I have been busy reading business and spiritual books, and am about to start Life Coach training with Martha Beck in January, and figured that you all probably didn't want to read reviews of this kind of thing, SO, when I actually get novels read I will review them but not sure what frequency that will be!
Last month I went on an incredible retreat with my mentor and friend Laura Gates at the gorgeous Ratna Ling Centre just north of San Francisco.
It was a life transforming experience, and just before I went my husband said, "You have to read The Alchemist." A book I've had for YEARS and still had not read, but gave it to him several years ago and he read and LOVED it. So, I was like, "Yes, yes, I know I will read it." And he looked at me and said, "No, hon, you have to read this book right now, at exactly this time in your life." And once I did, I completely understood what he meant.
What a book!
I think this book will resonate with pretty much anyone, unless you have no heart or soul or have never felt any yearning of any kind, and if that's you, then you are probably a rock and cannot read this text anyway. But it will especially resonate with people, like me, who are actively in search of your
We open with a young shepherd named Santiago who has a recurring dream that he must travel to a nearby town, where he meets a gypsy who tell him there is a treasure in the Pyramids of Egypt. On his way he encounters may people and teachers and, yes, even a hotsy totsy girl with whom he falls in love.
It is such a beautiful story and has so many layers of meaning that there is no way I can delve into it with any great skill here, but I will say this... there is one part in the book where the Alchemist tells him to listen to his heart. Like really listen to it. To walk and listen to it beat, and listen to the messages that it is trying to convey all of the time to him. This was just beautiful. You know how now-a-days there is this thing to follow your dreams, your heart, courses, workshops, retreat... but when someone simply says, "Really listen to your heart. Be still. Be quiet and listen." There is something restful and peaceful about that. Cutting out all of the noise. And just BEING STILL. Like I was able to do at Ratna Ling.
Here are some fun facts about this book:
- Coelho wrote The Alchemist in only two weeks in 1987. He explained he was able to write at this pace because the story was "already written in [his] soul"
- According to The New York Times, The Alchemist has been translated into 67 distinct different languages. This gave Coelho the position as the world's most translated living author, according to the 2009 Guinness World Records.
- Paulo Coelho is a strong advocate of spreading his books through peer-to-peer file sharing networks. He put his own books on file-sharing networks like BitTorrent, and noted that The Alchemist received a boost in sales due to this. He stated that "I do think that when a reader has the possibility to read some chapters, he or she can always decide to buy the book later." Currently, chapters from The Alchemist can be found on Google Books and Coelho's agency Sant Jordi Associados. Entire copies of his books, including translations, can also be found on Pirate Coelho, a blog off Coelho's main blog. (No longer available. Only Audio versions are still open for download.)  Also available on YouTube.
The moral of the story is this:
An old king tells Santiago, "when you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true".
And that, my friends, I believe is truth.
RATING: 5 STARS