Instructions for living a life.
Tell about it.
Life is more mundane moments strung together than big stand-out moments. The trick to experiencing more magic is to look for the extraordinary in an ordinary day. There is treasure waiting there for us to uncover. It’s all about how you look, how you choose to spend your time, where you put your attention.
So how do you look?
Do you see through a lens of curiosity, possibility, playfulness? Imagination is like a muscle. It wants to be flexed and challenged so it can grow stronger and more supple. Much like our children’s play, imagination wants moments of unscheduled time and no prescribed rules.
In the beginning it may look like letting your mind wander with the clouds in the sky. This could take all of five minutes. Or, letting yourself be guided by your intuition through the grocery store or farmer’s market – maybe being led by color alone.
The other night, at that beautiful light of dusk, I looked out my kitchen window to find a young male deer eating in the yard. As I watched him he turned and noticed me at the window. We looked at each other for a moment. I stopped washing the dishes and continued to take in his deer-ness. I paid rapt attention to his presence. We both stayed where we were and returned to what we were doing but something had subtly altered for me (I’d like to say for both of us).
When I finished doing the dishes I found my animal medicine book and looked up deer. It turns out that the gentle eyes of the deer are part of their medicine –asking us to apply gentleness to our human situations.
This is the magic in the mundane. I could have thought oh, there’s a deer, and continued on with my repetitive mind chatter while doing the dishes. By taking a moment to pause, pay attention, and be astonished, I received the magic.
How do you spend your time?
As I’ve suggested, giving yourself ample time to just BE allows you to access magic. To-do lists have their place and so do schedules. They are both important for helping us manage all the bits and pieces and commitments of our lives. But, do you schedule in play? Do you schedule in free time? We get to give magic a spot on our calendar too by adding in moments or blocks of time with nothing “going on.”
This often looks like not over-scheduling our lives. Discerning what’s most important and letting the rest go. Choosing our values so we can make the tough choices between activities and leaving space for studying the flight patterns of the birds at the bird feeder. In the spaces we create for freedom of thought and action we can follow the direction of our hearts.
As Rumi says, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”
Where will you put your attention?
Once you begin opening to magic in your daily life the magic will occur more often. Synchronicities will astound you. You will be tapping into the creative energy of the universe – the one we live and breathe as children but often lose along the way to adulthood.
One way to pay attention is to regularly practice the pause. This is one of the most powerful, intuitive, magical tools I use as a mother. It’s the moment in which I can drop all expectations and just be – long enough to distance myself from judgements, worries about how it will all play out in the future, and the “shoulds” I hear in my head: You should react this way, you should be firmer, you should be upset.
Most often what I really need is to pause, feel where my breathe is tight in my body, use that gentle deer medicine on myself, and exhale. From this place I can pay attention to what my son is really trying to tell me. I can rest in the OKness of him, of us, of the situation. And then, just listen. Aahhh…and then there is magic in this space. And deep connection where there was once fear.
Another powerful way to pay attention to the magic in our everyday lives is to express our gratitude or appreciation. Again, it will take a pause. An intentional moment in our day where we acknowledge or celebrate what is. It helps to be as specific as you can. Instead of saying you’re grateful for your health, get specific. For example, “I’m grateful for how connected to my breath I’ve become in my yoga asana practice.” Or, instead of speaking in general of your children, try “I appreciate the way my daughter notices everything that blooms in our yard.”
As Mary Oliver says, tell about it. When you share the magic you feel with others it comes alive for them as well.
Magic is always there. By making space in our busy lives to pay attention we empower ourselves to experience it.
Stay tuned for the final installment of the Making Magic Series, where I will share some more of my favorite tools for accessing my intuition.