The second part of S.M.I.L.E. is Make Magic Moments. What is a Magic Moment? It’s when your worries are distant and light illuminates all the shadows in your mind. It’s a moment when your pain is lifted and faraway, like a cloud in the sky. The pain doesn’t necessarily disappear, but it’s momentarily out of reach. It’s when you’re filled with warmth and love, and you’re astounded by the bounty of your own blessings, even in the midst of your challenges. A Magic Moment is not fantasy. It’s reality. It’s when your blessings stand out clearly and you feel wonder and amazement for the life you have, regardless of your challenges.
(This post is an edited excerpt from my book Learning to S.M.I.L.E. Again: 5 Simple Steps Toward Joy which you can learn more about by clicking here.)
There came a day in my journey with depression and anxiety that I became more determined to help my children enjoy life. I wanted them to feel loved, truly LOVED. I wanted to see their smiles more. My depression had put me in a place where most days I was just surviving. I wasn’t thriving and neither was my family. However, when I deliberately tried to do a simple activity where I could see my kids smiling, and maybe even capture that moment with my camera, I felt my purpose in life rekindled. I could find simple ways every day to share love and experience Magic Moments.
Sometimes the Magic Moments were natural and organic. I would snap pictures of my kids’ smiles as they felt the rush of the wind when I pushed them on a swing. Or when we fed the ducks or threw pebbles in the pond. Sometimes Magic Moments happened when I was a good listener and validated their feelings. Or when I followed a prompting to give them a hug. Or when my child asked me to read them a story and I did it without putting it off. When I overheard laughter or caught someone else enjoying their own Magic Moment, it also cheered me up. These beautiful experiences weren’t forced. They just appeared, and I was grateful when they did. They were tender mercies. They reminded me that life was good.
Other days, Magic Moments took a little more encouragement. It meant getting out the sidewalk chalk or soccer ball, even when I wasn’t in the best mood. It meant scheduling a date so I had a Magic Moment to look forward to. We can’t always experience this magic alone, so we need to make sure we aren’t alone. Sometimes being alone wasn’t the problem. As a stay at-home mom, I was rarely alone. However, I still needed the occasional change of scenery. I had great moments with my kids, but it was also important I scheduled time with my husband and friends. Magic Moments could happen with anyone I loved, so there was no need to limit them to my kids. I allowed for a great variety, even if they were last minute or low-key.
Making a Magic Moment doesn’t require high costs or exotic destinations. It could be at a park, on a hike, on a couch, or a porch swing. Magic Moments just mean quality time with people you love and who love you too. Being physically together isn’t enough, though. Quality time requires mental and emotional togetherness too. There have been days I’ve spent every hour with my kids but didn’t necessarily make many Magic Moments with them because I was distracted. Life is busy and it’s easy to forget to be present, and then we wonder why we’re so burned out. We need to slow down and remember to look into the eyes of our loved ones and let them know they are our loved ones, that they are the reason we do everything we do. Sometimes just doing that brings the magic and we find our emotional batteries are recharged.
I believe life has Magic Moments it wants to give us. They’re there, ready for the enjoying. We just need to allow them and receive them.
Magic Moments can be simple and usually are. Isn’t that wonderful? It means we can find them and make them each day! This world, this life, can be hard, but we can choose to do something about it. When we share Magic Moments with others, joy happens regardless of our circumstances.
It’s my wish that you will live a life that’s emotionally elevated. Don’t stay down in the dumps. Rise higher. Create and embrace your own Magic Moments. Cling to them on the heavier days, when it’s harder to rise up. Let the good days you’ve had and the loving people you’ve known inspire you to create more good memories. Go ahead…make some magic!
P.S. For more ideas, check out my Make Magic Moments gallery on the S.M.I.L.E. tab of my website or by clicking here.