I’m not sure if it’s because Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book “Big Magic” just came out or if it’s just getting close to Halloween, but I keep hearing, seeing and saying the word MAGIC lately. Each time that I see it, read it, hear it or say it, I feel myself begin to smile, my heart starts beating just a little bit faster and I know a twinkle is beginning to form in my eyes. No, this isn’t because I actually possess mystical powers in the Harry Potter or Chronicles of Narnia sense, but because I’ve discovered the real-life version of magic and it’s even juicer than the stuff we see in movies or read in books. Before I reveal my big magical secret and divulge how you too can discover magic, let me take you back to my childhood.
When the little blonde awkward adult I am today was a tiny blonde and more awkward child, whose deepest desire was to have magical powers. Being born into a family of librarians and avid readers, my imagination was sparked at a very young age. You’d commonly find me reading late into the night and sometimes even into the wee hours of the morning. All of the adventures I went on through my books consistently held a common theme, there was always some kind of magical or mystical element to the story and its characters. Sometimes I’d find myself so upset that I didn’t have the magical ability to talk to lions and have them understand me or have the power to illuminate my bedroom with the flick of my wrist whiling saying “lumio”, that I’d end up crying to my mother or grandmother about the unfairness of it all. I give you this background context so you know that my quest to find magic in real-life was serious and a life-long pursuit from the time I could read and watch Beauty in the Beast 17 times in a row (Grandma if you are reading this, I bow down to you).
As I began to grow up and experience real-life, from being made fun of because of my crooked nose or being bullied because people didn’t like that I was happy all of the time, I began to fear that magic didn’t really exist at all. This sinking feeling grew when it was time for me to get my first job after the bubble of college and I discovered that navigating office politics and being in a constant state of overwhelm seemed to suck everything out of me. Not too long ago when someone would ask how I was really doing, my common response was saying “haggard” and I wasn’t being dramatic. I felt so utterly tired and like I had drastically aged. Where was my fairy godmother when I needed her?
Just as in all of our favorite fairy tales and Disney movies, magic showed up just when I needed it the most. No it wasn’t in the form of fairy dust or glass slippers, instead it was in a kind conversation, a true embrace and genuine listening ear. I found magic in the small moments and brief interactions that we can so easily take for granted or pass over. Something in me started to change, I started making decisions that had nothing to do with drive and ambition but had everything to do with inspiration and heart. I began to take notice of how it felt to be 100% present in every conversation and how time with friends became so much more joy-filled. I tell you this so you too can find the magic around you and that you can become the magic for someone else. Take the time to truly acknowledge and smile at the stranger in line for coffee in front of you and have authentic conversations with your co-workers and clients. You don’t need to go to Hogwarts to learn how to use magic. As Cinderella says, “have courage and be kind.” That is the purest form of magic that we can give.
Lots of love,