2013: Adventure

by PAULO COELHO
from MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA 3474

What the future holds for you depends entirely on your capacity for love.

And for that, you must have absolute and total confidence in what you are doing. Don’t let others say: ‘That road is better’ or ‘That route is easier’.

The greatest gift God gave us is the power to make decisions.

The adventure of the days to come needs to be full of romance, because the world needs that; therefore, when you are mounted on your horse, feel the wind on your face and enjoy the sense of freedom.

But don’t forget that you have a long journey ahead. If you surrender totally to the romance of it all, you might fall. If you don’t stop occasionally to let both you and your horse rest, your horse might die of thirst or exhaustion.

And precisely at the moment when everything seems to be going well and your dream is almost within your grasp, that is when you must be more alert than ever. Because when your dream is almost within your grasp, you will be assailed by terrible guilt.

You will see that you are about to arrive at a place where very few have ever set foot and you will think that you don’t deserve what life is giving you. You will forget all the obstacles you overcame, all that you suffered and sacrificed. And because of that feeling of guilt, you could unconsciously destroy everything that took you so long to build.

That is the most dangerous of obstacles, because renouncing victory has about it a certain aura of sanctity.

But if a man understands that he is worthy of what he has struggled so long for, he will realise that he did not get there alone and must respect the Hand that led him.

2012: Falling Into Place

2012: Manual for Conserving Paths
by Paul Coelho 

1] The path begins with a crossroads. There you can stop and think what direction to follow. But don’t spend too much time thinking or you’ll never leave the spot. Once you have taken the first step, forget the crossroads forever or you will always torture yourself with the useless question: “did I take the right path?”

2] The path doesn’t last for ever. It is a blessing to travel the path for some time, but one day it will come to an end, so always be prepared to leave it at any moment. Don’t get too used to anything. Neither to the hours of euphoria, nor to the endless days when everything seems so difficult and progress is so slow. Don’t forget that sooner or later an angel will appear and your journey will reach an end.

3] Honor your path. It was your choice, your decision, and just as you respect the ground you step on, that ground will respect your feet. Always do what is best to conserve and keep your path and it will do the same for you.

4] Be well equipped. Carry a small rake, a spade, a penknife. Understand that penknives are not used for dry leaves, and rakes are useless for herbs that are deep-rooted. Know also what tool to use at each moment.

5] The path goes forward and backward. At times you have to go back because something was lost, or else a message to be delivered was forgotten in your pocket. A well tended path enables you to go back without any great problems.

6] Take care of the path before you take care of what is around you. Don’t be distracted by the dry leaves at the edges or by the way that others are looking after their paths. Use your energy to tend and conserve the ground that accepts your steps.

7] Be patient. Sometimes the same tasks have to be repeated, like tearing up weeds or closing holes that appear after unexpected rain. Don’t let that annoy you – that is part of the journey.

8] Paths cross. People can tell what the weather is like. Listen to advice, and make your own decisions. You alone are responsible for the path that was entrusted to you.

9] Nature follows its own rules. In this way, you have to be prepared for sudden changes in the fall, slippery ice in winter, the temptations of flowers in spring, thirst and showers in the summer. Make the most of each of these seasons, and don’t complain about their characteristics.

10] Make your path a mirror of yourself. By no means let yourself be influenced by the way that others care for their paths. You have your soul to listen to, and the birds to tell what your soul is saying. Let your stories be beautiful and pleasant to everything around you. Above all, let the stories that your soul tells during the journey be echoed at each and every second of the path.

11] Love your path. And may the Lord guide you and help you every single day in 2012.

Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.

The Hand You’re Dealt

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The Wild Card: I found this Dubya-in-Drag wild card on the bus last week. The wild card—could it be a sign from the universe? Leave it to the universe to send the broadest possible, most ambiguous sign out there.

Or perhaps this simply reinforces something I already know: Anything is up for grabs. We are the masters of our own destinies.

daily challenge

"Push hard to get better, become smarter, grow your devotion to the truth, fuel your commitment to beauty, refine your emotional intelligence, hone your dreams, negotiate with your shadow, cure your ignorance, shed your pettiness, heighten your drive to look for the best in people, and soften your heart — even as you always accept yourself for exactly who you are with all of your so-called imperfections."

Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.

 —Anaïs Nin

Eclipsed by the Cupcakery

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While endlessly long lines form outside of Georgetown’s famous cupcakery, the chocolatier directly across the street remains one of Georgetown’s most well-hidden gems.

J. Chocolatier specializes in artesanal confections made from El Rey Venezuela’s and Valrhona of France’s chocolate couverture. They also offer fresh, seasonal pastries and beverages. The fleur de sal caramel truffles, creamy drinking chocolate, and lavender lemonade are my favorite indulgences. 

And more importantly, it’s a happy place! :)

2011: Looking Forward

Closing Cycles
by Paul Coelho 

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.

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