Sitting in the sunshine, surrounded by giant red and yellow flowers, six feet high with petals twelve inches across, I bit into my Magical Mystery Pie as the Police sang “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” in the background.
I was dining at the Mellow Mushroom in Fort Worth, Texas, a Beatles-themed pizza restaurant whose slogan is to deliver “happiness as expressed in pizza.” It seemed appropriate to sample their signature pie which features pesto, a variety of non-psychedelic mushrooms, jalapenos, spinach and cheese (vegan cheese in my case), making for a spicy green lunch.
I flew into the Dallas-Fort Worth airport last night because I’m here for some client business, and as always decided to make the most of the trip while I’m here. For me that meant researching the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the area, and figuring out where I can go out dancing tomorrow night.
Stumbling onto the Mellow Mushroom was a delight, because the food was yummy, and more so because it reminded me of how much I crave magic in my life.
That was lunch. Dinner was even more magical. I had convinced myself that it was possible for me, even here in Dallas, Texas, in the heart of steak and barbecue territory, to find incredible vegan food and fun ambiance.
Enter the Cosmic Cafe. The magic started in the parking lot, which had a fence running along one side painted with a giant mural of scenes of divinities and families in India, and the building itself was painted aqua at the base and then covered with murals of sacred figures: Buddha, Ganesha, colorfully painted, and greeting me as I walked toward the front porch.
There was a little painted sign above the front steps that said “Namaste,” which of course means “I see the Divine in you” in Hindi. I took a seat on the front porch, which had about eight tables, since it was a balmy night.
I could have been in Delhi. As I sat and sipped my soy chai, three women in saris wandered by to my right, one young redhead in a pastel pink and green sari; an older woman with gray hair twisted into a low bun in a sea-foam sari; and a lovely Indian woman with caramel skin, black hair and eyes, in a black and ruby sari.
Returning In My Mind to A Land I Loved
As was the case in India, my senses were dazzled. Classical music was piped onto the porch, fans spinning overhead, and I was surrounded by color: a red silk hawk suspended from the ceiling overhead, a tapestry on the ceiling featuring mirrors and sequins, a bright blue Ganesha to my left sitting on a magenta lotus flower and holding another lotus flower in one of his many arms. The entranceway to the cafe was framed with stained glass windows, with a cross on one side and orange flame on the other.
Dinner was the “Cosmic Stir,” or every green vegetable you can imagine plus tofu, carrot, yellow squash, onions and cauliflower cooked with a generous dose of ginger and served with basmati rice and salad. I savored every succulent bite.
Even though it is not something I could perceive or measure with my five senses, I was also aware of a palpable sense of a peaceful and loving energy at the cafe. Somehow, in the middle of the big state of Texas, I had found my people, my food, my colorful cultural haven, and I was in awe of the magic of it.
Time To Teach Wizard School
Have you ever felt like you could teach Wizard School? Like you were the one who had the answers those Muggles were looking for?
I’ve experienced many times in my life when the beauty of the world and all the dreams that I was living were so magical, so colorful, so Technicolor, that I felt like I was the wizard, like life was just one long amazing magical spell, a dream from which I never wanted to wake up.
And I’ve lived days as well when life felt more “black-and-white,” when I felt like I was going through the motions, and just doing what needs to be done.
I am decidedly on the side of the Wizards, not the Muggles, when it comes to how to live. I am all about living in a way that fosters, encourages and creates more magic.
Apparently, on this particular Monday, I needed a reminder of that.
Â What Does It Mean to Be a Wizard?
If I were to teach at Hogwarts, I think I’d mainly want my students to know that they were capable of creating anything, and that life would shape itself to their liking. I believe it will when we have a strong and clear intention about what kind of life we want to live.
That’s not to say that things will always go our way of course. And I don’t endorse the kind of “magical thinking” that would have us buy lottery tickets vs. finding a great job or creating work we love, hoping we’ll someday “get lucky.” We need to set the intentions for the kind of life we want to live, then take action to create it.
But I think a life that lacks magic can become mundane, feel uninspiring. If we aren’t feeling the magic, then, it’s time to go make some or find some.
Where Is Magic Lurking?
For me, the magic is everywhere when I am in the spirit of truly loving life, and looking through eyes that watch for awe and wonder.
That’s when everything starts to look like a miracle, from the bright blue sky to the leaves flaming red in autumn to giant flowers painted by an artist at a Fort Worth, Texas restaurant, and I am just full of gratitude for the beauty of life.
I try to bring it with me sometimes too, like when I carry around giant silly sunglasses decorated with rhinestones and shades shaped like peace signs in my purse, just because you never know when a photo op might call for green glasses that are twice the size of my head. For me magic and pure silliness are often closely associated.
It’s a magical world that children live in, after all, because everything and everyone is so much bigger than them, and there are so many things yet to explore that they haven’t discovered yet. Can you imagine being so tiny, like my two and a half year old niece, that you come up to people’s thighs? And living in a world where all the furniture is made for the giant grown-ups?
It’s so easy to forget what the world was like when we were that size. Who really remembers living from that perspective? I know I only have flashes of memory from that period of my life.
Yet I still live with so much awe and wonder now, and feel like this world is a Wonderland, indeed.
Top Tips for Cultivating More Magic In Your Life
When life begins to feel too busy, crowded, hectic, and alternately when it feels too empty, boring, slow, it may be time to cast a spell on life again, and to live with more magic.
Here are my top five tips for living with more magic, everyday:
- Set the intention! It’s so simple that we sometimes forget. Yet so much of what we get in life is about what we intend to create. Decide that every day will be more magical, and focus on finding and seeing that, and it will appear.
- Ask yourself: What can I do to make today extraordinary? In my book, every day is extraordinary, because simply being alive is a miracle. Yet that’s easy to forget as well. I love to start my days by asking a question about how to make it the best day possible, and then following the advice that arises from my heart!
- Live with the spirit of a child. Children find so much to be so surprising, and marvelous, because everything is new for them. Look to live your days with eyes open for wonder, awe and beauty. Let life be new for you again!
- Celebrate the magic as you find it. Life responds by giving us more of what we want when we offer gratitude for what we have. As you find the magic in your day, find a way to give thanks for it as well, whether it’s through a silent prayer, a journal entry, or just truly savoring the moment, with gratitude.
- Share the magic! We all know that joy grows when it is shared, and that happiness shared doubles. Find a way to bring others into your magical experiences, whether that is through looking for shared experiences with friends or loves ones, taking pictures, or as I am doing here, blogging about it! Let others in on what a magical world it is when seen through your eyes.
For me at least, one of the most important things I can remind myself of daily is that even as I pursue my dreams, life is truly about all the journey. I figure you might as well have fun along the way, and make it a magical mystery tour, where there is always more to discover and explore! Enjoy yours!