Most people think magic is weird, unreal and for fairytales. It is not. Magic is within your reach. In fact it?s very real and very common.
Suddenly they all lift me up, after a crazy war dance I instigated. Picture by Karin Weeda, 2010
A magical life?? WTF? I know, what is magic? Is flying magic? With a plane, it is not. Well for Medieval men it would be. Is flying without a plane or any instrument magic? For birds it?s not. And for humans? Who knows. We may get there. Is a rainbow magic? A drop of water? Life itself? The closer we look, the more magic reality becomes, even if it is as it is.
Magic is, for me, the realization that so much more is possible, so much untried, unseen, not believed possible too. Magic is, for me, reality as it is, a little twisted so we experience the rabbit hole to Wonderland and may even can go there. Go there with both feet sturdy on the ground. For we cannot force magic to happen. But we can help magic to unfold in our lives, just by opening up to experiences outside our current boundaries.
We all know some of these stories. One day a normal girl, the next drinking champagne with the Jet Set in Monaco. One day deep in the bush in Africa you meet a friend, you sadly lost touch with and never expected to find again. One day your most loved project seems dead, the next a strange twist or gift brings it more than alive again.
Miracles happen when we create space within ourselves and in the world. Improving our own life and, if you like, that of many others might be less hard work and more fun than we ever imagined.
Now here are 10 ideas, that may help you to unlock that magic for yourself and others.
1. Wonder. Wonder as much as you dare.
?I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.? Hafiz
It doesn?t say wonder as much as you can. I don?t know your limits, neither do you. The nearer limits are those you have chosen yourself. Why? Wonder about them? Wonder why others cross them and dance with shamanic healers on a mountain top half the world away or are having smoking sex in groups? And then before you travel there, also ask why perhaps, for you, not joining that group sex is the better fitting choice? I can?t tell. I can?t even tell why your hands are working, why you mother loves you, why we still drive cars on petrol, when all the damage they do and the alternatives are already known. Question through all your assumptions. Ask the questions that lurk in the shadows and nobody around you dares to ask? Why the are we doing things this way, when we already know that way is better? What is moving everything? What makes me come alive? What doors can I open today?
Go. Go wonder like a child, ask why? a thousand times. Wonder like a monk full of careful focus and attention even, no especially when you sweep the floor or do the dishes. Wonder like an artist, what more can I make of this? Express that sentiment in any art form. Or go Zen on this, the absolute beginners mind in everything you do, from opening a door to embracing your partner when you meet again.
Miniature magic on the street. (Berlin?) Photo by F.J.
2. Connect. Open up to what is.
?It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tired into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.? Martin Luther King Jr.
Connect deeply. Connect deeply with your body. If you do, you will feel the energy of life stream through it. You might get overwhelmed by gratitude. Gratitude actually could be a whole point in this list by itself. Connect deeply with your feelings, your higher purpose. No words needed there. Connect deeply with friends & family. They are human beings that want to be seen, known and share. Believe in them, for your believe is part of their growth. Connect deeply with nature. Go there. Listen to the wind. Watch leaves move on a plant. For an hour. Do what helps to feel part of a forest, a river, the universe. We are part of nature. Our disconnectedness often hurts in ways we are not aware of. I just feel we are part of a magical story.
When we reconnect it?s like small rivers find possibilities to stream again. And that feeling, that can be magic! And to be honest, it can hurt like hell. And that is a good thing. For when you have been disconnected too long, you get an overload. Some may even start to feel (again) and up comes what has been suppressed. Allow it, listen to it, follow its guidance. For this too can be healed. And the journey of the healing is magic.
3. Seek Flow. Play with the borders.
?You are free in everything you can play with.?
Liberate yourself by playing with what feels frozen within and outside of you. It may hurt, but awareness and acceptance are the first two steps towards freedom. Don?t push it, and don?t stay safe!
Flow is your optimal state of being in action. You find it when you dance on the thin line of doing things that are too scary and things that are too boring. When you are active on this water line between the dull sand of the beach and the dangerous waves of the sea, all kinds of discoveries start to happen. You learn new things fast. Like a child you can have fun with the waves and run back to the beach screaming of pleasure with each bigger wave striking out to you. And when you stop playing you may look again, and it?s like it has become ebb. You?re so much farther into sea territory than before. You?ve conquered space, with no struggle, no fighting, no freezing up. You?ve played with the situation.
So what makes you flow? Sports, social action, games, dancing? Seek big, seek in the small. Play with how you greet people. Play with how you talk to people. Play with the tension of being too truthful to your boss and to easy on him or her. Not as a challenge or from a grudge. Seek to play with the borders where ever you meet them with the exited child attitude, for no one can be mad at things tried out in innocence. And be easy with saying sorry*.
*) I say sorry a lot. I make a lot of mistakes. And I get away with a lot. It?s like being a child learning to walk, you fall, you bump, you cry, you try again, no harm done. So much so, that when I say, ?Then, why don?t you take the same space as I?? people tend to answer, ?Ah, but you Floris, you have that space.? They don?t know what I did to obtain that space. I found I just allowed myself to have it. There?s others who take such space that I?m jealous of. So then I know where I?m still holding back.
4. Give. What a thing: giving pays off.
?No Act of Kindness is ever wasted.?
I know a guy who lived for three years without money. And he was giving away a lot too. How? Everywhere he came, he gave, left places better then where he entered. He helped with dishes, washing, moving, painting, listening. So he became a house caretaker that was asked for. And while giving, he learned plumbing, carpentry, coaching, and 30 other jobs at a proficient level. He gained a large network. And he gained so much confidence and trust, he is himself now a trusted handyman annex life coach with a large network, living with the girlfriend he found along the way in a beautiful apartment.
Giving is not having less after; giving is enriching yourself with important experiences and learnings. Giving is realizing how much positive validation matters for people you meet. Giving is liberating for the heart it helps to create ties and adds to your community. Do not give to expect anything back, just do it as an action that feels the right and best thing you could do.
Perhaps to nicest way to invoke this magic in your life through giving is RAOK. Random Acts Of Kindness. Get touched, positively chilled and enthralled by stories of RAOK?s. Or search the web for suggestions about what you could do. Here are a few starter ideas: Free hugs. Send secret positive notes to neighbours. Secretly pay the bill for someone in the cafe where you are sitting. Help an elderly with her shopping. Clean up some rubbish in your street and make a piece of art. Guerilla knitting around trees. Guerilla gardening to beautify ugly spots. Street party to get to know your neighbours. There?s even a little book with 365 ideas by Danny Wallace, founder of the Karma Army.
Festivals have become places where we reconnect to the magic we lost in our over organized society. Photo by F.J.
5. Follow a Star. Live with purpose
?Life is a mystery and you have a purpose.?
Trust the quote above as a fact of life. Accept we can?t understand it all. Then seek what you truly add. Take some time out during dark winter days or episodes of rotten weather and feel what?s stirring in your deep. Dare to wonder about issues like: What?s my unique role? What do I add, wherever I come? What?s my gift? And I how can I put it to use? Miracles will follow & ambitions fulfilled.
And if you think you have no gift, here?s the magic, trust me on this: any weird part of your personality is somewhere else an attribution. I have been hired and paid to be an asshole, to be lazy, to not know, to provoke high authorities & to disturb the way things are and to fail, all with purpose. How? Consider this: Asshole, read ?test actor for managers in training?. Lazy, read ?love to invent ways to do stuff with less effort?. To not know, read ?coach with questions?. Provoking and disturbing, read ?provocative event facilitator?. And to fail, read ?making daring-to-fail for others acceptable in their growth process?.
Being rewarded for being silly as MC when I provoke a speaker to release the mike when her time is up. Photo by Rene Wouters 2013
You are of value by being different. You add to the whole by being you, even or especially when you embrace your weak sides. On the other hand when people say your are good at something a lot and you?re thinking there is nothing special about it. Trust them. That?s your natural gift at work. It comes easy to you, even when you don?t understand, don?t sweat and don?t work for it. Enjoy you have a gift.
And you have a purpose. The world needs what you have to offer. The trick is in the matching the two.
6. Mystery. Embrace your mysteries.
?It is only through mystery and madness that the soul is revealed? Thomas Moore
The dominance of the rational outlook of science on the world has taken away much mystery. Sadly it also made us careful not to sound crazy when we do meet something out of the ordinary.
Did you ever have an unbelievable experience? One you keep close and rarely speak about? And that somehow impacted you or even changed your live? You may have gotten help that only could be from ?above? or had lucid dreams that told you things that changed the way you see your life,. You may have seen, been supported or met people in ways that just not seem possible.
Many, many people have similar stories that are out of the ordinary. I call them our mysteriography, our hidden magical biography. The stories in it are very diverse and often strange. Most of us share them with only a trusted few. Be careful too with isharing loudly with too much interpretation: What you think is hearing Angels, Aliens or God could be anything: God, madness, your own brain.
Part of my mysteriography is that I once walked into a bookstore and saw one book, and in a flash I knew immediately : ?Buy this book and your whole life will change in ways you cannot know yet.? I bought the book. It was called ?the Corporate Fool.? and it did change my life. Not so much because of a content (a lovely pamphlet on how to become one), but because I tried to become one, on my own terms and definitions. And just by owning it, in a crazy way, I met my future business partner, who opened doors I couldn?t have opened myself.
What we could do more is two things. To let the experiences be as they are, hard to explain. And to share them more and ask others for theirs. For accepting the mystery, embracing them as they are and sharing them is releasing magic into the world. When wondrous stories start to touch us more often and even accepted, you?ll find that, maybe, more start to happen. For this is something you can and may not control.
Mystery on the ferry docs of Amsterdam. Photo by F.J.
7. Do Wishes. Imagine what you want.
?When you stand behind your wish, the whole universe will conspire to help you make it happen?
?Whether you love or hate ?the Secret? or any ?Law of Attraction? stuff, when you imagine what?s possible and follow opportunities that arise in the right direction, you are doing half the work.?
I myself have big doubts about the whole ?you create your own reality? dogma, as if everything is makeable, or all people who get cancer secretly wished it upon themselves. If you believe it, than go fly without any means. But does it matter if the Law of Attraction is a nice a fairy tale? Shit happens. So whether bad luck is real or the product of your subconscious, don?t worry about that. ?Worrying is praying to what you don?t want.? as a guru once said. On a practical here and now basis though, it does have some down to earth merit.
If nobody knows where you?re heading or what you are dreaming of, how can they help you with the next step? Life is so much more enjoyable when you go for it. Share where you?re headed. You just might succeed, not because of the Law, but because you opened up to others, to opportunity and to life as it comes.
It is the explorers that discover the new lands. It is the dreamers that discover new possibilities. It is those that care, and act upon it, that open doors to new lands. If you trust that something will happen, you?ll be ready the moment that something actually happens. And even when you?ve prepared the ground, that something still might come out as a miracle.
Knowmads student is queen for a moment. And she get?s love letter from the school being read to her. Knowmads is a experimental school, breaking many rules of the dominant educational system. Photo by Johannes Hoffenreich.
8. Be the Change. Build a better world.
?Do you remember when you were young and wanted to set the world on fire??
This may sound corny to those who don?t care, or feel that?s hard work. But if you felt something resonating in the previous ones, this is a clear answer to those options. What if we would have half the stuff or income we have now, would use half the power we use now? What if culture wasn?t measured anymore in possessions, but in how much we touch each other?
What if we would focus on the quality of relationships with each other and with the world we live in? There?s so much fun you can have without showing off what you have. Focus on creating art, meet friends for a coffee, walk and think, play outside with your children, etc. And what if it was also about creating a world where that is normal? Ever wondered who have the most magic lives? Traditionally millionaires and stars score nice, but perhaps highest score the Change Makers, they travel the world making a difference. Check their facebook pages and you see nature, purpose, heart warming friends, creativity, and, as it should be, suffering and struggle too. So what do you prefer? Struggling with your Hollywood Heroine addiction, a Boss that always pressures for even higher targets that make little sense except for your bonus or struggling with pollution or injustice and make a difference?
In short, to make the world greener, better connected and friendly is full of great possibilities to have fun, to really make a difference and, if you go social entrepreneurship, make some money too. The best way to start the world, we would love to live in, is to live it, like it?s already here. And then find it is 🙂 ?I don?t want to join a revolution I can?t dance in?, Isabella Duncan once said. So share it with friends. Include them. Waddoyuknow? You just might start of a new cultural thing, bigger than Santa.
9a. Be Crazy. Play with all possibilities.
?If an idea is does not seem absurd at first, then there is no hope for it.? Einstein
When you?ve started to question everything. When you learned to dance in flow. And when you feel free to play with boundaries, it may be time to go a little crazy. Start investigating untried possibilities.
Many great ideas sounded absurd when first uttered. Lets sail across the world, lets go to the moon, let the people vote, let women vote etc. Only afterward it may make sense. And then some go from absurd to dangerous (nuclear power is safe; yeah right!?) But once followed, they changed the face of this world. So here?s to the crazy ones..
Me becoming a Corporate Fool put a lot on its head. Business wise it was not the smartest job title ever. But by releasing my inner fool, I found so much freedom, so much wisdom stored in being intuitive, playful and provocative (in a compassionate way!!) that I learned an amazing lot in a very short time. How to read people. How to lighten up a room. How to play with stuck situations. How to make a difference and how not to make one. I became magic to others. Because I learned to listen to more hidden signals than most people perceive (remember no 2. Connect?).
So what absurd ideas that might make a difference, would you think work and investigate? Here are some that have been tried out and worked. Magic! Have no policemen, but clowns operate and traffic guidance on cross roads. (Bolivia and Iceland) Put homeless people in empty homes for free and, lo and behold, you have way less costs. (Utah) Instead of more punishment, give Germany a lot of money to build up after WW II. (Marshall plan) Liberate your country through non violence. (Gandhi in India). So what seemingly ideas would you like to see become true? When your laughter charkra starts to tickle, when you start to smile alone, when you get an possibility rush, when you start imagine all kinds of approaches to make it real, you know you?re there.
And when you fail? Fail, fail, fail. Fail some more and then write the hilarious real life story about it and win on the sales of that one.
My own Sound of Music moment in Austria. Photo by ?
9b Be Crazy. Do the opposite.
?You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven.? Jimi Hendrix
For the more advanced: don?t try this at home, when you are not ready for this or don?t have a friend or mentor close by: Live Upside Down, Back to Front.
The Opposite, of what you believe, is also true. Anger begets anger? Forget it, sometimes a good fight is the more liberating freeing path. Much of peacekeeping, especially the enforced kind, might actually be a very good way to keep pestering resentments burning. Asking for money from participants for workshops? Pay them for showing up and thank them for their contribution to your personal growth.
In certain Native American tribes they have Heyoka?s, a kind of official village fools. Some of these jesters really live this principal in a deep way. They will wear summer clothes in winter, and the other way around. And they will feel cold in summer and warm in winter. When you walk this path, such things can happen. I once was shivering from cold in a sweat lodge, a very weird experience. And it really makes you wonder about physics and the human mind. Others will do everything backwards, from walking to daily rituals. Benjamin Button would be proud.
So turn convictions, routines, rituals on their head and see what comes out.
What will happen if you start living this way? A lot of things you believed in, will be shattered. You will get into trouble. You will whack you head for trying this. And then slowly, possibly, new visions and awarenesses arise from the ashes. How powerful and magic is a being free of the ?way we do things around here?. You?ll be able to read people in an instance. And you?ll be considered mad, which is the regular way to deal with those we don?t understand. It?s your choice. I didn?t say magical was more happy. Walking the Path of Magic is deeper, wiser, more aware and more alive.
One Final Word: Love
?I?ve tried reason. I?ve tried adaption and conformation. One clear lesson: it hurts.?
Currently I am tied to home, due to a inflammation that only heals when I rest, rest a lot. I am full of gratitude, even flabbergasted, from the gifts of help and warmth I receive these days. From a student running into and out of my house, just to give a hug, to other students (without anyone asking them) coming to cook for me. People offering healing sessions, flowers, food, books. I am stunned. Or as a friend said: ?Clearly, Floris, accept this. You must have done something right.? I am harvesting what I sawed.
The path of allowing magic to happen is all about preparing the fields and sowing the seeds that make it possible to happen. And at the same time, not expecting anything in return. And if there is one big lesson that pervades all others, it is love. When we fall in love, we see somebody?s biggest possibilities. When we allow love to stream through our body the world adds in colour and richness. When we give with love, the gift gains in quality. Food made with love has this undefinable extra that one can taste. Being present with love is sensing all of life is magical as it is. Just you sitting somewhere reading these words. Small black shapes on white. Small black little shapes in a row that have meaning. Something is present due to these black little shapes. Words. You breathing. Breathe. Gently. Isn?t it wonderful?.awe.
The whole adventure of bringing more magic in your life has never been about gaining something. It is about opening up to what more is possible, within all the colours of this one word; love.