Dance With Destiny
*Important Note: If you have never read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, stop reading, scroll down to the bottom of this blog and order it for $13 on Amazon. If you have read it, you may want to dust off your old copy.*
Yesterday I had a conversation with one of my brothers about his job. He's in need of a change but uncertain about what exactly that change should entail. Understandably there are a lot of crossroads when we look for change: Do we find another, similar place to work? Do we go back to school? Do we try something radically different from the corporate world like teaching? And what are we supposed to be doing with life anyway?
I find in myself and with my clients, change brings up so much fear but also so much freedom. And in my brother's case, as is the case with so many, the words of parents and other "more successful" examples make it difficult to hear the sound of one's own true heart, and perhaps even own true destiny when it comes to the next move.
So I told him what I told you. Carve out a chunk of time and go read The Alchemist. Immediately. Why? Because it touches that part inside that is all inner child and adventure. Because it's a magical book about chasing one's destiny for the sake of a life of happiness and joy against all odds. And because it may give you a clue of your very path.
And why, you may ask, would one want to follow their heart or destiny? Well, as Mr. Coelho so eloquently shares, our positive emotions, fulfillment, or lack thereof has an impact on the world:
"The Soul of the World is nourished by people's happiness. And also by unhappiness, envy, and jealousy. To realize one's destiny is a person's only real obligation. All things are one."
What would life look like if you knew this to be true? What would it look like if you spent your life hunting for what gave you great joy. Seeking out what set your heart on fire? What if you - in the words of Joseph Campbell - followed your bliss?
In our current age I feel like the idea of following bliss is more opportune than ever. Things are moving and changing and growing so quickly - and if not now -- then WHEN? Dancing with and learning more about one's destiny is risky, yes, but no more dangerous than life at present on our planet. No more dangerous than living a life of emptiness, unfulfilled desires, dissatisfaction, and lost dreams.
Why do I care so much about this? Well, because I care a lot about my brother, and I care a lot about the soul of the world. I believe that we each have a destiny - one true destiny. And though some may look like others, each are uniquely and 100% our own. Like our fingerprints. Like snowflakes. I believe we came here to search for and as best we can, carry out, that destiny.
I also believe in keeping alive that childlike magic that you may have experienced while growing up. The magic of possibility, of hope, of people constantly asking "what do you want to be when you grow up?" and nurturing every possibility whether it was (in my case) a mermaid, a famous singer, a horseback rider, and a teacher.
As trite as some of this may sound, I believe it in my bones. Please, don't get caught up in realizing the dreams of someone else. You are here for a very important reason to do something only you can do. You are your own person with your own deep intuitive wisdom that has never stopped trying to communicate with you. Maybe the shouts have quieted to whispers, but take a few minutes to listen, and those tiny sparks of inspiration will lead you in exactly the right direction.
Trust, dream big, and go read (or re-read) The Alchemist.