The Magician's Way - an Article by William Whitecloud
By William Whitecloud
Imagine if magic was real. Life would be so wonderful. We would live in a constant state of awe as the things we loved and cared about manifested in totally unexpected ways and with no apparent effort.
To me, magic is real. All of us can recall times in our lives when things went unbelievably well for us. I remember going down a black run once, when I was just learning to ski, and miraculously making it to the bottom without falling. The exhilaration I felt from temporarily defying my supposed level of ability was indescribably wonderful.
We all experience magic, then. Only, we tend to pass it off as some freak occurrence that is outside our control. The truth is, magic is not as accidental as we presume. With a little insight and practice we can engage it on a regular basis, and enjoy a more elated and inspiring life. There are just a few secrets we need to be aware of, a few tricks of the mind, as I call them.
The most important secret, I believe, is that your thoughts and feelings aren’t real. I was astonished when I first heard this axiom, but an appreciation of it’s meaning is the key to a whole new world of possibility in life.
It’s not that you don’t experience your thoughts and feelings – you do. But the fact is that thoughts and feelings are not necessarily a reflection of objective reality and possibility. They convey our assumptions. I remember my son coming out of an audition thrilled by his certainty that the part was his, when in fact he didn’t get it. And equally, I remember being highly pessimistic about things that turned out very well.
A woman I have known for some time went many years without a love life. When she talked to me about it one day, I was able to point out to her that she had a great many expectations on prospective partners. Her head was full of ideas of how men were supposed to be. In light of these qualifications, she never “felt” right about anyone. As a result of my insight, she made an effort to give guys a chance and not be put off by the first hint of a misgiving. It wasn’t long before she was having the time of her life; totally enraptured by an aspect of her life she had for so long denied herself.
Many people would rather be right than happy. My friend could prove there was something wrong with every man I cared to name, and yet she was the one who was miserable. For someone to be so ensnared in such a bleak reality and then, in almost a blink of the eye, reconnect with their passion, defines what magic is all about. And we enjoy its exquisite effect whenever we have the will to see through the stuck constructs our thoughts and feelings hold up.
Anyone who begins learning about magic is inevitably perplexed by the many paradoxes they are presented with. Probably the most confounding secret of all is the axiom that “there is never anything to do, but always action to take.” Confusing as it might sound, the wisdom embedded in this enigmatic statement has as much transformational power as the Philosophers’ Stone itself.
What I have learned about the way we humans go about creating end results is that, rather than taking direct steps based on the obvious, we tend to go about fulfilling the conditions we unconsciously assume need to exist before we can get what we want. Often these conditions are not a relevant determinant of the outcome, and in fact usually hinder the process. They don’t just take our eye off the ball; they make us lose sight of it altogether.
When I first met Jack (not his real name), he was a struggling developer working on two tiny commercial projects worth about a million dollars each. Both projects were running behind schedule and over budget, and although it was in the boom years, he wasn’t selling any shops. When I tried to talk to Jack about his life in general, it was obvious that he was incapable of concentrating on anything other than his business.
From his obsessive focus on the details of his work, it was easy to see what was going wrong for Jack. He was stuck in doing. He believed that he had to control every aspect of the job, and nothing could be done without his permission and him overseeing everything that was done. As a consequence, his time was stretched, no one in his team took any initiative, and instead of focusing on the strategic overview of his business, Jack was mired in the minutia of it.
My job was to get Jack to let go of all the doing and start taking action – in other words, stick to planning and delegating. It took Jack about two weeks to get the hang of it, but when he did, his new-found detachment allowed him to see the forest through the trees again. Within two months Jack was able to identify and secure funding for projects costing one hundred million dollars – and sell his existing developments.
Magic is real; it’s just a trick of the mind. Of course one needs to know the tricks, but you can learn them by magic. The handiest secret to know is that your focus creates your reality. Instead of choosing to attract money and cars and lovers into your life, you should start out by choosing to attract magic into your life. Then your life will be full of grace, and what you really love and care about will follow naturally.
William Whitecloud founded and teaches the Living from Greatness program, through which he coaches clients to realize their dreams by connecting with the authentic, creative spirit. He lives in Byron Bay, Australia. His website is www.magiciansway.com.
Based on the book The Magician’s Way. Copyright © 2009 by William Whitecloud.