My magic castle

My magic castle

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.