Updated: Mar 30, 2021
Has your life gone from “Wow, look at that face in the clouds!” to “All I want to do is stay in bed when it’s cloudy like this”? Has the adventure you lived when you were a child slipped away into the world of the mundane?
As adults, we typically become sedentary and begin to lose the magic we had when we were young. Our life goes from a moment to moment adventure to slowly and systematically becoming conditioned to believe that the "real" magic lies ahead of us when we achieve certain goals, have a certain identity, or enough material possessions to wow our neighbors. In other words we lose sight of Life’s intrinsic magic, which is always available, by believing in our false sense of identity and placing our attention on the future.
The problem with believing in our false identity and future happiness is that goals, identity, and possessions, typically lead to temporary fulfillment based mainly on the views of others. While we know it is impossible for everyone to have the view of us that we want to have of ourselves, the collective dream of becoming someone that “has it all together” is so strong that we continue to try no matter what.
Eventually we become gravely disappointed. But having already given our power to the false dream of approval, we try even harder to be “good enough.” It becomes a no win situation with no way to live the magic that was once readily available. We are caught in regrets of the past and become anxious about the future while the present is overlooked.
So now what? How do we escape this trap and open to the magic of Life once again?
Over the years, as I have gotten lost in the false dream of approval, I have discovered there are things I can do and ways I can be which help part the clouds of confusion and expose the magic of Life once again.
Try the following exercises and see for yourself how you feel after a month. They are divided into two categories. The first three exercises help eliminate old patterns and make room for the benefits of the last three.
Refuse to engage in gossip of any kind. There's nothing magic about gossip. In fact Don Miguel Ruiz (author of The Four Agreements) calls gossip the black magic of our time. It is wounding to yourself and others since it is based in judgement. It leaves the door open to fighting demons which otherwise may not have gotten in. It pulls us away from the underlying truth of what is and replaces it with a cloak of opinions based in the past and future.
Excuse yourself from excessive talk about illness. Focusing on what is wrong with our bodies only tends to reinforce the breeding ground for other illnesses to manifest. It clouds our ability to see the wholeness which underlies an outward condition.
Stop watching the evening news. Not only is it grossly disproportionate to the good news happening around us, it leaves an impression in the mind which alters our consciousness toward negativity as we sleep.
Write three new gratitude's each day. This will program your mind to start scanning for positive things in your world. Currently, we are programmed to look for more negativity than positivity.
Stop and enjoy something ordinary. Taking a fresh look at things like the clouds, a bird, or a flower, will bring you into the present moment and expose things you have never noticed before. You will discover ongoing miracles that are unfolding right before your eyes.
Looking at a mirror, gaze deep into your eyes for 60 seconds each day (twice a day if you can) while asking silently or out loud “Who is looking?” Pondering the nature of the “self” that is looking may lead you to some very interesting places which open the mystery of Life in a new way.
By no means have I mastered the art of being present. There is much to be spoken of beyond this gentle introduction, but make no mistake, these are powerful exercises to begin the journey. Have fun with this and let me know how it goes.