From fairytales to enchanted quests: How to live a more magical, creative life





Today, we're going to explore how to find magic in the mundane and discover how to seek enchantment in the midst of the ordinary, the everyday, and the commonplace.


There is a quote that goes like this: "The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Its origins are somewhat mysterious, and we do not know who said it first - perhaps Eden Phillpotts, perhaps Bertrand Russell, or perhaps even William Butler Yeats. But whoever said it was definitely on to something. The universe is filled with magic, and it is only when we sharpen our skills of observation that we can begin to truly notice it.


There are many things that give rise to the feeling that magic is at work, from the transformational power of love, to great acts of kindness and courage, to the spellbinding powers of mother nature. "The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event", said J. B. Priestley, who went on to describe how "You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?" I completely agree with this sentiment and have always found enchantment to be stitched into the seasonal shifts of the natural world around us. When we have lost our sense of wonder and enchantment, then, perhaps all we have really lost touch with is our sense of mindfulness.


I believe that our lives are a constant dialogue with the magical, and when this dialogue becomes one-sided or stops, it is because we are no longer listening - and it is then that we need to redouble our efforts to look for the magic once more, using the magnifying glass of mindfulness.


We are magical beings, living in a magical universe, and for centuries we have sought to explain the mystery of our existence. As the American astronaut Sally Ride once said, when we are engaged in "Studying whether there's life on Mars or studying how the universe began, there's something magical about pushing back the frontiers of knowledge." This hunger for knowledge, combined with insatiable curiosity, sounds like the perfect recipe for a magical quest - and every day can be a magical quest if we so choose.


The ordinary is actually the extraordinary that has become hidden under the dusty cloak of familiarity. The everyday can be a rich source of magical experiences if we dust it off and engage our senses, and begin to look for the tiny things that bring us joy. We can even create our own rituals that help us step out of time and carve out a few sacred moments for ourselves.


I believe, too, that our creativity is magical. There seems to me something almost supernatural in our ability to take raw materials and transform them into something else, into something that elicits an emotional reaction and connection, into something that shifts our state. Just think of how the tiny hairs at the nape of your neck tingle and stand on end when you listen to a beautiful piece of music, or how you can find yourself suddenly weeping over the pages of a novel. There is also that magical moment when - after using the three creative tools of patience, perseverance, and passion - that we finally create what before existed only in our imagination. What a feeling that is.


Our creativity is not only a superpower, then, but also a source of magic, and our life can become a creative playground. Though life is never always roses, sunshine, and rainbows, we can - with a sprinkling of fairy dust and mindfulness - channel a little fairytale energy into our daily life. A fairytale is a literary landscape woven with magic and possibility, and so too are our lives.


George William Russell once said, "Love and hate have a magical transforming power. They are the great soul changers" - and in every great fairytale, the greatest power that can always transform the outcome of the tale, however bleak, is always love. So perhaps the key to seeking magic in the mundane and to finding enchantment in the everyday, then, is to look at the world around us with open eyes of wonder and love.