My magic castle

My magic castle

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.