My magic castle

My magic castle

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.