by Jon Poindexter, LCPC
When You jump in the water, or slide into deep powder of snow, there is a moment of disorientation. You lose Your bearings, time stretches and bends unrecognizably, Your breath catches, Your body and mind has a physical and emotional reaction, shock. It’s a moment of confusion, unreal and detached.
Then You recover. And most times You’re okay. And sometimes, You’re having a blast.
This disorientation can be pleasant. In a more extreme and unsettling incidence, this can be traumatic. I’m going to place this writing in both the positive and the negative contexts.
Being involved in a crisis or a search for meaning and Your question can feel the same way. It is a time where You can lose Your bearings, be detached from Your body, lose perspective of time, and become trapped in repetitive thoughts. There can be pain – physical and/or emotional, It can be difficult or even impossible to gauge the actions and reactions of those around You, even those close to You.
This moment has no confines in linear time. Events and occurrences, shocks and traumas, transitions and life cycles play themselves out according to our own constitution, the severity of the event/cycle, and what resources are gathered to throw at the situation.
I’m taking this starting point to an extreme to illustrate the point: there is a magic to reclaim. The magic, is the alchemy and transformation of adjusting to the life that You want to have. The magic can have a supernatural overtone, attached to spiritual traditions and archetypes, ascending to a idealistic goal or making a Vision Quest. The magic can be more terrestrial and psychological: overcoming a trauma, breaking repetitive and persistent thoughts.
The path to reclamation of Your magic is first to get Your bearings on where we are, second to remember that there is magic (health, happiness, safety, well being, power) for You to recover or gain and third to get Yourself a plan on how to reclaim Your magic.
And always keep in mind: positive thinking increases the likelihood of a positive outcome. This is not just flower in the hair New Age thinking, this is also empirical, researched, documented fact.
We can find meaning in our experiences, even when they are potentially adverse. It is up to us to turn these experiences into opportunities to develop and grow. (Smith 2012, Frankl 2006) This is the magic and the transformation. There’s the internet photo going around which is a billboard that says, “Well you wanted a sign-God.” Sometimes we miss the billboard too, right? At that point, it’s okay and necessary to lean on friends, family, counselors, spiritual preceptors, gurus, etc. And don’t always go for the “yes” people: go to someone who will challenge and push You. Not persons who are adverse and negative, but someone who can frame an experience in a way that can be supportive, as well as present growth opportunities.
When we get our bearings, then it is important to see the goal. See what we want to transform, imagine the outcome. We may not be able to describe the outcome in words. It is important though, that we begin to access and capture a feeling, image, emotion that will help us to identify what it is we are conjuring. Magic and transformation have direct and tangible consequences and results. We can’t back down or be afraid to see what we want, to know how it feels to be healthy and successful, and to work towards making it happen: making the magic.
What is this event telling You about Yourself? If You were writing the story of Your life, how would this particular chapter read? What would be the conflict, and the pivotal point? What would You hope for the hero to learn and achieve?
What’s the plan?
Take walks in nature, work hard, pray, have fun, treat Yourself to something wonderful, get enough rest, eat well, get angry, smile often, have sex, listen, have hope, read, cry, play, flirt, try, fail, mediate, visualize, make music, writing, theater or other art forms, breathe… Any or all of the former. The one unifying factor in all of these…
Go get it. There is a magic to reclaim.