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It Ain’t Magic

Albert Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life: as though nothing is a miracle or as though everything is a miracle.”

A miracle is a thing of wonder, something that stretches our capacity for conventional explanation.  To call something miraculous is to invoke a heightened awareness of it, the transcendent nature of it.  Approaching all of life as miraculous, we recognize that what first appears mundane can be truly extraordinary.  The humdrum contains revelations, the prosaic becomes sublime.  Allowing for miracles, we raise up ourselves and each other.  We can lift up the world.

“To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle.” — Walt Whitman

That’s beautiful.  And yes, it’s all a miracle.  But it ain’t magic.

This week I’m thinking about the power of Intention — the spiritual practice of declaring possibility for ourselves and our lives, and then living on purpose into the future we wish to create.  It’s strong work, and it can transform everything. 

Sometimes, however, in philosophies that emphasize the value of positive thinking, we can get pretty shiftless with it.  We speak a prayer and then wait for providence to do all the heavy lifting.  We make a vision board and then release our word to the Law that has already said “Yes!”  I say stuff like that all the time.  And then because I’ve “released,” I go back to whatever old habits and old thoughts were running the show before that.  And nothing changes.

Here’s the thing, though:  while I do believe that it’s true that the Universe is responding to our expectations, creative intentions, attitudes, and beliefs, this doesn’t mean that our part is simply to sit around on our duffs waiting for blessings to show up.  Our work is to clarify our intentions, and then actually to deal with what shows up.  Yeah, it’s great and groovy to trust that what subsequently occurs is always for our good, helping us to align more deeply with our soulful intentions.  Yeah, I have faith that the Universe is always working with us and in our favor. 

AND… we still have to keep dealing with our lives, reckoning with reality, continuously.

It is wondrous and miraculous that we are so intimately infinitely connected to everything, both physically and through our consciousness.  It is a wonder and a miracle that we can begin to create anything we can imagine, setting worlds in motion with our intentions.  Yay, miracles! 

But if we leave it at that, things devolve from miraculous to magical.  Magical thinking gives away our personal authority to some otherworldly force.  Magical thinking is superstitious and lazy.  Magical thinking tends to not be prepared to keep practicing, keep intending, keep committing, and keep taking actions consistent with our vision.  Thoughts and prayers are all well and good, because they invite a new possibility, a new hope.  And, as James says in the Christian Bible, “Faith without works is dead.” 

Thoughts and prayers, intentions and vision, can establish a new way of relating to our lives and the world — a partnership, a covenant, a promise.   But the miracle, then, is our creative, collaborative participation with Everything — with the Universe, with Each Other, with God — with our time and energy, with our money and resources.  The miracle is our opportunity to do the work, to be the change.

I can’t wait to be with you.  XO, Drew

© 2018 Drew Groves

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