My magic castle

My magic castle

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.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Magic of 'Processing'

I put apostrophes around processing because I am discussing a specific type of processing in this post.  When you take information into your brain through your senses it isn't truly in there in any meaningful way at first.  Until it makes sense you won't remember it, you haven't learned it.  That happens when the information is processed.  Teachers are told that they shouldn't just lecture on and on if they want their students to actually learn the subject matter.  There should be pauses where processing can take place. For example: the students can ask questions, discuss what they are learning, or be asked to put the information into their own words.  In other words, things need to be sorted out and put in their right place in your brain, just like putting groceries away in your kitchen.  This usefulness of  processing, or of taking in information and getting it to make sense, can be very helpful to a wise magician.  For yourself, you can make make sure that you remember more about the new people you meet, you can take away more from training meeting you have to attend, or you can get more out of vacation trips, ( as some examples), if you learn to make it a point to give yourself a chance to process all that sensory input you are dealing with.  When you are reading, stop several times on each page and think about what you have read.  When you are writing something, pause to process the way you are expressing you ideas.  There are numerous times when taking the time to process information will actually speed up the acquisition of information.
Allowing or encouraging others to process what you are communicating to them will make your interaction with others a lot better.  When I am teaching in a one on one situation I watch the eyes of my student.  If the eyes haven't lit up with understanding, I rephrase my explanation rather than going on to another point. I know my student needs to process certain points before I can build on that information to develop the concept more fully.
Years ago I was frustrated by the parent of one of my students.  The boy didn't have an understanding of certain math concepts.  But his mom pushed me to 'just make sure he got his homework done'. I had to be creative in working in the concept for the child that multiplication was counting by twos or threes, for instance.   I knew that he had to have an orderly understanding of basic math concepts before he could master his math homework.
I say to all wise magicians: If you are feeling overwhelmed or fuzz-headed by information, don't despair. It is simply the first stage you are in, you have not yet processed this information.  Find ways to chip away at it, attack it from different directions, come at it again and again.  In time you will find a way to make the important parts of it make sense, and you will have thrown away the parts of it that don't want to fit, at this time, into your mental cupboard. So reach out for information that will help your life, process it so you can use it well, and live a more magical life.  May the spark be with you.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Magic of Facing Up

The first rule of stress management is to come in out of the storm.  When we are near a state of panic we need to first, find a moment of calm.  Until we are able to think a bit clearly we can't do anything to change the situation.  But once we have put the negative thoughts, the worries and anxieties on a shelf or in a box it is amazingly easy to keep them there.  That is when the 'nagger' is a wonderful friend, whether we admit it or not. I have not been very active with my creative writing lately.  I have been more focused on survival and self-help writing.  But I have been feeling that I needed to confront that.  This morning during the "magical first hour"(the way I refer to the time when I am waking up but also aware of the creativity I want to focus on for the day) I did face up to how much I need to get back to my creative writing.  Then I had a couple of ideas about ways I can create time and space in my office or dining room to facilitate that desired writing.  The decision to allow myself to write the fun stuff seemed to give me a magical boost in many ways.  I had more energy for the functional writing and for other life tasks.  I realized this extra energy, this bit of magic had come when I had stopped and confronted the bit of dis-ease I had been feeling from 'ignoring the song my soul wanted to sing'.
So I suggest to all wise magicians that you too, may find a bit of extra life energy by confronting little stressors in your life.  When you face up, you are given the way to solve the problem.  Whether it be in your creative life, becoming more productive in other ways, or in relationships, if you face up to the need for change you will be given the way to make things better for yourself.  Reach out to the magic that surrounds you for help and face up to something.  It will work magic in your life.  May the spark be with you.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Magic is a Verb!

The other day I told some people about my blog and referred to 'magic' as the action of bringing good things into one's life.  Today I was feeling kind of blah, therefore in need of magic, but hadn't decided on any action I could do.  Then I read an e-mail from Rick Hansen about 'taking in the good'.  That is when you focus on a good fact then bring it into your psyche by feeling good about the good fact.  That brought me to several good thoughts and I discovered that the appreciation of the magic around me, in opening up my being to it, had worked magic.  I was feeling pretty good.  Suddenly the thought occurred that 'magic' was both action and being, as is a verb.  I work as a tutor for Community College of Denver.  I prepare applicants to the practical nursing program for the TEAS (test of essential academic skills).  Therefore I often have to point out the functions of different parts of speech, including verbs.  I am now feeling delighted to have a bigger definition of magic.  It is the actions you do to bring good into your life.  Magic is also found when you go into a state of being, when you appreciate that which is around you.  Sometimes, before you are able to act you have to become free of the blahs.  Gratitude and appreciation is a wonderful way to free up your spirit.  So I suggest to all wise magicians: If you are feeling the blahs and don't know how to act to bring good energy into your life, don't act right now.  Pause and open up to the glory and good that is around you.  When Joey, our dog, wanted to go out just before daybreak, I was a bit put out at first, but as I sat in my office chair, waiting for him to come back inside, I saw the eastern sky start to get some color.  I realized Joey had given me a gift.  I really do love to watch the sun rise.  But I almost missed it this morning.  Magic is all around us if we let it in.  May you be able to act to bring magic into you life.  May you be able to be to let magic into your life.  May the spark be with you.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Magic of 'What?'

It is very useful to pause every once in a while and use the magic of 'what'.  As in "What is going on here?","What is this person really trying to say?", "What am I thinking or feeling?", "What can I do about this?",
"What are people trying to get me to do?".  If you do this from time to time you may be amazed.  Politicians put out slogans that don't actually mean anything but their followers blindly accept them as sacred truth.  Sometimes even a wise magician may be buying into a slogan or bit of dogma, but if they ask what is beneath it they may find ways to grow in understanding.  In personal communication it is important, also, to wonder ' what is going on?'.  Anger may seem to be what is being expressed but the speaker actually is feeling afraid and vulnerable. In the public realm people don't always vote for their self-interest, it seems.  But they feel a need to lean on their authorities so they don't question.  They vote as they are told.  It is hard for people to balance their sense of self as an individual with their sense of self as a member of a group.  Only by asking 'what?' can a person identify their values and learn to move towards a satisfying life. People are as happy as they choose to be, but they don't always realize what choices they are making.  I suggest to all wise magicians that you get to a safe and comfortable place and play with the magic of 'what'.  You may be delighted with what you discover.  May the spark be with you.