Photography by Kayte Demont and Rachael Zimmerman

Edits by Kayte Demont

A couple of years ago, Heather gifted me and Anya what would turn out to be my favorite book for Christmas. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. In true Kayte fashion, it took me almost a year after receiving the book to actually sit down and open the cover; once I did, I was hooked. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that things come to us when they’re supposed to. I’ve subscribed to this belief since I was a child. I was raised Catholic but never really connected with many of the traditional beliefs of the church. I appreciated the regiments and the structure of mass (I’ve always been fond of comfort and routine), but the notion of there only being one supreme, ruling power made me uneasy. There had to be more, there had to be a lot of things (a network if you will) combining all of us to each other and to nature. Nothing happened by accident – that’s the thought process that helped me grieve and process death at a very young age. That’s the thought process that helped me calm my young mind when the prospect of the world became too overwhelming. 

If you’ve never read The Alchemist, it’s about a young Shepard, Santiago, who sells his flock and risks it all to travel the world in search of his “Personal Legend.” Without giving too much away (because everyone should read this book and I don’t want to influence your own experience with it), the story explains how Santiago goes on the journey of a lifetime and discovers the most important lessons hidden in ordinary experiences. It solidifies that things truly do happen for a reason and that as long as we are true to our real selves, that the universe will conspire to help us achieve what we want. Given my own recent life changes, this book came at the perfect time (thanks Universe!). It helped me slow down and contemplate what these changes meant and it made me truly think about what lessons were hiding in plain sight. We all need a little nudge to dig deep and discover and The Alchemist was that for me.

As I said, I don’t want this to turn into a book review because I believe that everyone should take this as it fits in their own life and their own experiences. However, I wanted to leave you with some of my favorite quotes. They have inspired my life, my friends’ lives and were a huge part of the energy behind this collaborative photo shoot. I hope you read the full story and I hope you enjoy:

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist

 

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist

 

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist

 

“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”
― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist

 

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist

 

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