I’m tempted by efficiency. My overactive brain craves the order of a predictable routine, a color-by-numbers life, the safety of no surprises.
But I also crave enchantment. My heart craves the unpredictable, the spontaneous, the magical.
In many ways, the two are mutually exclusive. Indeed they can’t be experienced at the same time. At any one moment, you can choose efficiency or enchantment, but not both. Please your brain or your heart, but not both. Derrick Jensen states it best:
Efficiency leaves no room for the enchanted. Anything that’s magical, mysterious, fantastic, dreamy, is apt to be inefficient. Furthermore, enchanted systems are often complex, and involve highly convoluted means to whatever ends are involved. And they may very well have no obvious ends at all. By definition, efficient systems try to eliminate as many of the preconditions for enchantment as possible.
Enchantment Happens in the Space Between
We’ve all heard the idea that music is the space between the notes. The same is true with enchantment. It happens in that space between the things you already know. It happens in the slowing down.
When you think and act like you know everything that’s going to happen, the magical can’t approach you, and even if it could, you wouldn’t be able to see it. You would be too busy knowing exactly what’s next.
The enchantment begins when you slow down–way, way down–and pay close attention. In conversation, in play, in work, in sex, in the daily rituals, just slow down and allow for the unexpected. Don’t let your brain decide ahead of time what will be next, what you will feel next.
Open yourself up to the vast field of potential and allow something completely new to envelop you.
Stop being so efficient by assuming what he will say next and really listen to the subtleties of his word choice and intonation. Respond to that instead of your Pavlovian expectations of what he must be saying (because that’s what he always says).
Get The Latest From InnerSelf
If you expect her to criticize you, anything she says or does will be received as a criticism. The compliment was backhanded; the silence was judgmental.
Your expectation creates your reality in a very practical, very real way. When you predict, you close your eyes to all of the other possibilities.
How to Stop Predicting and Allow Enchantment
You can stop predicting by opening yourself to change, by having new eyes.
Marcel Proust said,
The only true voyage of discovery, the only fountain of Eternal Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of them beholds, that each of them is; and this we can contrive….
In our day and age, much of the outer world is known, but we’ve placed a do not enter sign on the path to our inner selves, the space in between the physical. Hey, I get it: it’s scary in there. So much darkness, so many possibilities. That is, however, also where the enchanted happens.
Enchantment, the space in between, is frightening because it shows us something new, and when we encounter something new, one of two things must happen: we must close our hearts (which is painful and numbing) or change our minds (which is scary as hell).
Stay Closed Or Change. There Are No Other Options
Now the change need not be drastic every time, maybe just a refinement of perspective. But change is intimidating because there are so. many possibilities. The field of potential is infinite and dark and scary. We know but a pinpoint of it. It’s so much easier to believe that what we know is all there is.
Like the multitude of people who were confronted with the truth that the world might not indeed be flat, we have the choice to remain in denial, in smallness, in flatness, or to acknowledge the limitations of our current perspective and see possibility.
In order to fully embrace the enchanted, we have to admit the smallness of our world, the singularity of our perspective. We have to shed layers of assumptions, habits, and ways of looking at and engaging with the world. We have to be able to don new eyes.
And that ain’t easy, my friend.
But that’s where the magic happens, where life happens.
True Enchantment, True Magic
Every moment spent in true enchantment is a step off the ledge into the unknown. It’s the new layer of intimacy with our lover, the discovery of an unexpected friendship, dancing in a thunderstorm, letting go of our preconceptions about others, opening up to the enormity of the Divine. It leaves us exposed and vulnerable, no doubt, and it’s not efficient or predictable, but it’s freedom.
It’s beautifully dangerous.
Anything less is just a comfy jail cell.
About the Author
Nancy Bolling helps women reveal their best selves by finding and manifesting their deepest desires. You can follow her blog and apply for a free coaching session at www.NancyBolling.com.