My magic castle

My magic castle

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Magic Of Hello

Hello is not said in a void. Hello is said with the expectation of an interaction, the beginning of a dialogue. When you say hello to a brand new day you are saying that you expect to participate in the new day and cause it to give you the benefits you expect. Sometimes we get off in a little world of worry or some sort of dark corner. That is a good time to say hello. Hello means participation not retreat. Hello suggests responsibility not turning of one's back. It is hard to say hello in a lifeless voice. The very act of saying hello seems to draw us to stand up to face what is before us. Think about what is dragging you down and say hello to it. I believe you will feel a positive sense of courage as you face that nemesis with a resounding hello. Once you have said hello to someone or something it is very hard to keep the recipient of your hello at bay. Denial is broken. So say hello to your need to improve your health. Say hello to your financial concerns. Say hello to your joys so you can feel them a little more deeply. When you are learning something and say out loud that you are doing better each time that you do show some improvement in that skill you are helping the skill become stronger. Notice is a way of saying hello. Reach into the energy of the magic that surrounds you and say hello to life. May the spark be with you.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Being In The Desert

I had been working hard and not making the breakthroughs I wanted. I was feeling tired and burned out. Kind of like I was wandering in a desert without an oasis anywhere in sight. I knew I had to dig down and find a well so I started to do that, working very hard at that also. Then I was distracted by a program on television about people going to Mexico to clean trash from beaches, trash that doesn't originate in Mexico. That really pulled me out of myself. It took me a few chuckles and some relaxation before I could come back to the realization that I am also trying to do good. I have a message that I clothe in fantasy and humor but I am trying to speak out against intolerance and discrimination. My desert was created by focusing on things I had to learn and not giving myself the space to learn them. Also I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to learn them, at least not as soon as I needed to. I suspect that many times magicians feel they have lost touch with their magic. It is called writer's block among other things. That is the time to step back and revisit your beliefs and to look at your history of development of abilities. Then go back to the desert and you may very well find trees and water there, that it has blossomed like a rose. Don't stay in the desert. Find water for your soul. May the spark be with you.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Magic Of Struggle

The poet Robert Browning, in the poem Andrea del Sarto, said "a man's reach should exceed his grasp..."This poem is about a very skilled painter who was criticized for having technical skill but no feeling of 'soul' in his paintings. He didn't show the struggle that is part of the human condition. Struggle is much more a part of life and more important than we may realize. We give lip service to wanting to take it easy, looking forward to vacation, the easy way out and so forth. But we actually rebel against boredom, the opposite of struggle. I think we are wired to struggle and don't want to admit it. Look at the constant struggle a baby puts into mastery of everything. Look at the rewards this struggle brings, the abilities the baby gains. Creative people, and all people are by nature creative, struggle constantly to learn, to master new elements of their craft, to express themselves. The ancient alchemists struggled for uncounted years to turn base metals into gold. In allegories of Heaven and Hell the stories say Hell is an easy downward path and to reach Heaven you must climb some fairly steep stairs. I believe the wise magician knows the necessity of struggle and does not avoid it. But a wise magician can reach out to the magic that surrounds us for energy to get involved in good struggles and even glory in them. Part of the wisdom of dealing with struggle is to nurture your energy. Overreaching is a term athletes use to denote the dangerous fatigue that comes from too much training. Don't avoid struggle, but do engage in it in a way that will bring you success. Rest, study, try new things. Enter the fray and win. May the spark be with you.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Magic Turtle

In some stories told long ago it was said that the world rested on the back of a giant turtle. When I wondered what I could gain from the idea of a turtle holding up the world I came up with a couple of ideas. First there is the shell of the turtle. The turtle is protected from barbs and stones. He can have insults or muck thrown at him and he steadfastly goes his way. Humans can too often be distracted from their good path by gibes and noise that other throw at them. Second the turtle stays on track without stopping, wandering away, or creating side trips. Tiny turtle steps will get you where you need to go. Up and over obstacles, solving the problems of the route as you go, copy the turtle to achieve your desired ends. The ways of the turtle can shore up your world. You may wonder where the magic is in a turtles journey. They do have the life they want. They do achieve their goals. Who are we to say they don't experience a bit of joy and sparkle as they go? Since we need and love that joy and sparkle be sure you reach out to the magic that surrounds you to help you take those turtle steps. Enjoy the small violet or fresh grass as you go along. Make it a journey of joy. May the spark be with you.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Magic Of Owning Your Power

Sometimes the magician wants to be all powerful without realizing the power he or she already holds. Often that gap between power wanted and power already owned comes from a needless insecurity. One exercise I would suggest to remedy that insecurity is to explore the power you have. Each magician has different powers and would do well to explore those powers in a celebration of life. To help you get started I will list some of my powers as an example. I have the power to learn, to grow, to have values and speak up for them. I also have the value to laugh, to love, to express that love, to accept what must be accepted, to create, to persuade others, to enjoy a good story, to discover and develop my talents, to mourn when I must, to recognize stupidity and to have empathy for others. I have negative powers that I have not developed but I notice them in others and hope to stay away from them. I abstain from speaking the language of "shoulds" too often as in "you should do this, you should do that" except to myself. I have the power to get started on a project and to work to craft that project. I have the power to hope and the power to encourage. I have the power to receive. I have the power to be thankful for miracles that come to me. I have the power to take chances and learn from the mistakes I make in taking those chances. I have powers yet to be discovered. I suggest you also accept your powers. Take responsibility for them. Own them. Reach out to the magic that surrounds you for the energy to do so. May the spark be with you.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Magic Of No

It takes a lot of energy to say no. But if you say no at the right time and in the right way it can really empower you. Say no to the people who are trying to raise the rabble. They are using slogans and half truths for their own ends. Poorly backed hot air based on imagined facts is dangerous. If you reach into the realm of magic that is around you, you can get the energy to debunk the loud, the dangerously persuasive. You can even say no to yourself when you are headed in the wrong direction. Going along with the crowd just because some of the crowd seems to say some things that sound good is dangerous and will suck your soul dry. Saying no to the wrong gives you energy to say yes to the right. I suggest you try this little exercise. Sit quietly then imagine a parade of people and events streaming past you for your approval. With full breath from your belly say no to what ever you want to say no to. When I did it I felt powerful and energized. Knowing what needs to be said no to will make it easier to take advantage of the opportunity to do so when it arises. Saying no is another tool, another magic wand in the magicians bag of tools.
Learn to use it wisely and well. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Magic Of Reminders

People have been making up games and developing other strategies to point themselves towards success for centuries. The Old Testament in the Bible has some passages that tell people to wear tassels to remind themselves to do good. I use a modification of the children's game, slug bug, to encourage myself to be more optimistic. Instead of slugging my companion, if I am with someone, when I see a Volkswagen beetle I count it as a blessing bug. By noticing blessing bugs I am training my mind to notice blessings. After all there is much to perceive and we have to be selective in what we pay attention to. I have a place for chocolate candy that discourages me from eating too much of it. Candy in that place is candy I ration out to myself very sparingly. I actually hesitate to eat more than a bite of candy when it is in my rationing place. I don't always control myself enough but that placement does put the brakes on for me. Many people give themselves rewards for taking certain steps, or reaching certain goals. Often just the act of noticing that something good is being done is a sort of reward. We seem to like to notice when we are doing good things. So I suggest that you, as a wise magician use this tool or magic wand of reminders to help you craft a better life. Log a good activity, give yourself gold stars, brag to a friend, mark things on a calendar, make up a song or a game to keep yourself going. Even if it might seem silly to a dour old aunt go ahead and play success games. There is nothing silly about success. Reminders act as an anchor to behaviors you have already developed and want to keep up. They also act as triggers for your developing good behaviors. So reach out for energy to the magic that surrounds you and design your personal set of goals and reminders. May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Magic Of Appointments

Take your magic wand and make an appointment. Getting something set in time has a certain power to it. Once that is done your mind, your creativity, your soul is freed up to focus on other things. When the time to deal with the appointed thing comes around it will be handled. Appointments are not only for times with the doctor, the mechanic, the accountant or a loved one. If you are procrastinating or ignoring something that really must be dealt with you will be more likely to handle it if you have an actual time to do so. "At 10:30 I will wash the dishes." is an entry on your do list with more compulsion to it than simply putting 'wash the dishes' on the list.
It is especially helpful to make an appointment with your worries. Tell them to go away and not bother you until the time designated for them. Then sit down and deal with them when their allotted time comes. Deal with them fully. Explore the ways you are over reacting as well as the ideas you have for solutions. Then make an appointment to carry out the actions that will solve the problem about which you are worrying. Don't let the excitement of the idea for a solution make you feel so good that you fail to solve the problem. Another helpful thing to do with appointments is to schedule reviews of yourself, your projects, your dreams. Set aside time to energize yourself. Set aside time to reach out to marvel at the energy of the magic that surrounds you by enjoying a bird's flight or a sunrise. Use the power of appointments to make your life better. May the spark be with you.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Magic Of Hanging In There

Hanging in there is necessary if the problem is going to get solved. But the publicized pictures of a kitten hanging from a tree limb with the caption "Hang In There Baby" isn't the way it's done. That cat is getting ready to fall safely or find a way to scramble up on to another branch because cats are wise. But the picture doesn't reveal that. When you hang in there you are directly focused on the problem. If you are not healing as you should you need to contact your health care provider again. If you are not learning as you should talk it over with the teacher. Problems need to get solved. If there isn't any progress the strategy or approach may be at fault. All too often the magician fails to work the necessary magic because he or she goes away from the problem. Recovery from substance abuse often follows a pattern of some abstinence then a recurrence of the problem behavior. The smoker says that just a few puffs will not hurt. This is not doing what it takes to make the change. The right kind of change is a kind of miracle, a piece of magic. But it is possible. The change must be prepared for. The scene must be set. The mood must be right. Then the workings of the spell must be put into place. Needed change is possible. Reach out to the energy of the magic that is around you and cause the change you need. May the spark be with you.

The Magic Of The Guide Line

During pioneer times it was necessary for farmers on the great plains to have a rope strung between their house and the barn in the winter. The line was to hold on to so they could get from one building to another during blizzards. Using this idea of a guide line you can help yourself get through blizzards of stress or distractions. If you have something to which you are truly committed you can set up certain physical activities that express this commitment. Such as the writer sitting down and writing a certain amount every day. Or a mother making sure the lunches are packed for the children she is sending off to school. You may have to be more creative to find positive actions to express NOT doing something, such as not taking a drink, or not eating all the desserts in the refrigerator. For this you may have to set up actions to do when you find yourself slipping into the aura that comes up before the addictive behavior is engaged in. Exercise can be a marvelous guideline. The rope is there and you have to hang on to it or get lost in the blizzard. Which can be very dangerous. I believe each magician can find his own guideline as a tool. Things I might suggest are calling friends, doing some activity related to the goal, exercise, journaling, engaging in a creative activity or anything that helps you focus on the goal you need to reach. Perhaps you can think of other ways that will work for you. But the commitment is crucial. The goal is important to you and others. Accept that life is full of stress and distractions. Accept that there are times that all you can do is hold on to the guideline and inch forward bit by bit until you are out of the cold. Then reach out to the magic that surrounds you for the energy to develop your own personal guideline. May the spark be with you.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Magic Carrot

You've probably seen cartoons or pictures in storybooks of a person riding along on a donkey holding a stick with a carrot dangling from it, to keep the donkey walking forward. Sometimes we need to do that for ourselves, dangle a little thing in front of our noses instead of focusing on the big picture. The big goal can seem overwhelming and unreachable at times. The rider of the donkey is careful to dangle the carrot in the direction they want the donkey to go. You next little steps should be more than busy work, doing for doing's sake. Know the right path and stay of it.
There is a second form of carrot that we use to motivate ourselves. That is the affirmation. When we write or say our affirmation we say something that is not yet true but we wish it to be. The tension between the truth and the affirmation draws us forward, trying to make it true.
There is yet another form of the carrot used to lead forward. Parents probably use this the most. That is praise that is mostly true but just a bit on the upward side. Such as "I am proud of the way you make sure your homework is turned in." even though that might not be a consistent behavior yet. It could become so.
Think about the dangling carrot as a magic wand for you, as a wise magician, to use. Draw yourself or others a little bit forward on a path to a more magical life. May the spark be with you.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Magic Of Gleaning

Gleaning is making sure you don't leave any good bits behind. Gleaners used to be the people who would go into a field after the harvest and get what was left. If you are a consistent gleaner your bounty will increase by a great deal. Your life will be more organized as well because you will never get into the habit of letting clutter build up. In today's world there are many ways to glean. Take a few minutes to answer the surveys that will pay you. Join in on the class action suits for which you are eligible to join. The award will be small but your effort was smaller. Bother to look for real bargains. When you buy a book on Amazon check to see if the same book you want is available in slightly used condition. Many people buy a book and then turn right around and resell it. You can buy that book at a much lower price than the new one. Go to garage and estate sales. Scrape the bottle completely before you declare it empty. Measure portions. See if things can do double duty, or can be repurposed. Don't pick up the truly waste matter, you only want the good. Buying things you don't need is picking up waste matter. Pay down your high interest credit cards as quickly as you can. I know a couple who like to travel. They glean travel miles from their credit cards by using them for everything but paying the card off totally every month. The world is full of magic and bounty. Reach out and share in all that. It is there for you to glean. May the spark be with you.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Question The Answer

Life is so full of questions that any answer can seem like a welcome port in a fierce storm. Be careful. The answer might not really fit the question. Or the question might have been the wrong one in the first place. Think about the question, What are you going to be when you grow up?, one children are often asked. This points children towards the path of labeling themselves. Actually growing up to full maturity means growing away from labels. Another thing that might happen is that you get the answer before you really know what question you are asking. When we have an epiphany or 'aha' moment that is an answer that has just been discovered whether we were consciously asking a question or not. Remember that magic likes things to be well formed. Make your questions well formed. One question that I think is poorly formed is when people ask 'what is the purpose of life?'. I think that life is. It is up to each of us to endow our own life with meaning. When you have a well formed question, that fits with what you are truly concerned about, decide how you will know that you have received a valid answer. A good answer feels right and it works is a pretty good rule of thumb. When it no longer works it is time to ask another question. That's why I would rather people ask a child about ways they will express their own individuality, not necessarily waiting until they are grown. Reach out to the magic that surrounds you and find some good questions. Ones that fit in with the path you want to be on. Then go forth and find some good answers, always remembering the way you are choosing to live. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Magic Of Hesitation

Even though there is an adage that says, 'He who hesitates is lost.' don't be too quick to think that it's wrong to hesitate. Sometimes we hesitate in response to a subtle signal we are picking up. There may be danger we need to watch out for or there may be a better path or opportunity awaiting us. One that is better than what we had planned. Or we may be on the right path but don't have enough steam built up to go full steam ahead. Don't ignore a sense of hesitation when it comes to you. Sometimes we go along trying to do what is good for us, what we should do. But the energy to do it doesn't seem to be there. Perhaps a better path awaits which will still get us where we want and need to go but in a more joyous way. Listen to your sense of hesitation. Maybe it is telling you that you need to have both sides of your brain operating in order to succeed. The logical left brain needs to work with the intuitive right brain. That was brought home to me today. I had planned to go to a meeting in order to further my career as a writer, I hoped. I had no energy for it. As I hesitated I got a phone call from a fellow writer who had taken the time to read and critique something I had written. The insights he gave me were much more valuable than anything I could have gotten at the meeting. I went over some of my work and saw many, many ways I could write those passages to be smoother and more interesting. Ways I could use my intuitive side of my brain better, as well as my logical side. I wouldn't have seen that if my friend hadn't showed me. If I hadn't listened to my hesitation I would have missed an opportunity to grow as a writer. I suggest when you are low in energy for needed projects, look for a way that you can bring your playful self in to help you in your work. Find out why you hesitate then go forward in the best way. May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Magic Of Light

Light is such a powerful metaphor for success, wellness, discovery and health in our culture that every mention of it almost has a double meaning. Examples: Hide not thy light under a bushel, let there be light, let the light shine in, bring things to light. Perhaps that is because light itself is so important to us. If we never get any sunlight we have all kind of health problems such as being deficient in vitamin D we will have problems with calcium, therefore problems with healing and brittle bones. Vampires are very popular in literature now but imagine how easily their bones must break as they land when they do those amazing leaps. They never get into the sun. Depression is more likely to affect us when we are deprived of light as well as other problems. But the light of which I speak now is of the mental/emotional kind. There are two small exercises I want to share with you that can be helpful in gaining a better life. The first is to look up, towards the light, whenever you are feeling down. Part of why this is so helpful is we are often caught in automatic "tapes" of negativity, we are talking to ourselves or hearing voices of criticism from the past. Looking up switches the channel into the visual mode. The second exercise is to imagine a beam of light illuminating dark corners. This is helpful when you are blocked, don't know where the energy or inspiration you need will come from. Just illuminating your dark corners will give you a jolt of energy. Value light. May the spark be with you.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Magic Of Self Monitoring

I have recently read about research that has shown the simple act of keeping a food journal alone will cause a person to lose weight. Shining attention on something is a great magic wand. In another example we can look to Benjamin Franklin. He is said to have carried cards with him that he would read from time to time to remind himself of the virtues or good character traits he was trying to develop in himself. A lot of good things have been said about journaling but I always thought it was to explore one's spiritual and/or emotional development. I guess if you manage to loose weight your healthier body will be host to a healthier more spiritual mind. How should you self monitor? You can tally, you can tell friends, you can keep a log, you can get things written down by a professional, or you can interpret your gains creatively. What ever you do must be right for you. Just know that awareness is a magic wand. Let yourself be aware of how you are progressing, what you need to do to keep this progress going, and whether the actions you are taking are working or not. Hook into the magic around you to help you gain this needed self awareness. May the spark be with you.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Magic Of Synergy

Synergy is when the sum is more than the individual parts, as if 2 + 2 adds up to 6.
I can't tell you how to achieve synergy. But I am going to suggest that you look for it and nurture it when you find it. The most common occurrence of synergy is in good relationships. It will seem as if more lucky occurrences happen when you are in the company of this particular friend or loved one. If you go along the beach hunting for shells, prettier shells will be there when you are with this person. Perhaps it is a matter of having your perceptions heightened by the sense of well being you have when you are around this person. I suggest that you do all you can to be around good people, good places, good events, good ideas. These things will benefit you by themselves. But they are also apt to put you on a higher plane, one where synergy can kick in. When you discover this enjoy and nurture it. We deserve all the help we can get. When the universe, or whatever higher power you look to, sends you a little extra that is evidence of the magic that surrounds you. Hook into it and enjoy your life. May the spark be with you.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Magic Of Well Done

Sometimes you may pour so much into getting a project or task done that you wear yourself out. That is the time to take your magic wand and get another surge of energy. One good way to do this is to look at the finished work and say "Well done".
That moment of self appreciation will do wonders for you mentally, physically and even spiritually. In that timeless moment you are at one with all creativity.
Figurative 'patting yourself on the back' has many benefits. It will boost your self esteem, reinforce your standards of doing something well and energize you for more effort. Sometimes you may need to give yourself a little boost but don't have an immediate accomplishment to appreciate. Then you can cast your mind over other projects you have done well. Sometimes just staying with something until it is done, whether it is perfect or not, is an accomplishment you can be proud of. When you say "Well done." do more than give it lip service. Let a feeling of well being and pride engulf you. Letting good facts become good feelings is a major way to encourage your personal strength of mind. You have many things about you that you have created well. Continue to live so that you can say of yourself, "Well done." May the spark that encourages that be with you.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Magic and Power of Purposeful Persistence

Perseverance refers to mindless repetition of an action. An action that is not beneficial, usually. Like hitting your head against the wall over and over. Purposeful persistence is changing your approach and strategies because of what you learn from your actions while continuing to work towards the goal. Sometimes it takes purposeful persistence to find healing. It certainly takes purposeful persistence to write a book, make a marriage, raise children, or develop our own potential. The wise magician learns how to step back and take a rest when needed. The wise magician learns how to take the time to rethink the project or goal. It is also important to find ways to keep the goal in mind. People who are saving for a dream vacation and pin up their travel brochures are keeping their goal alive. Another way to keep your eye on the prize is to break the project down into doable bits and pat your self on the back when you have finished each bit. I have several steps before I start on a book, such as developing the characters and outlining the book. Then each chapter requires some steps before I actually start writing that, such as finding the hook or interesting action that will start the chapter and the cliff hanger to end it with. Perseverance and procrastination are forms of denial. But once we are clear about our dreams we can hook into the magic that is around us and with purposeful persistence reach our goals. One sign that we have hooked into that magic is that our persistence has an energy and fun about it that is absent in perseverance or procrastination. May the spark be with you.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Magic of Our Body

It is easy to take our bodies for granted. But the wise magician marvels, respects and nurtures the body. It heals given half a chance. It is mobile, sensitive, expressive and perceptive. The wise magician will marvel at the magic of having a body. The wise magician will give it challenges such as movement to keep muscles and circulation in shape. Nourishment, cleanliness, rest are all important. Stretch for flexibility. If you can't take in the miracle and complexity of the whole body just focus on one tiny aspect. Isn't it wonderful that each finger can bend? Your body is hooked into the magic that surrounds you. Let that come to you. Loosen up and move in the rhythm that your body likes. Sense the beauty and wonder around you. Cosmetic care is not what your body wants as much as it wants you to live in it. To make your life better be more in your body. Move more. Be more aware. Sleep or a brisk walk, activities of the body, will chase worries away and bring new ideas. Your body is one of your magic wands, or tools, to help your life be wondrous. May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Magic of Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a word from the African language Xhosa which means sharing, community, generosity. Without generosity we would all be in a bleak and barren place. I started a new blog today, Delbert's Gossip, and I couldn't have done it without the generous sharing of creative knowledge and work from several sources. I suggest that you reinforce your appreciation of the magic that is around you by noticing how the flowers share their beauty with you, a garden shares it's produce, a baby shares it's smile. Now jump into that stream of sharing in whatever way you can. Give a smile. Answer requests for help. Share your creative work. Share your hope for the future.
Part of sharing is acceptance of abundance. Remember that abundance is where you find it. In third world countries people are now being taught how to take old tires and plastic bottles and make them components of new housing. This is because someone had an idea and shared it. They didn't focus on lack. They focused on a belief in possibility. Suddenly the material for housing was there. Be a wise magician and believe in possibility. May the spark be with you.

The Magic Of Due Time

In the Bible and other places it is mentioned that there is a special time for all things. Due time is not really calender time but organic time; things are ripe when they are ripe. Ideas come when they are ready and challenges occur to us when we are ready enough for them that we can grow into them. The practical magician can use this property of time, that it can be subjective, to help make life better. In Neurolinguistic Programming practitioners are taught many time use techniques. One is that of 'change history'. If a person has a personal history that is interfering with their success they are taught to do some vivid imaginings of a personal history that would lead to success. When they are in a growth inducing trance they are told they can process what they are going through by taking all the time they need, even though it may only be a minute or two of clock time. If there is something you need to be able to do but it is almost too hard at the moment, you can cause the readiness or 'due time for it' to come around by continuing to think about doing it. This thinking should not be worrying or nagging thinking but musing about how you are going to be able to approach and accomplish this challenge. You will become more and more able to do this task until one day you will discover that due time for it is here, you now have the needed courage and know you can get the skills. Reach out for ways to improve your life. It is due time for you to do so. May the spark be with you.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Magic Of Daring Your Shoulds

"Shoulds" can be bullies. Things should be this way or that. People should do this or that. You will be much more in control of your life if you play 'dare base' with your "shoulds." That is the children's game in which you run towards the base of the other team, daring them to come out and get you. Ultimately that team is so busy daring your base they don't guard it well and you can take over their base. If you cower in the safety of your own base you have no chance of winning. You have to get out there and engage the other side. It is the same with rigid ideas. Question your "shoulds". It is easy to be enslaved by your ideas. People have been burned at the stake because others thought they should act and speak a certain way. (Also, it was done to get the wealth of the victims-if they were guilty of witchcraft or such their money was forfeit.) When people are debating certain political ideas anger based on incomplete understanding and communication often colors the situation. Violence may erupt. I know I have said that anger is your friend, alerting you to awareness of a change that needs to be made. When you are thinking about the change that needs to be made don't go for a negative, cruel poorly formed change. There are an awful lot of things in life that will not hurt you as much as you may want to think they will. Terrorists and bigots are busy hurting people, full of righteous anger about the way things "should" be. Judgmental attitudes rip at the field of magic that surrounds us all. In order to hook into that helpful energy it is good to question your "shoulds" when they come at you, daring you to be stupid, to lose your balance and control. Let your life be well balanced and good. May the spark be with you.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Magic Of Happy Ideas

There are many ideas that can not necessarily be proved to be true. But holding these ideas seems to make people happy and more productive, so the benefit of holding them shows that they have a certain kind of truth to them. The idea I use in this blog, that we live in an aura of energy that we can hook into for help to improve our lives, is one of those happy ideas. Other happy ideas are; good will prevail, the good you do will come back to you with a three or seven-fold increase, miracles happen, love is out there waiting for you, every problem has a solution, and love makes the world go 'round. Happy ideas are different from xenophobic ideas. These kind of ideas lead to false feelings of superiority by putting other groups down and to hate and discrimination. They must be countered with the happy idea that there is enough abundance for everyone and that all are equal. 'You can do it' is another wonderful happy idea. I suggest that a wonderful way for you to bring success into your life is to take time to identify and cherish the happy ideas you have or want to have. It is a wide open field. Just make sure they are happy ideas, not ones contaminated by anger of resentment. A way around that is the happy idea 'I am happy that my anger helps me identify a situation that must be changed. I am happy that I have the resources to work for that change in a positive manner.'
Life does challenge us. But rising to that challenge lets us become our own hero, which is a wonderful thing. Reach out for your own happy ideas. They can be your personal ideas even if someone else also likes them. Enjoy the benefits of them. May the spark be with you.

The Magic Of Invitation

What interesting thing or person have you invited into your life lately? Which of your gifts have you invited people to appreciate? Which of your friends have you invited to appreciate their own giftedness a little more? Which ideas or understanding have you invited to come to you? To invite means to ask or to create a situation or condition in which something can take place. When I moved into my home in the winter of 2008 I saw some trees that offered good shade in the back yard but didn't know what kind all of them were. When my daughter moved in the next summer she started inviting my yard to express itself a little better, moving some plants, pruning trees, adding plants and making sure things were watered enough. In the spring of 2010 this particular tree flowered and I assumed it was a crab apple tree. But it turns out it is a real apple tree. I am waiting for the apples to ripen now and feeling grateful that my daughter invited it to become more full and fruitful. Hook into the energy that surrounds you and discover ways you can invite more adventure, blessings and gifts into your life. There are a variety of ways this can be done. Perhaps a friend or even a librarian (by nature they are great friends) can help you discover ways to invite goodness into your life. Think, ask, search, create conditions for, invite. Enjoy. May the spark be with you.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Magic Of Pillows

It is a magical thing that we have pillows. Pillows to prop us up, to comfort us, to help us sleep. So much better than a saddle or stone to lay our head on. Some practical magician at some point in human history took the magic wand we all have, the ability to be creative and solve problems, and developed a pillow. We all benefit. Someone else discovered in the sand under a hot fire the fact that glass comes from that sand being melted. One thing lead to another and this morning I had the magical experience of looking through a pane of glass at a squirrel. I watched him sneak along the fence with his shoulders down, constantly looking at the ground on the other side of the fence. Then the squirrel suddenly went high tailing it, and they do run with their tails up, back along the fence the way he had come. I could hear the neighbor's dogs until the squirrel was clear at the back of the yard. Evidently no stolen dog food for him. How magical it is that I have windows of glass that allow me to see fun things like this. How grateful I am for all the practical magicians who have hooked into the energy of the magic that is around them to invent and develop things, thus making their life and mine better. May you do the same for yourself in some way. Little daily acts of creativity make life better. May the spark to do so be with you.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Magic Of Resilience

I believe that human beings by nature are resilient, able to bounce back from hard times. Resilience is what brought us successfully through the ages with all the myriad problems that had to be solved to modern times. But I admit that some people have more or it than others and we each have more or less of it at different times. How can the practical magician hook into or develop their resilience? The first step is to believe that problems can be solved. The solution may not be immediately evident but even small steps in searching for a solution are likely to open things up. Second: Hook into mentors. A support system is very important. You may have trouble in establishing an easily available and wise support system. Some magicians use a technique suggested in Barbara Sher's book, 'Wishcraft' in which a person puts pictures up of people, living or dead, real or in literature, who would be good role models and helpful if they were available. She calls it 'a person's saints'. You can also commune with your self by writing out a conversation about the problem you are dealing with. Third: Nurture and take care of your self. When you are feeling stressed it is easy to forget to eat or laugh. Fourth: Make time for laughter and movement. Fifth: Limit the time you spend mulling or worrying about your problems. You may need to make an appointment with yourself for worry time. But don't worry all day long no matter what. Sixth:Create your own ways of encouraging your resilience. The magician who believes there is an aura of magical energy surrounding him or her has a head start on being resilient. Hook into that energy. May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Magic Of Dance.

Dance is the expressive movement of ebb and flow in a rhythmic manner. This can be a physical movement, emotional or artistic. Sometimes our fears will beset us and we have to move towards them, away from them and around them until they no longer haunt us. Sometimes an idea will dance in and out of our imagination and we have to turn our attention to it so that we partner with it to create a pleasing expression of our individuality. If you are finding your self needing inspiration or help in some areas of your life I suggest you use metaphors of dance as your magic wand. A dreamy waltz might make grocery shopping more fun. Dealing with something you dread might become a tango. Hip hop has a lot of high energy moves that you can use to attack a problem. To be a good dancer you must dance often, train, limber up your muscles and be in good shape. Does that not also sound like the way to be a good friend, gardener, writer or dishwasher? I find the metaphor of dance is most helpful to me in making changes in my life style. The steps have to be just so and ones I can master. As these steps become easier they are more automatic and have a certain flow to them. In order to overcome the inertia of not learning these steps I have to hook into the energy of the magic that surrounds me. Consider that this might also work for you. May the spark be with you.

Is Magic Important?

Is it important to nurture a feeling of excitement, of well being, or possibilities in yourself? Once I talked to a woman who said her focus was on dealing with the hand life had dealt her. Then she went on to tell me of her fears and disasters and problems. Some of these problems were possible events but they hadn't happened yet. This woman seemed to have no sense of magic that day. In a later conversation she seemed to realize that she did have good things in her life. Perhaps there is no way to prove that we are surrounded by an aura of positive energy. But holding that idea is a very practical idea as it gives us energy and courage to get through the day. I suggest that it is a good exercise to meditate on the possibility of there being a little extra in life beyond what we immediately perceive. Sometimes there is a great deal of wonder, joy, fun and excitement out there. When I first tried to set up a web site I set it up for The Society for the Preservation of Magic. I didn't know enough to finish it or maintain it. But in my heart I, and the characters in my books, and anyone else who wants to join, are members of that society. Ways to nurture magic are to notice good things, enjoy ideas, laugh, use your senses, love your friends, work through your challenges, and believe. May you have magic in your life. May the spark be with you.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Magic Of Your Story

Stories have certain themes running through them, of goals a hero is trying to reach. I have been giving you tips about improving your life in small ways. But the wand I want to help you use a little better today is one of recognition. Recognize that your inner self is always working to take you on your hero's journey. To recognize or become more aware of this you may want to do some contemplation. Once you see the message, or messages, you are trying to give the world it will be easier to spread your own special word. If you had a Hollywood producer for a grandchild and they wanted to make a movie of your life, what would you like them to emphasize? Which of your values are you happy to see supported by your children? Are there causes you want to support more than you have? Don't worry that you don't seem larger than life to yourself. The best fairy tales are about vulnerable and downtrodden heroes overcoming obstacles and gaining their goal of self-discovery, forming a good relationship, or benefiting their society. Small heroes do small things that have big results. You may have already planted important seeds by speaking up, voting a certain way, sharing your values with others. There may be other steps you still want to take. If you become aware of these steps it is more possible you will take them. Reach out for energy from the magic than surrounds you and celebrate the magic of your story. Tell is proudly. May the spark be with you.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Magic Of Parsing

To parse is to analyze a communication very thoroughly, as in a sentence or computer code. I think the practical magician would do well to parse advice, slogans, political ads and other communications that come our way. A wonderful magic wand we have is: The ability to analyze ideas and to look to implications of action taken because of ideas. When I heard someone had advised a couple that the best way to help their elderly mother was to leave her alone, I had to ask a few questions to make them realize there's different ways to leave a person alone. Some could lead to that person doing more for them self and others could lead to that person's death. When a black cloud of despair comes down on us we can look at that as a communication from our fearful negative self. Then we can grab the wand and parse that communication. We can ask: What fear is a wake-up call to change actions? What fear is a physical cause such as lack of sleep or bad diet? What fear comes from jumping to a wrong conclusion?
The energy of the magic that surrounds you can help you reach out for whatever tool or wand you need in order to be in charge of your life. Hook into that energy and create the life you want. May the spark be with you.