My magic castle

My magic castle

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Magic of Basic Things

There are two neuroscientists, Drs. Tanzai and Chopra, who are writing and speaking to us a lot lately about mindfulness.  They teach the importance of meditation, among other things.  It is amazing but when you get right down to it, what they are teaching is just the basic thing of being still and breathing.  There are many times in life when it is important to make sure the little basic things are right.  Like closing the door against the cold.  Like making sure your car is in the right gear.  Like making sure your have shoes on before you go out in the snow.  It seems that a lot of magic can be drawn to us by simply looking at and focusing on what is right in front of our face.  In fact, the panic we feel when we are in need of flow and zing, or magic, often comes from having our focus split off in unproductive ways.  So I say to all wise magicians out there, look for the basic and simple.  Endow it with magic and see if joy doesn't come to you. The simple technique of taking a good fact and giving it a good feeling which you then internalize is one way of doing this.  As I write this I can look out at the sunrise that is just starting.  Just a basic everyday thing.  But so profound and wonderful.  Allow awareness of basic things to come to you and enjoy the magic that will come with this awareness.  May the spark be with you.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Magic of Expressing Your Opinion

The 'opinion' in the post title is not a quick parroted slogan you have swallowed from some one else.  But a well thought out and well stated opinion can have magical, far reaching effects.   Such a way of stating your opinion can build your confidence and get you quoted down through the years.  Gandhi, Mother Teresa, The Dalai Lama, Abraham Lincoln, and Albert Einstein are just a few of the people who have influenced the people of the world to work for a better life.  They did not call names.  They listened and cared.  Then they said what was important with courage. If you are on Facebook you can start out by making a small comment on posts that others put up.  You can start in your family by frowning when some one says something too far off the wall.  Keep at it until you gain your voice.  What you care about matters.  But so does what others care about.  Opinions, expressed as opinions, but well stated can lead to true dialogue.  In time, sometimes it
actually takes decades but it can happen, improvements in life come about. I just read about the amazing amount of lynchings that used to take place in America.  But people began to push back and, expressing their opinions about the evilness of that, in about thirty years times, lynchings became very rare. If you don't like this insane gun violence going on in our nation, tell someone.  I say to all wise magicians out there "You have values and a good inner sense of goodness or you wouldn't be a wise magician.  So express your opinions and let the magic begin."  May the spark be with you.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Magic of a Sentence

Sometimes the urge to call up magic to help us is because we are being fuzzy headed.  I want to remind all you wise magicians out there that using the structure of good language may really help you.  A sentence is meant to express an idea.  We all know that.  But I have students who come to me that are so busy trying to rush into myriad ideas they are not even expressing one idea clearly.  Let alone going from a well constructed sentence to building a logical and clear paragraph.  They may be trying to impress me or someone else, but they are stuck in a morass of swamp thought.  Another thing I see is awfulization.  That is a term that refers to making oneself feel bad by using terms like 'I never...' or 'I always...'  This is not clear communication because the statement is not well supported.  Such a sentence would be more grammatical even if it went something like this: "I feel like I never catch the bus on time."  But what I see is "I always miss the bus, I never catch it on time, I am always late to work." When you are feeling fuzz headed, down, lost, really in need of magic it is good to pick up one of your magic wands and work a bit of magic.  A pen is a magic wand.  Write out what you want.  Write it out over and over, modifying as you go, until you are clear about your situation and what you might try to improve it.  Use sentences that have a subject and a predicate...a noun and action or state of being. Self discipline gives you a sense of power and then the ability to call magic to you.  Simple, clear sentences will do wonders.  Write out a call to magic and enjoy better things in your life.  May the spark be with you.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Magic of Asking

If we let ourselves get mired down in working too hard at our goals we may develop a certain tunnel vision.  We may begin to think that the burden of our accomplishments is totally on our shoulders.  Don't fall into this trap.  Participation is the field around us is vital for magic to work.  The other day I needed some 3 x 5 index cards.  I didn't want to drive to the store just for that item.  I asked several other people if they were near such an item if they would pick it up for me.  When I asked my daughter, the one in the household who most magnifies my magic, if she could get me some cards she actually had some used ones right at hand.  Used were fine for my purpose. Asking can be done in many ways.  Don't be afraid to do so.  The Universe and other people want you to have what you want and need.  Ask yourself, ask others, ask the Universe.  It will be given.  They say that at times what you will receive is a refusal.  I say that you may be given a better idea or alternative gift.  Hear me, all you wise magicians, do not be a hermit.  Do not lock yourself away from abundance.  Be present in this magical world.  Ask for what you want.  If you don't get it immediately rethink.  If you still want it, ask again.  Work for it.  Create it.  Ask for it.  May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Being Called to Magic

One of the best way to generate beneficial ideas is to feel the need emotionally.  Our creative self is generating myriad ideas constantly.  But we seldom pull them up out of our subconscious to use.  But if a family member needs something the ideas come bubbling up.  Even talking to a casual acquaintance will generate a beneficial idea if we feel a connection with that other person.  Creativity does not do well in a sterile environment.  So if you are a wise magician you will realize another reason to open up your heart.  Do not be cold and sterile.  Let your family and friends call forth the magic from you. Open your heart to yourself.  Let your loving heart reassure your self that needs can be met. Ideas and connections will happen.  I was musing about the many craft and other items I have sold.  Most, if not all, were created in response to a need mentioned by someone I cared about. This calling out of magic is so common that it may go unnoticed.  But think about a mom being told that their child needs a  Halloween costume.  It is much more fun to create one than try to buy a flimsy one at the store.  Love and fun are calls to us to work our magic.So go forth and do magic in love and joy.  May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Magic of Doubt

We often hear that we have to take risks in order to succeed.  That is true.  But we also have to avoid stupid, unreasonable risks.  Those kind of risks can make further success impossible.  If we lean on authority and dogma we will never get anywhere for ourselves.  If we do succeed it is not our success but the success of the creed we blindly followed.  Doubt can be magic.  Doubt your path.  Then look ahead and avoid the obstacles.  The path may be fine but walking it blindly can be dangerous.  Don't let doubt turn you into a timid mouse, hiding away in your hole.  Find a balance between doubt and taking things by storm.  A balanced life uses doubt and risk together in measured doses.  The magic is in being able to reason and weigh and then use the zing of your creativity to go forward. A mantra for a wise magician might be 'doubt then do'.  Your self expression is important.  Warning signs will show themselves to you. These are feeling of unease or discomfort that you are failing yourself or going against your core values.  When you see or feel these signs it is good to actively call on your ability to doubt.  But do not doubt your self.  Doubt the path way on which you are embarked.  This will help you see the more true path.  Then go forth, even if it feels risky.  The field of magic, the universe, is on your side.  May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Magical Sanity

There is the idea that floats around, like a dour raven, that fun is suspect.  That if we are laughing or playing we are 'not quite right in the head'.  This is a silly idea.  It is the worriers that are not quite right in the head.  I would go so far as to say that it is the responsibility of a wise magician to add a fillip of fun to the problem solving that we do every day.  It is the neurotic personality that cannot free associate, that cannot grasp the idea of magic and fun, that suffers.  This personality also may cause suffering to those around him or her.  It is good to be calm and stable.  Sometimes one has to work, to examine one's habits of mind, in order to be calm and stable.  But if you leave it at simply calm and stable, life can get boring.  We need variety.  Fortunately we have inborn creative skills.  Do not let your natural creativity get crushed out of you by all the "should-sayers".  We have the left hemisphere of our brain that is predominantly logical.  The right side is more intuitive.  They are meant to work together.  Help this integration develop.  Meditate. Solve problems.  Then add a dollop of fun.  Also, when you feel stuck in coming up with a solution to a problem, use your sense of fun, your creativity, to get past those blocks.  Turn a problem around, start from the other end, twist it, re-state it.  Fun is not suspect.  Fun is vital.  Be magically clear headed.  Magic is there for you.  May the spark be with you.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Interrupting is a Magic Wand

At times the urge for Magic to come to our rescue is a recognition that we aren't happy with the way we are thinking and don't know how to get to a better place.  We may be feeling negative thoughts but know that it might be dangerous to try to supress them.  The more we deny that we want that piece of chocolate cake, the more likely we are to eat three pieces when we finally quite resisting the desire.  At times like this there is one "magic wand" that we can use.  That is humor.  If we were to imagine that piece of cake growing green hair, taking a place on a stage and singing to a funny audience, perhaps of fat Alice in Wonderland caterpillars, we might be able to get away from the desire to grab the cake and gobble it down.  Other times we can go with the desire or urge and exaggerate it until it loses its hold over us.  Whatever way we choose to move away from the darkness of not having the magic we want, is a good way.  Don't suppress.  Examine and play with the negative thought. Magic is yours.  Find your magic wands.  Use humor.  Use movement.  Take deep breaths.  Do what it takes.  Do not suffer from the lack of magic.  May the spark be with you.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Take Your Magical Throne

Sometimes the magic you need is to shake off the lack of appreciation you didn't get from someone you expected it from.  Sometimes you need to feel wreathed in a magical zing, but others have thrown a bucket of cold water (they called reality) over your whole castle of spun sugar.  Now is the time to practice centering and finding your bit of magic again.  You can try this ritual.  Lift your head up like the queen (or king) of magic that you are. Raise your right eyebrow.  Or your left if that one elevates more easily.  Arise from the humble stool where you have been sitting.  With all the pride in the world, walk to your throne. Survey your domain.  With a truly regal air, be seated.  This is you throne, your birthright, and you must keep it occupied from time to time.  Now look around graciously.  As the sovereign of your realm you can dispense boons, favors, forgiveness and penalties. You can forgive those who do not read the style of writing you enjoy writing. If you have other crafts it is the same process.  You can bless them for being able to read, or able to recognize your craft.  This is your realm.  You are already rich.  You do not need to be judged by gold from outside the realm unless you wish to accept it as tribute. Find comfort and support from your throne.  You are now free to observe and learn what you will. Be proud.  Be seated in your throne.  I say to all wise magicians: There will be times when the slings and arrows of life will come your way.  Do not cower.  Be seated in your magical throne and be sovereign of your realm.  May the spark be with you.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Magic of Me Chat

I couldn't quite go with "inner dialogue" for a title.  It sounded too heavy.  Magic is light and quick.  Even when the result is profound and it takes a while it still feels light and quick. So I chose Me Chat as the term for magical self talk.When you do talk things over with yourself you get a lot of good benefits.  What you perceive and learn becomes processed more fully.  Dialogue is a good term.  When two people are in dialogue they do interact on a deeper level than when they are just making small talk.  But I think that we tend to chat with ourselves on a rather constant basis.  When we find ourselves dwelling on something overly much, the little chatty part of ourselves will often come in and point that out to us.   Me Chat helps us when we are at a standstill, it helps us when we have had a set back, it helps when we are trying to energize ourselves for productivity.  Me Chat is the tool I like to use to get centered and not go off the rails.  When I feel angry or irritated Me Chat helps me identify the problem I need to deal with--why am I irritated and how do I fix it?  I feel blocked, irritated, hunting for answers a lot.  But I don't like to ever feel hopeless.  My chatty self is with me on that.  So I ask questions and lightly chat back and forth, even acknowledging when I do feel hopeless.  Somehow talking things over with my inner self has been magical for me.  Ideas come pretty easily now and they are often a good solution for things.  So I say to all wise magicians that if you feel a need for magic you should talk it over with yourself.  Good things will come to you.  May the spark be with you.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Magic of Waiting

Recently I was in a situation where I had some information that I really had to be careful about whether I passed it on or not.  It wasn't totally mine to give because of how the other person might take it if it came from me.  It was in matters of the heart.  I held on and held on, having faith that my friend had a good enough sense of self and would get at the truth of things by herself.  I was rewarded for my waiting.  I had faith in myself and my friend.  I was there for her when she needed to use me as a sounding board.  But it was hard.  Some of the time I was hurting because I was afraid she might be hurt and I wanted to turn to her for solace. Now that the light is coming through I can reflect on the whole situation and compare it to others.  I do believe there is magic in having faith.  It is good to believe that good is possible and that it is okay for it to manifest.  It is deadly when you can't believe that.  Sometimes, after a test, when the results are not yet known, a person will awfulize to the max.  That does no good.  The test taker may or may not have done well.  They can take comfort in knowing that they tried.  Also they can praise their self for being ready to deal with the results.  If they have to take the test again, they can do so and do better next time.  If they did well they can go on to the next step.  Life is frequently a collection of "hurry up and wait" moments.  If you have gone into your inner place of magic, if you know yourself and your values then waiting for the good is not so hard.  Because you are good, you are magic and you have acted on that, therefore you have done something to bring that into the world.  May the spark be with you.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Magically Finding Time

I believe that most of the time people confuse time with feeling at peace.  When they say "I don't have time for that right now"  they are really saying "I don't feel calm enough to focus on that right now".  If you go around in a state of being frazzled you will never have 'time' to do anything.  Then you will feel more frazzled because you are not getting anything done.  You will find yourself in a deadly loop of needing time but having no time.  The biggest thing in "finding time for things" is to learn how to 'have grace under fire' as they used to say.  This ability to keep a cool head comes more easily for some than for others, but it can be learned.  You can set up situations in which you have some minor distractions that are not enough to keep you from doing what you have assigned for yourself.  Then up the level of distractions and see if you can still learn to focus. This can do wonders for your ability.  I have heard that Japanese business students have to endure being shouted at by their teachers so they will learn to be calm when negotiating business deals in the world of cut throat business. It seems to work for them.
 Two other things can also help you use your emotional reactions to things in order to be more productive.  (1) Set priorities. When you feel that what you are doing is important you feel validated and that helps you stay on task and get things done.  In other words, use time wisely. (2) Break things down, find the parts of each task.  When you do this you are able to tell yourself you are wise and productive.  You are refusing to be overwhelmed and you are still getting things done.  I want to point out another facet of the "I don't have time for that right now" statement.  Sometimes a person is really saying "I think that is hogwash and I have no intention of being stupid enough to even consider it".  Perhaps you need to question yourself when you say you don't have time for something.  Perhaps it is actually something you should not try to have time for.  Something you should not even waste time on considering.I say to all wise magicians.  Reach out to find the time you really want and it just might be there for you. May the spark be with you.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Magic of Working Harder

I doubt I could count how many times I have heard the saying, 'Work Smarter Not Harder'.  But I have noticed that the time some people spend trying to figure out how to work smarter takes so long that if they had been willing to work hard the task would have finished a long time ago.  Another point I want to make about working 'harder' is that some things just are hard.  Ornate or complex projects do take a lot of time and effort.  I was watching a special on television last week about animal homes.  Birds weave or assemble complex nests with only their beaks and claws.  Wasps, bees, and many more animals spend a lot of effort and time putting together homes that do the job a home needs to do.  These animals are smart enough to know that some things are hard but that you might as well hunker down and do the work that is needed.  I do know that humans can sometimes put a lot of stupid energy into things.  Drying every surface of every bit of stainless steel silverware is one such thing. Magical working harder means to be willing to put in the right kind of effort in the right kind of way.  That also means putting in as much time as is needed.  November is coming up and writers are often encouraged to put out massive efforts at writing a book in that month.  It is a reminder that in order to write a book you do have to sit down and hit those keys.  So I say to all wise magicians: Work as hard as you need to bring good things into your life.  May the spark be with you.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Magic of Finding Cracks

To climb a mountain you look for every handhold and every protrusion you can.  You don't expect to easily walk to the top.  It is the same in life.  You want to progress but the way may not be immediately apparent.  But there will be cracks.  Sometimes you may have to enlarge them.  The plant will find cracks in the wall or stone and then push them a bit by the swelling of the growth.  The mountain climber will drive in a tool to get a firm support.  After a bit you will get a sense of where the cracks are.  You will be able to spot them and take advantage of them.  One way to spot the weaknesses in a situation is to look for anomalies.  Even a weakness in yourself can be turned to your advantage.  Instead of a defect you may find it is good to treat it as symbol of your uniqueness.  It is important to persist and hang in there until you succeed.  The cracks you find will help you to do that if you use them well.  A crack is an indication of a little change that may become a bigger one.  Magic is meant to bring good things to life.  Looking for cracks can help you do that.  May the spark be with you.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Magic of Carving a Path

It may seem that we are just stumbling along in life, doing the best we can from day to day.  But there is a way to make our way more successful. We can walk the path of life in better ways. If we look at what we are doing and craft and polish it we will quickly improve and become more self confident as well.  One way to polish our "doing of life" is ask ourselves why things didn't flow as well as we wanted.  Maybe it was just some little bump that we can smooth out.  For instance, I have to get my blood checked fairly often so that my warfarin dosage is right, so my blood is not too thick or thin.  Because I don't have to go in too often now, I tend to miss going into the lab when I should.  They call me and send me letters and then I feel guilty about not being on schedule.  This time I bothered to put the results letter in a pocket of my favorite calendar and mark the date to go back as well.  I'm sure I have now set up a system that will work smoothly for me. I hope that I have been learning the importance of doing this by myself but I think I really learned it from someone else.  My daughter constantly makes things smoother and I finally realized I could learn to do this as well.  I think I fully became conscious of the importance of this when she filled the bird-feeder.  I saw her sit in my chair at the table before she went out.  Then I noticed I had a better view of the birds as they fed, as she has slightly changed the position of the feeder. I say to all wise magicians: The way you do things can make a difference in your life.  Such as the path you take to work, where you keep tools and supplies, the time you allot yourself to do things, the company you keep and even the television programs you  watch.  If you carve your path well it will make your own life more magical and you may find you are leaving a legacy for others.May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Magic of Sorrow

A time may come when you find you are dwelling on something a bit too much.  You may feel like you have to shift your focus to something else and yet the old 'thing' stays on your mind.  It isn't like you have suffered a great loss.  Yet you  feel  like you are stuck.  You know you need to move on.  Perhaps you have even declared that you are making the change.  Still you find yourself reliving the old situation and failing to move towards the other parts of your life that will be good for you.  At times like this it will be invoking magic to stop and mourn.  The old adage that 'change is loss' has some validity.  Explore what you are losing.  Feel sorry for yourself if you need to.  Cherish the good memories.  But go ahead and remember the reasons why your are moving on as well. To complete the transition to the better aspect of the life you are creating look for the golden thread of this experience or situation you are leaving.  There are valuable things here that can be important to the new experience you are moving towards.  When you left high school you didn't suddenly forget all that you had learned and experienced.  But you did go on to other aspects of your life.  Learn from past experiences of transition.  This moment in your present life may need to have a ritual of transition created for it.  That is why mourning can help.  Mourning explores, then blesses and lets go.  I say to all wise magicians that when the time comes to mourn do so.  Let the bittersweet moments come so that the more magical ones can be embraced.  May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Magic of What You Have

Sometimes you will find that if you identify your resources and gifts you will find that life is more magical than you realized.  If you have sight you can look for joyous views.  You can look for the goodness in others.  You can enjoy the sunset and look forward to the dawn.  If you have a mind you can learn a multitude of things.  You can gain information and new skills in the way you think.  You can do more with your mind than you may know.  If you have friends you can share life adventures.  If you have the ability to judge when you don't like something you can find ways to change it. Sometimes we get caught in the big picture is a way that leads to a feeling of vague unrest.  That is a good time to work some magic by taking stock of the wonderful, creative genius that you are.  Even if you doubt this you can find a bit of magic if you will.  Look out a window and take joy in what you see.  Smell something that pleases you and take joy in your ability to take pleasure.  You are a multi-faceted gem and if you focus on a few of those facets you will find a sense of magic.  May the spark be with you.                                                                                      

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Magic of Not Mom But Namaste

Some of the understanding about magic that I share with you I gain from studying tales from the past about the use of magic.  Then I interpret them for modern day use.  Other times my insight comes from from my own life.  Sometimes I get a boost, an idea or something helps me do things to make my life better.  Today's post is about an aha! moment that is sure to help me.  I have been a mom a very long time.  My oldest daughter was born in 1960.  My basic stance has been one of deep love but directed towards her, not one that took my needs into account very much.  Recently she has been having some problems with anxiety. She has a mixture of concerns such as taking care of me as well as herself.  If I simply reassure her that I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself I will be denying her some of her healing.  I realized that the idea of namaste will be helpful.  Namaste refers to the idea that 'I recognize in you the divinity that I recognize in myself'. I believe it will bring a bit of magic to both our lives if I step away from the 'mom' role and explore whatever she wants to explore.  I might even learn better ways to care for myself.  Maybe I will buy some red shoes.  I don't live in a world where I would get much use out of a red hat. So I say to all wise magicians: Roles can be helpful.  But it may be good magic to explore your roles to see if they are preventing needed closeness.  May the spark be with you.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Your Magical Domain

We all have a magical domain that we have created.  I invite you to visit my domain so that you may be more aware of your own.  The most magical room in my home is my studio/office.  I have put effort into having access to the tools I most like to use.  These are my computer, my electronic keyboard and my piano.  There is also a telephone in here and books and writing materials.  I have a great love of color and so the walls have a color on them that is known as sweet tea.  More red than brown.  Light and plants are important to me.  I have the outside door open and I look out into the yard from time to time.  I take delight in the way some of the tomato plants believe they are a jungle.  Pictures and objects are in here that also help me feel at home.  Since magic is well formed I have put a lot of effort into having storage such as cupboards, files and shelves that don't intrude but have items that I may want at hand.  This is my physical domain.  A domain is also your ways of processing your ideas and choosing your actions.  My daughter called me from the hospital a few minutes ago and I pushed my cane against the door because nurture was trumping nature just then.  The yappy dogs next door were commenting on things and I wanted to hear every word she said, as well as her nuances.  I will probably do a fair amount of cooking and cleaning today because that will help me feel more in control of my life.  It will bring me a bit of security and comfort.  I will also take time to bring a bit of zing into my life.  I woke up planning a post for my other blog, www.delbert'  That is a honey bee commenting on the world of my novel that is a retell of the fairy tale Thumblina. My magical domain is made up of love, work, play and keeping discomfort at bay.  I also reach out to encourage others to do the same.  I repost on Facebook anything that pushes sanity, clear thinking and humanity. Joy is possible.  Even if it is fleeting.  I say to all wise magicians that I hope you have or will create your own magical domain. May the spark be with you.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Magic of Animals

Old tales are full of magic helped along by animals.  Perhaps the ancients knew something we could use but we dismiss it as fantasy.  Yet animals have been part of human life for a very long time.  They must have a practical use.  But suppose there is more to it.  Suppose animals help us do more than herd our sheep, or rid ourselves of mice.  Suppose we can learn valuable life lessons from animals.  For the last week I have had unusual stresses in my life.  Then a bit of magic came my way  in some e-mails from a friend.  I was reminded of the way cats approach life.  They sleep when they will.  They don't worry about past or future.  They have a way of stretching away their kinks.  They adjust their actions to the task at hand.  They love to play.  They try new things. They know the importance of their tactile senses.  I decided that I would meditate on 'catness'.  This "being cat" was a marvelous form of stress management.  I believe other animals could teach me much about life as well.  I say to all wise magicians that it is a good idea to learn from all situations and all creatures.  When there is nothing we can do, then do nothing. Stretch and find a spot of sun.  Chase a leaf.  Ask to be petted by a loved one.  Bring magic into your life from every situation and every direction.  May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Magic for Climbing Mountains

I once heard that someone gave the reason for climbing a high mountain as: "Because it's there."  Of course there is more to it than that.  They must have really been saying, "Because it's there and I am excited about conquering it."  One purpose of magic is to give us the zing and excitement to energize us to accomplish our goals.  The first magical thing to do in getting ready to conquer a mountain is to clarify your goals.  You must know which mountain you are climbing. A basic principle of magic is: magic is well formed.  Another thing to do is gather all your needed spells and magic wands.  Or get you equipment and plans well worked out.  Then you must plan for the zing.  The motivation, the excitement, is important.  Please don't climb any mountains just because you think you 'should' climb one.  Build up your feelings, your sense of hunger to climb, your sense of risk and adventure.  Dare to believe in your self.  Every task, even, or especially, the daunting tasks are more likely to succeed when you put in a dash of magic and stir well.  Climb mountains.  Grab some success for yourself.  One agonizing step and pull at a time, bit by bit you CAN do it.  May the spark be with you.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Magic of Layers and Leaves

To understand the magic of layers and leaves you must first go to that place of understanding beyond words. Envision an old book with parchment leaves, perhaps the cover is of fine leather.  This book has many bookmarks in it and you can flip from one bit of wisdom to another very easily.  Move from this understanding to the way a yard might have layers of leaves built up on the lawn during the winter.  The moisture is kept in the ground so that the earth is able to ready itself for spring.  Now think of the way a team might reach out their hands when they are in a huddle and each one lays his hand on top of the other hand.  They do this as a signal of unity and teamwork.  Layers and leaves.  Going deeper and deeper into a more profound understanding of whatever needs to come forth.  Perhaps it is time to uncover an understanding of a special truth.  Layers are peeled away until something wonderful is revealed.  A friend might reveal his personality and depth of spirit to you, one layer at a time.  Ideas evolve over time.  Layers are peeled away until the idea is before you in all its glory. A conversation may go on with many different levels of meaning..
Gain this understanding with your sense of vision, with the wisdom of the warmth of your heart, or with any other sense that wants to come into play. When you feel yourself sensing that you, also, have different layers of spirit and heart you have moved into your being as a wise magician.  Live on more than one layer at a time.  May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Working Magic

I want to start this post out by noting that magic is work and magic is play, either or both.  What I am thinking about when I refer to the 'work' of magic is using magic to systematically create a good result.  You may have noticed in reading stories about magicians and sorcerers that they have a certain way of doing things, a system for getting their result.  System is important to many endeavors.  Divine order can be taken to mean the way order brings good things into our lives.  One system many people say is important is that of having "a place for everything and everything in its place".  A wise magician might look at that adage and notice that it is a static idea.  If you use things you have to have another system for getting them back into their place.  That's why shampoo is near the shower, dish soap is in the kitchen and so on.  This leads to another concept.  When you are trying to make changes in your life, to bring some kind of magic into it, look for the systems you may need to create in order for this change to take place.  If you want to learn to play a musical instrument, it is important to be able to get to the instrument effortlessly.  You need to create a system that makes it easy to develop a habit, or system, of learning to play the guitar, or other instrument.  So now we are to the place where I make suggestions for wise magicians.  I suggest you look at your daily life.  Maybe it would be beneficial to create a few systems.  Maybe you should call them games.  After all magic likes to be fun.  Create systems of place, of process, of managing your moods, of dealing with irritating people, of building on successes, of accepting the benefits of your ability to work magic.  You are all magicians.  Work some magic.  May the spark be with you.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Advocacy is a Magic Wand

Being an advocate for yourself, for a cause, or for someone else is a wonderful proof of the existence of magic.  I'm sure that the wise magicians out there do advocate from time to time.  It might be interesting to think about advocacy a bit, all of us together. This will strengthen our skills with this particular magic wand.  To advocate to to get someone, who may formerly have been in opposition or on the sidelines, to to see the benefits in helping or working with you.  This morning one of my mentees was able to advocate for himself with a family judge.  We had done a bit of going over the issues at stake and done some rehearsal before he went to court.  He just called me to report that the judge had taken the steps he wanted and he expects this to help his family in the long run.  So clarification before hand is an important aspect in advocating for something. Another principle is being sure that you can present your case in a way that is not adversarial, and is easy to understand.  When the other side can see benefits to them that is also a plus.  I did some advocating for someone this morning with a career college.  I found a person whose job it was to make sure the graduates get into the career they have trained for.  So I knew she already had a stake in the success of the person I was advocating for.  Then I presented my case, about the snag that had happened, and she gave me helpful information and told me to call her back is she could give further help. So another principle is to find someone who is in a helping role.  That will predispose them to look for positive solutions.  Also, mention how positive the experience of working with them, or their group, has already been.  Another point in advocacy is to work to establish a workable plan, or doable steps.  You are not looking for a sudden win of a huge lottery.  You are looking for a real, yet magical ( because it will have some happy zing to it) step in a better direction.  You are bringing some good to your life or to another person's life. Go forth and advocate. May the spark be with you.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Magic of Application

I have a student who grew up and had her early schooling in another country.  I am teaching her more than how to read and use English with more competence.  I am also teaching her how to actually learn things and figure them out with more competence.  I asked her several questions about her early schooling and I got the picture of a school that was big on parroting things without actually seeing if the concepts were mastered.  If students could say it, it seemed that the school believed they knew it.  So we have set up a pattern of understanding something, practicing that understanding then moving on to the skill of applying that learning in another context.   To break that down, a young child might be able to recognize the alphabet when the letters are written a certain size and in a certain color.  But they don't know how to recognize the essence of the letters so they will still know them when there are variations in the letters. I believe there is a lesson here for all wise magicians.    If you feel that you have done a bit of magic, that you have added a bit of zing or goodness to your life, pause and see if you can do it again.  If it feels good to smile at your neighbor on one side of your house, try smiling at the neighbor on the other side with equal joy and sincerity. Feel the warmth around your heart and know you have done magic.  Gain skills then apply those skills so they will remain with you. The magic of practice is the practice of magic.  May the spark be with you.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Magic Tent

  A magic tent will throw itself up around you to protect you from distress and despair, sometimes without you even realizing it is there.  I have noticed this phenomenon in some of the people I am mentoring.  They may have chaotic lives but their sense of purpose and their dedication to their cause, or nurturing their creativity, seems to carry them calmly onward.   When a magician has a magic cloak it is a gift that is used deliberately.  I have only noticed this thing I call a magic tent recently.  I imagine a wise magician could deliberately use a magic tent.  They could develop an attitude or belief that there is safety and comfort in standing by your beliefs and gifts.  It is wonderful the way the magic tent is so portable. Virginia Woolf is famous for many literary ideas.  But one main one is that for a woman to be able to write successfully she needs money and a room of their own.  In other words, a woman's life is so full of demands that it is rare for one to have the comfort and space to devote to writing.  A room of one's own is wonderful.  Now that I have a room dedicated to my own purposes I have been happier and more productive.  But I do believe that there is an aura, or magic tent that travels with a wise magician.  Believe in your mission and magic will try to give you shelter to carry your mission out.  May the spark be with you.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Magic of Making Lemonade

I imagine you have heard the common saying "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."  But have you stopped to think about the process of making lemonade?  Would your own lemonade have more than lemons?  How would you juice them?  How would you make sure that you had clean, cool water?  Then what about that special ingredient, sugar?  Would you add a sprig of mint?  Just how much of your own unique take on things would you put into refining, reprocessing and presenting again, the blasts of trouble that life gives you?  Can you turn an embarrassing moment into a screen play?  Can you see a solution for a problem and come up with a new invention?  If you start to believe in yourself as a magical lemonade maker you can eventually get quite skilled at making your own lemonade.  Learn to look at the absurd side of things.  Practice free associating and letting ideas come through to you.  Maybe it would even be good to notice when the lemonade is too tart or too sour,  Maybe a good cry or a bit of swearing will help you get to your special blend of lemonade.  Another thing that is part of the lemonade process is someone to enjoy it.  Jokes, inventions, stories are all part of a healing social process.  Life does give you lemons.  Give that bit of sourness back as a smile, a game, a change of habits, a new way of doing things.  May the spark be with you.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Magic of Recognizing Boredom

Boredom is the refusal of your genius self to focus on something any longer.  A wise magician will stop and note why this something seems 'boring''.  If the boredom is because it is overwhelming, something you need to master and understand, then it might do to take a break and make a plan as to how you will find a different  approach.  Survival can depend on understanding the complex things in our life.  However, another reason can be that it is time to be bored.  Sometimes we are "just so over something" we can't be bothered with it any more.  I recently came across a statement to that affect by someone who was saying they had forgiven someone who had wronged them.  They said they were just tired of dwelling on the past wrong.
Sometimes a therapist will encourage a person to tell their story over and over, as many times as it takes for the teller to really get it all out there.  When they have heard themselves to the point that they are bored with the story and are ready to move on, healing has begun. They may have lived through a massive trauma but they are ready to let it stop controlling their life.  So, if you are bored, recognize it.  Just like anger, fear, and all emotions, boredom is a signal from your magical self.  Identify the way in which you are bored.  If you will be better off finding a new way to approach something do so.  If you are ready to move on, to be more creative and have a richer life, do so.  May the spark be with you.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Magical Function of Considering Alternatives

There are habits that you can develop which will bring a much higher quality of life to you.  I consider these habits of mind and action as having magical function, as the benefits they bring can seem like magic.  I have blogged about magical function before.  Recently I realized that the habit of looking at your options, or considering alternatives can have magical function.  When you are up against the wall or in a sticky situation it can be very stressful.  The tendency is to feel despair and give up.  But if you are in the habit of considering your alternatives you are likely to find a way to solve your problem.  Sometimes it is as simple as redefining the problem. Sometimes it is much more.  But if you have a mind set of being a resourceful person you will probably get through your tough time.  Don't bother to stress yourself out or waste time by saying "It should be this way or that".  It is as it is.  Or it is what it seems to be at first glance.  Now get busy and see what options, resources, or alternatives you have.  Weigh your choices and go for something better.  Adopt an attitude that you are a learner and you can learn from this situation.  Maybe you will learn to avoid situations like this in the future.  What ever the lesson you choose to learn, whatever choice you make, know that it is your magic that you bring to yourself.  May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Magic of 'Due Time' Scheduling

Sometimes, when we think about 'getting our priorities straight' it is linked with the idea of an either or choice.   If losing weight is a priority you will give up nightly hot fudge sundaes.  But there can be a sense of peacefulness, therefore magic, when you know how to fit certain things into your time use schedule with a sense of "due time".  It isn't just first things first, second things second and so on.  When you schedule that way the third and fourth things often get left out totally. I suggest you make a to-do list of things you want to do. Let yourself become aware of things you think you want to do but your soul says they are not that important. Like keeping up with the Jones.  Accept that certain things really need to get done or there will be trouble for you.  Certain things need to get done at certain times of the day and week.  I shouldn't be having the sprinkler going on the front lawn after 10 am and before 6pm. Doctor's appointments have to be made during clinic hours. Things like that.  But it is perfectly fine to put clothes in the washer at midnight.There may be all kinds of time available to you to do things if you refuse to let time-wasting stress attack you.
Now, look at your list and your calendar and transcend any stress you feel about getting things on that list done.  Tell yourself that things will get done, things will happen, in their due time. Look for things you can do while you are doing something else that doesn't require much attention.  I used to knit in doctor's waiting rooms. I often pay bills while I am watching TV.  Also look for things that you can do partially in small chunks of time.  Assemble a casserole in the morning.  Go to work, come home, take it out of the fridge, pop it in the oven and enjoy it for supper.  Another way to make 'due time' work for you is to avoid trying to do things when your mental energy is low.  I need to hand deliver a letter tomorrow.  But it was hot when I found out where to take it and my brain was soft fudge.  All I could do was sit in the room where the air conditioning unit is and try to put myself back together.  Now I am rested and no longer suffering from the heat.  I will probably write it after I post my blog.  Or early tomorrow morning.  Due time also kicks in when you try to find fun times for doing things.  Very early in the morning is a joyous time for many people.  Getting some physical work done at daybreak can be enjoyable.  "Building a house before breakfast" was a saying often heard in my first father-in-law's household. Get up, work up an appetite then come back for breakfast and visiting when you are fully awake, was the idea.
So I say to all wise magicians: Do not let the need to get thing done give you stress.  Your time is yours to control.  Stress can make you forget to do things or take too long to do them.  Develop a sense of "due time" and life will work better for you.  May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Magic of Check It Out, Check It Off.

Are you stuck?  Are you at the mercy of the  "it's supposed to be" monster?  Maybe it's time to do something different.  Instead of drawing magic into your life, throw something toxic out of it.  That will make room for the magic.  Are you waiting for a relative or a friend to treat you as well as they are "supposed to"? Are you working at a job you are supposed to like?  If these people or situations aren't quite right, you need to reconsider them.  Give things a chance.  Check them out.  If they don't measure up, admit it, and check them off your list.  Move on. A few years ago the American people were sold the idea that if they gave special treatment to big business, very big business, it would trickle down and create more jobs for the middle class.  That was not how it worked out.  These companies poured more into the CEO salaries and found ways to avoid paying taxes, and outsourced jobs.  Now we are realizing it didn't work.  Some people are now willing to move on to something that does work.  Whether it is in your personal, community, or national life, I suggest to all wise magicians: Check it out, and if it isn't working, check it off.  May the spark be with you.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Magical Function of Puns and Word Play

Our tendency and ability to play on words brings many good things into our life.  First of all humor has many benefits.  When we laugh it opens up our brain to learn.  If we can make someone else laugh it opens up channels of communication.  A happy brain functions better.  Even a simple silly pun can break the hold anxiety may have on us. Humor is healing.  Years ago a book came out, "Anatomy of an Illness" by Norman Cousins, in which he told of how he watched old Keystone Kops movies as part of his self designed healing process.  Sometimes our inner self wants to tell us something and it uses a play on words to do so.  Metaphor is a very useful tool is all sorts of ways.  Think of how good a person is who is said to have a "heart of gold".  So I say to all wise magicians, go ahead and play with words, listen to yourself and others as they bring out the hidden messages from the inner self,  I still remember being in a class called 'Techniques of Counseling' when Dr. Biglin was discussing Freudian slips.  He mispronounced it as Fraudian slips.  I pointed that out to him and he responded by saying that his secret attitude towards Sigmund Freud was that he was a bit of a fraud.  So, wise magicians, beware and be aware of the wand of puns.  People give compliments, insults and other messages with their puns.  Be aware of this and bring magic into your life.  May the spark be with you.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Magic of Dare Base and Peek-a-Boo

Dare Base and Peek-a-Boo are a couple of children's games that have a lot to teach us.  One is very active, running towards the other team's base to see if you can get on it successfully without getting tagged.  If you do get tagged you have to switch teams.  Peek-a-Boo is more passive, just covering your eyes then looking at something.  But in both there is the idea of daring to explore new worlds.  I recently read an article by Steve Atchinson, an addiction counselor, that said addicts and alcoholics have a great trouble exploring new realities.  They can't move into a new world of healing because they are stuck so firmly in the old world of substance abuse and addiction.  I believe that this is also true on a lesser basis for many instances of being stuck.  Perhaps you could call them soft addictions.  People seem to stick with the devil they know rather than dare the devil they don't know, or even go forth to make friends with an angel.  But if you will peek at a problem, then hide your eyes again, then peek again, the "new" becomes less dangerous.  Run towards a problem.  Imagine something different.  Dare and peek in the safety of your own mind.  Enough darting out and daring makes the strange familiar.  So I say to all wise magicians, 'Dare to imagine something better. Dare to go on a journey of exploration.  You can change your thought patterns and become braver, more confident.  Just keep rehearsing what you want to do.  The inner game works for tennis and skiing.  It will work for other life skills as well.  Explore a better life.  May the spark be with you.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Magical Function of a Promise

From time to time I have mentioned the term 'magical function'.  I want to make sure all you wise magicians understand what I mean by this term.  Magical function is when something works way beyond the immediate time and space in which it takes place. You might think of synergy, serendipity, karma, and luck.  Certain practices or ways of doing things just seem to bring goodness into a person's life multiple times and in many different ways.  A promise is like that.  You promise yourself you will accomplish something.  Sometimes you have to move mountains to bring about one simple thing.  But you persevere and the promise is kept.  But there have also been many other spin-offs.  Someone might have become aware of your integrity and want to reward you for your good character with a job or opportunity.  Or you might have had to be very creative to keep your promise but you ended up creating more than one thing.  My daughter, Cyndi, told my sister, Jo, that she would come to Utah and help with the construction of Jo's new house.  Before she left, Cyndi had to keep her implicit promise to the garden she had put in, that it would be cared for.  She had to be very creative in designing and building a watering system so I wouldn't have to drag hoses around.  I am too mobility impaired to do that well.  I am totally impressed by how well her system works.  I miss her but the garden doesn't.  Soaker hoses, timers, switches all work well. Sometimes magicians think there is a war between love and will, that we should be all about love and disregard will.  If you only love for a moment it will be shallow.  But if you have the willpower to love through the years the developing love will have great depth and spirituality.  So I say to all wise magicians out there: If you have a goal that you think you want to go for, do it.  Make a promise to yourself and the way will open up.  Inner resources and outward opportunities will line up.  May the spark by with you.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Magic of Opposite

For several years I was connected with The Denver Center for Crime Victims.  One of the things I did was to help put on workshops in child safety for The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program. In some of these workshops The Denver police Department would make presentations about gang prevalence and other  issues.  I remember one tip that was frequently given. "Tell your child that, if they are being followed in a vehicle, to turn and run in the opposite direction.  They will actually be running toward the predator but it will be in the opposite way from which the car is going.  By the time the driver manages to find a chance to turn around your child can probably reach safety."  There are other ways in which thinking of the reverse or the opposite can bring about good changes.  Many businesses have been successful by building on troubles seen as opportunities.  Looking at things in a different way is a skill that is taught in thinking creatively.  If a task looms over you like a mountain, see it as a big bowl of your favorite ice cream.  Do what you can to deflect, defuse, or take the sting out of things. Thinking in opposites is also a way to find the extra bit of charm to make something have that extra zing.  So, I suggest to all wise magicians: Cultivate the art of the opposite.  It lowers stress, makes for a bigger world, and brings new ideas to life.  May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

It's Magic the Way the Body Learns

I just read about a study done in Europe  featured in the journal, "Science".  It says that the brain releases dopamine when it is receiving cognitive training.  I interpret that to mean that the brain likes to learn. It learns a skill and rewards itself for it.  Another thing that also prompts this post is a small break through in my battle to regain some mobility.  I have been telling my body to be aware of and learn how to walk and get out of my chair better.  I have mostly been focusing on the positioning of my legs and knees.  I don't want to stress my arthritic knees.  For several days I have been noticing that the way my feet are involved in getting out of the chair is an improvement. The balance is much better.  I didn't know to direct them, but the body figured it out.  I believe the body has wisdom that we all to often forget about.  We know when we need to hydrate, but we put off that glass of water while we do just one more task.  I suggest to all wise magicians that you consciously tell your body to go ahead and bring magic into your life.  Then you allow awareness of that when it happens.  You will probably avoid certain situations, substances and people.  You will sleep, eat and drink when needed.  You will move.  You will laugh and sing.  Be of whole body and mind.  Be your magical self.  May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Magic of Daybreak

When the sun is starting to come up and the birds are singing the world is full of magic.  It is several hours before the pressures of the day will crowd in on you.  Daybreak is a wonderful time to let awareness come through about what you want to create and what you want to express with your life.  If you are missing out on daybreak as a regular experience I suggest you try it at least once.  Get up early on a week end, then go back to bed if you need to.  But if you have experienced the magic that daybreak has to offer you will probably be too energized to hit the pillow again right away. Allowing time to process and center is a good practice to get into.  Not just at daybreak, but whenever it is needed.  Nature teaches us by being a role model.  The day starts with peacefulness and builds up from there.  I suggest to all wise magicians that you give yourself the gift of daybreak, soon.  May the spark be with you.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Magic of Moon Time

Much of the time our brains are running on narrative mode.  We are engaged in self talk that is comprised of some awareness but basically we are telling our story.  We are living out of habit and the drive to accomplish.  This is not bad unless we never stop to center, never let ourselves just 'be'.  There is a second mode.  Some designate this mode as 'awakening'.  In the awakening mode we are more sensory based.  We let our labels and prejudices go.  I am working on a middle grade fantasy novel, "The Moonkeepers" in which one of the characters claims that evening, when the moon is shining, when Lady Luna smiles, is a good time for thought, discussion and discovery.  It does seem to me that we tend to be more active during the day and more contemplative or aware in the evening.  Perhaps sun time is narrative time and moon time is a time to turn to discovery, or awakening.  Perhaps that is why there is heard a cry at times against television.  It can deaden our ability to be aware, to be in the moment, to center.  Television can also deaden our ability to share our humanity with our family and community.  I therefore suggest to all wise magicians that you give yourself some moon time.  Sun time is the time to tell and live out your stories.  Moon time is the time to discover and celebrate your stories.  Take a break from striving.  Sit quietly and make yourself aware of what each sense is perceiving.  Can you sense the temperature of the air?  Can your ears sense sounds around you?  Can your sense of balance tell is you are upright or supine?  What do you see?  What do you smell?  Are insights and celebrations coming to you?  Awaken.  Celebrate your being.  May the spark be with you.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Magical Function of "Not Nice"

There are certain traits or behaviors in life that can have a magical function.  That is, these ways of doing things will create a nimbus of benefit for you.  Previously I wrote about the magical function of doing music.  I have been noticing that refusing to accept the status quo, or daring to speak up, of daring to notice that there is a gorilla in the room can have a magical function in personal and national life. Being aware and letting it be known could very well cause a wise magician to be told that they are not very nice.  Ahhh. Being nice has caused or allowed a lot of evil and victimization throughout history.  If you are interested in developing the magical skills of being feisty I do have some suggestions.  Bottling things up until you erupt into one big bit of nasty doesn't work well.  Unfunny name calling doesn't work well.  Ignoring the fear behind the evil can also be a mistake.  Ignoring your own fears and insecurities is also a mistake.  So how can you magically seek to shout out truth?  Peek-a-boo is okay. Dash in, dash out.  Nibble away at the awareness.  Think about, in bits and pieces about what is bothering you.  If someone is being 'stupid' perhaps you would do well to think about why you are noticing that.  A person called me for advice but labelled themselves as an alcoholic who had no intention of changing.  I thought about why I felt an urge to understand their world and decided that I had a gorilla of my own, a change I desperately needed to make that I was resisting. Now I am no longer resisting, or making as many excuses, at least, putting a lot more walking into my life. Even excusing a problem can be 'making nice'.  Our brains are our best magical wand ever.  Analyze.  Plan.  Speak up.  Bring about wonderful, good, magical changes.  Don't be nice.  Be effective.  May the spark be with you.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Magic of Not Flinching

There are times we absolutely need to face things.  We may not want to face up to or deal with these parts of our life.  Looking in the mirror literally or figuratively may be painful at times.  If we flinch or cringe it is all too easy to avoid our hero's task.  'Being nice' or 'going along to get along' are a couple of the ways one might flinch.  These two examples are ways one fails to have courage regarding other people.  But what about the times when we need to stand up to our self?  How often do we confront our self?  How often do we climb on the scale and compare our weight to our love of sitting, or our penchant for sweets? I am experiencing first hand, right now, hard it is to get out of my comfort zone and really move forward.  I am in a constant state of 'flinch' lately.  But I recover and move forward.  I will share my situation so all you wise magicians can laugh at me if you will.  Or learn from me.  I accepted that there was a great need to make a lot of changes in my like.  Since I am trying to develop a paying practice as a life coach I put it out on my  Word Maeven Facebook page that I had hired myself as my own coach.  I admitted to the needed changes and even put up a picture to prove it. ( I didn't admit to my full weight, and I didn't broadcast my full age. But I said enough)  So now the coach flinches if the client doesn't make enough progress and the client flinches when the coach points out what needs to be done.  However, the more we (Word Maeven-me, and Donna-I) recover from the flinches and stop them mid-flinch the more progress is getting made. Visit me on Facebook as Donna Jeanne Ellison if you like.  Further I suggest to all wise magicians that you nurture your own courage.  See what changes are needed in your life.  Don't flinch.  May the spark be with you.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Magic 102, Magic Abounds

In magic 101 a wise magician will learn that one can do positive things to bring positive changes into one's life. Magic is a two way street.  You can do magic actions.  But magic can work on you and come to you.  That is the focus of magic 102, I believe.  Since everybody writes their own magic manual I may not have the total story.  But I do believe that positive psychology has a lot of powerful and true insights.  Not only does a happy mind set bring a happy life, the brain can rewire.  Neuroplacticity is a valid concept.  Happiness and goodness is there.  We can learn to accept it.  I do not advocate walking around in a state of denial.  There are problems to solve in our world.  But, it seems to me, that fear based reactions are what cause most of the problems.  People fear they won't make enough money so they ignore the problems they are causing in the environment. They don't stop to think about the uselessness of money if the climate and environment become too messed up to sustain life.  Or they fear others will not believe the same way they do.  If they are so worried about other's thoughts I doubt they have time to fully enjoy and nurture their own. So I say to all wise magicians, "Be at peace.  Turn events into blessings.  Glory in your ability to be creative and solve problems. Magic abounds.  Enjoy it." May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Magic of Momentum as Flow

Sometimes the way one thing leads to another to another to another can be stressful.  If we allow that.  It may seem like there are too many streams of cause and effect running crisscross through our life.  Too many demands.  Too many fires to put out.  You may have reached out and caused a bit of magic to come into your life and now you have to do the work of maintaining it.  Well, I say to all wise magicians "Look to the unity of flow."  Life goes on.  If you have the image of yourself in your own canoe, dipping you oar in the smoothly flowing water when you will, able to pull over to the shore when needed, you will get the things done that are truly important.  You will maintain the relationships that are truly important.  It is your life.  It is your river.  You can make choices that keep you flowing along where you want to go.  Recently Secretary of
State Hilary Clinton was quoted as saying when she is on an important mission in a foreign country she may have to choose between pulling her hair back and solving the world's problems or going to a beauty parlor.  She makes the choice to tie her hair back and get on with the important things.  She is effective and will be remembered as effective.  She is sailing the Ship of State. My advice for all wise magicians is this.  Go to a peaceful meditative state.  Explore your priorities. Explore the idea that some things have been a priority but should now be let go. Make sure your priorities are things you have positive feelings about.  Your feelings about them will help you stay true to them.   Numerous times during each day ways will occur to keep the momentum going to create our best life, to express our values, to bring magic into being.  If you are clear about your priorities you will automatically keep your canoe going forward in a good flow of things. Get into the flow.  May the spark be with you.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Magic of Finding the Familiar

Normally I wake up eagerly focused on some creative endeavor and want to get up and start working on it.  Today there was some anxiety mixed in with my drive to create.  I woke up thinking about my commitment to make some drastic changes in my life.  Change is hard.  Change is loss.  We lose the ways we know and must take up new things.  But my magical godmother self whispered to me : "There will be things you know".
While I was trying to figure this out I noticed that I was feeling calmer and more confidant.  Indeed, some of the changes I must make I actually have made before. Plus I know how to learn.  I know how to learn from other people.  What I don't know I will know.  I realized that I could cloak this learning and developing new habits in a feeling of familiarity.  Like a puppy sniffing at a stranger until he decides he has found a friend, I can move into this new aspect of my life with less fear than I was feeling.  I can shine the light of courage before me and make this path my own.  I have been in the habit of letting a still small voice whisper evil whispers of unworthiness and failure in my ear.  It was faint but I was hearing things like, "This is only for the big girls, you are too old, past your prime, don't dream so big."   Well guess what!  It is my path and I can walk it a step at a time.  As I go I will learn and make it a friendly path.  So, I suggest to all wise magicians, if you are worried about the big challenges life is throwing at you add a bit of magic to your tool box.   Life is a challenge, but, there will be things you know.  There will be comfort.  May the spark be with you.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Magic of Ceremony

I am writing about ceremony because I am about to baptize the box my new scale came it.  No, I'm probably not clear 'round the bend'.  I just have a strong need to make changes in my life.  Such as getting a handle on my weight.  I was losing.  I quit weighing.  I gained 12 pounds in 8 months.  I was about to get back into frequent checking up on my weight and I dropped the scale and cracked it.  To really get the change back into my life I am doing several things to make that change part of my life.  I announced it on Facebook.  I bought a good scale.  I found a good place to keep it.  Now I am about to do a ceremony to help me accept fully and firmly that weighing myself is part of my life. If the wise magicians out there have a need for some habit or action that will improve you life I suggest you do some little ceremony about it.  Blow kisses, light a candle, bury something, set up a shrine. Do some action that will remind you that you have made, and are making, a change for the better in your life.  With all this public silliness or formality (what ever it should be called) I can hardly forget the change I need to make .  Other won't let me if I do.  So, if you need to do something different, I suggest you use the magic of ceremony to help you.  May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Magic of Dancing With Change

I chose this title because I was looking for something to suggest that we deal with change bit by bit, always running back to safety when we need to.  To run head on at the brick wall that we think we must break down will not have a good result. To make any change it is good to be sure that we want that change.  Some changes come at us willy nilly and we have to accept them.  Those are seldom changes that we went out to get.  Consider this:   The new thing is strange, unknown, not comfortable, therefore we resist it.  But dance with it, visualize it, talk about it, ask questions about what it is and what is involved in that change.  Just opening the door to a change can gave magical results.  Our inner self will start to accept the need or desirability of the change.  The creative ideas about that change will happen.  Then the change itself starts to evolve.  Just from that first tentative waltz. Of course change is still loss, it is still hard.  Dan and Chip Heath wrote a good book about how to be effective in making changes and how to maintain that change once you make it.  Other people have also written, and even preached, about how to change.  All I am suggesting to you wise magicians is that you play pee-a-boo, dance with, joke around with and get to know and understand the change you might take on.  There is magic in approaching things lightly, and being able to retreat from them.  It doesn't mean you are avoiding change.  It doesn't mean you are afraid of commitment.
It just means that you are a wise magician and you know that it is good to live with as much joy, even when making changes, as you can bring to your life.  May the spark be with you.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Can "Should" Have Magic?

The other day I was having a dreadful case of the blues.  I wouldn't have recognized a hopeful or happy thought if it had tickled my knee-caps.  It wasn't just a mood of a few minutes either.  It had hung on longer than rain in Seattle.  I knew I had to do something to get off  this slippery slope. Once a person gets on a slippery slope too far it is really hard to pull back.  I got quiet so I could figure something out and a word popped into my head.  I knew it was a message from my inner self as it was a word I don't push much.  The word was "should".  I still remember being in a graduate class, 'Techniques of Counseling' and hearing Dr. Biglin say, "Don't Should on yourself".  Then he went on to discuss the dangers of being overly self-critical.  From that moment on I tried not to over use the word 'should'.  This was in my twenties so I've had a bias against 'should' for about four decades.  Now my wise inner self was telling me to say "should"?  It certainly got my attention.  Then I realized that if I were to say 'should' right then I would be affirming my own power.  I would be working magic, by deciding on actions I could take to make my life better.  I decided I 'should' go in my bedroom and finish reorganizing my chest of drawers.  No small project.  Un-mated socks in big piles and so on.  I should do things that were good for me.  I should.  I could.  I did.  They say that freedom is doing what's good for you, even if your mother would have wanted you to do it.  I have been chanting "should", with an evil little grin on my face, from time to time ever since.  I have freedom of choice.  If I want a certain result I "should" take certain actions.  So now I suggest to all wise magicians that 'should' might be a two edged sword.  Being self-critical can be a danger. But if it serves you to use it, go ahead and do so.  You "should" have the best life you can get for yourself.  May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Magical Function of Doing Music

Another way of referring to "magical function" might be in the adage "killing two birds with one stone".  But I think of magical function as having many more results than extra birds, you will have ripples  in different times and places.  I have noticed that singing, playing or studying music opens doors, soothes, helps people bond and gives one a new perspective on life.  My brother, Dick Ellison, died at the end of April.  A couple of times the weekend of his  funeral in Ft. Collins many of the family members found themselves involved in  music activities.  To me it felt like we were gathering together and affirming that we were still family.  Some of my fondest memories of time spent with him as an adult were spent harmonizing songs from our childhood as we drove somewhere in the car.  Another recent experience for me of the magical function of music was with Steve Modrak.  He is blind and is now attempting to walk and hitch his way across our country to make a statement about the need to accept that the disabled, especially returning veterans, have a lot more to offer than  we may realize.  He was a guest at my home for a week or so before he began his walk.  There was a lot to do to get ready for this major undertaking. Even though it was a busy time, somehow I found myself requesting that he let me teach him how to play piano by feel and ear.  He agreed and achieved a lot in just a few lessons.  Just as he left he told me that the lessons had been of tremendous benefit.  He had reaffirmed his faith in himself that he could take on new challenges, it had given him another way to calm himself down, and it had given him another tool for relating to people. It benefited me as well.  So I now list music activity as a wand of magical function.  I suggest to all wise magicians that if you are feeling a need for a spark of magic in your life that you look to something that is not right in front of your nose.  Don't go to the television or other distractions.  Bring magic into your life through some creative activity.  May the spark be with you.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Look for the Magical Function of Things

Sometimes an activity, an event, or even an object will have so many different effects or uses in your life that it may be right to consider it to have a magical function.  One example could be in the way you might spend your time. When my children were little we spent a lot of time waiting in doctor's offices.  Ear aches, booster shots, and so on.  I began to keep a bag of crochet needles and yarn with me. This was more calming than hunting for something to read and I could keep a better eye on the girls and even talk with them while I crocheted. That Christmas I had a lot of well appreciated gifts for my family for which I hadn't had to spend much money for, or endure the stress of last minute shopping. I improved my skills at crochet and later was paid to do some crochet therapy for a woman whose psychiatrist wanted her to develop more skills in using her hands.  My daughters became interested in the art and have both made some very interesting and well crafted crocheted rag rugs.  Another time I was going through a stressful period in  my life and I remembered how soothing crochet could be.  Just the making of simple stitches.  I gathered up a lot of odds and ends of yarn and crocheted a serenity afghan.  No particular color, no particular pattern.  I even left the tied-off ends showing.  I only worked on it when I needed to "get a grip", which meant I finished it fairly quickly, actually.  The end result was charming enough, although very folk and rustic, that it was on my couch for years for anyone who felt a chill, or a need of comfort. Crochet had a magical function in my life.
Cause and effect can be amazing.  Multiple results, benefits, or blessings can come from a simple thing.  I have a couple of good friends that I met when my eye was caught by something they were wearing and I mentioned it. One pot of rice can be big enough to be the base for Chinese food, Spanish rice, rice pudding and soup.  Scholarly research might lead to a term paper, good conservation, new avenues of research, and projects for another class.  When a stone skips across a pond multiple ripples are created.  Sometimes you can actually use this to bring magical things into your life.  Other times your life will be better just from noticing the way a little thing, such as a reply to en e-mail or a smile, will bring many good things into your life over and over.  So I suggest to all wise magicians that you open up to a wider world, and look for the magical function of things.  May the spark be with you.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Magic of Mental Housekeeping

As is the case most days, I woke up early this morning wanting to get busy right away on one of my projects.  But I wasn't awake enough to prioritize and focus my energy.  I stumbled into my office and putzed around with e-mail, downloaded some pictures from my camera and gave up.  I thought to myself that a good bit of magic I could do would be to wake myself up.  But I didn't.  I wandered back to bed, told my inner self to give me some ideas later, and zonked out until the sky was fully light and then some.  But the idea of how we can direct our focus stayed on my mind.  Naturally I noticed a post on Facebook when I opened it up later about how the civil rights and liberties of Gays and other minorities are deteriorating since the financial problems of 2008 hit our nation.  Fearful people are reacting, looking for scapegoats, and afraid to be as tolerant as they once were. Certain religious and political leaders are feeding on this fear for their own ends.  I thought of how good it would be if these fearful people could stop and challenge their fears.  How wonderful it would be for them and our nation if they could realize the power and resources they had within themselves to make their life better.  To bring a bit of magic into their life. But from my own slow start this morning I know how hard it is to direct your focus at times.  I've even been trained for it and I still don't do it.  But I still want to suggest to all wise magicians: If you feel fearful, lazy, blah, discouraged, please get out of the storm for a moment and look to the energy of magic that surrounds you.  You can do at least one little thing to make you life better right away.  Maybe just the act of saying you can take greater charge of your life, your actions, your moods and attitudes will give you a lift.  You can you know. So bring order to your thoughts.Make your life better.  May the spark be with you.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Magical Daydreaming

Sometimes a person looks like they are in a trance and the observer can not determine what on earth is going on in the "thinker's" head.  When I am the "thinker" I may be in three different states. I call them 1) Magical Daydreaming. 2) Blocked. 3) Dwelling or Neurotic Dwelling.  My favorite is Magical Daydreaming.  But I want to touch briefly on the other two to get them out of the way.  First I will explore what is going on when you are in a 'blocked' state.  Actually not much is going on but you want it to be.  You just feel "blocked".  You may want an idea for a creative project and it won't come to you or you may have more than one idea that is trying to come to you and they are fighting to see who gets through the door first.  It may be a normal sized door but three fat butt (or maybe three rich and full) ideas can't get through at the same time.  When you feel blocked it isn't a good idea to stay there,  It could turn negative.  You need to break the trance by a shake of the head, asking some questions or something.  Unblocking is not that hard to do unless you dig yourself into a rut.  Writer's block may be there about one project but you can go to another project.  When you come back to the previously blocked one you can probably produce again.
Now as to #3, the dreaded 'Dwelling'.  If you have healed from a trauma and then you revert to talking about it and dwell on it you may re-traumatize yourself.  If you can't stop talking about your "evil ex" maybe you can at least start making jokes about the person that should only be in your past now.  I have heard it said that a neurotic person is incapable of free-association. Just don't dwell.  It bores your listeners and I hope that a wise magician will be bored their own 'lip out' poor me stories as well. Actually I don't believe wise magicians go to 'pity parties'.  Don't sucker into other people inviting you to theirs.
Now we are up to play time or #1 Magical Daydreaming. Sometimes it is good to actually schedule some healthy daydreaming.  Not necessarily to solve a creative problem, but just to lower stress and to add some zing or magic to you life.  You can do it any way you want.  After all it is your gifted mind and your happy place.  But just in case you haven't done it that much I invite you to walk along with me as I do a bit of magical daydreaming.  I look up at the dragon picture that a friend drew for me for my birthday last January.  The dragon is emerging from a grove of trees.  That makes me think of times I have enjoyed being in different forests.  One time, as a child, I was with my family for a picnic and  I got my flute out of the car and sat down near a wild rose bush in bloom.  I could play Edward MacDowell's 'To a Wild Rose' from memory so I did.  I don't know if I had an audience or not.  I again have that feeling of being immersed in a wild natural world.  This memory leads to ideas about the way I enjoy music.  Now I think about my plans to get a music studio going.  I have been teaching a blind man to play piano by ear for a couple of days.  Now I find myself singing 'This Land Is Your Land", one of the songs my student can play with one hand and will soon be able to play chords for in the bottom hand. Now I am floating around with different pictures of places in the US I have lived or visited and loved. Now I am through with my play and decide I need to get my digital camera out and take a picture, soon, of this blind man at the piano and share it with the near-by music store that offered to give me referrals for students.  I didn't plan on getting a usable idea but I am glad to have it.  I am also glad to have had the relaxing experience I did. Thank you for walking along with me.   I suggest to all wise magicians that you do some magical daydreaming from time to time.  May the spark be with you.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Magic of "Allowing".

It's nearly Summer and my daughter has already been feeding us from the garden.  She is still putting seeds and plants in the ground as well.  I love the way she will plant something, then 'allow' it to grow.  She doesn't block it from the needed sun.  She gives it the nutrients it needs from the compost and she waters it as needed.  But she doesn't dig up the seeds to see if they are growing.  She believes the garden will produce and it does.  It was that way when I was in school, my parents and teachers believed I would learn and I did.  I could read what I wanted and ask questions.  I was 'allowed' to learn and grow. I believe there is a lot of magical power in positive expectations.  Friends seem to come through for us. Opportunities seem to come our way. Today we were watching a toddler for a couple of hours and he was a total delight.  No problem at all, whether he was in the house or in the yard.  I allowed him to play and explore and he in turn didn't dig up any or the plants and pretty much stayed out of the mud.
I suggest to all wise magicians that you allow goodness to come into your life.  Allow yourself to make positive comments about people.  Allow people to become your friends.  Allow ideas to come to you.  If they don't come right away, allow them to come when they are ready.  Remember, magic is well-formed.  So when an idea is well-formed, it will come to you.  Don't clutch.  That will drive good ideas away from you. Much good is in the wings for you.  Appreciate it when it comes striding out on stage.  Allow magic to manifest.  May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sprinkle Magic on Change

Deep down in your heart you know there are some changes you should make in your life.  But somehow you  don't get those changes made.  Willpower is not enough.  No matter how often you think, "I should do this," the change just doesn't happen.  To have a more productive and fulfilling life you need to back off from the stresses you give yourself when you say "I should".  Will power is helpful after you have made an emotional commitment to the change and have actually started on the actions that will lead to the development of good, positive habits.
I suggest to all wise magicians that if you have a change you need to make, find a way to sprinkle it with magic, put fairy dust on it.  I need to walk more.  Even taking more steps around the house and going out into my wonderful back yard would benefit me greatly. Will benefit me greatly.  As I think about it I can feel the magic start to form wonderful clouds and I feel a sense of anticipation about going into my yard more often.  Try magic, add zing and fun, add color, make up games, do all you can to bring magical change into your life.  May the spark be with you.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Magic of a Good Cause

A cause can energize you, help you grow, bring amazing things (people,experiences,ideas) into your life and even help you be more organized.  The last, being more organized, makes me chuckle a bit.  But I have often not been quite sure where next to direct my energies.  I have known many other people in the same boat. Organization is good.  The last couple of weeks I have been more focused on my own cause of "the importance of expressing our inner genius and taking on challenges to do this." My cause has met another cause
that meshes with it. I have been helping a friend, who is blind, get ready to take a cross country walk to gain attention for hope, resiliency, and better acceptance of the "right of the disabled and returning veterans to be heard". As "Steve Modrak, The Blind Guy Who Cares" demonstrates over and over again how he can do so many amazing things by touch I become more sure that every one of us does have an inner genius. I know that some causes that call to people can be dangerous to others. Terrorists and extremists have their causes. But a wise magician understands the need to care, to respect, and to think of the bigger picture when they take up a cause. I do believe that The Blind Guy Who Cares does have a good message: we are happy when we reach out to follow our dreams, we can do much more than we realize, that people who appear disabled might have surprising gifts to offer.  Therefore I have enjoyed and benefited from trying to help him get started on his walk for his cause. I suggest to all wise magicians that if you are feeling a lack in your life find a good cause that gives
meaning to your life and more magic will flow into your life.  May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Magic of Ebb and Flow

Perhaps we are so used to the idea of back and forth, in and out, to and fro, up and down, ebb and flow that we don't realize the magic in it.  But pause a minute and explore this with me.  We use dialogue to discover truth.  We talk things over with our self by saying, "On the one hand...", "But on the other hand..."  We believe that it is good to understand the two sides of an issue.  Sometimes we only see the surface of something.  Sometimes that surface understanding is blah or even negative.  But if we rock or swing back and forth a bit we  can get a different perspective.  We may get deeper into the idea or we may get some needed distance.  If we are in pain we can flow away from that pain to get a bit of comfort or healing.  In fact the idea of ebb and flow is particularly useful when we are dealing with emotional pain.  We may have begun to heal from something.  We have told our story enough times that we are ready to leave it alone and go on.  But we may fall into the trap of "dwelling" on part of our story and re-traumatize our self.  But if we understand how to hold then release, how to ebb and flow, we recognize that it is well to move away from the needless pain.
Ebb and flow is not only useful in emotional healing.  It is also useful in attacking those 'oh so overwhelming' problems or projects we give ourselves. Spring cleaning is terrible is we turn our homes topsy turvy all at once. But if we do one drawer, one cupboard, on closet at a time we get a clean house without too much stress.  Take little bites of a thing.  Go to it, then go away from it.  I suggest to all wise magicians that you play with the idea of ebb and flow to get new ideas, new understanding, new comfort in your life.  May the spark be with you.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Magic of Deep Listening

Deep listening is being able to hear more than the facts that are being put out there.  With deep listening you 'hear between and behind the lines'.  I have spent this last couple of weeks interacting, listening to many people that are not part of the same groups as I am.  They do not buy into the same stereotypes as I do.  They do not use the same slogans or catch phrases in the same way I do.  This has been good for me.  It has enriched my thinking, my heart and my mind.  Some of the people have been family who have been in town to lay  a loved one to rest.  So I have been motivated by love to understand the way they see things. Others have been friends, students or co-workers.  For some magical reason my  ego has not gotten in the way of any of the conversations.  Sometimes this has allowed me to influence the people with whom I have been talking to make decisions that will improve their life.  Remember, one of the ways magic can be defined is an action that brings good into your life.  So I suggest to all wise magicians: deep listening can bring good into your life.  Focus on the person to whom you are listening.  Notice how they use words, the tone of voice they use, what they emphasize, their body language.  Think about why they are telling you what they are.  Think about the timing, about why they chose to say all this at this time.  Think about your own reactions to what you are hearing.
This can bring many good things into your life.  Just listening can develop rapport and the other person may  decide they are your friend.  Even if you don't have favors showered on you, you will still benefit by being open to another person, and to yourself.  So, listen deeply.  May the spark be with you. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Magic of Acccountability

Last week a student who was planning on applying to the nursing program was discussing whether he was ready to take the TEAS(test of essential academic skills).  He was talking about his life and his habits of communication.  I saw a particular pattern that I thought might not be that helpful to him.  He had been telling me how stressed he was and he certainly looked stressed.  When I asked him if this particular habit was working out for him he suddenly changed his whole appearance.  He told me it wasn't and that he planned on changing.  It was amazing how much he changed in appearance and how good he told me he suddenly felt.  He decided to make the decision that was right for himself, not the one he thought someone else wanted him to make.  All I had done was help him become accountable to himself.  But it did seem to work magic in his life.
Some times we get a small or even a large wake-up call.  It is good to stop and listen to that call.  It is not helpful to just go along in the ways we always go if those ways don't work that well.  Only by judging, by being accountable, can we see and make the needed changes.  You can bring magic into your life by training yourself in mindful and purposeful thoughts and actions.  Bother to look at the moon, smell the flowers, tell your family that you love them.  Fix small problems before they become big problems.  Please the part of you that wants fulfillment.  Remember, magic is well formed.  That means that you have to craft, watch over, and nurture your life.  Be accountable for directing yourself towards happiness and goodness.  Make a difference.  May the spark be with you.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Magic of Open-eyed Hope

Open-eyed hope is the opposite of blind hope.  I was taught, when I was working 0n my (unfinished) Master's in Guidance and Counseling, that blind hope is dangerous to us. I was told that people tend to hope the most when a situation is the most hopeless.  But I discovered 'open-eyed hope' the other evening as a way to get a bit more energy when you need to make progress on a creative project.  I made the reasoned decision to hang in there a bit more on something I was doing.  I decided to act as if I had hope of being successful.  By deciding to have hope, I gained energy and made a good deal of progress.  I didn't expect the energy, but I needed it.  I was just experimenting with the idea of 'Hang in there, baby'.  I remembered that poster of a kitten hanging from a branch, kind of in a panic, with the caption of 'Hang in there, Baby'.  A wise cat would have let go and gained solid ground.  This kitten was hanging on because he didn't know what else to do.  I suggest to all wise magicians that when you feel like hanging on is not the best idea but something you have to do, just stop
and think it out. You are free to quit.  To give up hoping or to take a vacation from it at least.  If you choose to hope, choose to hang on just a bit more, things change.  When you choose to have hope and act to make it worth while to do so, the panic will leave.  Having to do something and choosing to do something are very different from each other.  Figure the odds.  Realize that your change of attitude and greater belief in yourself gives you more resources and power than you had before.  The odds are now in your favor.  Blind hope is actually a state of trying to deny that the situation is hopeless.  When you are free to quit or go on the power is all yours.  You can assess where you can get help or decide what to do differently.  That is what goes on with 'open-eyed hope'.  So choose something that is a reasonable thing to hope about, something you desire, that will make your life better.  Then bring that into your life.  May the spark be with you.