Back when I was a Bible-believing Protestant (Phylum: Presbyterian), I felt a certain kind of magic about my life. It felt as though I was guided from goodness to goodness, and supported in the difficult times. This magic was sometimes unseen and heard only in my heart. Other times, there were obvious helpers.
It felt really, really good to live in the magic.
Once, on a mission trip in Northern Mexico, our church group recounted all the ‘miracles’ members had seen or experienced in the day. Suddenly, the pleasant surprise of finding one’s watch became a miracle. As did good food, adequate toilets, and shampoo. Small things were miraculous. It felt warm and soft and joyful to see life like that; magical.
Not surprisingly, when I left the church, the magic ceased.
I suppose it was partially because I didn’t believe in magic anymore. ‘Magic’ had only happened in church before. There was both causation and correlation for this belief. So, when ‘church’ was gone, so was ‘magic.’
I threw the baby out with the bathwater; there is magic in just about everything.
Today I have more trouble finding the magic on a regular basis than believing it exists. I know it exists. Keeping a firm grip on it, when you’re a ‘solitary practitioner’ (of sorts) is tougher. Finding and making magic is easier when you have a group supporting you. (And perhaps it is easier to find and make when you are 18.)
I’ve been a little out of touch with my magic these past months. I’m starting to miss it. (Because magic is beautiful!)
I need a bit of magic. (!)
It’s time to find it again.
To cultivate it.
To find the path into the realm of magic.
If you need to get back to your magic – or maybe find it for the first time – here are the breadcrumbs I use.
Ways to Find and Make Magic
It does not have to rhyme, although I love a good Shel Silverstein poem. It also does not need strange line breaks. Rainer Maria Rilke and Anais Nin are poets in paragraphs. Other favorites: e.e. cummings; Pablo Neruda; William Stafford.
I think a good Eminem or Will Smith song also qualifies.
2. Lunch outside. Alone.
Everyone needs to get outside more. Especially if you work in a glass box all day. Being outside is easy enough during your lunch break. Be bold! Go!
What’s even better is to be brave and go alone. Sit quietly. Take in the sights, the small beauties (there are always some). Chew more. Recount happy memories. Do not look at your phone. Breathe.
Magic is often small and wild, being outdoors makes it easier to find.
3. Air Guitar!
There is a song you like. It makes you play the air guitar. Or the air drums. Or dance in your car (this is a sacred practice, by the way).
Play. That. Song.
You know the moment when you start to smirk or smile, because you feel awesome? Because you are the song and it is you? But then you sort of tamper it down because: adult? Don’t do that. That smile, that feeling of glee: that’s magic. Live right there for a moment.
[A girl can for days on just a few minutes of that feeling inside the smile.]
4. Be soft.
Sometimes life is so intense, so full, so loud. Magic is often found in the opposite of what we are doing or being. There are times when loud music will lead us to the wild, and other times when softness will bring us to the magic, like a breeze through the leaves.
Magic is not just the forceful, quick shake of the wand, it is also the swirling of the hands and wrists, leading the eye away from the normal. Try a slow walk, a slow dance, three minutes of breathing fully.
5. Touch your own skin.
Touch is so magical. Even from ourselves. Perhaps especially from ourselves. When is the last time you gently rubbed lotion into your own hands or legs? How about your own hand touching your forearms (long, pressured strokes are nice), or your neck, or your lips?
Lay your fingers gently on yourself. Feel them.
6. Slow down.
Magic may be wild, but she also likes things to go slowly. Probably because we are so fast all the time. Slow is sort of like soft, but there are differences. Slow is pink rose petals, beach walking, stone throwing, reading on a blanket, naps in the sun. Even just walking to your car at the end of the day with a slower pace may show you some little magical moment.
7. With your friends.
I missed my women’s group this week. I needed to be away for another responsibility, but – wowza – I missed my group. They are magic and healing and patience and joy for my heart. They show me my magic, in good times and bad. And that is some magic right there, people.
Find the ones who love you through everything. Who call you on your shit. Who ugly cry with you. Those are magic people. And they will bring out the magic in you.
It’s always magical. The bigger and deeper, the better. Extra points if it hurts like an ab workout.
9. Children and small animals.
Kids know the way to magic, unless trauma or adult-ing has forced them out of it. Ask them to show you the most magical thing they know. And believe them.
10. Believe and seek.
The best way of all to magic is to believe in it. If you believe, even a little, magic will reward you.
Let me ask you: what was your smallest miracle today?
Did you find your watch?
Did your car start?
Do your legs work?
Does someone love you?
That is magic, right in your own life.
Run with it.