Find the Magic in the Moments

growth life balance simplicity success well-being Dec 19, 2022
One of Charis Santillie's glass figurines: a blown glass unicorn playing with a blue crystal ball, standing on top of an agate
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🎧 👉 Prefer audio? You can also listen to me share about this in podcast episode #034 here.

A very dear friend of mine, Helen, who’s now like family to me after initially being my therapist for over 20 years, once told me to “find the magic in the moments.”

Today I’m talking about what that means to me and how I have found magic in the moments.

I think developing this skill by practicing it on a regular basis is a super important part of achieving balance and well-being in our lives.

And I do think it takes practice because our brains have a negativity bias, and it takes effort to hone in on the positive and be able to find the magic.

But when we're able to be present and mindful in the moment, we can see all the wonder that’s around us, regardless of what’s going on in our lives.

This is also when we can connect with ourselves, our loved ones, and the world around us in a much deeper and more meaningful way. And this is when it’s easier to see the world as for you (instead of against you), to be open to change, and to be willing to take risks (whatever that may be for you) so that you can live the life you really want to live.

So I’m going to share with you a few examples from my life where I have found magic.

Just a few weeks ago, my husband, Don, and I were scrolling through a slideshow of memories on my phone that popped up. I have an iPhone, and the iPhone’s photo album will create slideshows for you randomly each day with different themes. Well, this one was all photos of our prior dog Heidi who was a Papillon and passed away in 2019. Papillon means "butterfly" in French and is the name of the breed because of their beautiful ears that look like butterfly wings. So while we’re watching this sweet slideshow, our current dog, also named Heidi (there’s a whole side story about the name I’ll share in a minute), suddenly grabbed her butterfly toy from a huge pile of toys. Now a key thing to know is that she has some favorite toys, and it has been nearly a year since she played with that specific toy. So the fact that she grabbed that one right then was extremely serendipitous—it was as if she sensed the significance of the moment and wanted to join us in our nostalgia. It even became her new favorite toy for the rest of that day and for the rest of the week. It was a beautiful and poignant reminder of the magic that can be found in the present moment if you take a moment to pause and notice.

Side story: I mentioned I’d tell you about the name Heidi. My husband was very close with his Grandmother, and she had dachshunds when he was growing up. Over his childhood, she had three different dachshunds that she named Heidi. The dogs were such a big part of her life that Don and his brother even referred to her as Grandma Heidi, even though Heidi wasn’t his Grandma’s name. So when we got our first dog together in 2002, it was an easy decision to name her Heidi. Then when she passed in 2019, and we were thinking of names for our new puppy, we thought, why not have another Heidi in the family, especially since it is now such a meaningful name for both of us?

I've always had a deep love for dogs and, really, all animals. Owls hold deep meaning for me. After my mother passed away, I felt connected to these mysterious creatures, as if they were a symbol of her newfound freedom into another realm.

The year after she died, my husband and I moved into a home surrounded by a beautiful natural habitat of oak trees and all kinds of wildlife. We put up bird boxes, bird baths, and a large water trough, and we even put up a trail camera to capture photos and videos of the animals. 

For a few years, we only heard the soft hooting of Western Screech Owls or Great Horned Owls in the distance, but our own Screech Owl box remained empty. And just for the record, Western Screech Owls are wrongly named…they don’t screech at all. They have a beautiful trill noise they make. So anyway, a few years passed, and then, one evening that happened to be Mother's Day, I felt a sudden urge to go to the window and look at the box. Don and I remember it was such a strange moment. It was getting dark, and I was on my way to the kitchen with my dinner plate, ready to clean the dishes. I suddenly set the plate on the counter and turned to go toward the window that overlooked the owl box. I felt this strong pull to go look at it, which was odd because that wasn’t a normal daily habit.

And lo and behold, there was a stunning owl with huge yellow eyes staring up at me. I realized it was Mother’s Day, and I felt such a connection and love for my mother. Over the course of that Spring, we watched this mother owl raise two adorable babies.

It was a truly profound experience that was one of the most magical moments of my life.

When I was thinking about other magical moments in my life, I wanted to be sure to share one that’s connected to fun memories of my childhood, especially growing up in the 80s. I have a feeling many of you will have memories of the 80s... So the story goes that about a year ago, my husband and I were at home, and he was playing some movie trailers on TV for upcoming movie releases. I was getting something from the pantry, and I couldn't see the TV screen. But as I walked into the pantry, I heard one familiar musical note—just ONE, and without hesitation, I shouted out, "Top Gun!" My husband was surprised and amused that I could identify the movie from just one note.

Top Gun was a movie from our 80’s childhood, and hearing that note immediately brought back awesome memories; Tom Cruise and his aviator glasses, me and my big hair. It was a totally nostalgic moment. There’s magic there in that one simple sound that could evoke such powerful emotions and memories.

I watched Maverick, the sequel that this trailer was about, for the second time while visiting my Dad last weekend, and if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.

Ok, so what about more seemingly day-to-day moments? There’s magic to be found there as well. Whenever I step into our hot tub, I relish the first few seconds I feel the hot water. For me, that is a luxurious, magical moment, and I literally try to embrace it every single time I step into that tub.

And while thinking about water, if we jump over to the other side of the spectrum for temperature—when I’m really thirsty, I love to feel cool water going down my throat. I really take a moment and notice it filling up my throat and making its way down to my stomach. To me, that is another magical moment that honestly makes me happy to be alive, and yet it’s such a simple thing—you may even think it’s a mundane moment.

What if you could find the magic in even the most mundane moments?

And I know that finding the magic is not always easy. We live in a world that is filled with distractions and stressors, and it can be really challenging to quiet our minds. You may feel overwhelmed by your to-do lists or consumed by something that is worrying you. Yet, developing this skill—consider it taking time to develop your magical moment muscle—is really a crucial part of achieving balance and well-being in your life. It can help you appreciate life and be able to find more beauty and wonder all around you.

“Understanding how to find the magic moments in your daily life is critical. If you subscribe to the philosophy that says, 'My vacation will free me from burnout,' then you’re waiting for a few days out of the year to make up for many days of stress. Instead, you have to be able to take mini-vacations on a daily basis.”

– Tony Robbins

🎧 👉 Prefer audio? You can also listen to me share about this in podcast episode #034 here.

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