Looking Inward for Life’s Magical Moments

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In the spirit of giving, I’ve decided to give you the gift of magic. I hope you’re able to let magic enter this life, whether it’s by embracing the fantasy genre or picking up a new craft. Here are 11 ways to find magic in everyday life:

Let fantasy into your life

Fantasy can be so many things. For me, it’s reading young adult, science fiction and fantasy books. I really like Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, as well as Jackson Pearce and her reimagining of fairy tales.

Of course, if you’re not into fantasy books, that’s okay, too. Magic means different things to different people. It might mean reading a book about someone you admire, or listening to a podcast about how to be a better person.

Whatever way you choose to let fantasy into your life, you’ll start viewing the world differently. As Roald Dahl once said, those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.

Get your hands dirty

Literally or figuratively. I was thinking the other day how very little my hands do. Sure, my fingers get a workout as I type the day away, but that’s about it. To compare with my high school days, I took notes in an actual notebook, played the flute religiously and painted every now and again.

So, this year I’m making it a point to get my hands dirty. I’ll be taking up the flute again and perhaps signing up for a ceramics class. There are loads of other options, too. One of my friends recently gave me an “adult” coloring book and I’ve found it to be almost therapeutic.

Get your hands dirty

Release your inner kid

For me, this is Disney but it might be something else entirely for you. Whatever makes you think of your childhood, whether riding a merry-go-round or making holiday cookies with your family, let yourself indulge in these things every now and again.

I’m also a big fan of Harry Potter, and have recently re-listened to the whole series on Audible. It sounds silly, but the magic of reading these books for the first time returns to me each time I press the “play” button.

Release your inner kid

Befriend a kid

Speaking of releasing your inner child…have you ever noticed how differently kids see the world? I have two, four-year old nieces and I’m utterly enamored with them. They view the world so differently than adults do, and have such a true pureness of heart.

If there’s a child in your life, consider yourself lucky. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten about my “everyday” worries simply because I’m so consumed in the magic of my nieces.

If you don’t have a child in your life, that’s okay, too. Sometimes it just takes watching a children’s movie to remember how you used to see the world.

Befriend a kid

Follow the sun

If you’ve ever watched the sun rise or set, you know what I’m talking about. I’ve found that it’s a good reminder that no day is guaranteed.

More than that, though, it forces me to hone in on the moment. There have been so many times where I got so caught up in photographing the sunset, that I managed to completely miss it. In a world where we’re practically glued to our smartphones, you have to make a conscious effort to look away from your screen and toward the horizon.

If you don’t live near a beach, and I’m sure many of us don’t, go to an outdoor space like a public park. You might not see the sun dip below the ocean, but you can still marvel at all the changing colors.

Find something to get excited about

While I’m definitely an advocate for living in the moment, it’s also okay to get excited about the future. When I go a few months without traveling (which in my world is a lot!) I love planning my next trip.

This is also a great way to practice gratitude. Be excited that you have the opportunity to go someplace new. Congratulate yourself for making this happen. You worked hard, you sacrificed your morning coffee for a year and put it into your travel fund, instead. Go, you!

If traveling doesn’t do it for you, find whatever does and focus your energy on that. It might be as simple as picking up a new sport, like kickboxing, or as admirable as volunteering in your local community.

Find something to get excited about

Look up

Yes, literally! I’ll admit that after years of living in New York and seeing craziness just about every day, I’ve learned to ignore a lot of my surroundings. Yet, there is SO much detail to take in, no matter where in the world you are located.

Now when I visit New York, I make a point to change my point of view. I’ll look up at all the tall buildings, all the gorgeous ceilings and even at the stars (on the rare occasion that they make an appearance).

best cities for architecture

Get to know your spirit animal (or any animal)

During my trip to Lake Atitlan in Guatemala last year, I started thinking about spirit animals and what mine might be. As I reflected more, I started to think that maybe it was a wolf. However, I’ve discovered that at my core, I’m as innocent as a deer.

As life happens, I now live on three-acres in California, surrounded by redwoods and yes…deer! While I don’t spot deer every day, when I do, it’s really a magical experience.

I also feel like a five-year old every time I spot a dolphin or whale at the beach. There’s something so thrilling about seeing these creatures in nature, and a sure fire way to cultivate magic around you.

Get to know your spirit animal

Do something age inappropriate

Yes, I said it! You might be an adult, but you can still act like a kid sometimes, as long as you’re not hurting anyone else in the process. For me, I love riding carousels and always have. Sure, I’m a little self-conscious about what others, particular parents of actual children, might think, but I still push myself to do it.

Maybe it’s the endorphins they release in the process, but I also really love trampolines. So, this past year on my trip to Nevis, I found a trampoline at a little beach bar area and promptly started jumping. Later, a ten-year old boy joined in the fun and a few minutes later, we were both kicked out for being too old. That’s right – even HE was too old.

Honestly, it was the highlight of my trip, and it’s always better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission. At least, in this case!

Do something age inappropriate

Make a wish (and believe it will come true)

Treat everyday like your birthday…in terms of wish-making! When I was a kid, I used to make wishes on dandelions and would imagine my wishes coming true as the little seeds spread across the air.

Even today, if I see a dandelion and I’m not in a rush, I’ll pick it up and wish upon its seeds. My wish might not come true, but it always leaves me with a sense of calm.

Make a wish

See the light

Of course, being the Disney fan I am, I think of Tangled here (you know, the “I See the Light” song). There’s something so magical about cities at night, don’t you think?

I remember walking through Paris one night by myself and feeling like I was in a movie. A few years later, the “Midnight in Paris” movie would come out and I’d be completely justified.

Now that I live in a mountain town, I don’t have any city lights to gaze upon. Instead, I’m able to escape the city pollution enough to see the stars shine bright. I have to say, while I’m still adjusting to my very new environment, stargazing by night never gets old.

Star gaze by night

How do YOU find magic in everyday life? Tell me in the comments below.

Megan McDonough
Megan Eileen McDonough is writer, blogger and social media specialist based in New York City. She also runs Bohemian Trails, a lifestyle blog designed for the savvy and stylish traveler. Bohemian Trails aims to feature must-see places around the world, covering everything from revamped neighborhoods and vibrant street art to innovative tech hubs and everything in between. Her cultural escapades have taken her to Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Megan is also a freelance writer and social media specialist based in New York City. She contributes to various online and print publications in the travel and fashion industries and is an international correspondent for both Jetsetter and Northstar Travel Media.
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