Magic + Makers
Repeat After Me: I Can Make Magic When I Prioritize It
“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it” – Roald Dahl
I rolled over in the unfamiliar bed, the spring sun was just rising, and birds were clattering in the pine trees outside the window. I smiled at the nuance of staying the night at a friend’s house as an adult. Adult women should have sleepovers with their friends more often. With that thought and the fancy-free feeling of the previous night, I tiptoed into the kitchen to get the coffee going.
My friend’s kitchen in the morning is washed in warm light, filtering through white linen curtains, warming her pots of flowering succulents and the bouquets of flowers she buys for pure pleasure. The moment hit my soul more than it did my eyes, and I found myself curled up in her plush chair, wishing for a kitchen like hers.
I felt a heaviness about my own life and home when I compared it to hers. Her house, which is decorated with bits-and-bobs, none of which match, but all of which belong. This is not a woman who shops at big name stores, but rather dives into thrift store shelves with the trained eye for marooned treasures. Because of this, her house has a feeling of coziness, like each object exudes a feeling – a gratitude for being rescued and given a beautiful home full of light.
So, as I sat alone while my friend slept, sipping my coffee with the homemade coconut-cashew milk, and snapping photos of her white flowers in the morning light, I felt a sudden jolt of need and realization.
I can make magic when I prioritize it.
But let me backtrack first. The last few months have been full of heavy-lifting. I have been doing personal growth work that has felt, at times, like dragging a tractor with a rope. It has been exhausting. My tears have been frequent. My confusion, fear, and feelings of lack have been constant, unwanted companions. I am building a new life from scratch, I am leveling to a higher version of myself, and it is not easy work.
I have shut myself in my house, curtains drawn, feeling like the walls are leaning in. I only realized the danger of my mental state when it all felt so heavy I had the urge to go to sleep and stay there. But when I sat in my friend’s kitchen, relishing the slow beauty of the early morning hours, and watching the steam of my coffee swirl in a beam of light, I knew I wanted that feeling forever. And I realized, in stark comparison, that I had been prioritizing my fear and feelings of my own lack, and inability to change my life, instead of prioritizing joy and magic.
I had even let that heaviness spill into my home, where things started to pile up, and I left the curtains down so that I could sulk in the darkness alone, instead of seeking the light. It’s so incredibly easy to live from this place of fear, stress, and darkness. For most people, myself included, this emotional state is the default. Fear is heaped upon us by others; we live in a world that exudes feelings of greed and lack, and we are getting more disconnected from people in the digital age. We are becoming more and more like marooned treasures ourselves, on a lonely island of our own creation.
It can be a whirlpool of darkness if you let it be.
But there are 2 ways I’ve found to create connection and consciousness in my life and pull myself out of struggle.
1) Reconnecting with your state of magic:
“More than anything else, attention is an act of connection” – Julia Cameron
With all of my being, I believe magic is found by simply observing the ordinary. You can be blown away by the stupendous, of course, but it’s having active attention and presence in your ordinary life where magic is revealed to you.
But you must be prioritizing magic over fear and hopelessness, otherwise the magic wilts.
I couldn’t remember the last time I allowed myself to sit in the morning and watch the sun rise, and the crystals of ice sparkling in the air, making diamonds from scratch. I couldn’t remember the last time I invited beauty into my home with plants and pieces of decor, curated with love. Sure, I did this when I was out of my element, perhaps on vacation, or visiting friends or family, but I rarely brought magic into my everyday life, into my own four walls.
Instead, my house was beginning to feel like a dreary, dark and unkempt basement, where I would spend my days toiling away at work that was weighing on my heart. I let my fear be my constant companion, and I shoved magic and joy away, believing that work and productivity were more important. But when I sat and let myself observe the magic my friend had spun in her home, the warmth of the life that was contained in her four walls, I decided I needed to save myself. I needed to reconnect with the magic and abundance of my own life. I was ready to throw back the curtains.
And so I planted seeds for potted flowers. I bought succulents and incense. I stopped hitting snooze on my alarm so I had time to sit peacefully and drink my coffee before the business of the day, journal at hand. I cooked myself nourishing food and made moments feel decadent by lighting candles, turning off the TV, and leaving my phone in the other room. I made eye contact with my husband, asked him about his day in depth – not just a mandatory recap. Not every day can be an exclamation mark experience, but every day can be a small dedication to the glory of being human.
2) Making time for play and joy:
Recently, Lulu, founder of Of the Wolves, posted on Instagram about a question Shaman Durek posed at a gathering: What do you do for play, joy, and self-preservation? Lulu describes her sudden shock when she realized she didn’t have an answer and was then struck with the realization of how she used to prioritize those things and had recently been so caught up in work/life/finances/stress of being a human being, that joy had slipped to the wayside. When we prioritize joy, play, magic, and self-preservation, we come back to ourselves.
I believe this is our most natural state of being, a state of joy and abundance. Yet, there is a never-ending stream of things that try to knock us off course, into fear. But maybe that is the point. To come back to ourselves over and over. To commit to ourselves, like lovers, to a state of joy, bliss, and abundance. To commit ourselves to magic. I have, over the years, allowed myself to drift into a sea of hollowness, regret, and fear. I got knocked off course by one thing or another – disillusionment at work, failed relationships, feelings of unworthiness – and instead of course-correcting, I just kept marching into fear.
I stopped prioritizing magic and started prioritizing what I believed the world wanted from me, what I should be doing, what kind of a woman I must be in order to be loved. I refused to write unless it was for work. I stopped creating. I numbed the creative urges inside myself, that were screaming for the magic of the universe and drowned them out with alcohol, food, and stress. It was only when I started to indulge the wildness, the magic, the creative impulses inside me, that I started to live.
And on that morning at my friend’s house, I realized I had been drifting off course again, into that familiar, but a dangerous sea of despair. It was only when I started to indulge the wildness, the magic, the creative impulses inside me, that I started to live. I dedicated an hour each week to painting, or writing for fun (even if it sucked), and going outside alone and taking photos. Anything that sparked my creative pleasure, without a purpose or point aside from honoring myself. That hour a week turned into thirty minutes a day, then an hour. My priorities started to shift as I realized how much good this brought to all aspects of my life – not just my mental health.
But most importantly it allowed me to see each day as an opportunity to live more abundantly, in my magic. Instead of waiting for the weekend, for more money, for a better job or a new relationship. I stopped waiting and started living.
So, it is with these words that I ask you, are your prioritizing magic, or are you prioritizing fear?
If it’s the latter, I beg you to throw back the curtains and start letting some light, magic, and joy into your life, or risk being lost at sea forever.
Because as Roald Dahl said, “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
It’s time to start believing again.