hacking magic

liyana_tree

at the end of december last year, i got an offer from my dream publisher to publish my first book.

its working title is Feminine Genius and it is slated to make its way into this world in spring of 2017.

i define Feminine Genius as the intelligence a woman uses to source her truth, her choices, and her contributions to the world that is divine in origin and felt by her in her body.

(note:  men have Feminine Genius too, but my book is written for women).

at that alchemical moment in time that is new year’s eve, when one year gives way to a new one, i asked my husband a question:  what do you see and want for me, this year, as i write this book?

he told me:  “write the book with the same energy that you want to ignite inside the woman who reads it.

so, have the pace of your day, have the exercise you do, the mindsets you take on, and practices that you carry out, have them all be sourced from Feminine Genius, so that the words you write aren’t merely black squiggles on a white piece of paper, but are rich with resonance, jump off the page into each woman’s heart and convey the very elixir that you speak about.

be a student and a practitioner of these magical energies, so that you aren’t just going through the motions of getting stories and ideas onto the page, but so that that your writing transmits something palpable and valuable.”

wow, Husband, good one.

game ON.

and so i am writing about Feminine Genius, using the energies of Feminine Genius. i am writing about the magic of embodying the Divine Feminine, embodying the magic of the Divine Feminine.

so i have been studying up on magic.

magic.

also known as life-force energy.  shakti.  grace.  sorcery.  alchemy. manifestation.  mystery.  the forces of the spiritual world that are felt here in the material world.

i have been listening to interviews on magic.  reading books about magic.  asking friends who wield magic on the daily.  consulting my own self.  following one synchronous breadcrumb to another and lo and behold, the are forming a trail.

so i have assembled — and have been practicing and writing with — this breadcrumb trail to the heart of magic.

magic, life energy, shakti, grace, Feminine Genius.  call it what you will, but call it, won’t you?

breadcrumb #1:  tell the truth.

in an interview i heard with Martha Beck, she was asked about her shortcuts to magic and i perked up my ears.  Martha is a crazy-popular life coach, prolific writer and is wildly creative in her life.  she shares in the interview that the more she tells the truth, the more magic shows up in her life.

bam.

i automatically think about the areas in my life where i might not be telling the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help me, goddess.

tiny omissions.  withholds.  desires, about to burst forth that i scoop back into my heart with a net of fear.

i go on the hunt through the jungles of my thoughts and feelings and ideas and desires.  i hunt for the sensation of untruth:  a slight contraction, a slight shake of my head, a slight shrinking.  i hunt untruths, born and unborn, delighted when i find them.  i take them by the hand, i lead them out of my heart by way of my mouth, blinking into the bright sunshine of truth.

i feel clear-headed.  strong and sinewy like a jaguar.  bubbly, like it is champagne that runs through my veins.  although this is enough for me, this magic potion of truth-telling, i can’t help but wonder why truth is so important.

why is it that lies and untruths keep us from magic?

i think it is as simple as this:  truth is life-giving; untruth is life-taking.  truth connects you to who you are; untruth connects you to who you are not.  [tweet, as you wish] and because life wants us to be filled with more life, life prefers our truth.

the more we are filled with truth, the more we are filled with life, the more we are filled with magic.

breadcrumb #2:  follow the rapture.

same interview; “follow the rapture” is another tip from Martha Beck.  like a bloodhound, she attunes her inner nose to the scent of elation and euphoria and walks, runs, leaps off in its direction.

when i talk with some of my besties, women whom i would characterize as using Feminine Genius to source their choices in their lives and their contribution to the world, we agree we all practice a version of this.

Annie, my friend with the nickname ‘the cartographer of love,’ likes to lay in wait for pleasurable experiences and minor delights.  she sees them as i do, as “i love you’s” from the universe, reconfirmation of how we are adored by life itself. although it is good to always open to the grand, macro gestures, the more subtle and micro the gestures, the better.  

because as you sensitize to the quiet and understated charms, and as you mine and excavate them, magic shows up.

Wendy, who i met as my wedding photographer and is now a dear friend who — on scale of 1-10, 10 being the most delight possible, lives life at a 99 — trusts her attraction; meaning, when she is curious about something or attracted to it, whether it be a concept, a choice or a person, she consciously moves in that direction.

my girlfriend Jennifer, a shrewd and exacting executive coach who moonlights as a priestess, shares what one of her spiritual teachers, Bashar, likes to say:  when you follow your highest excitement, that is your higher self saying, “yep, this way!  getting warmer!”

take any feeling of yes! as a note from God saying, “yes!  you are on the right track.”

breadcrumb #3:  animate.

when i spent time in Bali, i understood why this tiny island country and the people in it are known as the happiest people ever.

as you walk down the streets, puja prayer baskets of flowers, bits of food and intense — offerings to the spirits — are everywhere.  statues of deities made of concrete are adorned with real robes and live flowers behind their ears.  even trees have special cloths wrapped around them.  beauty is everywhere, the sacred mixing happily with the mundane.  Bali feels magical.

it turns out that the Balinese practice a version of Hinduism mixed with Animism. Animism, which comes from the Latin word, “anima,” meaning, breath, spirit and life, is the worldview that non-human entities — such as animals, plants, and inanimate objects — possess a spiritual essence.

you can feel it, everywhere, in Bali.  the Balinese recognize the spirit not just inside their temples but also inside their stone statues and their roadside trees, and they bedeck and worship them accordingly.  the temples, statues and trees in turn, come somehow fantastically alive.  spirit is everywhere, so happy to be dressed up and ready for the party.

have you ever walked into a home or a church or a meeting hall that feels alive and electric and delightful and welcoming and so glad to have you in it?

my writing office now feels like that.

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breadcrumb #4:  make space.

my friend Lisa is a newer friend and is also now my stone’s throw neighbor.  her whole business is called Awakening Shakti, so you get an idea what her whole world is about.  as i pet her snoozing black cat in her candle-lit living room one evening, i ask her how she makes magic happen. 

“space,” she says.

“and,” she says, “sacred space.”

go slow, deliberately slowly.  don’t pack your schedule; leave chunks of time in between meetings, so you are not rushing and running on adrenal energy.  go away for weekends, soak in hot springs or bathtubs and don’t check your email or phone. walk to the errand rather than drive.  

take.  your.  time.

space leaves room for the sacred to enter and sit beside you.

“and,” Lisa says, “make your space — your physical space —  into sacred space,” as she gestures around her sumptuous apartment, with a flowering backyard overlooking the river.

to make your space sacred, see breadcrumb #3.

breadcrumb #5:  feel it.

i ask my friend Anese, how she invoked magic for her own recent book.

we agree writing is a slog sometimes; some days the muse is off courting someone else.  but there are those times, those flow times, those zone times, the times when you feel it coming through you in a wonderful torrent — and it is actually pretty good and won’t need much editing.  THOSE times, what are we doing in THOSE times, we wonder together?

“feel it, don’t think it,” she says.

and i instantly nod yes.  if i write you a story and i am in absolute LOVE with the person in the story or the point of the tale, it’s likely you, my reader, will feel my love and be likewise enchanted.

if i feel it, you likely will too.

if i’m going through the motions as i write, punching the proverbial clock or just writing what i am THINKING about, likely that’s the moment you’ll put down my book or click away from my blog post page and, ooooh, go check what’s on Netflix.

so, if you in your own life are not feeling it — “it” being the personal cocktail of sensations and emotions that have you feel like you have lightning bolts in your fingertips — chances are you could get more “in your body.”  this is what my friend Nisha does, who takes her role as sorceress quite seriously.  do something to invoke one of your senses:  breathe in a warm cup of jasmine-scented tea, stretch your hips and quads, take a walk in the sunshine, go ahead and cry, run hot water over your hands as you do the dishes, cut up cucumbers with a bracingly sharp knife and let them cool you down.  

feel it.

whatever “it” is, feel it.

breadcrumb #6:  remember who you are.

whenever i am identified with my mind or with a concept in my mind, i feel separate — from life, from love, from the Divine.

feeling separate is alright for a time, but then it usually brings with it low energy.  self-doubt.  trying to look cool and not succeeding.  confusion.  worry.  all decidedly UN-magical.

let me be clear, however:  i am a big fan of my mind and of minds in general.  i disagree completely that you’ll get anywhere spiritually satisfying by trying to kill your ego or completely quiet your monkey mind.

the real issue isn’t that your ego wants to look good or that your mind runs a mile a minute trying to solve this or that problem.  the real issue isn’t the EXISTENCE of your ego or your mind, or that your ego and your mind do what egos and minds DO; it is your IDENTIFICATION AS your ego or your mind that is the real issue.

sure, it can be really healthy to learn how to tame your ego and mind so you care less what other people think and have more mature and kind impulses toward yourself and your fellow human beings.

but that still won’t help you remember WHO YOU ARE.

YOU, as in the You that is spirit, is soul, is cosmic life-force creative energy itself — that’s what you want to identify as.  “identity” comes from the Latin, “idem,” which means “i am the same as.”

you are not your ego; you are not your thoughts or judgments.  you HAVE an ego, thoughts and judgments, but you ARE NOT them.

and THAT is when things start to get spiritually satisfying.  and when the feeling of the magical seeps into daily life.

any meditative practice that connects you to You, is good and holy.

whenever i ask my mind to pause its thinking and discerning and problem-solving, whenever i turn and return my attention to the essence that animates all life, instantly i am Home.

nature is the original place of church, KC, my friend of over ten years, shares, eyes flashing, as i interview her for my book.  deliberate breathing is an ever-popular form of worship.  dancing, especially sensually delicious dancing, will help you kneel at the altar.

remember who You ARE.  not the finite you, with a personality and hopes and dreams and a big presentation coming up or a heartache sweeping through your life.  i mean, remember who You are, as the infinite You, the You that does not die, the You that is truly ineffable but words like “love,” “radiance” and “magic” get pretty darn close.

remembering who You are is always a Home-coming.  

and Home is a very good place from which to make magic.

*****

now you:  how do YOU invoke or evoke magic?  i showed you mine, so show me yours!  please share in the comments below.   

and, i hope you’ll join me in spring of 2017 and take a bath in magic in the form of my most ambitious offering to date:  my book.  your book.  OUR book.

love and breadcrumbs,

liyana-sig-dark-ver