The Power of *Magic*!

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“What is Blues Dancing?” a friend asked.  Though I’ve been doing this dance for 10 years, it hit me for the first time last week, while teaching a Blues Dance Fundamentals class.  It’s Magic!

When I watch Cirque du Soleil perform, or listen to Eric Clapton play, it always seems like magic. How did they do that?!  When I teach dance, the answer seems to be … it’s not what you think.

What you think you see happening in the dance is informed by what you are used to.  Students often come to a dance class hoping to learn some cool moves.  But what makes two people seem to move as one is not what they know so much as what they feel.  At its best, teaching dance shows you how to give up what you know, and find for yourself the unimagined subtleties of the muscles in your core.  If you are open to it, you will start to listen to the music in a different way, and create space inside for a new set of habits, originating from a different place.  Like remembering something you once knew, as a child.  Then, like some sleight of hand trick, you feel it in your bones, and you are dancing.  The magic is finding the trigger to release the power already inside you.

Life is like that.  You pick up the sword to fight the dragon.  The dragon you have known, seemingly, all your life.  Procrastination.  Loneliness.  Unfulfilled desire.  Money problems.  Limitation.  You fight the good fight, and all the while, there is this pink thread sitting in the grass off to your right somewhere, barely in your field of vision, and you think that’s odd … but you let it go.  Then one day, perhaps by pure happenstance, you pull on that thread, and suddenly, the dragon unravels into a mist of smoke …

So, what are those pink threads?  We are all different, of course, but there are some good ones that work for most people, most of the time:  Gratitude.  Self-care.  Self-parenting.  Prayer and/or meditation.  Feeling what you feel.  Asking for and accepting help.  Creating systems of structure and support.  Reinforcing the elements of safety and stability.

Man Behind the CurtainAnd then, presto, things begin to shift. Sublty but pervasively. In unexpected ways. You begin to notice love and support that was there all along.  Creative energy flows naturally from within.  Life is dancing with you. You notice that voice saying “don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain,” and you pay attention, anyway, and realize it is you at the controls.  You become the wizard of your own life.

All magic is, is giving up what we think we know to make way for the possibilities of our imagination.  We are all powerful that way. Trust in the power of magic.  Dance with your life.


We shape our self
to fit this world

and by the world
are shaped again.

The visible
and the invisible

working together
in common cause,

to produce
the miraculous.

I am thinking of the way
the intangible air

passed at speed
round a shaped wing

holds our weight.

So may we, in this life

to those elements
we have yet to see

or imagine,
and look for the true

shape of our own self
by forming it well

to the great
intangibles about us.

~ David Whyte

  1. Jeff McCullough

    Very nice my friend. Well said. I think of it as go for the feel first, and then remember to look for the results. Noticing that it happens helps to make the magic a conscious experience. Your dance analogy really brings out the importance of that order. Focusing on the dance steps without having the feel first results in a very stilted experience. The magic can happen over and over by going for the feel first. Cheers. -Jeff

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