GUEST POST BY MARISA GOUDY — MAKING MAGIC WITH WORDS
Last week, as she always does, Saundra opened her heart and gave us a window into the truth and the light and the struggles of being an artist, a mother, a partner, a person trying to find her way through a chaotic world. Offering up up her wisdom and her vulnerability, she drew us into some new territory: Synchronicity, Serendipity, Angels. Guides.
Saundra says “It’s becoming difficult not to notice them.”
Here’s something you need to know about Saundra…. Even though she might say that such unseen forces aren’t her thing, she’s been unfailingly supportive of my work, which always has magic and mystery, guides and goddesses at its core.
When I launched my first #7MagicWords Challenge, Saundra was right there, telling me that I was on to something. Always the thoughtful champion – gently sharing her insights while leaving room for the creative’s growth – she has been watching my work for four years and more. “This,” she said, “this feels like it for you.”
And you know what, magic words are it for me. They’re both the tentative first steps and the ultimate destination. They are the seeds of the story and the message you take from it. They are the intention and the reflection.
MAGIC WORDS ARE THE INTEGRATION POINT.
A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO MAGIC
Magic… It’s the stuff of Disney and Harry Potter and that section of the bookshop crowded with with pentacles and cauldrons. It’s not part of the everyday. It’s not part of reality, right?
Here’s my working definition of magic, which comes from the early twentieth century psychotherapist turned occultist and fantasy novelist Dion Fortune:
“Magic is the art of changing consciousness at will.”
Hmmm… Suddenly magic sound a lot like shifting your mindset, employing affirmations, meditation, and prayer. It sounds like those commonly accepted practices we use to feel good and get things done. But let’s be cautious here. Let’s not get carried away… This is “magic” after all.
FANTASY, MAGICAL THINKING, AND OTHER ACTIVITIES THAT GROWN-UPS SHOULD NOT ENGAGE IN
Before we go on, please consider the source: I’m a student of Irish myth who grew reading Arthurian legend and believing in The Force. I regularly look to the Celtic Sovereignty Goddess for inspiration and am writing a book on the subject. I’m one of those people built to believe that fantasy just tends to be a lot more fun and exciting than reality.
But, of course, we get older and we’re meant to say goodbye to all that. We get serious. We go to work and pass the wand on to the kids. We escape into Game of Thrones as a brief distraction from the real world, and then awaken again climb back over the wall into a typical Monday.
Because, if we’re not careful, magic might become the dreaded “magical thinking.”
- Heaven forbid we should look at two “unrelated” events together and declare the two are linked.
- Heaven forbid we should look for truths in the unseen world and believe in synchronicity.
- Heaven forbid we should believe that the universe is conspiring on our behalf and we start looking for signs of otherworldly support.
Heaven forbid? Heaven, help us. (Because really, we humans need help from anywhere we can get it, don’t you think?)
THE PRACTICE OF CONSCIOUS, PRACTICAL, INTEGRATIVE MAGIC
Now, of course, there are different types of magic out there. Unicorns, broomsticks, and time travel are in the delightful zone of imaginative magic. We need these limitless frontiers. They bring that extra sparkle to life and, yes, that dose of escapism we need from time to time.
But then, there’s the everyday kind of magic that lifts me up when I find myself crashing against the beachhead of motherhood, marriage, entrepreneurship, a culture all shattered along the lines of race and politics, and a planet warmed to a frenzy.
It’s the full-body shiver that rolls through me when a client discovers the perfect phrase and gets to the “this is it!” moment in her story she never knew was always there. It’s the power to set an intention and follow it through and know that my dreams don’t rely solely on my mental and physical resources. It’s the belief that our imagination is here to fuel so much more than fantasy.
Magic describes what happens when you take a word you use all the time and give it time and attention so it glitters with new meaning. It’s that alchemical act of turning the pedestrian into remarkable.
MAGIC WORDS ARE THE INTEGRATION POINT
Like Saundra, I am a devotee of daily creative practice.
This year finds me in the midst of #365MagicWords. Each day, I find a word. Or, more often, a word finds me. Sometimes, it’s the intention I set in the morning. Usually, it’s a word that helps me integrate all that I’ve learned and experienced in the hours before bedtime.
The word becomes my messenger to the digital world (Hello, Instagram! Howdy, Facebook!). The project also creates a private catalog of my reflections, a portrait of each day, easily absorbed in a way that daily journal entries cannot.
These Magic Words give me the language I want to live into and they also help me see the language that already lives in me. The restrictions of a single word asks me to think in a more expansive way because you stretch further and deeper to be concise. And, I do believe that in a culture that can’t shut up, there’s power in expressing yourself with one single elegant utterance.
This MagicWords practice gives me a chance to remember that I do believe I’m part of some greater collective. Sometimes, it’s enough to simply recognize the miracle of language, these shared codes that unite us all. At other times, the daily word plugs me into something much more mysterious. I feel held by a vast, kind source that is tirelessly devoted to helping me find meaning in the mundane.
If you’d like to try your hand at magic making, I invite you to join me for the next #7MagicWords challenge that begins September 22. You’ll receive daily prompts for a week that help you discover the everyday magic that lingers in your life and work. It’s free and open to all.
Marisa Goudy is a magic maker, story healer, copywriter, and writing coach who helps transformation professionals tell stories that matter. Through her Sovereign Storytelling method, she empowers therapists, healers, and coaches to write content that connects.
Marisa is on a mission to help you merge the visionary and the magical with the profitable and the practical, one word at a time. Her popular #7MagicWords Challenge begins 9/22: http://bit.ly/7MagicWordsFall2017. Also launching this fall, the Sovereign Writers Circle, a new online community for therapists, healers, and coaches with stories to tell: http://bit.ly/sovereignwriters