(f) Sense of humour
No examples of a sense of humour could be found in this creative work.
The topic of nutrition is only touched on in the context of situational descriptions on the train or at the parties held after book-signing sessions. It is not described in the context of health, but rather as an aspect of social events and interpersonal contact.
The main exercise referred to in “Aleph” (Coelho, 2011) is the exercise of aikido in which Yao and Coelho share an interest. Yao contextualises the aikido exercise in conflict resolution practices: “What we aim to do is calm the spirit and get in touch with the source from which everything comes, removing any trace of malice or egoism” (Coelho, 2011, p. 72). Aikido, as a martial art, is described in different situations. It is an exercise that implicitly describes Yao’s and Coelho’s common connection. It is the exercise that leads to the “path of peace” and teaches them how to resolve conflicts peacefully. Coelho (2011, pp. 141-148) describes in one chapter, “The path of peace”, how he and Yao practise aikido and how his thoughts drift away towards fantasies about Hilal. Without the focus on the present moment in aikido, peace with the universe is difficult to reach. The exercise of aikido teaches the learner the peaceful path, harmony with the universe, self-control and the training of the heart. It is a way to connect to God and to spirituality through a physical connection. It is viewed as a training session in which the individual learns how to prepare for “challenges to be met with joy and overcome with tranquillity” (Coelho, 2011, p. 147). It is also called the principle of “non-resistance” (Coelho, 2011, p. 172; see also (e) problem-solving and creativity). The aikido exercise contributes to Coelho’s being in the present moment, his wellness and the connection of body, mind and spirituality. It therefore increases his awareness, as well as his wellness, reminding him of his focus and the path of peace in life.
Other exercises are mentioned in the book: Coelho is aware that walking and running are important exercises for him to stay healthy on a daily basis (e.g. Coelho, 2011, p. 107). The shamanic exercise described at Lake Baikal helps him to honour his art and to “share the contemplation of the mystery” (Coelho, 2011, p. 246). Here, Coelho refers to a spiritual exercise of travelling souls that reconnect with the universe, flying over Lake Baikal. Coelho is not aware of what he experiences on a conscious level; however, he knows that after his soul was taken through the exercise, his wellness improved: “When my soul returns to my body, I will be wiser and calmer” (Coelho, 2011, p. 250).
Exercises described in the book integrate spiritual, soul and physical exercises, connecting with God and others. All the exercises described contribute to Coelho’s increase in holistic wellness.