Who can control a smile sneaking across your face as you go outside on a beautiful spring day, suddenly finding your nostrils filled with a sweet aroma of fresh blooms, while feeling warm breezes against your skin, whispering, “No coat today.”? Nature provides enchantment all around us in the spring. The birds sing, the flowers bloom, animals have their babies, new birds learn to fly. If you look high up in a tree you might see an exquisite bird singing loudly, full of life. It is as if nature gives humans an opportunity for enchantment all around. Yet, we often are indifferent, not responding spontaneously to the rebirth of spring. We seem to be, at times, equipped to live lives of misery brought on by ourselves. Many of us are able to generate a bad mood, put ourselves down, see our future as dark or today as gloomy. We have lost or never had the easy comfort and capacity to relax and enjoy life that a cat has on a sunny porch just snoozing and rolling over. We humans have to work at enchantment. Let s take a moment and look at what the major components of this work called “enchantment” are.
To experience what we call THE ENCHANTED SELF, that is positive states of mind and body again and again, a person must be able to develop three capacities. The first is the ability to successfully meet one s needs. This can be challenging when we find ourselves committed or obligated to be elsewhere or doing other things. There is a saying, “If you can t go to the mountain than bring the mountain to you.” You may yearn to be outdoors playing sports or gardening but find yourself stuck indoors at home or at work. Opening the windows to let fresh air in, displaying a vase of colorful flowers on a table are some of the ways that can enable you to experience a spring day.
What s important is that you recognize what you need and then act upon it. This may mean verbalizing what you want to others or just giving yourself permission to take the time to do something that adds enjoyment to your life.
The second capacity we need to develop is having a positive appreciation of yourself, so that you see yourself as worthy of experiencing enchanted times. This means recognizing your personal value. Your children and/or husband, wife, boss, significant others are all important and should be treated with care and respect, but they are not more important than you. You are unique, with talents, coping skills and potential. You have the right to balance your life so that your needs can be taken into consideration. This self value is another building block of enchantment.
The last component is recognizing what really does give you pleasure. You may love walking on the beach, your bare feet touching the sand, still cool in the spring. You may enjoy going to a local county park when temperatures start rising. Someone else may prefer to engage in a more active social life in the spring and perhaps does not care about being outdoors. The spring may stimulate a yearning to have friends visit, or go to the local fine restaurants and experience different types of foods Enchantment requires a self knowledge that only each person must know for himself or herself.
And don t forget your memory banks, your wonderful treasure chests. As you begin to spring into enchantment,
it is in these memory chests that you will recognize your special interests and preferences. Your positive memories can help you frame out what you would like to do this season.
Here is an exercise to get you started:
Close your eyes and let your mind wander back to something that you loved to do as a child in the spring. Did you like to climb trees? Did you like to ride a bike? Go fishing? Run? Catch lightning bugs at night? Think about the way your body felt as you did this activity. Did you feel excited? Did you feel particularly alive and alert? Did you feel relaxed? Think about how you felt when the activity was over. Were you exhausted? Were you revitalized? Were you hungry? Now list some of the skills that were necessary to perform that activity. For example, if you used to love to climb trees, some of the skills might have been agility or arm strength to lift yourself onto branches. Another skill was probably good balance. Do you still have these skills? If so, what would you like to try at this stage of your life that might let you get back in touch with the physical pleasures that you were so naturally in touch with as a child? Perhaps dancing or lifting weights or rock climbing? Whatever your physical pleasure may have been, lift it out, dust it off, and use it. And most important, enjoy!
If you do not have these skills, what are some alternatives? Perhaps rather than tree climbing you could stretch in all directions, lying on a mat or on a soft carpet. This will require much less in the way of balance or risk-taking. Perhaps you would enjoy a risk-taking adventure via a book, movie or a computer game. Reinvention of yourself in order to experience pleasure is a never ending pursuit.
How do we finally begin to generate a world of enchantment? It is very simple. If you are leading an enchanted life you will quickly see that you send out positive energies and positive messages. Before you know it, there is a mutuality of shared enchantment going on. Laughter is infectious, good moods are catching, and like the birds singing, all of these happy reflections of harmony are resonated again and again as they move out in ever expanding circles. We hope you will take some time to spring into enchantment and to let yourself move from feeling enchanted to being truly enchanting.