“Muggles” To Magical
I am an advocate of “Slow” as compared with the hectic state of hurry that seems to have overtaken our planet. Although I can “rush” with the best of the multi-taskers, I cannot sustain that state indefinitely. A moderate pace has always seemed both more natural and more productive to me whereas rushing around often resulted in having to re-do things! Admittedly, I have always had a thing for Giant Turtles. Their slow movement causes no disturbance in their environment. They seem to me to be deliberate creatures who waste no energy. And, very recently, I have come to appreciate Giant Sloths whose pace is even slower than giant turtles! Who knew Sloths were so sweet! But that is not why I advocate slowing down. Some years ago I read Jane Roberts’ book “The Magical Approach”, a case of the right book falling into my hands at the right moment. I was in total burn-out after years of working ridiculous hours in “Muggles mode” and it was time to try something else, something…magical.
Muggles To Magical
Jane Roberts was a “Type A” personality: a perfectionist, a writer devoted to her craft but methodical and organized in her approach to her writing and to her life. Her husband, Robert Burt, was an artist and, as with most creative people, their material life was a pared-down one. They lived well on their modest income by keeping their needs simple. Nevertheless, meals needed preparation and clean-up, the floors needed sweeping and washing, laundry needed doing…all the things that even the simplest household demands. It was in the sequencing and performance of these tasks that Jane’s dilemma lay. The simplest approach was a schedule but schedules often interfered with the couple’s creative work. One can be disciplined about “showing up at the page or easel” at set times but creative energy operates by its own rules and inevitably housework and creative work clash. Tired of the struggle to “balance” these competing needs, Jane had a sudden inspiration one morning: suppose she tried a little experiment…Suppose, instead of rigidly following a set schedule, she consulted her natural inclinations with regard to how she spent her time? As it was “only” an experiment, it required no commitment from her to change in a final way. Aha! Step one is taking an experimental approach. In order to judge the effectiveness of this new way of working, she would need Step 2: to keep a record of what got done when and compare it with her usual way of doing things. It didn’t take long before the results were apparent: this unstructured approach based on her inclinations was working, but why?
“Muggles” Time vs Magical Energy
The productivity of the unstructured approach seemed to have to do with the ebb and flow of energy governed by some internal mechanism that she had been vaguely aware was there but had ignored in favour of what looked like a more “organized” approach. There was also a certain feeling connected with floor-sweeping; a different energy connected with cooking; and a different energy again connected with writing. What Jane discovered from this “Magical Approach” was that everything on her “To Do” list did indeed get done. In fact, she found that when she listened to her internal guidance she actually enjoyed the mundane chores because she was no longer in conflict about whether she should be writing instead. She would focus in the moment and soon the task was done. In short, there seemed to be some “magical” internal manager that would see to it that all that needed doing was done but the governing agent was the quality of the energy from moment to moment rather than the force of “willpower”. It ultimately dawned on Jane that “force” was un-necessary and often counter-productive! There was really no need to force anything. Tasks and the energy to do them seemed to arise spontaneously and be accomplished more quickly and effortlessly when she allowed this “Magical Approach” to operate. As a bonus, there was no Time pressure and she could slow down and appreciate each element of her life as it arose in front of her. Going “Slow” was, paradoxically, faster than trying to go fast…Who knew!
© Delia O’ Riordan 2014