The practice of enchantment doesn’t focus on what happens as much as it focuses on how to see what happens. Enchantment is about practicing conscious, creative seeing, then conscious, creative response. Manipulators, on the other hand, want us to see by means of evaluation and classification, which result in all the boring binaries — approval-disapproval, good-bad, righteous-evil — and then we’re locked into little boxes. We’re twitchy, reactionary, and easy to upset. Enchantment steps outside judgment. Enchantment sees nuance, complexity, dimension, wholes.
Binary thinking might seem built into our bicameral bodies. But having two eyes doesn’t mean seeing with one eye or the other, nor does it mean seeing twice as many things. It means seeing with something new: depth perception. Our left-right twos are not either-or binaries, or both-and additions. They are simultaneous, mutual enhancers. Each part multiplies the other’s effect.
Rumi wrote, “Beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.” Beyond judgment, the poem finds a place of radical magic: fullness, connection, wonder, soul. Rumi conjures that field through a conscious act of imagination, then invites us to join him. Practioners of enchantment gladly accept. Who knows what might happen there.
An enchanted life involves enchanted being and enchanted actions. Like this:
Step 1: Enjoy what you’re doing.
Step 2: Do more of what you enjoy.
Feel for the sparkle that’s always there, then do something you know carries extra sparkle: a walk, or drawing, or cooking a nice meal. Then do something for someone else’s sparkle: a kiss, a gift, a surprise night out.
Make overtures to enchantment, and watch enchantment respond. Watch it gain a foothold. Watch its strength develop. Watch it come up with fabulous new ideas for more enchantment.
What if enchantment bathes the whole world and everything in it? What if everything comes from and returns to sparkle?
To live in enchantment, choose to feel enchanted. If you don’t feel enchanted, and you want to, change how you feel, like changing the radio station. You’re free to tune to a different channel — despair, boredom, terror, whatever — but awe, wonder, love, and fun — the ingredients of enchantment — grease the wheels for creative ideas, for innovative responses and fresh perspectives.
It might go like this:
Gather your energy into your center. Somewhere inside your ribs. It shines there like a small sun.
Remember that the sun is a star.
Know that enchantment is not about you. It’s far, far bigger than you, but still, you get to choose your enchanted response. You get to make decisions.
Feel into the creative, collaborative day ahead. Your fairy godmother waves her wand and showers you with the same magical stardust that makes up the earth and your body.
Listen close, all day long. Listen for your guidance.
Magical thinking is the literal belief in a connection between a cause and an event that in fact have little or no connection. It’s superstition, and it mistakes magic for a rule system. Magical thinking happens in the head and tries to manipulate the universe. It’s fundamentally fearful.
Magical being, on the other hand, is an orientation, a consciously chosen mode of experience that opens to the creative capacities of the universe. Magical being cooperates with existence, collaborates with it, allows it to offer suggestions, opportunities, possibilities.
Magical being happens in the heart, along with the other great invisibilities such as love, wonder, and awe. These powers — so elusive when it comes to weights, measures, forecasts, and charts — are the ingredients of any spell worth casting.
Enchantment holds no investments in endings or outcomes. What’s an outcome, anyway? Nothing ever actually stops, and anything temporarily seen as an ending is also a beginning and middle, depending on your point of view.
Enchantment focuses on the flow, the moment. Enchantment attends to this sparkle, this stardust, this situation calling for an enchanted response.
Happy-Ever-After describes a feeling that happens outside clock time, literal time, mind time. It happens in soul time, metaphor time, magic time, heart time. It also isn’t happy, per se. It’s bigger than that. Enchantment feels the fathomless.
In the moments when love sings out — at births, deaths, fallings-in-love, breakings-up, every random waylay of wonder — a high note sounds that cannot stop. Enchantment listens, and hears, and listens, and hears, now and always, ever and after and ever again.