20 sec reading: talking to my angel

Nobody is courageous all the time. The unknown is a constant challenge, and being afraid is part of the journey.

What to do?
Talk to yourself. Talk alone.

Talk to yourself even if others think you have gone crazy.
As we talk, an inner force gives us the security to overcome the obstacles that need to be surmounted.
We learn lessons from the defeats that we are bound to suffer.
And we prepare ourselves for the many victories that will be part of our life.

And just between you and me, those who have this habit (and I’m one of them) know that they never talk alone: the guardian angel is there, listening and helping us to reflect.

Convention of those wounded in love

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General provisions: 

A – Whereas the saying “all is fair in love and war” is absolutely correct;

B – Whereas for war we have the Geneva Convention, approved on 22 August 1864, which provides for those wounded in the battle field, but until now no convention has been signed concerning those wounded in love, who are far greater in number;

It is hereby decreed that:

Article 1 – All lovers, of any sex, are alerted that love, besides being a blessing, is also something extremely dangerous, unpredictable and capable of causing serious damage.  Consequently, anyone planning to love should be aware that they are exposing their body and soul to various types of wounds, and that they shall not be able to blame their partner at any moment, since the risk is the same for both.

Article 2 – Once struck by a stray arrow fired from Cupid’s bow, they should immediately ask the archer to shoot the same arrow in the opposite direction, so as not to be afflicted by the wound known as “unrequited love”.  Should Cupid refuse to perform such a gesture, the Convention now being promulgated demands that the wounded partner remove the arrow from his/her heart and throw it in the garbage.  In order to guarantee this, those concerned should avoid telephone calls, messages over the Internet, sending flowers that are always returned, or each and every means of seduction, since these may yield results in the short run but always end up wrong after a while.  The Convention decrees that the wounded person should immediately seek the company of other people and try to control the obsessive thought: “this person is worth fighting for”.

Article 3 – If the wound is caused by third parties, in other words if the loved one has become interested in someone not in the script previously drafted, vengeance is expressly forbidden.  In this case, it is allowed to use tears until the eyes dry up, to punch walls or pillows, to insult the ex-partner in conversations with friends, to allege his/her complete lack of taste, but without offending their honor.  The Convention determines that the rule contained in Article 2 be applied: seek the company of other persons, preferably in places different from those frequented by the other party.

Article 4 – In the case of light wounds, herein classified as small treacheries, fulminating passions that are short-lived, passing sexual disinterest, the medicine called Pardon should be applied generously and quickly.  Once this medicine has been applied, one should never reconsider one’s decision, not even once, and the theme must be completely forgotten and never used as an argument in a fight or in a moment of hatred.

Article 5 – In all definitive wounds, also known as “breaking up”, the only medicine capable of having an effect is called Time.  It is no use seeking consolation from fortune-tellers (who always say that the lost lover will return), romantic books (which always have a happy ending), soap-operas on the television or other such things.  One should suffer intensely, completely avoiding drugs, tranquilizers and praying to saints.  Alcohol is only tolerated if kept to a maximum of two glasses of wine a day. 

Final determination : Those wounded in love, unlike those wounded in armed conflict, are neither victims nor torturers.  They chose something that is part of life, and so they have to accept both the agony and the ecstasy of their choice.

And those who have never been wounded in love will never be able to say: “I have lived”.  Because they haven’t.

 

The problem of the others

There was once a well-known scholar, who lived in a mountain in the Himalayas. Tired of living with men, he had chosen a simple life and spent most of his time meditating.

His fame, however, was so great that people were willing to walk narrow paths, climb steep hills, swim rivers – to meet the holy man who was believed to be able to resolve any trouble of the human heart.

The wise man, as he was full of compassion, gave some advice here and there, but kept trying to get rid of unwanted visitors. Still, they appeared in larger groups, and once a day a crowd knocked on his door, saying that great stories about him were published in their local newspaper and that everyone was sure he knew how to overcome the difficulties of their lives.

The wise man said nothing but asked them to sit and wait. Three days passed, and more people arrived. When there was no room for anyone else, he addressed the people who were outside his door.

“Today I will give the answer that everyone wants. But you must promise that, to have your problems solved, you will not tell the new pilgrims that I moved here – so that you can continue to live in the solitude you so much crave. Men and women have made a sacred oath that if the wise fulfilled their promises, they would not let any more pilgrims climb the mountain.”

“Tell me your problems,” said the sage.

Someone began to speak, but was soon interrupted by others, as everyone knew that this was the last public hearing that the holy man was giving, and they feared that he wouldn’t have the time to listen to all of them. Minutes later, confusion was created, many voices were shouting at the same time, people were crying, men and women were tearing their hair out in despair because it was impossible to hear.

The wise man let the situation be prolonged a little, until he cried, “Silence!”

The crowd fell silent immediately.

“Write your problems down and put the papers in front of me,” he said.

When everyone finished, the wise man mixed all the papers in a basket, then said, “Keep this basket moving amongst you. Each of you will take a paper, and read it. You will then choose whether to keep your problems, or take the one given to you.”

Each person took a sheet of paper, read it, and was horrified. They concluded that what they had written, however bad it was, was not as serious as what ailed his neighbor. Two hours later, they exchanged papers amongst themselves, and each one had to put their personal problems back into his or her pocket, relieved that their distress was not as hard as they once thought.

Grateful for the lesson, they went down the mountain with the certainty that they were happier than all the others, and – fulfilling the promise made – never let anyone disturb the peace of the holy man.

Paulo Coelho: ‘I had an enormous amount of fun being a hippie’

The Brazilian-born writer on wealth, travel and having coffee with strangers

The Observer

Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things – thoughts, ideas, opinions. I discovered very early in life that the best way for me to communicate is through my writing, but it took me years to realise that it’s what I needed to do full time.

I remember the moments after I was born. Someone entered the room, and I said to myself: “This is my grandmother.” Nobody believes me. I’ve asked doctors if it’s possible – the answer is always no, but I know what I saw that day.

Writing is a solitary experience. I’m extremely superstitious. If I talk about the book or name the title out loud before finishing, I feel the energy I need to write will be drained. It’s so intimate I can’t even share it with my wife.

My connection with Brazil is so abstract. My blood and my way of thinking is Brazilian, but that’s it. I don’t tend to go back to the past and, although I have an apartment there, I rarely visit. When I move, I really move.

I’ve made a lot of money. It’s nice to be able to wear a very good coat in the Geneva winter [where Coelho now lives], but I feel I’ve always been rich. I could afford my greatest pleasures even when I wasn’t wealthy. Travel, archery, writing and reading don’t cost a lot.

I can control my destiny, but not my fate. Destiny means there are opportunities to turn right or left, but fate is a one-way street. I believe we all have the choice as to whether we fulfil our destiny, but our fate is sealed.

A lot of people feel intimidated by me.
There are usually two ways they deal with my fame: they either become very shy and I have to do all the talking, which bores me, or they start name dropping and boasting about how much money they have.

I don’t miss being a hippy. I had an enormous amount of fun and I travelled the world on a shoestring. But I couldn’t stay in that state forever, totally stoned, wandering across the planet.

Humans are not monogamous by nature. For the sake of the preservation of our species, we are not meant to be. But I do believe in marriage. I’ve been married for 34 years. Love is the most important thing in my life.

In anger, I react like an animal. My temper is Latin. If I’m in a bad mood, you’ll know about it. I’d be a terrible politician as I always say what I think.

A lot of people want to be vampires. Fighting against the ageing process is futile. I’m thrilled that I haven’t died young and that I’m getting older without bitterness. It’s a joy.

I have a lot of free time.
There is this idea that when you’re a successful writer you’re always so busy, but I’m not. I spend a lot of time walking around and having coffee with strangers.

I visit obscure book shops just to check that my work is still stocked.
 
 
Paulo Coelho is the author of HIPPIE

89 quotes

 

1. “Never explain. Your friends won’t need it. And haters will continue to hate (because they also hate themselves).” – Paulo Coelho

2. “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

3. “You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.” – Paulo Coelho

4. “Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.” – Paulo Coelho

5. “The more violent the storm, the quicker it passes.” – Paulo Coelho

6. “Everybody has a creative potential and from the moment you can express this creative potential, you can start changing the world.” – Paulo Coelho

7. “Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” – Paulo Coelho

8. “When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It’s very simple.” – Paulo Coelho

9. “Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

10. “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho

11. “You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.” – Paulo Coelho

12. “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.” – Paulo Coelho

13. “The more in harmony with yourself you are, the more joyful you are and the more faithful you are. Faith is not to disconnect you from reality – it connects you to reality.” – Paulo Coelho

14. “You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.” – Paulo Coelho

15. “The two worst strategic mistakes to make are acting prematurely and letting an opportunity slip; to avoid this, the warrior treats each situation as if it were unique and never resorts to formulae, recipes or other people’s opinions.” – Paulo Coelho

16. “You’re always learning. The problem is, sometimes you stop and think you understand the world. This is not correct. The world is always moving. You never reach the point you can stop making an effort.” – Paulo Coelho

17. “I’m not saying that love always takes you to heaven. Your life can become a nightmare. But that said, it is worth taking the risk.” – Paulo Coelho

18. “If you start by promising what you don’t even have yet, you’ll lose your desire to work towards getting it.” – Paulo Coelho

19. “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” – Paulo Coelho

20. “Life has a way of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once.” – Paulo Coelho

21. “One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.” – Paulo Coelho

22. “If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule – Never lie to yourself.” – Paulo Coelho

23. “The act of discovering who we are will force us to accept that we can go further than we think.” – Paulo Coelho

24. “The secret of life is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” – Paulo Coelho

25. “Don’t waste your time with explanations, people only hear what they want to hear.” – Paulo Coelho

26. “Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.” – Paulo Coelho

27. “When you repeat a mistake, it is not a mistake anymore: it is a decision.” – Paulo Coelho

28. “People are capable at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.” – Paulo Coelho

29. “Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” – Paulo Coelho

30. “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.” – Paulo Coelho

31. “The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.” – Paulo Coelho

32. “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” – Paulo Coelho

33. “I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It’s all a question of how I view my life.” – Paulo Coelho

34. “When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.” – Paulo Coelho

35. “We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.” – Paulo Coelho

36. “Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.” – Paulo Coelho

37. “People never learn anything by being told, they have to find out for themselves.” – Paulo Coelho

38. “You are what you believe yourself to be.” – Paulo Coelho

39. “What is a teacher? I’ll tell you: it isn’t someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows.” – Paulo Coelho

40. “When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive.” – Paulo Coelho

41. “Life is too short, or too long, for me to allow myself the luxury of living it so badly.” – Paulo Coelho

42. “There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.” – Paulo Coelho

43. “No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it.” – Paulo Coelho

44. “I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now.” – Paulo Coelho

45. “If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” – Paulo Coelho

46. “All you have to do is pay attention: lessons always arrive when you are ready.” – Paulo Coelho

47. “Live truly and forgive quickly.” – Paulo Coelho

48. “You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it is better to listen to what it has to say.” – Paulo Coelho

49. “Happiness is something that multiplies when it is divided.” – Paulo Coelho

50. “Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.” – Paulo Coelho

51. “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.” – Paulo Coelho

52. “Don’t allow your mind to tell your heart what to do. The mind gives up easily.” – Paulo Coelho

53. “Miracles only happen if you believe in miracles.” – Paulo Coelho

54. “Fortunate are those who take the first steps.” – Paulo Coelho

55. “Do something instead of killing time. Because time is killing you.” – Paulo Coelho

56. “A life without cause is a life without effect.” – Paulo Coelho

57. “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine: it is lethal.” – Paulo Coelho

58. “Close some doors today, not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they lead you nowhere.” – Paulo Coelho

59. “Joy is sometimes a blessing, but it is often a conquest. Our magic moment help us to change and sends us off in search of our dreams. Yes, we are going to suffer, we will have difficult times, and we will experience many disappointments — but all of this is transitory it leaves no permanent mark. And one day we will look back with pride and faith at the journey we have taken.” – Paulo Coelho

60. “Talent is a universal gift, but it takes a lot of courage to use it. Don’t be afraid to be the best.” – Paulo Coelho

61. “Never give up. When your heart becomes tired, just walk with your legs – but move on.” – Paulo Coelho

62. “You must always know what it is that you want.” – Paulo Coelho

63. “It is possible to avoid pain? Yes, but you’ll never learn anything. Is it possible to know something without ever having experiencing it? Yes, but it will never truly be part of you.” – Paulo Coelho

64. “You have two choices, to control your mind or to let your mind control you.” – Paulo Coelho

65. “The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better.” – Paulo Coelho

66. “People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them.” – Paulo Coelho

67. “People are never satisfied. If they have a little, they want more. If they have a lot, they want still more. Once they have more, they wish they could be happy with little, but are incapable of making the slightest effort in that direction.” – Paulo Coelho

68. “Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose – and commit myself to – what is best for me.” – Paulo Coelho

69. “There is only one way to learn. It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.” – Paulo Coelho

70. “What hurts us is what heals us.” – Paulo Coelho

71. “Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.” – Paulo Coelho

72. “Forgive but do not forget, or you will be hurt again. Forgiving changes the perspectives. Forgetting loses the lesson.” – Paulo Coelho

73. “Sometimes, we are so attached to our way of life that we turn down wonderful opportunities simply because don’t know what to do with it.” – Paulo Coelho

74. “Be crazy! But learn how to be crazy without being the center of attention. Be brave enough to live different.” – Paulo Coelho

75. “People learn twenty-five percent from their teacher, twenty-five percent from listening to themselves, twenty-five percent from their friends, and twenty-five percent from time.” – Paulo Coelho

76. “Haters are confused admirers who can’t understand why everybody else likes you.” – Paulo Coelho

77. “Go for the impossible. I always tried to find my own limits. So far I did not find them, so my universe is in constant expansion.” – Paulo Coelho

78. “Timidity puts obstacles in your path, boldness eliminates them.” – Paulo Coelho

79. “‘Someday’, ‘maybe’ and ‘if’ are very dangerous words that must be avoided.” – Paulo Coelho

80. “Don’t listen to the malicious comments of those friends who, never taking any risks themselves, can only see other people’s failures.” – Paulo Coelho

81. “All battles in life serve to teach us something, even the battles we lose.” – Paulo Coelho

82. “Stop thinking all the time that you’re in the way, that you’re bothering the person next to you. If people don’t like it, they can complain. And if they don’t have courage to complain, that’s their problem.” – Paulo Coelho

83. “Those who never take risks can only see other people’s failures.” – Paulo Coelho

84. “The most important experiences we can have are those that take us to the very limit. That is the only way we learn, because it requires all our courage.” – Paulo Coelho

85. “The world lies in the hands of those who have the courage to dream and who take the risk of living out their dreams – each according to his or her own talent.” – Paulo Coelho

86. “It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.” – Paulo Coelho

87. “Tragedy always brings about radical change in our lives, a change that is associated with the same principle: loss. When faced by any loss, there’s no point in trying to recover what has been; it’s best to take advantage of the large space that opens up before us and fill it with something new.” – Paulo Coelho

88. “It’s what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future.” – Paulo Coelho

89. “The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” – Paulo Coelho

40 SEC READ: Those with eyes to see

Avoid those who say: ‘That’s it, I’ll go no further.’
Because what they have failed to grasp is that neither life nor death has an end; they are merely stages of eternity.

Stay close to those who say: ‘Everything’s fine as it is, but we still need to move on.’
Because they understand the need to keep going beyond the known horizon.

Avoid those who meet up to discuss, seriously and pretentiously, any decisions that the community needs to take.
They understand about politics, they impress others and try to show how wise they are.
What they don’t understand is that it is impossible to control so much as the fall of a single hair on your head.
Discipline is important, but it needs to leave doors and windows open to intuition and the unexpected.

Stay close to those who sing, tell stories, enjoy life and whose eyes sparkle with happiness.
Because happiness is contagious and will always manage to find a solution whereas logic can find only an explanation for the mistake made.

Stay close to those who allow the light of Love to shine forth without restrictions, judgements or rewards, without letting it be blocked by the fear of being misunderstood.
No matter how you are feeling, get up every morning and prepare to let your light shine forth.

Those with eyes to see will see your light and be enchanted by it.
 
 
taken from THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

1 MIN reading: I have learned

I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them;
I’ve learned that no matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back;
I’ve learned that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.
I’ve learned that you can get by on charm, for about fifteen minutes. After that, you’d better know something;
I’ve learned that either you control your attitude or it controls you.
I’ve learned that no matter how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take it’s place.
I’ve learned that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re downhill are the ones to help you get back up.
I’ve learned that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry.
I’ve learned that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
I’ve learned that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean that they don’t love you with all they have.
I’ve learned that maturity had more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.
I’ve learned that your family won’t always be there for you.
I’ve learned that no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while.
I’ve learned that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to forgive yourself.
I’ve learned that no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn’t stop for your grief.
I’ve learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
I’ve learned that just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.
I’ve learned that we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
I’ve learned that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
I’ve learned that no matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt and you will get hurt in the process.
I’ve learned that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don’t even know you.
I’ve learned that it’s hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people’s feelings and standing up for what you believe.

 
 

 

Online Bookstore HERE
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20 sec reading: Lost and found

Each work of art could easily say:
‘I want to be noticed and I’m going to get out of here.
So I can share my efforts with my brothers and sisters’

And as it is with vases, paintings, sculptures, so it is with men and women.
And so it is with tribes and ships and trees and stars.

Once we understand this, we can sit next to our neighbour at the end of the day and listen with respect to what he has to say and say what he needs to hear.
And neither of us will try to impose our ideas on the other.

Beyond the mountains that separate the tribes, beyond the distance that separates bodies, there exists the community of spirits.
We are part of that, and there are no streets peopled with pointless words, only broad avenues that connect what is distant and sometimes have to be repaired because of the damage caused by time.

And the man who, yesterday, was seen as an enemy because there was a war being waged, will now be seen as a friend again, because the war is over and life goes on.

The son who left will eventually return, and he will return rich in the experiences he had along the way.
His father will receive him with open arms and say to his servants: ‘Bring the best robe for him and put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet; because my son was dead and is alive again, he was lost and is found.’

Thus, the returning lover will never be eyed with distrust, because loyalty accompanies his/her every step.
 
 
taken from THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

Enjoy 2020!

Many people are fearful of happiness. For such persons, to be content in life means they must change a number of their habits -and lose their sense of identity.

Often we become indignant at the good things that befall us.

We do not accept them, because to do so causes us to feel that we are in God’s debt.

We think: ‘Better not to drink from the chalice of happiness, because, when it is empty, we will suffer greatly. ‘

Out of a fear of shrinking, we fail to grow.

Out of a fear of weeping, we fail to laugh

 

Therefore, enjoy 2020 and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Reflections in a lake

Cain and Abel came to the banks of an enormous lake. They had never seen anything like it.

“There’s something inside it,” said Abel, looking into the water, not knowing that it was his reflection. Cain noticed the same thing, and raised his staff.

The image did the same thing. Cain stood waiting for the blow; his image did the same. Abel studied the surface of the water. He smiled, and the image smiled. He laughed out loud, and saw the other imitating him. As they walked away, Cain thought:

“How aggressive those creatures are who live in there.”

And Abel told himself:

“I’d like to return, for I met someone both handsome and in good humor.” –

God is for the valiant

If you are traveling the road of your dreams, be committed to it.

Do not leave an open door to be used as an excuse such as, ‘Well, this isn’t exactly what I wanted. ‘ Therein are contained the seeds of defeat. “

Walk your path. Even if your steps have to be uncertain, even if you know that you could be doing it better.

If you accept your possibilities in the present, there is no doubt that you will improve in the future.

But if you deny that you have limitations, you will never be rid of them.

Confront your path with courage, and don’t be afraid of the criticism of others. And, above all, don’t allow yourself to become paralyzed by self-criticism. od will be with you on your sleepless nights, and will dry your tears with His love. God is for the valiant.

Don’t try to make sense

Just as I succeeded in finding all the answers, all the questions changed.

We are always concerned with finding answers.

We feel that answers are important to understand what life means.

It is more important to live fully, and allow time to reveal to us the secrets of our existence.

If we are too concerned with making sense of life, we prevent nature from acting, and we become unable to read God’s signs.

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

________________
PARA LER EM PORTUGUES CLICAR AQUI> O pinheiro de St. Martin
PARA LEER EN ESPANOL CLICAR AQUI > El pino de St. Martin
________________

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
_____________________________
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

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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

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” 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

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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 )