Updated: Jul 11
What is magic and how can you apply it in your daily life?
The term magician usually conjures up a stereotype of a suave man in a tuxedo pulling a rabbit out of a top hat or sawing a woman in half. Adults may find this stereotype cheesy.. and often it is. But there is so much more to Magic as a Performance Art!
(Side note: Why not a woman magician sawing a man in half? Diversity in magic breeds creativity! Charisa Hendrix has a great podcast at Shezampod.com addressing this very issue... Side note over!)
Before I give you reasons to believe in magic, we must first define magic. Yet, how do we define magic when the experiences that make us feel wonder, change as we go through different chapters in life?
Here is a few ways our perception of what is 'magical' changes throughout life.
When you are born until approximately 4 or 5 years old, everything is magical. Of course a magician can make something disappear or vanish. He’s a magician. It’s a given that he can do magic! It‘s not a big deal for a three year old to see a magic trick because everyday life is more magical! Stars twinkle at night = magic. Mom or dad disappear and reappear while playing peek a boo = magic! The entire world is magical when you are experiencing it for the first time!
Then as children reach each developmental milestones, usually 5+, they establish a baseline of what is probable or improbable. And eventually, as we mature, we become better at knowing what is possible or impossible. (Or so we think).
Once we begin to develop this sense, the magician becomes relevant because now he or she is doing something that shouldn’t be possible. (Which is why the age of 5 is a great milestone to hire a birthday magician!)
As adults, we sometimes become numb to the things that used to make us feel a sense of wonder. Adults may go to a magic show and miss the experience because it becomes a challenge of whether or not you can be fooled by the magician. We analyze. We over analyze. It becomes a challenge and with this mindset, you can’t enjoy the magic for trying to figure it out. A good magician should not want to "trick" you. Sure, we want our magic to be deceptive and It HAS to be deceptive to be entertaining but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Ultimately, we want to recreate wonder, awe, enchantment.... Magic should evoke an emotional reaction over an analytical reaction.
Remember that feeling when you first saw the Grand Canyon? When you said “I do” to your love at the alter? When your child was born and you held them for the first time? When we turn off our brain and really watch an amazing sunset? That is the truest form of magic as an adult. But yet we don’t always allow ourselves to embrace that. We don’t always give ourselves permission to recognize the lesser versions of that magic in our everyday life. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion to allow this feeling.
Give yourself permission to be awed by something!
Don‘t overlook a gorgeous full moon reflecting off of a still lake and dismiss that magic moment. Stop for an extra minute and let your mind clear and give yourself permission to just think “wow.”
(Just an example but apply that to the things that make you feel awe)
A good magician should give you a similar feeling on a smaller scale (or if you're David Copperfield, a larger scale)!
So when you hire a birthday magician for your child, give yourself permission to experience the magic as well!
So with that being said, here are my 5 reasons for believing in magic:
1. Magic is a great metaphor for obstacles in life. Even when a situation seems dire and impossible to solve in that moment, magic serves as symbolism that trials can be overcome, people and relationships can be healed. You can be transformed. A broken spirit can be restored. The more we recognize everyday magic around us, the more we become aware of these messages.
2. Give your brain a break! We spend several hours a day, everyday, problem solving, analyzing, number crunching, estimating, balancing checkbooks, planning, and decision making. When you take small moments to give yourself permission to be in awe, you turn your analytical brain off. Even if it’s temporary, that small break is much needed. So enjoy that magic show for the art that it is. Suspend skepticism and analytical thought process and embrace wonder! "Life is not a puzzle to be solved, but a mystery to be lived".
3. You deserve it! Life already seems unfair. You pay bills, you work 40+ hours a week. You had unique magical experiences as a child which are probably precious memories now. But you didn’t feel those feelings because you were a child. You felt them but because you are human. There is no timeline on when we should stop sensing and acknowledging wonders all around us. Adults may feel like “I’m grown, I have to be an adult today. I can’t enjoy______, I can’t experience ________, It is not cool for an adult to ___________.“ This is a societal LIE. You deserve to get the MOST out of the ONE life we are given. Part of that is enjoying wonder!
4. Set the example! You are the main example to your children. When you take time to appreciate small “magical“ moments in life, they will too! Point out the things that make you feel a sense of wonder and explain to them why!
5. Stress management. After a rough day at work, and bad news from a family member, or the million other things that can and often do go wrong in our lives, self care is utmost important. Magic, both as the performance art AND the general sense of awe we experience when we acknowledge wonder around us, can play a small role in self care and stress management. Of course there are ways of managing stress that rate higher on the priority list such as physical activity/fitness, meditation, mindfulness, counseling, and therapy to name a few but sometimes a small moment of wonder may be the stepping stone to get us up and moving or motivated to pick up the phone and confide in a friend.
Now go find wonder!
- Magic Chris