“There’s no magic in the world.”
These were the heart-wrenching words my son Breck spoke when we told him that Santa Claus was merely an idea implemented by Mom and Dad.
As tears rolled down his face, my stomach turned. I glanced at my wife, saw her tears, tried to hold back my tears…unsuccessfully.
I remember the feeling, the magic my son lost in that moment. Not being able to sleep on Christmas Eve out of sheer anticipation and excitement for the day to come.
My parents had to set the rule of not waking them before 5 a.m. Christmas morning I could hardly wait and jumped out of bed, elated.
The front room was decorated with gifts, stuffed stockings, and a display of gifts from Santa.
My parents were home with no distractions or work and could be with me and my siblings. Grandparents stopped by for some show and tell with each gift. The room was sparkling with lights and decorations. We even had brunch together with all my favorite foods.
It. Was. Magical.
Most people stop experiencing magic far too early in life and even worse, some never experience it at all.
They don’t create magic in their life, or dream often due to pain, circumstance, environment, false beliefs, and the fear of failure.
What if the dream doesn’t happen?
How can I afford such a bold vision?
How will I be viewed by those I tell about this dream?
Who am I to accomplish such a feat?
Doubt is a process born of protection. Maybe people tell us something isn’t possible, or what we want to pursue is not a good career, or we try something that doesn’t go as planned leaving us scarred.
Seeds of doubt replace the language of possibility.
As children, our imagination had no boundaries. As adults, we consider time, money, ability, and obligations. We don’t call these considerations excuses, but reasons. We become overly reasonable.
Logical, rational, reasonable, and small.
Reasonable is a path of limitation.
Our reasons govern our actions crowding out creation, imagination, or our Soul Purpose. We use our reasons as a shield to protect us from the pain of being judged, preventing us from taking risks on ourselves or going all in.
We never allow the dream, removing the possibility of magic, due to “reality.”
Grow up. Get real.
Society labels dreamers as naïve and we are indoctrinated to become cogs in the system, trading time for money.
Childlike play that would have led to fun, adventure, and “magic” takes a back seat to benefits, bills, and bullshit beliefs.
It is time to break free from the spell.
The spell of a zero-sum game, take what you can, work while you can, and get what you can, all at the expense of love, life, and today.
You can speak your best life and vision into existence.
It may seem like rhetoric at first. You are saying something that has yet to manifest, but it is language that brings forth our story in life.
Magic is not what we have been told. Society tells us it is an illusion, accomplished through trickery, or maybe for the lucky few.
It is available to all of us, here and now.
It begins with vulnerability.
This is probably a surprise, but the reward is so sweet if you can unveil and live the freedom formula.
When we pretend things are better than they are, or develop a story that protects us from our emotions or won’t allow people to see who we truly are, we hold to an invisible weight that ages us, robbing us of energy, excitement, value, and play.
Vulnerability is the access point to healing and for allowing other people to support us as well.
To be vulnerable requires trust.
Who has your back?
Who can you trust?
Who positively challenges you?
Do you have someone, or a group of people, that you can be open with and share anything?
I’ll share anything with my friends.
But there are other people I chose to be friendly with, not friends. I do not share my life, my vision, with someone I don’t share values. Maybe they live in scarcity and therefore may not understand or be of help. Rather than fake it, or pretend, I simply chose not to share with them.
I also have buddies that are fun to hang out with, but that I don’t share all my ideas, thoughts, and emotions. That is not the dynamic of the relationship, and that’s okay.
Vulnerability and trust are the first ingredients, but here is where the magic comes: Intimacy.
When you can be open, present, and vulnerable with a trusted group or individual, you can find intimacy.
Intimacy is where you are in the moment, connected, and fully yourself. Where you can see someone and allow them to see you, without pretense.
Society has collapsed intimacy to solely mean sex. If intimacy is limited to sex, we limit our ability to find magic in everyday interactions.
Even treating sex and intimacy as synonymous is part of why we lose and don’t fully experience intimacy. Strangely, intimacy is a word that wouldn’t even be considered in platonic relationships.
Just like my son felt the magic was lost with Santa, most people lose connection and the gift of being present because of fear. Many are afraid to be vulnerable because they may get rejected, denied, hurt, or relive some terrible event.
Protection is often a mechanism we create from pain and difficulty, often in childhood. We learn to protect and preserve at the price of intimacy.
Maybe we avoid a difficult circumstance in the future, but at what cost? Sometimes difficult times lead us to the wrong lessons.
When the lesson comes at the expense of being expressed, being present, or accepting and giving love, we lose. We prevent deeper learning by trying to avoid hurt or mistakes.
If our process to protect is developed before our brain is, we stunt our growth. It is as if our maturity remains stuck at the age of the original incident (in that particular area) when we were kids. We remain immature to avoid hurt or embarrassment again, but rarely learn or examine the full lesson.
Where have you potentially learned the wrong lesson?
Where do you feel held captive or limited based on past experience or current belief?
Have you ever made a promise to never feel a certain way again or allow a similar situation and then do all you could to protect that promise? It is that very promise preventing us from being vulnerable.
One of my favorite movies is The Town. There is a scene where Ben Affleck’s character is talking to Rebecca Hall’s character.
She says, morosely, “It’s just another sunny day.” She goes on to say that her brother died on a sunny day.
Things that might normally be seen as “good” become reminders and anchors tying people to their past, to their pain.
Unresolved pain, past trauma, or unprocessed emotion can limit our ability to share love and feel connected.
The paradox comes from protection. Doing all we can to protect ourselves can prevent the greatest reward and protection possible- connection. Intimacy.
Intimacy allows us to be in the moment.
To see others and be seen.
What would you have to heal to allow people to see you, the real you?
What would it take to choose love each moment and share your love?
In the most intimate moments, we aren’t worried about the future or being held captive by the past. We are in the moment.
The byproducts of intimacy?
This can happen one-on-one or with a small group of people sharing gratitude, stories, and lessons. Or when an entire crowd laughs at a joke.
There is a moment in my theatrical keynote where I say, intimately, “…so I could spend this moment right here with you.”
Everyone goes quiet and I just look around, feel the room, and it is magic.
Vulnerability. Trust. Intimacy.
To get to human connection, it requires courage. It demands honesty in communication.
The alternative is silent suffering. This type of scarcity, isolated thinking is illogical and happens when our thoughts betray us. If we keep those thoughts to ourselves, we won’t heal, we remain unexpressed, and we limit our interaction with people.
When we are alone with our thoughts; judging ourselves, comparing ourselves to others, and remunerating our mistakes, we lose.
We push people away.
We drain our energy.
We don’t feel worthy.
These stories mount in our minds and create stress, and fear, and repeal intimacy.
To open up to someone without preparing every thought and maybe even sharing something we have been hiding our whole life is vulnerable. Otherwise what we hide becomes a boundary and limitation that occupies space in our minds and hardens our hearts.
Society can be misleading.
Chasing and protecting status can prevent intimacy…comparison certainly does.
Jealousy divides and is governed by scarcity, destroying collaboration.
I have moments where I am jealous of people, it happens more than I’d like to admit…especially successful comedians. At times it leads me to a place of judgment and resentment rather than celebration and learning. Seeing them live their dreams reminds me of where I haven’t fully committed to mine.
Trying to mimic, copy or do what someone else does, leads to loss. Feeling inadequate and comparing your situation to some fantasy.
Those we may feel jealous of, we don’t know their pain or the reality of their whole life. We aren’t sure where they struggle. Yet we compare to what we think is the ideal version, the unrealistic version of their life.
Where do these feelings come from?
Sometimes moments from our childhood, times of pain and trauma can create blind spots as a coping mechanism.
After getting hit by a car at three, I watched the concern and pain on my family’s faces as they rushed to the hospital. I felt if I wasn’t perfect, I hurt those I love. And if I hurt those I love, what does that say about me?
How did this show up in my adult life? I had a limited belief, hidden from me for years, that if my wife didn’t love me, it meant I wasn’t lovable. Deep down, I believed I had shown her all of who I was, and if she knew me best and rejected me, it meant I didn’t deserve love.
This is an example of internal isolation. The solution? Being vulnerable. It was vulnerability that created trust. It was trust that created intimacy.
Twenty-one years into marriage and we are in the best place we have ever been. It was work, but the work worth doing.
For years, I didn’t examine why I held back my love, and I didn’t want to be vulnerable because I thought that meant I was weak. That I was broken. Maybe she won’t love me as much.
The opposite has proven to be true.
It has allowed us to grow together.
It has brought out her superpower of listening, support, and healing.
It was the gateway to being supported, to healing.
What do you most need/want to heal this year?
Intimacy happens in the moment.
You have the choice in this moment.
Funny, the last sentences remind me of the lyrics of my song with Steve Aoki, Hyro #humblebrag (I know, I know, name drop for the EDM fans, but stay with me).
The lyrics I wrote say:
“This moment. This life. This moment. You have the choice in this moment, you know it.”
Here is where the magic comes in.
My friend Ross had called me a few years ago saying he’d love to write music with Aoki, then manifested it, and brought me along for the ride. Even better, I brought my son along for the ride as well. When my son Breck started to listen to, and love music, new possibilities appeared.
We had a recent family meeting where he spoke of wanting to be healthy so he could live a long and happy life. Breck talked about how excited he was for this coming year. He is learning to do West Coast Swing dance, create music (he has written eleven songs so far), take piano lessons, and go back to Aoki’s house with me.
Carrie, my wife, helped Breck see himself and find his purpose. She had a conversation with Breck about his future, about what he loved most, and what had him most excited. In that intimate moment, he uncovered his love for music, something he could dedicate his life to, the career he wanted to pursue.
He started pacing around the house. I thought he’d wear out our floors. His face lit up. The excitement was bursting through.
He knows his winning game.
The win isn’t solely in the outcomes, but in the work he is already doing.
He loves the process.
It is inspiring to witness.
It is magical.
That moment of intimacy, between a mother and her son, unveiled the magic. What started with concern and tears, led to my son showing himself, to be himself.
What if this was the year of receiving?
What would it take to be vulnerable enough to receive help?
Jealousy and comparison can rob us of results and often prevent us from seeking support. Jealousy and worry leave us being more concerned with looking good than actually feeling and being “good”, happy, or okay.
Are you ready for the magic in your life?
Embrace vulnerability. Grow your trusted relationships. Find intimacy.
Connection. Breakthrough. And so much more…