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Hocus Focus: 3 Steps to a Magical Life

In Western civilization, we are gifted with the freedom to consciously participate in our own happiness. Since many of us are not struggling to find food, water and shelter, we are given the ability to choose whether we would create a heaven or hell for ourselves in our lives.

If you are longing for a heavenly existence, but keep finding yourself in hellish conditions (lack of money, love, health), then consider applying these three foundational steps that will help you create a magical life:

First, think big thoughts: Use your imagination like a child does, seeing the best possible desired outcome, unrelated to whether or not you think it’s possible. This is magical thinking.

Let yourself imagine. So many people go to the ocean of life’s possibilities with a thimble. Why not something larger? Get clear on what you desire, not just what society says is the norm.

Regarding the creative power of manifestation, our minds are powerful creative engines, sort of like a magnet. It is said that when accessing the power of the mind, the Universe (the law of mind - like the law of gravity) seeks to match our vibrational pattern. It does not discern and judge whether you are praying for a little or a lot of what you are asking for. It will simply seek to deliver a match to your mind’s energetic state.

Here’s an exercise to help you deepen your ability to imagine what is possible:

Once you are clear on your desire (a healthy body, a loving relationship, etc), write down your vision on paper (this will even help clarify it as well.) Pay attention to what the desired manifestation feels like in your body and mind as you are writing about it.

Once you have a clear idea and it has literally been spelled out, emotionalize it! This is the practice of visualizing your dream, and emotionally connecting to it as if it were real right now. Do this every single day. Try for a few minutes a day, a couple of times a day. Longer is better, but start with what you can manage.

Second, take small steps and understand the magic of marginal gains. Take incremental steps toward your goal, not big ones. Commit to shifting everything in your life related to this desire by at least 1%, and notice what happens. 1% is doable, right?

An example of this might be that if you want a healthier body, don’t commit to spending 2 hours a day at the gym when you haven’t been there in years. Commit to taking a walk three times a week. Or perhaps you switch to salad instead of fries. Or you take the stairs instead of the elevator. Maybe you soften and send love to your body when your mind judges you for eating a cookie.

Even Mother Theresa understood this focus on marginal gains when she said, “There are no great acts of love. There are only small acts done with great love.” Trust your instincts, and do what makes you feel really good. These incremental steps toward your goal are more powerful than trying to make huge leaps toward your vision.

Third, let go and grow and experience the magic of having faith. Paradoxically, some people hold so tightly to their vision, they actually end up choking it to death. Seeking it around every corner, they constantly ask, “Am I there yet?” This can encourage us to miss the forest through the trees. Clinging creates neediness, and fouls the flow.

When you have been specific in conceptualizing your dreams, once finished with your actual visualization and emotionalization work, let it go and get on with your day. Just as you used faith via your imagination to see and feel your desired vision as real, letting go of this same desired outcome requires faith as well. This is a crucial step.

Why not allow yourself to fall in love with the process? This is why the saying “you cannot have a happy ending to a life that has not been happy along the way” is so relevant. The journey is the destination. So, let go, and you will grow. Trust, and you will triumph.

Will Donnelly

Will Donnelly is a nationally recognized, certified yoga teacher and writer, and is the author of “Practical Yoga’s Wisdom for Everyday People: Essays & Inspiration for Life" (2017), a compilation of his most popular online essays now available at Will has been a pioneer in the field of yoga, developing Practical Yoga, and co-creating a yoga–reality series for fitTV (Discovery Communications, 2004). As a writer and teacher, Will encourages all students to trust their impulses and find their true voice. Will currently lives in Hawaii, where he leads weekly yoga and writing classes at Kalani retreat center. He also leads several popular Practical Yoga adventure and healing retreats throughout the year. Information on retreats, his book, DVDs and other inspiration to be found at

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