I have been growing up with my children for the last nine years and they have shared so much ‘magic’ with me and they are part of the reason that I have learned to trust, love and open my heart up to humanity in a deeper way.
There is a contradiction that I have often encountered as I have learnt to parent concerning what is called ‘The magic of childhood.’ Many of us seek to give our children an experience of magic in their lives but why is it we seek to deliver trips to Disneyland, are not honest about who brings presents and queue up for hours to meet a Father Christmas in a shopping mall etc.
This has got me pondering why, as parents, we so easily fall into the behaviours of the generations before us and knowingly perpetuate the cultural myths of the Tooth Fairy and Father Christmas etc. as if there is no other way of bringing up our children?
The so called ‘magic of childhood,’ such as the Tooth Fairy and Father Christmas, pale into insignificance when we allow ourselves to appreciate the moments of true connection and joy that can be shared with one another.
The ‘magic’ of Christmas, Easter bunnies, birthdays, is big business, and many of us can feel the pressure to get the right present, to have everything perfect for these events in the year. And while it is fantastic to stop rushing around, spend quality time with people around us, have a party or share a meal, as parents is it possible that we can be somewhat reliant on cultural mythologies and savvy marketing campaigns to bring an element of ‘magic’ to our children’s lives –– but what are they really experiencing?
Could it be that ‘magic’ is right there in front of our eyes in all moments, at all times of the year? And if so, what is magic – and do our birthdays, Christmas Day or any of our cultural icons have anything to do with it?
What do we do when our child asks, “Did you buy this for me?” concerning a present under the tree, or when they are uncooperative one day and we decide to bring out the, “Be good or Santa won’t be coming” story… Do we consider what we are bringing into our relationships with our children when we do not respond to them with honesty? Could the words we choose to answer with, if not honest, actually begin to degrade the very sense of magic, wonder and joy that is naturally alive within every child?
I suggest that appreciating magic in our lives has a lot to do with appreciating the gold that is in our lives on a daily basis and being as open, sincere and honest as we can be in our relationships.
Feeling a sense of magic in life is very much about nurturing and keeping alive the innocence, sensitivity and openness that children are born with and which, potentially even into adulthood, we can maintain.
Is it possible that magic is everywhere – it just happens that we keep getting distracted by a false light because it comes with glitters and sparkles? Could that ‘false light’ be flashing at us like false advertising on a neon sign…. selling us short-term solutions and investments when it comes to the ‘magic’ of life, rather than us having to look with honesty at the cynicism, reactions and hard shells that we develop as we grow into adults?
Are we already clouded by a cultural idea that thinks that we can not maintain and live with a wonder and magic of life at any age? Is it truly a natural progression in life to not feel magic and become cynical as we mature?
When we reflect on our experiences, it is our relationships and moments of connection that have true meaning – not what we buy, do or have.
What maintains and supports a knowing and sense of innocence and magic in a child’s life (something we all know at the birth of a child) is when they feel they are seen for who they are and appreciated and accepted.
- Knowing that if they have a question to ask, they will know that their parents will answer that question with honesty, to the best of their ability.
- Knowing that if the world gets tricky and slippery, they have some open and loving arms to come to and be held in.
- Knowing that when their parents make mistakes, they can apologise.
- Knowing that they were born more than enough, and they never need to seek anything outside of themselves to prove who they are.
- Knowing that their parents are role-modelling letting go of their ‘stuff’ so that together they can be more loving, because living with love is more important to them than holding on to any ‘stuff.’
- Knowing that if they feel something that is not true, their parents will support them to honour what they have felt.
- That when they look up, and look at their parents straight in the eye, they connect and are with them in full – to the best of their ability.
The magic of childhood does not need to leave us in adulthood. It is felt through the quality in which we live every day, which can include:
- The knowing of the true light that shines bright within every one of us when we connect with each other.
- Exploring the oneness, wonder and expanse of the universe.
- How Love can be felt and lived.
- Appreciating ourselves and one another.
- Being aware of the natural order expressed in nature: the signs, symbols, connections and synchronicity of life. I observe this daily in the branches of a tree (how each one has its place in balance), the shape and texture of a flower’s petals, the people I have around to reflect something to learn and appreciate, the rainbow in a raindrop, the light changing throughout the day, a full moon, observing the cycle of night and day and raising my head and taking in the stars.
Being open to the wonder and magic of life as an adult is a way of role-modelling the quality we so seek to sustain within our children.
This is where, as parents, we have the opportunity to be a true role model, to live in the quality that supports our children, inspiring them by how we live responsibly and with care for our own health and wellbeing; by appreciating what is reflected in life and learning from it, with the understanding that this underpins everything we do and say. The old saying, “Do as I say, not as I do,” is something that many parents are familiar with, but the thing is we are all hypocrisy radars and sniff out inconsistency before a word has been spoken.
There is magic all around us, at all times. It can be felt and it can be lived in the smallest interaction through honouring what we feel and appreciating ourselves and others. We all have the power to choose to commit to building a life with more consistency and care. It takes commitment but it is so enriching, nurturing and joyful to explore true magic throughout the year, rather than being reliant on what is sold to us seasonally or keeping it for so called ‘special’ occasions – whether it be appreciating what the seasons reflect to us, being aware of bird song, how the sky changes, a sunset, bringing nature into the home with flowers, the sparkle in someone’s eye, enjoying the warmth of the sun on your back.
By the way, this does not mean a life desolate of dressing up, gifts, rituals and playfulness. Parties can still be planned and enjoyed and the changing ages, cycles and seasons marked and celebrated. Life has so many moments to mark, confirm and enjoy, be it coming together for a meal, allowing our bodies to rest as the day comes to a close, dancing together, appreciating our relationships and expressing it, choosing a gift from a place of love and celebrating our lives as they unfold through the years.
When it comes to parenting, what will our children reflect upon when the years have passed? In this world that can be at times chaotic, cynical, dishonest, unloving and scary, could it be that there was a beacon of light and consistency, a parent without perfection that honoured who they are, truly listened and was honest with them? A parent who shared the wonder of how life and nature reflect back to us who we are?
How would this prepare a child for adulthood while holding and nurturing that light of true magic within?
Just take a moment and look into a child’s eyes without expectation or a guard. Be open to the love and light that resides within (if you don’t have a child near you, it works just as well with an adult). See that sparkle and light shine and you will know there is true magic right there… within us all.
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Allowing ourselves to see the magic in everyday life and in every connection is true wealth and all we have to do is give ourselves permission to be aware of this again.
I love how you reveal and expose the ‘magic’ we seek to give our children comes in the guise of Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy and Disney is a poor imitation of the real deal, a false representation of the light that is naturally ours, naturally held within and the spark of dignity that we all are. There is so much to wonder at and be inspired by the richness of the universe, the flow we are naturally part of… there is true magic here to be uplifted by.
Great blog and a much needed conversation. There is indeed magic everywhere in every day life when we open ourselves up to truly love and be loved.
I remember the magical moments in my childhood and they had nothing to do with “special” days or presents etc. They had to do with moments when I felt seen and loved for who I am, moments like my Mum bending down to talk with me, or Dad bringing me a rose from the garden when I was grumpy.
I went through life seeing symbols that felt not so good .. but since I am connecting to the love within I now see love hearts shaped in all sorts of objects around me — proof the magic we see resonates from the magic within.
This is really beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I loved reading this today.
Oh I dearly love the reflection of children in my life, and I love the reflection of childlike transparency in some adults that I meet. You are quite right it is living magic 🙂
It’s like children (and adults) getting to know that the magic comes from our inner connection rather than external ‘prizes;’ and how much of our inner world determines out external responses?
The absolute equalness between the parents and children I feel in your list is just so stunningly beautiful. Yes, together we grow.
I remember around aged 10 or so really feeling the falseness of the way Christmas was celebrated. Behind the sparkle, the presents and the vast quantities of a good meal I could feel a flatness, the same old underlying issues within my family and how the whole festival was a distraction from this.
Yes, I remember being 16 and my parents doing a perfect Christmas, genuinely so but all I could – to my surprise – feel was an aching emptiness.
Flatness is a great description, I have had this sense around Christmas, it never in fact delivers what it promises and every year we seek more food, presents and spectacle to make it even ‘better’…we can have a beautiful Christmas period when many of us are on holiday or off work for a few days, if we make it about relationships, community and connection.
‘Feeling a sense of magic in life is very much about nurturing and keeping alive the innocence, sensitivity and openness that children are born with and which, potentially even into adulthood, we can maintain.’ I couldn’t agree with you more!
I can to this day remember finding out Santa was not real – there was truly distress at having been lied to all that time and made to believe in something not true. What is this really setting our children up for, playing on there trust in us to deliver them the truth of life?
There is so much magic in nature, so much wonder and delight at the change of the seasons or a caterpillar to a butterfly, in laughing and cuddling together, in the daily interaction of life. If we can show this to our children they won’t need to look beyond real life for fulfilment and magic.
It’s as though we think we have to create magic – at Christmas, birthdays, holidays, etc and money has to be spent in order to have a ‘good time’ when true magic is found in simplicity and the most simplest of things. For me every day, magic is when my daughter expresses truth, meeting the beauty when I make eye contact with my middle son and receiving a cuddle from my youngest son – so simple yet so profound.
Significant yes, ‘create’, I agree we do not need to create something that is already there within us and around us, and we never lose it, we just hide it under layers, but those layers can be discarded and children are a great role model concerning not walking around with layers of issues, protections, agendas etc they are very often who they are without hiding and this is beautiful to enjoy. So yes a question is where does this need for ‘making’ it magical come from, it may suggesti as parents we may have lost our way and do not have that connection with magic that is so profoundly abundant.
Our Children reflect us pure magic when we let go control of the relationship.
When we give them all the space to be beautifull And not project our stuff on them .
So practical and a beautiful option to the so called ‘magic of childhood,’ such as the trip to Disney World, Tooth Fairy and Father Christmas. To allow ourselves to appreciate and confirm each other in moments of true connection and joy mean these amusements and myths are placed into true perspective.
‘The so called ‘magic of childhood,’ such as the Tooth Fairy and Father Christmas, pale into insignificance when we allow ourselves to appreciate the moments of true connection and joy that can be shared with one another.’ I have pondered on this often. The lies we tell our kids are our attempt to reawaken the ‘magic’ we feel is lacking in our own lives. But what if we were to truly connect to what is before us in our children? There is natural magic there that to me is so precious I simply couldn’t bring myself to corrupt it by lying to them. Only yesterday my children had me laughing hard simply because they were being their gorgeous playful selves. The gentle love and connection we were sharing was totally priceless.
Children naturally see that wonder and beauty in the world. It seems like that ‘childhood magic’ stuff is sold to the cynical adult under the guise of protecting that wonder that they already hold within. But it actually makes us grow up cynical once we work it all out it’s nonsense.
This blog oozes with gold. I love feeling the beauty and detailed wonder with which you describe nature. Described and felt this way it is actually a wonder why we settle for so much less in stimulation and distraction from a video game or theme park.
How glorious. I love this blog. Yes there is magic within us. There is no need to try to create it. We just need to nurture it and observe.
There is no greater magic than love!
Thank you for sharing and bringing the reminder that ‘There is magic all around us, at all times.’ The more we see and embrace this the more meaningful every relationship and every interaction becomes.
I love the photo that goes with this blog. To me that says it all ✨ Very powerful
It’s ironic when we think that as parents we are trying to bring magic into the lives of our children and yet they are already living a magical life. Could it be that it is the parents that want the magic back or want what they can feel the children have?
Wow you show us the way to experience the magic of life constantly. A magic that is often so clearly there when children are young. Our task as parents: to support children to stay connected to that magic that is in them.
It seems with all the added distractions of the world today we as parents need to really step it up as role models and express truth as much as possible. I have also learnt so much about love and life through being a parent and am always open to the universal wisdom that comes through our kids.
“In this world that can be at times chaotic, cynical, dishonest, unloving and scary, could it be that there was a beacon of light and consistency, a parent without perfection that honoured who they are, truly listened and was honest with them?” So beautifully expressed. As grandparents and teachers – in fact anyone who comes into contact with children – can do this too.
“This has got me pondering why, as parents, we so easily fall into the behaviours of the generations before us and knowingly perpetuate the cultural myths of the Tooth Fairy and Father Christmas etc. as if there is no other way of bringing up our children?” A great question, when there is so much magic to explore in everyday life, as you point out.
I recall being devastated finding out there was no Santa…or rather that mum and dad were santa and it wasn’t that they were Santa, but what I was lead to believe was true was not true. And this has happened to countless children for a very long time.
The magic of God is forever with us, we simply have to be fully present with ourselves to feel it.
This is so true, it is not the Christmas Day celebration that brings us the connection we all desire, it is in the simple moments, a glance that catches another’s, and absolute appreciation of another, and oneself, a moment of stillness as feeling all that is around, with understanding, but most of all it is gracefully accepting all of life, without judgement.
No matter how a child behaves or an adult their essence of who they are is there for all to see. When we choose to see the magic and light in another first how can we react? We are then in a place of love to observe and deal with whatever arises addressing the behaviour and not the child or adult.
This blog deeply touches me… the profoundness and richness of life in its very simplicity, purely available to everyone without needing anything external to better it.
Me too, nothign external comes close to the gift we can give another when we come from the love that we are. Everything else in this world whilst being nice to have and receive is secondary.
Beautifully expressed, I love the simplicity that is shared here, appreciation is rich in magic.
There are only two qualities of light one is the light of love and truth and one is the light of fake love, the emotional love, we a times call the false light as it makes us do things that feels right, magic even but at the end appears to be empty and never fulfilling, tantalising to continuously to be on the look out for.
This is a really important point for us each to remember as we can be fooled by the light we want to see rather than be discerning and see the light that is there to be seen. Time reveals the truth of all but it is a wise person who learns to discern from feeling rather than seeing.
Magic is in every moment of every day as we consider that everything is energy, that we are divine beings in a human body moving in a world that is the creation of human and that this world we are given by God is constantly reflecting to us that we are so much more then we allow ourselves to believe. That is the magic world we live in, we only have to open our eyes for it to see it as the reality we live in.
Offering our children, the magic of the simplicity in life is a true marker of how they can remain grounded in a world that is so often pushing and pulling to elate and stimulate at every corner.
and exactly the same applies to adults!
Correct, how do we educate, raise, inspire children supports the adults they will become….Appreciating the simple details of life, the reflection of nature as we grow up can set a strong foundation for life. A foundation where we spend a lot more time in the present moment rather than seeking to be fulfilled by something outside of ourselves. You are on to something with this push to be stimulated and entertained, it is big business in our world and it enters childhood at a very young age, marketing is rife even for toddlers. However as adults we can choose how we interact with all of these things and how we support our children to navigate in life. I agree we as adults seek this simulation also, so as always if we can heal and resolve our own issues, we are true role models for others.
We have fallen for the sparkles and lights as we have got bogged down in the every day and have forgotten to look up at the stars above, smell the fragrance of nature or feel the warmth of the sun and the delicateness of a gentle breeze on our face. There are so many moments of my childhood that I remember fondly and they had nothing to do with what I was given as presents or clothes… I appreciated it but the moments I loved the most was when we played, danced, ate, and jumped on the trampoline together in our very own back yard. Connection is the greatest gift of all.
It is no wonder we get cut off from the magic that is all around us and in us when we get raised with the Tooth Fairy and Santa and so on. Which later turn out to not exist (if we did not know that already from the start…). This makes it seem that all the magic that we thought was there is not real and does not exist. If we would raise our children knowing that indeed there is magic in nature, in life generally then we learn it is consistent and always there for us to see.
You had my full attention with your first sentence, in fact with the first few words: “I have been growing up with my children for the last nine years…..”. I am sure I have never heard a parent share this as most of us have the belief that we are the grown ups and as such it is our responsibility to teach our children to grow up. But what if these beautiful little beings already have everything they need and the wisdom to live their own lives, and all we are there to do is to support them to retain, explore and expand on the wonderful beings they naturally are? Now that to me is where the magic begins.
A child is not a helpless ignorant being. A child is equal to an adult in essence and it is also a spirit in a small body. Children can be the one wanting all the fantasy and rejecting and in fear of true connection. The truth is true parenting is about expressing truth and love to our children, this responsibility is then lived in all sorts of ways possible in all the patience needed. But as parents first we have to come out of this illusion ourselves.
Well said Adele. Coming out of the illusion is not necessarily easy when the whole world seems to be trying to keep us in it but it is possible and how freeing and empowering it is. True magic is in us and all around us all the time ..it is for us to feel and live, reflecting and thus sharing.
We think of magic as singular moments where the unexpected happens and we don’t know how – but I’m beginning to see is that true magic sums up the alchemy that’s constantly at play in life, and in which we have a huge say. Magic is how supported we are when we align to Love.
I love what you share here Joseph – if we engage in and with the magic, the magic expands.