Recovering Lost Magic


"Pure creativity is magnificent expressly because it is the opposite of everything else in life that's essential or inescapable."

Elizabeth Gilbert

Something cool happens during the holidays.  Magic.  We suspend our everyday sensibility and create a little space for faith, imagination, and divinity.  Oh, I love this so much.  This is, by far, my favorite part of the season…our willingness to engage creativity with an enchanted spirit.

Question: Why do we foster, nurture, and hold sacred magic and imagination for our children, but then promptly ditch it as adults?  Do we stop participating in this delightful way of thinking because we “know the truth” about Santa?  Because the mysteries have been reasonably and logically explained? I am not suggesting that you believe in sugar plum fairies or flying sleighs.  But I am asking if it’s necessary to push out magic all together?  Is there room in our adult beings to imagine divine delights?

What would happen if you leaned into the mysteries, the curious unexplained enchantments?  You would risk looking foolish, or “childish,” perhaps.  We adults really like to be in control and are very much attached to our knowledge; we like to know stuff.   I think conviction can be dangerous (or at least, unhelpful).  Because, you see, it’s pretty darn tricky to hold that which you know for fact and still have room for faith, or the inexplicable. (And if “magic” is too foo-foo for you, perhaps you can get behind the notion of “faith” more easily). 

And yes, I absolutely do believe that our artistic instincts have divine and magical origins. But that doesn’t mean we have to take it all so seriously. Because in the final analysis, I still perceive that human artistic expression is blessedly, refreshingly non-essential. That’s exactly why I love it so much.
— Elizabeth Gilbert

I consider it nearly impossible to create (or be creative) if I have the need to always be “driving the bus.”  You can’t think your way into a masterpiece – it’s something that unfolds or evolves from deep in your being.  Creativity is weird, often unexplainable… and sometimes even otherworldly.  So, if you’d like to welcome more creativity into your life, I suggest you be open to magic.   Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Big Magic” is all about creative living…which, I think, is the same thing as a playful life.  At its essence, it’s about following your curiosities, trusting your intuition, and not resisting the things that you enjoy doing even if they’re seemingly pointless.

As adults, we train ourselves to focus, hustle, be productive, achieve, accomplish.  Do, do, DO!  And we are rarely satisfied or satiated….there’s always another level we could reach, always more items on the “to-do” list.  We really have become human-doing, instead of human-beings.  It’s really a fantastic recipe for sadness and a discontented life.

I’m proposing a different way.  Let’s pause, and listen to the hollering of our heart. Let’s pay attention to, and actually honor, the things that make us giddy (even though they will probably be the “total waste of time” type activities).  That’s what I’m doing here with Live Pretty Well.  I am not assigning people a litany of fun things to do.  In fact, I’m not telling people what to do at all.  What I’m doing is standing with people as they reach in and uncover the magic that they thought was long gone.  I essentially ask people to go on a treasure hunt for their hidden gems of happiness…all the while, I call on my creativity to assist me as I offer aid on this journey towards more play, levity, heart, and magic.

Go! Play!

Cailin Robinson