Yesterday, I found myself full of Sunday night nerves and the kind of feelings that can arise when you're preparing for a big week. I felt some self-doubt, and found myself focusing too hard on what I couldn't control. I struggled to find myself in the present and needed a reminder to stop and be here, right now.
And, as if on cue, there it was - a line from Rumi that found it's way to me, and resonated so deeply it was though the universe itself had spoken. It seemed a little bit magical that something had landed in my lap, just when I needed it most.
Many of us work hard to cope with life. We struggle with feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, or fear. We feel victimized by circumstance and, quite frequently, get too caught up in the reality of life. When this happens, we open up the floor for negative, catastrophic, and irrational thinking, and get stuck in the stories we tell ourselves and the frameworks that we build to govern our lives. As a result, we forget about the simple fact that we are miraculous bundles of cells and energy - and we lose a little touch with the magic and mystery of life.
Carl Sagan famously said that "we are made of star stuff." Oliver Sacks poignantly shared that the thrill of humanity is in being "a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet." And, as Mary Oliver noted, "truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous to be understood." Within all of these words lies the reminder that in this vast and amazing world, we are more full of possibility and answers than we think. We are free to create our own realities - and a change of perspective is all that we need to re-frame our challenges into opportunities.
So what if we could shift our negative thinking to something more magical? What if, instead of asking ourselves "how could that work?" we inquire "what if that worked?" or "if time and money were no issue, what would this look like for me?" Harvard psychology professor Daniel M. Wegner suggests that "for people who are generally uncertain of their own abilities, or slow to act because of feelings of inadequacy, this kind of thinking can be an antidote, a needed activator." He notes that "this feeling that your thoughts can somehow control things can be a needed feeling."
After reading Rumi's words, I took a step back, and almost instantaneously felt a shift in my consciousness. I had spent the morning lazing in bed for a few extra hours. I had experienced an empowering workout that reminded me how capable the human body is. I had enjoyed a beautiful afternoon filled with sunshine. The world wasn't conspiring against me; It was supporting me in invisible and mysterious ways. Instead of feeling fear of consequence, I felt peace. And suddenly, I was back in the present.
You see, the thing about believing in magic is that it opens up the doors for possibility. And when you are aware of possibilities, you generate the positive energy needed to move forward, past any of the roadblocks you face. Now tell me, what's more empowering than that?