Sunday 3 June 2012

"Do You Believe In Magic?"

"Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen." ~ Wolfgang Von Goethe

I did something new last night, something that I may have done as a child or perhaps on a visit to Las Vegas. I watched a magic show. There were three magicians. The first one was entertaining but a bit predictable - the standard magic tricks with a side serving of silly, slightly corny jokes. The second magician performed a series of illusions involving photographs that were pretty cool and definitely left me scratching my head as to how he did them. The third was my friend Jamie.

Jamie isn't just a magician, he's an entertainer creating illusions but also weaving a story about his own journey in following his love for magic. With the other two magicians I was entertained but I mostly sat back in my seat. As soon as Jamie took the stage I was on the edge of my seat - I was as riveted by his sense of humour and fun stories as I was by his very cool magic. I could feel his energy and pleasure in what he was doing. He created a connection with the audience by letting us peak behind the curtain. No, he wouldn't budge on sharing his secrets to his magic (!) but he did share stories that made us feel like we were all friends.  The line between entertainer and audience became blurred.

Any performer or artist who gets up on stage is really taking a risk. When you share something of yourself you risk rejection. I so strongly admire these people who put themselves out there. We see this a lot in life but we might not always recognize it. Yes, it's an obvious example when a singer steps onstage or an artist displays a painting - the potential risks for rejection and criticism are obvious. But as human beings we put ourselves out there to varying degrees every day. Sometimes people get us and sometimes they don't.

I had a reminder of this recently when my actions and words were misinterpreted. I voiced my opinion and shared how I was feeling about something but with not such great results - no rounds of applause or standing ovations, sadly! Kind of the opposite, in fact. As part of my struggle with depression, I don't always have complete control of my moods. It's not an excuse, it's a reality of mental illness. It's something that I am quite aware of but in the moment I can't always control. If I am happy, I am usually pretty darn happy. If I am down, angry, or frustrated then guess what? It's usually amplified. Bipolar? Yes. I am still working on managing this aspect of my depression and sometimes I am pretty good at it, sometimes not so much. When I talk about my illness or even share an opinion or thought, I am putting myself out there and opening myself up to critique.

But here's the thing, I am kind of OK with that. Sure, it never feels good to have conflict of any sort and I always regret if I hurt someones feelings with a hasty word. The thing that I am OK with, is learning from my mistakes and growing from them. The risks are worth the rewards in choosing to be open and expressive in all aspects of my life. The value is in recognizing your less than finer moments in life, owning them, and then moving forward that much stronger.

Back to Jamie. I mentioned that he wove a story throughout his performance. He did this by asking a simple question, "When? When did I become a magician?" I have been thinking about that question since he posed it last night and I have adapted it to me. My question is, "When? When will I reach my full potential?" The answer for me is simple - not anytime soon, I hope. The fun is in putting myself out there, accepting the risks, and reaping the rewards. I hope to have a long life full of challenge and passion. I think it's all over the moment we stop learning and growing.

So, as Jamie continues to hone his craft and live his passion, I'm going to do the same. In the end, our magic will be the same: believing in ourselves.

KB xo

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