This is the post excerpt.
My affinity for magic dates back to the first time I saw David Copperfield perform on television. In 1981, he made an airplane disappear. In 1983 he made the Statue of Liberty disappear. In 1984 he flew over the Grand Canyon.
He made the impossible seem possible.
I loved that.
And since it is a child’s nature to be curious, to be inspired and to dream, David Copperfield provided all of that with each appearance, or should I say disappearance, on television.
Something happened as I grew older.
I would watch a magician perform, or just anyone perform a magic trick for that matter, and I would clamber to try and figure out how it was done.
I would go to the library and check out books that shared magic secrets to learn how to do the trick.
I would then practice a magic trick over and over again. I would share these tricks with my family and friends. I would record myself on an old camcorder doing my own magic shows.
I wanted to be David Copperfield.
The more I did this, and the more I shared my magic tricks with others, the more I realized how hard it was to sustain people’s level of wonderment and awe.
How did you do that??? Quickly turns into…tell us how you did that!! I need to know how you did that!
It was almost as if wonderment and awe turned into frustration and angst.
As if magic was only meant for people to find answers and reasons.
What happened to wonderment and awe?? What happened to inspiration and dreaming??
What happened to that kid who was glued to the television with the feeling that the impossible was possible?
As I approach the ripe old age of 44 I desire to be that kid again who wants to be amazed. Who wants to see the wonder in things. Who wants to believe in magic.
As we get set to begin a new school year, I seek to bring back magic.
There is magic all around us. We could benefit from taking a step back to be amazed. To find that wonderment and awe.
We don’t always have to know the answers to everything…sometimes it’s just great to feel the magic and move on.
Such is the lesson of magic.
**This blog is dedicated to my son, Carter, who turns 13 years old today. I am constantly in a state of wonderment and awe by you. Keep making your magic, Carter.
You deserve it!
She deserved that.
Well, he probably deserved it.
How often do we try and accept an understanding of something by simply placing a “deserve” stamp on it?
My contention is that no one deserves anything.
What we receive is what we put out. And what we put out is our choice and our choice alone.
To contend that someone deserves something is to ignore the idea that not so great things happen to people who make good choices and that great things happen to people that make poor choices. Either way you might say that some didn’t deserve what it is that happened while others did deserve what happened.
However, if we look at things from the perspective of there are things that ARE within our control and things that ARE NOT within our control, and either way it is ours to respond to it or not to, then we absolve ourselves of the “deserving factor” and place things firmly in our hands to make the necessary choices to get us to where we ultimately want to be.
I’ve read that Event + Response= Outcome
The only part of this equation that is within our control is the “response.”
Within this variable is the secret to understanding that we don’t deserve anything. We create it.
Know your response and you’ll know your outcome.
And that outcome is yours to own.
Whether you deserve it or not.
Such is the lesson of deserving.
There’s a satisfaction to reading those two words.
The idea that something has a conclusion.
We are comfortable with finality.
I wonder why that is. I wonder why we are so eager to get to the end. And I really wonder why we sometimes race to get there.
What I’ve come to understand is that there are no endings. Nothing has a finality. And in some way that’s extremely discomforting and in some way it brings a tremendous amount of solace.
We are approaching what is known as “the end” of the school year.
There’s a sense of accomplishment in this completion and a feeling of arrival.
And then there’s the “what now?”
My contention is that there are no endings…only continuations.
So what now?
The “what now” is our acceptance of how we take the things that we learned, felt, were inspired by, were challenged by, understood and didn’t understand, made us feel satisfied and all at the same time left us wanting more.
And then we run with it.
There are no endings. Only continuations.
Everyone we come across leaves a piece of themselves with us. School years, like relationships, have no end.
It’s all just one big continuation. Meant for us to learn and write our story without ever having to write the words “The End.”
Which makes me feel like I should’ve appreciated more the “To be continued…” that would sometimes appear at the end of an episode of my favorite TV show.
Because in the end, everything is a continuation.
Such is the lesson Of Endings.
Reality is something you have to face.
Reality can slap you in the face.
Reality never seems to be something we seek, or desire to be in.
We’d rather escape reality.
Have you ever heard anyone say, “How great is reality?!?!?”
There’s even an expression, “The sad reality is….”
No one ever says, “The happy reality is…”
Welcome to the real world.
Such a depressing pool of unsatisfying emotions that we are “required” to swim in.
Unless we consider who shapes our reality?
For everyone who cares to dream about what might be there are the reality-shapers who will say we live in a fantasy world.
But what if our fantasy world is our reality? What if the way we choose to exist is to enjoy the things we want rather than suppress them? What if our reality is fantasy?
The reality is that we are an endless interconnecting system of feelings and emotions that plugs into a miraculous mass of gray matter and a membranous bag of blood.
What we choose to do with that can be nothing short of fantastical.
When we shape our reality, we can experience a world of fantasy that can be both fulfilling and intoxicating.
There’s nothing that this universe has to offer that says that we have to believe solely in something that is grounded in reality. The universe is infinite and mysterious.
And as we exist in this vast and vibrant space, we too can enjoy the reverie of what it has to offer.
If we so choose.
Such is the lesson Of Reality.
Ever since I saw the movie Superman, I’ve wanted to fly.
I would take a red towel and tuck it into the back neck lining of a blue t-shirt and run around the house pretending I could fly like Superman.
At that time, I thought it possible.
Over the years we become more programmed to believe that flying, on our own, is not only an unrealistic expectation, it is a scientific impossibility.
We’re grounded into a belief system that our feet stay firmly planted on this earth and that gravity is a veritable force.
Recently, I’ve come to understand that flight is achievable.
The idea that the essence of our being is not encased in our physical limitations, allows us to truly understand what flying can feel like.
Take this photo:
I took flight.
I launched myself into the air and for those few seconds I felt what it was like to fly. You might even notice the birds in the background. We were on a level playing field…if only for a couple to a few seconds.
That moment is one that I try and replicate when I’m experiencing something new, exciting, exhilarating.
To feel like you’re flying is to understand what it is to be in a suspended state of bliss.
When we capture those moments, those experiences, those timeless adventures is when we understand and feel what it is to fly.
I’ve had more dreams than I can count where I’m flying. And now, as I understand what those dreams were, I translate them to this world. To the world of what elevates us.
We all have wings. We just have to know how to use them.
Such is the lesson Of Flying.
Screw the Venn Diagram.
Who cares how something compares or contrasts to something else or what they have in common?
As if we can only appreciate something once we see how it relates to something else.
We have become embroiled in a series of comparisons which often times lead us down a path of “supposed to” rather than pure wanting desire.
Having appreciation for someone or something is to eradicate comparisons and embrace more the uniqueness of that entity. To discover and experience a newness rather than a replacement for or better version of.
In order to understand this concept better we must ask ourselves the question, “What motivates and inspires us?”
As you consider that question, take a look at this photo:
There is so much beauty. So much to appreciate. So much to be inspired by.
And not for one second do I consider how it compares to anything else. Because the moment I do, it loses its luster. It becomes something that can only be related to something else rather than what it stands for on its own.
So what motivates and inspires you?
For me, it’s the idea of reaching that level of appreciation that can be achieved when we sever comparisons.
Try eliminating the following from your vernacular:
Replace them with:
When we cease to compare and begin to embrace and appreciate, we flood ourselves with gratitude, which is the pathway to happiness.
Such is the lesson Of Comparisons.
Technology puts us in this ubiquitous place.
We are accessible 24/7.
This is a new norm.
But, what if we re-calibrated our accessibility?
What if we commit to being fully present?
What if we channeled our present experiences and only thought about how we were going to enjoy and appreciate them rather than where and how we were going to post about them.
How do we capture moments in a way that allows us to experience them over and over again without snapping a picture or posting it on Instagram or Facebook?
To truly feel a moment one must consume themselves with the moment, savor the moment and recognize the intensity of the feeling of that moment.
We have to slow it down.
Hit the pause button in our mind and allow our senses to take over. Inhale the air deeply and let it out slowly. Capture the emotion in the moment.
You’ll know you’ve truly experienced it when you feel what I refer to as “The Flare Up.” It’s that fluttering, swelling feeling inside you that starts right below your heart and flares up to the back of your throat. And in that moment, you actually feel like you’re floating off the ground.
Have you felt that?
And it can only happen when we make ourselves less accessible to the outside and more accessible to our inside.
We have to put our phones away. We’re missing out on our most ripe emotions. We shun them in order to reach out for other emotional connections that perhaps are unrealized or maybe even unattainable.
I am committing to this. Please know that if I don’t respond to your text message or answer your phone call immediately, it’s because I am making myself more accessible to the moment.
The relationships I have and aspire to have will be enriched as I will be more connected to my emotions, more intertwined to the people I am present with and more appreciative of the “flare ups.”
Such is the lesson Of Accessibility.