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Magical Thinking for a Happy Life

Because everything is a little better with a bit of faith in the unseen.

By Marina FortuñoPublished 3 years ago Updated 2 years ago 7 min read
Sparkles and all! (Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash)

"Make a wish."

"Thank you, Universe!".

"Everything happens for a reason".

"It's a sign".

"That was/wasn't meant for me".

You'll hear me saying these phrases on a regular basis. Why? Well, because I believe our universe is full of magic. It's everywhere, within every living being, in every corner. The kind that makes miracles happen.

Yes. This is me, an adult woman, unapologetically confessing to the world that I believe in magic. The kind with sparkles, signs and synchronicity. [If you're one of my subscribers, this is your chance to run for dear life before it's too late. I won't take it personally, I promise!].

"Run, Forrest, Run"

But this is not about me. I'm writing this article because -whatever it is we choose believe in- a bit of magical thinking can help us live a happier life.

Do you believe in karma? In God? In energy? Then you're doing a bit of magical thinking too. Telepathy, manifestation, the law of attraction, vibes, reiki, angels, ghosts, the Universe, astrology, fate, communicating with animals, etc. You name it, the world is full of magical things to believe in!

What Exactly Is Magical Thinking?

Magical thinking has gotten a bad reputation, but it's actually quite wonderful. We all have it as children, but it disappears as we grow up. It's sad, but we live in a skeptical and often cynical world. One where every little thing must be judged by proof. And we learn that quite soon in life.

Nowadays, magical thinking is considered only as superstitious belief or wishful thinking. For many, it's just crazy "woo woo" stuff or something reserved for children and mentally-ill people. That's okay, it's not for everyone.

However, magical thinking is more than that. It means:

  • Believing that our thoughts and wishes can affect our reality
  • Accepting that there's a realm of possibilities beyond our comprehension
  • Staying open to the idea that there may be unknown forces and entities at work (to which we may be connected), whether we see them or not
  • Allowing the benefit of the doubt. Staying curious and open, even if it's a bit "out there"

If you think about it, all of the things I stated above can also apply to some complex kinds of science. For example, quantum physics. In the end, magical thinking is about always staying open to the possibilities. That openness is also one of the principles of scientific thinking.

Why Do I Believe in Magic?

I don't know if it's the fact that I grew up watching too many Disney films. Or maybe that I had an amazing mom who always taught me to follow my intuition and believe in things beyond the "norm". Possibly both. But believing in magic has enriched my life. It has led me to the best moments (like jumping off the Bungee in New Zealand or meeting my soulmate). And it has helped through the worst (like fighting an eating disorder).

True story! This is me bungee jumping in Queensland, wild hair and all. That was quite literally a leap of faith!

Is the magic real? It doesn't really matter! For me it is.

Believing that the world has magic gives me hope and courage to face life's challenges. In the end, isn't that what faith is? And faith, my friends, is essential for survival.

Magical Thinking For a Better Life

It's not all pixie dust and unicorns. Whether it's real or not in the end, believing in some sort of magic has practical uses that can help us live our best lives. For example:

1. It Can Help Us Make Sense of the World Around Us

It's no coincidence that, since the beginning of time, civilizations have been surrounded by mysticism, philosophy, folklore and religious beliefs. All of these are based on a bit of magical thinking.

We all need to believe in something.

Believing in a force or order bigger than us is how we make sense of the world and how we explain things we cannot understand.

2. It Can Keep Our Ego In Check

Accepting that there's an infinity of things we can't even come to understand, keeps us humble.

Believing in external forces -call them what you will- that are greater than us removes us from being at the center of the universe. That kind of egocentric thinking, by the way, has done a lot of harm to the world.

3. It Can Take Pressure Off Our Shoulders

As some research explains, mentally and psychologically...

"There is comfort in thinking that someone or something is pulling all the cosmic strings. It gives us the permission to relax a little."

Believing that magic has a role in how the world works allows us to "cut ourselves some slack" when things don't go as we expect. It can relieve anxiety from uncertainty and decision-making. This can come especially handy to us, writers.

Speaking of...

Magic and Creativity Work Great Together

Recently, I read what is now one of my favorite books on creativity. "Big Magic" was written by a kindred spirit, a fellow writer and believer in magic: Elizabeth Gilbert. She's also the world-acclaimed author of "Eat, Pray, Love".

Big Magic is the perfect example of how magical thinking can be important for our daily lives and to our craft.

In a nutshell, Gilbert has a magical belief that guides her writing process and it's this:

Ideas are separate entities coexisting with us in this world. They have a will of their own and are in search of the perfect human collaborator to bring them to life. When we are open to them, they "choose" to visit us and let us work with them. But if we're distracted (with drama, procrastination, anger, fear, etc) they leave to find someone else.

Within that same philosophy, she explains how the world has put the full weight of being "genius" on us poor mortal writers, driving a lot of us to despair. Instead, she suggests that the "real genius" is not inside any of us, but something outside.

"We are not a genius. We have a genius". - Elizabeth Gilbert

Is this crazy? Maybe. Maybe not. If anything, trying a philosophy like this can help and enrich our creative process. And give us a break! [Remember, the key is to stay open].

If you are curious about these ideas, you can watch this quick TED Talk on her idea of our "creative genius":

Final Thoughts...

The past five years of my life have been focused on evidence-based results. Professionally, I worked at a think tank and public policy research center. Academically, I completed a Master in Science at a top empirically-oriented university. [On that note: I'm pretty sure my teachers and colleagues would probably have a good laugh reading this. But that's okay!].

One thing I've confirmed through experience is that science and logic don't always have the answers. Believing in a bit of magic is essential to get by in this harsh, sometimes crazy world. At least for me. I don't mean we should go blindly through life without using logic and trusting scientific proof.

The thing is: Magical belief and science can coexist. And they often intersect. Most importantly, staying open to the idea that there might be something greater beyond our human rationality is healthy.

In the end, we should all believe whatever helps us live our best and happiest life (as long as it doesn’t hurt us or others).

I choose to believe in magic. And I'm not embarrassed about it.

So, this is me... the person who trusts that everything happens for a reason and that there's a divine timing for everything. That there's an unseen order of things perfect beyond our imagination. I believe in manifestation and energy. And that we are all protected and guided in our path through this life. If only we can accept the help and remain open to seeing it.

I believe that nature is alive and it communicates with us. I am willing to keep my mind and my conscience open to new things that enrich my life. When I die, I may find that all of my beliefs were wrong, but I'll be happy knowing that I lived the best life possible by following my truth.

Sending love and good vibes wherever you are!


Thank you for reading! If you liked this post, you can give it a like (if you're a Vocal Member) or share it on your social networks. Any kind of support is greatly appreciated. ♥

You can also read more about me and my work here.

self help

About the Creator

Marina Fortuño

I'm a work in progress! I love writing for fun (mainly short stories, informative bits and heartfelt pieces to make people happy).

This is my personal writing page.

Find me:

TW: @marina_writing

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