Hi you, and happy Twosday!
22/2/22 feels like a date that could hold mystical properties, doesn’t it? Or like an auspicious occasion we should be marking by doing something extraordinary. Has Twosday felt particularly magical to you so far, or…?
How often does anything magical happen in our ordinary, everyday lives anyway? Well. According to a delightful concept known as Littlewoods Law, miracles happen in an average person’s life about once a month.
Yep. Mathematician John Edensor Littlewood calculated that a person can expect to experience ‘an exceptional event of special significance with odds of one in a million’ (referred to as a ‘miracle’) at a rate of about one per month.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been noticing any miracles in my life at all, let alone miracles at a rate of one per month. What gives?
It's possible that extraordinary events have been slipping by unnoticed because I’ve been neglecting to follow poet Mary Oliver’s Instructions for living a life: ‘Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.’
All too often my days whizz past in a blur of mundane burdens and inconsequential distractions, leaving few opportunities for paying attention and being astonished, and generating precious little to tell about. Am I missing out on the spellbinding magic of ordinary life due to a lack of attention?
It’s not just me; it’s all of us. Writer Johann Hari warns that we’re “living in a serious attention crisis – one with huge implications for how we live.” He writes in his new book, Stolen Focus:
“The sensation of being alive in the early 21st century consists of the sense that our ability to pay attention – to focus – is cracking and breaking.”
Spells for unlocking the extraordinary in the ordinary
Inspired by the mystical alignment of 22/2/22, I've conjured a few enchantments to reclaim focus, indulge curiosity, and, hopefully, be astonished.
✨ Spell to bring forth hidden wonders
Recent research has revealed that adults are now spending an average of absolutely all their time on devices. Just every single second. 100% of our time is spent on our phones (99% if you don't play Wordle).
Ok, I’m exaggerating. But the stats on phone usage are heading in that direction, aren’t they?
In a world of sunsets, shooting stars, waterfalls, and snow-capped mountains, it’s disheartening that technology is what increasingly captivates us.
So, it mightn’t surprise you that the secret to bringing forth hidden wonders is to completely unplug. Seek out a wild place and take a walk in nature without headphones, without notifications, and without social media. With enhanced awareness of your surroundings, look and listen for magic.
This is what wildlife writer Simon Barnes calls “moving to the rhythm of the planet”:
”Get outside somewhere nice and walk and look and listen,” he advises in his book, Rewild Yourself:
“It will help you to love nature a little more: and, as a result, you will feel just a little loved back… The joy of the extraordinary is not a part of every walk you ever take, but it’s part of a lot more walks than you ever thought it could be.”
✨ Spell to uncover secret realms
There’s a legitimate optimism in the air about the end of the pandemic. It feels like we can safely take our fingers off the Pause button and hit Play.
Following nearly two years fraught with lockdowns, restrictions, and uncertainty, the general consensus is that we deserve a real holiday. While travel industry advertising has been dubiously claiming since 2020 that we’ll have a splendid time on holiday during a pandemic, the reality is that travel has been a bit weird and daunting.
But things are starting to shift. Our wanderlust is returning. Planning a holiday feels exciting and fun again, rather than stressful and precarious. Just this week, Australia began welcoming international tourists for the first time in two years.
We can uncover secret realms by planning a trip to explore somewhere new. Even if international travel is off the table due to budget, health, or environmental concerns, indulging your wanderlust locally is just as magical as exploring further afield. I guarantee there are museums, gardens, hiking trails, and all sorts of attractions nearby that you’ve never experienced before.
✨ Spell to set free the magic inside you
Artist Lisa Congdon believes the secret to a magical life lies in pursuing creative passions and embarking on new challenges. The magic you seek is inside you. You set it free when you build, make, and create:
“Some of the most incredible ideas never turned to magic because the person who had them never took action. But when you take action on your own ideas and dreams, your efforts can lead to magic… Don’t wait around. Make magic happen.”
Lisa Congdon – You Will Leave a Trail of Stars
✨ How these charms will magically lengthen your life
The true wonder of invoking the above spells is that in doing so you'll magically lengthen your life. And by ‘magically’ I mean, er, ‘metaphorically’.
“The more our days are filled with new, unpredictable, and challenging experiences, the longer they will feel,” The School of Life tells us:
“And, conversely, the more one day is exactly like another, the faster it will pass by in an evanescent blur.”
“It is sensible enough to try to live longer lives. But we are working with a false notion of what long really means... We should be aiming to lead lives that feel long because we have managed to imbue them with the right sort of open-hearted appreciation… We don’t need to add years; we need to densify the time we have left by ensuring that every day is lived consciously.”
Lovely Zita! This is 👌 xx
The magic appears each time my inbox sings with this newsletter 🪄