All of us have dreams. As children, we imagined what it would be like to grow up and have grown-up adventures. But adulthood rarely matches up to our innocent daydreams. Most of us inadvertently let our responsibilities and duties swallow those dreams. We convince ourselves that the life we have is good enough. We fall into the trap of settling when our hearts yearn for something greater. In time, we forget those dreams and convince ourselves that we have to grow up and get real.

Alchemy is the process of reviving our faith in possibilities, magic and miracles. It is the process of awakening that beautiful, wonderful child within and allowing her fantasies to come true. Alchemy is about deleting the belief that we must grow up and get real.

The first time I taught alchemy, I approached it with a serious attitude. I felt that the depths of its teachings and practices could only take effect if the person seeking to learn was willing to put in intense effort, and copious amounts of time and money, as signs of their commitment to master themselves.

I see it very differently now. We are too serious about life as it is. We find ways to criticize ourselves and doubt our abilities even in the absence of problems. We try too hard to make things happen, and feel bitter and resentful when we don’t achieve what we set out to do. How can we become masters of our lives if we try to force change?

True alchemists, the ones who practice in the silence of their souls, have a natural childlike attitude towards life. They laugh easily, smile all the time, dismiss their shortcomings as nothing more than a lesson that has yet to be mastered, and they are at peace because their focus is directed at the level of the soul.

Children do not worry about outcomes. They have no concept of the future. They live in the immediate present and so their days feel long. We adults however find our days growing shorter because we are always rushing to complete or accomplish something. We rarely notice the present, and when we do we feel tired, stressed and frustrated.

Over the course of the next seven weeks, you will journey into all aspects of yourself because the magic and the power to transform your life are already within you. And you’ve tapped into them many times, even if you didn’t realize it. But by the end of this course, I hope you will notice how powerful you are, how magical you are, and how worthy you are of living a life that aligns with your soul’s yearnings.

Come to alchemy with the eyes of a child. Leave the preconceived ideas, the natural tendency to use logic when dealing with problems, the desire to rush towards results, leave them all behind. Imagine yourself as a four-year-old, unscarred by the past, unsullied by the future, determined only to exist right here, right now.