I recently went on what was supposed to had been a 31 day social media break. I was taking time away from Instagram and Facebook because I felt as if my mind had become cloudy and well, it needed to be cleared. That changed after picking up the Alchemist on day 1 and finishing on day 2.
Over the summer, one of my very best friends came home and wanted me to join her in reading The Alchemist. I agreed, but I knew I really wasn't interested and so while she was here, I never got around to it. Time went on, we had a great summer together and then it was time for her to head back home (she lives in Abu Dhabi). By then, the thought of the book had slipped my mind until the day I decided to start my social media break. It was on my steps and I said what the heck, it will give me something to do for the next 31 days.
"Each man kills the thing he loves." -Oscar Wilde
I was hooked after reading the introduction. In the introduction, Paulo Coelbo (the author) says in reference to the above quote "The mere possibility of getting what we want fills the soul of the ordinary person with guilt. We look around at all those who have failed to get what they want and feel that we do not deserve to get what we want either. We forgot about all of the obstacles we overcame, all the suffering we endured, all the things we had to give up in order to get this far." He went on to say that he has known many people that when their personal calling was in their grasp, they committed a series of mistakes and never reached their goal.
That was probably my first "aha" moment! At that very moment, I realized that it was not meant for me read this book over the summer, but at the time I did because I was about to commit a series of mistakes. Why? Because as mentioned above, I had forgotten about everything I had gone through in this past year. Unknowingly, I was headed in a direction that would have pulled me away from my calling.
"If you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you understand the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here." Paulo Coelho
From the time I was around 8 or so, I could remember feeling different about who I was as it related to who I was being raised to be. I never felt like I "fit in" with my family. They were weird and I was different (I'll keep it like that for now!). I didn't know what it meant then, but as I got older the feeling just grew inside me. When I look back over my life, I can see how there were many times that I've screwed things up for the sake of being afraid to rise up to who I felt deep down I was.
I've amassed quite the following this past year. It was never planned. I think back to when I was blogging originally and how badly I wanted more followers. I wanted to be like all of my blog friends that had grown tremendously over the same period of time and I started to resent them and blogging. Little did I know, this blog and the way in which I was writing it wasn't going to get me that. It wasn't until I pulled away and shifted my mind towards something more meaningful to me (myself), that I was able to attract others. And let me say for the record, I never set out this time to have thousands of people interested in what I was doing. I was simply just doing what I was doing for me.
"And, when you want something, all of the universe conspires in helping you achieve it." -The Alchemist
When I started my weight loss journey a year ago, it was simply just that, a weight loss journey. I wanted to lose weight and that's what I focused on day in and day out. It wasn't until after I had lost about 60 or so pounds when I started to feel a shift in how I viewed my journey. I felt that this was just the beginning for me. I felt like the pounds were just me shedding a shell to reveal the true purpose of this journey I had set out on. For years, I hadn't realized that what was holding me back was indeed MYSELF! By embarking on this "weight loss" journey, I was now realizing that I was actually walking into my calling and realizing my own "Personal Legend".
"Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him," his heart said. "We, people's hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, towards its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them-- the path to their Personal Legends, and to happiness." - The Alchemist
For so long I had allowed fear and my habit of holding on to things that were of no good to me limit me and my desire to go after everything I wanted. I'm proud to say that on my journey, my path became clear again. This time, I will not stray from it. In the book, the term omen is used. From what I gather, omens are basically signs that tells us the future. They give glimpses of what's to come. I would say that I have noticed this more and more lately. Originally, I was just thinking that my mind was playing with me or that I was thinking too much into things. Now, since reading the book, I've realized that the universe (and what I believe to be God) has been in deed speaking to me. I'm finally listening and taking it all in.
"Every search begins with beginners luck. And every search ends with the victor's being severely tested." - The Alchemist
I would say my original "search" or journey would be the start of my blog five years ago. It was me trying to find my way. I was trying to find who I was and what it was that I was to become. It lead me on a journey that had many ups and downs. And though I do not believe in "luck", I do believe that the time that I started blogging was my version of beginners luck. I think the past year has been my test. I was tested to see how bad I wanted what I had set out for. Interestingly enough, it was more than just my weight. I set out to become the person I always knew I was.
In the Alchemist, the main character set out on a journey to find a "treasure". Although he did at the end find a real treasure, his journey itself (to me) was the "real" treasure. Just like in the book, I did set out to find myself through blogging and even in the past year of losing weight, but what I have come to realize is that this entire journey of mine was my real treasure.
After reading this book, my 31 day break from social media lasted 10 days:)
"You must not let up, even after having come so far." -The Alchemist
Hat: Target (old)
Cape: New York and Company