Tag: Purpose (page 1 of 2)

Book Review: Manuscript Found in Accra, by Paulo Coelho

Manuscript Accra Coelho

Manuscript Found in Accra, by Paulo Coelho

As part of my goal of a more frugal, intentional lifestyle meets my love of reading, I’ve been known to hang out at the municipal library. A lot. In the last year, I’ve read a lot of light, fun novels but I’ve also started to return to Paulo Coelho, and other more philosophical reads or non-fiction with a personal development twist.

I used to love EVERYTHING Coelho published, until I didn’t. After The Witch of Portobello, I took a break. I didn’t feel compelled by the writing anymore so I knew that I needed to step back. Sometimes, authors go through phases, but so do readers, even the die hard fans.

When I got back to his work, I decided to read Brida, which was a contemporary story about a young Irish woman who wished to reconnect with witchcraft. It was a beautiful story that flirted with some New Age concepts such as Twin Flames. Coelho is fascinated with mystique, spirituality (The Alchemist), the history of religions, human nature (By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, Veronika Decides to Die, Eleven Minutes) and relationships (Love: Selected Quotations, The Zahir: A Novel of Obsession, Adultery). He also seems to be drawn to matters relating to lightwork and purpose, as he’s more obviously expressed in works like The Warrior of the Light. Essentially, his books, whether they’re fiction or based on facts, are about the journeys we make and how those journeys influence our lives.

Book Review: The Manuscript Found in Accra, by Paulo Coelho

The Manuscript Found in Accra is one of those books based on fact. Coelho brings to life the reality of people in Jerusalem, on July 14, 1099. The city is waiting for the invasion of the crusaders who have surrounded the gates. Inside the ancient city walls, the people have gathered to hear the wise words of a mysterious man known only as the Copt. They ask him questions in the hopes he’ll share his wisdom about life.

Although this is not written in poetry but in prose, the structure reminds me of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. In his poem, Gibran tackles complex topics in simple terms. Coelho achieves the same thing with similar complex subjects that have puzzled humankind for centuries. They both speak of love, success, work and family. Both books share a teacher to student interaction, speak to crowd, wise to curious. They share the quality of easily being referenced beyond their initial read. I’m sure that if we compared them more carefully, we’d find even more similarities. Both narratives begin with a wise man leaving his legacy to a village before an end; in one case, the prophet departs while in the other, the city will be under siege. The other difference is that Gibran’s work is his perspective on life and spirituality presented in the form of fiction, while Coelho’s work is about a historical event, interpreted.

As I remind myself that nuggets from Coelho’s Manuscript Found in Accra came from an ancient document, I’m impressed with the relatability of the discussions and concerns. Many of the observations made are still applicable today! It reminds me that there has always been hope for the awakening of our collective consciousness but that through history, our metaphors evolved and slowly but surely, more of us now wish to lead conscious lives.

We seek to reconnect with our true natures, we often look for a godly presence in our lives or wish to find the sacred. We yearn for harmony, we wander looking for purpose and we crave meaning.

What books have led you to reflect on human nature, purpose and spirituality?

Things To Do On Earth Day

April 22 is like a nature’s festival for me. Spring is here most days (even in Canada!), tulips and perennials are starting to pop out of the ground, and the litter that spent all winter hidden under the snow is also sprouting…

Spring cleaning isn’t just for our houses. Fellow homeowners will know what I mean when I say that even see the yard work seem to magically reappear. And that house siding needs a good pressure wash and that fence needs painting. Our bikes need tuning up. In the midst of all these chores, we realize the impact of seasons. Earth Day is a day of awareness, but it’s also a day of gratitude and responsibility. We must be grateful for the bounty that’s available to us through nature’s cycles and rhythms. We are also responsible for caring for the Earth as we would our homes.

It should be Earth Day every day because really, where else are we going to live?

Source: ChibiGuardianAngel, on DeviantArt

Source: ChibiGuardianAngel, on DeviantArt

Here are two guiding principles to rock your Earth Day.

Get Involved

There are many ways you can educate yourself on environmental issues or take a proactive Happy-Earth-Dayapproach. Perhaps you will feel compelled by a community garden project or you’ll want to clean up your local park. Maybe you want to learn about local wildlife and how to help protect these animals.

Ideas to get involved, make a difference and learn!

  • Attend a plant swap or check out your local garden club
  • Install a rain water barrel in your yard (some cities subsidize their purchase)
  • Get a composter (some cities offer the service or even offer free compost)
  • Sign-up for a plant walk or a medicinal plant course
  • Clean your lawn, stoop, balcony and pick up the trash that blew from the wind
  • Pick up trash from your nearest green space, whether a park or a playground
  • For a cleaner commute: tune-up your bike or dust-off your running shoes
  • Volunteer at a park, like this one in my area
  • If you’re ready for commitment and love animals, shelters are always looking for good families


Earth Day is also meant to celebrate! I feel it’s important to honour our relationship to the Earth and nature because we are part of it. The better we understand our place and our relation to other living beings, whether they be animals, plants, crystals, water or soil, the easier it is to live in harmony. The relationship of oneness becomes clear and rewarding. We feel connected and we find purpose. Through this experience and mindful action, we create meaning.

Ideas to get you to nourish your relationship to all that is.

  • Go hiking or walk in nature for at least 1 h
  • If you live near a body of water, walk along it and admire its greatness and depth
  • Go birding or walk your dog somewhere new and green
  • If you work in the city, take your lunch outside
  • Prepare a raw, vegan meal – experience food that is alive and not-processed
  • Try a hatha yoga class or find a guided meditation on Youtube
  • In your mind, try thanking your food today, and everyone who brought it to you: “Thank you, you are life, you are love.”
  • Get your hands dirty: plant seeds or re-pot house plants


Personally, I’ll be taking nature walks, attending a yoga flow class (to help me with the flow of change and seasons) and downsizing my closet to favour natural fibres.

I hope these ideas get your green creative juices flowing and that you feel the wonder and brother and sisterhood of Earth Day.



Tell me how you’ll be celebrating.

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