I’m working on a really fun project this week, costuming a cast of young people for a production of Beauty & the Beast. Last night, Enna, a young sibling of one of our actors, sweetly asked if she could get a closer look at the magic mirror that Belle uses to see her father and the Beast. She said she wanted to make a wish.
Of course, I agreed. How do you say no to an adorable three-year-old who wants to ask a magic mirror for a unicorn?
But when I brought the mirror from backstage and held it out for her to see, she backed away, afraid of what she might see in the reflection.
I assured her it was okay, that she wouldn’t see anything scary, but she continued to stay close to her mom and look at the fancy brocade and gold trim from a distance, not looking directly at the glass.
It made me think of a conversation I had earlier that day with my friend Allyson.
We were talking about our mutual belief in the importance of bringing good things into our lives through the power of intentional thinking. Not “positive thinking”, because sometimes our intentions need to be real, and real isn’t always positive.
This is about being mindful of where we are, what we have, and what we need. It’s about speaking our gratitude for what we have, and naming what needs to happen to move our lives/careers/goals forward on the next part of our journey.
It’s not magic. Of course it’s not. But sometimes it can seem that way. Like when a specific salary goal written in an intention is included in a new job offer (actually happened), or when a “random” seating assignment puts you next to someone who can offer a professional service you’ve been searching for (this too).
When it comes to the bigger questions, like where our lives are headed, and what we need to be happy, asking those questions can be H. A. R. D. It’s understandable that we might shy away from looking into that mirror of mindfulness and intention-setting. Because scary Beast!
“What if the answer is that I need to change jobs?”
“What if I need to leave an unhealthy relationship behind?”
“What if I actually know the answer and am trying my best to ignore it because it’s not what I want it to be??” (That last one feels pretty familiar, amiright??)
Look, the magic mirror is always available for us to use, but it only works if we actually look at it.
The first step is to pick up the mirror. Rather than fearing the appearance of a beast, be grateful for the vision itself. Let the magic take over from there.
And in case you’re wondering, I whispered Enna’s wish to the mirror for her. Because, who knows? Unicorns come in many shapes and sizes.