My magic castle

My magic castle

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Magic Of The Still Small Voice

Our intuition is a powerful friend. In the context of the skill set I have trying to teach the magic wand would be 'listening to our intuition' or still small voice. The magic wand is something we choose to use. I recently did that (listened to my intuition) and I believe it made my life better. Let me share the story with you. Several days ago I was thinking about wands, which lead me to the concept of tools. My research had brought up the black handled ceremonial knife, the athane, that is used to cast spells and perform rituals. I was thinking about lessons to be learned from that and I couldn't get beyond 'drawing a line in the sand' (one of the uses of the athane) and 'cutting things off.' My intuition told me that setting boundaries and cutting things away or loose are both legitimate activities for a wise magician but that I didn't really have my lesson yet and that I should wait. So I set that to one side and wrote about other things such as the wonder with which to approach the New Year. Then today issues came up between me and a person very dear to me. I thought about our communication and realized that in the past I had used 'cutting off" as a method of dealing with people with whom I had strong differences of opinion. But this person is too important to me to use old methods. Because I had been thinking about the athane I was able to see my old patterns of shutting down or cutting off, and talk with the other person about not wanting to revert to old patterns but that I would rather go deeper and discuss the loves and fears that were intertwined in our communications. Now I feel like I have another tool. I now feel comfortable with the athane. It is for protection, for setting boundaries, and for cutting away thorny fear based reactions. It is not for attack. Mine is not, that is. My sense of being comfortable with loving is stronger and thus my life is better. May your intuition guide you to your own helpful insight. Use the magic wand of listening to your still small voice. It will make your life better. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Magical Phrase

There are many magical phrases. They all can cast a spell over us and help us become more than we were before they were uttered. One that I think is particularly appropriate now that we are coming into the beginning of a new year is: "What if...?" Relax in whatever manner is good for you. Breathe in deeply. Breathe out in a wondrous freeing way. Now begin to explore the ideas of 'what if'. What if situations that have been irritating you could be changed? What if you have more resources inside yourself than you have yet realized? What if you are surprised in wonderful ways tomorrow or this coming week? What if you are meant to understand something more fully than you have before? What if your sense of beauty, humor, joy, contentment kicks in more often than it used to? What if you suddenly come to appreciate family and friends on a deeper level? What if you are a wiser magician than you realized before? What if there are unlimited possibilities for change for the better? As you explore the ideas of 'what if' it is good to let any visualization come that wants to come to you. Let your senses help you enjoy the idea of 'what if..?' Let your sense of wonder help you explore the idea of 'what if..?' This phrase can become one of your magic wands. When you get into the right mind set it can open up your creativity for many wonderful ideas. So enjoy the idea of possibilities it opens up and enjoy the practical way it can help you decide what changes you need to make in your magical life. May the spark be with you.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Magical Gifts

It's Christmas Day and I had a wonderful Christmas. I received many gifts. One of the strongest, one that made a great impact, was the gift of tears. It was almost dusk. I was leaving one great gathering where I had been very happy to be among friends and driving to another home of friends. As I drove through the heart of the city I looked over and saw a homeless man. We have learned to recognize them in Denver by dress, amount of activity and location. He was bundled up but not moving. He had a small shopping cart like you can buy for home use, behind him, full of belongings, as well as a backpack on his shoulders. He was standing absolutely still with his head down towards his chest. He was in a part of town where the homeless are fed for the holidays. He probably had to now decide where he would spend the night. He may have been younger than I am but he looked as old as the ages. And hopeless. I had to cry. I didn't know what else to do. But the experience strengthened my desire to encourage people to find the spark of magic inside themselves. To be able to reject the insults they have received from parents, friends, society in the 'name of helping them do better'. All lack of love and acceptance damages us. Then that radiates out and damages the community. Thus we end up not able to give acceptance to ourselves or others. We do this without even being conscious of our inability in this way. Acceptance is the greatest magic there is. I hope, but doubt, that this man was saying to himself "I am a wise magician. I am well bundled. I know where I can spend the night in comfort. Tomorrow I will find ways to improve my life." The result for me from this experience was to strengthen my plan of finding ways to help others find the magic inside themselves. This was the result for me from my 'gift of tears'. I hope this day had wonderful gifts for all of you and that you found ways to give unto others. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Magician's Cloak-Part Two

Our magician's cloak may seem too thin at times or even threadbare. Thinking of the cloak as self-love or self-acceptance it must be admitted that those traits in our character can be stronger or weaker at times. We may even wonder how to develop them. Here are points to consider about self-love. *Giving into our appetites is not self love. While at times a glass of wine, a bit of chocolate, a good book, or a bit of good loving can be a celebration of life at other times it can be overboard. Too much of a good thing can be destructive. *Being careful about the promises we make to ourselves and then keeping them can be a great way to develop self love. *In tapping, when the tappee says 'even tho' I have this problem of....I accept myself deeply' the inner self will eventually develop a lot of strength and feeling of self acceptance. *affirmations of self acceptance are also effective. *Even tho' both tapping and affirmations bring up self doubt the ultimate result is less doubt and more acceptance. *Bragging is not a sign of self love. We may get a great idea but it is better to say 'I am going to consider putting this idea into effect" than to say,"I am going to do this great thing.' Bragging is a sign of weakness. It is great to say 'I feel good about what I have done.' but that is simply truth. This is different from saying "I am really hot stuff because I did thus and so." *Self acceptance can also grow through introspection and meditation. *I have found that when I face a problem and succeed in dealing with it I like to stop and thank myself for coming through for me. This little pause and thank you has added to my belief that I can be there for myself. *Grandiose labels are not needed. Self acceptance feels strong and sure and comes from within. Labels are supposedly needed by the outside world. *If your cloak is not enough for you stop and pat yourself on the back for accepting that you want it to be stronger or fuller. You have gained in self acceptance. As you design and weave your cloak let the magic that surrounds you give you help and ideas. May the spark be with you.

The Magician's Cloak In Winter

In winter we are concerned that we keep our core warm so that we can survive the cold. Let us follow this as a metaphor. In the cold of life, emotional warmth can be lacking. So we really need to protect our core with something warm. Our core, or essence, is what drives us to make the decisions we do. We are all involved, whether we realize it or not, in a hero's journey. We are living a life that moves towards the goal of the happiness of living true to our higher nature.
First we start out slightly aware of ourselves, mainly through the perception of us by others. If our mother doesn't gaze lovingly down at us when we are babies we are blocked right there. But let us suppose that we grow to the point that we recognize ourself by name, in the mirror, and by some sense of self identity. When we get that far along we may think we need to wander down the paths ( in our winter walk)of identifying ourselves by labels or go down the paths of experimenting with what entertains us. Those are not necessarily bad paths. But they are not complete. The junction of the pathways is where I was thinking of the importance of the "jacket" or "cloak" which nurtures the core. The core is that which must make the "I am" decision, the part that is at home with itself and happy with self love. Part of that development might take place in the learning to keep track. We are aware of our body, where it fits in space. Then we become aware of what is outside of us. We learn to count and keep track. That evolves in learning to take responsibility. I Am. Then "I Will". We go through stages of perception and behavior. First it is "I am as others see me" until we can get to "I am as I see myself and it is in self love and acceptance". We also go through the behavior stages of "I act as I think others want" until we can get to the stage of "I act as I choose and I stand behind my actions." The way we nurture and protect ourself as we go along these paths or stages is with a jacket, or cloak, of self acceptance, which becomes self appreciation and self love. The magicians of old wore wondrous cloaks. Your protection and nurturing can take any form you want. Soft red velvet. Golden silk. Bright woolen plaid. Imagine what you will. It is yours to help you work your magic. Wrap yourself in a wondrous cloak and go forth. May the spark be with you.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Use Of Power

Magic is very concerned with the use of power. Magicians are taught to guard their wands carefully so someone else can not steal it and use the power of it against them. In that context the wise magicians know not to give their power away. Yet in everyday life it is all too easy to give our power away without realizing it. We give up our ability to decide for ourselves in food, fashion, fads, and politics more often than we will admit. We can regain that with a little thought however. But the power we give away that I caution against is the power of self-esteem or image. We can get our feelings hurt, our souls wounded, by valuing what another person says to or about us if we have given them power over us. This is natural in a way. A child learns his self image from his care givers. But we must develop our own image of ourselves and accept ourselves. If you feel pulled down by judgments from others or by yourself notice that. Being pulled down is the operative idea here. I have actions I am trying to eradicate from my bundle of habits. But that is my choice and I don't need the extra burden of being pulled down as I notice them and work to change. If you have phrases in your vocabulary like: "She made me so angry." or "He hurt me so much." instead of "I became angry at what she said" or "I felt hurt at what he did." you are in danger of giving others power over you. Your feelings are your own, as well as your reactions, and you do choose them. Many people don't believe this but I might suggest an experiment to try. Find someone who speaks a language you do not. Ask them to say a loving thing and an insulting thing to you without any facial expression and without telling you which is which. Because you perceive the words as only sounds you will not react to them with joy or hurt. When someone is lashing out at you it is possible to tell yourself they are simply making sounds. We all have much more power than we realize. Not only should we not give it away, we should also look to use it wisely. We have the power to influence, to encourage, to educate, to persuade, and to witness. Those are powers that can change the world. Guard your power and use it wisely. It is magical. May the spark be with you.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Magic of Choosing Your Omens and Portents To Nurture Hope

I have blogged before about the importance or magic of happy feelings. There is one feeling in particular that is very important but vulnerable. That feeling is 'hope'. It has been noted that citizens of countries who have hopeful attitudes about their countries actually do live in more financially successful countries. It is important to keep hope alive. One thing to remember about hope is that it can start out very small. If you need to have hope about a large thing you must first learn how to think hopefully. Sometimes you may be only able to hold on to hope for a second or two and then about a very small thing. That is okay. You managed to be free from crippling fear and to think hopefully for that much for that long. Thinking hopefully leads to hopeful actions. Then those actions are seen as proof that is was good to be hopeful and a wonderful spiral begins. Sometimes you may have to start by hoping for something that you believe is a sure thing. That is fine. Start somewhere. Learn in baby steps. One thing to do is look for signs to encourage you. You are hoping to learn to read. You see a picture of a book, or find that there is a library nearby. That is a sign that your learning will be encouraged. In the biblical story of Noah it is told of the dove coming back with a bit of green. That was a sign that the waters had receded and plants were growing on dry land. Signs are open to recognition and interpretation. What is a sign to one is laughed at by another. It is up to you, the wise magician, to find ways to nurture and guide your thinking. Your mind is your ultimate magic wand. Friends who listen to you about your projects, articles that suddenly appear, ideas that come to you; these can all be seen as the success that is waiting for you once you learn how to reach out for it. Do what you can to keep yourself going on your pathway to a better life. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Magic Of Story

The wisdom of the past handed down to us about magic was done in the form or fairy tales or folk lore. Now days we might mistakenly believe that the purpose of such tales is for entertainment. Story by its very nature is much more than entertainment. But in order for us to understand the message it is well that it does entertain. Story is more than just a collection of events or facts. It is a telling of a problem, need or desire that needs to be solved or met. Then the person or people involved with that problem has to solve it. This is not done easily. There has to be some creativity and struggle involved. When the solution is reached life is better. It is not a story to say, "I was low on milk so I went to the store and bought some". The basic change in that narrative is the amount of milk before and after. But in a story there is change of circumstance and personality. If you realize that you need to go on a hero's quest and become the hero of your own life it will be easier if you can frame it in the shape of a story. A story has a beginning (a situation that needs to be changed) a middle (attempts to make the change with harder and harder obstacles cropping up) and then the hero or group manages to make the needed changes and the story comes to a satisfying end. To tell your own story do more than look at the need for change. Look at the reasons why the uncomfortable situation developed, the things that make change difficult. Also look for the ways help comes from outside. That is from the magic that surrounds you. Happy stories are ones where there is greater love and or satisfaction when the needed struggles have been undergone. Try to write a happy story for your self. Love and appreciate yourself for being willing to undertake the needed struggle. Become your own hero. May the spark be with you.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Why Flying Is Part Of Magic

To work magic we need to be able to imagine flight. Fairies and angels have wings. Think of all the times the idea of flight is mentioned when we talk about achieving our goals. We want our projects to take off. We want to transcend our problems. We want to fly by the seat of our pants when we talk about letting our intuition guide us. Flight can also be frightening as can success. In our past we may have been punished or discouraged from being experimental, successful, or showing our great gifts. They say that fear of falling is a basic fear. Sometimes we succeed at something in our dreams but old blockages come up and we dream of falling. I suggest that you use the imagery of flying to open up your mind to freedom from blockages and to new ideas. Let me guide you in this imagery. Get comfortable. Think of a small area in your life you would like to change. If this brings discomfort let your beautiful wings grow and fly above this area. Now soar a bit just for the joy of soaring. When you are ready you can fly near the place you placed your problem. Look at it, listen to it, wave a wing at it. Check it out from many different angles. If any ideas occur to you accept them. Is that truly a problem or does it fit in a bigger or different context? Do you need to simply pick it up and fly with it to a canyon and throw it away? By being able to look at this "problem" in different ways, including from a great distance, you may have lessened the feeling of pressure you had about it before. While you were soaring near the heavens you may have also seen other resources you could use to help you. Let your imagination take flight until you have discovered or invented several good solutions. Then choose the best and try it. May the spark be with you.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Magic Of Counter Spells-Part Two

You may be developing, or have developed, skills at blocking the negative feelings that well up inside you to zap your energy and self esteem. I wrote about the power of 'tapping' on meridians or acupressure points to help with this. These feelings are often there because of wounds from the past. It is also good to develop skill at preventing those cutting words from impacting you in the present. Some people use anger and defensive methods to stop people from spouting their anti-magic, such as shouting them down or saying 'talk to the hand'. I would like to suggest a couple of other techniques, derailing and fogging. Fogging is when you fog up the speaker's thinking by confusing them. One example is to show that you don't take their 'stuff' seriously by looking at them and saying, 'You may be right'. When they can't get a raise out of you it takes the air out of their sails. Example: 'You will never be any good,' 'You may be right'. There really is nothing they can say and you can just walk away. Derailing also messes with the other person's thinking but in a more subtle way. People tend to operate in certain sensory modalities. A visual person will speak and think visually: I see how we should do this, I view this as something we should see eye to eye on. An aural person will speak in terms of hearing or sound. A kinesthetic person will operate in terms of feeling or movement. If you can do something to derail them or switch their channel while they are running on with the hurts or insults they will lose their train of thought. A common derailing movement is to wave your hands quickly in front of their eyes. Once I was a waitress at a hotel dining room where many of the patrons wanted to tell me things, not necessarily important things, at great length. I found that if I waved my hand in front of their eyes as I served them or took away their plate they would stop talking for a minute and I could move away to serve the next patron. They would be lost in the past and my hand movement, in the present time, broke their train of thought. Many times parents manage to stop a toddler's tantrums by a quick smile and hug. The surprise and switch is very effective. Distractions can be a very effective counter-spell. So if you have people in your life who are throwing barbs and arrows at you find ways to deal with it. You are too precious to be wounded. Strengthen your armor of self esteem and self love. Then find ways to keep the barbs from piercing you. You don't need to react with insults or anger. That can back fire on you. Find counter spells like a smile, a hug, fogging or derailing and use them wisely. May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Magic Of Counter Spells- Part One

A lot of adults have a good time watching Harry Potter movies so you may have noticed that each year Hogwarts school must have a teacher who instructs in 'Defense Against The Dark Arts'. In these classes the students are taught about counter spells to protect themselves from evil. In our own life there will be times when dark things, (anti-magic) such as stress, hopelessness and insults come at us. Counter spells to block or shield us are good tools to have. Sometimes we find ourselves telling someone "Don't go there." or putting up a hand or finger to stop them. But that doesn't always work. We need to have more than one 'interrupter' to use. Not only must we be able to interrupt the darkness that comes from without we must also be able to interrupt the darkness that comes from within. Today's post will focus on a counter spell that interrupts the darkness that wells up from within. Bad habits, dark moods and pain can be interrupted by a simple technique known as tapping. I have mentioned this before but I will go into more detail here. There are certain points or meridians that correspond to the ancient Chinese medicine points of acupressure. The ones most often mentioned in lessons about 'tapping' are: on the top front of the head, the inner point of the eyebrows,just under the nose,just under the lower lip, the outside of the hand, on the bone just under the middle of the eye, at the base of the throat on the collarbone, just inside the shoulder bone joint where it connects to the front ribs. There are other acupressure points and they can also be effective. At times I have had to interrupt dark moods or deep pain within myself and I have found it to be effective to tap on any point of the body that seems to call out. Tapping is what it sounds like, a tapping with the fingers. Usually you will find you are using the middle two fingers of either hand. As you tap you will speak a 'spell' something like this: 'Even though I have this problem (you can state the problem) I accept myself totally'. In cases of dealing with pain I have found it helpful to chant, 'even though I have this pain I accept healing'. As you work to make your life better you may have to push away or interrupt the bad. Reach out to the magic that surrounds you and learn how to do this. May the spark be with you.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Magic Of The Quest

If you have read fairy tales and such stories about magic you will have noticed that these stories tell about the hero going on a quest. In real life we also need to take on a life quest. Sadly many fail to do this adequately. We manage to meet many of our needs but get caught up in fear and seeking safety and don't move towards becoming our own hero. The hero takes on a quest and, as a result of this quest, grows and is able to contribute to the community. The wise magician will realize that failure to take on the hero's quest has a great cost. The failed hero doesn't meet his potential and the community doesn't get the benefits the hero would have brought back to them. When we are stuck in the failure to go on the quest we often move into addictions and other problems as we try to deal with the nagging awareness that we are failing ourselves. How can we identify our true quest and step up to this wonderful journey? One way to get an idea about it is to look at the talents and interests that we have let fall by the wayside. The soul speaks out through our creativity. If the old interests were meant to fall away new ones came to take their place. The soul never rests. It always has something to say. If you reach out for strength and energy to the magic that surrounds you there will be help for your quest. Magic will help you find ways to move forward. You need to stop spinning your wheels. Being stuck at the start of your journey has us running back and forth across the road like a chicken. We will try different moods and actions to stay stuck, swinging from (perhaps) depression to anger, or from brilliance to dependency. Only when we count the cost of staying stuck at the starting line will we realize the need of claiming our quest. But each person has a hero inside. Let your hero out. Chose your quest. You may have to travel along part of the road making discoveries to truly understand your gift. Don't hold back. You are special. Take some steps towards your quest. It will open up to you. The first step is to stop running back and forth across the road, going nowhere. May the spark be with you.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Magic Conversation: Dialogue, Give and Take, Rock And Roll

Magic is that which is used to bring forth truth from the occult, or the hidden. Sometimes that truth has to be teased out by a series of back and forth sorties or runs. It is common for a relationship to have misunderstandings that get cleared up over time when the people engage in give and take, when questions are asked and answers are searched for. I often share experiences I have in my struggles to be a writer. I have been working on a book about a modern day teen boy. I had hit a snag and put the work away for several weeks. Yesterday I decided to have an imaginary conversation with him. The dialogue that ensued between me and my imaginary character actually worked some magic for my novel. I came to understand his character better and some plot points I had been struggling with fell into place. I couldn't figure out the plot very well before and now I have a good outline of it. When I approached my hero as if I really wanted to understand him magic happened. A deep conversation between two people or principles has to be between equals. The give and take cannot be between one side of power and the other side of weakness. Sometimes we have to have a conversation like that with ourselves, as well. We may be exhibiting a behavior that we don't like. Or have a problem that seems insurmountable. If we talk it over with ourselves with understanding the way will open up for needed changes and a gain in self-love. Equals shape and learn from each other. The worlds of the sacred and the mundane are not separate. If you have changes you need to make talk it over with yourself. Reach out to the magic that surrounds you for the energy to do this. You will be surprised at what will open up for you. Your life with rock and roll. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Magic Basics-Part Three- Focus on Function

Wands(any tool you use such as your mind) and spells(actions to focus the use of your wands) are meant to make changes for the better. If they are misused the result can range from nothing to disaster. It is important to be clear about the purpose of any tool. Leaders are meant to lead. Yet we sometimes elect people to be admired or receive attention and they make poor leaders. Shovels are meant to dig. Guns are meant to shoot bullets at a specific target. Food is meant to satisfy and nourish life. The substances we ingest that fatten us and bring ill health should not be considered food. If you do something or make something that you want to use to bring about a certain result it is wise to think about how that thing is likely to function. A letter that is meant to bring closeness will not function for that purpose very well if it is full of insults and confusion. Many times we need to create a tool or ritual to burn off our anger, disappointment or regret before we move towards the result we want. Anti-magic (what some call black magic) is caught up with the negative emotions, with lashing out. Negative emotions have a purpose. Their purpose is to alert us to the need for a change. They don't need to cloud our judgment or make us mis-cast our spells. Love binds people to us. Manipulation does not. When we are strong and sure is is easy to give out to the world our songs, our spells of goodness, our joy. Then we will receive magical benefits in return. Cause the changes you need in your life by using your wands and casting your spells as they are meant to be used. May the spark be with you.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Casting Spells- Part Two

Because of the importance in getting help from your inner self in bringing forth anything into fruition I want to add a bit to the previous post. To recap, make a spell as clear, as personal, and as lyrical as possible. In addition realize that the word 'cast' is an operative word. Cast the spell out into the world as something that is essentially yours,something deep and dear to you. That visualization of 'casting' it out will give it a bit of oomph and pixie dust. It will also get your inner self to commit to it a bit more. A spell is a ceremony of commitment. Just like standing up and committing to a relationship with another person by saying 'I do' you are committing to results when you 'cast' a spell. Do not treat the casting of spells like wishes offered by a genie from a bottle or a whim. They can too easily go off target, have no power, or bounce back on you to your hurt. In some ways a spell is nothing less or more that fully saying "I will." That act of saying 'I will' embodies the faith in your ability to receive, achieve and deserve. I will become a published writer. I will buy a car. I will lower my blood pressure. I will get a college degree. Anytime anyone has said anything like that they have not modified it by 'I think' or 'maybe'. When you are planning you spell decided if you need to break you big spell down into little spells. Maybe you need to say thing like; I will get into college, I will raise the down payment for a car, I will take up aerobic exercises. Again I want to emphasize that the main point I want to make in this post is about the mental act of 'casting'. Do that with strength and flair. Reach out to the magic that surrounds you to help you get the energy for a good spell and cast it for all you are worth. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Magic Basics-Casting Spells

As you read in the lore of magic you realize that spells are endowed with ritual and ceremony. They are framed and performed in such a way that they seem to have a lot of power and importance. They are not cast lightly. Think about this in relationship to the power your subconscious has. If you want to impress on it changes and get it to help you create your new life a well crafted spell will be just the thing. Your subconscious perceives things differently than your left brain does. The workings of the subconscious are not easily evident, they are hidden or occult. Magic is called the study of the occult. To craft a spell state the desired change in as lyrical, clear and happy way as you can. Bring in any sensory messages you can. Here is one I might use: "I am writing, I am writing large on the canvas of life, clothing my message, my vision, my values in all the joy, fun, and excitement that I can bring forth. I am writing for the hearts and eyes of my precious readers, whoever and wherever they may be. It is so.' Spells are clear, assertive and reach out into the universe for you, as well as getting your inner self to help you. Let the energy of the magic that surrounds you help you to craft some spells for yourself. Once you have cast them it will be easier to stand behind them and work to bring them into being. Cast spells for positive changes in your life. If you have negative things in your life do not react with negativity. Craft the spell so that you stay positive. Here is a possible example. 'I recognize that I have lessons to learn in this situation. I proclaim that I will become clear about all and I will move toward self nurturing behavior in this situation. If I need to negotiate I will do so. If I need to break ties I will do so. I recognize the right of all for respect, especially myself and my soul. It is so.' May you be able to cast good spells for yourself. May the spark be with you.

The Magic Of Story

A good story really has an impact, whether it is considered true or fiction. Good stories have a deeper truth. People are now looking back to stories about the ideals of the Kennedy years. Those were real ideals but the stories have power now fifty years later. Another example of the power of story is from the movies, Harry Potter (series) and Avatar. People in Pakistan have been noted putting on protests for better government dressed in blue as the characters in Avatar. There is a group known as HPA (The Harry Potter Alliance) dedicated to doing good works around the world such as relief in Haiti. So as a wise magician I suggest you find a way to clothe your magic in a good story. Tell yourself and others of the changes you want with flair and power. A good story has an impact. Don't simply say, I will go to school. Try instead a story about how you will celebrate the magic of your gifts by attending school, but you will struggle. You will eventually overcome all and will add greatly to a better world. Every good CPA, plumber, teacher, mechanic, does add greatly to a better world. Do not put yourself down. During the Middle Ages, in many countries, many adults and children as well streamed to the Holy Land to engage in The Crusades. This was before media had much power. The stories of the need to take back Jerusalem from the infidel captured the imaginations of all these people just by hearing them word of mouth. The medical and scientific knowledge that was held by by Muslim world would never have gotten back to Europe so well without the Crusades. All this because of the way 'story' called out to people. Novelists and film makers often do a great service to the world by identifying an evil and inciting a struggle against it. The artist may not be trying to cause changes but the stories do have an impact and changes often happen. Find a good story for yourself and be true to it. I once read that 'if your life is not working you are following the wrong script'. Harness the power of story for yourself. May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Magic Basics-Using The Wand

Cause and effect is a basic part of magic. If you are not getting the effect you want you are "casting the wrong spells or mis-using your wand". I want to remind you that 'wand' is a metaphor for your mind, your attitudes, your actions or any tool you use to bring about the desired changes. So if you are not getting the desired changes it is good to stop and look at your practice of magic. You may not be clear about what you want. You may be pointing the wand in the wrong direction. If you have seen any Harry Potter movies you may have noticed that the students at Hogwarts school get very detailed instruction in their use of their wands. Just knowing there is a wand does not mean it will be used correctly. If you know that exercise will help you become healthier it also helps to exercise. Once I entered into a less than wonderful relationship because I had read "any relationship can be improved that can be talked about". I kind of blanked out the 'talked about part' and either because of his machismo or my shyness the relationship was never talked about and never improved. I didn't pick up the wand that had been presented to me. Using your tools is an art and a craft that is best approached with dedication and responsibility. We can all learn to manage our moods (that is one very effective magic wand). Being in control of yourself gives you control of your life. We can learn to use our mind better as well as develop other skills. So if you need to make a change in you life look for the tools to help you make that change. Some of the tools/wands you might use are: clarity of thought, self-nurturing, courage, creativity, cooperation with others, planning, research, among others. Don't be afraid to recognize the need for a better life. Become clear about your desires. Then reach out for them. If you are hit and miss about your goals they will be harder to achieve. Some people hold their desires inside until the need breaks out in anger. Then they exhibit such extreme anger that others react in negative ways, rather than agreeing to help that person achieve their needed goals. That is a very poor use of the magic wand. The wise magician recognizes that all have a right to a good life. Learn how to use your tools and get the good life for yourself. May the spark be with you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Band Wagon Effect

"Jumping on the band wagon" is a term for getting caught up in the excitement of the circus parade of life and joining in with others in what they are doing. You can use this as one of your magic wands for making positive changes in your life. Since we do learn from others and are social beings you can look for a 'band wagon' to jump on to help you with your needed or desired changes. A recent example in my own life is the use of a pedometer. I know I need to walk more. I have been hunting for ways to get myself in gear about this. Today my sister told me that the teachers in her Utah school district are "walking to Maine". The district has issued them pedometers and they record their steps with the school office. She told me a couple of funny stories about the way she feels compelled to make sure she gets every step recorded, such as not wanting to walk around her bedroom after she had changed her clothes until she got the pedometer back on her waistband so she didn't 'waste any steps'. Suddenly the pedometer my doctor had issued me didn't seem like such a lonely boring instrument. I found myself jumping on my sister's bandwagon of using a pedometer to motivate myself to walk. Of course the magic that surrounds me helped me find the old one I had very easily. It had been years and a different living location ago. Jo had also told me that if the battery was low it would not record accurately. That was also part of the magic giving me help. The battery was probably low when I got it, as it hardly seemed to record at all. I had just assumed that I wasn't one it would work on and put it away. But today I wore it all day, even with the low battery, just to acknowledge that I was trying to add steps. Tomorrow I will get a new battery and start recording in earnest. Each day, I am confident, I will try to make sure I at least do not walk less than the day before. I will also find ways to add steps. I suggest that you, as a wise magician, add the band wagon effect to your arsenal of magic wands. What changes do you need to make? Can you find others who are excited about making the same or similar changes? Jump on their bandwagon and go forward toward these changes. May the spark be with you.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Magic Of Sparkle

The people of Disneyland know about the importance of sparkle in motivation and marketing. Calling their theme parks 'The Magical Kingdom' adds to the lure. You can add the same sort of lure to your endeavors if you plug in 'add some sparkle' to your own mind set. I was having some trouble motivating myself to do some 'tie up loose ends' work in my writing. Then I asked myself which principles of magic I could use to help myself get in gear. I realized that throwing a bit of pixie dust on my work would help a lot. It wasn't that hard, I just had to shift my focus a bit. My stories are imaginative and fun for me to create. But editing, tweaking and such was not. I shifted back towards enjoying the stories and that gave me the sparkle to do the more mundane work they needed. Polishing my work will end up giving it more sparkle. I just had to remember that. Now I can take my pixie dust and sprinkle it on other things. When I exercise I will make sure I have the best music I can set up to help me. I will arrange my plate for my nutritious meals with all the color and flair I can manage. I will make sure I am comfortable when I pay my bills. I will add all the magic and sparkle I can to my life. The other night I was able to spend a couple of hours in the company of my favorite one year old boy. He flirts, laughs, chatters and plays with a great magical quality. Every wise magician could learn from this boy. He draws goodness to himself by his sparkle. I suggest that you look around you and identify the places in your life that can use some sparkle and add it. Music, humor, color, taste, companionship, hope, are all part of the sparkle you can add to help you have a better life. You can even make up games to help you cut out the negative things that will hover around. The energy of magic is there for you to use. Don't hesitate to take advantage of that. May the spark be with you.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Magic Of Community

The wise magician will cherish his or her community. The people who have the same values and goals as you do will strengthen and uplift you. They will go out and find out things you need to know and bring that back to you for your growth or joy. We all belong to several communities. I meet with several different writer's groups but I also feel part of several other communities. I believe in human rights, in being concerned about the health of the environment, in reason in government, in the arts, in the importance of education, in preservation of historical landmarks, in animal rights, in nurturing children, in humor as an important part of life, in good nutrition, in toleration, in the importance of science, among other things. So when I find out about the efforts people are putting forth for these different causes I feel like they are part of my family or community. When I can I do put forth an effort to encourage these causes as well. Because I feel part of these communities I seldom feel helpless or invisible. Just by bringing things to the attention of others I believe I have helped to pass on the magic. I suggest you take the time to explore what you believe in and would like to have happen to make this world a better place. Then use your opinion or voice as a magic wand. Speak up for your causes. Just sharing the news of a good article or program on TV will be a good start. Magic is not always thunderbolts. It can be gentle and persistent. By knowing your values you will find many small ways to act on them without stressing yourself, because the burden is not yours alone. Your community of people throughout the world are acting with you. Let the energy of the magic that surrounds you help you speak up for your causes. May the spark be with you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

More About Mirrors

My last post was about mirrors: learning from mirroring and reflecting. We also can learn to reduce trauma by using the concept of mirrors. If you need to desensitize from a trauma, or enable yourself to adapt to something new that is hard, you can imagine yourself seeing yourself in a mirror doing the new or hard behavior. If necessary you can add mirrors seeing mirrors until you find a comfort level. You can also break the behavior down into small parts, in the mirror seeing mirrors situation in order to face the fear. Suppose you are afraid of dogs. First you desensitize to something less than even a picture of a dog. Perhaps that would be the word dog. With enough distance from the trigger for the feeling of panic you can gain some comfort or feeling of safety. Then you step it up until you can see a dog in reality without panic. Another thing to consider is that some dangers cause a person to freeze and they are then unable to find safety. The mirror technique could let you realize that a danger exists and enable you to react in an appropriate manner when necessary. Truckers often think of how they would react to an emergency on the road ahead of time. Then if they face that emergency in reality their reflective practice has prepared them to deal with the situation as it comes up. Some say that television is a mirror of life. Without wisdom being applied to the lesson the watcher is poorly prepared for a real situation. Television programs are meant to entertain or drive up ratings. The programs do draw us in. But about the time we are really involved a commercial comes along and the mood is lost. Or it is too intense and we change channels. But if we would truly learn from Television we need to actually reflect of what has been presented to us. Discussion and contemplation are needed to fully benefit from what is seen on TV. Otherwise half-learnings will be picked up. Stereotypes abound in TV. Without stereotypes being accepted by the audience each story would take too long to set up and tell. If you are a parent it might be well to talk this over with your children. What they see is what they will absorb but it might be a silly mishmash of anti=magic and confusion. So help your children and friends become aware of what they see, and its possible impact, by gentle and wise discussion with them. The wise magician helps others see more clearly by reflecting for them. Be a mirror of clarity and wisdom for others and it will help you as well. May the spark be with you.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Magic And Mirrors

I first saw an Illusionist when I was very young. It was wonderful. Even though my mother explained that many of the magic tricks were done with mirrors I still was awe-struck. At the tender age of five I had already decided that mirrors themselves were magic. My brother and I had a game in which we held small mirrors under our eyes so all we could see was the ceiling of whatever room we were in. Walking around (carefully) made us feel we were walking on the ceiling. That shift into another world was a lot of fun. Since that time I have noticed that in the lore of magic,( stories, spells, movies, and other references) mirrors often are mentioned. So of course I had to ask myself how a mirror could be used as a magic wand by the wise magician. The first thing that came to mind was the daily look in the mirror to see if one's hair is well combed or if one's wardrobe is free of any malfunctions. But it turns out that mirroring is a strong component of growth. Some therapists carefully mirror the client's statements back until the client actually listens to himself. Parents repeat the sounds a child makes to encourage development of speech. It also turns out that researchers in England and Italy refer to our mirror neuron system. What we see others do helps us learn to do or feel that same thing. So if there are changes you need to make put yourself in a place where you can see the good results of the actions you want to adopt. To become kinder it would be better to be around kind people than to listen to a sermon on kindness. When we journal we put down what we are trying to achieve, thus mirroring our efforts. Journaling is accepted as a great help in making changes and achieving our goals. So I suggest to the wise magician that you look for ways to see yourself as more successful, as moving towards desired goals in all the magical mirrors you can find. Friends who believe in you and will reflect your progress, your own visualization efforts, your journals, and the good examples set by others. May the spark be with you.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

How To Let Magic Happen

Remember that I am using the term 'magic' to refer to that which is good and wonderful and 'anti-magic' as that which dampens the spirit or is dangerous for a good life. Stress comes about from being in an anti-magic atmosphere. Ruined relationships and mis-directed behaviors such as addictions are often the result of being in this anti-magic atmosphere. When the situation or atmosphere is bad for you it is important to use your skills as a wise magician and surround yourself with evidence of the field of magic that surrounds you. Remind yourself of goodness to keep that shield around you when it is needed. To me magic resides in the fact I can see color, that I feel good when I think of successes I have had, that I have friends who will tell me when I am off base and when I am doing good as well, that there are a couple of children in my life, that food can taste good as well as be good for you, that people get ideas, that cute videos of animals are often posted online, that jokes and humor is readily available, that people are free to point out the stupidities in the political behavior of our nation, that birds can fly, the usefulness of math, and on and on. I also think it is magical that people can be clear headed when they need to be in times of stress. I suggest you spend some time for yourself acknowledging your favorite things,( as Julie Andrews did in Sound of Music) then visit them when needed. Learn to embellish and add. Perfume, color, smiles can all be added to a situation at times. Perhaps just a touch will be enough to get you in touch with your magic. Being able to touch your magic at will can be powerful. You can shift into a hopeful, creative mode more often and thus make life better for yourself. Try ways to find your magic and see what happens. May the spark be with you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Magic Jig-Saw

As we get involved in a drive to reach our goals we are in danger of becoming too linear in our thinking. In fact we can be so involved in the process that we get off track without realizing it. It is very important to pull back and look at the big picture once in a while. If we use the concept of 'putting together a jig-saw puzzle' as one of our thinking tools or magic wands we may find that success comes to us more easily than if we just go full steam ahead. Each piece of the jig-saw that we put in place fits in relationship to its neighbor as well as being an important piece of the overall whole. This is especially true for creative endeavors. I am trying to start a young adult novel with the working title of 'The Protector'. I was having a lot of trouble with the plot points. I knew the changes I wanted my protagonist to go through, I thought, but some of the actions just wouldn't gel. Finally I backed up to look at the big picture and realized I have made some mistakes in crafting this young man's character. Without crafting a well-formed whole this story was not going to fall into place. No matter how well I thought up actions and troubles I couldn't make things hold together. But I used the concept of the 'Magic Jig-Saw' and now I feel like I understand the protagonist much better. I can create actions that will make sense for who he is. I can now go back to my linear plotting. But I won't try to reach the goal or the end of the story without fitting the pieces in place where they are meant to go. Life is meant to be well formed. We are multi-dimensional beings. If you are ignoring part of your big picture you may be in danger of not being able to put your puzzle together. Reach out to the magic that surrounds your for help in finding your fit and balance. May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Magic Of Active Visualization

Friends, life coaches, articles in self-help magazines, or therapists may have suggested that you develop the habit of visualizing your goals. Think of the home you want, the sleek figure you will have, the nice car or the new job you will find. Many times and in many ways people get the idea of visualizing static goals. But unless you are a musician or an athlete you may not be familiar with visualization as an active process. Many concert musicians practice their music in their mind as they travel from concert date to concert date. Many athletes are taught the concepts put forth in "Inner Tennis" and encouraged to practice mentally as well as physically. The Colorado Ski team, under Coach Suinn became successful for their performance, including in the Olympics as well as their habit of mental practice. Because mental practice is so powerful the wise magician would do well to use it as one of her wands. If you have any habit you wish to adopt, such as more exercise, eating more healthfully, or any goal that takes any action to achieve, you would do well to spend time on a regular basis visualizing yourself doing that necessary action. Put as much detail into this visualization as you can, refining and improving your visualization each time you practice it. It is amazing but muscle memory does develop from the mental practice of using those physical muscles. A long time before a bride walks down the aisle she must learn to be at ease with men, form good friendships, communicate well and so on. Each of these skills will lead to the eventual goal of a good marriage and can be developed at first in the laboratory of the mind. So take courage and envision the changes you want. Then visualize your self doing the needed action to get those changes. Some of the actions may be in getting help or in refining goals. But much is possible. The important thing is to reach for it. The energy from the magic that surrounds you will help you improve and continue your visualization until you reach your goal. May the spark be with you.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Magic Wand Of Attention

They say that what you pay attention to expands. That can be both a warning and a promise. Attention is like any magic wand. You must be careful where you point it. For months and months I was aware of a part of my living room that just wasn't right. We had not fully moved into our new house. I kept focusing on that area as a cluttered and hopeless area. Then I began to pay attention to it as an area I could change. When I quit pointing my attention at the clutter and instead focused on a better use of that space a magical change began. What was hopeless wasn't that hard to change. That space is becoming less cluttered, more attractive and efficient. The same things are there. But they sure do look different.
When we focus on a drug problem rather than a wellness goal it is the same thing. Or on problems with a relationship rather than the joy of making changes for the better. Be careful where you point the attention wand in all cases. For me I can change the focus on my health. I have a particular health problem that is irritating and takes up time dealing with. I believe I will change my focus from worry and irritation to more healthy habits such as decreasing sodium, increasing exercise, improving my diet, increasing hydration. Even if I don't immediately see a change in this particular problem I will see a change in my focus and worry habits. That should help bring down my blood pressure by itself. Each concern is like a coin. Coins have two sides. You can focus on the delights and good points of something, including the delight of making it better for yourself. Or you can focus on the negative aspects. If you do so the negative aspects will seem to grow until they overwhelm you. So, as a wise magician, I suggest you look around you and focus on the good in your life. When you see changes you want to make focus on the successful ways you can make them. May the spark be with you.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Magic That Is Around You

I often refer to the magic that is around you. Thinking of yourself as being surrounded by a nurturing field of great possibilities is part of the mind set of being a wise magician. This mind set does a great deal to keep you open to luck, great ideas and making good connections. Anti-magic is closed, helpless, hopeless, negative, unhealthy and dangerous. This idea of thinking you have a field of magic around you encourages you to make reality checks, to avoid closed loop thinking, to keep good goals in mind and to accept the good when it comes to you. Knowing that not every one can hook into the magic that is around you helps you recognize their baloney (or worse) when they throw it at you. There are concepts that people have developed over the centuries that show many cultures also accept that there is more than 'just us'. Some of these concepts are, karma, dharma, feng shui, synergy, synchronicity, synchrodestinity,the soul,love, luck, guardian angels, and providence. For centuries humans have recognized that life can be very difficult. Yet more often than not it seems to work out. I used to have a very dour 'baloney-tosser' in my life. He hated psychology because he said it wasn't a science. That was his surface excuse to avoid maturing. I didn't discuss it with him but I do know in my graduate courses in the history of science and intellectual thought that researchers often accepted a concept as 'useful' even if they weren't sure that it was a final concept. Magic is meant to be useful. It is well formed and practical. The purpose is to help you, the wise magician, shape a good life for yourself and others. So reach out to the energy of the magic that surrounds you and find a way to have some joy, some luck, some goodness in your life. May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Magic Of Staging

Last evening I was watching the old movie, "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" with Angela Lansbury. In the movie she comments on a spell as being a bit theatrical then goes on to say that all the best spells are. That is true. Magic is appealing. It is also very useful and important but if it doesn't appeal it is less likely to work. The universe knows about appeal. Flowers have smell and color. Women strive to be glamorous. People tell jokes to make people laugh and thus feel good. HGTV has programs about preparing or 'staging' a room to make a house appeal to buyers. The Food Network shows a chef arranging a plate in an attractive way. When you state your plans or desires it is well to do so in a way that sounds good as well as being to the point. Important events in a person's life are often staged in wonderful ways. Think of weddings, confirmations, graduations and so on. The extra bit of time and trouble that it takes to stage a spell, appearance or event makes it stay in memory better and helps to underscore its importance. A wise magician will take this into account. Dressing well for work sends out the message that work is important to you. Having an attractive home sends the message that the residents and guest of that home are important. When you add the little extra bit of flair or polish to anything you are taking a bit of energy from the magic that surrounds you to make that thing better. Look around you. What can you stage in a better way in your life? You may be surprised and delighted at the benefits staging can bring to you. Don't be afraid to try it. Do only what is right for you. Remember "magic is well formed." But do try staging your life in better ways. May the spark be with you.

The Magic Of Staging

Last evening I was watching the old movie, "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" with Angela Lansbury. In the movie she comments on a spell as being a bit theatrical then goes on to say that all the best spells are. That is true. Magic is appealing. It is also very useful and important but if it doesn't appeal it is less likely to work. The universe knows about appeal. Flowers have smell and color. Women strive to be glamorous. People tell jokes to make people laugh and thus feel good. HGTV has programs about preparing or 'staging' a room to make a house appeal to buyers. The Food Network shows a chef arranging a plate in an attractive way. When you state your plans or desires it is well to do so in a way that sounds good as well as being to the point. Important events in a person's life are often staged in wonderful ways. Think of weddings, confirmations, graduations and so on. The extra bit of time and trouble that it takes to stage a spell, appearance or event makes it stay in memory better and helps to underscore its importance. A wise magician will take this into account. Dressing well for work sends out the message that work is important to you. Having an attractive home sends the message that the residents and guest of that home are important. When you add the little extra bit of flair or polish to anything you are taking a bit of energy from the magic that surrounds you to make that thing better. Look around you. What can you stage in a better way in your life? You may be surprised and delighted at the benefits staging can bring to you. Don't be afraid to try it. Do only what is right for you. Remember "magic is well formed." But do try staging your life in better ways. May the spark be with you.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Magic Of Dis-engagement

There is a lot of freedom and magic in quitting, breaking things off or taking a time out. Sometimes it is really necessary to get off that wrong pathway. The goal may be important but the pathway wrong. As people all over the world strive to live 'greener' lives it is important to recognize that nature is not to be conquered so much as to be fit in with. Only when we step back a bit and look at what isn't working can we see new things to try. When you step back from something it is important to dis-engage from the burden of it. Don't let the 'should mind' tie you in knots. If the inner self feels free then it can let ideas occur if they are ready. But if you obsess and worry about a task, a project or idea you have not truly dis-engaged. You have probably paralyzed your creative self. The wise magician casts the spell then lets it go. I am not advocating a life of aloofness. Being involved in life is important. But the wrong kind of involvement is counter-productive. Nature is wise in that cycles exist. Cycles can be a good thing. Bio-mimicry is a new field of study in which nature is studied to gain ideas for use in human endeavors. The off and on, effort and rest, aspect of nature is a good model to emulate. Put out the needed effort. Then rest, think it over, learn, and come full circle to try again. A friend of mine was working many long hours to earn money she needed. But she was so tired from all this she had a car accident. This cost money so she lost ground in her savings program. Less effort, in shorter bursts would have been better for her. Magic works best when the time and the circumstances are right. So if you are in a state of emergency, when you most need solutions and help, take a breather then work you magic. After all even Superman would find the peacefulness of a telephone booth to change into his costume. Let the energy of the magic that is around you help you find the peace you need. Then, when you are ready, make the changes you need. May the spark be with you.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Magic Of Play

Play is an experimental activity in a low stress situation that is pleasurable. It often leads to development of important skills. Think about all the implications of that. You could pretend to be free of an addiction in order to get the mind and body ready for the eventual new state. Many children play at the careers they eventually choose and study for. Courtship is a form of play getting ready for a deeper relationship and a long term commitment. You may have heard the saying 'change is loss'. That is because change is often new and abrupt. But if you want to make a change you can find ways to play about it before hand to make it less new and less abrupt. Parents have found that role playing about school or a family move before these take place help children cope with the actual event quite well. All of this may seem like old news to you. My idea, however, is that you set up regular times to play about becoming conscious of your dreams and achieving them. Young girls in love often spend time writing their name as it would be were they married to the beloved. That daydreaming is a form of play getting ready for the possible change in their life. Magic is meant to bring the hidden to the light. I believe I can use play to become a more successful writer. I have laughed at so many jokes about aging that I am beginning to accept that people do age. I believe I can learn to accept that people do become successful writers. If I can't find any humorous expressions of having a book contract, being at book signings or getting an acceptance letter from an agent or a publisher I shall have to create some games, jokes or other play of my own. I claim to be a creative writer. I can create some playful activities about this. I do want these things to happen in my life. As an afterthought, I suppose I need to find a way to make a game of working a certain number of hours on a consistent basis as well. I resolve to play about these changes until I have brought them about. Be a wise magician for yourself. Look around your life to see what changes you need or want to make in your life. Then find ways to move toward these changes through play. May the spark be with you.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Magic Of Making A Difference

Make A Difference Day is coming up. Please do something to make a difference for another person and yourself. It is important to come out of any shells or ivory towers you may be in and see what a powerful statement you can make. You may not be ignoring the world as much as being too busy with whatever you are coping with. STOP. Right now. Look around you. Reassess you life, your environment, your world. Speak out against bullies. Stand up for woman's rights. Poke fun at the absurd political messages that currently bombard us. Clean up some clutter. Help a lonely person feel valued. Be patient with someone. Adopt some healthy habits. Inform yourself about issues. Write your congressman or a letter to the editor. Make a difference somehow, somewhere. Then enjoy how good that feels. The wise magician knows that it is the realm of magic to bring about change for the better. Sometimes a little act can have a big impact. Don't be afraid to have an impact. You may fear that you will be criticized. It it much more likely that you will be admired. If your good act is worth doing it is worth validating yourself by ignoring the misguided people who criticize you. But even if your act goes unnoticed you will know what you did. Don't confine your act of making a difference to this one day. Become a wise magician. Daily look for ways to create magic. Do good because you can. Make a difference because it is a fun and wonderful way to express yourself. Let the energy of the magic that surrounds you give you ideas of how you can make a difference for yourself and others. Do this often throughout the year. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Magic Of Germination

I would like to suggest to all wise magicians that they plant a seed within themselves of glory. Find your most beloved talents and nurture them. You may be more talented at some things than others and your most polished talent may not be the one to nurture. Find the beloved one and follow the bliss of expressing that. It is also good to nurture secondary talents. I have some skills at sculpture and making small models for casting. Every once in a while it makes me happy to indulge in that. Some talents are for glory some are for happy. It's like your wardrobe. Wear what is right for you at the time. It may take a while after the idea of nurturing your talent takes hold, or the seed is planted, for germination to take place. Nurture it but don't rush it. But do expect it. If you stress out about it and expect it to bring you fame and fortune you will lose the glory. Fame and fortune may come. But the expressing of the talent is where the glory lies. Many times people find themselves feeling stressed and think that they are suffering from the pressures of life. In my experience, however, when those people find ways to be creative their stress lessens dramatically. If you mention to some people that you are going to develop a certain talent they may be one of the sad variety of people who don't understand about talent. Everyone has the ability to express themselves. Most people have more ability to learn to write poetry, paint pictures, or write stories than they realize. But there are also other ways to be creative. The way you dress, walk, talk, arrange your furniture are all creative acts. Being creative is fun and makes you much healthier. So it is practical as well. One clue to finding your talent is to notice what calls to you. If you don't like stories you probably wont want to take the time and effort to develop an ability to tell stories. Becoming skilled at anything takes effort, patience with yourself, and faith. But the reward can be magical. Know you are able to express yourself and find a way to do it with joy. May the spark be with you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Magic Of The Awakening

The way I have been choosing topics for posting is by researching, reading or thinking about stories about magic, then looking for ways to use this in daily life. What some people call miracles other people call magic. Whatever the term, when a magical event happens it is a wondrous beautiful change. I recently saw a dear friend awaken to sobriety. It does seem like a miracle. That made me wonder about my own life. What do I need to awaken to? Better health practices, i.e. more exercise, more of a focus on my writing, and more attention to my dear relationships. Of course there may be more but those are the ones that need an awakening to. When an awakening happens there is a lot of spiritual energy involved. In many stories the magician will awaken an object to powers beyond its current state to do some deed of goodness. When the princes in the stories Snow White and Sleeping Beauty kissed the heroines they brought the princesses back from a death like sleep. In each of those examples, about the magician or the prince, the awakening seems sudden. But in reality the time had to be right. So how does the wise magician awaken herself? First comes a readiness. Light comes into the room, plenty of sleep has been enjoyed, or something like that starts the awakening process. Help may be needed, some sort of alarm, medical help, encouragement from friends. When consciousness comes you may not be fully awake. Sit up and stretch and make sure your muscles are ready for use. Read this as a realistic instruction and a figurative one. More may be needed in order to bring about the needed focus, a figurative cup of coffee. Before the sleep began there was some acceptance of the need for the eventual awakening. Then, when the awakening takes place, the benefit of this new state must be realized. Many things have been making my friend appreciate his new sobriety. I must look for ways to appreciate the awakening I am trying to bring about for myself. I actually have been trying to exercise more and I am seeing some benefits. This will keep me going. Duty is a very dry or boring taskmaster. Magic is a better one. I think I must make sure and get some zing into each of my awakening projects. More sharing of my writing, especially the humorous pieces. Perhaps some new clothes to exercise in. Getting in touch with friends and family has a wonderful zing to it all by itself. I suggest you look at your life, the dry part especially, and see what new day you can awaken yourself to. May the spark be with you.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Magic Of The Other

Participation. Love. Connection. Interaction. Being invested. Communion. All of these words refer to a particular experience that cannot be well expressed in words. It is a magical time when the person, craft or project is influencing you as you are influencing it. It is a truly two way experience. In this state you have lost distrust and ego. The welfare of the other is bound up with your welfare and a feeling of faith and trust tells you that the ultimate goal will be right and well formed. This can happen to an artist, a therapist, a writer, a mother, a lover or even an athlete as they practice their craft. I doubt that it can happen to a rabble rouser or a demagogue. The wise magician strives for that state because it brings the power of the magic that surrounds us into play. I believe that is why the term 'as above so below' is used as a mantra in working spells; to refer to the sacred aspect of magical and/or spiritual endeavor. This state is not achieved by simply willing it. It is rather a release of will. It is a meditative state. The exercises that some use when meditating or trying to go into the alpha state can help. Some simple ones are to tip your head back a bit and roll your eyes up. Or to block off breathing through the right nostril for a second or two. Deep breathing also helps. But the feeling of love or connection is a long term feeling or state. Some even refer to it as eternal. When writers feel that their characters have come alive and are helping to tell the story it is a manifestation of this connection. The willingness to prune, to rework, to be patient or experiment to find what brings about the desired beautiful result is what brings about this connection and is also a result of it. Magic, good relationships, good health, well crafted works are all a well formed expression of love, connection, or whatever word you find for this state or experience. Let magic help you to reach out to experience love and connection in many aspects of your life. May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Magic Of Distillation

Distillation is the process of boiling away all of the unneeded material until the pure essence is all that is left. From the time of the ancient alchemists distillation has been part of the hunt for the greatest treasure. Many times the wise magician will need to distill the product until the final nugget of gold is found. If you are a writer you will have to go over and over your statement of the desire arc of the protagonist until you can concisely state what the hero wants in a way that will set up the story for interesting conflict. No matter what your creative endeavor is you need to distill it down in the planning stages until you can state your goal cleanly and simply. Until you know what the goal is you can't pursue it very well. At times you have to state your goal as 'finding out what you want to pursue or where you want to go.' When that goal is reached you can go on to greater endeavors. At times you may feel that you are caught in an endless loop as you go over and over something. Perhaps you are. But you also may be working on refining your plan or project. Clarity is necessary in order to pursue any goal. Distillation is is part of the process of obtaining clarity. As you search for your refined product don't be afraid to add new liquid, metal, or ideas to the mix. Perhaps what you are trying to distill is incomplete. When you have achieved the needed distillation you will know it because it will be like all magic, it will be right or well formed. Reach out to the magic that surrounds you for the energy to distill your plans and actions into the best possible ones. May the spark be with you.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Stages Of Magic

Some spells are quick and easy. Sometimes all we need to do is lift our heart and we can do that by thinking of our favorite child. Other times we need to work our magic in stages. When we need bigger magic it is a mistake to try for the quick fix. You may need to first work for clarity. You really must be clear about what you want. Most of you have seen Disney's 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice'. Remember how Mickey caused himself trouble by spelling the broom to carry water without fully understanding what he was doing? Rushing into your magic could do the same for you. It could create a situation in which you are out of your depth. After you have clarity you need to find the energy to approach the problem. Then comes the efforts to change the situation. Sometimes you will need to experiment. But always remember to find ways to anchor what magic you have done. Think of going after your goal like climbing stairs. These upward stairs have landings on which you can rest and regroup. While resting you can consolidate your gains or plan for a different strategy. Magic will help you to keep on keeping on. It will help you get new ideas for solutions. If you are working on a relationship you will realize that 'happy ever after' is an illusion. But constant negotiations must be part of the picture. Whatever goal you approach be willing to go through different stages to get to the final good product. With the mindset that you are the magician, able to find and use good tools, you are most likely to reach a good end. Reach out for energy to the magic that surrounds you to help you achieve what you need. May the spark be with you.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Magician's Cloak

At times the wise magician will realize that she needs another tool besides her wand. The wand is a powerful tool and can sometimes be used as a weapon. But at times the opposite of a weapon is needed. At times the magician needs to transcend conflict, especially the noise inside own's mind that causes us to lash out. There are times that is is good to take your comforting cloak and wrap it around you. Comfort and protection can insulate you against the things that are best ignored. When you have run a red light and the traffic policeman has fire in his eye the cloak is the best tool. You don't have to fight for self control. You have to listen and transcend. When your child is screaming you need extreme calmness in order to deal with the tantrum. The cloak helps you transcend. If you are dealing with people in the grip of substance abuse or their own misguided reactions you may need the wand and the cloak. But to over-react yourself at such a time would be far from 'doing magic'. Magic needs serenity. The wise magician needs serenity. Create your cloak in your mind. Mine has a lining that is bright, soft and soothing. The outer side is crisp and dark. The cloak has a nice flourish to it. When need be I can shelter in it. I am also delighted with the style and flair it has.
There is so much that is less than magical, to put it mildly, in this world. These events need to be approached with strength, serenity, and a sense of purpose. If you have been knocked off balance by any off these things it will be hard to do magic to deal with them. Develop your cloak for joy and all the other advantages it can give you for dealing with life's events. Reach out to the magic that surrounds you. Let your magician's cloak help you. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Unexpected Magic

I just had an interesting experience. As you may have guessed from my last post, I was feeling out of touch with my magic. I was going along doing my duty by someone else but hoping to get back into feeling magic energy. Today I got a couple of phone calls that let me know that the simple things I had done for this person had opened up realms of connections and opportunities in his life. He called it a miracle. I had been a catalyst for things to fall into place for him in many ways. People sometimes refer to magic as an occult, or hidden, art. I suspect that more often than we realize the little good hearted things we do are not that apparent to us as magic. But they can have magical effects that we don't even know about. I remember a time about thirty years ago when such a thing happened for my friend. She and I were concerned about feeding her children. It was several days before either of us were to get a paycheck. We had some cash and some coupons and went to the grocery store. In front of the store a stranger gave her a lottery ticket. When we scratched it we found it to be worth fifty dollars. That bought enough groceries to last until payday. A little thing to that stranger, who had paid one dollar for it and probably expected it to be worth nothing. A big thing for a mother and her children. I can think of other times of unexpected magic as well. When I was in college and going through a divorce I wondered if I could stay in school. It would be better for my children in the long run if I could finish my education, as well as for me. One of my professors found out about my situation and told me to apply for a teaching assistantship in the graduate school. I had never heard of such a thing but I did apply. I was granted the assistantship and it helped me finish the last semester of my senior year and go on to get my master's degree. I suggest that you continue to work magic for your own life. Magic abounds. But even when you don't see a manifestation for yourself you might be manifesting big things in someone else's life. A kind word, a word of encouragement, a good tip might be the magic that is needed. So try to connect to the energy of the magic that surrounds you to make a better life for yourself or someone else. May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

When The Magic Is Weak

Sometimes it will be difficult to feel that you are connected to your magic. You will recognize this by loss of interest in doing your fun projects and not feeling much pressure to do the less fun but "should" projects either. You may find yourself up against malfunctions of technology that is not your fault. Then you can only try to find ways to alert the people that can fix things to do as they should. You can do no more. All sorts of things might happen. When you feel that your magic has weakened it is important to open the channels so that when it is strong again you will know it. The best ways to open up to magic is through your senses and through your connections to people. Do a variety of things that eventually will make the corners of your mouth feel happy and your eyes start to open. If there is a pet or child or other beloved in your life, even if not in your home, do what you can to get some physical contact. Also turn to your senses for your connection to magic. Smell something good. Look at trees and plants. At this time of year even the withering that is starting to happen is interesting as well as the change in colors. Explore variations of lighting. Candles, sunlight, shade, clouds are all of interest in strengthening your connection to the magic that surrounds you. I have mentioned before techniques you can use to energize yourself. These can be used to connect you to the feeling that magic abounds. Some of these are: a strong exhalation, a quick look upwards, rhythmic movement, stretching, saying mantras such as "well being" or "magic abounds" can also help. Another point about connecting to your magic is to clear away the events or things that are blocking you. Perhaps you need to grieve over something you did not think was that important to you. Perhaps you are in a low grade toxic situation and didn't know it was that bad so you were not moving away from it. Perhaps you are hungry, thirsty or need a nap. Perhaps you have been caught up in 'busyness'. Do what you can to become aware of those blocks and clear them away. The purpose of being connected to your magic is to feel at home in the world. Magic wants your well being. So when you first feel that it might be weak, act to strengthen it.
The magic that surrounds you will reach back to help that connection. May the spark be with you.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Planned Study and Magic

All magicians know that knowledge does not belong to them alone. They are happy to learn from each other. Since magic is meant to have an effect, to be ultimately practical, the learning from others should also have a purpose and be practical. Learning for learnings sake is good for brain exercise and to stave off alzheimer's disease. But otherwise learning is best done when it is seen to be relevant. So planned study can have great benefits. I have been reading up on 'how to write a novel' from several of my instruction books and I am delighted at what I have learned. I have also sought out things on the web (advice from successful writers). Several things I have learned will make my story or stories, much more interesting. Therefore I have seen how 'planned study' can be a tool or magic wand for me. But if I am involved in study or research and I am called to digress from the planned path and end up discovering something of value then the hunch to digress was the magic wand. Magic always has the goal of 'wonderfully better'. So if doing a bit of research, asking the experts or reading something, or following your curiosity will make your life wonderfully better, even in a small way, be sure to use that "magic wand". Reach out to the magic that surrounds you for energy and insight. Become powerful in your life. May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Magic Of Monitoring

When a magician casts a spell it is important to see if the spell works or not. Yet when we go back into ordinary life we resist checking on what we do. That doesn't do us any good. We need to monitor and review our daily life for satisfactions, successes and failures on a regular basis in order to build a better life. Some people resist this because they think they will be dwelling on their failures. If you learn from a mistake then that mistake is actually a success. I suggest you also include plans, dreams and aspirations as part of this monitoring program. Not only must you know how well you are meeting the needs of daily life, you also need to know if you are moving towards reaching your dreams. Don't leave those dreams in dreamland. There is an art to making dreams real. It is not an easy art. But monitoring your progress, and learning from mistakes, is an important part of developing this art. To draw this monitoring into the realm of magic you could do it in a special time, in a special place, in a special way. Perhaps you could review the day or week that has just passed in a candle lit room with incense and soft music. Perhaps you could start out by listing valuable lessons learned. That is a much better way of looking at mistakes rather than calling them failures. Learning from failures is much different from dwelling on them. You can go beyond failures if you learn from them. I have been reading over some of my early works to see how I can improve them and it has been quite a good lesson. The stories were imaginative but the flow of words did not sing in some of the children's picture book stories the way I wanted. Until I became conscious of the the importance of making story engaging I could not consistently put that in my stories. Now I have an awareness of a skill I need to develop. I was able to do it on a hit or miss basis before. But it wasn't really part of my skill set. Since I have learned how to monitor my writing in a better way I do believe I will become a better writer. As you learn your skills of magic learn to monitor your life in whatever realms you need. Financial, relationships, health, your craft. You are the magician and monitoring is one of your tools, or magic wands. Use your tools well. May the spark be with you.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Magic Of People

A magician often works alone. You may not realize that you have just a touch of low grade loneliness. But if you bother to get a dose of company you will find yourself functioning on a higher level. When we are super lonely we know it. That is the time to reach out to loved ones or try to create relationships. But there are days when you need to go shopping and bother to ask the clerks to show you where something is or to find other opportunities to chat. Sometimes even bothering to check your e-mail will be all it takes. Low grade loneliness can cause us to be less decisive and less productive. The reason I am bothering to make such a simple suggestion is because it is so easy to forget to take a "dose of socialability" as often as would be good for us. In working magic it is often the little things that have the biggest impact. Self care helps us to be more able to care for others. Take the time to speak and visit enough that you don't get a layer of loneliness wrapped around you. Nurture all your relationships whether they are with close friends or business acquaintances. Solitude is good. In solitude you are in communion with that which is greater. Loneliness is not so great. There is not even good communion with yourself when you are lonely. So reach out to the magic that surrounds you to help you get away from too much loneliness. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Magic Of The Threshold

In literature a hero must go on a hero's journey that starts when he crosses his first threshold. All of us are on a hero's journey whether we realize it or not. We are our own hero. We cross many thresholds. Even the simple act of crossing the threshold of your home opens you up to adventure and discovery. The minute you go outside there is the possibility that you will hear new bird songs, that you will see new sights, that you will make new discoveries. For me I feel like I have recently crossed a symbolic threshold or two. I am involved in a deep rewrite of a novel. I am looking at more than grammar and plot arc. I am also exploring themes and what I have to say about life. Becoming more aware of what I have had to say in this way has given me a deeper understanding of myself and my values. Knowing more thoroughly who I am has made me feel like I have stepped into another world. This is making it easier for me to throw out passages that don't fit into the scheme of things. I have been discovering my own voice, my own style. When other writers critique my work I have a better idea of what to listen to and what to ignore or how to put my own spin on it. I think every magician has to discover something like this for themselves. We need to know who we are and what we stand for and be able to take responsibility for that. Many stories of magicians speak of the time the magician retired from the world. For instance Merlin was gone away from Arthur's court. The time away from the world is a time of inner discovery and requires a decent amount of effort. But one comes back more in charge of one's magic. Let the magic that surrounds you give you the courage and energy to cross the thresholds you need to cross. May the spark be with you.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Magic Of Changing Your Baggage

Sometimes people who would never dream of wearing dirty underwear carry around outworn or even toxic baggage for years. If you only live from reaction to reaction you are bound to have a big load of attitudes and behaviors that no longer work for you. Some people say that to be sophisticated is to know about wines, have traveled and that it may even be an artificial way of being. But the root of sophistication is Sophia or wisdom. It is good to go beyond the natural, after all learning manners and how to eat, tie your shoes and so on is beyond the natural. Addictions are in the realm of the reactive. If you are aiming for a life in which you are in charge, not controlled by your habits or your baggage you must have a degree of sophistication. You must become aware of your behaviors and habits of mind. Once aware you can change. You can practice linking good feelings or calm feelings to good actions. You can dump the self talk that makes you feel morose or angry. Just because you have always done something is no reason to continue to do it. I knew a woman with extremely long hair. She always wore it up in a way that gave her discomfort from the weight of it. When asked why she didn't cut it or let it hang (which would have been inconvenient as well) she said, "But it's my hair" as if hair was so holy you had to let it make you suffer. So she did suffer. The attitude was set in stone and she couldn't examine it to see if it served her or not.
One way to discover when you have outmoded baggage is to examine your reactions when you are irritated with someone. Perhaps that person is as awful as you think they are. Then you should avoid them. But suppose the irritation comes from your reaction of being a control freak or judgmental. Negative emotions are a signal that something needs to be changed. Reach out to the magic that surrounds you for help in deciding whether that change needs to be in the outer world or in you. Perhaps it's time to get rid of your dirty baggage. May the spark be with you.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Understanding Your Magic Wand

You never see a picture book or a movie about a magician without their magic wand.
A magic wand is the tool with which the magician causes all kinds of wonderful things to happen. Your mind is your magic wand. It can take you to wonderful realms or it can bring wonderful things into your life. But just as a magician must learn to use his magic wand so too must we learn to use our mind. Many people go through life living a life dictated by the reactive part of their mind. That kind of life is not truly satisfying, nor very full. All of your mental abilities can be polished and improved. You can learn to shift from the logical mind into the creative mind. At times it is good to be reactive or responsive. You can be very organized at times. You can be very decisive or you can come to understand your hidden agendas so they don't control you. The key to gaining mastery of your mind is to realize that your mind has different aspects. Then do what you must to become aware of those aspects. Each aspect has strengths and weaknesses. Logic is good at times but it is also important to be able to feel and express emotions at times as well. If you pay attention to these aspects on a regular basis you will be able to see when they kick in and how. Then you will able to trigger these different aspects. You must not try to force your mind to do your will. You must find the keys to unlock its power. If you are procrastinating you may see no reason to do the task you are feeling guilty about ignoring. But a conversation with yourself may reveal the reason for the procrastination. You can then do either of two things. Give up on the disliked task or find a meaningful reason for doing it. There are many instances where journaling or self-talk or talking things over with someone can help you use your mind better. Reach out to the magic that surrounds you for the energy to learn to use your mind, your magic wand, in wonderful ways. May the spark be with you.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Magic Of Hard

Taking on hard things is the way to do great things. Just because something is hard doesn't mean it should be avoided. In August Newsweek reported on its ranking of different countries for quality of life. The US was ranked 11th. Ten other countries have better health, live longer, have better education and so on. The writer I first read who mentioned this was from The New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman and it was run in today's Denver Post. Mr Friedman felt that we have slipped because too many of us are no longer willing to put forth hard effort. The wise magician knows that effort is vital in order to accomplish our desired goals. The way you take on hard things is with consistency of effort, preparation, willingness to take as long as it is needed to do the task, cooperation, and keeping your eye on the goal. Creativity also helps. Remember that hard things are made less painful when there is an air of magic about the effort. Work songs were developed to help people push those handcarts across the plains, to lay all those miles of railroad track, and many other jobs that got done as our country was becoming great. Songs, games, or whatever it takes to put a smile on your face or a lilt in your heart is part of the magic you can access to take on hard things. Don't be afraid of them. It is better to be afraid to run from them. Now I had better take my own advice and get busy on my re-write of Thimblewyck and some other writing tasks I have set myself. I hope you will have fun challenging your hard tasks as well. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Magic Of Form

It has been said that 'form follows function'. Thinking of the function of "things" often helps to see the form more clearly. It is easy enough to see that the function of a hand is to do things. The function of music (organized sound) is to help us perceive that sound more fully. We tend to shut out cacophony but when we can hear pattern and form in the sound it can be pleasing, even without melody. Understanding form, such as the principles of design that an artist might use, can help us to appreciate a work. However that appreciation might not need to be conscious. But it is pretty important when we intend to be the driving force behind a task or project. A creator does well to understand the tools with which she works. A mother needs to be able to use hugs, explanations, games, soothing sounds, persistence and much, much more to raise a child. A recovering addict needs to master the tools of self encouragement, getting outside help when needed, principles of self care, courage, etc. To create we must fuse intuition with will, the use of the left and the right brain together. To write a story there is a certain form to follow. There must be a certain amount of time spent on the different parts of the story. There must be a beginning, a middle and an end. If a key element of the story is presented too quickly, mentioned in passing as it were, the listener or the reader will not really comprehend the story. Each part of the story has a certain function in moving the story forward. A novelist has to ask 'what is the function of each chapter?'in order to write a cohesive book. A wise magician will be willing to pare down his 'words of power' to their essence in order to really understand what she wants to achieve. For seven years I taught inner city children in a class that was a combination of art and story telling. At first some would string together events in an endless litany without really telling a story. They would quickly lose their listeners. Creativity is meant to bring order out of chaos. The structure, the plan, the purpose, the form of a work are vital. If your life is in a shambles you can make it better by examining or discovering your values. Living true to your values will make your life 'well formed'. A person's life is their greatest creative work. Let the magic that surrounds you give you help in living true to your purpose. Let your life be well formed. May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Importance Of The Listener

Having a good listener in you life can work magic for you. You will understand yourself and your dreams and aspirations better. You will become more accepting of yourself. When you are validated by a good listener you have more energy to live your best life. So if you don't have a listener do what you can to bring one into your life. If you do have a listener do all you can to show them gratitude, respect and honor. Important to the communication process is making sure that what you say is understood in the same way by the listener. A good listener will ask you to clarify or explain. A good listener will do part of the work of getting your ideas across. Good listeners are not plentiful. But you still do need to show respect to any listener. The meaning of a message is in how it is received. This is a radical idea to some. They think that what they say is holy no matter what the other person perceives. But in reality it is silly to speak unless you do want to be understood. You would not speak French to a Greek who did not understand French, would you? Try to find words that will be understood the way you want them to be understood when you speak. Friendships and love relationships are built on being able to understand each other. The friend or lover becomes a good listener, each for the other. This doesn't happen overnight. The wise magician works to make sure her spells have a chance to work. She chooses her words with care because those words go outward and inward. That's why it isn't always a good idea to speak when you are angry, other than to communicate that you are angry. Reach out to the magic that surrounds you to find the strength and energy to find a good listener for yourself. It is also a good idea to become a good listener to yourself. May the spark be with you.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Magic Of The Reality Check

Ego and self-esteem are really important to our lives. They give us energy to keep on keeping on. Our work, our life, is thus imbued with meaning. But reality will also come up alongside us and thump us on the head. We will, or should, see ways in which we have made smug assumptions and have not delivered the most truthful work. This reality check may come because we have grown, or because of something someone trusted has said to us, or because we are looking at our views or our work in a new way. An especially vulnerable time is when we have created something that is supposed to be an improvement on work by someone else. We may be thinking that we have done so much better. We may have made some improvements but we may have also left things undone. This happened to me. I was smug about writing a novel and sequels based on Andersen's Thumbelina. I came up with some fun ideas. But I didn't work to polish my writing enough. I'm having to do it now. It is good to step back from our creative darlings and say, "Well done!" then wait for awhile and say to ourselves, "You are great but look at your work to see if you can be greater". We can also be proud of ourselves when we have to throw out something we have done when we realize it is not our best work, or even worthy of being called our work at all. The reality check helps us do that.
I have been putting forth that magic is well formed. So the wise magician tries to put magic in his or her work. We deserve to do no less. So let reality give you a needed jolt so you can do magical work. May the spark be with you.