As a child, did you ever wish you could snap your fingers and change your world? God knows I did. Like many kids, I was alienated. And like many kids, I pretended to be Endora from Bewitched.
Okay, friends have advised me that this probably wasn’t the first idea that sprang to the minds of most eight-year-old boys, since it’s slightly disturbing and maybe a little pathetic. But to me, Endora represented power. Fearlessness. A take-no-prisoners attitude. She was everything I was not, and by the simple act of donning a bedspread (which approximated the caftans Endora wore, and became my magical cape) closing my eyes, and waving my arms, I was able to travel to parallel universes where a bolder, more commanding Eric set the rules; where life went the way I believed it should.
Trying to make your parents stop fighting? Want to be friends with an armless girl? Need to save the lives of people in a bus accident? Simple: imagine your powers creating the proper outcome. No cat-eye makeup required. Just a bedspread and a fervent belief.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, as an adult, I no longer don that tattered bedspread. I no longer pretend to be someone else, mostly because it’s not nearly as cute now. But like most of us, I still long for that mystical connection, to that idea that I have some measure of jurisdiction over my own universe. Because let’s face it, things can get really twisted these days.
So how, I propose, do we invoke magic as adults?
I have a few ideas I’d like to suggest. None, you may be relieved to discover, involve a beehive hairdo or making potions. They’re just simple activities that, at least for my money, help bring me a little bit closer to God.
First, I try to meditate. Not often enough, and not for nearly as long as I should, because, for me, being forced to sit still is a form of brutality that should be covered under the Geneva convention. As someone juggling two jobs, as an exec for a TV network and as a writer (substitute your jobs here – career woman and mother, rodeo clown and underwear model, etc), I often have a hard time slowing down for a stoplight without checking my e-mail. But when I do meditate, ideas happen – ideas that, when I’m consumed with the myriad distractions of the typical day, can’t get through the clutter.
Second, I have a dream board. Stop laughing. I think those cork things where you tack up pictures of the things you want actually work. Because they’re a great reinforcement. I had a picture of my first book up there before I even got an agent. I’m just sayin’. Of course, my dream board is a rugged steel board with magnets, which just screams manly. And it’s in my bathroom, which probably seems kinda weird, but it’s the one spot in the house I know I’ll be in every day with my eyes open. And talk about a captive audience.
Third, I speak in positives. About fifteen years ago, I was $53,000 in debt from some business decisions apparently made while I was either drunk or insane. I constantly reinforced my poverty with my friends as if being broke was a badge of honor, like military service or watching Ken Burns documentaries. It wasn’t until I began talking about (and praying about) how I was gonna get myself out of debt that it actually happened. I talked and prayed HARD. And within months, I met a wonderful woman at a party who changed the direction of my career, and in one year’s time, I was debt-free. How’s that for magic?
Fourth, I listen to that little voice in my head – what is usually referred to as “women’s intuition”. With no disrespect to my female readers, stop hogging the glory! Everybody has intuition, most people just don’t listen. I like to think of it as God whispering in my ear, although, because I only have one ear that works, I sure hope he remembers to whisper in the right one. Of course, sometimes He can scream like a howler monkey and we don’t pay any attention. Example: someone got me involved, a few years back, with a scam artist. I had a bad feeling about him from the minute I met him. But I ignored it. And let me tell you, it cost me plenty.
Finally, I try to accept what is. This is not very entertaining and can, in fact, be a bummerpalooza. And, I must admit, I don’t always do it without attempting to take someone down with me. After all, spreading the pain around seems like the democratic thing to do. But there really is a kind of peace in surrender, in simply saying, “What will be, will be, because I’m too damn exhausted to try to control it.” My partner, for example, is a bit of a slob. (You know, the clothes lying around the house type.) I am obsessively neat and orderly. This provoked a lot of fights early in our relationship. But after a while, I accepted it – and in doing so, I began to appreciate the myriad of other astounding qualities he possesses. Of course, like any good spouse, I’ll deny this to his face.
I really do think magic exists. And I think it can take many forms. What’s your wand? Let me know I’d really like to hear.