Is there anything magical about World Mental Health Day? Well, yes. Slowly, but surely, the world is wising up to the importance of good mental health.
In my 30 years as a magician nothing has helped me cope with life’s emotional challenges more than magic. It grounds me. It occupies my mind. It challenges my perceptions of life. It engages my mind. And keeps me looking forward for new things to discover.
Being well depends on a well-balanced life. When our resources are plentiful, we can face our daily challenges. By resources I mean positive emotions, being engaged, achieving goals, having good relationships and finding meaning in our lives. Wellbeing is also about care – respecting ourselves and remembering that we need to take care of ourselves first, so we can contribute to society. Whether that care happens through medication (like medical marijuana for instance – click here to see methods for taking it) or through other means like therapy, care is very important for all of us.
It is not about being happy all the time. That’s not possible. But as long as we are self-aware and act if resources become depleted, we should be able to cope. It takes skill to acknowledge our emotions, understand how they impact us and how to operate under difficult situations. Having that skill gives you a better chance at dealing with challenges. Hopefully your workplace has also adopted wellbeing policies to keep you and your fellow employees safe and happy as well, this is paramount as we do spend a lot of our lives at work so it is a big part of our day. Employers can use resources like Eden Health to help achieve this as well as conduct extensive research into helping staff feel better whilst working. Our wellbeing is important and should not be taken for granted.
The personal impact that magic had on my life
I discovered magic in my teenage years, answering a ‘call’ from my creative side. I was bored, I wanted to try something different. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and learned that I could do amazing things. But magic also nurtured my social skills. It gives you a tool to approach people with and creates great conversations. Magic helped me connect with people from all walks of life. It is a universal language – quite handy when you’re travelling around the world!
I remember walking through Seoul in South Korea and looking around to see all the amazing things to do in Gangnam and other regions when I started to feel super inspired on how to incorporate this culture within my magic act and how it can make it a hundred times better. It was amazing the feeling of travelling for magic but getting more magic from traveling. I began to realize how valuable travelling was starting to become to my life and how travelling can help improve your mental state enormously by making you realize there is more out there that you haven’t even explored!
The magic community has had a profoundly positive impact in my life. Creating a space where people share secrets and discuss possibilities is a very special and bonding experience. Another powerful aspect of magic is the support it has given me in harsh life moments. Stress, tricky relationships or your mind getting stuck… magic is my medicine for anxiety, stress or panic attacks. It is an activity that I always go back to, that helps me focus and be in the moment.
Three decades of a life with magic has given me great insights to harness when coaching other people. I gained an incredible understanding of magic as a learning tool. It works amazingly well to break down barriers between people and to help individuals find their voice. It supports everyone in self-discovery so they can take responsibility for their behaviours and feelings.
Click here to read the rest of my thoughts on wellbeing and mental health in Kendelle’s interview.
Illustrations by Kristof Goossens
Director of spells