When I was young my life was full of magic. Fairies were real. Impossible things could magically happen and so much of the world around me felt mysteriously unexplainable in the best way. When I started to read independently, my favourite books were full of sorceress’s, wizards, magical realms, grand quests and, most of all, anything was possible. Were you the same?
The invasion of the practical
Of course, like all of us, I had to leave that world behind. When I was a teenager, family life was tough financially and everything was a struggle. I swapped magic for earning money at the corner shop to subsidise the weekly shop. The lesson I learnt was that life is hard and you have to work and push to survive. That if you aren’t careful you will be washed away and everything will be taken away from you. Survival mode was hard wired in me as a way of experiencing the world.
We all leave fairy-land behind
I suspect many of us have this lesson in one form or another as we grow up. Maybe we learn that out value is in the results we achieve. Or maybe we have to look a certain way in order to be ok. Perhaps we leave childhood with the fear that we’ll never know that safety again. In a way there’s a necessary pulling away from fantasy as we live in this modern world. Fairytales and fantasies are all well and good but they don’t pay the bills now do they? Except, somewhere along the way I suspect we threw the baby away with the bathwater.
The Value of Magic
I left university with an excellent degree and joined a Graduate programme with a clear pathway to success. I worked hard. Then I worked harder. I pushed forward, I achieved success…so it worked. But after I had my children, I realised I didn’t want to go back. Even though I had ticked all the boxes and was doing what I was “supposed” to be doing, my appetite for the hustle evaporated. It took me some time to find out what was missing for me and the answer was surprising. What I really needed in order to come home to my truest self was to rediscover a little bit of magic.
Closing your eyes to open your life
Meditation feels like a little bit of magic when you first discover it. Waiting behind your eyes is a window onto all of the activity of your mind. No one else can see it. It’s completely invisible. You never know what’s going to show up and it’s constantly changing. And just like magic it can feel a little bit elusive without the right instructions.
3 Steps to rediscover your magic
So how can you discover the magic that’s waiting behind your eyes? Or how can you reconnect if you drift in and out of making it part of your life? The real magic is that the struggle is just an illusion. Most of the reasons we struggle with meditation are completely made up by our mind and the beliefs we hold. Here’s 3 of them and how you can shift them: 1. Illusion 1: The Empty Mind Ever felt like a meditation failure because you can’t make your mind be still? Good news! Like all the best magic tricks, there’s a counter intuitive answer. To empty your mind you need to stop trying to empty your mind. Yes, I know that sounds a bit back to front. But the science of meditation shows us that you can achieve structural changes in your brain and in how you process stress through meditation. And it has nothing to do with what the experience feels like. Your only “job” in meditation (I see you, goal setters and achievers wanting to know how to succeed!) is to notice when you’ve been distracted by your thoughts. That’s it. No more striving. 2. Illusion 2: The Mountain Top I know the image of meditation is often a monk on a mountaintop. Or at the very least some cool, zen like space where there’s nothing but the gentle waft of scented candles and tranquil sounds. In reality, most of us don’t live that way. Our lives are noisy, busy and messy. And guess what? That’s ok! Often the biggest barrier to giving ourselves space to turn inwards is the busy-ness of our daily life. So how about if it became totally ok for it to still be busy? As nice as a calm and tranquil space can be, you can meditate anywhere: On a train. In your car. In your office chair. Sitting up in bed. And if distractions come, they’re another thing to notice and gently bring your mind back from. One breath at a time… 3. Illusion 3: Ever Expanding Time “I don’t have time for this!” I hear you cry. More good news! You don’t need to meditate for hours on end. You don’t need to find heaps of extra time in your already crammed days. In fact, research shows that micro moments of paying attention on purpose in the present moment (without judging the experience) can be just as effective. For a more formal practice, even 5 minutes a day will make a difference to your mind. Helping you to feel calmer, clearer and less overwhelmed.
Which Illusion strikes a chord for you?
Do any of these 3 feel like barriers for you? Sometimes we’re not even aware of the ways we’ve held a belief about whether something is possible. You might just “have a feeling” that meditation wouldn’t work for you. Or perhaps you tried it and couldn’t make it stick. You can try my 21 Day Stress and Overwhelm Detox if you’d like to find some simple ways to create magic in your life.
"I was able to reach the stillness within me and find both space and clarity for the first time in ages. It has helped me “shed” a lot of unhelpful thinking patterns". - Be. Student , 21 Day Stress & Overwhelm Detox,
Join me for some FREE magic
I love to bring together science and magic. For me, meditation is deeply practical and grounded in neuroscience and psychology. But I also know that even science doesn’t have an answer for everything. You can join me and this months guest expert for a FREE workshop on how exactly Tarot (which seems as magically impossible as it gets!) can actually just be another tool for accessing your true self. I’ll be joined by Tiffany Crosara, an award winning author and Transformation specialist who will be lifting the veil on Tarot and sharing nifty ways to try it. It feels a bit like we get to learn the magicians secrets! I’d love to see you there You can sign up to join us for free here. Until next time, Take care
Laura @ Be. x
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl