My magic castle

My magic castle

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Magic Can Deal With Inertia

Inertia is the resistance to a change in motion. Inertia resists stopping as well as starting. When we need to 'wake up and smell the coffee' magic can help us with coffee for our soul. I have often heard people complain that they 'need a change, are not on their true path, or wish for an end to their troubles'. This can happen.
But just like stopping or starting the movement of a big object like a car,there has to be some preparation and some motion appropriate consistent urging. It's a good idea to slow down, gear down and tap the brakes before coming to a full stop. But if that potentially destructive forward motion continues the results will be disastrous.
Now remember, magic doesn't change conditions at will, it changes perception at will. So work on your perceptions. You can wake up and put changes in place that will change your life. First comes awareness, then comes a bit more awareness, take a few deep breathes and accept the awareness then begin to decide to work the necessary magic. Will power doesn't kick in right away, it must be courted and developed. Deciding to give yourself the support of belief and emotional surety is the actual magic. Coaches put signs up in the gym. Cheerleaders practice cheers. Mother put notes in lunches. Lovers make phone calls. Friends assure you they believe in you. You can create the structue of friends, schedules, whatever motivational help you need. That will put a spark of magic in your life and get you the life you want.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Does Magic Sleep?

Around 2 A.M. this morning, when I put myself into the alpha state to ask for inspiration for my blog the phrase came up 'does magic sleep?' I was up for a while then went back to bed. Still resisting the idea. Now it's close to 11 A.M. and I have to give in. I must let myself explore the idea 'Does Magic Sleep?' First I must consider 'sleep'. That is a latent time, a time away, a time for restoration and replenishment, a time for ideas to grow. Surely that fits in with magic. Magic is gentle and quiet. I dare say it needs to replenish. When it bursts on our consciousness with it's glorious zing of AHA! it must need to retire. We wouldn't listen if we had that zing coming at us all the time. It would wear us out.
Sleep is something that we awaken from. I believe that we must also awaken magic at times. The spells of invocation are meant to awaken magic and get it working. Another word for sleep is slumber. However slumber has a slightly different connotation...that of a strong awakening waiting to happen. I wonder if there are times when really strong magic finds us. I think there is. These amazing events we tend to call miracles do happen. I have had amazing coincidents happen in my life that made a big difference to my well being. Yes, I have decided that magic sleeps. Sometimes it awakens itself. Sometimes we may awaken it. I plan on meeting one of my dearest friends for lunch today. I am sure the synergy of our relationship will creat a spark of magic that we will take with us back into our day to day life. May the same spark of magic happen for you.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Magic of Recognition

Recognition can happen the first time something is seen or met up with because that 'thing' will fit your inner ideal of rightness. Take a magic moment to wait for that recognition in your choices and you will be happier with them. I have portraits of my daughters that were painted by a Korean artist from photos over forty years ago. Most of the time they have been in the possession of someone else, but they recently came to me. For a long time they were unhung because the right place hadn't made itself known. The size and color were some of the considerations that were holding the decision back. Then, yesterday, my oldest daughter spotted a possible place, we tried it and it was perfect. Every other spot I had considered in the house had seemed as if they would pull something away from the pictures or make them look bad. I've looked at them dozens of times now and I get a zing every time. Not just from looking at a joyous reminder of such a long ago, loving time, but from the 'rightness' of the spot we chose.
I use the same tool of recognition in my writing. I will feel that my storyline is flat and I have to add a bit of adventure into the narrative. I will consider whatever comes to mind. But I will only choose the twist that I recognize as being something that will fit in with the characters and setting of my story.
People, objects, projects, adventures are all out there waiting for you to recognize them and let them help you give your life that spark of magic.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Success Magic

In the ordinary world there are tried and true steps to success. These I will discuss first. Then there are magical principles that also help one obtain success. I will also discuss those. Success is too important to ignore any help, magic or mundane.
The reason for my choice of success as a topic is because the book I am doing the first draft on, (working title: Marus in Chaga) is at the point where I have to really examine the issue of success because the antagonist of the story is about to take up more of the story. This villain has been consistent in certain behaviors that have given him his success. Now the hero group has to get close to the problem, call on or develop their resources,be flexible in meeting new problems and come up with superior behaviors until they have taken the villain out of the picture.
The extra magical property they will have to have is emotional. They will have to do all they can to make sure their morale stays high, that they maintain their belief in their own abilities, and that they have trust in each other.
They may do this with rituals, such as when a team goes into a huddle before starting play, songs, chants, use of lucky talismans, or encouraging talk among themselves. Their leader may paint powerful word pictures that help them visualize success.
To help you in your own success, give yourself that extra spark of magic by doing whatever you can to increase your positive emotions about your efforts. Break the problem down in to do-able bits and cheer yourself on for doing them. Any time you are blocked, cheer yourself for wisely backing up and learning from your mistake then going forward again. Use all the encouragement you can get. Think creatively about resources you have available. Success is meant to be yours.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Use Of Magic to Gain More Time

The biggest wasters of time are: worry, indecision, and repairing mistakes made because of those two distractions. Sometimes slowing down will actually speed things up. People who want to put facts into their memory more rapidly find that if they first listen to music at the metronome speed of 60, or even the ticking of a clock, their mental absorption is increased. Much of the music of the Baroque period, especially the third movements of symphonies by Handel and Haydn will be useful for this purpose, as well as enjoyable. Planning, meditating, setting priorities are all activities meant to give us better control of our time. But remember, magic is the ability to change perception at will. If you perceive a sense of stress about the time you are using, you are losing full use of that time. Do something at that moment to hook into a calmer flow of time. Many people believe the Buddhist chant of: 'Nam-myoho-renge-kyo' will make time work for them. It does have a calming effect and thus prevents mistakes.
Another tool for magical use of time is to be open to synergy and serendipity. If one project can serve two masters, let it do so. If one healing can then go on to be a lustrous pearl, allow that also. Allowing magic to enter your life is the best way to gain time to enjoy a spark of magic.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Magic of Changing Channels

Yesterday I read an e-mail from a friend, and I felt angry and hurt. I went back and read it again and couldn't pin down exactly why I felt that way, until I read a little more. Then I realized that I had overreacted, I had actually read things into it that weren't there. My logical left brain was okay with that but my right brain, my feelings, were in need of some love. I checked to see which channel I was in. My aural (ears) channel was nattering away at me. Nyah, nyah, nyah, the misreading and the angry reaction were chattering away. Obviously that channel wasn't the best one. Often, when the critical aural channel is going the head will be down (as you listen to the gripes & stuff.) So I switched into visual right away. I looked up at pictures I have on my walls. Then I opened a lovely visual e-mail, a slide show, I had just received full of wise sayings and beautiful photos.
After that I was in a fairly good mood but I also did a bit of motor or kinesthetic activity. Later I went back to the e-mail and felt no pang at all, ego involved as I had previously been. I communicated further with my friend and found out that we were in agreement after all. That was the best of all, but I wouldn't have found that out if I had stayed in my mistaken, reactive mode.
Changing channels can be helpful at other times. People who fear crossing a bridge, but must in order to get to work, have been able to lessen their reaction by singing songs as they cross. The singing blocks the pictures of height that are trying to come through. Others have found that rhythmic movements have loosened a tight throat.
Use your senses to manage reactions that are interfering with nurturing yourself. Change the uncomfortable channel to one that will come in much more clearly. Maybe you can't think, can't talk. Some people have been able to collect their thoughts by taking a pen and paper and drawing pictures or writing down their words. If you feel overwhelmed and need to feel calm in order to function, find ways to work a bit of magic, change the channel.

Monday, February 22, 2010

What Magical Moments Will You Create Today?

What event, moment, object, or feeling of magic will you create today? Who will perceive it? How will it be known? Perhaps it will be an amusing expression that you will put a little more zing into as you relate an anecdote. Or you could touch someone with a little more gentleness and caring. Maybe the meal you serve will look particularly attractive, or have an extra ingredient in it. The smile you give will go clear to your eyes and into the recipient's heart. There will be patterns of connectedness and grace in what you do today. Perhaps you will give yourself a feeling of peace and joy as you stop to perceive beauty in your surroundings.
I believe that our inner self is constantly aware of the extra aura of joy, fun, individuality, or self-expression that clothes our actions. I think our inner self likes to go about the day, humming along, celebrating life. Look at the textures and colors in which you and those around you have clothed themselves. See how pleasing a face is, balanced in it's mandala pattern. Skin is soft and smooth. Food is tasty. Even if you are under stress you can have, and deserve, a spark of magic today. Enjoy what you create.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Magical Aura of a Concept

There are many examples of the way words change over time. Awful( once having a spiritual connotation, as in full of awe) became something bad; is one such word. I really like the way the Greek word 'temenos' has developed. Once it stood for an area that was cut off, protected, and had a special use. Maybe the use was just for the way sunshine would reach plants in a protected part of the garden in the winter, or it could be a special area to be used by nobility. It has come to be used as a special place, or emotional atmosphere, where one can be truly himself. Friends create a place of temenos for friends, one of acceptance and understanding. The one in that protected place then flourishes, as if given magical soil and water. Consider ways that you can provide a magical circle, or temenos, to your friends and yourself. Allow that magical circle to develop. We all need it. Providing it for others will help it manifest for yourself. A bit of listening can go a long way towards bringing a spark of magic into your life.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Magic of Word Play

Sometimes the way words are put together can open up your mind to great new worlds. You can do this for yourself and increase your mind power while having fun as well.
Let me suggest a few phrases for you to muse about. 'Cut the bonds to the mundane', 'let your imagination soar', 'the interplay of the sacred and the mundane', 'opposites attract', 'stand on the shoulders of giants','the sky's the limit','the eternal moment', 'hang in there, baby.'
I am suggesting that looking beyond the immediate meaning of a word or phrase can open your mind to increased creativity and productivity. Also, you are apt to gain insight into your deeper self. Meta-language is where the message really resides.
In my list of phrases to consider I put 'eternal moment'. Moment is a concept of time. Time passes. Eternity is outside of time. How can there be an eternal moment? One writer used it to mean 'a moment that was so full of love or meaning that time seemed to stand still and that would always be remembered.' This is not an exercise like the caterpillar counting his feet when asked how many he had. He stopped to count and couldn't walk. I doubt that you will stop to think and be unable to talk. I do challenge you, however, to look deeper into the words you use and encounter. That will bring a spark of magic into your life.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Magic of Creativity

Whenever I see someone that seems ill I wonder if they are suffering from dis-ease.
When the creative part of yourself is denied it is hard to be well. Creativity is one of those terms like 'intelligence, magic, the universe, or the soul' that might need to be defined by those who use the term for full understanding to come about. When you are being creative you are making personal decisions based on your inner self. To arrive at the finished creative work a series of these kind of decisions must be made. They are not necessarily easy, but when they are right a kind of zing or joy manifests itself. Some creative people gain fame and fortune. Some do not. The goal is not fame and fortune, but expression of the self. This often involves working out what the self wants, or needs, to express. I have started plays, poems, or pictures that were important until I worked through what I was trying to work through. I don't feel guilty that I don't always finish a creative work. I finish enough. If I am figuring something out I don't run away from it. The inner self will continue to push to get the idea out there, in some form or another, somehow, someway, someday. This I know. I also know that tools of logic, discipline, planning, asking question, are all hand-maidens of my creativity. I try to keep my tools in good shape and use them well. My creativity is important to me. I urge you to nurture yours, to always be open to ways to let your magical inner self shine through.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Magic is Connecting

Think about connecting, not just with friends, but in a very broad way. Paint connects to surfaces, seeds connect to nutrients in the soil, leaves connect to sunlight, oxygen connects to blood cells. All of those connections are done with grace and just the right amount of energy. The attraction that completes the connection is allowed to work. Now think about the times the force has been off, such as when the golfball is hit too strongly into the hole, thus causing it to roll back out. In relationships the difference might be the difference between courtship and stalking. Even goals must be approached with grace and the proper amount of energy. The lore is that one must be hard-driven, that one must go for it with gusto. I question that. I lettered in basketball in high school. But I spent a lot of quiet hours polishing my shooting skills, so that I could connect with the basket in a game. Connections may seem to be high energy, but they must not be too high. Connect in due time, with due grace and you will have that spark of magic in your life.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Magic Of Kindness

I was browsing on the designated days list and saw that Feb. 15Th, two days ago, was the end of Kindness Week. I just missed it but some things can/should always be celebrated. I followed some links and saw the Goethe quote "Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together." So I must share. He may or may not be talking about the big concept of society, but think how harsh life would be if those close to you never said 'thank you' or smiled at you, if a stranger never held a door for you, if a friend never shared a small experience with you just because they thought you could relate to it. Or if you were never kind to yourself. Think of ways you can be kind to yourself today: lotion on some rough hands, enjoy the smell of your breakfast coffee as well as the taste, what play or light or color do you notice that you enjoy, have you bothered to find something to laugh at, did several things work well today--develop the magic of kindness to yourself. Be kind to others. Maybe you can smile at a family member, or tell them something that you appreciate about them. Strangers deserve kindness and it does your health well to give it to them. Improved blood pressure and well being are tangible results of kindness. But who knows? You may also be building up a lot of good Karma. It never hurts to be kind. Even explaining and apologizing when you have to be pushy is a kindness. Kindle the spark of kindness today.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Magic In Ink

Have you ever explored the magic that is in ink? Sometimes you may feel stressed because you are overwhelmed and are trying to keep too many things in mind. Put some of those worries away by making a declutter list. This is not a 'to do' list. It is a safe drawer where you can rest those worries and get to them later. When it is reasonable to do so, you can put them on your to-do list. Another magic spell in your pen is the to-do list for your slow elf. He needs things broken down into the simplest steps. While you are waiting for him, you may see some things that are actually too simple for him. Those extremely simple things you should go ahead and do, so that he won't be insulted that you think he isn't very capable. Your pen can make praise lists for youself of the good things you have accomplished. On those lists nothing is too slight to be included. Wish lists are helpful. Try to create other magic pen helps for yourself. Face your monsters with your sword-pen and create the beautiful day, full of magic, that you deserve.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Another Principle of Magic: Act As If

By acting as if the desired event will occur you make sure the door is open for it to occur. Too many people give up too soon, they bail out way before the magic has a chance to take effect. When I was in college I kept on acting as if I would be able to raise the tuition, find the books and pay for them, get my assignments done on time, get into the classes I needed, continue to meet the obligations to my family, learn what I needed to learn to keep on going, and so forth. Ten years after I graduated from high school I received my MA. It was a good time and it was time well spent. Every person can probably find similar examples in their own life or similar experiences. Look at children learning to walk. They are acting as if they will learn to walk, and they do. Things would rather work than not, once set in motion. But if we throw rigid judgments and unrealistic expectations at them we can derail them. I believe we seldom know the fullness of what the end result will be, when we start out on something. But we need to believe that it will be a worthwhile result, perhaps unfolding for us in magical new ways, as relationships do, in order to keep on keeping on, to act as if. That is how magic happens.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Try Magic As Part Of Your World View

The mind set we habitually carry around strongly influences our perceptions and our actions. In order to keep from aging too rapidly it is a good idea to exercise our mind. One way is to practice using our memory by doing crossword puzzles and memorizing poetry. But it is a more challenging form of exercise to play with ideas, to look at the world in new ways, to wonder how ideas connect, or even to see if you can get or appreciate new ideas. Besides staving off dementia this can be very useful in the increased life skills you will gain.
Let me give you an example: Most people think being able to negotiate is a good skill to have. There are similarities between negotiating and doing magic, I believe. The process must not be rushed with either. The result must be pleasing and well formed. The goal is clear for the one using the skill. There must be involvement and participation. The magician/negotiator should not back off from the process before the goal is attained. This last is very important. I recently had someone call me who wanted to persuade me of a certain action. I was open to it but they couldn't explore options until the result could be well formed, they lost belief in themselves and in my good will, and gave up.
I challenge you to go forth as a magician and, loving yourself, give yourself many good experiences and good ideas.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Magic Talismans

A talisman is an object that has a lot of extra meanings and feelings connected to it. There are things like that in every one's life if they stop and let themselves realize it. If you are feeling down, or just failing to feel the zing that you deserve this time of year, think about a few of your favorite things, and see if that doesn't give a lift to your spirits. Don't rush, just peacefully think about things you enjoy or cherish. They may be things you can't touch with your hands right now, but they are there in you world. Let them bring you the love from the universe you deserve.
These are some of my favorite things. The outside door from my study has a window and I often get to enjoy the sunrise. My daughters like to make home-made cards to send to people, still. The way the household pet makes sure every body in the house gets his attention, even though he has his main person. The color of the sky on a sunny winter day. Kaleidoscopes. All fruits and vegetables, to eat and look at. The music from stringed instruments, including harpsichords and clavichords. Jane Austen books made into movies on PBS. That if you smile you feel better, just because you smiled. Ice water with lemon squeezed into it.
Now it's you turn. I'm still making my list. Make your as long as you need until you truly feel loved. Give yourself that spark of magic.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Magic Of The Extra Embellishment

You can make yourself happy by looking for ways to express your individuality throughout the day. That will also make your relationships more fun. I served as a VISTA with a woman who would sign out for lunch with the note 'lunch & FA' We would go to lunch then spend some time trying to spread the word about our projects. We were actually giving up some of our lunch time to work. But labelling it FA (for fooling around) made it seem more like play than work. Another friend used to reply to the question, "How are you?" with "Fine as frog hair." No mundane 'fine' for him. Perhaps you already have done a lot to individualize your life. Give yourself a pat on the back for doing that. If you need to loosen up a bit, give yourself permission. Each time you do something like this you are celebrating life, whether you realize it or not. Note the good that has happened, no matter how small. If you pull yourself out of a funk, celebrate, that was a good thing to do. Every breath you take, every word you speak, every step you take is a good thing. There may be some terrible events, or even just irritating ones, in your day. But when you look over your day, to be fair, there will be more good than bad. Let yourself celebrate that from time to time. Let the spark of magic come into your life.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Magic of Passion

It's nearly Valentine's Day and we are all focused on passion, love, being connected to other people. If you are unaware of your own passions, even your deepest likes and dislikes, it will be very hard to truly connect to others. It is a good time now to contemplate the people in your life. Use your senses to appreciate them. Use your senses to know them better. Listen to their voice, feel how they move, look at them in a variety of ways. Do the same for yourself. You might even consider taking yourself on a date. Get to know yourself better. What makes you laugh? What makes you cry? Have a dialogue with yourself. If you could afford to give to every charity or cause, that got your attention, which ones would you give time and money to? What do your outer and inner self agree upon, in what ways do you need to have a dialogue in order to deepen your self knowledge? How can your inner world of rich resources help you meet the problems of the outer world? This is a designated season of love. Accept the challenge and dare to love, life, yourself, and others.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Magical Tips For Togetherness

When you meet someone new, or even when you get together with an old friend, reign in any tendency you have to impress them or look to them to kiss all your hurts and make them better. First start with developing rapport. This is done by noticing if your friend, present or future, is more at home in visual, aural, or motor modalities. By that I mean, if they are talking about 'seeing' things your way -visual- don't talk about 'hearing' them. If they are 'moving forward' in their life you will feel more like a friend to them if you also mention some motor activity. Maybe you can mention 'taking steps' to create the life you want. Noticing the way you and others operate will take some sensitivity and practice. But it is worth it. You can also check in about the way you move. Match the length of your steps, and the rhythm in which you walk to that of your friend and they will feel more open and relaxed in your company. People will not let themselves feel impressed or want to help you until you have knocked on their door and they have willingly opened it. This is done in small, but important ways. Be open to others and they will be open to you.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Magic Of Practice

Practice is doing something mindfully on a regular basis. After a time it may become more and more automatic. Over a long time it becomes ingrained in our repertoire of behaviors. I am not just talking about playing the piano or riding a bicycle. All of our behaviors, including our behaviors of speech and thought, become more ingrained the more they are repeated. Thus if you practice expressing anger you will do that more and more often, more and more easily. I hear people say that certain things are hard, or impossible. I don't have a lot of sympathy for that. Yes, things are hard. It was hard to walk, to talk, to learn to feed yourself. Probably harder at the time than the new behavior that is now being attempted. But if the person attempting the new behavior will "just do it" it will get easier. Break the worry chain for five minutes. The next time you may be able to go for six minutes. Hold off on having a smoke for five minutes. The next time you may be able to go for six minutes. Every behavior you can start you can improve. The magic key is mindful practice. By mindful I mean that you look for the snags and missteps and devise ways to improve upon them. At times you have to have a very deep focus to smooth out those little snags, then focus on integrating them into the whole behavior. But if you will do it, it can be done. One of the hardest things I ever had to learn was to keep my mind about me when someone was shouting at me. I learned it and now I prize my ability to keep cool in a crisis, or even when someone else is in an agitated state. I know I'm not perfect so I continue to be mindful about it. But I can also think back to times in my life when I was too easily manipulated and know that doesn't happen so easily now. I practice the way of the dragon, clarity of thought. I wish the same power to you.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Listen With Pictures

Many of the works on visualization discuss it as a tool to cause positive changes in our life such as learning a new skill. This kind of visualization is consciously decided upon and used. But there are times when we need to gain understanding and visualization will help with that. Those times the magician needs to invite whatever pictures will come, to appear. I suppose it's like scrying with our mind. I recently was trying to understand another person's anger and to not let my own get out of hand. I never got to the point where I could see myself as the 'bad guy' but I did manage to give up my attachment to the whole thing and regain stability and inner peace. I was musing on the sometimes murkiness that needs to be cleared away in the search for truth. Then the pictures began to come. Muddy waters that I had to reach into as I searched for the pearl of wisdom, was one of them. The pictures, the tunes, the tightness of muscles, all the signs that you get as you mull over something, are meant to give you a fuller understanding of the concept you are grasping. Let it all wash over you and come into consciousness. Listen to yourself in order to know where you are. Then you can use whatever tools you want to move on to another place.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Magic Is Bigger Than We Know

I just discovered one of my Face book friends is my granddaughter using a nickname. I was delighted, and realized I kind of suspected it as well. Another delight was that yesterday I blogged about being jolted out of ones ruts and that was (I want to think) in precognition of the surprise she gave me. I woke up thinking I would write about my enjoyment of the diversity of people's individuality, and I got proof that I do enjoy it.
I believe I write about fairies and magic, not just in my blog but in my other writing, because they are a metaphor for the spark that sentience has. My daughter's dog is back with me because she has returned from an extended stay in Arizona. He has his quirks and I enjoy having him here. He is a delightful sentient being. I rather more delight in my daughter, of course. But I appreciate magic wherever I find it.
I challenge you to step into the large world of magic. What have you discovered that you already suspected? What delights you in yourself or others? That is the magic that abounds.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Light Needs It's Shadow

It's a wonderful thing to get jolted out of one's ruts from time to time. Perhaps you can try this for yourself. As you go along, day to day, in the old mundane way, look for the contrary view. Say "No" with a ring. Turn things around. Hang a picture upside down. If you are traditionally wild and free try being prim and proper. Too much wild and free and be boring, just as can too much prim and proper. Experiment with "Why?" and "What if?" Trying this will let light into the shadows.
There may be all kind of riches hidden in those shadows. If you can't do it out loud, you can do it quietly, in the kingdom of your inner self. If this seems unsafe to you, let me give you a reason on the side of safety for doing this pushing-at- your-walls. Life is going to push at your walls. If you have already peered outside of your safe little world, the jolt when the surprises come will not be so big. But I don't advocate it just for that reason. It's a way to make your world more fun, richer, more magical.

Language and Magic

Language is a tool that can be effective or dangerous. Sometimes a short phrase can give one a world or insight. For example: Don't make a big deal of something, deal with it. That conveys the difference between over-reacting or being pro-active. Another is: I see the glass as half full rather than half empty. There you have a optimistic versus a pessimistic mind set. Some linguists say we speak on two levels, that our meta language conveys much about our state of mind to the person who is willing to listen to it. Affirmations are phrases that are crafted for repetitious use to give a message to our sub-conscious to induce change. Begin to sharpen you use of and awareness of language by watching as you listen, see the colors that play across the face of the speaker, the positions of the arms, the shoulders, the whole body. As you speak you may find that you are saying things you don't mean by feeling tightness in your stomach or some other signal. The ancients knew this property of language, to influence, and that was the origin of spells. The Washington Post invites readers to create new words to say old things in better ways. Language changes means two things: words take on different meanings and words change people. Dare to improve your use of this tool by being more aware of its use.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Magic of Small

Keys are small. Without a key the locked door will not open. Large problems are made up of many smaller problems. If we learn to smoothly use the small keys we can find we will be able to deal with very large things-problems, projects, ideas. The willingness to accept the small key as valuable and use it smoothly is the crucial element.
One of the arts I love is sculpture. When modeling a piece in clay you must build it up dab by dab, small stroke of your tool by small stroke of your tool, lovingly. It is the same with your life. Allow awareness to develop. Question ways of dealing with that which must be dealt with. Look for the small keys. Perhaps you must start with something as simple as better breathing, or a different way of using a particular muscle. That is the start, the small key. Then move on to the other small steps. Think big, work small, but flow towards the ultimate goal. I have found that roadblocks will happen, but they are only blocks, not the end of the road. When you feel blocked, accept it, then see if you can flow past it. Perhaps that will be enough. If not, allow the block to reveal itself, with all of its small parts. These will be small enough that they are not the block you first met. Sparks are small but they start warm fires. Use the magic of small.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

About Healing

Healing takes time, but healing happens. Even if you are healing from making an embarrassing mistake. There are steps to go through for each large or mini trauma and they shouldn't be rushed. Nor should they be drawn out. Here is where I think the gyre or spiral model will be useful. There will be moments of freedom, joy, clarity, productivity but then you will fall back down into the pain. Yet each time that you come out of the trauma your rise will be higher and further. Acceptance is crucial in this process, on two levels: acceptance of the trauma and then acceptance of the ending of the trauma. Each time you see the light at the end of the tunnel, remember that you did see light. If darkness happens again, don't let yourself get caught in the tunnel. You saw light once, you will see it again. The people I know who are the most resilient have a sense of 'I am me, I am involved in the process of living my life'. The people who seem stuck, forever in some kind of pain or other seem to have an attitude of: 'I hope I have some acceptable labels, I hope I can get into a box of the perfect life and stay there'. For the people with the latter attitude I say, " If you suspect this is a picture of yourself, dare to question your assumptions". To the first group I say," I know you question your assumptions and find that which is good for yourself. Enjoy your good health."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Breath of Fresh Air

I've read articles about the way prisons in India, Arizona and other places are cutting down the rate of prisoners returning to prison, once they have been released, by teaching them a mind freeing type of yoga that mostly involves deep breathing.
It seems that citizens of the day to day world can benefit from this, free themselves from the prison of their own mistaken thoughts, by bothering to take a breath of fresh air. I went to a conference in the Colorado Rockies over a year ago where we experienced instruction in this and it was marvelous. Especially to me as it was several thousand feet higher than I thought I could be at and be free of altitude sickness. I had gone to a writer's conference the year before and suffered altitude sickness that interfered with my ability to listen and get to meetings for several days. But this conference, that started out with the breathing exercises, was enjoyable and beneficial for me the whole time.
The lesson from this is that there are many hidden sparks, ways to hook into magic, the good things in life. Learn to find them and use them. Magic abounds. Take a good deep breath then release all that needs to be released. Be well.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Magical Kingdom of Whimsy

If you hear yourself going around saying, "I need a vacation," you may be forgetting that you are a citizen of the Kingdom of Whimsy and that you need to affirm your citizenship once in a while.
The summer I was finishing up my Master's I was under stress and realized it when I noticed that I had a constant headache, all day, all night. One night I woke up from a dream, laughing in delight at the visual display of swirling colored lights I was seeing. The headache was gone. I decided that my inner self had decided that no matter how serious I was about finishing the degree, mothering my two children and getting a job for the school year to come, I had to let in a bit of whimsy to get through it all.
I have a friend who will do more than simply forward the funny e-mails she gets. She will compose and label funny pictures and send them to me. She really belongs to the Sisterhood of Whimsy. A successful professional woman, who knows how to take a moment here and there to lighten up.
Don't wait for a vacation, or the week-end when the "fun" you give yourself is sometimes more trouble or expense than it's worth. Play whenever you will, whenever you need to. That is a good way to keep stress at bay.
Do you have a shrine to whimsy in your car or home? You may have without realizing it. If not perhaps you may want to create one.
The Kingdom of Whimsy is not for long term living. But to dip into it, visit there briefly from time to time, is to live on a higher plane.