Posts Tagged ‘joy’


June 4, 2012
Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls

Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls

Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.

— Mother Teresa

Live a lie and regret or take risks and follow your dreams

April 8, 2012
When you want something ... - Paulo Coelho, Ken Crane

When you want something ... - Paulo Coelho, Ken Crane

for Mio a dream come true

for Mio a dream come true

Canon Andrew White

Canon Andrew White

Paradise is being able to say: “I made some mistakes, but I wasn’t a coward. I lived my life and did what I had to do.” — Paulo Coelho

God comes down to earth to show us our power. We are part of His dream, and He wants that dream to be a happy one. — Paulo Coelho

Have pity on those afraid to take risks, because they will perhaps never experience disappointment or delusion or suffer as those do with a dream to follow. — Paulo Coelho

When you dream, you can enjoy the luxury of being yoursef. Make it a reality. — Paulo Coelho

Is it not sad that most people spend their lives living a lie, living what society expects of them, not being themselves?

Last week I watched the film Veronika Decides to Die, based on the book of the same title by Paulo Coelho. A deeply moving film.

The mad are those outside Villete who are living a lie. If that is not insanity, what is?

In The Alchemist, follow your dreams.

And yet how many do?

They ignore their dreams until eventually they forget they ever had any dreams.

Approaching death, serves to focus our mind. We then, when it is too late, regret our wasted lives.

Bronnie Ware works with the dying. She has documented their regrets, which can be summed up as failure to follow our dreams, failure to be ourselves, the lack of courage to take risks.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.”

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

“Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.”

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”

Top five regrets of the dying
Regrets of the dying

There are those who bemoan the luck of others. Those called lucky learned to grasp the opportunities life offered them, to read the signs, to take risks, to follow their dreams.

Jesus warned those who chose to follow Him that they they would have a heavy cross to bear but that theirs would be the kingdom of heaven.

Reflection on The Nail at St Mark’s
‘I Thirst’
Love Wins
Gospel of Thomas

Santiago took risks, followed his dreams.

The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho wished to be a writer. No, it is not possible. You must be mad! He followed his dreams, he became a writer, his works have inspired others.

The Alchemist Himself
A Warrior’s Life by Fernando Morais

Montegrappa celebrated their centenary 1912-2012 with the launch on St Joseph’s Day of The Alchemist pen, a joint venture between Montegrappa and Paulo Coelho.

Montegrappa launch The Alchemist pen

Some saw it as a waste of precious materials, a sordid commercial venture. To others it was a work of art, inspired by The Alchemist, slow fashion not fast fashion.

Canon Andrew White wished to be a medic and a priest. No, not possible. He became both. He suffers from MS. He has what must rank as one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. He loves his work. His heart is full of joy. He fills the hearts of those around him full of joy.

Faith Under Fire
Under siege but vicar of Baghdad is still spreading the word

Mio dreamt of meeting Paulo Coelho. On St Joseph’s Day her dream came true. To Mio, a miracle. Her lovely smile, sparkling eyes, filled those around her with joy.

A Japanese girl’s dream come true

The circle of joy

December 5, 2011
Circle of Joy - Ken Crane

Circle of Joy - Ken Crane

An old story tells that one day, a countryman knocked hard on a monastery door. When the monk tending the gates opened up, he was given a magnificent bunch of grapes.

– Brother, these are the finest my vineyard has produced. I’ve come to bear them as a gift.

– Thank you! I will take them to the Abbot immediately, he’ll be delighted with this offering.

– No! I brought them for you. For whenever I knock on the door, it is you opens it. When I needed help because the crop was destroyed by drought, you gave me a piece of bread and a cup of wine every day.

The monk held the grapes and spent the entire morning admiring it. And decided to deliver the gift to the Abbot, who had always encouraged him with words of wisdom.

The Abbot was very pleased with the grapes, but he recalled that there was a sick brother in the monastery, and thought:

“I’ll give him the grapes. Who knows, they may bring some joy to his life.”

And that is what he did. But the grapes didn’t stay in the sick monk’s room for long, for he reflected:

“The cook has looked after me for so long, feeding me only the best meals. I’m sure he will enjoy these.”

The cook was amazed at the beauty of the grapes. So perfect that no one would appreciate them more than the sexton; many at the monastery considered him a holy man, he would be best qualified to value this marvel of nature.

The sexton, in turn, gave the grapes as a gift to the youngest novice, that he might understand that the work of God is in the smallest details of Creation. When the novice received them, he remembered the first time he came to the monastery, and of the person who had opened the gates for him; it was that gesture which allowed him to be among this community of people who knew how to value the wonders of life.

And so, just before nightfall, he took the grapes to the monk at the gates.

– Eat and enjoy them – he said. – For you spend most of your time alone here, and these grapes will make you very happy.

The monk understood that the gift had been truly destined for him, and relished each of the grapes, before falling into a pleasant sleep.

Thus the circle was closed; the circle of happiness and joy, which always shines brightly around generous people.

Told by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

Many thanks to my good friend Ken Crane for the artwork.

A man who radiates joy is Canon Andrew White who although he spends much of his life living the tragedy of what is Iraq somehow manages to radiate joy and in doing so infects those around him with joy. It was a pleasure and a joy to spend yesterday evening with him at the Boiler Room in Guildford.

Canon Andrew White at the Boiler Room

The black tunnel

December 27, 2010
black tunnel

black tunnel

“I saw only a tunnel, with a man pointing a gun at me and telling me to get out of the car.”

I saw a tunnel too, except this one led to a hotel in Rio de Janeiro, the Glória Hotel. I looked at that hotel, expected the worst and thought to myself: “it’s not fair, I’m only 26 years old!” Fair or not, in the early morning of 27 May 1974 I stood before death and could not see what was happening beside me. Just the tunnel and the hotel. But my story does not matter, it serves only to say that I understand perfectly well what Sorin is telling me in a bar lost in the middle of the Carpatian Mountains.

Sorin Miscoci’s calvary began on 28 March 2005, near Baghdad. He had been designated to spend a week there at the request of a Rumanian TV station and ended up being kidnapped for 55 days.

“Later on, when they freed me, the American security agents asked me how many people were there. And I told them: one. They laughed and said that just wasn’t possible. It was the psychologist who helped me, explaining that in situations like this, nothing in the surroundings has any importance. All you see is the focus of the crisis, what is threatening you, and you simply forget the rest.

Sorin has just got married to Andrea, who strokes his hand. We have been traveling together for three days and we will continue for another week. Cristina Topescu, an old friend who worked as a journalist in the same TV as Sorin, says that when the time came to mobilize the country, few colleagues came forward to speak to the President of the Republic, for fear of losing their jobs.

“I asked God for only one thing: to die with a bullet in the heart. I had already seen videos of prisoners being decapitated; I asked, begged to be shot,” adds Sorin.

Andrea gives him a kiss. He smiles, asks if I want to stay in that restaurant or if we should go to the only karaoke in Sibiu. I prefer to interrupt the conversation at that point – it was better to go and sing together.

On the way to the discotheque, I think about the black tunnel: without wanting to romanticize a dramatic situation, I felt that this happens to everyone. When we are faced with something that really threatens us, it is impossible to look around, although this is the correct and safer procedure. We can’t see clearly, use logic, gather information that can help us and those who try to get us out of that situation.

We reach the karaoke, drink some more, sing Elvis, Madonna and Ray Charles. Ours is an interesting group: Lacrima, who was abandoned by her mother when she was only two months old. Leonardo, who has just got over a depression that lasted two years.

Cristina Topescu, who recently overcame difficult moments. Sorin and his 55 days in captivity, and Andrea, who almost lost the person she loved. And me, with scars all over my body and soul.

And even so we drank, sang and celebrated life. To have friends like these gives me more than hope, it makes me understand that the true survivors will never be victims to their torturers, because they manage to keep alive the most important thing in human beings: joy.

Posted by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

Synchronicity: The Girl on the Landing, a chilling portrayal of schizophrenia. The autostrada, which had been travelling through Mediterranean landscapes of cypress trees and vineyards, plunged back into the blackness of the tunnels.

Also see

The Alchemist Himself

A Warrior’s Life by Fernando Morais


The Vicar of Baghdad

The Girl on the Landing

Veronika Decides to Die

People come into your life for a reason

October 5, 2010

People come into your life for a reason. They bring joy and happiness, sometimes they make us cry, sometimes they hurt us. Sometimes they are there for a season, sometimes they move on, sometimes they are there for a lifetime.

Music is from Tomiko Native Spirit.

For my lovely friend Sian who I met a year ago, though at times it seems like a lifetime.

Also see


Joy is like sex

March 30, 2010
etching by Rembrandt

etching by Rembrandt

I’m going in search of the adventure of being alive.

And it’s complicated: why am I not looking for happiness when everyone has taught me that happiness is the only goal worth pursuing?

Why am I going to risk taking a path that no one else is taking? After all, what is happiness?

Love, they tell me. But love doesn’t bring and never has brought happiness.

On the contrary, its a constant state of anxiety, a battlefield; its sleepless nights, asking ourselves all the time if we’re doing the right thing. Real love is composed of ecstacy and agony. All right then, peace.

Peace? If we look at the Mother, she’s never at peace. The winter does battle with the summer, the sun and moon never meet, the tiger chases the man, who’s afraid of the dog, who chases the cat, who chases the mouse, who frightens the man.

Money brings happiness. Fine. In that case, everyone who earns enough to have a high standard of living would be able to stop work. But then they’re more troubled than ever, as if they were afraid of losing everything. Money attracts money, that’s true. Poverty might bring unhappiness, but money wont necessarily bring happiness. I spent a lot of my life looking for happiness, now what i want is joy.

Joy is like sex – it begins and ends. I want pleasure. I want to be contended, but happiness? I no longer fall into that trap.

Extracted from the novel The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho and also reproduced on his blog. A novel that explores the feminine side of God.

Also see

What is wrong with the church?

Eleven Minutes The Opera

%d bloggers like this: