When I think of the word “enchantment,” I think of that feeling of delight that has almost a fairytale-like quality to it. It’s like a mini escape. When you feel a sense of enchantment, its psychological state is so strong that it can feel like you are under a spell or a trance. Enchantment can stem from something like the feeling of being delighted and captivated by watching the waves crash on the seashore. Or it can be a bit more mystical, less tangible. Either way, it’s something we all crave. Everyone could use more enchantment in their life.
The older we get and the more jaded we become, the easier it is to become disenchanted with our day-to-day. As adults, we may be less inclined than children to suspend our belief systems and face the unknown. And yet, our psyches still desire to explore the unknown and unknowable. We seem to have an innate desire for a connection to a benevolent force outside of ourselves.
Nature as a source of enchantment
I am most often enchanted by nature. It’s the aesthete in me. Watch the colorful sunrises and sunsets. Enjoy the seasons where you are. Drive on local backroads as the sun makes the snow sparkle and the world around you becomes a magical winter wonderland. Walk your nearby wooded labyrinth. The splashes of sun on the earthen path, the colorful fallen leaves, or the freshly sprung wildflowers are magical.
Slow down the pace
Our day-to-day is filled with work, meetings, schedules, taxes and so many other soul-sucking to-dos. But such is life and there’s not much you can do about those necessary evils. But you can slow the pace of your life and say “no” to the things that don’t feed your soul.
Unplug as often as you can
There is nothing magical about scrolling Instagram. In fact, it’s actually the opposite. Try to unplug for a dedicated amount of time every single day and an entire day on the weekend. This is especially important if you work a lot on screens. Checking emails and messages about work can invoke stress, so set time every day to step away from screens (yes, all screens!) and look forward to that time every day; make that promise to yourself.
Tune into that childlike wonder
There’s a reason kids live an enchanted life. Some of our best pathways for enchantment come from the hopes and dreams that we had as children. Think back and let your mind wander to a time in your life when you were eager and excited about the simplest parts of life. Often our adult brain blocks these episodes of enchantment with self-criticism or fear. But whether you find a brief delight in blowing bubbles, wishing on a star, or roller skating, the magical ingredients of enchantment are obtainable for each of us.
What might enchantment look like in your life? Where can you find it? A walk in the woods? An afternoon at a potter’s wheel? Music? In most cultures, chanting, drumming, dancing and music restore us to the wild aliveness of enchantment. Finding your way to enchantment might be a thrilling project. Consider that your capacity to be enchanted has never been lost. Enchantment has much to teach us about hidden wonders blocked by our over-analytical minds. Enchantment asks to release us into a world beyond thought in which new perceptions and sensations lead the way to awe. Right now, let yourself muse on the possibility of enchantment. In the words of French poet Paul Éluard: “There is another world, but it is in this one.”