Big Magic!
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Thursday, August 24, 2017
By Be Still Counseling
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Yes, I confess! I believe in magic. You’re probably thinking - “WHOA, BACK AWAY” - at this point, but hang on with me here. I’m not talking the illusion of David Copperfield’s escape from Alcatraz. Instead, I’m talking about the process of combining elements to bring about a new creation – something that never existed before. Not because it didn’t want to be in creation yet, but because it couldn’t exist…yet. Quite simply, all the uniqueness of each element just had not found themselves in the same place at the same time for the same purpose. This kind of magic is amazing, profound, spiritual…indescribable in a lot of ways. Well, because it’s magic.

I want to make sure I give full credit to Elizabeth Gilbert (perhaps most famously known for authoring Eat Pray Love) for my belief in magic. Her book Big Magic: Creative living beyond fear literally shifted my consciousness. Don’t shy away from reading it yourself just because the subtitle has the word “creative” in it. Many people find the word scary or inapplicable. I’ll dare say creative living is for everyone – you don’t have to self-identify as a sculptor, writer, dancer or poet to live creatively. Creative living is for anyone courageous enough to be curious about the possibility of bringing about something that has not yet existed. In my own version of a summary of Gilbert’s wisdom on the topic: Big Magic comes about when something bigger than ourselves happens by being in relationship with inspiration and with others. The magic unfolds as each element is allowed to do what each does best. As if that isn’t enough to wrap yourself around – she challenges her readers NOT to answer the question “what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?” but rather “what are you willing to do – despite the risk of failure - because your very soul demands it?” Wow! I’m not going to pretend this question didn’t give me a tremendous jolt – one that eventually led to the launching Be Still Counseling. I strongly feel this practice is my soul’s work at this phase in my life. I’ve already told you the story of how Be Still came to be; continue the adventure with me. Now, here’s my experience of playing with some Big Magic.

I have a dear friend, Emily, who has this really amazing gift – she is a master connector of people. She will tell you that she will put people above tasks and she enthusiastically cares deeply about all the human beings she walks on earth with. But her love and compassion, while admirable and inspiring, doesn’t really capture the amazement of her gift. I’m telling you, she remembers names and details of folks’ lives, can easily be present with and assess what the person in front of her is gifted at and how connecting this person with that person can enrich both people’s lives. Frankly, this description just does not do her justice – hate that. Just know that she is generously talented in the art of human connectivity. She is beauty.


Her husband, Justin, equally talented. He is a lover of learning and masterful at synthesizing information, reorganizing it and then putting it back out in the world in a more comprehensible and digestible way. There you go. Simply extraordinary.


Some spring morning while on a walk with Emily I mention that I wanted to get a video created for my website and blog. In her typical (yet enthusiastic!) way, she listened and then states, “You know Justin has gotten really interested in videography and web development. He’s buying some equipment and eager to have some practice.” So, here it is folks: Big Magic. Just like that, three people bringing unique elements and gifts convened to create. I brought the element of inspiration and a compelling desire to share visually with the world the story of my work at Be Still Counseling, Emily brought her skills of enriching lives through connections, and Justin brought his curiosity and precision for videography. Voila! Something that was for a time only a dream in my head (given I had no skill in making videos nor any leads as to how to get it done), came to be. Something new came into the world that had never existed before, I can’t get over or adequately describe the remarkability of this experience. Each of us showed up, played our role and said “YES!” to the Big Magic that was right there waiting to be put to use.


Here is the video that came from this magical experience. Enjoy the experience!

In the words of Gilbert, “That, my friends, is Big Magic.”




PS. you don’t want to miss Gilbert’s podcast, “Magic Lessons.” Real people sharing stories and asking questions about their part in magic making.

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