The National Animal of Scotland is the Unicorn. Seriously. THE UNICORN.
This is one of my favorite random facts because it conveys to me a certain playfulness and prioritization of fun that I feel is often lacking in our modern society. And a belief in magic and myth and mystery.
Because we spend too much time being serious, I think, and not enough time engaging with our joy and laughing hysterically and allowing ourselves moments of child-like absurdity.
Celebrating a fictitious creature as your nation’s representative animal? Kind of absurd. But also – in my humble opinion – pretty effing awesome.
When it comes to being excessively serious, I am as guilty as anyone else. Especially during the past 18 months of my life, throughout which my efforts to embrace self-discovery and personal growth and becoming a more evolved human have often overshadowed my intentional engagement with fun.
Which is why one of my intentions for the coming year is to actively cultivate more playfulness, to seek it out whenever possible, to make it a priority in my daily life. Even on the tough days, when all I want to do is crawl in a hole and cry and throw myself a pity party for one.
Because it’s important to lighten the mood on a regular basis. The world gives us plenty about which to be serious and somber and cynical. It’s up to each of us to find the joy and humor and magic, to pay attention enough to notice these things, and to pause – even if just for a split second – and acknowledge their existence.
Magic is everywhere, I assure you. But you have to choose to see it.
I spent many years not believing in magic and not having very much fun and sort of assuming the universe was conspiring against me. This was not a particularly joyful way to live.
I encounter magic all the time these days. But I also make a conscious decision to look at life through that lens – the lens that can make even the most seemingly mundane occurrence appear somehow enchanted.
Like hearing the words “change in my pocket” in a song on the radio at the exact same moment I’m literally pulling change out of my coat pocket. Or receiving a call from a friend at the precise moment I pick up my phone to text her. Or watching an email with “555” in the subject line land in my inbox at exactly 5:55pm.
While these events might seem meaningless, they’re not. For me, they’re little reminders that the universe is actually pretty rad. And when I make an effort to appreciate even the most subtle manifestation of magic – call it coincidence, call it synchronicity, call it anything you want – my experience of joy is inevitably amplified.
And for those of you who are all science, science, science! I hear you. And I assert that science is full of magic, too.
Your body, for example, is all sorts of magical and amazing. Breathing, pumping blood, replicating cells constantly, digesting food, blinking – all without any conscious input from you.
Magic, you guys. MAGIC.
Maybe you think I’m naïve or subscribing to fantastical thinking or just being plain old silly by choosing to look at life this way. I know the me of ten or eight or even six years ago would have found the me of today kind of ridiculous. Magic? Who are you kidding?
But truthfully, I’m okay with some people – even my former self – thinking I’m silly at this point. After all, fun and playfulness and hilarity are all on my resolutions list for 2014.
And what’s more fun than magic?
I encourage you to open your mind to the idea that the universe is kind of enchanted, to look for and acknowledge moments of synchronicity and times when life unexpectedly aligns – even if the moment is fleeting and even when it seems absurd to do so.
I’m confident this practice will increase your gratitude and enhance your happiness and benefit your health – physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
It’s also a hell of a lot more enjoyable than taking everything so seriously all the time. Trust me. I speak from experience on this one.
Plus, the Year of the Horse begins three weeks from today. And a unicorn is essentially a magical horse with a horn on its forehead. So, I think our mission here is clear.
Let’s take our cue from Scotland this year and choose to celebrate the fantastical, the magical, the mythical, and the absurd. Because it’s fun.
Because we can.