How We Make Magic

Call me a curmudgeon.

I’m not into all the traditional holiday stuff. Not any more. The social expectations. The self-created stress. The over-consumption of everything.


I want more. I want magic.

My work travel ended on Friday. I’m into magic season now. Yes, I long to spend the rest of 2013 making magic every day.

Open Space Technology is a global movement based on the precepts of Harrison Owen. Open Spacers get together to have conversations. Deep conversations. Galvanizing conversations. Suzanne Daigle and Jasmina Nikolic, two of my Open Space friends, speak with great fervor about their first Open Space experiences: Magic happened. 


Conversations are my magic.

My 88-year-old Mom is coming to visit for the holidays.

Mom doesn’t believe in God – so we don’t do any of the traditional holiday stuff.

But we have rituals. We will brunch at The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. We will dine at Sugar Reef in Hollywood Beach. We will take afternoon siestas. We will go for daily strolls on the boardwalk. We will listen to bands doing cover songs at the band shell. We will hit every shopping mall within a 25-mile radius. Some of them more than once.

This is stuff we do every year. Not the rituals anyone imposed on us. OUR rituals. The stuff WE discovered. The repetition of the same is our magic sauce.

Rituals are my magic.

I ran down to the beach right after 7 this morning. The boardwalk was already bustling with the walkers, the bicyclists, the joggers, the idlers. The life guards were doing their pre-shift jogs. Tourists were starting to claim prime beach towel spots. The Atlantic was giddy and restless. When I went in my body shivered. Once I fully submerged I felt a calm and a supreme joy wash over me.

The joy of being, at this beach, in this very moment, on this very day.

I will do this every morning. The ocean will be the same every morning. And it will be completely different every morning. That’s its charm.

The ocean is my magic. If you’re one of those folks who work through the holiday season, consider this.

Amy Erret is the CEO and co-founder of Madison Reed, a firm that provides in-home hair color. As I read an interview (NY Times Business, 11/15/2013) in which Amy talks about how she hires talent for her company, I’m starting to think Whoa, she would be a really cool woman to work for!

My personal tipping point in the interview? Ultimately my job, Erret says, with the people who work for me, is to find your genius and to help you find your genius. And if we can do that, that’s the magic.

Another amen.

While you show up for work during the holidays, celebrate your genius. And celebrate the genius in everyone you work with. Notice what happens.

Genius is our collective magic.

Yes, I plan to make some magic this season. Every day.

I did, by the way, buy my first-time-ever set of twinkling-light-snow-flakes. My Florida living-room windows will be making some magic, as well …