The Magic School Mini - Ariel and The Ring of Fire

In an effort to give examples of The Magic School philosophy in action in my own life, I've decided to write an on-going series of posts called The Magic School Mini. Think of them as snippets of the much larger philosophy that is explored in The Magic School 101. Let's call them Magic Briefs - (not the kind you wear, although if you need magical underwear, by all means slip your legs in and pull them up around your waist and enjoy) - 

Yesterday I was reading the Introduction to Joseph Campbell's The Power of Mythand I came across this quote:

The latest incarnation of Oedipus, the continued romance of Beauty and the Beast, stands this afternoon on the corner of Forty-second Street and Fifth Avenue, waiting for the traffic light to change.
— Joseph Campbell

I get giddy every time I realize that someone else was onto what I am onto. This quote is like another glimpse of the White Rabbit before he darts behind a tree. What I mean is, this quote is a clue that sparks my curiosity, leading me closer and closer to the heart of The Magic School.

What Joseph Campbell saw that day, coming up from the crowded subway at Times Square, was that fiction was meeting reality. Something about the way the people gathered in that precise environment sparked memories in him of the timeless tales - Oedipus Rex and Beauty and the Beast. The introduction doesn't allude to the precise details that made Campbell feel this way, but how stunning that he could have eyes to see epic stories colliding into an entirely normal day in New York City. 

This is something I have experienced from a very young age, and I am only now starting to see how important the merging of fiction to reality is for me. It happens quite often, and makes my life feel richer, and I want to share some of these moments with you in The Magic School Mini.

This morning Teresa texted me this message:

"Envision the portals awaiting you within this day...and all the tomorrows."

[A little backstory is necessary at this point. I had confided to Teresa about the anxiety I was experiencing as our holiday vacation time as a family came to a close, and I needed to return to teaching. We had discussed how the smallest bits of beauty in a day can help get us through. How we must be on the lookout for magic that will sustain us and help us enjoy our day to day living.]

When I read the text, instantly the scene from Madagascar 3 flashed into my mind, where Vitaly the Tiger dives through the ring of fire. I didn't remember the scene exactly, nor did I remember the Tiger's name, but I did remember the powerful way it felt to just barely make it through the tiniest of openings just in the nick of time. 

In a matter of seconds, while sitting at my ordinary kitchen table, a simple heartfelt text became sprinkled with the pixy dust of fiction and converted into an intense knowing that if I was on the lookout, I had the power to just barely dive fist first through all sorts of available openings in my days, allowing me to escape the burn (or anxiety or routine boredom or annoying setback) of the "real world" and experience the beauty of making it through to the other side. The other side meaning - seeing things from a place of wonder and enjoyment and possibility. Her words were made richer when coupled with the context of fictional story. 

I am a flaming ring circus diver! I am non-flammable.

Couple this with the fact that earlier this week I had taken a picture from one of my morning walks, locating my very own portal in the distance. This is fiction meeting my reality. This is my magic - connecting the dots. 

But just in case you think I'm the only one combining fiction with reality, I have to tell you, this week I've started Yoga Camp with Adriene (you can join in too!) and on the video this morning she mentioned opening your shoulders and heart center as if you were Ariel from The Little Mermaid singing on the rock. I was able to open up more fully because I was channeling my inner Ariel. I knew in my body what to do because I had experienced that moment via fictional story.

I am a mermaid and I embrace my mermaid stance. 

This is how we begin to weave fiction and reality. This is how we begin to open up to the magic of our living.