Not long ago someone was asking me about my work, and I mentioned my book, Finding True Magic. The subtitle is a long one (Transpersonal Hypnosis & Hypnotherapy/NLP) so I didn't mention it. We were just having a casual conversation, so I assumed I didn't need to go into detail. But my new friend asked, "What's the true magic? How can I find it?"
Such an innocent question, and I was a little bit startled by its directness. Yet every one of us wants to know: where can I find the magic in life?
Every one of us instinctively knows that there is a real magic that can be found and known. It is a true experience that goes above and beyond the tricks and gimmicks we usually associate with the word "magic." But what IS the True Magic, and where can we find it?
We are the True Magic. The largely untapped, unappreciated, magnificent qualities of our being are the True Magic. We are part of life, and life is a constant expression of the magic of existence. As my first Buddhist teacher, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi said, "The world is its own magic." The challenge is to recognize this expression, call it forth, and live it. The challenge is to recognize that True Magic is the most natural thing in the world!
But how do we do this?
Every great philosophical question is like a multi-faceted gemstone. You can approach it from any angle and find a unique perspective that also encompasses the essence of the entire stone.
Approaching (and ultimately, finding) True Magic works just like this. It's why my hypnotherapy certification course encompasses 6 intensive phases of personal study, and over 30 different techniques for working effectively with your mind's natural ability to transcend its sad old tired habits and experience the magic of its naturally brilliant expression.
The True Magic is simple, but there are myriad ways to approach it and just as many ways to experience it. Some of these may be familiar to you. I mention them to you again because they take practice . . . and with practice, they will work for you.
4 Things You Can Do to Connect with True Magic
1. Recognize that you are separate from your thoughts and feelings.
See if you can stop calling them 'mine' (my feelings, my thoughts) and just see them as objects in awareness: "I am noticing a fearful thought in awareness, and a fearful sensation in the body."
This may seem weird, robotic even, but you do it to take the power of persuasion away from negative thoughts and the emotional reactions they cause. You do it to gain perspective on the expression of Life — of True Magic — as it moves through your mind and body. You can call your feelings and thoughts "mine" but they really belong to Life, don't they? And Life is no more "ours" than are the stars or the moon or the ocean tides. Now . . .
2. As soon as you notice a negative or troublesome thought/feeling state, try to sense the age (and victim posture) of the "you" who is affected by that state.
Now consciously, slowly, shift to a very upright, open physical posture. Intensify your awareness of your body and your breath. Look around you, take in your physical environment. It may seem like a small shift, but this kind of mindfulness is the beginning of finding True Magic, instead of always hoping that the "same old tricks" will finally pan out.
This shift in your posture — a posture of mind as well as body — is a powerful moment of choice. You're choosing to live in the Higher Self vs. the Lower Self. These "selves" are made up of identifiable qualities and attitudes. You're making this shift when you choose:
* curiosity over defensiveness
* purposeful intention over reluctant obligation
* courage and faith over fear and mistrust
To begin seeing through the "old tricks" of the egoic mind, and to begin making the shift toward True Magic by living in the Higher Self, try this:
3. Affirm that you accept yourself fully and completely no matter what negative judgmental thought or discouraging feeling is present in your awareness.
Once a man came to see me who was having a terrible time of it. He had deep resistance to feeling kind or compassionate toward himself. Like so many of us, he had a habit of being hard on himself and he just couldn't seem to let up.
Yet somehow I also sensed that this man felt that his self-hatred was also performing an important function — that judging himself harshly somehow canceled out his shortcomings and personal errors. Whether or not these shortcomings actually existed was entirely beside the point. He believed in them, so there was no use arguing. Instead, I asked him to try the Hands Over Heart method.
You can do this with your own negative thoughts and feelings. Use the Hand Over Heart Technique, and see if it's helpful to you. Many of my clients and students (including the man who had a habit of self-hatred) find that it's an excellent method for connecting with the True Magic of your being. And that's a connection that paves the way for genuine compassion: If you feel resistant, if you have trouble acknowledging your redeeming qualities, notice that this resistance is simply a disguised form of self-condemnation that keeps you struggling inside.
The Hands Over Heart Method
- Just 5 times a day for about 20 seconds, hold your hands over your heart. Breathe with a soft belly and soft shoulders, then bless that part of you that feels fear. Bless the one who inspires the fear. For 'fear' you can substitute any negative emotion — jealousy, resentment, etc. or whatever you may be battling with.
As this man held his hands over his heart, I explained that the ironic secret to recovering our sense of well-being and power — to experience True Magic — we have to surrender to the negative "truth." We fear that our worst opinions about ourselves are true, or they wouldn't hold so much power for us. But . . .
4. When we give up the struggle of avoiding a possible negative "truth" about ourselves and affirm self-love in spite of it, we turn the whole game on its head.
Repeating this affirmation, with your hands over your heart, can put a stop to the inner war:
"Even though I am completely full of negativity (characterize it according to your particular story), I accept and love myself fully and completely.
This act of mercy and compassion can cleanse you of fear and self-hatred . . . if you practice it!
It's a simple gesture of self-healing love, and it has the power to give you a glimpse of True Magic.