“You have forgotten that you are magicians.” – Debbie Rosas, co-creator of Nia
The vast majority of Americans woke up this morning to a world of our own creation which we did not expect to wake up to – no matter what our hopes or fears might have been about the election. We find ourselves on a path to a different future.
I therefore need to give you this foreword to the letter I was already intending to send you:
As magicians, we create what did not exist before. We conjure up our reality in our interior vision, breathe into it our life force, our will, and shazam…. what we want appears.
What we want, what we will. We have just demonstrated that we can will a new reality into existence. Collectively, we are magicians.
Lesser magicians have blurrier vision, weaker will; more potent magicians have a more focused vision of what they want to exist, stronger will to achieve it.
The effect of our magic stems from the smallness or largeness of our view of the good. Fear creates a narrow, crimped view, like putting blinders on a horse so that it can only see what is directly in front.
A fuller, more expanded perspective allows us to see the larger whole, to take more factors into consideration.
Three points to keep in mind about our creations:
- We can always expand our view. When we do that, we make room for more beneficent magic. Sometimes we need to suffer a bit to be able to look at our creation from others’ perspectives; if suffering comes, let us use it to more wisely use our magical abilities.
- Our collective creation consists of myriad individual creations. While we are affected by and contribute to the collective creation, we remain continuously responsible for our individual creations.
- Magic is ALWAYS possible. We create it moment by moment. And there are more forces operating in the universe than we can recognize.
This week is dedicated in our Still & Moving Center almanac to the Path of Kwan Yin, the goddess known throughout Asia for her compassion, mercy and wisdom. Such beings renounce personal salvation, remain outside Heaven’s gates, so to speak, to help the ascent of all other beings in the universe. Whether considered bodhisattvas or angels, Christ-like beings are always present, waiting to be invited into our midst, waiting to help breathe life into our beneficent visions.
I’ve heard that people in positions of great power, who hold even a small amount of openness to the welfare of all, can become – unknowingly, perhaps to themselves – agents of larger forces of beneficence. That is especially true when there is a collective will for the greater good. And that is the American Dream for a freer, happier world.
Whatever we may think of our newest creation, let’s work some good magic.
Here’s the original letter I composed for you last week before momentous events called forth the foreword:
I create my life is by only doing what I want to do. Really. If I don’t want to do something, I don’t do it. I may grumble, but if I am doing something, it’s because I’m choosing it. I may not like some aspects of my life, or recognize how or why certain things are happening, and yet I’m still choosing how I deal with it.
You know what? We All Do What We Want to Do. I’m just coming to realize that.
Talking isn’t doing. Sometimes we talk dreamily about what we wish for. Unless we SEE it and take steps to make that wish a reality, there is no will power bringing our wish into existence. Wishing is different from voting. People in a democracy who vote are more active agents of their own future than those who don’t.
We’ve all met people who are enormously dissatisfied with their job, their marriage or their country. It’s tricky to recognize that we are actually choosing that job, that relationship, every day, every hour, every second we spend in it. We seldom step back and look at all the alternatives that we are actually – if unconsciously – rejecting to stay where we are. We might throw up our hands and say, “Well, if I quit this job, I won’t find another one, and then I won’t be able to pay the rent.” Maybe… but that’s still an option. “If I don’t stay in this relationship, I won’t have a someone to love me.” Maybe… still a choice. Some people even decide to quit their country – or not.
Whenever I hear myself saying that I HAVE TO do something, I catch myself. No, I don’t HAVE TO do anything. Even a person forced into slavery – such as Epictetus, a Greek slave who famously became a respected Stoic philosopher – can choose. Epictetus taught that even though external events might be beyond our control, we still direct our own actions, words and thoughts.
It’s in recognizing our choices that our magic power resides.
Cliff and I watched our long-time employee Brian Mahnken balloon up to a tremendous weight as a young man and struggle with many consequences of that heaviness. What he WANTED, though, was to be a normal weight. Even though he recognized the tendencies coming from his addictive family, he saw his weight as ultimately being a choice. It took many years of dietary wrestling, plus two surgeries, to get himself to a weight that satisfied him. Lonely here on the island, Brian set out with his new, handsome self to find a wife. He carefully crafted on the dating websites exactly what he was looking for in a life partner, as well as the kind of husband he intended to be. When he and Terry discovered each other, Brian got not just a wife, but her whole extended family! Then – try as they might – they couldn’t conceive the children they wanted, so they found a way to adopt a beautiful little girl, Gracelyn, and even managed to be present in the delivery room when she was born. This man sculpts his life events with his will.
What about our ‘negative’ realities? Do we create those? Yes, especially when we don’t realize that we are the authors of our own life’s book. Have you ever tried without success to make someone else happy? Discontented people tend feel that they were given an inadequate role in the book of life. No one else can MAKE us happy. And truly, no one else is responsible for our unhappiness. We are exactly as happy as we want to be. Whenever the blame game happens, it’s because we do not recognize our own power to carve our own today and tomorrow.
Remember in Mary Poppins when the chimney sweep Bert makes delightful chalk drawings on the sidewalk, and then he, Mary, and the children all jump into the gorgeously colorful land he has drawn? We create our picture of reality, and then we jump into our own chalk drawing.
If we see ourselves as downtrodden and beleaguered, and lo and behold, we can hardly make it through our grey, miserable day. If we see ourselves as capable of self-transformation, amazing things are possible.
Young the surfer Bethany Hamilton who lost her arm to a tiger shark, went out surfing again 3 weeks later. She just didn’t stop doing what she wanted. She re-framed a seemingly terrible incident: “I’ve had the chance to embrace more people with one arm than I ever would with two,” and “I’m a reminder for young girls that you can do it if you set your mind to it.”
Even a magician cannot change the laws of the universe. We live in a cause-and-effect universe, and our choices – both personal and collective – have outcomes. However, we can still choose our attitude, and our future choices. When Bethany chose to surf in waters shared by sharks, she took her chances. She couldn’t stop the shark when it suddenly took her arm, and she couldn’t grow it back. But she was heroic and noble in response to her loss. Isn’t it intriguing that she chose to go back out, knowing it could happen again? There’s such a defiance in the human spirit that refuses to be constrained by externals. I love it.
See the video below to glimpse the more inclusive world vision of a 14-year-old slam poet who has chosen her own response to the life-damaging fashion industry rather than merely remaining a benumbed teenage mall shopper. Her vision is the beginning of the magic of re-creation.
We are all magicians, creating and recreating our lives, moment by moment.
PS Reply to tell me how YOU create magic, and about how you choose to respond to what our collective magic has created.