How you work the magic words. How the magic words work you.

Are you ready to make some magic?

On March 14, we begin another #7MagicWords adventure together. If you're new to my community, or haven't been able to make space for this free weeklong challenge in the past, here's the gist:

At the turn of each season, you're invited to find seven magic words. You'll get a prompt each morning that will help focus your attention and open yourself to the possibilities that linger in your everyday language.

It's my hope that a daily practice of "magic word seeking" will invite you to pause and notice that creative magic really is swirling about you all the time. And, at the end of the #7MW week, I hope that your words reveal patterns that help you reflect on the last season and set intentions for what's next.

Those who have been part of any of the three previous #7MagicWords Challenges will know that we talk about how the magic works in multiple ways. Every day, you realize that the magic word finds you as much as you find the magic word. And, we know that when you focus all of the thoughts, feelings, and mysteries of a day into one word, you are often inspired to tell a new story that goes deeper and takes you into unexpected territory.

The word I couldn't call "magical"

Earlier this week, I struggled to find just the right word. I knew I didn't want to go with my first instinct, so this is what I shared on social media as my daily  #365MagicWords post:

Whose earth is this anyway? Saturday's snow beside Tuesday's flip flops... We linger side by side in the afternoon sun. Peaceful coexistence between polar opposites is possible here and there after all.

But here's the thing: that wasn't the full story. It took me a while to get to that word and those brief sentences. I kept dancing with the ideas and the process itself the next morning. This is what emerged the next morning:

Yesterday's magic was so obvious. Swishing about in my favorite sleeveless dress with its full skirt and trading the boots for the flip flops during a Hudson Valley February? That is the very definition of fantastical living.

I'd have been happy with making the day's magic word a grin and a spring in my step that transcends all language, but the writing coach in me is committed to finding the words. (As Seamus Heaney says, "If you have the words, there's always a chance you'll find the way" and I know I need to keep finding the way no matter what the weather, no matter what I'm wearing.)

Last night, as I tried to pair a word with this perfect moment and the sweet little picture I'd captured, I thought about "coexist." Snow and flip flops are the perfect symbol of peacefully getting along, right? I thought of that bumper sticker that celebrates world religions. When I had that on my first car, the sentiment seemed pure and powerful. But, in 2018, I admit that coexistence seems fraught and heavy and just too much for the delicate joy of an out-of-season day to carry.

I ended up picking up my journal and writing into "coexistence." I was so grateful that this patch of heart shaped snow wanted to teach me so much.

Through my writing practice, I found "linger."It felt right to share that tender magic with a world that's in the midst of the grief, the fear, the gun debate, and the Twitter storms of the last week.

I steeped myself in the inspiration of "linger" while I took on the hardest issues of the day, while I wrestled with why it seems harder than ever to share space with difference, to respect each other despite our divides. I lingered in my own judgments, my own defenses, my own refusal to believe "us" and "them" can coexist until they change.

I lingered in the shame and fear for a while, but then I returned to the simple magic of the original moment: I remembered that I'm a human with a body that loves the warm breeze. I stepped back into the sensual surprise that is a late spring day stolen from the teeth of winter. I stepped back into the magic without disregarding the reality.

Will you join us March 14 - 21?

This is the sort of inquiry that becomes possible when you look for a single magic word to capture the power and potency of a day... And that is why we return to #7MagicWords each season.

The #7MagicWords Challenge is free and open to all who want to open themselves to possibility and renewal, one word at a time.