Secrets of Magic No 52: You already know

We humans create filters for ourselves. We narrow down our observations of the vastness around us to just a few places, people, things. We build thought structures which we inhabit, mistaking them for the whole of reality, restricting what we know to just a few ideas. When we learn to be present, to open our eyes and ears and tongue and skin to the stream of information around us, we are amazed at how much more we have to learn than we thought we did, and how much larger the world suddenly becomes.

We humans create worlds for ourselves. We avoid what makes us uncomfortable, creating boxes, limitations which we do not realize we have created ourselves. We build up beliefs about what we can do that encompass a small percentage of what we are actually capable of achieving. When we step outside our comfort zone to try new things we are surprised to discover how much more we are capable of achieving.

We humans create worlds for each other. We make laws, philosophies, and customs. The structures we create help us to care for and support each other, but they also become prisons, restricting our thoughts and movements and choices. We design expectations for each other that lock us into limited life choices. When we kick open the doors of our lives we can begin to explore who we really are in the world.

We build up our views of the world from the things we were taught as children, the messages the adults around us gave us, the messages we still get from the people we know, from our employers, from the media. We listen to those messages even when they contradict our own experience.

Magic teaches us to listen to ourselves. Our bodies tell us when we are hungry and need to eat, when we are thirsty and need to drink, when we are restless and need to move, when we are tired and need to sleep. When we listen to our unconscious minds and to our dreams we tap into the reservoirs of our stored memories, skills, and unrealized potential. Those of us who dare to face the darkest parts of ourselves become stronger and more whole human beings.

Magic teaches us to listen to the earth. When we look at the color of the sky, listen to the songs of the birds, take a deep breath of air, we connect with the energy that sustains every aspect of our existence, and begin to recognize our place in the interconnected web of life.

The deepest secret of magic is to learn to listen to ourselves and listen to the world around us. When we relinquish our preconceptions and approach the present moment with the attention of a child, we get out of our own way, and let magic happen in our lives.

I know what I need to know.

Practice: Expanding expectations
Think about the expectations you are carrying. What does your family expect from you? What expectations do you have about the life you should lead? How have those changed in the last five years?

Think about your life five years from now. What will remain the same as the life you are leading now? What do you expect will be different? If you could lead any kind of life at all, what would you be doing in five years? Record this in your journal. Are there steps you can take now to begin to realize that dream?

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