Let’s face it. We’re all getting pretty tired and frustrated with the state of the world right now. Some of us are furloughed, some of us have lost our jobs, some of us are out there risking ourselves on the front line every day. Some of us are bored; some of us are depressed; some of us are desperately lonely. Most of us are stuck at home, and pretty much all of us are isolated from many of the people we love the most. I don’t know about you but I’d give anything to hug my friends right now. Worst of all, some of us have lost our kindred and we’ll never get to hug them again.
I don’t think any of us ever thought we’d live through such a thing.
I heard on the news the other day that it’s been a whole year since England went into its first lockdown. Time has done some very peculiar things to my perception over these last twelve months, and whilst it seems like we’re finally emerging out of the other side of this upheaval, I’m not sure if the fact that it’s been a year is actually just totally horrifying… But I try not to think about that.
Almost everyone I’ve spoken to over the last few weeks has expressed to me some variety of disenchantment with the world we’re living in (and I use this term deliberately; bear with me and I'll explain why). At best, they’re bored; at worst, they’ve totally fallen out of love with life. But the one thing they have in common is a desire for connection, and a longing for a sense of meaning.
I feel like I’ve been very lucky. Sure, I’ve had some rough days - rough weeks, even - but most of the time I’ve managed to keep pretty focused and upbeat.
And the secret remedy as I see it? Re-enchantment.
Ok. I know it sounds vague and kooky and probably a bit ‘woo’, but bear with me here.
I hit my own rock-bottom five years ago. A traumatic longterm relationship (without saying too much, we’re talking severe depression, anxiety, emotional manipulation and suicidal tendencies on the part of the other person) led me down the dark rabbit hole of losing myself. My entire identity became unrecognisable to me, indistinguishable from what was happening around me, and I didn’t know who I was anymore. Most of the time I couldn’t even remember my own damn age (and whilst I wish it was, that’s not an exaggeration). I was living in what seemed to be a permanent state of fear and exhaustion - desperate to escape but terrified of what awaited me if I did. I didn’t want to be awake because I didn’t want to think, but I was too tired to sleep because I was terrified of dreaming. I never considered taking my own life, but I still vividly recall thinking ‘death would be better than this’.
I knew I needed something more if I was to survive. I longed for a sense of groundedness, purpose, and connection. I needed to build a place inside of myself where I could go to feel safe; something that would help me to find my place in the universe beyond the boundaries of my relationship with another, and something which no one else could ever touch. Something which no one could break, or ruin, or take away from me.
And totally by accident I discovered the modern practice of Druidry, and my place in a number of Pagan and magical communities.
Now don’t worry - that’s really another story so I’ll refrain from ‘getting all spiritual’ on you! And rest assured you really don’t need to be spiritual to get this, if that isn’t your cup of tea! But it bears mention as a stepping stone in this tale, because it became the gateway through which I found everything that I needed at that time in my life:
Peace of mind and a sense of connection with something bigger than myself.
It was a long journey home but eventually I found my sense of self again.
As a result, what I have discovered and honed over the last five years was a way of re-enchanting the world - a way of seeing things differently so that no matter how bad things got, I could always put it into some sort of perspective.
I learnt to see magic everywhere I looked. And I don’t mean the Hogwarts kind! But rather this - in the colours of sunsets, in the new life pushing up through the earth in the spring, and in the song of the blackbird at twilight.
Magic was wrapping my arms around the trunk of a twisted oak and imagining I could feel its life force pulsing through its bark - the same life force that I believe we all share.
And it brought me the fulfilment and the stability that I was missing during those dark times.
It’s this sense of magic and wonder that I try so hard to offer through my art. Actually, it’s the reason I’m not a photo-realist. Creativity, I think, is mysterious, and even the creative process itself has become a kind of magic for me.
But it’s taken me a long time to fully embrace it and put it out there in the world openly and honestly, because it’s a step too far for many people. Hitting ‘publish’ on this blog post actually makes my heart palpate a little… Because the moment you start throwing words like ‘enchantment’ and ‘magic’ around on your business’s website, you inevitably lose certain people.
But I’ve had three small but important epiphanies off the back of finally doing this…
I realise now that it’s ok that some people won’t like it and will leave. Because the ones of us who are left? We become a sort of quirky, colourful, perhaps slightly dysfunctional but very awesome tribe. And that’s pretty cool.
I’ve realised also that it’s one of the reasons why I have the amazing clients I do - because they too are searching for something a little more creative, a little more inspired, and yes, a little more magical. And if I can bring a sense of enchantment back into the life of just one person, then I’m happy with that.
And finally, I’m starting to understand that helping people to re-enchant their world and engage with creativity in a magical way is probably what I’m actually here to do.
Introducing... Enchanted Moondays!
So, without further waffling from me, I’d like to introduce you to Enchanted Moondays!
Every Monday, starting in April (which gives me next week to get my metaphorical ducks into some semblance of a metaphorical row) I’m going to be sharing something magical, creative, thought-provoking or inspiring to help re-enchant your week from the start.
It might be something big and immersive like a full-fledged blog post, or something small and sweet like a photograph or a quote. I’m not going to structure it too much beyond this, as I want them to flow organically and reflect their own process of evolution. I’ll introduce the idea properly in the first Enchanted Moonday post, but I’m pretty excited to start doing these and to share them with you!
Helping people to connect with creative magic is something I’m desperate to do, and these posts are the very first step in testing the waters to see what resonates. In the longer term though, I’m in the process of developing a framework through which I’ll be able to mentor others through a process of re-framing and enhancing their own creative processes, so that they can become their own master of creative re-enchantment.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, and I'm keen to know if there’s anything specific you’d like to see come up here. For example, where do you encounter blockages in your creative flow? What stops you letting go and creating freely? What worries you most about the creating? What is 'magic' in your eyes? What does the phrase ‘creative re-enchantment’ mean to you?
There is SO much we could discuss, so I’m going to stop here and hand over to you. Leave me a comment, or if you prefer, drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m a one-woman-band, so either way it’ll be me that picks up your message and replies!
I can’t wait to hear from you.
With love and magic,