20 Lessons from The Witch of Portobello

The Witch of Portobello
Author: Paulo Coelho
  1. I’m going back, or, rather, part of me is going back to that world where only what we can see, touch, and explain makes sense. This is the universe I’ll have to live with for the rest of my days. I also know that, at night, another part of me will remain wandering in space, I’ll place an open pair of scissors on my bedside table to snip off the end of the dream. The next day, I’ll look at the scissors with a touch of regret, but I must adapt to living in the world again or risk going mad.
  2. “No one can manipulate anyone else. In any relationship, both parties know what they’re doing, even if one of them complains later on that they were used.”
  3. Everyone’s looking for the perfect teacher, but although their teachings might be divine, teachers are all too human, and that’s something people find hard to accept. Don’t confuse the teacher with the lesson, the ritual with the ecstasy, the transmitter of the symbol with the symbol itself. But we are weak: we ask the Mother to send us guides, and all she sends are signs to the road we need to follow.
  4. Athena brought to the surface the immensely rich world we all carry in our souls, without realizing that people aren’t yet ready to accept their own powers. We women, when we’re searching for a meaning to our lives or for the path of knowledge, always identify with one of four classic archetypes. The Virgin is the one whose search springs from her complete independence, and everything she learns is the fruit of her ability to face challenges alone. The Martyr finds her way to self-knowledge through pain, surrender and suffering. The Saints finds her true reason for living in unconditional love and in her ability to give without asking anything in return. Finally, the Witch justifies her existence by going in search of complete and limitless pleasure. Normally, a woman has to choose from one of these.
  5. Life, however, had other plans — when fate is very generous with us, there is always a well into which all our dreams can tumble.
  6. A life I had chosen in the belief that love conquers all. And it isn’t true. Sometimes love carries us into the abyss, taking with us — to make matters worse — the people we love.
  7. When the pain abated — time is the only cure for that — I saw that life had allowed me to meet the one woman I would ever be capable of loving. Each second spent by her side had been worthwhile, and given the chance, despite all that had happened, I would do the same thing over again.
  8. “Because all my life I’ve learned to suffer in silence,” she replies. And only then did she put her arms around me and cry out all the tears she would like to have shed on that day.
  9. “The brush with which you are making these lines is just an instrument. It has no consciousness, it follows the desires of the person holding it. And in that it is very like what we call ‘life’. Many people in this world are merely playing a role, unaware that there is an Invisible Hand guiding them. At this moment, in your hands, in the brush tracing each letter, lie all the intentions of your soul. Try to understand the importance of this.”
  10. You see, you’re curious to know what’s going on in the country where you were born. You’re settled in England, you have friends, Dad earns plenty of money, you’ve got security, and yet you still buy Lebanese newspapers. What I mean is that if you’re not in touch with your roots, you feel as if you’ve lost touch with the world. Is it so very hard then for you to understand what I’m feeling?”
  11. Like all storms, it brings destruction, but at the same time, it soaks the fields, and the wisdom of the heavens falls with the rain. Like all storms, it will pass. The more violent it is, the more quickly it will pass.
  12. What would tomorrow bring me, along with the departure of the being I’ve always both loved and feared from a distance? I was everyone, and everyone was me and my solitude.
  13. Learn, but always learn with other people by your side. Don’t be alone in the search, because if you take a wrong step, you’ll have no one there to help put you right.”
  14. “Faith is not Desire. Faith is Will. Desires are things that need to be satisfied, whereas Will is a force. Will changes the space around us, as you did with your work at the bank.”
  15. They’ll get lost, and that’s the best way to discover interesting places. Forget everything you’ve ever learned about the stars and they’ll once more be transformed into angels, or into children, or into whatever you want to believe at that moment.
  16. Try to feel good about yourself even when you feel like the least worthy of creatures. Reject all those negative thoughts and let the Mother take possession of your body and soul. Everything is worship if your mind is focused on the present moment.
  17. Don’t try to convince anyone of anything. When you don’t know something, ask or go away and find out.
  18. Simply believe that you can. At first, you’ll be confused and insecure. You have the knowledge, it’s simply a matter of being aware. Be clear. Reprogram yourself every minute of each day with thoughts that make you grow. When you’re feeling irritated or confused, try to laugh at yourself. Laugh out loud. Concentrate. If you can find nothing on which to focus your mind, concentrate on your breathing. Listen to your heart beating, follow the thoughts you can’t control, control your desire to get up at once and to do something “useful”. Sit for a few minutes each day doing nothing, getting as much as you can out of that time.
  19. When you’re washing up, pray. Be thankful that there are plates to be washed; that means there was food, that you fed someone.
  20. You are what  you believe yourself to be. Don’t be like those people who believe in “positive thinking” and tell themselves that they’re loved and strong and capable. You don’t need to do that, because you know it already. And when you doubt it — which happens, do as I suggested. Instead of trying to prove that you’re better than you think, just laugh. Laugh at your worries and insecurities. View your anxieties with humor. It will be difficult at first, but you’ll gradually get used to it.
NB! Every word from this post came from Paulo Coelho’s book.

Narito Muli

Narito muli ako kung san huli kitang nakita. Nagbabalik.
Hindi man maganda ang huling eksena ngunit ito ang naging daan upang piliin kong ipagpatuloy ang pagtahak sa buhay.

Narito muli ako upang alalahanin hindi ang mga malulungkot kundi ang masasayang alaala.

Nawa’y kung nasan ka man ngayon ay masaya ka na habang nakikita mo kung paano ko pilit pinagtatagumpayan ang bawat hamon sa aki’y dumaraan.

Namiss kita ng sobra mahal. Abot langit (literal!)


I am here again where I last saw you. Returning.

The scene may not be pleasant to look back to, but this is the reason why I choose to continue the journey.

I am here again not to dwell on the sad memories but to cherish the happy ones.

I hope wherever you may be, you are happy and proud for me as you watch me how I try my very best to overcome every challenges that come my way.

I miss you a lot my love. Missing you up to the heavens, literally. Because it is the only place I know you are residing.

Living the “Thirties World”

I have for the past year (and soon two years) been living in the world as a thirty something woman. There has been a lot of ups and downs. A series of adventures and boredom. A mouthful of hopes and giving ups. It is indeed an unpredictable life.

I thought that when I turn thirty I will be wiser. Well, smarter than when I was in my twenties. So I can’t wait for my birthday to come when I was twenty-nine. But it seems as if the more I get into a new phase, the more complicated things get. The more you know things, the more you get confused. I thought I would be more in control but the things around me does get me back to reality. The more things come up, the more you learn to change what was originally planned.

I thought that being thirty would mean that you have more right in the world to experience loss, heartbreaks and mourning but instead you realize when you wake up that you have a lot lesser time to accomplish your goals in life. It would mean lesser time for you to get up and fix yourself. Lesser time to be “successful”. As time continue to tick, you wish that the clock would stop for once but unfortunately you end up tired of running after the lost time. You didn’t notice that you have moved on again to another phase.

I thought it would become easier because in your thirties people will not think of you as a young indecisive individual. You have already gained the badge of being a credible thinker. A reliable decision-maker. You might also moved up a notch in your finances, believing that the world is now on your side, opportunities keep crawling on you but you realize later on money is not everything.

You mature. You learn.

I realized that you can’t figure out everything all at once. You just have to be true to yourself and accept that you still have a lot to learn. There are people, even in their forties, who have totally no idea of what they want in their life. They act as if they know everything and prove to everyone that they are always right, bluff about how they managed to ‘get out of this’ or ‘survive that’ but truth is, they are also as confused and scared with life as everyone else.

I keep them close, the people who managed to live until the dawn of their life, who share stories about their humble beginnings. I admire them, as I know their words will become my treasure one day. The people who admit that they made many mistakes, that they learned from it and that they do not know everything yet. On the other hand, I take notice of others who might need my advice as I see myself in them.

I realized that age is only a number. There are people younger than me who experienced overwhelming tragedies a lot sooner in life. Lost several family members or was forced to live alone. They are more admirable because at their young age, they survived. They did not grow bitter, they still smile. They still believe in the power of God. Their heads are always held up high while keeping their feet on the ground. The good part is that they realize early in life what the most important things are, neither money nor fame but all other immaterial things such as faith, compassion and love.

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Mark Twain

Shades of Love

Since I have been writing several items on the very powerful force on earth (and my favorite one) which is love, I was meaning for quite sometime now to write something about the different shades of (romantic) love. As we are all very familiar that love is not only felt once, it is repeated countless times before we find the “right one”. I have collected stories that inspired me and others shaped me on how I should view the different shades of love.

I met a guy from one of our mountain adventures a few long years ago. He is also a nature lover. A good point to look for in a man. Having the interest of taking time to see nature and at the same time take care of it only means that he knows how to take care of his girl. Unfortunately, Cupid was not looking when he started throwing arrows at me, he didn’t hit me right but this guy was love struck. Oh, the feeling of having a cup of coffee ready in the morning outside your tent, on top of a mountain, signals a start of a perfect hike to the summit. And so it did. During the whole hike I felt the admiration and to be frank, it felt good for having someone to admire you (or your beauty?) despite being all sweaty, soiled and dirty and having met you for the first time. Or maybe this is just nature talking as there are several forces inside the forest we are in, who knows, the gods are playing games with us. But hey, a little attention from men are good sometimes as long as you stay true to yourself, grounded and know your limits.

I gave love a chance, as I normally do. When in doubt, take a chance. He asked me out, I said yes. Everything was smooth. We went for a movie and had dinner. There was even the sign I asked for if he is the right guy for me. There was fireworks while a part of my mind are scrambling inside my head trying to do every telekinesis it can do to prevent the fireworks from showing, but to no avail. Would you think that he is the right one I’m destined to be with? I didn’t have a doubt, he is not. There is something lacking. There was no spark coming from me. All the electricity I’m feeling was all from him and that did not sound right.

A platonic love. One-way relationship. That is not fair for anyone who’s in their shoes. So I did what I needed to do but don’t want to do — tell him the real score between us. I don’t want to hurt him lest, I gave it a try.  He is such a sweet guy who’s just being true to his feelings. Trust me, he can give love a million times more, so I do not deserve him. He deserves someone who will return the favor and I think he found her already. That is the good karma on his way. I’m glad I remained to be his friend, well, at least on facebook.

I always believe my intuition. I believe that fate does exist and I am not fated to be with him. I also believe in karma, good or bad. And playing with feelings is a very serious crime, it will make or break someone’s life and once you do, expect for a payback soon.

This guy is wonderful and quite mysterious. The kind of James Bond mysterious or someone like that. Such a gentleman who stands quite tall with dark complexion. We used to talk countless nights on the phone. Talking about sweet nothings and even going out on vacations with friends who have no idea that something is going on between us. Well, I also am a good keeper of secrets. With the duration of phone calls and being casual when around our friends, made my feelings grow. Although at times I really can’t read his mind if he is being serious or not, it adds up to the mysteriousness which most women like.

I thought that this is it, I am already feeling something. But I have a huge problem, I don’t know how to tell him. This is the case of “he likes you before but then you are so hard to get that he found another one”. Obviously and confusingly, he found another who is more open about them being together. Or so he thought. They didn’t last long. And the last laugh was mine. How did he find time to look for other women when he was always calling me?… Hmmm.. so mysterious. He’s now in a long-term relationship with another lady.

I can’t imagine the awkwardness on how I found out of this when I am stuck with the two of them for days, luckily friends are nearby. Though they didn’t had any clue that I am as brokenhearted as a broken piece of glass.

As this phenomenon “he likes you before but then you are so hard to get that he found another one” has never been spoken again, I also am not quite sure if this has taken place, it took time for me to loosen up but we remained friends. The situation was so complicated and well-played that I learned to be more open on sharing my feelings as soon as you felt it as time  maybe running out.

He is a handsome guy. Cupid was right on time as he hits both of us with his arrow of love. Haha. It was love at first sight. Yes, it is at first meeting that we felt the complete set of sparks and connection that evening. Even sharing the same plate on the first meeting is a hint that I am head over heels, as if we have known each other for a long time. A common friend connects us, so it is not that hard to know each other since on every occasion our common friend have, we are always there, although on different groups.

I was so blinded by love that I thought that it is true love, or is it like that every time you are in a relationship? Or yah, love once felt is always true. There is no such thing as false love. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him and I really believed that he is the one. He introduced me to his wonderful family one Sunday morning. I will not forget how their house was filled with relatives when we arrived. I think there was also some neighbors out there peeking at their window and doorway, who just wanted to see the now grown boy they used to know is bringing a girl home for the first time. I love his family, they are happy and lives simply.

As time moves forward, we have created a lot of happy and sad memories even recalling the first time I met his great grandmother, she was so old that she is just listening to my voice (I think she even touched my face), since she cannot see anymore. I remember the great grandmother telling him to make me wear a helmet, so I will not bump my head and wake up. Then, in turn, she said to me to take care of him. That night after I went home, she died. For me, that instance meant that there is something special in our relationship. He could probably be my soulmate.

The relationship was great. We are always in love. The spark is always there. His family loves me and I love them too. But then something is missing, we needed to separate. It can be our differences in perspective, our immaturity or once again fate. Fate needed to move in to make way for other great things.

I was heartbroken and I cried for days and months as the picture from when the last time I saw him keeps playing in my mind, our break-up scene. I felt the spark that was the only thing keeping us together is slowly losing power. I doubted the love, I felt betrayed, I felt cheated and the only person who can remove all the pain will never come back. The love at first sight that was filled with a choir of Cupids is now replaced by the clouds of storm and rain.

Thousands of reasons not to believe in love anymore, but I still do. I know that love may be so confusing and frustrating, it gave color to my once grayish life. It still is the one that gave me happiness, pleasure and magic. But he’s just not the one.

Although the people change, the love, the pain and all other emotions felt during the course of the relationship, was true. It may not be felt anymore but it was real — it was not only meant to stay FOREVER.

Serendipity, Love and Cupid

Serendipity. I’m in love with this word.

serendipity (serənˈdipədē) – life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidences but rather it is a tapestry of events that culminate in an exquisite sublime plan.

I like to believe that I am always in love. I love LOVE. Even though I am not romantically linked to anyone right now – I love dreaming about love. Even though I have lost an overwhelming love once – I treasure the love that was created. Even though I was heart broken – I still believe in love.

I love how it makes people go crazy. I love how this unseen force separate countries and beliefs. I love how it create miracles and how it changes the world. I love how it determines someone’s happiness or sadness. I love simply how it is being said by anyone to someone. Who knows, it also saves a life.

Serendipity for me is the twin sister of Love. They work as a team with Cupid as their leader. They search for soulmates who never realize they are one. Cupid sends off his arrow and Love comes along. Serendipity is the one who glues them together. Creates coincidences and accidents so these two souls would mingle. Serendipity is the one who do the hard work among them. He sticks together with the soul mate until they find the key to each others heart.

They are a pretty busy team. When the mission is accomplished, they hunt for another pair. As love has always been in the far hidden corner of everyone’s heart, Serendipity, Love and Cupid has a lot of work to do to match each and every soul roaming the earth. Some are stubborn while some are open. Some are shy while others are impatient. Some souls run vainly around finding their right pair but without these three, they are lost. Trying to fit an imperfect set. With their service, all souls will be alright.

They might come a little late in life but please understand that with billions of souls in the world, they cannot finish just on time. Anyway, they have endless lifetime to finish, the purpose of re-incarnations and the like. Two souls will continue on even after death, to find the perfect fit.

Sometimes those we think who will never come are the best ones who will make the last chapter, the summary of our whole lifetime.