• Jesse Williams, LPC-MHSP

Proof that Today is Magical Part 2

Last week, I shared with everyone how a regular day filled with to-do-lists and obligations evolved into the magical day that it was meant to be. How an obligatory exercise time became a beautiful journey that left me feeling fulfilled, recharged, reconnected, and filled with magic. I smelled the moss and connected with the forest. I listened to the breeze and gazed in wonder at nature all around me. I climbed and clawed and bushwhacked and jumped. I crossed creeks and fields and paths and trails. And I was left with a magical day. But what happens when the day is one filled with pouring down rain? Or there isn't a field to go walking into? Or what if your day is filled with so much obligation that the most sunlight you get to experience is on your drive to work in the morning? What if the most "nature" you get to experience is the struggling office plant sitting on your desk that you keep reminding yourself to water? What then?


How do you find the magic in your day? It's all about perspective. Because here's the deal: the magic is already there. It's in the scent of the left overs you just heated up in the microwave. It's in the way you miraculously made it out of the office to pick your child up at the bus stop just in time. It's in the friend that told you to stop by on your lunch break. It's in the breeze that sent shivers down your spine as you ran from your car into the grocery store. It's in the rain that beat on your shoulders as you walked home. It's in the sunlight that peeped through the windows as you woke up, or the moon light guiding your path to your mailbox when you get in from a long shift. It's in the flame of a candle. In the sigh of relief as you lie down in bed. It's in the water you drank as you tried to get in your eight glasses a day or that bite of food you finally got when you took a moment to eat. It's in the fresh autumn air. The bright summer sun. The cold winter mists. The early springtime dew. But how do you connect with it? How do you see it as magical? Just like my walk/exercise that turned into a full blown adventure into nature, it's all in the way we view it. Was I doing a mundane checklist task of getting in some cardio? Yes. But in that moment, I suddenly got the opportunity to see it for much more than that. Something clicked in my brain in that moment. Something shifted. Something changed. But what?

I believe that what happened was this: I allowed myself to break the rigidity of the mundane and embrace the potential and the openness of the magical. I opened myself up to the possibility of something outside of the expected. I allowed myself to see the other side of the coin. I could have stuck with the narrative that "This is boring exercise that I have to do." But instead, in that moment, I was lucky-- my subconscious took the reins, and I saw the other side. Instead of viewing that walk as "exercise," I suddenly saw it as a chance for connection. It was a chance to smell moss. To touch tree bark. To climb to a cave. To catch a view. To hear a turkey.


Now, I'm not suggesting that we must flip the switch into a Polly Anna style attitude, where everything in life is sunshine and rainbows, because-- let's face it-- it's not. That attitude is dangerous, because it can keep us static. It prevents us from growing or changing or trying to heal. If any pain we have is suddenly filtered through rose-colored glasses, we invalidate our own grief processes. We discredit our own traumas. We lessen the power hidden within our struggles. And it is within those struggles that we push towards growth, change, and healing. And besides, if everything is perfectly splendid-- why change anything? Why grow? Why heal? But likewise, how dangerous it is to see the world as solely doom and gloom! How empty does that leave us feeling, when all we see are the traumas, struggles, and grief process? How difficult does life become when we trade out the openness of magic for the rigidity of pessimism? Where every movement in the forest surely hides a pack of wolves waiting to rip us apart. Where every tree creaking is really a tree preparing to fall on us to crush us. Where every kind act from a friend surely must have a secret motive, or where traffic is always terrible and the food is always bland and the air is always too cold and the breeze is always too hot and our very skin is just too uncomfortable. That is some heavy energy that can drain us and leave us exhausted and lacking in faith, hope, passion, love, relationship, enjoyment, peace, and laughs. It's about balance. It's about taking a break from the mundane to bring in some unexpectancy. It's about truly finding the magic. Looking for it. Making it. It's about engaging in those dreaded tasks but also taking five minutes to ourselves to breath deeply and feel the richness of a single moment. It's about tampering our to-do lists with a quick, lively dance as our favorite songs play in our minds.


And if you feel that you are unable to move past the dark, heavy energy of all the traumas or difficulties you've faced, don't despair. That's your healing system, your heart, your mind, your body saying that it's got some energy stuck to it. And that happens! That's why therapists exist. Reach out to one! Let them help you release that energy and move through those blockages. So how can YOU tap into the magic of life? You break up what you expect with something new. You keep yourself open to the power of a mindful second. You bring in appreciation for that next breath you were just able to take on this great blue orb soaring through space. You look for the other side of the coin. You tap into that magic by breathing in openness. By changing perspective. By grabbing hold to balance. By breaking up the mundane and the expected. By holding mindfulness for one moment. By smelling the breeze. By touching the potted plant in the window. By feeling the ground beneath your feet. By feeling water rush over your hand as you wash them.


By being in the moment. By looking for the magic in the moment. By breathing in deeply. By feeling the air flow into your lungs. And by feeling the magic as it spreads through your whole body.


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