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Watching my children get into the spirit of the holidays and seeing their eyes light up with the magical stories we typically share at this time of year, has got me reflecting on the idea of magic!

I have been reading a book, “Experience The Impossible: The Science of Magic” by Gustav Kuhn. Gustav offers different definitions about what magic might be i.e., is it about impossibility, the supernatural, impossibility, neurology, wonder or conflict between belief systems?

This last definition, the “conflict between belief systems” really stood out for me:

“In this view, magic creates a conflict between what Darwin Ortiz calls our, “intellectual belief” and our “emotional belief”*. 

In this tension, your intellectual belief might tell you that magic is impossible, but on a more primitive emotional level, you can also believe that magic is happening at the same time.

In a podcast I hosted this year with songwriter, Cliff Goldmacher, Cliff describes how he loves to watch the "magic" happen when groups of adults, who did not initially believe they could write a song, start to do exactly that when they use the tools provided and get into the spirit of the activity!

This example got me thinking…when people let go of all the intellectual reasons why they cannot do something and emotionally invest in taking on a challenge, can we say that’s when the magic happens, when we make something come true we did not initially think we could?

If we are comfortable with saying this, then to bring more magic into our lives, do we simply need to balance our intellectual cynic with a more instinctive emotion of hope, possibility and willingness to try?

While intellectually I may no longer believe the reality of some of the stories we tell at Christmas time, emotionally, I can connect with the wonder and joy these stories bring and ultimately, I am starting to feel the magic again as I emotionally engage and bring the possibility of it all to life for my children.

So my theme to end this year and to kick-start 2022 is to ensure I balance my intellectual belief systems with the power of my emotional beliefs. 

We may be able to think of so many reasons of why something can never happen, but if we can just bring ourselves to emotionally believe in the possibility and commit to the cause, we might just be able to make the impossible, possible and bring more magic to our own lives and the lives of others!

Happy and magical holidays to all!

*Source: Experience The Impossible: The Science of Magic, Gustav Kahn, The MIT Press, 2019