My magic castle

My magic castle

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Magic Of The Fortune Cookie

Sometimes I have read an acclaimed self help book, sat through a long sermon, or even received advice from a well meaning friend and felt like I had no clue about what I had just heard or read. Then other times I have heard an adage or read a fortune cookie and had an epiphany, experienced a strong "aha moment". I think human understanding is organized along lines to help us take care of our self, to help us be our own magician using the wand when we need it. That which we let be a key to understanding, no matter how few words are used, is that which we see as helpful. It also has to be meaningful. Personal is meaningful. When we put our minds to interpreting and understanding something it does become meaningful. That's why omens and spells are part of the lore of magic. So I suggest this exercise (customized to fit your life): Cast about for areas of change you would like to make. Find words that describe the change. Play with those words to gain a better understanding of the change and find out how you react to the ideas they embody. When you feel a zing connected to a short phrase you have created you know you have hooked into the energy of magic. I need to improve my health by exercise. A mantra I might use (I'll have to try it out for a few days) is 'move to groove'. See if you can find something that works for you. May the spark be with you.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Magic Of Cross Training

It used to be that cross training referred to an athlete learning a different sport than he or she usually played in order to use muscles they didn't use in their first sport, thus gaining increased strength, flexibility and skills. Then the term came to be used in business for the habit of having several employees able to do a certain job so they could step in and take over if that was needed. But cross training can also be thought of as taking any skill from any discipline and seeing if it will work in any other discipline. Poets are encouraged to paint pictures with words and so on. When I was a young waitress a more experienced woman told me it would be helpful to "Think like a trucker" and never deadhead. She explained that to a trucker it was costly to return from a trip with an empty truck. That was deadheading. The wise trucker would try to make sure they carried a paying load when they delivered and when they returned to home base. As a waitress I could use that idea to always make sure I had something in my hands no matter which way I was going. Now you can think about ways you can cross train to make your life better. Lovers work to communicate well. But so do successful businessmen. Accountants are orderly. But an artist who drops his tubes of paint on the floor will have trouble finishing his pictures. Reach out into the energy of the magic that surrounds you and think of different careers or disciplines that have skills you could use in your own life. Perhaps you don't need the sense of smell or taste of a great sommelier. But the wine steward at a fine restaurant might help you pronounce the names of wines correctly. Be proud of your own profession or craft. But if you find a tip you can use from another discipline take advantage of that. Anything that helps your life is your own magic wand to use. May the spark be with you.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Magic Of Flexibility

Several times I have heard the mantra "He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day". Retreat, regrouping, trying another solution, there are many ways to talk about flexibility. Flexibility is doing what it takes to reach your goal. If your goal is a good relationship with a person, it does not do to try to win arguments at any cost. Flexibility is a position of strength, not stupidity. Another mantra I have heard is: "If you keep on doing what you've always been doing, you'll keep on getting what you've always been getting". To be flexible you have to be stronger than your fragile little ego. If you find yourself feeling at odds in the situation, whether it be with a person, a process, or an inanimate object it is time to start managing your mood. That is what the skilled magician does, manage the situation in which they find themselves. Flexibility is the willingness to try different attitudes, different behaviors, or different plans in order to achieve the desired result. Reach outside of yourself to the energy of the magic that surrounds you to define your goals and take actions to go after them. Be clear,practical and joyous. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Golden Thread

In many tales the magician uses a thread to do some magic or weave a spell. I have had a problem that has been hanging over my head for several months. One I knew I had to deal with eventually. Today it occurred to me that it was interfering with my peace of mind because I didn't know how to approach it at all. It was sitting there in a big tangle of knots. When I realized that I suddenly knew how to approach it. Knots, whether of string or rope, have an end to them, a way to untie them. You just have to find the end of the thread. With that I started picking at the knot and eventually found the end of the thread. I haven't completely dealt with the matter but it is no longer a problem. Now I know the steps I have to go through in order to handle it and have started the process of doing so. I suggest if you have some dark cloud hanging over your head reinvent it as a big knot. Then find the end of the string so you can start to untangle it. The energy of the magic that surrounds you will help you persist until you are on your way to the success you deserve. A dropped and tangled ball of yarn can be difficult to untangle. But once it is untangled you have something you can use to make something good. The metaphors in which you think can influence your moods and actions. If one isn't working for you, rework or reword it. Think about the difference between 'untangled' and 'unraveled'. Both involve smoothing out yarn or thread. But they have different connotations. You can do a lot to help yourself by the way you tell yourself things. Find golden threads to weave yourself a joyous life. May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Waving Wands and Molding Energy

Sometimes, when I need to make sure I have the energy I need for important projects I imagine myself 'molding energy'. It is a visualization in which the energy I am molding and I are intertwined, thus molding each other. I look ahead in my day to see if I need to eat or take a nap or play mind games to have the energy I need. This fluid ball of pulsing energy might show me that I need to push part of it towards another spot so that I don't short circuit out, as I might if I am splitting my focus or letting distractions interfere. This is not totally under the control of my logical brain but more of an intuitive thing and the molding is also a molding of time. I may sense that I need to turn to small 'get things in order' tasks for a while that don't take much energy, while my subconscious mulls things over to come up with a great idea that will give me a burst of energy. For me this visualization is more like a soft accompaniment melody that just helps me go about my work, and get things done. The way some people hum as they work. I suggest that you explore mannerisms or self-talk, or visualizations that you have or can develop to help you as you go about your creative work. For me this molding of energy helps me shift from project to project. I may need to work a bit on a play I am writing, then get some housework done, then plan a chapter for a book, then do some research. When I picture the energy blob along with my getting going on the new task I find it's easier to get in gear and get started on the new thing. For me this imaginary companion of energy makes it easier to go on with my day. Other people may find themselves running an inner dialogue of great diary entries. Whatever it takes to make life more than an exercise of 'just slogging along' is good. Find a wand for yourself and use it when you will. May the spark be with you.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Magic Of Chipping

A great work of sculpture is cut out of a block of marble one inspired chip at a time. It is the same with the work of art that is our life. If we keep on chipping, always trying to do it in a creative, purposeful manner we will eventually have a note worthy whole. It takes the energy and joy of magic to keep to our purpose. Don't let that chipping become mundane or it will be too easy to abandon it. Are you trying to become a more loving person? Keep chipping away at it, with love. Are you trying to nurture your ability to participate in group projects? Appreciate the energy of the group and contribute your own energy. Are you trying to write a book? That is done planning project after planning project then one word at a time. Keep the words coming. Including the conversations you have to have with yourself. Those are real opportunities to look for a way to put a bit of zing into things. When you are tired and find it hard to reach out for the energy of magic, just keep on chipping. That will get you through for a while until you can grab onto the "wow!" again. But try to feel a positive field surrounding you. Giving yourself a golden aura will help you continue to keep chipping away. Sharpen your chisels, or whatever tools you need. Playful ideas are also tools. Get the life you want, one chip at a time. May the spark be with you.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Gift Of 'Oh Well'

I was thinking of some of the life lessons I have gained and I had the thought that there are people I know or used to know who would not approve of some of my enlightened attitudes. For a moment I was tempted to tone down or deny said attitudes even though I knew them to be valid. The magic that surrounds me gave me a gift at that moment. My craven self sensed a big "Oh well" in the air and I again had the courage to be my better self. I was kind of excited to realize I don't have to bear the burden of other peoples judgments. I am not responsible for their narrow minded or mistaken ideas. I don't have to accept them nor do I have to worry about changing them. My ideas and my crusades are my own. I do care what other people think and feel. I am, after all, a social being. Also, as a writer, the life blood of my stories is people's feelings and attitudes which lead to their actions. But I also care about my own ideas and understandings. It has taken me years to gain some of them. Until that moment I received the gift of "Oh well" I may have been trying to clothe myself in labels more than I realized. But when I do that I deny myself the freedom to see the errors that are made even in the best of groups. Labels and slogans can be helpful but they can also interfere with thought. A magician values profound understanding. Let the magic that surrounds you encourage you to gain your own deep understanding of all that you turn to. May the spark be with you.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Don't Grow Up, Play Up

I've been siting here reviewing the responsible things I need to do tomorrow. I didn't have a lot of enthusiastic feelings to help me until I saw this title "Don't Grow Up, Play Up' on my blog idea list. Suddenly I remembered times in my life before I was mobility impaired and the fun of dancing and doing sports flooded my memory. I remembered the hard work I would put into perfecting some of the moves. I also remembered that it was worth it. I held onto those memories and moved them over into a visualization of doing needed garden work tomorrow morning. I now think I will be able to get all my squash and tomato plants watered in the morning and enjoy it. When I was a kid it was fun to ride in a car (actually I still find that kind of fun). But the point is that if I put some kid-like enthusiasm into it I'll probably get out and get a new, much needed, cell phone battery before the day gets too old. I wonder if I can find a way to make paying bills fun? There's money in the account, I just don't like paper work. I like to draw but I don't think I could bring myself to draw on the checks. Perhaps I can figure something out. Perhaps I will have to move back three spaces in the game of "Doing" if I fail to get a certain number of things done that are on my short do list. Fun is a great energizer. I think appealing to the senses makes things fun. Perhaps that is why color and texture and shine are all important aspects of the costumes we see on pictures and figurines of wizards and magicians. Magic works better when it is fun. So, reach out to the magic that is around you to get energy to do what you need to do. As I now say, "A magician's gotta do what a magician's gotta do." May the spark be with you.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Magic Of Review

As you know I love to do research, especially about the history of ideas. Tonight I was reading about paganism and attitudes about it. Magic was defined by the author as basically the search for maturity. All the spells, amulets, talismans and charms of the ancients, she said, were to give strength and courage to the person trying to develop enough discipline to be in charge of their own life. I have known that way down inside myself, but being a magician sounds better, to me, than being a grown up. So, what is one of the tools we can use as we go along our path to being an effective magician. I believe we have to be aware of and keep track of what we are learning. Every epiphany, insight or magical discovery has a charge of excitement when we first meet it. But it can become obscure and forgotten when the next discovery comes along. It is easy to make big plans. It is not so easy to put those plans into action. Often it is because we forget about them. We need to review our personal goals and monitor how well we are doing in our drive to achieve them. Are we becoming the magician we want to be? I suggest that one way to make review of growth effective is to make it enjoyable. Endow it with magic. An example I can think of is to visualize a magnificent trophy case. In it we have a display of awards, certificates and trophies. These trophies are ones we have earned for changes we have made in our character, or thinking skills we have gained. I would have a small but delicate display of earrings. This display is to remind me that I am proud that I have gained control of my tongue, to some extent. At first I would have to bite it(my tongue) to the extent that I imagined I had put holes in it that would hold fine jeweled earrings. Someone else might find themselves singing a song about their skills to the tune of "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.""One big thing that I can do is speak right up straight and true. I add one on and pass it around...a second thing that's right for me..." You get the idea. Make a pleasant way to review what you can do, what you are learning to do and what you want to learn to do. The magic that surrounds you will give you the energy to do whatever you need to do in this realm. The magical result is that your achievements and improved life will go along more smoothly. May the spark be with you.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Your Personal Spells

To achieve peace and tranquility is a wonderful thing. To be able to do it as needed is a great practical achievement. When you are at peace your mind will move to higher levels of development. I have even read that when you are in a state of tranquility the brain will form new synapses, thus becoming a more effective brain. Physical health comes from being calm as well. The stress induced problems with cortisol and blood pressure will ease. In addition tranquility feels good. Therefore, I suggest that the wise magician develop ways to easily go to a tranquil place in your mind, that mini-vacations become part of your bag of tricks. If you wonder how to do this I would suggest that the first step is to discover your personal send offs. Are you more likely to relax when you feel, hear or see certain things? Your mode of perception matters. I love scenery but I can't enjoy it if I am too hot or cold, or if I am hearing disagreeable sounds. Self knowledge comes first. Then establish rituals that are right for you. Candles around a bathtub are definitely not my thing but they work for many. My mother had a ritual of watching the sun go down from the back step that healed and energized her. I believe that putting my thoughts together for my blog is a ritual that brings me a sense of peace.
The point is to gather up a variety of ways you can bring peacefulness to yourself before you need them. Then let yourself feel a sense of satisfaction that you have done so. Turn a good fact into a good feeling. That also becomes part of your collection of personal resources. I have a special place I once went to on vacation, one little spot, that I can see in my imagination easily. This spot is reserved for a special purpose, to get inspiration. I have other rituals for solving creative problems and so on. Reach out to the magic that surrounds you and develop you own personal ways to gain tranquility. It will help to have those ways when they are needed. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Magic Of Owning Your Power

Everyone has the power to decide who they are. If someone makes a wrong or unjust criticism and you let it devastate you, you are giving up your power. Everyone has the power to exercise their right to take care of themselves. I once knew a woman who would rarely go to the bathroom when she had guests, no matter how long they stayed, nor would she suggest they go home. She excused her surrender of her own power by saying she hated to be hateful. Few people would go as far as she did but many do give up their power over themselves in many subtle ways without realizing it. If you take a more satisfying job but let others criticize anything about your choice you have given up your power. You could have not told them about the change or you could have stood up to their criticism. If you constantly procrastinate making changes for the better in your life you are giving up your power to have a better life. If you have tools or skills to manage you moods but turn to artificial means or methods you are giving up your power. If you are afraid of your power you may find it easy to give it up. Let the magic that surrounds you help you recognize that you do have power and that it is a glorious attribute. Enjoy and use the power over your life. May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Magic Of The Shift

Sometimes our head is more like a car than a television set. Many times we will find that we are thinking negative thoughts and we can change them fairly easily. We can change the mode in which we are thinking and that will break the pattern. That is, if we are visualizing disaster we can sing or recite a poem to switch from visual to aural. Or if we are running a negative litany we can look upwards and shift from aural to visual. But there are times when the mood is on us a little more strongly. Then we have to go from the negative space to a quiet place before we can go to the positive place, just like depressing the clutch in order to shift when we are driving a car with a manual transmission. To go to that quiet place we have to center and get in the moment. Use your senses to do this. Go through a check list of your senses, reporting to yourself what information each sense is giving you. Note what you see, what you hear, what movement you feel or are involved in, the temperature of the air on your skin, whether you are hungry or not and so on. Going to this quiet place will break the hold of the negative mood and you will then be able to make decisions to be hopeful or to engage in some purposeful action. The magic that surrounds you will help you feel, hear, and see what is around you in the immediate moment. That will put you back in control of your life and not at the mercy of your moods. May the spark be with you.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Magic Can Deal With Fear

Fear and dread are debilitating. Sometimes the flight or fight response kicks in and we can deal with them short term. But other times we react in ways that messes us up such as snapping at people who are on our side, or lashing out in anger or violence. It feels so terrible when we are in the grip of dread our first concern is to make a change, any change. There is one problem with what are called the negative emotions, they come up so fast, because it is important we get the message that something is wrong rapidly, that judgment is often clouded. To get from the feeling of panic and paralysis, even denial, that hits to rationality magic is important. Remember, the magician is the one in charge of his or her life. She is able to use all resources to do good for her life. You may have developed mantras or spells for clarity of thought or meditation. Many people chant 'Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo' at times like this to quiet the outer mind. When I used to have to walk home from baby sitting in the dark as a teen, I found that rubbing the fingernail of the thumb on my right hand under the fingernail of my pointer finger was calming. The little spark that comes from the magic that surrounds you can be utilized to get you to the place where you can make the good decisions you need to make. If you have problems with fear such as bad cases of stage fright you can rationally set up a program of desensitization when you are calm. We don't want to be fearless. We just don't want it to get in our way. Courage is in how you handle fear. The skill set of thinking like a magician is the bridge from panic to courageous success. May the spark be with you.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Magic Of Facetime

I want to start off tonight with a quote by Lawrence Katz, PhD, Professor in Neurobiology at Duke University. "The absence of human interaction is just deadly for the brain." I agree. When we talk to others face to face we find our brain works better and so does our life. If you are having trouble getting where you want to be in your life maybe it would be a good idea to slow down and have more face to face time with your people. Kings have their ministers. Presidents have their cabinets. Generals have their aids. Whether you are talking over the problems you face or not, just talking, that two way dialogue that keeps your brain alive, is going to help you make the right decisions and take the right actions you need. If there is any danger that you are slipping into a solitary lifestyle find ways to reach out. Let the energy of the magic that surrounds you help you go out to coffee, even talking to the waitress will help. Go ahead and attend the meetings you thought would be too much trouble. Call the friends you haven't seen for awhile and set up time to hang out with them. Solitude is good. Loneliness is not. Find a few more people to talk to. It will enrich your life. May the spark be with you.

The Magic Of Testing The Test

We test out events and our environment constantly whether we realize it our not. We look outside to see if it is raining or if it seems windy or hot. We look at the faces of those around us to assess their moods. We compare our checkbook balance with the pile of bills we have. But we do not always think about the criteria of the test we are using. It is important to have a valid test. One example is the test we use to define friendship. I have often known people to accept people as their friends who are instead toxic for them. Have you have heard the expression; "With friends like that, you don't need enemies."? It is good to monitor your life to the point where you know how to test out when something is too hard or just frustrating, when someone would make a good friend or not, when your life style suits you, and when you are getting enough fulfillment to keep your soul happy. Your body will react and give you information if you will let it. You will have dreams, have slips of the tongue, feel twinges in different parts of your body, find yourself humming ditties that when you stop and sing the words great insight comes your way. The test of what we want cannot be what someone else seems to want, or might want for you. Let the energy of the magic that is around you help you find valid tests to help you know when you are living the good life your deserve, your style, your way. May the spark be with you.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Magic of Finally

Yesterday someone commented that I was walking with a lot more energy and ease. This was a goal I had been working for but had not had a lot of hope of making progress on. A great wave of "finally" washed over me. I felt energized and more able to continue to push myself to put more movement into my life. Then I began to look at other goals I had that had become kind of stale because I had been slogging away at them so long. I found myself able to generate energy to continue with them by letting myself see and feel what I had "finally" accomplished in regards to them. I had finally come up with some character traits, even flaws, that made the protagonist in a book I am working on more interesting. It is now easier to go forward. I had finally gotten enough comments from those who were critiquing another work so that now I can get busy with some more polishing of it. I had finally paid off one of my high interest credit cards. I looked around and found all kinds of things I had finally done. I felt like I was on top of a mountain and surveying my kingdom. So if you need to hook into the magic that is around you for some help in any area of you life, look around you. Perhaps you have finally had some close time with a person important to you. You may have finally been able to feel a special connection to the universe by meditating at dawn or in some other way. You inner self is constantly working for your benefit. Discover what it has "finally" done for you and appreciate it. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's Magic To Be Heard

It is wonderful to be heard, it is real balm to the spirit. How can you influence being heard? Two things come to mind. First, put yourself in the company of friendly people who are capable of listening and when they do listen to you show appreciation. There is a corollary to this first one. Learn to listen to yourself so that you don't need to run off at the mouth needlessly and boringly. That can close the ears of the most dedicated listeners. The second one comes from that corollary, make sure the line is open. Don't impose. Ask if the other person has time and is ready to listen to you. Show your appreciation for being heard. If the person who is giving you the gift of listening makes a comment or suggestion be polite about it. Later, when you are able to mull it over you might find out it is a real gem. Realize the other person is human and that if you take their self interest into consideration it is easier for them to listen to you. At one job I had the other workers would ask me to make requests of the boss, because, they said, he listened to me. I then analyzed the way in which I made my requests and realized I always thought of how those requests might affect him and phrased in a way that considered his good and the good of the business. Never close ears of your listeners by shouting, insulting them or whining. Expressing sorrow is not whining. Being self-centered is. The magic that surrounds you wants you to be heard. Reach out and let it happen. You have important things to express. May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Magic Of Second Things Second

Most people have an pretty good grasp of the idea of first things first, whether they practice it of not. But the gap of what to do after you get started has a lot of people befuddled. The second thing to do is the next do-able thing that can be done that will lead to the end goal. So when you start something it is a good idea of where you want it to go. It may flower in other directions but an end goal being held in mind helps things get started. If you have finally met the person to whom you are attracted the next thing to do is to make it possible for a second no pressure meeting. If you have finally written a wonderful musical theme for a musical work you are composing the next thing to do is to come up with secondary themes that will support the first one. Getting started is a big part of the battle but keeping going is the most important part. An essay explores the idea you are putting forth. A house has to have walls, a roof and so forth. The end goal must be part of getting started in order to move on to the second thing second. This is where magic comes in. Creative projects, all creative projects including relationships, are not well formed if they are too straight line. They need to be developed and enjoyed. Now you can ask the questions about the person or the project such as: What do you value? What are the ramifications and implications of this? How does that affect me? Whatever you have just started, now is the time to reach out for the energy of the magic that surrounds you to make it a little bit more full, a little richer, a little deeper. Whether it is relaxing and renewing yourself, forming a new relationship or starting a work of creativity, now is the time to move to the second richer level. May the spark be with you.

The Magic Of Movement

The times we most need magic are when we are stuck, when we can not move forward, or even sideways, but are stuck in a putrid stagnant place. Physical movement can help us make mental progress and vice-versa. Many times a brisk walk can clear our minds and help us know what we need to do in order to move forwards. One thing to remember about movement of any kind is that it is usually sequential. Little steps lead to big strides. Some of the people I have been observing this year who can't seem to get anywhere in their life won't take sequential steps towards their goals. They won't identify the steps to take or the obstacles to overcome. Some of them seem to think that words alone will create the movement needed. Words can be powerful, I agree. But they are not the only tool that is needed to gain achievements. It seems obvious that certain actions are needed but some people will not walk, or move, toward their desires. They will hop like grasshoppers in several directions, then hop in other directions. Then they will say they have changed their goals. The essential dream does not change. The way of expressing it may. The hoppers don't notice this. They just say, "I'm gonna do this, or no, I'm gonna do that." If you want to succeed at anything, find a way to move towards that dream. Some of the time your movement will have to be towards getting information. But let the energy of the magic that is around you help you clarify your goals. That will draw you forwards. Monitor your movement. Get others to help you. Those are both important. Purposeful movement is in your power. May the spark be with you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Magic Of Self Trust

Being able to trust yourself is much more important than many people realize. If you don't trust yourself you will make promises to yourself that you have no intention of keeping and few if any of your dreams will ever come true. Self esteem is closely tied to self trust. To develop self trust you can start out small. Make a promise to yourself that you know you can keep, keep it and praise yourself for keeping it. This can be particularly hard if you are in the habit of telling others you will do something when you think they are pressuring you and you just want them to shut up. When this happens you don't really hear yourself on one level. But your inner self has heard you and when you don't do what you have said you will do, there is an erosion of self trust. So learn how to deal with what you perceive as pressure from others in better ways. Perhaps you can learn to say no, put their request on a list, ask them to help you figure out how to do what they ask or share the labor or tell them you aren't really listening because you are busy and they will have to ask later. I have areas of my life in which I know I can come through for myself impressively. In other areas I have discovered that I have been saying "I will" while thinking "I should, maybe I will tomorrow." These areas I now know really are 'shoulds'. I have begun the work of figuring out how I can make the needed changes, what promises I can make to myself. I suggest you look at your own life and thank yourself for promises kept. Grab onto the energy of the magic that surrounds you to find ways to keep the self promises you need to keep. May the spark be with you.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Magic Of Asking For Help

There are myriad ways of asking for help, from prayer, to dialing 911, to writing your congressman. You can also reach down and ask your inner self for help and get quite good results sometimes. But the times when you feel trapped in a whirlpool, an eddy that seems to pull you down relentlessly it is good to reach out. Just the act of clarifying your thoughts enough to say what it is you want can work wonders. So if you feel like you are going round and round in circles do grab onto a spark of the magic that surrounds you and ask for help. The entire problem may not immediately be solved by an outside presence. But the important thing is that you have acted for yourself on your own behalf. That is what a magician does. As long as you feel like you are trapped in a loop keep asking for help. You may want to vary your requests in the way you ask, what you ask for and where you address your requests. But don't give up. It is important that you pay attention to the results of your asking. What changes do you feel within? What advice would you give yourself now that you are more clear about your needs? How much of an answer have you received? If you are very careful about this you will get more help than you expected. It is the over-reactors who claim they have gotten no help at all. The sun shone on you another day so you could continue your requests. The breath in your body continued another day. The universe is on your side. The goal is to get out of that loop of despair. As long as you can hook into the magic around you there is hope. May the spark be with you.

The Magic Of Chains Into Change

Change can be hard. Some say that change is loss because when you change the familiar is lost. But there are times when change is vital and it can be made. If you are facing the need for change but feel bound by strong chains the first thing to do to gain your freedom is to acknowledge the importance of the change that is calling to you. Just knowing that change can be made, that it needs to be made is a start towards loosening the chains. Then acknowledge the burden of the chains, the reason that change needs to be made.
The more onerous the burden of the chains the more you will yearn for freedom. By exploring the situation fully you are preparing yourself to make and carry out a broad and well planned program of change. The chains are there. You are conscious of them. The program that you put in place of the chains must also be something you are conscious of. Chains are interlinked. Change can also be interlinked. Link up to situations and people that will help you make the changes you need. Plan for the long term, not just the first few days when the energy of the difference in your life has you buoyed up. Chains can be used to move things as well as hold them. Let your new links to a better life pull you forward. Hook into the energy of the magic that is around you and break the chains that are holding you back. May the spark be with you.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Magic Of Mental Placement

I just recently became more conscious of the ways we can "get our head in a better place". It's really wonderful that we can actually learn to do that. I can put my shyness, or whatever it is, to one side and reach out to give my ideas and insights to others. We may have to develop a variety of strategies. One might be to imagine our self walking around obstacles and towards the attitudes we want. Or we might imagine a mentor by our side giving us the encouragement we need. When I got myself in a better place about reaching out I found I had given up my resentment towards "know-it-alls." I was more confident about what I knew so didn't have to resent those who didn't know but tried to pull the wool over other peoples eyes. In the world of commonsense and clarity, where I have now placed myself, the other inhabitants can tell when they are being offered hogwash, and can reject it. I don't need to do it for them. You can have a lot of fun deciding where to "place" your head. But doing that will help you change your moods and attitudes for the better and have them more under your control. You might take your "head" to a hammock on a beach in the South Pacific. Enjoy the sunset in serenity. Or you might go to a studio where everyone is being very productive and encouraging everyone else. Use the energy of the magic around you and think of places you'd like your "head" to be. Go there if you want. Let this freedom to choose spark good things for you. May the spark be with you.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Magic of Physical Placement And Position

I met my first husband because I marched past him in our college marching band. My first job came about because a woman who needed a worker knew I lived two blocks from her cafe and her car was out of order that day. There is a lot to be said about being in the right place at the right time. We can do a lot to make that happen. We can place ourselves in good company, in places where we will be noticed. My physical therapist daughter recently taught me some better positions to hold my body in so I could walk more smoothly. The way we position ourselves, in all meanings of that phrase, can bring success and blessings into our life. The way we hold our self as we walk into a room. The way the things around us frame us or clash with us can all influence some one's perception of us. It is more than just body language, it is also the setting of time and place in which we position ourselves. The credibility we have, our reputation can have some effect. But first think about the physical. Are you ready to stand up and be noticed? What would you like to be noticed for and who would you like to notice you? How do you feel about the way you stand and sit? Let the magic that surrounds you help you to think about this and make any adjustments you might need. Put yourself, literally, in a better place. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Magic Of Discovery

Humankind has an innate urge to discover things. This is useful in many ways. You can find food, allies, shelter, fuel for your campfire, new and better pathways. But just finding things out for the sake of finding things out is also useful. I used to have a cleaning business and my crew and I found out that if we stopped for a moment to look around at the dirty dining room and guess the reason for the splotches and such it would seem like a game of discovery that gave us more energy to tackle the mess. People like to gossip. They like to snoop. You may wonder how I can relate this to the practice of magic. Since magic is the practice of actions and attitudes that puts you in more control and charge of your life, knowing things helps with that control. To discover that you can figure things out, can make interpretations upon which you can base decisions does give your more power. So I suggest that you cultivate the habit of figuring out what is going on around you, often. Not just in your immediate vicinity but on a large scale as well. This will help to develop your intuition as well. You may discover more things than you want to know. Then you can discover ways to choose what to pay attention to and what to ignore. But open up to the adventure of discovery. It will spark your life with magic. May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Magic Of One More Step

There are many times when a little bit of extra effort will pay off in a big way. The address you were searching for and you went down that block one more time and suddenly it is there. The poem or song you were trying to memorize and you went over it a few more times and it was suddenly in your memory. My favorite bit of magic that happens from trying just a little harder, just a little longer is when I need an idea to solve a problem in something I are creating. I put the problem loosely in the back of my mind, telling my inner self to keep trying, and the idea comes forth when I are focused on something else. Another favorite result of hanging in there, for me, is when I am trying to solve a problem with someone else, and I refuse to lose my temper. I just show patience and suddenly the needed rapport is there. So if you think you are at the end of your rope, reach out for the magic that surrounds you and hang on just a bit more. If you don't let irritation or hopelessness get in the way you may find better results than you expected. At least you won't suffer from the negative emotions you are holding at bay for just a little bit longer. That's a a plus right there. You can take the energy of the negative emotions and channel them into that extra effort. Believing that things can work is a powerful tool of the expert magician. Learn to use it. Take one more step, it may take you where you were going. Or it may spark you in a better direction. May the spark be with you.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Magic Of Manners

A person with good manners is a person with strength of character and well thought of by others. We are told to take life seriously but not personally. If you don't hold yourself in a reactive stance, sure that you must protect your fragile little ego, it is fairly easy to be aware enough of those around you to know how they are reacting. Please, thank you, I appreciate this, that was well done, are all phrases that can become part of our daily habit of interaction. Good manners give order to our life. They give us time to think when we need to gather our thoughts. They help others cooperate with us. We don't have to be phony flatterers. Often a simple thank you will go farther than an extravagant compliment that is obviously false. Be the expert magician in your life. Take your wand and look around for a chance to take your turn, to listen, to return a favor, to thank someone for choosing to wear something that gave you pleasure or to express a request in reasonable tones. You have a right to be treated with good manners, of course. State your expectations gently when someone slips. Most of the time that will work magic. Be a role model to others with your own good manners. Be persistent and consistent. Let the magic around you give you to energy to persevere. It would never do to let civilization slip away from us. May the spark be with you.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Magic Of Energizing Ideas

Sometimes you need to give yourself just a bit more energy to finish that last bit of a run, a project or your workday. There are a variety of physical things you can do such as cupping your hands over your mouth and nose so that you breathe in your own carbon dioxide for a second. This will cause the brain to open up blood vessels in order to get more oxygen and thus you will have a bit more energy. There are mental things you can do as well, just as reminding yourself that you are nearly through. That seems to give one a burst of energy. Another way to energize yourself is to go away from that which you are enduring for a moment and get an exciting idea. That might seem to be easier said than done, but it is actually easy. If you are feeling a lack of energy an idea of any kind is a vacation or a shot in the arm. Plan a fun dish for supper, think of a happy surprise for a loved one, perhaps another place to look for something you have lost or are researching can occur to you now. It doesn't have to be a patentable idea. Just an idea that takes you away from the dullness that you are enduring at the moment. Maybe you can even think of how you can exaggerate your suffering of the moment and use it in a dinner table conversation. Even if the idea is not to be used later, the excitement of having it will have served a good purpose. It has made you life better for the moment. Let it spark you for that brief time or longer if you want it to. It was brief magic that helped you. May the spark be with you.

The Magic Of Decision

I want to start off with two quotes, one of which I have referred to before, that by Goethe. First let me quote Wilfred A. Peterson, "Decision is the spark that ignites action. Without a decision being made, nothing happens." Now Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe "Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it." Sometimes it is hard to make a decision. Perhaps you don't have enough information. Perhaps it will go wrong. Well, one way to get information is to try something and see what happens. Making decisions is a main component of creativity. Not just one but a series of them. One decision is made and thought about then that leads to another. Action with thought is far superior to worry. The smallest decisions can break up the biggest log-jams. Decide to do something good for yourself today. Perhaps it will just be looking for a good fact to be happy about. But that decision will start a whole chain of events. Use you power of decision to guide those events. Your life is meant to be satisfying and fulfilling. Make the decision to act towards that end. May the spark be with you.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Synergy In Groups

We interact in many formal and informal groups. Some of those groups will affect you in different ways than others will. At times the people around you, or the people you have in your head, whether you are physically around them or not, can be the wind under your wings. At other times they can be destructive. It is easy to lose your sense of identity in a group but it doesn't have to happen. In order to be the magician holding the wand, the one working the magic, you need to be aware of the dynamics of your interactions. Awareness is where the magic is. If you feel bullied in a certain group or repressed you can avoid the group or take steps to change the dynamic. One of the really great things about groups is the opportunity to experiment, by shifting your focus, by looking for feedback, and by trying new or different things. Remember however, the name of the group is not your name. That suggestion may seem wrong to some of my readers. Do as you will. But if you lose yourself in your groups it can be very hard to find yourself again. You must make the 'I AM' decision first. Then you dress that up with whatever labels you want. Let your groups enrich your life. You can enrich the life of the other members. But you are the one who works the magic for you own life. May the spark be with you.