My magic castle

My magic castle

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.