true.

1 MIN READ: The prayer of Petrus

EM PORTUGUES: Os ví­cios pessoais

At a certain point during my pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, we came to a flat, monotonous field of wheat stretching all the way to the horizon. The only thing breaking the dull landscape was a medieval column with a cross on top, marking the pilgrims’ way. Petrus – my guide – put down his backpack and knelt down.

Have pity on those who pity themselves, and think life has been unjust to them – for they will never manage to engage in the Good Fight.
But have more pity on those who are cruel to themselves, and can only see evil in their own acts, and who consider themselves guilty for the injustices of the world. For they know not Your law which says: even the strands of hair on your head have been counted.

Have pity on those who command and those who serve many hours of work, and sacrifice themselves in exchange for a Sunday, when everything is closed and there is nowhere to go.
But have more pity on those who sanctify their work and go beyond the limits of their own madness, and end up in debt or nailed to the cross by their own brothers. For they know not Your law which says: be as prudent as a serpent and as simple as the pigeons.

Have pity on those who eat, drink and are merry, but are unhappy and lonely in their abundance.
But have more pity on those who fast, censure, forbid and feel saintly, and who preach Your name in public places. For they know not Your law which says: if I testify about myself, my testimony is not true.

Have pity on those who fear Death and do not know the many kingdoms they have crossed and the many deaths they have died, and are unhappy because they think that everything will come to an end one day.
But have more pity on those who have known their many deaths and think they are immortal, for they know not Your law which says: he who is not born again may not see the kingdom of God.

Have pity on those who cannot see anyone but themselves, and are shut in their limousines, locked in their air conditioned penthouse offices, and suffer in silence the solitude of power.
But have pity on those who go without everything, and are charitable, and seek to overcome evil with love only, for they know not Your law which says: he who has no sword, may he sell his cloak and buy one.

Have pity on us, Lord. For we often think we are dressed when we are naked, we think we commit a crime and in reality save someone. Do not forget, in Your mercy, that we unsheathe the sword with the hand of an angel and the hand of a demon gripping the same hilt. For we are in the world, we continue in the world and need You. We always need Your law which says: when I sent you without bag, pouch or sandals, you lacked nothing.

Petrus stopped praying. The silence continued. He was gazing at the wheat field around us.

(in THE PILGRIMAGE )

40 SEC READ: The fire of friendship

FRANÇAIS: Le feu de l’amitié
ESPANOL: El fuego de la amistad

PORTUGUES: O fogo da amizade
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A man called Ali is in need of money and asks his boss to help him out. His boss sets him a challenge: if he can spend all night on the top of a mountain, he will receive a great reward; if he fails, he will have to work for free. The story continues:

When he left the shop, Ali noticed that an icy wind was blowing. He felt afraid and decided to ask his best friend, Aydi, if he thought he was mad to accept the wager.
After considering the matter for a moment, Aydi answered:
‘Don’t worry, I’ll help you. Tomorrow night, when you’re sitting on top of the mountain, look straight ahead.
‘I’ll be on the top of the mountain opposite, where I’ll keep a fire burning all night for you.

‘Look at the fire and think of our friendship; and that will keep you warm.
‘You’ll make it through the night, and afterwards, I’ll ask you for something in return.’

Ali won the wager, got the money, and went to his friend’s house.
‘You said you wanted some sort of payment in return.’

Aydi said, ‘Yes, but it isn’t money. Promise that if ever a cold wind blows through my life, you will light the fire of friendship for me.’

TAKEN FROM MY BOOK “ALEPH”

30 sec read: The king and the hermit

 

An old hermit was once invited to visit the court of the most powerful king of those times.

“I envy such a saintly man, who is content with so little,” said the ruler.

“I envy Your Majesty, who is content with even less that I,” responded the hermit.

“How can you say such a thing, if this entire country belongs to me?” – said the offended king.

“For precisely that reason. I have the music of the celestial spheres, I have the rivers and mountains of the whole world, I have the moon and the sun, because I have God in my soul. Your Majesty, on the other hand, has only this kingdom.”

La voie de l’archer

The circle of joy

EM PORTUGUES AQUI: O circulo da alegria
EN ESPANOL AQUI : El circulo de alegria

Illustration by Ken Crane
And old story tells that one day, a countryman knocked hard on a monastery door. When the monk tending the gates opened up, he was given a magnificent bunch of grapes.

– Brother, these are the finest my vineyard has produced. I’ve come to bear them as a gift.

– Thank you! I will take them to the Abbot immediately, he’ll be delighted with this offering.

– No! I brought them for you. For whenever I knock on the door, it is you opens it. When I needed help because the crop was destroyed by drought, you gave me a piece of bread and a cup of wine every day.

The monk held the grapes and spent the entire morning admiring it. And decided to deliver the gift to the Abbot, who had always encouraged him with words of wisdom.

The Abbot was very pleased with the grapes, but he recalled that there was a sick brother in the monastery, and thought:

“I’ll give him the grapes. Who knows, they may bring some joy to his life.”

And that is what he did. But the grapes didn’t stay in the sick monk’s room for long, for he reflected:

“The cook has looked after me for so long, feeding me only the best meals. I’m sure he will enjoy these.”

The cook was amazed at the beauty of the grapes. So perfect that no one would appreciate them more than the sexton; many at the monastery considered him a holy man, he would be best qualified to value this marvel of nature.

The sexton, in turn, gave the grapes as a gift to the youngest novice, that he might understand that the work of God is in the smallest details of Creation. When the novice received them, he remembered the first time he came to the monastery, and of the person who had opened the gates for him; it was that gesture which allowed him to be among this community of people who knew how to value the wonders of life.

And so, just before nightfall, he took the grapes to the monk at the gates.

– Eat and enjoy them – he said. – For you spend most of your time alone here, and these grapes will make you very happy.

The monk understood that the gift had been truly destined for him, and relished each of the grapes, before falling into a pleasant sleep.

Thus the circle was closed; the circle of happiness and joy, which always shines brightly around generous people.


Online Bookstore HERE
Kindle (four languages) HERE

 

La voie de l’Archer (Illustré)

Face à l’archer d’exception venu se mesurer à lui, le maître Tetsuya donne bien plus qu’une leçon de tir à l’arc et fait une formidable démonstration des pouvoirs insoupçonnés de son art. Un jeune garçon du village, témoin de ce coup d’éclat, insiste pour qu’il lui transmette son savoir.

Le maître l’avertit : il veut bien lui apprendre les règles nécessaires, mais à lui ensuite de les faire siennes et de s’en servir pour devenir un homme meilleur. C’est ainsi que Tetsuya commence à enseigner à son nouveau disciple la mystérieuse ” voie de l’archer “, le parcours de toute une vie.

Dans la droite ligne de L’Alchimiste, Paulo Coelho nous offre un nouveau conte poétique et lumineux qui invite à réfléchir sur nous-mêmes et à chercher notre propre voie.

Chacun peut en tirer les préceptes susceptibles d’éclairer ses choix et sa vie au quotidien : s’adapter aux changements, rester concentré sur ses objectifs ou encore trouver le courage de prendre des décisions délicates.

dans toutes les librairies de France

Incompetence behind authority

Jean was walking with his grandfather through a public square in Paris.
At a certain point, he saw a shoemaker being mistreated by a client, whose footwear showed a flaw. The shoemaker listened calmly to the complaint and apologized, promising to correct the error.

Jean and his grandfather stopped to have coffee at a bistro.
At the table next to them, the waiter asked a man to move his chair a little in order to make space. That man burst into a torrent of complaints and refused to move.

“Never forget what you have seen today,” Jean’s grandfather said, “the shoemaker accepted the complaint, while this man next to us didn’t want to move.

“Useful men, who do useful things, don’t mind being treated as useless.

“But the useless always judge themselves as being important and hide all their incompetence behind authority.”

 

Taken from “Like a flowing river”

21 inspiring Paulo Coelho Quotes for Entrepreneurs

Posted by P. Charitha

Paulo Coelho, the Brazilian lyricist and novelist is best known for his widely translated novel The Alchemist. A successful writer with the highest number of social media followers reaching over 29.5 million fans through his Facebook page and 12.2 million followers on Twitter, he uploaded his personal papers online to create a virtual Paulo Coelho Foundation.
Check out these inspiring quotes from his Blog which will motivate and keep you going steady in your entrepreneurial journey! We start with this quote.
 
“Fortunate are those who take the first Steps.”
So pat yourself on the back and move forward with your new idea and start the journey!
 
Believe in your Dreams
 “People are capable at any time in their lives of doing what they dream of.”
“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Do it now.”
“You are what you believe yourself to be.”
“When you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
And
“Miracles only happen if you believe in miracles.”
 
When you Fail
“Never give up.”
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
“You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.”
“Don’t give in to your fears, if you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”
 
Keep the positivity Flowing
“When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It’s very simple.”
“If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule: never lie to yourself.”
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
 
It’s not an easy Journey
“Sometimes you have to travel a long way to find what is near.”
“Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.”
“When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.”
 
Take that Risk
“You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.”
“A life without cause is a life without Effect.”
 
In those many moments of ups and downs where you have been told that it’s too risky or it’s not worth all the trouble & money keep fighting for your dream  because if you :
“Fight for your dreams and your dreams will fight for you.”
“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine: it is lethal.”

Inmates gather for Stillwater prison’s inaugural book club

By Star Tribune

 

Shawn Benson rested his hands beside the novel in a classroom with bars outside its window.

Nine inmates sat in a circle, taking turns dissecting “The Alchemist” — a story about discovering one’s destiny.

“The book really spoke to me,” said Benson, who’d remained silent for nearly 90 minutes as others drew parallels between the plot and the twists and turns of their own lives.

“You’re gonna figure out who you are and who you really want to be,” he recalled someone telling him about prison. “The journey he’s on is the journey I’m on right now.”

There was no wine to sip on that night. No cheese to spread. For this was no ordinary book club. It marked one of the first inside a Minnesota penitentiary, and a rare chance for offenders to convene with community members as equals over literature.

Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell organized the inaugural event at Stillwater prison in Bayport this month, inviting a handful of friends and neighbors for a wide-ranging discussion with the incarcerated men, most of whom are serving life sentences for murder.

“You would never in a million years guess that they have taken someone’s life,” said Schnell, who hand-picked the book in hopes of triggering some self-reflection about each individual’s chosen path.

“It gives perspective to people that all of us are more than one single story.”

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho chronicles the adventures of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy whose quest to find buried treasure helps uncover his true “Personal Legend.”

In a room peppered with posters advocating loyalty, respect and perseverance, the men allowed themselves to be vulnerable in front of perfect strangers about their own journeys — each of which has included unexpected detours.

Michael Medin, who started penning novels while imprisoned, pointed to omens in the book that helped guide the protagonist. Real life offers fortuitous warnings, too, he said, but not everyone chooses to take notice.

 

“I believe God put a lot of people in my path that I didn’t listen to,” Medin said. “I listened to the wrong people. My heart was set on the wrong treasure.”

Amid their spirited critiques, prisoners spent time analyzing one of the book’s most recognizable passages: “When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.”

David Brom took that line to heart. He found comfort in the idea that some greater power might be aiding him in achieving his goals.

“When I look back, there have been some dark and difficult moments,” said Brom, who’s been locked up for 30 years. “But I’ve encountered the right person at the right time — an opportunity came up that I didn’t think would ever exist and transformed who I was.”

Lessons I learned

By Ozzy Etomi

One of the stunning books that changed my life is “Manuscript Found In Accra” by Paul Coehlo. It was recommended to me by an awesome friend, and every now and again, I read my highlighted excerpts to refresh my mind on these amazing life lessons. I, like many others, fell in love with ‘The Alchemist’ many moons ago, but it was this book that truly took my breath away. It felt like I was having a conversation with my soul.

I decided to take a breather today and share them with you:

Seek friends and allies among people who believe in what they are doing and in who they are. Because friendship is one of the many faces of love and love is not swayed by opinions; Love accepts its companion unconditionally and allows each to grow in their own way.”

“People who seek only success rarely find it: for it is not an end, but a consequence. It is the fruit of a seed you have lovingly planted.”

“Avoid those who believe they are stronger than you, because they are actually concealing their own fragility.”

“Avoid those who seek friends in order to maintain a certain social status or to open doors they would not otherwise be able to approach. Stay close to those who are interested in opening only one important door: the door to your heart. They will never invade your soul without your consent or shoot a deadly arrow through that open door.”

“Avoid those who talk a great deal before acting, those who never take a step without being quite sure what it will bring them.”

“Stay close to those who, when you make a mistake, never said : “I would have done it differently”. They did not make that particular mistake, and are in no position to judge”

“Stay close to those who are not afraid to be vulnerable, because they have confidence in themselves and know that, at some point in our lives, we all stumble; they do not interpret this as a sign of weakness, but of humanity.”

“Blessed are those who do not fear solitude, who are not afraid of their own company, who are not always desperately looking for something to do, something to amuse themselves with, something to judge.

If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself.
And if you do not know yourself, you will begin to fear the void.”

“We are used to thinking that what we give is the same as what we receive, but people who love, expecting to be loved in return, are wasting their time.
Love is an act of faith, not an exchange.”

“We forget everything we are taught about love, because each new encounter brings its own agonies and its own ecstasies”

“In a desperate attempt to give meaning to life, many turn to religion, because a struggle in the name of faith is always a justification for some grand action that could transform the world. “We are doing God’s work”, they tell themselves. And they become devout followers, then evangelists, then finally fanatics. But they don’t understand that religion was created in order to share the mystery and to worship, not to oppress or convert others”

“Don’t allow your wounds transform you into someone you’re not”

I hope these words leave you feeling inspired, encouraged & reassured.