My magic castle

My magic castle

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rituals In Magic

I recently read an article by an inspirational speaker in which he said that he starts out his workday, with his staff, by having everyone say what they are thankful for. He believes that the act of visiting gratitude is a ritual that energizes and keeps them all on track. A ritual can be made into a good habit without losing sight of the higher purpose behind it. When it becomes a habit you don't have to keep up the energy of constantly making the decision to do that ritual. Then your mental energy can be focused on the daily decisions and actions you have to engage in. The magic comes forth when the ritual is there to remind you, when needed, of the higher purpose of the ritual. This speaker's ritual of expressing gratitude doubtless causes people to think about the blessings of life at times other than the start of their work day. I had a cleaning business for years. I had a ritual of looking over my work, and blessing it, as I would start to close the door behind me. If I didn't see that I had left beauty behind me I would re-enter and make things as they should be. There are many habits we can develop that are meant to endow our daily life with a feeling of satisfaction and goodness. The way you serve a meal, deal with other people, approach your studies or work, can all be done in such a way that you are invoking magic to come into your life. I suggest to all wise magicians that you look for ways to celebrate your life as you go about your day to day activities by developing rituals that remind you that life is good, that life is magical. May the spark be with you.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Magic of The Question

My last post was the "Magic of the answer". Many times when I get a magical answer I already know what I am asking for. But at times we may be down and frustrated and feeling stuck. At times like this a magical tool is "The question". If we ask even a simple question like "What am I feeling?" or "Why am I feeling so edgy?" we are taking steps to identify and solve our problem. This sets in motion certain dynamics. When we focus on something we want to find out what it means. When we give a meaning to something we are then called on to take action. For instance, if I am feeling blocked, then I ask myself questions about that feeling I may discover than I am missing the zing of being creative. Then I realize that creativity is of great value to me. The next step is to find ways to express my creativity. But I have now realized that creativity is one of my values. So I will find ways to share my belief system about the importance of creativity and try to nurture creativity in others, or spread the word of the importance of creativity to life and society. The art of asking questions of our self and others is an important art to develop. You do not want to come up on some one who is trying to learn something and ask them, in a spirit stifling way, "What are you doing?". It might be better to say something like, "I see you are very busy. Would you like to share with me what you are learning?" Learn to use questions to draw magic to yourself and to give magic back to the World. 'How' questions are good for that. How can I make courage an exciting trait to develop? How can I celebrate my values? How can I stop comparing myself to others, and appreciate my unique strengths? It may even be okay to ask 'How can I get what I want?'. By asking this question in this way you are admitting that you are the one to take responsibility to get what you want, and that you do have desires, needs and wants. Don't feel guilty about wanting things. That is a natural human trait. But do go on to the next step--after focus comes a decision about meaning. What do those things mean to you? Then you will fall into asking yourself, perhaps only quickly and subtly, who "you" are. But you are on the way to a greater self nevertheless. So I suggest to all wise magicians that you realize one of the magic wands you have is the ability to ask questions. Question well and wisely. May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Magic of the Answer

It is very popular now days to refer to the book and the movie "The Secret" and its subject, The Law of Attraction. The idea is that if you really put it out there to the Universe about your desires, those desires will be met. There seems to be an assumption with this idea that those desires will be big ticket items. This causes some people to scoff at the whole idea of the Universe giving you the gift of having your desires met. However I suggest that it happens in ways we don't realize and if we sharpen our awareness we may be amazed. After all, we are surrounded by a field of magic i.e. energy and possibilities. This morning two things that I had been calling for, by recognizing the need for them, manifested to me. One was in the newsletter I subscribe to from Rick Hanson PhD. I was feeling a definite lack of zing and the need for it. Then I read his JOT (Just One Thing) article about surviving the darts of life. He suggested the technique of dilution. A spoon of salt is harsh in a 1/2 cup of water but not so bad in a gallon. I realized that I could dilute my mood by moving away from the feeling of having too much to do and towards the acceptance that I am actually accomplishing much. Then I went into my office and saw that some objects had appeared on a shelf that I had been wishing to have something on. This shelf is actually a box. I had placed a doll holding a crystal ball on the top. Then my daughter had placed a gnome figurine by it. We had discussed all the touches of a magical kingdom I have around the office and wondered what could fit inside the box. For days I had seen that empty spot and wondered what would fit as to size, color and theme. I had been calling to myself to look among other vignettes and see what could be moved. But this morning, when I was calling out for zing, there were some colorful and appropriate objects sitting in the box. So two calls, filling the box and getting a bit of magic in my life, had been answered by the objects in the box. Plus the article had been an answer as well. These were little answers but they gave me a lot of energy. Sometimes we may be given the means or energy to get those big ticket items for ourselves and not realize it. I suggest to all wise magicians that we, me too, sharpen our awareness of the answers we are given. May the spark be with us.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Magic of 'Meanwhile"

When I was a kid I looked forward to Summertime spent with my grandmother. One of the delights of those summers was going to Saturday afternoon matinees with my cousins. I remember how the hero, usually a cowboy, would be in a dramatic fight or a dangerous situation, then a caption might come up or a narrator say, "Meanwhile back at the ranch.." Then a shift would be made away from that dangerous scene to a more peaceful one. At times we put ourselves into a stressful situation and need to go away from it something more peaceful. Oftentimes the stress is caused by the emotional noise or mental clutter that goes on when we need to solve a problem and we can't seem to make a decision about the actions that we need to take. Once the way is clear then we are calm because we know what we need to do. Even if it may be difficult, we will be able to face the challenges. Here are some examples of uses of 'meanwhile magic'. I have a big bill to pay. It isn't due for a while and by that time I have decided where the money will come from. Meanwhile I will enjoy the benefits of what that payment brings to me. Or: I will make a change that I have been agonizing about on this particular date. Meanwhile I will calmly go about the business of getting ready for the change. Or: This event is coming up and it will be hard to manage. But I will. Meanwhile I will enjoy my life and the freedom from the worry I had had been doing. So I suggest to all wise magicians that you create a 'meanwhile' space for yourself. This is a room or scenic place you can go where you are away from the noise and trouble of wrestling with decisions. You have done that work and you know the energy of the magic that surrounds you will help you implement that decision when the time is right. Meanwhile you will enjoy the contentment and happiness to which you have a right. May the spark be with you.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dandelion Magic

As I came home yesterday I first noticed all the dead leaves littering the yard. Then I saw a few withered and bedraggled flowers that were twisted and faded but still hanging on to their stems. Just as I was about to fix it in my head that the yard was done for, no signs of vibrant life, I saw two small blooms peeking out near the railroad ties that border the pear tree, fresh and bright colored. I've never really hated dandelions as some do. I rather like the color and form they have. But at that moment these were beyond ordinary dandelions. They seemed to say that if I looked I could see vibrant magical life. All was not sere and done for. Those two faces turned to the sun, in full expectation of having all they needed at the moment brought magic into a heretofore ordinary day. I suggest to all wise magicians that you allow the energy of the magic that surrounds you into your life whenever you can. It may be a bird in flight. It may be a late blooming dandelion. A smile may come your way or you will finally succeed at something you have been trying. I carried the joy of those two little flowers with me to my work area in my office and found an idea I had been needing had come on yellow dandelion wings. I am a newly certified Life Coach and I'm still trying to formulate a marketing plan and "package" myself. Still smiling about the dandelions I found that I had a couple of ideas that seemed as right as the courageous bits of life I had just seen. I wish for all of you that little surprises like that will come to you and delight you. May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ways To Call Up Magic

I was feeling the need for more mental energy to finish up some things on my do-list. I just couldn't finish up. I almost felt depressed. These were things that would help me move toward achieving my life goals so I felt some anxiety about the lack of energy. I gave up and went to take a nap. I needed magic for myself but it wouldn't come to me right then. I didn't nap very long before I woke up wanting to reach out to a few people for various reasons, a sympathy card here, a thank you card there. As I thought about taking care of these personal contacts I also noticed I had a magical zing about my giving. The energy had called itself up. It seemed to come when I was no longer focused on myself but others whom I cared for. Now I have completed several reach-out tasks and have energy to do some other tasks related to 'taking care of business'. There is magic in wanting others to know you care. Even if that human contact is by card, e-mail or over the phone you have still shared a spark of humanity. The energy of love and caring warms and radiates out into more than just your small area and that one moment. So I suggest to all wise magicians that if you feel a need for magic in order to bring about change in your life reach out to the people in your life. Hug a grandchild. Call a friend. Go to the store and have a friendly interaction with the clerk. If you can't drag magic in your front door, open a window and let it come in on a warm breeze. Magic brings the calmness and trust that life is good. May the spark be with you.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Magic Of Facing The Niggles

We are told that we should be introspective. I suspect that could have a bunch of pitfalls. For one thing it is easy to focus on yourself when you are feeling insecure. It is easy for the self-talk to become a litany of our faults and failures. I can imagine someone sitting down to have some time of introspection and falling into a situation of 'paralysis by analysis', as well. But since magic sometimes comes to us in small delightful ways I suggest we not worry about being "introspective" as such. I suggest we just go about our daily lives in trust that magic is there for us in many ways. One way that the field of magic helps us is that we have small niggling thoughts about some situation we should face. Before the situation is a potential disaster the niggling thoughts come to us. That is the time to stop and confront them. Maybe we have almost noticed that our clothes are fitting a bit more tightly. Just a niggling little thought. If we spend all the energy it takes to ignore that niggle, if we go into denial, we will be moving towards a worsening of the situation. But if we become courageous enough to weigh or measure ourselves we have a good chance of getting on top of the situation before it gets out of hand. Then we have the good feeling that we did something good for ourselves, as well as the benefit of dealing with a potential problem before it became a big problem in reality. Or a bigger one. Niggles are hunches with a difference. Hunches can be one time things. Niggles will keep at us until we crack one way or another. So I suggest to all wise magicians that you name your niggles and treat them like the friends they are. May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Magic of the Alligator List

Life is not easy but we are equipped with many resources to help us survive and even live well. The fact that our brain is divided into different parts is one of those resources. We have the reptilian brain which sends us alerts to danger. Then we have the higher parts of the brain which can question and judge those alerts and make decisions as to how we should act on them, or if they should be ignored. However, it is easy to became like ostriches, putting our heads in the sand, and ignore danger. This is especially true if we think the danger is not an immediate threat. We tend to suppress the shadow side of our personalities, the part that admits problems are a big part of life. The fear and worry is just too much to deal with on a constant basis so we deny and suppress. But our inner wise magician has a way to get around that denial. It sends us dreams and humor so we will look to our own safety and well being. If we can look at things with the bit of comfort that dreams, humor or enchantment brings we are more able to put the paralysis of fear away from us and use reason to solve or deal with problems and danger before they are overwhelming. That is the magic. We are cushioned from fear and danger so we can deal with it without being paralyzed by it. For me, the alligator list is such a way of looking ahead to see what I have to face and deal with. I probably need to explain: People often refer to "the elephant or the gorilla in the room" to mean a situation that is being avoided and denied. However it does seem that the gorilla sits there and no one really deals with him. I decided to actually make do lists I call my alligator list so I would have some urgency about it. Alligators seem more dangerous that gorillas. On the list are things I had better deal with, or else I will be in trouble. I am using the cushion of humor when I do this. When I was teaching in Arizona, one day there was a cartoon in the teacher's lounge of a person standing among a lot of aggressive alligators in a pond. The caption was "It's hard to realize that your original intention was to drain the swamp when you are up to your a** in alligators." In such a case you do have to deal with the alligators, the most dangerous one first, before you can get about your original intention, or purpose. Accepting the urgency of certain things before they have overwhelmed you is the action of a wise magician. I am working to develop habits of a much more active lifestyle, both for health and to become more proactive in other ways. I know that if I don't do this the results could be very bad for me. So I suggest to all wise magicians that you find a place of comfort and look to your crystal ball. Gently muse on what you can do to make your life more magical and better. Do you have fees you can avoid by paying bills on time? Do you have health problems you can avoid by changes in life style? Do you have opportunities knocking at your door that you will regret ignoring? Stand out of the pond, bring some enchantment to your awareness and act to bring yourself a better life. May the spark be with you.