Rachel's September letter: Before a dream is realised
"Is that the one thing I still needed to know?"
"No", the alchemist answered. "What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realised, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realising our dreams, master the lessons we've learned as we've moved towards that dream. That's the point at which most people give up. It's the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one 'dies of thirst just when the palm trees appear on the horizon."
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo is one of my favourite books, and sometimes - when I feel I need it - I open the book to see what wisdom it has to offer me. As my eyes landed on the quote above, I knew I had to share it with you in this week's newsletter.
Over the summer, I had an uneasy feeling that my dreams for The Noble Apothecary were slipping away from me. When I created the business, I had a strong vision for a holistic personal care and wellbeing business that enriched the lives of everyone who came into contact with it, whether that was through my products, the knowledge and insights I shared, or even through 1:1 conversations. I dreamt of sharing my passion for health and holistic living gained from personal challenges and experiences, of sharing my expertise in strategic development in a way that helps you to improve wellbeing, of offering more beautiful products to help you care for yourself naturally, but none of that was visible or even felt possible. I had to ask myself why, and I knew the answer: life, and it's many challenges. When you're in the throes of a challenge, whether that's personal, professional, within or outside of your control, it can become all-consuming and with time, our dreams start to thin into vapour. That has definitely been true for me over the past few years.
Whilst we can't prevent the challenges we face in life, we can reframe how we think about them, and reframing has been especially helpful for me of late. And as I read the quote from The Alchemist today, I wondered, 'What if it's true? What if we are tested in every way in order to realise our dreams? What if the challenges we experience hold the key to our deepest desires, and a beautiful sunrise awaits if we can just...push...through?'
Whilst I dearly hope that your life is currently free of challenge and difficulty, I know that every one of us has something to contend with, and I want to offer this quote to you as a reminder that you have everything inside you to make it through to see the sunrise. For my part, I am consistently asking myself the three questions that I ask in my role as a strategist: Where am I now? Where do I want to be? How do I get there? 'Where am I now?' is a pragmatic assessment of what's currently going on around you. 'Where do I want to be?' is a dream or a goal. 'How do I get there?' is where the work comes in. It's the dotted line between today and a magical future, and it's your opportunity to draw on the wealth of knowledge and experience you have accumulated in your life to help you on your way.
I hold onto the belief that we are able to create anything that we can envisage and that we have the tools within us to achieve the goals we set our hearts and minds to. For my part, I'm slowly but surely bringing my dreams for The Noble Apothecary back to life. I'm writing, creating, filming and planning every day, and I can't wait to share with you what's coming next.
With love and resolute belief in you,
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