Tuesday, February 26, 2008

On the Right Path

My mom is a very big believer in Destiny or el destino. When something is meant for you, is right for you, nothing nor anyone can deter it from your path.

In Eastern philosophy and religion, it is the Tao, the way. It just IS.

This week, I started my new position at Hachette Book Group USA and on my way home tonight, sitting on the bus through the warm and rainy commute, with thoughts of really wanting to be at the PEN American Center - A Tribute to Chinua Achebe - I came across this passage at the very beginning of my newly minted ARC of Nextville: Amazing Places to Live the Rest of Your Life by Barbara Corcoran and Warren Berger:

And, so I truly believe in the transforming power of place. I believe that when you go to a new place--when it's the right place--you have permission to start over, or to do things you couldn't or wouldn't do before. In short, you have an opportunity to meet the better you. It's never a cure-all, of course, because we often bring our emotional baggage with us when we move. But the new place at least lets you make a clean break with your old patterns of day-in, day-out living. It gives you a chance to shake up your life and reopen your eyes to see the world afresh.

I'm totally defined by where I am. When I'm in a place, with energy and lots of color, surrounded by people I love, I feel I can accomplish anything! I also feel comfortable enough to do nothing at all. Place is always at the center of my life. Every one of my memories is tied to a specific place, and if I try to separate the experience from the place where I lived it, the memory simply dissolves when the context is gone.

The same is true when I dream about tomorrow--my vision needs a frame in the form of a place, and without it, I can't picture my dream. So I believe that if you want to make a dream come true, you first need to find the right place.

The right place. The right time. The right man/woman. The right one! The one meant for us, the one, we've dreamed of, the one we didn't know was so wrong until we found the right one and realized how very, very much all the others were lacking or just so wrong.

Yes, this passage spoke to me. Although, the focuses on finding amazing places to spend the rest of your life (once you've retired) the message rings true and clear. When it's right, IT IS Right!

In one of my favorite books, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, the alchemist tells the young protagonist, "When you are on your true Path, the entire universe conspires to help you succeed.
My friend and artist, who was the one who put me on to the book back in my college days, James De La Vega, often wrote this message in chalk on the gritty NYC streets. I remember coming across them, before I met him, and feeling inspired, bewildered and curious about the man behind the chalk.

What I learned and have come to realize more and more - is that Change is good. That life is a journey. That our sojourns whether they be through hot desert valleys or sunny peaks reawaken our spirits, that they re-energize us and give us new insight, a new pair of eyes to view the world around us through. That change is inevitable, it is a fact of life, but that our journey...it is often circular. Through all that change and vacillation, we often return HOME. We find our true selves.

Picture via: gsb.columbia.edu/faculty


  1. Tao is Taoism not Buddhism. Maybe you are thinking of Dharma.

  2. I have combined beliefs but of course you are right. I meant my personal beliefs.

  3. hello!
    I'm a big fan of Paulo Coelho! You will love this! He's the first best-selling author to be distributing for free his works on his blog:

    Have a nice day!



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