Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thank You Brazil

This week I was attacked. I felt this heaviness that would not lift. Yesterday, after my first class at the college, I could barely move. My upper jaw and head hurt so bad, I thought my brain would explode. I found myself in my car driving in the direction of home, even though I had one more evening class. I went right to bed. My husband held a yoga class in the other room. Seven people moved silently in my living room, feeling themselves from the inside out. I imagined their bodies moving in unison, connecting to a universal self. I started to feel a sense of relief come over me and a sense of peace. I still felt a slight headache, but I felt I would be o.k.

Lately, Brazil has been in my world. This quarter I have two students from Brazil and both of them are so lovely. I've never had a Brazilian student before, now I have two! One of them is going to bring traditional cake to class today.

I was also deeply touched by Brazilian Paulo Coelho's book The Alchemist. I went to Barnes and Noble Bookstore last weekend to research magazines. I planned to submit some of my writing to a few magazines. The pile of magazines felt heavy in my hands, so I put them back. I wandered upstairs and found my husband in the Religion and Philosophy section of the bookstore. I sat down on a small stool and did nothing. Suddenly, from the corner of my eye, I saw The Alchemist. I had seen this book many times before, but have never been interested in it. This time, as a I held it in my hands, I knew it was my time to read it. As I read it, I felt the book was speaking to me directly.

In the Introduction, Paulo Coelho talks about personal calling. He says, "Whenever we do something that fill us with enthusiasm, we are following our legend. However, we don't all have the courage to confront our own dream." Later, he talks about four obstacles:

1. "We are told from childhood onward that everything we want to do is impossible."

2. "Love. We know what we want to do, but are afraid of hurting those around us by abandoning everything in order to pursue our dream."

3. "Fear of defeat" or fear of failure while following our dream.

4. "The fear of realizing our dream for which we fought for all our lives."

The book is about a shepherd boy from Spain who travels all the way to the Egyptian Pyramids in search of his dream. I couldn't put it down. I feel Paulo Coelho followed his personal calling. He achieved the exact things he described in this book. He followed his own legend. His book, an international best seller, sold 65 million copies in 150 countries and has been translated into 60 languages!

Last night, I felt the rhythm of the people doing yoga in the other room. I felt peace. With my headache subsiding, I decided to finish reading The Alchemist. I read the last words and put the book on my bed stand and said, "Thank you Brazil" and closed my eyes.

This morning I woke up to find that over 500 people in more than 28 countries have visited my blog. The most recent visitor??...........You guessed it, Brazil!


  1. Dear Katherine,
    How inspiring to hear you speak of your timing and finding The Alchemist. I read it a few years ago when someone gave it to me. It was a good reminder for me and I've just created a Word doc. with the points to send to myself so I can open along the's good to see the reminder. Thank you :)
    Kathleen O'Grady

  2. Dear Kathleen,
    So glad my post inspired you to create a Word doc. I think I'll do the same. There were so many points in the book that I know are true, but it's easy to forget these words of wisdom!
    Thanks for reading,

  3. It was a great "coincidence" with that recent visitor. :) Thanks for sharing that moment with us.

    Liina from Estonia

  4. Thanks Liina from Estonia! Yes, it was a great coincidence. These seem to be happening more frequently. The people I'm getting in touch with have such a big impact on my life. Thanks for reading, Kathy