The Alchemist

Posted February 15, 2010 in Spiritual Psychology

A week ago I finally read the book, “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. This is one of those books that many people over the years have exclaimed to me, “What?!?! YOU have not read ‘The Alchemist’!?!” I guess I was waiting until the time was right and energy was pulling me to read it.


The book started out strong introducing the idea, “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting” (p.13). True dat. I would call this our ability to manifest who we are into the world. The boy in the book has lucked out in life and “…succeeded in discovering (his) Personal Legend (p. 23).”

Your Personal Legend is that nagging thing inside you that may be crazy or foolish but you can’t seem to forget about. It could be traveling to Egypt, teaching a watercolor class, creating a non-profit that takes city kids into nature….whatever it is you will have energy around the idea. It will come back to you over the years. It will be a nagging in the back of your head that you can’t seem to forget about. It is also the thing, that if you follow, will make YOU more YOU. You will also get ENJOYMENT from doing this because God/Goddess/Source speaks to us through JOY.

The idea is that when we are young we all know what we want to accomplish but as we grow older, “a mysterious force begins to convince (us) that it will be impossible for (us) to realize (our) Personal Legend (p.23).” This is the part I love: “It’s a force that appears to be negative, but actually shows you how to realize your Personal Legend. It prepares your spirit and your will, because there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth…The Soul of the World is nourished by people’s happiness…To realize one’s Personal Legend is a person’s only real obligation. All things are one. And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” (p.24)

This paragraph reminded me of one of those Behind the Music shows on VH1. I once watched about Christina Aguilera (I’m taking it wide, folks!). When Christina was young and singing with that amazing soulful voice (even if you don’t like her music, you gotta admit the girl can wail!) she was ostracized by the girls in her school. They would call her a “slut” (the favorite go-to put down by pre-teen girls everywhere) and threaten to beat her up. Her mother remembers telling her, at the time, that this was part of her destiny. These girls were picking on her so she could practice not being swayed by other’s opinions because in the future she was going to be so big that she needed to get strong and not be attached to other’s opinions. I remember thinking that her mother was pretty wise to see her daughter’s trajectory in life instead of only seeing the situation through an anxious microscopic view of the bullying.

So, back to the Alchemist–he explains that, “In order to find the treasure, you will have to follow the omens. God has prepared a path for everyone to follow. You just have to read the omens that he left you.”

After reading the omens, the next step is taking action: “When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.” At times in the book, the young boy is scared and wants to quit his search for his Personal Legend. We learn that even while tiring, it is impossible to escape what the heart is whispering about which way to go. “People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that the don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them…(but) the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And 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.”

I find that this re-frame is the key to having Faith on the often treacherous Soul path. When we understand that the journey is the destination and when we consistently choose Love over Fear we become the biggest version of our Love selves that we are meant to become.  It is  your job to get humble and SERVE the Love mission that has created you, gives you complete enjoyment and brings you into flow. (More on flow by the great book– “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.)

I really enjoyed the book and loved contemplating on the idea of one’s Personal Legend. So the next question is: What are you going to do today about yours?

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