Early in 2018, The Banyans received an email from a past guest wishing the team well for the New Year.

I saw this poem on my Facebook news feed, and thought it was the perfect way to close the year,” the guest wrote. “[I thought] that you, the team, and maybe some guests would also enjoy it. It resonated alot with me.”

The author of the poem, Paulo Coelho, is a Brazilian author, poet and lyricist. The Alchemist, published in 1988, is his most well-known and notable work, being translated in over 70 languages worldwide.


Closing Cycles by Paulo Coelho

One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through.

Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters – whatever name we give it, what matters it to leave in the past the moments of life that we have finished.

Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents’ house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden?

You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened.

You can tell yourself that you won’t take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned to dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your spouse, your friends, your children, your sister.

Everyone is finished chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will feel bad for seeing you at standstill.

Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be), to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home.

Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts – and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place. Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them.

Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return. Do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, or your love to be understood.

Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows you how much you suffered from a certain loss. That is only poisoning you, nothing else.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting loving relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that always put off waiting for the ‘ideal moment’.

Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person. Nothing is irreplaceable; a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important.

Closing cycle. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because it no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.


[The Banyans acknowledges that this piece has been reproduced in entirety from The British Mindfulness Academy Facebook page, without permission from the author. The original post can be found here.]