But let’s back up and talk a little bit about said bullshit, yes?
I LOVE, I mean LOVE, when my friends do well and succeed. It’s a win for me when they do because I like and care about them AND selfishly, I want to surround myself with people who do well.
But that’s not so with all people.
Recently, it’s come to my attention that some of my hard earned gains are not seen that same way but perhaps, as threats or competition.
Well, that hurts me.
My mother , yes Mama Sandra, always taught her kids to care and be happy for others’ successes and I grew up thinking that’s the way everyone acted.
Perhaps, I’m naive in thinking that way BUT I like that my mind set is pretty positive ( ok, there was that one time when someone got the good parking spot from me.)
Like I said, this hurt me and it weighed heavy on my mind for a few days. After just getting it off my chest with my wife and one of my best friends, I let it go. Like poof, no more energy spent on it. And more importantly, I went back to focusing on the good things, th and goals I want to achieve and the life I’m creating.
AND, guess what?
I’ve been more productive this week than ever, I received a couple really good messages regarding things I’ve been working on, my business is starting to take off from both and engagement and exposure standpoint AND I go an offer from a really cool startup that “I can’t refuse!”
Once I let go of those negative feelings and redirected to the positive, my week exploded!
Yes, I am one of those people who believe in energy and the power of attraction. BUT, I’m also one of those people who likes proof.
This week I got it BIG TIME!
Listen, be open, do NOT wallow in the negative- it just doesn’t serve you at all. Think about what you want to appear in your life and then take action over and over and over again.
This is what I call SMALL MAGIC and the formula is:
(awareness + action) x habit
Do it. Take just one thing and use this formula and you’ll get it. I’m proof.
So, go out and transcend the bullshit and be magical!
My Nana was the original character. She would have the entire family over for Sunday lunch and make enough food for five Sunday lunches. Imagine getting off the elevator in her apartment building and smelling the aroma of sauce and meatballs all the way down at the end of the hall. Opening the door and walking directly into her kitchen was an all factory explosion that caused many guests’ mouths to water. Getting an invite to Sunday dinner was like winning the lottery.
While that was really amazing (not so amazing to my waist line), that wasn’t why my Nana was so special.
She would do anything to make her granddaughters (and most anybody else) happy. We put her through endless exercises like asking her to make the sounds of various cars ( read: Nana, make the sound of a Volkswagen) and she’d happily oblige us all the while feigning aggravation.
She would act out every conceivable emotion we asked of her – happy, sad, angry, surprise. She always put us first and would do whatever it took to make us feel special. Even if she may have a look silly or a little crazy doing so.
Make no mistake – my Nana was not a subtle person. Everything she did was big. Her whispers had all the subtlety of a jet engine. When she was feeling neglected, she would dramatically announce that we could just come visit her in the cemetery. To this day, we still use Nana-isms: there’s the shitty Swiss Miss story, the “call Nana” imitation and the way she would suck on her little finger.
For all her idiosyncrasies, I think my Nana unknowingly (both to us and her) modeled what it’s like to love without care or fear. She never worried what people thought about her. She just was and that made her, and all of us happy.
Hell, she’s still entertaining us all these years later and likely for the rest of my life.
Are you OK just being you? Who will you leave that kind of impression on?
Be Nana- the o.g. SMALL magician! And don’t make her call you from the cemetery!
Something my mom taught all of us kids (she has four girls and two boys) at a very early age was the small magic of unconditional love.
Now, let’s define with that means in our family. That doesn’t mean that we don’t get scolded, sent to our rooms or spanked with a paddle from a paddleball game ( her favorite weapon of choice ) when we deserved it. What that does mean is that she was strict with us but fair and we always knew she loved us, no matter what.
Let me give you a small example: my sisters and I shared two rooms among four girls, so you can imagine how “painful” that may have been for us. Well, it was just that much more painful for my mother.
Occasionally, as young girls, our rooms might have gotten a little out of control messy. It happens. My mom’s solution for this was to come into our rooms and use her arm as a tool to knock everything off our dressers. For some reason, I always remember this in slow motion. It was maybe a little dramatic, but it got our attention. ( Side note: I may or may not have done this to a past girlfriend of mine who was prone to leaving stacks of mail, papers, etc. on the table by the front door).
After this incident, mom went back about her day, not as if nothing had happened but as if this was a normal part of her routine. Make breakfast, take the girls to school, do laundry, pick the girls up, wreak havoc, make dinner. AND the underlying theme was always LOVE. We knew this. She was the safe place to land for us. No matter what we did wrong, we always knew we were loved and cared for.
To this day, we know that occasionally, we still want our mommy, because she was always there. NOT to tell us everything would be OK, because that wasn’t always the truth BUT to show us that we would/could make it through anything.
I put it this way:
We fight hard, we live loud, and we love big.
I know that she’s the person who taught me so many lessons and molded me into the person I am today AND I promised to share those small magic lessons with you.
As mentioned before, my mom came from the era when women stayed home and kept house while the men earned the money, and let’s face it, had a life outside of home. When she reentered the workforce, it was both exciting and scary for her.
I believe this is when life really started for my mom. Along this journey and for as long as I can remember, my mom was always 100% herself. Often times, unapologetically so. She never made excuses about only having a high school diploma and secretarial certificate. She was, and still is, who she is at all times.
And she instilled that in me at a young age. That’s magical! So often, we try to be something we’re not. We try to fit in others’ boxes/definitions of what we should be. That can really screw you up. Even with my mom’s encouragement, I’ve struggled. But let me tell you about one place I haven’t.
I was born gay. I was also born into a very traditional Catholic family. I learned from a young age that being gay meant I was a bad person, I would not be accepted, and I thought I was truly going to hell because I was a sinner.
My mom had other plans.
When my mom suspected I was gay, she asked me. I told her yes and that was it. After a few minutes she told me that she still loved me and that nothing had changed about our relationship. The only thing she was upset about was that she hadn’t been able to be there for me when I was trying to figure it out. Well she didn’t go out of her way to mention she had a gay daughter, but she also didn’t censor herself or shy away from the topic. If someone mentioned something in a derogatory manner about gays, my mom was quick to jump in and “school” then.
Because of her, my being gay has always been a non-issue in our family and with friends. She never let me think it was a hindrance or negative in anyway. And as far as I know, I have never suffered nor lost because I’m gay. She made it no big deal and so it’s never been a big deal to me. To this day I am not aware of not being accepted by anyone because of it. Not a lot of lot of my friends could say they had that kind of support from their parents, whether it was being gay, taking an unusual life path, what have you.
My mom, all 5’1″ of her, gave me a small magic of being who I am and being good with that. Besides birth, that is the greatest gift she’s ever given me.
Wow, Lisa, your mom sounds amazing. But where is the small magic?
… Or don’t get seduced by attention.
The parts of the roller coaster ride but I really do enjoy are the swings back up and get a get a place where I’m not falling or dropping. If the moment of weightlessness when I feel like I’m untouchable. While that feels really good for a moment, I realize that it’s temporary and the hard work and obstacles are about to begin and/or present themselves again.
It’s inevitable and quite frankly, I NEED that.
Here’s the trap for me. I get seduced by the attention and I think I’m good, untouchable, not hungry anymore, complacent. This is not good for me.
I want to remember that I will never be done, never be the best I can be, always be striving for more. It’s so much easier to believe the hype about yourself. In fact, I create it; it’s not real. I do it because I want a break and I fabricate it, because it feels good. We all want attention, props, attaboys and attagirls. I’m not suggesting you blow off or disbelieve people who compliment you. What I’m saying is don’t let it fool you into thinking you’ve reached your goal.
If you’re not growing or striving to do or be more, you are a flatline. A flatline means you’re dead. (Thanks, Deb Cheslow)
So, accept your congratulations, enjoy the attention, but remember that this is just temporary. You have to do the work to be better, and we can all benefit from striving to be better.
The definition of vulnerable is “susceptible to physical or emotional attack on harm.”
DISCLAIMER: no one was physically attacked or harmed during the writing of this post.
Who wants to be vulnerable? No one! No one in their right mind wants to knowingly make themselves susceptible to any kind of attack or harm.
BUT… living a life of small magic means you do.
First, let’s address why you’d even consider a life of small magic.
Ask yourself these questions:
1) Am I happy?
2) Am I satisfied with the world today?
3) Do I want to be a part of positively affecting my community?
4) Can I easily explain the process of making a proper peanut butter and jelly sandwich?
If you answered “NO” to one or two, or “YES” to three, then keep reading. Regardless of your answer to number four, watch this video because it’s funny and laughing is always a good thing.
Great – so you’re still reading, right?
OK, so why is vulnerability small magic?
Small magic is all about connecting, taking chances when you’re not sure of the outcome. It’s about reaching out to people you don’t know and attempting to find common ground. It’s about making a small change, that wall small, it’s still new and outside of your comfort zone.
You may think “I’m comfortable where I am.” BUT remember those questions you answered… Yeaaaaahh…
Without vulnerability, there is no magic, no growth, no connection.
You’re still reading so I know that isn’t good enough for you.
Try new things! What’s the worst that could happen? You fail? Big deal! Thomas Edison field 10,000 times before he got electricity right. Would you be good without electricity right now? People called him crazy. How’s that for vulnerability? He didn’t care because he KNEW he could do it and the pay off is way better than playing it safe.
SO… go be an Edison, take chances, be vulnerable, perform small magic.
Oh, and every time you use electricity, you’ll remember this post. I got that going for me.
- Identify that person you’re mad at.
- Forgive them.
- Move on and have an amazing life.