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The Enchanted Outlook

What is Enchantment?

A few weeks ago, I found myself trying to explain what I write about to someone and failing miserably. (There is a reason I’m a writer, not a speaker.) I realized that part of the confusion was coming from the word, enchantment. What exactly is enchantment? What does it mean to live an enchanted life?

While I’m sure there are a lot of different definitions, I would like to take a moment to explain what enchantment means to me and why it is such an important aspect of personal happiness. In fantasy literature, an enchantment is a spell or bit of magic cast on a person that alters their perspective. The physical reality around the person does not change but the way the person perceives the world around them changes.

You have probably heard it said that true happiness comes from within. When we experience a more enchanted outlook, we aren’t focused on trying to change the world around us or our place in the world. We focus, instead, on changing our own perceptions. It is only through changing our outlook that we can truly learn to be happy.

When we live a more enchanted life, we realize that we always have a choice. We can let our reality control our perceptions, in which case we are at the whim of the moods, the fads, the weather, the push-and-pull of everything around us, to dictate what we want and how we feel. OR, we can let our perceptions control our reality, in which case we are lead by our own inner light, our own contentment, our own spark of happiness. True enchantment is being in touch with our own inner light and letting that deeper truth be the filter through which we choose to participate in the world around us.

(Source: The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, Clute and Grant: Enchantment)

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Add Some Magic to Your Day

Here are some of my personal favorite ways to add a little magic to my day:

  • A small piece of dark chocolate
  • A quiet cup of tea
  • A walk in the park near my house
  • Learning a little something new
  • A small challenge, something that pushes me beyond what I thought I could do 
  • Shaking things up. A different path. Different music. A different outfit combo. 
  • Random acts of kindness, or making a purchase that gives back to the world
  • Getting lost in a really good book or show 
  • Creating a little something beautiful

How do you add a little magic to your day? 

Finally- an Enchcanted Outlook Community!


Well, I finally bit the bullet this week and created a Facebook page for my blog. In creating this page, I also asked myself what I wanted out of this idea and what I really want is a place where people can share their life’s enchanting moments, spread ideas about how to find happiness, use their imaginations, and have a sense of wonder. So, instead of just making a generic blog page, I decided to make a community where we can all work on finding life’s magic together. Please feel free to share your own thoughts, links, quotes, and stories about how finding life’s magic leads to happiness.

I am still working on a widget but here is the link: 

Enchanted Outlook Community

I hope you are having a nice Wednesday, with a little magic in there somewhere. 

What would YOU like me to write about?

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It just so happened that my 200th follower coincided with my 50th post, which coincided with my 500th like. Wow, what a surreal day.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank my readers. While those numbers might not be much in blog terms, they mean the world to me. To have a platform for my writing is something that I have dreamed about since the first grade. It is finally happening for me, and that is thanks to you.

So, in light of this, I was wondering, is there anything in particular you wanted me to cover in regards to finding life’s magic? Maybe a book or film you would like to highlight, a concept you would like me to clarify, a question about me, or a favorite topic you have interest in? Please let me know in the comments below.

Thanks again for the stopping by, and happy reading!

 

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Enchanted Spaces: Bedroom Reveal

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This is the second room on my Enchanted Spaces journey, where I focus on one room of my house from the aspect of a fantasy novel and ask what that perspective can teach. I am also, incidentally, bearing in mind a different climate for each room in my house. The climate for my bedroom is forest.

Now, confession time: the bedroom is small, has inconvenient storage space, and is just not functional for our needs. It is often frequented by more piles of clothes and such than I can keep track of, even with a very minimal wardrobe. But today it is CLEAN!

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Plain white comforter (easier with a dog); Faux fur blanket I got for Christmas this year

So, forests. In fantasy literature, forests represent both a barrier and a place of transformation. There is a sense that, if you dare to enter into the forest, you will not come out of it the same. It is also a place of ancient wisdom that sometimes takes on a sentience of its own. I like the idea of having the place I sleep be a forest because to me, dreams are also a place of transformation, and represent that barrier between the conscious mind and the unconscious, the known and the mysterious. There is also this sense of tapping into a deeper, older wisdom as I sleep.

I would love to take this transformation further with a trickling fountain, evergreen-scented candles, a moss-style rug, and a deep blue ceiling painted with stars. However, I like slow decorating and I’m not a fan of big, fast, elaborate transformations or designs that are overly “themed.” For now, I settled on a new purchase of a whimsical pillow cover. Isn’t it sweet?

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There are so many fantasy stories about going into the forest that it’s hard to choose, but at the risk of stating the obvious, I have decided to focus not on a book, but on the musical, Into the Woods. In particular, there is a line that Little Red Riding Hood sings:

Into the woods where nothing’s clear, where witches, ghosts, and wolves appear.

Into the woods, and through the fear you have to take the journey. 

There are so many journeys out in the world that we can be afraid of taking, but truly, some of the toughest journeys happen from within. That is why I like to consider my dreams from time to time. I recently read that dreams help us to create new patterns and associations and to simulate things together that we might not connect with our conscious minds. In that sense, dreams may help us to live more imaginatively and to forge new paths, which can help with problem-solving.

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Other side of room; husband’s dresser and extra side table for storage

So tonight, I invite you to consider your sleep not as an annoying seven to eight hours of necessary checking-out, but as an opportunity to take a journey through the deepest forest of your mind and to find what inner wisdom may be there.

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My mom’s owl, hand-carved jewelry box, illustrated edition of The Hobbit
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Dog crate with quilt covering, extra boxes for clothes
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Cabinet with grandma’s quilts
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My dresser for clothes; I have a few hanging clothes in the hallway also
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My jewelry boxes; top was my mom’s; bottom a gift from my husband
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Print of my mom’s; re-framed in re-claimed barnwood
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Rewined Candles, my favorite!
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Sweet little birdie lamp from my childhood bathroom
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My hanging jewelry
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My bedside table, with my (ahem) favorite mug

Bonus: Somewhere in this bedroom, Wooly Bully, the mischievous trouble-making hedgehog, is hiding. Can you find him?

For more on my “stuff story,” check out this post on the guilt box. And if you missed it, check out my living room reveal.

Source: Encyclopedia of Fantasy: Forest

Three Word Swap Charms to Change Your Life

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I’ve been thinking a lot of language choice lately and I decided to share three of my favorite word swaps. These are simple changes we can make in our language which make huge changes in our perspective.

 Swap “Can’t” for “Don’t”

I found this one online; it was confirmed through a study done by Boston College. This one is particularly helpful if you are having trouble with boundaries, with telling people “no” or having trouble sticking to a goal. Instead of “I can’t go to the party,” try “I don’t go to parties.” Instead of “I can’t have soda” which can feel like depriving yourself of something you want, try “I don’t drink soda” which incorporates this into who you are: you are a person who doesn’t drink soda. In this way it affirms your own willpower.

Swap “Should” for “Want” or “Will” or “Feel”

This is one I learned from a counselor years ago. Is there any word that makes us feel more guilty and less in control than “should?” It brings to light the gap between all the things we aren’t and all the things we wish we were. Swap “I should work out” for “I will work out.” Swap “I should visit my family” for “I want to visit them.” If that doesn’t do the trick, connect to the reason you want to do those things with “because”, i.e. “I will work out because I love being healthy” or “I want to visit my family because I love them.”

And then finally, “feel.” Are you “shoulding yourself” because you are avoiding difficult feelings about obligations that you need to confront? Maybe you are telling yourself “I should hang out with this person” instead of admitting, “I don’t feel good around this person.” Being honest with your feelings can help you live your happiest life.

Swap “Spend” for “Invest”

I mentioned this one in my New Year’s Resolution. This is probably my favorite swap. To spend is to pay out money. To invest, in contrast, carries with it the expectation for growth. You spend money at a fast food chain. You invest in healthy foods at home. You spend money on new clothes you don’t need, but you invest in a quality wardrobe. Before I make a purchase, I like to ask myself, “Is this an investment?”

These words are all a work in progress for me, but I encourage you to try them and see just how much your perspective can change from these three simple swaps.

 

Today’s Inspiration: Be the Change

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With my New Year’s Resolution of Investment, I am trying to keep this quote in mind. I strive to live, not passively, but actively.

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