Thomas Moore wrote a book called “The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life.” In it he talks about enchantment, the kind most of us experienced as young children. It is important for us as adults to bring enchantment back into our lives as it is a quality or way of experiencing life and ourselves.
Just the other day I held my young son, Charlie, in my lap and a Lady Bug flew onto the back of my hand. I held my hand very still and pointed to it asking Charlie, “What color is her body? Do you see her black dots?” My son was wide-eyed and very quiet which is unusual for him. More importantly, for that brief moment I shared a connection with my son and saw the world again through the eyes of a child.
In our hectic modern world, conscious choices must be made to capture moments of enchantment. To see and experience the world as a child once again seems to be much needed by us all.
By focusing on the very small or the very large we can immediately rediscover enchantment. It doesn’t have to last. It is the quality and depth of the experience, not the duration of a moment in time that matters. These moments can sometimes remain with us for all of our lives. The sweetness of holding my young son in that moment is a memory I will haul out every now and then just to add perspective to my life.
By slowing down in our day to watch trees bending in the wind, witness sunlight reflecting off a mountain or experience the delicious smells of nature, we can connect our inner world with the outer world and give us a sense of place in the universe.
These are some exercises that can be done to promote enchantment:
Buy a magnifying glass and from time to time observe things like rocks, different surfaces, leaves, bugs, etc. If you have children, this can be an especially rewarding experience to do with them. Make it a ritual. For five minutes after dinner we look into the “glass.”
Take your shoes off just a few minutes each day. Feel the ground under your feet, feel the connection to the earth.
Lie down on the floor at home for 10 minutes or more. It seems that as we grow older we spend less and less time on the floor. Bring back this connection. You will be surprised how good it feels on your body.
Brown bag your lunch at least once a week. Go to a park or your backyard to eat it and turn off all electrical devices for half an hour. Take this time to eat your lunch chewing slowly and mindfully enjoying each bite of food and the world around you.
Taking conscious steps to practice enchantment will enrich your life, unite your family and recapture those magical moments of childhood.
Brent M. Cooper, Licensed Educational Psychologist is the Director of the El Paseo Children’s Center for Psychological & Educational Assessment. He specializes in conducting assessments for children, adolescents and adults who may have Learning Disabilities, ADHD, or Autism. He also provides counseling and life coaching. Brent can be reached at 760-342-4900 or visit his website at www.elpaseotesting