Tag Archives: words of wisdom

10 Daily Mantras Inspired by The Alchemist

mantras inspired by the alchemist

I recently finished The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Have you read it? I mentioned it in this post about a couple who keeps copies of it on hand to give to friends when they inevitably end up talking about it. I’m happy to have finally checked it off my list!

It is definitely one of those books that you want to read aloud a la Scheherazade/1001 nights because it’s so parable-y and mysterious. And it is also one of those books that is HIGHLY quotable! I found myself wanting to doodle the best parts in cursive all over my notebooks.

But then I thought, I can do one better! I can distill some of the key messages of the book down from quote —> daily mantra! (If you’ve been around these parts awhile, you know I LOVE a mantra.) Here are the 10 I settled on:

1. I face obstacles without fear.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that 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.” 

2. The right decision will reveal itself to me and always stand firm.

“If what one finds is made of pure matter, it will never spoil. And one can always come back. If what you had found was only a moment of light, like the explosion of a star, you would find nothing on your return.” 

3. I choose to see the good in each day.

“When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.” 

4. I am only defined by the present moment.

“Because I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man.” 

5. I don’t shine if you don’t shine. 

“That’s what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.” 

6. I have confidence in my decisions.

“When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he has never dreamed of when he first made the decision.” 

7. Great achievements begin with ignoring the impossible.

“I see the world in terms of what I would like to see happen, not what actually does.” 

8. Failure allows us the opportunity to try again.

“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”

9. Live your own life!

“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”

10. You won’t know how to do the thing until you do the thing.

“There is only one way to learn. It’s through action.” 

Which one is your favorite? Would you commit to saying it for a week to see how you feel? As an Enneagram 9, I think I’ll start incorporating #6, but #7 is also a favorite! 

P.S. You can read a whole series I wrote on mantras HERE — including 9 badasses who shared their favorite mantras with us and a 30 day mantra challenge!

Two Poems

poems-on-a-road-trip

These two poems by Naomi Shihab Nye rank high on my list of favorite poems. They are both so simple and strikingly beautiful. I always like to read poems out loud (something about actually hearing the rhythms and the rhymes make them all the more powerful, don’t you think?). I can’t make it through either of these without reaching a line that makes my voice catch. I thought I’d share them with you in case you’d like to read them today. Perhaps you’ll find some inspiration or power within their lines.

The Traveling Onion

“It is believed that the onion originally came from India. In Egypt it was an object of worship —why I haven’t been able to find out. From Egypt the onion entered Greece and on to Italy, thence into all of Europe.” — Better Living Cookbook

When I think how far the onion has traveled

just to enter my stew today, I could kneel and praise

all small forgotten miracles,

crackly paper peeling on the drainboard,

pearly layers in smooth agreement,

the way the knife enters onion

and onion falls apart on the chopping block,

a history revealed.

And I would never scold the onion

for causing tears.

It is right that tears fall

for something small and forgotten.

How at meal, we sit to eat,

commenting on texture of meat or herbal aroma

but never on the translucence of onion,

now limp, now divided,

or its traditionally honorable career:

For the sake of others,

disappear.

***

Kindness

Before you know what kindness really is

you must lose things,

feel the future dissolve in a moment

like salt in a weakened broth.

What you held in your hand,

what you counted and carefully saved,

all this must go so you know

how desolate the landscape can be

between the regions of kindness.

How you ride and ride

thinking the bus will never stop,

the passengers eating maize and chicken

will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,

you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho

lies dead by the side of the road.

You must see how this could be you,

how he too was someone

who journeyed through the night with plans

and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,

you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.

You must wake up with sorrow.

You must speak to it till your voice

catches the thread of all sorrows

and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,

only kindness that ties your shoes

and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,

only kindness that raises its head

from the crowd of the world to say

It is I you have been looking for,

and then goes with you everywhere

like a shadow or a friend.

(Top image by Matthew Tammaro via here.)

In need of a pep talk?

hands making a heart

The ladies at Babe Vibes have got you covered. Designed by Kara Haupt and developed by Paige Lewis, The Pep Talk Generator is a completely genius project of encouragement. I recommend you go ahead and bookmark this page right now! I’ll wait.

Wouldn’t you love to visit the site when you’re feeling lonely or a project seems too big to finish or a down-in-the-dumps black cloud is hovering right over top of your head? What sort of uplifting words could the generator have in store for you? Perhaps this…

“From one grown woman to another, in the face of a challenge you can either break down or break open. When we allow ourselves to break open and let ourselves be immersed by our emotions, we can truly be honest with ourselves and evolve in the most positive and healthiest way. One of the nice things about growing up is being able to say no, to change your mind, and to become brave enough to show who you are even if it hurts. The self-awareness and self-love you grant yourself can be your saving grace; they might help you reacquaint yourself with the courage you forgot you had all along.” –Shaya Ishaq

❤ or ❤

“Wow, you are gorgeous! You are powerful. No one else can do what you do. You don’t need approval from those around you to know how irreplaceable you are — you just need yourself. Today, remind yourself that you can do anything… because you can.” –Lyndsay Wright

❤ or ❤

“You know what, babe? Sometimes, life gets really weird. You think you have your shit on lock and you’re cruising to your own song but then the song changes and you’re left trying to take steps in the dark. This will happen to you at the worst of times and you’ll grapple with what you want and maybe even who you are! And babe, that’s okay. The movement will shift you into a better position to become the self you seek to be. Just remember to be patient and hold on to the best parts, surround yourself in good things and let the song change. Maybe it was just time for a new tune.” –Kelsie McNair

…is just what you need to hear. And the best part, in my opinion, is that each quote is attributed to a lovely lady with a link to her ~website or blog or instagram or twitter~ so you can put a face and a personality to their sweet words. They’re just regular people who’ve no doubt been through some shit too or have had equally tough moments to the one you can’t seem to shake.

Maybe this site seems a bit fortune cookie-ish and sappy to some of you out there. But if not, I think it’s a great opportunity for you to incorporate a little bit of self-love and affirmations into your every day routine. Even when you’re not necessarily feeling all doom and gloom. Check the site, reflect on whatever words appear, and think about ways to use or grow from them. 5 minutes. That’s all it takes. And really, who couldn’t use a daily pep talk?!

P.S. My pep talk to YOUI think you’re pretty neat. I think you’re extremely creative. Things might seem like they’re falling apart all around you right now but isn’t that a wonderful opportunity to build something even better and stronger? Today you chose to get out of bed and live in this world and that was extremely brave. Visit the mirror like you’re visiting an old friend. Make a goofy face, sing Beyonce lyrics, whisper your love through truths and inside jokes. Keep creating. The end product may not be entirely what you had in mind but the process behind the result means you MADE something today and that’s more than most can say. In fact, you’re the only person living and breathing in this very moment to have made what you made. Listen for inspiration in the voices of those around you. And when you can’t quite hear it? Read your own words aloud. I am so proud of you. 

If you could give a pep talk to someone struggling today, what would you say? 

mid-week round-up

hotairballoons

 

Hello lovelies! What a wonderful week it has been so far. Chet arrived from Lafayette last night (by way of a cray lookin’ cabin in Huntsville, AL) and we are super stoked to spend the summer having adventures, writing, building a garden, perfecting our crockpot culinary skills and checking a few things off my KY bucket list (like take a vacay here and check off some of these). Summer is always so full of possibilities, dontcha think? I hope everyone has a blast this week and here are a few links for your viewing pleasure!

Lisa Bloom’s 500 words of wisdom.

Consent is sexy.

4 women receive lab-grown vaginas in life changing surgery.

I love Mindy Kaling!

Glad this goat’s story had a happy ending.

A big change for Google. ; )

…speaking of Google, sign me up for one of these!

This Craigslist ad had me ROLLING.

You never know what will happen if you just get back up.

Someone made a sneaky change to the Sea World highway sign. (and good on them!)

To do: pick up books by these gals.

Welp, this fact is terrifying.

“Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.” Powerful and beautiful final tweet from Maya Angelou. RIP.

And if you’re in Lexington and lookin’ for some fun this Friday evening, Good Foods Co-op is having a Kick Off Summer event from 5-7pm! There’s gonna be a TON of free food, Marksbury Farm’s food truck and live entertainment by Restless Leg String Band. Come check it out!!!