Oct 12, 2015

Metaphorical, Motivational, Mysterious, Magical Monday

At one point I wanted to do "Motivational Monday" as a themed day to help Mondays not suck so much.  But then I wasn't motivated enough to continue (ba dum tish...).

I also really liked last week's "Hey guys, look at this thought-provoking metaphor!"  But "Existential Crises Monday" just didn't sound good, nor did it lend itself to any sort of satisfying alliteration.

So here's a new game.  Sort of like my affirmations project (which is almost done - more on that this Thursday), where I pick a fun word for the day and then roll with it.  Starting with today's theme...

Magical Monday!

Now, it's pretty clear that I'm a skeptic so when I talk about "magic," I typically mean it more in an "appreciating the wonder and joy of life" sense.  That being said, I also enjoy mysticism and superstition, as long as they don't get in the way of my (sometimes overly) pragmatic lifestyle.

So here's a list of ways I've added a tiny bit of magic to my own life, followed by some of the fantastic resources that have inspired me to do so.

9 Things That Add a Little Magic to My Life

1. Essential Oils

Although they are increasingly becoming a more pragmatic resource (I've been beginning to make my own hygiene products), I first bought essential oils simply to have fun with them.  Every once in a while Ryan or I decides to play around with our oil diffusers, or I decide to mix up a new concoction, and it reminds me of the joy I found as a child, raiding my parent's toiletries to make "magic potions."

2. Scents and Aromatherapy

On a similar note...  I've never been a big fan of spending money on candles or fragrances, but we've been using them lately and I can't deny it - it adds a little something to our home.  I also have an ancient (from high school - at least 10 years old) "aromatherapy" scent that I usually only wear for special occasions, but I've been whipping that out for daily use and it's nice.  It makes me feel more confident.

3. Color Harmonizing!

When I first moved in with Ryan, I had to pick a color scheme and "theme" before I (as a conscientious graphic designer) could start decorating.  I still like our colors (lots of tans, browns, golds, and some deep red), but recently (after Kondo-ing the house) I rearranged my clothes by color rather than function.  I have few enough clothes now that I'm not going to forget I have something and it's really nice to walk into the closet and see a rainbow.

4. Organizing and Simplifying

This sounds the opposite of magical, right?  And it is a lot of work.  But it adds magic for me because: A) I love doing it and B) I get so much more enjoyment out of our home and our stuff when it's all things I like and it's all tidy and accessible.

5. Rotating Art and Inspirations

I made an inspirational poster a while back, and my sisters gave me an awesome calendar, AND my planner has a new motivational message for each month.  But the key to this is swapping things out every so often.  I feel like when the same things are up all the time I don't see them anymore, so I switched from having just one poster above my computer desk to a corkboard where I can pin up new things every so often and take down the old ones when I've worn them out.

Ryan and I also do this to the paintings by our front door (that we made at Painting with a Twist!).  We have "seasonal" paintings, so we swap them out 3 times a year (soon to be 4, but we haven't painted a "summer" painting yet).

6. Self Love Bible

I don't know why the "Self Love Bible" (another homework assignment from Radical Self Love) feels so different to me than regular journaling.  When I kept a journal in high school, I wrote mostly woes, annoyances, and teenage crush stories.  The self love bible is a much more positive place, with affirmations, hopes, dreams, and silver linings.  I don't make a point of avoiding negativity, but I find myself not wanting to document it, and the more I write, the more the book cheers me up just thinking about it.

7. Embracing Change

Sometimes change is frightening, or anxiety-inducing, and sometimes it's cheesy - like the change of the season.  But you know what's way more fun than rolling your eyes at all the bubbly proclamations of Fall?  Diving in head first and reveling in all the Fall-themed things you don't always have access to.  I've given myself full permission to be excited about seasons changing, upcoming trips and holidays, and especially scary life changes.  That excitement is necessary to balance out the fear!  And it's a much more fun way to live.  Sure that opportunity might not pan it, you might fail, it might suck.  But you know what?  It might not.

8. Playing

And perhaps more challenging for us adults, making time to play.  It can feel hard to justify scheduling an evening to sit around playing video games, but it's fun, and relaxing, and sometimes even an opportunity for social bonding.  There's also the attitude that playing can still be fun as an adult.  I went to a friend's house and waved sparklers around with the kids for 30 minutes.  We had a ball!  I've lost the ability to have fun in a pool or playing in the waves at the ocean, and that makes me a little sad, but let me borrow someone's kids and I rediscover all those old joys!

9. New Books, Ideas, and Interests

And, actually, blogging.  Coming here and reading posts by others, I'm constantly exposed to new ideas, and I've become interested in so many things that wouldn't have occurred to me without that influence.  I like having a rotating wheel of interests.  Last May/June it was fitness and health.  I learned a lot, made a few permanent changes, and then moved on.  Right now it's organizing and minimalism.  I've about run the gamut with that and I'm noticing my interest leaning more towards DIY hygiene products.  Instead of chiding myself for being flaky, I'm embracing each new hobby, realizing it's probably a temporary one, and getting as much out of it as I can for the time being.  Some will fade in and out, and some will change my life (actually, I have a Goodreads shelf for "game changers").

3 Resources That Have Inspired Me

  1. 7 Ways to Live a More Magical Life by Oddly Lovely
  2. Radical Self Love by Gala Darling (on Goodreads)
  3. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (on Goodreads)

As for future magical endeavors, I'm pretty pleased with my day-to-day life and home.  I'm ready to start focusing on other, less magical areas: swapping out my hygiene products for simpler, home-made versions, pumping some energy into my freelance work, and finding some new adventures!

What have you done to add a little "magic" to your life?  Do you have any resources you'd recommend?

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