Releasing Your Magic by Finding the Keys to the Way You Think About Yourself
Did you know there is a clear link between how you think and the magic that manifests around you?
Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.” In clinical psychology, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaches people that first, there is a thought, then the thought elicits a feeling, and that feeling leads to a behavior. As we all know, our behaviors change the world around us. If we want our world to change, we must trace the process back to the original thought, which often, as the proverb states, originates in our core belief system.
For millennia, spiritually minded people have learned to take control of the energy flow between their thought processes and the world around them by disciplined efforts to manage the type of energy they allow to flow from themselves. But before we can harness this energy flow, we must first identify what type of energy we allow to flow from ourselves. We often put barriers up that limit our ability to manifest our magic. Psychologists would refer to these as limiting beliefs.
I recently embarked on a magical writing journey using Silk & Sonder as a springboard for helping me better understand the connection between my belief system and what manifests in my life. The theme for January is Abundance. All the energy of the Universe is interconnected – all the life forces, all the matter, all the wavelengths of light, all the knowledge – and I (and you!) can tap into this abundance if I learn to align myself with the Universe. The first step in this process is identifying my limiting beliefs. The following writing exercise is adapted from one of the January Silk & Sonder rituals.
Exploring My Limiting Beliefs / Core Values
Step 1: Where do I feel I “fall short?”
Open a journal to a blank page, and begin listing places where you feel you don’t measure up well against others. Remember: this is not about FACTS, but about your PERCEPTIONS. The saying goes, “As a man thinketh, so he is.” This step is about identifying where your thoughts limit the person you are meant to be.
Like many of you, I had a “life” before my current one, surrounded by an environment that didn’t resonate with the same energy I needed to survive and thrive. Many wonderful things happened during that time, most notably the birth and rearing of two fine children: this was a time during which I chose to spend time at home with my two eldest boys until they reached grade school age. As a result, many things happened to me later in life than they did to some of my compatriots.
I often feel that, compared to other people, I have “fallen behind” in three areas:
- Retirement ~ Because I dedicated ten years of my life to raising my two oldest children to school age before re-entering the workforce as a teacher, I feel the need to work much later than my contemporaries.
- Doctoral Studies ~ I chose the field for my first graduate degree based on the heavy influence of others and had no interest in pursuing advanced studies in that area. My current field of interest is a passion, but I feel compelled to continue these studies now when others might wonder, “What’s the point?”
- The Home of My Dreams ~ I have lived in several different homes in my adult life and left them to move on for various reasons. I often get “social media envy” when I see the homes other people have built and paid off, and I am just re-starting the process of making a home.
Step 2: Who sees me differently?
On the same page, identify people who might view you differently from your appraisal.
- Who is proud of you (and tells you so)? Why?
- Who would be proud of you if they could see you now? Why?
My husband always tells me how proud he is of me and brags to friends and family about me. He tells people, “My wife can grow anything,” that I know the names of every tree and bird, and that I’m the smartest person he knows. He also talks about my cooking, how I like decorating our home, and how I organize my spices (spoiler alert: I have a serious addiction to collecting all the herbs and spices and keeping them in alphabetical order. I know.). He tells people I have healing power in my hands and marvels that I taught myself how to build a website. He’s like a one-man, unpaid marketing team and cheerleading squad, and I love him and need him for that.
If my maternal farming grandfather were alive today and saw me as a school principal AND feeding livestock after work, alongside my son and his wife – another generation of farmers in the family – he would be so proud, not just of me, but of the three boys that I’ve raised to follow in his agricultural footsteps: one livestock farmer, one pet store manager/”animal collector,” and one perennial nursery team leader. I miss my grandfather dearly and think of him often.
My mom and dad are very proud of all their four children and the grandchildren we’ve created for them. We learned the importance of hard work and taking care of family first from our parents, and we have passed these values along to our children, who are all successful in their own right.
Step 3: What did I learn about myself?
Examine what you have written. Analyze your responses, and make a table like the one below.
- Use your notes about your perceived “shortfall” areas to help identify limiting beliefs, as revealed by your inner worries.
- Use your “pride” areas to help determine your hidden strengths, as identified by your close ones.
- Identify corresponding values and need areas revealed by your analysis.
- If you want, summarize your findings in one or two sentences.
Here is a part of the table I made for my own exercise:
|Shortfall Area||Limiting Belief||I Need…|
|Retirement||“I won’t have enough money when I’m older.”||The revelation of alternate forms of abundance|
|Doctoral Studies||“I’m running out of time.”||Confirmation that I am an infinite being living in a temporary, finite body.|
|The Home of My Dreams||“Other people have better things than I do.”||A spirit of hygge in my home.|
|Pride Area||Hidden Strength||Core Values|
|I know a lot of things.||I have learned many things and strive to do tasks well.||Knowledge, Wisdom, Learning, Effort|
|I heal people with my hands.||I have a connection to natural healing power and energy.||Compassion, Spirituality, Faith|
|I am a school administrator.||I can lead others and manage an organization.||Leadership|
|I participate in agricultural activities.||I am connected and devoted to the land that supports us all.||Service, Stewardship|
|My father, grandfather, and children were and are all involved in leadership roles in their businesses.||I have passed along important values and ethics to my adult children.||Legacy, Family|
My core values focus on honoring the wisdom, knowledge, and efforts of those who came before me and passing them along to future generations, as well as protecting and preserving the sanctity of the natural world, the divine essence, and family. However, I am distracted by the temporal nature of my current existence, not recognizing my contribution to, and part of, eternal energies and systems.
Putting Your Magickal Work to Work
The process of examining our magickal selves to better understand our power and the self-imposed barriers we must overcome is often referred to as shadow work – perfect spiritual work for the dark months of winter, when we tend to cocoon and when there is less going on outside of ourselves to distract us (at least here in chilly New England). Knowing this information can help us identify our true calling– our life purpose. In the next article, we will look more closely at the beliefs and values we’ve identified in ourselves and find magickal correspondences that we can include in our shadow work to support us in areas where we need support and strengthen us in areas that are our core values.
I would love to hear any nuggets you learned through this exercise and how you hope to use the information in your mindfulness, magick, or spiritual practices. Comment, share, and link below!