Call me a curmudgeon.
I’m not into all the traditional holiday stuff. Not anymore. The social expectations. The over-consumption of everything. No.
I want more. I want magic.
My work travel ended a couple of weeks ago. I’m into magic season now. Yes, I long to spend the rest of 2018 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. Strategic conversations. Unplanned conversations. I spent some time with Suzanne Daigle and Jasmina Nikolic, two of my Open Space friends, in Belgrade this fall. Suzanne and Jasmina both speak with great fervor about their first Open Space experiences: Magic happened.
Conversations are my magic.
My 93-year-old Mom used to come visit me in Florida for the holidays.
Mom doesn’t believe in God – so we didn’t do traditional holiday stuff.
But we had rituals. We brunched at The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. We dined at the now-defunct Sugar Reef restaurant in Hollywood Beach. We took afternoon siestas. We went for daily strolls on the boardwalk. We listened to bands doing cover songs at the band shell. We hit every shopping mall within a 25-mile radius. Some of them more than once.
That’s the stuff we did every year. Not the rituals anyone imposed on us. OUR rituals. The stuff WE discovered. The repetition of the same is the magic sauce.
I just returned from a visit to Mom’s Senior Residence in Germany. The rituals have changed. They are simpler. They are rituals nevertheless.
Taking the elevator from the 4th floor to the 3rd floor. Mom resting on her walker as we ride down. Claiming our own little table in the bistro. Me walking to the counter, picking up 2 cappuccinos. 2 pieces of torte. Mom leaning in, telling me what she truly thinks of the occupants of the other tables.
The same. Every afternoon at 3. Every day.
Rituals are my magic.
I ran down to the beach right after 7 yesterday 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 and just a little cold. 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 that very moment, on that 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.
I think of an interview I read a few years back. Amy Erret is the CEO and co-founder of Madison Reed, a firm that provides in-home hair color. As Amy explains in the interview (NY Times Business Section, 11/15/2013) 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.
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 …
Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Revel in Magic.
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