June Read: The Alchemist- Finished, and Loved It!

“If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better. Forget about the future, and live each day according to the teachings, confident that God loves His children.
Paulo Coelho The Alchemist p.103

What a nice, uplifting, positive book! A fast read, but deep. Pick this book up to join Santiago, the Andalusian shepherd boy as he travels from Spain to the Pyramids of Egypt to discover his treasure.

Here’s quite a Life Nugget, if this doesn’t sum up what it feels like to start making your own decisions in life, I don’t know what does:
“He still had some doubts about the decision he had made. But he was able to understand one thing: making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.” (p. 68)

So, keep making those good choices. You know which ones they are- the healthy ones. All the little good choices you make are like streams of goodness leading to your river of what is your very own ocean Overall Good. Been making bad choices lately? Little choices that are not healthy? Big ones, maybe? They are draining your ocean of Good. Fill yourself with what is good. Be carried away by currents of goodness.

One of my most favorite parts of the adventure is the story that the alchemist tells Santiago just before the two part ways (page 156 in my book) and begins with these words:
“I want to tell you a story about dreams,” said the alchemist. The boy brought his horse closer…” My. Favorite. Part. If you have the book, go look it up, right now!

And my favorite line from the book:
“Today, I understand something I didn’t see before: every blessing ignored becomes a curse.” (p.58)

Does Santiago’s quest end with riches and treasure, as the Gypsy woman, the king, and the alchemist all suggested? You have to read the story to find out. One of my last favorite lines from the book was this:

“(Because) wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.”

Get into a good book!
Get into a good book!

June Read: The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

The Girl had to read Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” as a freshman English summer assignment. She racked up several more novels over her high school career and frankly, I probably have not read half of them myself even though I have been quite a reader over the years. The Boy received his summer assignments recently and once again, “The Alchemist” is on the list. There’s got to be something to this story if both of my kids have had to read it…

Originally published in Portuguese in 1988, and almost thirty years later, I am looking forward to traveling the pages along with Santiago the shepherd boy as he searches for treasure in his adventures. I love a good adventure!

I just need to get it read quickly because when The Boy finds out, he’s surely going to decide that he needs to begin his summer assignment…

Click for the Amazon link to "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho
Click for the Amazon link to “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

Uplifting Stuff and a BIG HALFTIME SHOW! Starring Pharrell, Bruno, and more!

It’s Halftime at Branching Out On a Limb, and we spare no cost to bring you fine entertainment! We’ve put together this Hit List O’ Happiness to celebrate how much fun we have coming up with the daily doses of newness. Uplifting Entertainment for the blogsphere… Really lifting-  Do you even lift, bro? We here at Branching Out recommend doing as many reps of these kind of lifts each and every day.

Even smartypants think you should lift.
Even smartypants think you should lift.
Dost thou? DOST THOU?!?
Dost thou?
Jean Luc Picard... because I said so. It's my blog.
Jean Luc Picard… because I said so. It’s my blog.

Guard your state of mind, everyone. Surround yourselves with people who will lift you up to heaven, while you reciprocate. Remember the old adage “Garbage in, garbage out….” and ask yourself, what do you expose yourself to during your screen time? During the day, what kind of energy are you emanating? Is it kindness, love, patience, goodness, etc? I know I need to focus more on these.

Here’s our first entertainer, ready to lift your spirits and pump (clap) you up!

No matter what mood I am in, Pharrell’s “Happy” makes me happy.

Up next we have Music to Make you Move with Mark B and Mr. Mars! If Bruno can’t move you, ain’t no body can.

The firemen and the extinguishers were a great touch.

And if you could use a pick-me-up through your computer, I highly recommend the Life Is Good radio station via LifeIsGood.com. And yes, these are the same people who bring you the Life Is Good tee shirts.
a sample via You Tube:

It’s been a ball for six months so far, now let’s see what adventures the next six months have in store! I very much hope to participate in more acts of kindness and charity than I was able to fit in for the first six months… the kids are home for the summer and I look forward to forcing them including them in on the fun. Look out, my lovely teenagers! If you have done something new and want to tell everyone, share it with us in the comments, or even suggest something we should try- Keep it clean, folks… this is a family friendly fun spot on the intertubes.