“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” the boy asked. “Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure.” From The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
The other day as I sat on the toilet, I reached for the closest reading material I could find. There always seems to be one option: Emory magazine. I didn’t go to Emory University, but my husband did, and fortunately their magazine is always chock-full of interesting articles.
On this particular day, I came across a tribute from the daughter of a woman named Mollie who had recently died at the age of eighty-seven. Mollie was a mother of six children and had a variety of jobs and hobbies including being a model and artist. Francesca, Mollie’s daughter, poignantly wrote this about her mother, “She saw life as chapters filled with new challenges, so she lived not one but many lives.”
Why did this sentence touch me so? First of all I could feel the admiration and adoration dripping off the page. Secondly, there is such graceful wisdom in seeing challenges as opportunities. And thirdly, I felt relieved to hear this brilliant woman who had lived so many lives was revered and not seen as flaky!
Just recently I took a leap into what felt like the abyss as I changed my specialization in graduate school. I was so sure of my original plan until…I wasn’t. All of the sudden a little voice began revealing its presence slowly, but loudly. During moments of quietude and moments of conversation, I would feel this burning request alight from below.
The sensation was pleading with me to contemplate taking the less practical route in my master’s program. When I thought of the new specialization, my heart skipped a little, much like a small pigtailed girl with a jump rope. I felt scared and confused but giddy and wild at the same time. When I visualized the two choices, the one road ended with a bright dazzling blue diamond-like gem, and the other was flat with no gem at the end. I had to go to where the energy flowed.
I would be fibbing, however, if I didn’t admit to having moments where I feared, “What will everyone think, I already told them I was following plan A, now I’m choosing plan B? I always change my mind. What if it doesn’t work out? What if I fail?”
This last one is a good question. What if I fail? What if no one reads this blog? What if this entry sucks though it’s what my soul feels the need to disclose right now? What if? What it? What if. If I do fail, if this change of heart leads to a gigantic catastrophe then I will have learned something from that messy chapter.
However, my inner compass has never led me astray. It points me in the right direction ushering with it a sense of urgency, purpose, and light. If something happens along the way and I falter, I can always work on editing the chapter I’m in or start applying what I have learned for the next one. But my goodness, I gotta try.
The word, “maktub” comes to mind as I write this. It is an Arabic word that means “it is written.” The first time I saw the word was in one of my very favorite books of all time, The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. The story is about a boy following his dreams.
We all have dreams, sometimes they are vivid and other times they are drab, but they are the stuff of miracles and new beginnings. Dreams are magical gifts from our souls and the divine guiding spirit around us.
While there are troubles and triumphs in life, our destiny is what we choose to do within this framework. We can always dream and co-create while leading many lives filled with rich, beautiful chapters. Just like Mollie.