A Trail of Magic

following

a trail of magic

 
 

Hello beautiful artsy soul!

I am back after a delight-full, wonder-full and utterly magical retreat in the UK. I cannot even begin to tell you how important it is for us creatives to refill our well of inspiration on a regular basis. This can be a daily practice like an inspiration walk (which I shared about in my previous post), but sometimes you need a full "reset". And that's what I just did!

This retreat was hosted by my friend Meghan in the enchanting city of Bath, one of my absolute favorite places in the world. I'm not usually much of a city girl, but I could totally see myself living there. It feels so familiar, so "home" to my soul that I can't help but wonder if maybe I did live there in another life? Who knows…

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Meghan's retreat is called "Finding the Magic" and I really made it my intention, my mission for the whole week, to reconnect to this sense of enchantment and wonder that normally comes very naturally to me, but which lately had been much affected by the harshness and negativity of the times we live in.

Magic to me is about the incredible beauty that runs through the fabric of life, like a golden thread that we can catch a glimpse of if we pay attention. It's everywhere in Nature, from the tiniest bud to the most majestic sunset. It fills the entire space between ourselves and the ones we love, and it guides our hearts so they can find each other. It dances and jumps and delights like a cat chasing a butterfly. It winks at me when I open the shutters and am greeted by the brightest rainbow.

 

sacred dreams engraved in the pavement…

 

childlike wonder

When I was little, if you'd asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I wouldn't have told you that I wanted to be an artist. But I did know I wanted my life to be magical. I wanted to dream, make wishes and watch them come true. I believed that anything was possible, and I still do, but back then I didn't let "adult thinking" get in the way.

I remember how I loved fairytales, how at recess in primary school, my friends would ask me to find them four-leaf clovers in the grass, something I've always done and still do. I remember how I would hold all my colorful markers in one hand to draw big rainbows, how I would cherish my toy unicorns, which are still with me in my studio. How I would talk to the trees and the birds and to pretty much anything, even the things that scared me, trying to make friends with them.

 
 

I remember as a teenager, making a promise to myself that I would never really become "a grown-up", and how it made me sad to see some dear friends become cynical, refusing to wonder and delight and instead trying to look serious and detached, "cool" as they said. I wonder if any of them have found their way back to a more enchanted way of life. And I feel very lucky, and extremely grateful that this innocent, childlike sense of wonder is such a big part of who I am, at my core, that I could never have let go so easily. Even through life's hardest hardships, I always found myself making wishes, asking the magic to show itself, show me little signs, put tiny clues on my path to give me hope and show me the next step.

 
 

And that's the thing: if we want more magic in our life, we have to be deliberate about it. Ask for it. Notice it. It's a relationship and a conversation. We can ask for guidance, but then we have to train our eyes, and our hearts, to pay attention. Which is exactly what we did in Bath.

I arrived a day early and even before the retreat, I made it my mission to find these little signs. They can show up in different ways for different people. For some it can be numbers, like "angel numbers" 11:11 etc. For others it can be words heard in songs and conversations. For me, it's often written words and symbols, which, now that I think of it, show up a lot in my art too! And I often notice things at me feet, too.

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So on that Monday morning, I sat at a little café above the river and made a note in my retreat journal of all the signs I had already spotted: a movie called "Stardust" on TV, and the girl at the left-luggage coffee-shop who came around from behind the counter to reveal two gorgeous butterfly tatoos above her knees (the butterfly has always been my most important symbol, as many of you in my classes will know!), the rose-covered tea-room I came across called "sweet little things", which is exactly what I intended to find.

As I was writing, a big owl stood watch on the window-sill (Bath has a strong connection with the Roman goddess Minerva, whose symbol of wisdom is an owl), and then the whole day was filled with more and more magical signs, most of which I captured with my camera.

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As the afternoon passed and it was time to go to the retreat venue, I had already had the most magical day. I went to retrieve my bags and started walking uphill. I was feeling tired with a mild headache, it was getting hot and I could feel my energy starting to go down, the day's wonder fading away just a little bit. That's when I passed a shop-window with the words "Dream Create Inspire": the exact mantra of my business (which I've blogged about HERE). I had never seen those exact three words in that same order anywhere else, so I took it as a big sign that I was in the right place at the right time, and that the magic was supporting me.

I kept walking, dragging my suitcase uphill on the cobbled pavement, really looking forward to arriving at my destination, and I could feel my energy dropping again, when I spotted something just a few feet away:

 
 

I couldn't believe my eyes: an actual Golden Ticket! Not with any kind of advertisement for a shop or anything, but a real Willy Wonka one, just as in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I was utterly amazed and so excited, I felt just like a little girl. After that, my bags felt a lot lighter and I arrived at the retreat with a full heart and a big smile. It was only a few days later, as I looked at the Golden Ticket with fresh eyes, that I noticed the small print at the bottom. It says:

“In your wildest dreams you cannot imagine the marvellous surprises that await you.”

So I will leave you with that today, and two more little words to carry with you wherever you go: What if?…

 

 

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Source: lalymille.com

A Trail of Magic