The most important thing to know is simple: magic is real. There are lots of books out now that have magic in them. A lot of people think they are fiction. Except when you read them, something deep inside you stirs. Like a little spark or an ember. Or a bright hummingbird that suddenly wakes & darts up into the quiet dark & starts to hum.
Magic has been quietly waiting for a long time for us to stop being so busy with our shiny things made of metal & glass & wires & electricity. It has been waiting for us to wake up & see that we’re already where we always wanted to be. That we’re already home.
A lot of people get confused about Life because when they were young, something happened that hurt. Maybe it was someone who made fun of their hair. Or the color of their skin. Or the number of freckles they had. Or they were too skinny. Or too fat.
But there are worse things than that when you are young. The worst thing is when you have adults around you that forget that children are there to remind us the magic is real, that innocence is one of the things that’s big enough to create the world all over again every day, bigger & brighter every time. When you have adults around you who forget that, they do mean & stupid things that can hurt for your whole life.
When you have a hurt like that, it’s easy to get confused about Life because instead of playing the game called Trust Love & Adventure & Magic, you start playing another game called Stop the Hurt.
You start doing things that stop the hurt, like gathering people around you who would never, ever do anything that even reminds you of the hurt. Or worse, you start hurting other people first because hurt people leave you alone. That’s the biggest problem with hurt: you think if you can get enough alone, the hurt will stop. Because it was people who made it hurt to begin with. Funny how that works. The only real way for hurt to stop is to be with people who hear you say It hurts & they hold you & kiss you & put Bactine & a band-aid on it & they maybe make you a grilled cheese sandwich with some animal crackers & they tell you the truth: everyone hurts sometimes because being alive is not an exact science & we bump into each other because we’re not looking & we’re so busy not looking that we miss the thing that’s right in front of us the whole time: every human being on the planet, every dog & every cat, every cow & fish & flower, maybe even every rock & all the pieces of dust under your bed, everything is alive. Everything is here to love being alive & to love every other thing that’s alive.
Have you ever seen the way a small child squats down in the grass & talks to the bugs & the twigs & the ants going about their own business? The way they’ll dance & sing songs to the wind? If you could stop for even a minute from your busy & serious life & listen with every cell of your body, you would understand again every song that child is singing.
I say ‘again’ because you already know. You just forget for awhile. Try it. Stop for a minute. Not just any way of stopping, but a special way of stopping. Like this: close your eyes. (Oh, wait a minute. First, read all of this & then close your eyes. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep opening them & it’ll never work.)
When you finally do close your eyes, here’s what you’re NOT going to do:
1. You’re not going to work hard at it.
2. You’re not going to do it exactly like I say, because there’s going to be someone who’s going to show up to help you out. This could be a favorite relative, or a saint. Or Divine Mother. Or that old guy with the smiling eyes who sits outside of the liquor store who sees everything. Just welcome them & listen to what they say, because they’re here to help. Follow them, because they know the shortcut for you.
3. You’re not going to watch your breathing. That’s so boring & you’ll just get frustrated & when you’re frustrated, nothing happens. (Note: the reason nothing ever happens when you’re frustrated is that you’re so involved with being frustrated that you forget that what you’re here to do is listen with every cell of your body.)
4. You’re not going to argue with me. You’re not going to tell me things like this’ll never work. Or science has proven magic doesn’t exist. Or even something like How can you be so sure? I can be so sure, because I can do it & if you can’t & you’d like to learn, it might make sense to stop arguing. If you want to argue, go right ahead. But don’t mind me if I ignore you & go on filling my world with magic & love every moment of my life.
Here’s what you ARE going to do. It’s actually quite simple:
1. Close your eyes.
2. Remember your favorite place. This doesn’t have to be real. I have a favorite place that’s a field of grass & a mountain & a counter with an endless supply of treats & there is always a breeze & sun & there are always one or two friendly clouds. So, what’s your favorite place? What’s it look like? What colors are there? What does it smell like? What are you wearing? Really be there.
3. Now, listen. You’ll hear something. Maybe a song in a little girl’s voice. Or a hum, like bees.
4. Whatever that sound is, I want you to let it slip inside you until your bones start to vibrate with it.
5. When you are vibrating inside, almost like you are a tuning fork, let your skin disappear so there is nothing between you & the sound & your favorite place.
6. This is you all the time. This is the you that you forget. This is the you that hears the music in raindrops & the sound of sunlight & the secret whispers of the rocks & trees. This is the you that has never forgotten that magic is at the heart of the world.
7. Trust this. Start now. (Yeah, I know. This can be hard. But not as hard as not trusting it. The magic is in this exact moment. Go & be joyful in it…)
©2015 Brian Andreas
You can sign up for a daily dose of whimsy like this by email at Story People.