Let's face it -- life can be mundane sometimes. There's the day in, day out shuffle of work or school or whatever else it is you do on a daily basis and no matter what you do to try to spice things up, things will probably start to feel boring at some point. The other day on Tumblr (Happily Ever After Now) I spotted this intriguing photograph created by Amanda Mabel and it got me to thinking: why can't I find more magic in the mundane? I ask this question not in the sense of why doesn't the magic exist, but in the sense of why can't I personally find the magic that's already there.
Of this photo, Amanda writes:
Sometimes I wonder if I'm strange. I love looking at ordinary things and making it into a complex world full of magic and beauty. The thought of creating worlds fascinate me; it's like exploring someplace which you will never get the chance to go to in reality. For this place, I think of foggy forests shrouded in darkness. Misty trees leading on, and on, entangling into deeper echelons of fear and mystery. When you tilt your head up, you see a hauntingly beautiful full moon; faintly glimmering stars; birds crying in the cold breeze and wisps of clouds in a pale haze. Everything is enchanting but eerie, a dark fairytale of whispered hisses and glowing eyes. You're running downwards, bare feet being scratched by thorns and branches, body seeming to defy gravity in a sort of spiralling fall. But you don't know where you're going to end up.
Reading those words and seeing her image reminds me that there are people out there that see the magic in every day things, that can take a photo of a steaming cup and create an entire story behind it. And I'm not just talking about magic like this -- an image that literally looks magical -- I'm talking about finding magic, excitement in the mundane things in your life. This is no easy feat, I know. Finding magic in the mundane is quite a difficult task. To motivate yourself to look for the magic when you're bored or unimpressed is taxing.
Magic is one of those things that often seems either unbelievable or completely out of our grasp. It something that often appears to be beyond us, something we cannot see or touch. Lately I’ve begun to realize that’s just not true. Magic is all around us—something we can find and us to create more interesting and exciting lives. Life is too short to merely coast through it. It’s up to find—and create—a world of magic. What exactly do I mean by a world of magic? I don’t mean the stuff of fairy tales and witchcraft; no, I mean the magic of living a life that makes you feel incredibly happy and fulfilled. Real magic.
What's "real magic," you ask? There are many definitions for the word magic, but my personal favorite -- and the one I'm talking about here -- is "a feeling of enchantment." How many of you feel enchanted right now? How many of you are sitting there, looking at your surroundings, and thinking "This is such an enchanted place."? Probably not too many of you (and lucky you if you're one of the few that is feeling enchanted right now!).
But why aren't we enchanted with our own magical lives? Why aren't we seeing the magic in everything around us? Because it's hard, that's why. There's a lot in this world that tries to bring us down, that tries to bring us down to earth.
How to Find the Magic in the Mundane
Open your mind up to the possibility of magic.
Keep your mind open when it comes to looking for magic in your own life. Don't rule out the fact that even the most mundane activity can be magical. That drive to work not leaving feeling spellbound? Switch up your route and pay attention to the new things you see. Or offer to give someone else a ride and get a new perspective on your surroundings. Magic is all around you if you just open your eyes and look around.
Seek out magic in every situation.
So you've opened your eyes and been unable to see magic in your everyday surroundings? Don't worry -- this is more common than you think. Sometimes it takes a new experience, environment, etc. to help us find the magic in our lives. Go somewhere new. Look around. Pay close attention. And look for the little things. If you make the effort to find magic in the world, you will be certain to discover it.
Stay focused on the present moment.
One of the biggest reasons we don't all see more magic in our lives is because we're not present. Just yesterday I realized that, if someone asked me what color the fence outside my place is I wouldn't have been able to answer that question. I don't pay enough attention to my surroundings and, as a result, I'm missing all of the magic. Every moment is filled with a bit of magic. Be present if you want to be enchanted.
Use your imagination and creativity.
People who are unimaginative are never going to see the magic in a cup of tea or changing of leaves from green to yellow. And that's okay. Some people don't want to see the magic in life -- but if you're the type that wants to, you've got to open your mind up to a more creative way of viewing the world. Is there really magic in a friend's laughter? Yes. Is there really magic in a rain-soaked morning? Yes. It's there, but you must be willing to create and imagine it.
See life from a new perspective.
You know how you feel when you watch a film or read a book filled with magic? You're in awe at the types of things someone has come up with in her/his mind. Now think about what it would be like to describe things about our lives -- the Internet, the airplanes, the amazing feats humans accomplish -- to someone(thing?) not familiar with the world. Yes, it might be science and fact, but through the eyes of someone else, it would seem like magic.
That last point reminded me of another way to see the world filled with magic: imagine it through the eyes of a child. Kids don't know about electrons and gravity and mathematical formulas. They see a plane in the sky and are amazed. They see the leaves miraculously changing colors and they are awed. They hear a catchy tune on the radio and cannot help but sing along. They gobble up a plate of mac-and-cheese like it came from a five-star restaurant. Kids get the concept of magic. They see it in everything because everything is new to them. And that's what magic really is about -- finding the newness, the excitement. It's about being open to enchanted, about being willing to become bewitched by our own mundane lives.
For some, this may sound silly. You might say, "I already know how gravity works, why the leaves change in the fall, or how a computer works. Seeing the magic in these things is stupid." I get that. I really do. I see how silly it might sound -- me, a grown woman, exclaiming, "Find the magic!" But, to be completely honest with you, I've found that I'm a lot more positive -- and more present -- when I'm looking for the magic in my life. When I stare in amazement at the changing of seasons or think it's pretty amazing that I have an animal in my house -- another species! -- that I truly connect with, I feel excited about life. I feel like I cannot wait to see what else I'll uncover in this crazy world. And, to me, that feeling of wonder is worth the silliness that comes with claiming that I'm striving, every day, to find the magic in the mundane.