Monday, November 1, 2010

A Sense of Enchantment and Magic

The minute we walk into a home, we know whether or not it has enchantment and magic. The warm feeling of an enchanting room beckons us to sink into comfort to our hearts content. Serenity and order soothe. Simple beauty delights. All's right with the world in such a magical, engaging and inviting home. 

Think of the homey settings in the wonderful movies of the 1940's, like The Enchanted Cottage. "If you have it," the English playwright Sir James M. Barrie wrote about charm in 1907, "you don't need to have anything else; and if you don't have it, it doesn't much matter what else you have."

Money can purchase beautiful furnishings and decorative accessories, but it cannot ensure that enchantment and charm lies within us. I believe this is because charm seems to be a quality of the soul that cannot be purchased. But charm can be channeled from the Creative Spirit. It is accessed through our authenticity, and expressed in our personal flair. 

In these tough economic times, when considering carefully every large purchase for the home, it is a challenge to make our homes beautiful on a shoestring. "Beauty doesn't lie in the expenditure of much money, but in the artistic disposition of little," says an article entitled "The Charm of the Unexpected" published in the August 1917 issue of The Mother's Magazine during World War 1, when making do with less was a necessity. 

Today, realize that the desire to make our homes warm and welcoming to those who live in it, is still the secret of filling our homes with enchantment and magic. 

Brightest of Blessings,

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Put the Magic in Housekeeping

Life will always have dirty dishes.
If this sink can become 
a place of contemplation,
let me learn constancy here.
                                       -Gunilla Norris

Many women approach the unrelenting, repetitive, exhausting work known as housekeeping as if it was torture. Because we dread it we put it off for as long as possible. 

Granted housekeeping is much like the movie, "Ground Hog Day" where you keep repeating the same day or the same actions over and over and never seem to get any where. The clean becomes dirty, the dirty is made clean, over and over day after day. 

That is of course, assuming we get around to it daily. For two-thirds of American women who also work outside their home, this means tackling household chores between seven P.M. and seven A.M.

But I discovered - to my dismay- that "Order" is among the principles to be explored along the Magical path. In the beginning I balked at this. Although I frequently felt frazzled and adrift, especially when I tried to find something; or tried to ignore my husband, "Wolfy's" socks on the floor or the dog hair and clutter around me. The merits of "order" seemed old-fashioned, uninspired and unimaginative. It seemed as dreary and cheerless, in fact as the word "chore." When what I longed to bring into my life was something upbeat. 

But then, living in Pennsylvania, I contemplated the Amish. And I was struck by their seamless stitching together of life, work and art (have you ever seen their quilts?) with Divine Order. The Amish, the Quakers and the Shakers believe that their daily work, including housekeeping, is a personal expression of worship. 

And aren't our homes in fact our "temples?" To clean all the dusty corners is to clear our homes of negativity that has become stultified. When we go to this task with a right frame of mind we can imbue our whole home and family with good energy and protection. 

Magic and Housekeeping have always gone together. When we clean our homes and make them orderly, we are somehow also cleaning and ordering ourselves. We do not want to create Magic from dis-order; as this is garbage in -garbage out. Much better if we create a clean slate for magic to occur.   

Good Luck, Good Magic and Good Housekeeping!