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The Enchanted Outlook

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I Went to the Woods…

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. 

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Daily Inspiration: Dragons

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“It simply isn’t an adventure worth telling if there aren’t any dragons.”-J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Is ‘Enchantment’ Anti-Intellectualist? 

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Ho, this is a difficult one, and something I have been mulling over for several weeks. In one of my first posts on this blog, I defined enchantment as letting our perceptions control our reality. However, I recently came across a funny article by The Onion entitled Facebook User Verifies Truth Of Article By Carefully Checking It Against Own Preconcieved Opinions.

I found the article to be hilarious, but it did make me doubt myself. In an era of misinformation and fake news where discerning facts seems to be more confusing by the day, was it really responsible of me to promote the idea that our own personal perceptions can control our reality?

To clarify this issue, I would like to bring to the forefront two terms absolutely vital to distinguishing my concept of “Enchantment” from the anti-intellectualism movement: wandering and transcendence.

Wander (vb): to stray from a path, place, companions, etc.; to deviate in conduct, belief, etc.; err; go astray

Transcendence (n): the state of excelling or surpassing or going beyond usual limits; a state of being or existence above and beyond the limits of material experience

The big difference, to me, between someone who has an Enchanted Outlook and someone who is anti-intellectualist is the willingness to wander, even away from one’s own preconceived notions, even when it is scary to do so. It is a willingness to examine different points of view. A willingness, if you will, to accept a call to adventure. To go down the rabbit hole. To learn. To grow. But perhaps Bilbo Baggins said it best:

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To wander is at the heart of living an enchanted life. To live an enchanted life is not to live a life with eyes more closed, but rather, to live a life with eyes more open. To explore. To let your curiosity guide you. To find greater truths. To never stop questioning until you have gotten to the very bottom of things, to the heart of the issue. And then to keep asking more questions.

In doing this, we also open ourselves inevitably to truths that are difficult and sad as well as wonderful and beautiful. We must therefore learn how to process those difficult things. We must learn to rise above them, in other words, to transcend. We find ways to see the beauty in things even when they are at their ugliest, their scariest, or even their most mundane. We can be better than the things that surround us. This is what I meant by letting perceptions control reality.

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To live an enchanted life, then, is not to live a life of denial of fact, but a life of optimism even in the light of difficult facts. To hope for the extraordinary. To find things to be grateful for. To seek greater truths. To embody those qualities we so admire in characters our favorite magical tales. Above all, to live an enchanted life is to aspire to do the most difficult thing of all: to look into the cold, hard truths of the world, and to still find plenty of reasons to smile. That is truly a life enchanted.

I’ve got a lot of thoughts about anti-intellectualism and the fake news movement, but I’m curious to know what you think; let me know in the comments below.

What Lukewarm Baths Teach Us 


Yesterday was a cold, blustery, rainy day here. After a long morning of work and an afternoon of deep-cleaning the house, I ran a bubble bath to warm up. Unfortunately, the multiple loads of laundry and dishes I had run must have sapped all the hot water and the bath was lukewarm. So, I did what any sane person would have done. I shimmied down into that tepid water and stayed there in discomfort for a ridiculously long time.

This made me think. How many of us are huddled down in tepid situations because we are afraid of change? Because we know the transition will be uncomfortable? Or maybe because we are in denial about the difference between the expectation and reality? I wasn’t quite ready to let go of the idea of a warm, soothing bath last night, and I knew I would feel colder upon immediately getting out. Still, I had to admit that I felt a lot better once warm and dry and snuggled in bed.

One thing I have noticed that all my favorite stories have in common is a call to adventure. They don’t sit in the mundane, tepid places of the world. They get out there, even when it is difficult. They explore. They wonder. They go to the lowest of lows and the highest of heights. Leaving our lukewarm places may be uncomfortable, but we must understand that life there stagnates. Life is lived in the seeking of new experiences, the thrill of the challenge, and the renewed sense of wonder.

Today’s Inspiration: Adventure

It may seem a strange quote for the Monday after a vacation, but I find that a return to work after a break is the perfect time to have a renewed sense of adventure. Everything we do, from the monotony of work to the humdrum of housework, was an adventure to us once when it was brand new. Everything we do has the opportunity to become an adventure again with a little creativity and imagination.

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