5 Myths About Living a Magical Life

real magic is not about escaping the mundane, it's about finding joy in it

real magic is not about escaping the mundane, it’s about finding joy in it

When I first took a vow to live my life as a magical act I felt so excited and giddy about the ways my life was going to change.  I was walking on cloud nine for weeks.  If you read my last post you’ll know that it did change in many amazing ways, some more amazing than I ever could have dreamed.  But I also realized some very profound and real things that taking this vow didn’t mean.  There are some very real misconceptions about the Law of Attraction, and walking a spiritual path.  I found that once I debunked these five myths for myself, I was much less prone to resistance about following my path, and I enjoyed my spiritual practice a lot more.  Read on to see if any of these myths might be preventing you from having a satisfying spiritual practice.

1. When Bad Things Happen It’s My Fault

Recognizing your own power to shape your life, and refusing to be a victim, does not mean that you are at fault when life goes awry.  Let me explain. I believe the universe is a vast complex ball of chaos that doesn’t fit neatly into our human brain sized boxes of cause and effect.  When we start to realize our own power, we often mistake that power for being omnipotent.  I believe that everything that happens in our lives is an opportunity to learn a grow, but its happening may have nothing to do with us.  Sometimes yes, the message is loud and clear.  You keep getting in the same fights with all your friend, you keep choosing the same crappy partner, you keep finding mates that are just like your mom or dad.  But life isn’t laid out and planned out from the beginning to end, there are the lessons we have to learn, and then there is Random Shit That Happens.

But doesn’t everything happen for a reason?  Yes, but the reason isn’t always ours to know.  What if that shitty thing that just happened is WAY better than what could have happened?  What if missing opportunity you really wanted just saved your life?  Not to mention that we live in a big world full of people all living their own lives, and learning their own lessons.  Sometimes we just get caught in someone elses life lesson.

2. A Setback Means I’m Going the Wrong Direction

I see this one all the time.  I tripped and fell on my way to class, maybe I should re-think the class.  I didn’t get that job, maybe I should re-think my direction in life.  Yes, when something is continuously hard to manifest, and we alway seem to be running into road-blocks, maybe its time to re-evaluate.  But if we quit every time we encountered one set back, we would get no where.  Chances are if one setback has you running for the hills, its has more to do with fear and resistance than divine intervention.

3.  If everyone got what they wanted, wouldn’t the world turn into Chaos?

Yes and no.  The flip side of learning that you are powerful and can draw what you want into your life is that you have to really decide what you want and why you want it.  This is learning about Heart’s Desire.  True soul-desire differs from greed because it serves a purpose.  It helps you do your work here on earth, and that helps everyone.  Greed is when we just want more, because we don’t know what truly nourishes us, so we keep needing more and more to fill the void that never get satisfied. And yes, there are those that use the powers of manifestation to get whatever they ask for, not realizing that they don’t really want any of it.  But that’s not what I’m talking about when I talk about waking up to magic.  I’m talking getting what really fulfills you, what makes your heart sing, so that you can give back.  And a world where everyone knew what that was, and had it?  That would be a beautiful world!

4. If I have the power to shape my world, what if I think a bad thought, won’t something bad happen?

We can’t control our thoughts. We can’t control our emotions.  Yes learning to lean more towards positive thought and healthy emotional expression is a good thing.  But magic doesn’t happen by accident.  Its not like the movie Carrie, where we wreak havoc with our anger.  Magic takes a specific conscious intention, it takes a ritual act to focus that intention.  Intentionally hurting someone with our words or actions has bad consequences, but not in the form of knives spontaneously flying across the room.  Yes if you are always thinking negatively, chances are you are surrounded by negativity, but only because you can’t see anything else.  You aren’t going hurt someone just by thinking badly of them, unless you are really trying hard to curse them.  And if you are, then we need to sit down and have a little talk about magical ethics.

5. But I’m totally on board with this magical life thing already, why do I still have dirty dishes to wash and debt to pay?

You know how in the books little faeries come and clean your house and do your dishes, or a handsome stranger saves the day?  Yeah, that’s never gonna happen!  The mundane tasks we may love or hate still exist whether you live magically or not.  The difference is how we look at them.  I still have to mop my floors, clean my room, feed my family and pay the bills.  But if I choose, mopping my floor can become a blessing or space clearing on my whole house.  Feeding my family: a spell of abundance.  Paying bills, well this is still a hard one for me to wrap my brain around, but what if every time you gave someone money, it came with a silent blessing: “may you have everything you need.”  It seems silly and small, but imagine how different things would be if every time money changed hands, it came with a blessing?  Its not in the avoiding of these mundane tasks that we find the sublime, but in the embracing of them as potentials for acts of magic.

And now I would like to hear from you.  What other myths about spirituality can you think of that have proved to be untrue?  Leave a comment below.  And if you like what you read, pass it along by sharing on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest (easy social share buttons below)!

 

 

 

How I Found the Magic in My Life

what ifFour years ago,  in a room full of about 13 other women, I took a vow that would change my life forever.  In front of my teacher, and everyone else I committed to living life as a magical act for a year and a day.  At the time I wasn’t quite sure of what I was committing to, but a voice inside me said Yes! Do it!  So I did.

At the end of that year, I was in grad school, on my way to getting my degree in Chinese Medicine and starting my life’s work as a healer.   But something more profound than just finding my vocation had happened to me, and shortly after that year was over, I made a commitment to live my whole life as a magical act.

Here are just some of the things that has meant for me:

I came to fully accept that I was a magical being.

I was enrolled in a 4 year program in magical studies, but I always felt like and imposter and a fake.  I didn’t think I had any particular magical talents.  I didn’t feel like I was psychic, I had never been able to ‘see’ energy or auras. In fact, I was pretty sure that any minute someone was going to point a finger at me and tell me to get out of class. What I learned that year was that we are all magical beings.  We are all capable of developing psychic awarness, but more importantly, we all have gifts that no one else has, that is our magic.

I accepted that I was fully in charge of my destiny.

No more excuses or free tickets to pity-ville.  If I was going to live my life as if it were magic I had to accept that every thing happens for a reason.  Everything has a purpose. I also had to accept that I co-created my own reality with the universe.  If I felt like a victim or full of negativity, that is exactly what I was going to create in my life.  But if I stood in my own power and called to me that which I desired most, I was able to bring it into being.  What a scarey and awesome prospect.

I learned that I was here to do something amazing.

Up until that point I think my biggest life aspiration had been to avoid being eaten by what I saw as the soul killing machine of capitalism.  That meant living a life of flexible, but meaningless employment, always being broke and feeling like it was the fault of the system that I was unhappy.  But choosing to make this vow I came to realize that my gifts were needed. This is when I began to realize I was a healer, and invested time and  money into grad school so that I could open a full time practice.

I also learned to surrender to the fact that I had no idea what my true calling would look like.

In accepting that I was hear to do something special, the next step was realizing that my own attempts to shape that reality actually kept me bound by my own limitations.   When I learned to surrender to the Universe (which I think of as the goddess) I learned that life can be so much more wonderful than you could ever imagine.  When I look back on what I thought I wanted at the beginning of grad school, I can see now that it would have made me miserable.  So by surrendering and being open to the opportunities that life presented with me, I am so much happier.

I learned that when you are ready to do your work, the universe steps up to support you in a million ways.

Just one example.  Upon finishing grad school I had some vague ideas of how I wanted to practice.  Actually there was one practitioner whom I really looked up to, and if I was going to open a clinic, I really wanted it to be like her clinic.  After a couple of months of  practicing out of my house and looking for the perfects space, who calls me on the phone?  This very practitioner.  There was an opening at her clinic and did I want to join them?  Um Yes!  It made it possible for me to make a living strait out of school.  From there I built a thriving practice that not only paid me, but fed my soul in so many ways.  It was not uncommon for me to look around while at work and think “I can’t believe I GET to do this for a living!”

Of course making this decision hasn’t meant that things have always been easy, there have been a lot of hard life lessons to learn (more about that in a future post).  But I’ve felt ALIVE and CONNECTED in ways I never thought possible, and that has made all the difference.

In what ways has saying yes opened up magic in your life?  Leave a comment below.

Allison Carr LAc believes that healing yourself makes the world a better place.  Learn more about her work and classes at http://allisoncarr.net/

 

 

How to find a spiritual mentor

We are all desperately lacking in mentorship.  One of the biggest needs that I see among my readers and patients is the need for better mentors.

Who doesn’t want someone to guide them along the path, notice their strengths and give them some compassion when it comes to their weaknesses?

We are living in a time of abundance when it comes to spiritual teachers, but how do you move from having a teacher to having a mentor?  More often than not we feel like we have to wait to be chosen by our mentors, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Mentorship takes effort on your part, it is something you can cultivate and create in your life.

Where to start:

First get clear on what kind of mentorship works best for you.  Start with the teachers already in your life, some of them are going to be more directive, some of them more passive.  What style works for you?  Do you want someone directing you, and possibly having a say in the choices you make?  Or do you do better when someone lets you figure it out for yourself?  Do you need a challenger to call you on your bullshit? or do you need someone who is going to be soft and accepting even when you mess up?  Also how do you resonate with your teachers ethically?  Do you respect how they live their lives?  Do they have integrity in your eyes?  It’s important going into a deeper relationship with a teacher that they be in alignment with your values.

Once you’ve identified teacher who have the potential to be good mentors for you, the next move is up to you.

Focus on Giving

Approach with what you can give, rather than what you can get.  Offer to help them where they need it most.  Notice what they could use help with and make your offer specific.  If you just give a blanket “if you ever need help with anything” offer, you are likely to get ignored.  It’s too vague. Offer specific skills you know you excel at.  “you know I could organize that class list for you” or ” I could set up your email list in an easier way” or “I can bring you lunch so you don’t have to worry about it”.  Feeding my mentors is one of my favorite ways to give back to my teachers, it always helps when they know they don’t have to worry about food in addition to a long day of teaching.

Two things are true of most teachers, one, they love to teach, two they are too busy already.  To make it easy on them approach them with things you are curious about.  Make it easy for them to teach you more, ask questions.  Do the work for them, don’t make them come up with the lesson plan.  Approach them with concrete idea of what else you want to learn from them, and a suggestion for how it could be accomplished.  Offer to do some of the ground work, like organizing other students. Most teachers are thrilled when students want more from them.  Don’t take it personally if they don’t have time, consider the seed planted and be patient.

Be persistent:

One of the biggest things I see is that people give up, if at first they aren’t welcomed with open arms.  Be respectful, but also be persistent.  If you are giving back, and making life easier for your mentor, its ok to let them know you are still excited to learn more from them.  D0n’t give up if your first request is denied.  Teachers get all kinds of requests, sometimes you have to demonstrate that you are serious, in order to be taken seriously.

What are ways you have found mentorship in your life? What has worked, and what has failed?  Leave a comment below.

Allison Carr LAc believes that healing yourself makes the world a better place.  Learn more about her work and classes at http://allisoncarr.net/

 

Are these 5 things keeping you from finding spirtual community?

 

medium_3437790239We all want it:  connection, community, our ‘tribe’, to feel like we belong.  One of the most common things people tell me they long for, is a sense of spiritual community.  Not only finding a belief system they resonate with, but being able to share it with others.  And why not?  I have found that some of the most intense and profound experiences I’ve had with other humans has been in a shared spiritual context.

But if you aren’t into organized religion, how do you find a group of like-minded people to have spiritual connection with?

In this article we are going to discuss some of the most common pitfalls that keep us from the community we crave.

Don’t assume it will just come to you.

Just like getting a date, finding a job or finishing a project, this isn’t going to just happen on its own.  You will have to put some hard work and commitment into finding your community.  Put yourself out there, find classes, meditation groups, or gatherings where you are likely to meet others that share your beliefs. Test the waters.  Forming community takes time, and a willingness to engage.  This doesn’t mean you can’t ask your spirit guides for help, or say a prayer for what you want, it just means that you are also going to have to take some human action.

Don’t be too picky at first.

When you are first getting started don’t rule out opportunities just because they aren’t an exact fit.   That goddess group may not be exactly your cup of tea, but you may meet some folks there who feel the same as you.  Go with an open mind however, don’t go just to trash an event, or talk shit about it afterwards.   At the same time don’t stick with something that really doesn’t resonate with you.  See if you can find the balance between trying new things, and being honest with yourself when it’s just not for you.

Don’t propose on the first date.

All too often we are so eager and thirsty for spiritual community we go in looking to form commitment before even getting to know someone.  If you find yourself going to meditation groups, classes, or public rituals for the sole purpose of finding people to form a group with, you may be coming on too strong, and missing the gifts available to you.  You would never propose marriage on the first date, so why would you expect someone to commit to a deeply intimate connection with you on the first meeting.  Test the waters, go slowly, get to know people  before proposing you all form a coven and become blood sisters.

Don’t assume that having spiritual commonality will protect you from human drama.

We would like to believe that when we are dealing with folks on a spiritual plane that we can bypass all the petty shit that gets in the way of normal friendships.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  In my experience, our vulnerability increases dramatically when engaging in spiritual activity with others, and often so does our bad behavior as we sometimes seek to cover for our weaknesses by acting out.  Before joining any group, or forming one of your own, ask yourself how well you know the folks involved.  Are you likely to be supported and treated kindly when your shit comes up?  How well do they deal with their own shit, and are they willing to take responsibility when they act out?

Don’t try to control the process.

Unless you are trying to form a cult, you will need to relinquish some control over how things unfold.  You may have the perfect idea of how best to form community, or make commitments with others, but you don’t always know best.  True community is based on a shared value system, where everyone is honored for their unique gifts.  In my practice we have a belief that each person present in the group is holding a very important piece of the puzzle and that we wouldn’t be complete without them.  This ensures that everyone’s perspective is valued and no one person has all the authority. Trust that when others show up, they are there for a reason, and when they can’t be there it is also for a reason.

So how do you do it?

Put yourself out there, meet other people and then start slow.  Invite folks over for a casual solstice dinner, or new moon ritual.  Don’t get too heavy or too deep at first.  See who sticks around, who do you have commonality with, who does it feel like you can trust.  Don’t take it personally if folks aren’t ready, just find the ones who are.  Also recognize that no one person needs to be everything to everybody.  Certain folks may be great for a causal dinner, but not the types you want to book a weekend meditation retreat at the beach with.  Other people may be the type that you can spend hours going incredibly deep with, but they don’t get along with your other friends.  It takes all kinds of people to form community.

In what ways do you struggle with finding spiritual community?  Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to share this article on Facebook and Twitter if it resonates with you.

Allison Carr LAc believes that healing yourself makes the world a better place.  Learn more about her work and classes at http://allisoncarr.net/
photo credit: AlicePopkorn via photopin cc

Navigating your late 20s, Part 3; visioning the future

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I’m officially on maternity leave and in honor of the up-coming birth, and to make life a little easier, I’m reposting some of my old material here.  I originally ran this post back in 2010, but many of you may not have seen it.  I think its worth another look!

This article is part 3 of a series on the Saturn return, the period of transition between ages 27-3o. In part one we talked about what the Saturn return is and why you should care, in part two we covered the importance of clearing away old patterns and habits in order to move forward. In this section, we tackle what may be the most challenging part of this whole process: coming up with a vision for how you want to live your life as an adult. It’s challenging because we live in a culture that highly values critique and analysis. It is very easy for us to articulate what we don’t like about something, it’s not so easy to imagine how it could be different. We also live in a culture that is rampant with pessimism. The idea that if I set my expectations low, I will never be disappointed. Well that just isn’t true. If you set your expectations low, chances are you will only accomplish the bare minimum. Visioning the future in the way we want to live it requires us to take responsibility for what it is we want, and to admit that we are ready to get it. Neither of those things are easy.

How to begin: Start with the work we did in part two. In that article we talked about letting go of limiting ideas, habits and relationships. Sometimes knowing what you don’t want can be a good starting point for figuring out what you do want. Remember that list I asked you to make about all the things that are no longer true about you? Well you can take that list to re-craft the things that are true about yourself. Start with all the things that you got rid of and think about the opposite of them. Try to craft statements about yourself based on what you are. If one of your statements that is no longer true was something like: I’m socially awkward. Try turning it into something like: I’m a person that values community and works toward making community bonds stronger. I know it sounds cheesy, but it can be really empowering, and remember no one else has to read this stuff, its just for you. Make a list of all the things that you are now, even if you don’t totally feel like you are those things all the time. Keep this list somewhere where you can look at it often, daily if you can.

Think about what you want from life: Wanting things is somewhat of a taboo in our culture. On one hand there is the commercial/corporate driven ethic that more things will bring you happiness. Many of us have rejected that value and repleaced it with ethics that prioritize justice, community, and not destroying the environment. During the process of saturn return it is really important to be as honest with yourself about what you want as you can. Pay attention to desires that may be different from how you felt 5 years ago. When I went through this process I found that I finally had the energy to settle down in one place. Prior to that, I had really valued travelling, and felt that putting down roots would just tie me down. It was a big shift, and I had to let go of how I saw myself living, and replace it with a new vision. The same process can happen around how you feel about relationships, jobs, raising a family, making money. The challenge then becomes reconciling your new desires with your values and ethics and figuring out how to be the kind of person you want to be. For instance, in my own process there was a part of me that viewed settling down as a form of selling out. For me, the challenge was to figure out how to live a settled life with the kind of integrity that reflected my ethics.

What are you good at, what are you here to do?
This is a huge issue, and lies at the very heart of the transformation you are going through during Saturn return. Unfortunately one blog entry isn’t going to help you solve this one. But spending some time searching, and pondering this question, will help you immensely during this process. And remember, you don’t have to figure it all out by age 30. Actually, I see most people figure this one out in the years that follow the Saturn return. But is it is the work you do now that lays the ground work. This is the area where getting some outside help can really make a big difference. In Five Element Acupuncture the goal of treatment always to help a person become more fully themselves. Five Element treatments help us make peace with the things we are ready to let go of, and strengthen our inner core self, so that we can manifest our greatest strengths and values.