The Story: Three simple exercises to make the world magical again
In our dreams, we might often be surprised by events, as the things that happen might seem so unusual it might even appear that something is happening which has never happened before, that something purely spontaneous, divine and magical is happening in that moment. Yet, when we awake, we forget those important messages of our dreams – firstly that new and amazing things are always possible, and secondly, that wonder and surprise are always possible. “The ongoing ‘wow!’ is happening right now.”
Thinking about this upon waking, I scribbled down three exercises which might help us allow the wonder to enter and engulf us:
1. Easy mode – look around you with new eyes. See things as if you’re looking at them for the first time. If you had never known the building where you live, the park near your office, the ferris wheel that stoops over the city – could you have imagined them? The moment you’re experiencing is just for you, right now. What you’re seeing, what you’re experiencing has never happened before, and it will never happen again. This is just for you. This is a special gift.
To get into this state of being, you can try a classic technique from Keith Johnstone’s “Impro”. Walk around the room and point at random objects. Whenever you point at one, say a word for it – but not the usual word for that thing. Call that thing what it isn’t. If you see your sweater, call it a “neverlump”; if you see a table, name it a “noose”; if you see a shopping bag, call it “Cambridge bridge society”, and so on. After a minute or two, you will start to see things with new eyes.
2. Medium mode – thank someone. While you’re looking at those around you in that way, find something magical about what they’re doing, and thank them for it. Magical moments are meant to be shared. Gratitude is magic.
3. Hard mode – do something magical. Create a spontaneous moment for yourself and others. Walk down the street with your guitar singing, gather the family around the piano like you did when you were kids. When someone asks how you are, respond in a way that you’ve never responded before. Tell them that, by pure chance, the universe has come together to give life on Earth and you’re here living it. Do something that makes people think for a moment that they might be in a dream, and anything is possible. Because they are, and it is.
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