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Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist’ Reminds me to Listen to My Heart

The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist’

I have read mixed reviews about Paulo Coelho’s most famous novel “The Alchemist” some call it life changing while others find it too simple. For me it is a very much needed reminder to listen to my .

Today we are too busy planning big tasks and conquering battles in every field of our life. Work life balance is become our biggest fantasy or something that has lost its way in the past. In our crazy hectic schedule were very duty is performed like an impossible mission a smooth read like “The Alchemist” takes us on a journey to find the treasure of our life.

It forces us to calm down and look around for messages from the higher self mentioned in the book as omens. We are too busy to run like a hamster on its wheel whole day 5 or 6 days a week and the rest days at the end of the week are spent to regain the energy to fight the never ending war next week then next and so on.

“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” — Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)

Paulo Coelho reminds us to understand where our heart is. What is it longing for? In what does it feel happiness? Where ever your heart takes you, you will find your treasure. This can be actual in form of wealth, relationship, happiness or anything that you earn after finding your calling and respecting your heart’s cravings. Find a peaceful place, stay calm, breath very slowly and deeply, close your eyes and try to quite your mind. Now try to listen to your heart. What do you think it is interested in? What gives it immense happiness and satisfaction? I am sure you know it till now but if you are confused a meditation exercise can help.

“Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.” — Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)

Most of us cannot follow our heart because of fear. Fear of failing or fear of disappointing others, fear of the unknown or fear of moving out of our comfort zone. As a part of being a grownup we lose our child like curiosity, our sense of adventure, become restless and get scared of dreaming big.

As a grownup we try to fit in the surrounding and try to follow some rules even if they do not benefit us. When we suppress our heart desires for a long time it stops communicating with us. Our heart is our only source to connect with the higher self or the wisdom that runs the whole universe. Don’t suppress its voice to make someone else happy.
Your calling or interest is a big part of your destiny. Understand the language of your heart and something magical will happen. Life will become smoother and sweeter. The resistance you face in your daily grind will become weaker making it easier for you to enjoy the journey called life.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.” — Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)

If you are looking for a way to connect to your heart’s desire this book can help you by taking you on a journey you will never forget. You want to go on that adventure again and again and who knows may be it will encourage you to find your own adventure.

Our First Valentine’s Day – My Platinum Day of Love.

Paphos sunset
Our First Valentine’s Daylaurenz / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Young love gets very excited with first of everything; first date, first kiss, first movie together, first New Year’s Eve together, and the biggie – the very first Valentine’s Day. To recall my Platinum Day of Love I mentally scanned millions of memories and out of many one stood out as the earliest one.

This memory is more than 13 years old but I still remember like it happened yesterday. Before visiting my Platinum Day of Love let me give you some background. I met my husband 10 years before we tied the knot. I won’t say it was love at first sight but we instantly become good friends. Our interests were similar like we loved the same kind of food, movies, places to hang out and all those little things played a big role to get us closer to each other.

That year the Valentine’s Day was special for me. It was my first year out of a very strict all girls school and in college. I was looking towards celebrating my first ever grown up romantic valentine party arranged by the seniors of my college.

I planned the dress, makeup & hair, the shoes that will go with the dress and everything well in advanced now all I needed for my perfect romantic Valentine party was a date. Don’t get me wrong some boys did ask me (I remember at least 4) some well in advanced but all those were turned down and some very harshly by my best friend. He had a strong negative opinion about every boy who tried to be my date for the Valentine’s party.

He was against the concept of Valentine’s Day like Grinch against Christmas. Everyone in my college was excited about the romantic day except the one person I really wanted to celebrate with. He was having debates about how the day is nothing but a commercial celebration and how the greeting cards, flowers and chocolate industries rip off gullible youngsters. I imagined him as the prince charming in my fairy tale and he was behaving like the fire-breathing dragon guarding the tower.

The day before the party we were hanging out with our friends; one of them asked what would my perfect Valentine’s Day be like and without a thought I said a long romantic bike ride to some beautiful place. He looked at me and gave me a smile. We did share a moment but we both didn’t have the guts to tell our true feelings for each other. All my friends decided to go to the party as a group and not in pairs thanks to the grumbling of the Valentine Grinch in our group.

The next morning as planned I packed my dress, makeup and shoes in a bag. We were going to attend the party right after classes. Deep in my thoughts I was getting dressed for my early morning classes. I remembered how he drove away every guy trying to ask me for a date. Maybe that is his way of showing he thinks of me more than a friend. May be when the time is right we will get to the place where telling each other about our feelings will not be so awkward.

It was a beautiful morning, the sun was rising, and the winter was very well showing its presence in Pune. I got in the bus that I regularly took for college and just like any other day I buried my head in a book. This was a very early bus and hardly had any passengers, I sat near a window to enjoy the cool winter breeze. Honking from a motorcycle distracted my reading. I looked out of the window and noticed two of my friends on a bike riding along my bus.

Aditi sitting behind held out a big chart paper having a huge “B” written on it; I waved to ask her what are doing but they rode ahead. Another bike with two more of my friends rode along the bus and Sarika who was sitting behind held another sign that read “My”. I was thrilled and a bit embarrassed with this act of my friends as everyone in that bus including the conductor was looking at these signs. The conductor made it more embarrassing as he was reading the signs out load.

After the second bike moved ahead along came the third bike on which Radhika sitting behind held out a sign that read “Valentine.” The conductor promptly read it out loud. Then he said out the whole sentence with the excitement of a child solving a puzzle; “B My Valentine.” Some in the bus giggled and some shook their head in disapproval for the crazy act of the youngsters.

I hid my face with my book bit shocked with this surprise and then the fourth bike came along with only one rider, my price charming who came close to my window and yelled out; “If the answer is yes please get down at the next stop.” I could not believe what was happening. Nobody ever did anything like this for me and I couldn’t wait to see what else was planned by my friends. I got down at the next stop. My seven friends grinning like the Cheshire cat and their four motorcycles where waiting for me at that stop.

I looked in his eyes and saw a spark like never before. Today he was more than my best friend, today he was my valentine. I sat on his bike and we all drove towards our college. I rested my head on his back and closed my eyes. The cool touch of his leather jacket felt so nice against my cheek. I put my arms around him and held him tightly. I never wanted that moment to end.

When we reached college it looked completely different. Lots and lots of bikes where cluttered in front of the gate almost everyone from my class was standing there. “What’s going on?” I asked him. “Well, didn’t you say something about a bike ride? I spread that idea among our class mates and got an overwhelming response. Now we all our going for a long bike ride to Kashid beach, it will take roughly 3 to 4 hours and then back till night. We have planned to bunk the classes and ditch the senior’s party. Please tell me if you like the plan or would you like to do something else. Either ways I would love to spend this day with you.” He replied.

How could I say no to something like that and so our road trip started from college at around 7 am. Our convoy of 14 bikes and 28 youngsters mostly couples reached the beach before 11 am. The bike ride was tiring but the roads were beautiful. The roads had lush greenery on both sides and very less traffic compared to the city ones. Riding along with a huge group was such an amazing experience.

On that bike I felt close to him like never before. Several times he touched my hand in the most loving way. My hands were sometimes resting on his thigh or hugging his chest. He kept asking me if I was comfortable or if he needs to stop for a break all along the road. In the morning when it was cold he told me to put my hands in his jacket pockets to keep them warm.

The day we spent on the beach was mesmerizing. Most of my college mates enjoyed group activities but I just loved walking on the wet sand and feeling the waves on my feet. The tiredness from the journey melted in seconds as my feet touched the cool and soft sand. The ocean waves were inviting and a dip in them made the trip completely worth it.

Just before sunset and before leaving that beautiful place I wanted to take a last long walk on the beach. He joined me and we walked along the long beach holding hands, taking like we are dating for years, picking up any interesting shell that we spot in the sand and of course playing with the foamy waves with our feet. He suddenly stopped, “I think we came too far. We can’t even hear our friends. Let’s go back.”

We turned back but we stopped for few minutes to notice the most beautiful sunset we ever saw. The sky turned red it looked like the universe was blushing as we were getting closer. He held me from behind, his hands crossing near mine. I never felt so secured, so safe yet so vulnerable before. He kissed my cheek and they copied the blush of the sky. For us the world stood still for that moment. Our feelings for each other were clearer more than ever. That sunset was the end of all the awkwardness and confusion. That was the moment we became one.

My Platinum Day of Love was nothing like I dreamed or planned but it was magical. I did wear the dress and makeup I packed in my bag but on another day for our first date just the two of us. I thank God that it also went nothing as planned and that is a whole another story. Now every day I try to live my life not as per some schedule or plan but trying to recreate the magic I experienced on my Platinum Day of Love. Why Platinum because we are blessed with true love that does not fade with time and a precious metal like Platinum compliments our eternal love.

This post is specially created for Indiblogger’s Platinum Day of Love Contest.
platinum


This blog post was written for Indiblogger Contest.

A Creative World – The Artist’s Way of Life


A Creative World – The Artist’s Way of Life

A Creative World – The Artist’s Way of Life


Do you believe in God? For years I believed God to be a passionate artist or else how would you explain the vibrant beautiful world around us. How would you explain different colors, sounds, tastes and texture that nature splashes so abundantly. God is incredibly creative; isn’t he? How do you see God; as a passionate artist or a crazy scientist?

“Creativity is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to God.” — Bob Moawad

Albert Einstein is my favorite genius not just because he was an amazing scientist but a firm believer in imagination and mind’s creative power in the intuitive mind. Einstein’s above quote clearly mentions “The intuitive mind as a sacred gift.” Without it there would not be any discoveries. Everything we enjoy today was an imagination or a dream of a brilliant visionary.

God and Humans who are created in his image are all artists even the crazy scientists. An artist or a scientist is not different from each other. They both get possessed with their passion or work.

“Our vocation and professional work is not a second class activity, something we do just to put food on the table. It is the high calling for which we were originally created. The way we serve a Creator God is by being creative with the talents and gifts He has given us.” — Nancy Pearcey (Total Truth)

If you want are interested in enhancing your craft or exploring your creative side you can read a wonderful book called “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron; which is a full course in connecting with the higher creative energy. This book can awaken an artist within anyone even if you think you don’t have a creative side you will be surprised to find out your true nature.

I am glad to give a peek in Julia extraordinary work. Every principle is a quote to remember especially if you are an artist trying to find your place in this rational world.

“Basic Principles:

1. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy.

2. There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life — including ourselves.

3. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator’s creativity within us and our lives.

4. We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.

5. Creativity is God’s gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God.

6. The refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our true nature.

7. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God: good orderly direction.

8. As we open our creative channel to the creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.

9. It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.

10. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.” — Julia Cameron

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What is the purpose of life? Why are we here?


What is the purpose of life? Why are we here?

What is the purpose of life? Why are we here?


“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” — Eleanor Roosevelt.

Did this question ever cross your mind? I am sure at least once in your life you must have taken a pause for just minutes and asked yourself “Why am I here? What is the purpose of my life?”

Was there an answer that came up from within your mind, heart or soul? If yes did it feel right? There are millions of questions regarding our purpose of life and no one but the person living that particular life can come up with the right answer.

I love movies as much as I love books and some movies just like some books get a special place in my heart as they teach me something that I was desperate to learn. “Hugo” is one of those special movies and one scene in it has made an imprint in my mind. It beautifully tells us about our purpose and our importance in world.

If you have seen “Hugo” you can easily guess the scene but for those who are yet to see this amazing movie I am happy to paste the clip here.

In the most simple words Hugo explains how everything even non living machines have a purpose and a person who has lost his/her purpose is broken. He also tells that the whole world is a big machine and as machine never comes with extra parts, we fit perfectly in the world that means we are here for a reason.

Now when we know that we are here for a reason then doesn’t it become our top most priority to find out our purpose of life?

Here is a solution to find out the purpose of your life (but this will require a lot of time and patience):

Write on a sheet of paper or in a word document a list of things that come to your mind when you ask yourself “What is my purpose?” Keep writing till you find an answer that you strongly feel about and cannot think of anything else as your purpose after that answer.

The stronger you feel about something the higher the chance that is your purpose or your role in this big divine machine we call the world.

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” — Aristotle

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Napoleon Hill’s 6 Steps to Turn Desires into Reality

Think and Grow Rich
Think and Grow RichKarmaLampoon / Foter / CC BY-NC

“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” — Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” is one of those few books that you can find on the recommended list of almost every successful person. In fact some even give this book truly deserving credit for their success. Think and Grow Rich is a life transforming book. It changes the reader thinking and behavior and gives the reader a push towards success.

“Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire brings a small amount of heat.” — Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill researched for 25 years and studied behavior of 500 successful people to find out the formula for success. This book was introduced in 1937 and it’s teachings is as much relevant today as it was in that time.

“An educated man is not, necessarily, one who has an abundance of general or specialized knowledge. An educated man is one who has so developed the faculties of his mind that he may acquire anything he wants, or its equivalent, without violating the rights of others.” — Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill is like a strict no-nonsense professor who wants all his students to thrive. This book is loaded with wisdom that we can apply in our life and become successful in any field we try. This is not some magic beans story or some baseless wishful thinking that can play with your head and emotions but a proper disciplined method of achieving great success.

“Whatever your mind can conceive, you can achieve.” — Napolean Hill

The people mentioned in this book are the most successful people in history and these principles, methods, habits or discipline are drown from their journey to achieve an extraordinary life.

Step 1: Fix in mind the exact amount of money you desire.

Step 2: Determined what you intend to give in return for the money you desire.

Step 3: Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.

Step 4: Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not to put this plan into action.

Step 5: Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire, name the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.

Step 6: Read your statement aloud, twice daily, once just before bed and once after rising in the morning. As you read see and feel and believe yourself already in possession of the money.

These steps are scrutinize and approved by Thomas A. Edison who gave his seal of approval on these steps not only to acquire riches but achieve any goal.

“Your only limitation is the one you set up in your own mind!” — Napolean Hill

Take Action Towards Goal – Lord’s Hanuman’s Teaching About Following One’s Bliss.

Lord Hanuman

Lord Hanuman


As per my Hindu upbringing I believe that God has many forms. Lord Hanuman (The Monkey God) is one of the most amazing one. The tales or legends about this lord can put any super hero comic to shame. If you study about the qualities of Lord Hanuman you will understand how this divine mythological character is powerful and strong also an inspiration to many Superheroes and Mutants that we find so entertaining.

Before the start of this year I accompanied my friends to visit some ancient temples. This was a trip to explore some new places and get blessings for the coming year ahead. As we were visiting various temples devoted to different forms of God one of my friend who is a devoted follower of Lord Hanuman stood in the Hanuman temple for a longer time as he was chanting a long prayer. The rest of us scattered around to notice the beauty of that temple which was built centuries ago.

I noticed a very peaceful holy man sitting on the steps outside. I don’t know what provoked me to go and talk to him but I did. I asked him in Hindi, “If I need to take one teaching from Lord Hanuman to bring some order to my life. What shall it be?” He smiled and looked at me. After taking a long breath he replied; “Find a God and devote yourself to it.” I did not understand. I thought he was talking about a form of God that we Hindus worship like Lord Shiv or Lord Vishu or Lord Hanuman himself. When he saw me confused he further said “Karma he Dharma hai” that means “Work is worship.”

To make sure I understand correctly I asked him does this mean if I devote myself to my work, I will follow the right path. He corrected me by saying “a work of your liking not any work” that’s what he meant by “Find a God.” So I was at this ancient temple in a small town and I received this life changing advice to “follow my bliss” from a holy man who looked very peaceful because he was following his own. Before I reached home I made a decision to devote myself to my passion, you guessed it right “Writing!”

Lord Hanuman is mostly associated with his strength, his power, his discipline even his vow of celibacy but his unconditional devotion to Lord Rama is the teaching we need to understand and incorporate in our life. Our talent is a gift from God what we do with it is our gift back.

So what’s your bliss or passion? Please do share I would love to know?

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