This story is not written by me, but a lady called Carol who posted a link to the story (http://carolom.wordpress.com/2007/01/02/the-magical-child-in-exile/) in a comment to Paulo Coelho's blog. I thought Carol's story is a great reminder of us all about what life should really be about (giving a chance to the magical children inside us all to express themselves). So here goes:
The Magical Child in Exile
Where does the unlimited imagination, the energy creativity & passion of childhood go?
A friend of mine recently had her first baby and spoke joyously about going from working for the ‘evil empire’ to spending every day with her gorgeous little boy and immersing herself in the world of her son’s childhood years.
I began to wonder what is it that constitutes the ‘evil empire’ and why is it that Australia, like many “first world” countries has one of the highest standards of living on the planet yet is seeing the statistics escalate in the areas of youth suicide, mental illness, addiction, depression, stress related sickness, job dissatisfaction and family break downs.
I think it began in a land far and near in a time as long ago as today…..
Once upon a time there was a Magical Child who loved to draw and dance and sing and paint and laugh and play. Some days the Magical Child just twirled and swirled in circles for the sheer pleasure of it all. The Magical Child even had an invisible friend and all the grown ups thought that was very cute …just as cute as when the Magical Child played ‘make believe’ and “I can do and be any thing”.
When the Magical Child was sad….tears flowed
When the Magical Child was happy…laughter cascaded
When the Magical Child was angry there were big yells and sometimes a full-body splat onto the ground….but as soon as the moment was processed…the discordant energy left their body….leaving the cells free to breathe and grow and remain in their healthy natural state….
But by and bye-bye something happened one day
The Magical Child was in the midst of telling one of the grown up’s…. (the groan ups as she later called them)… about a funny little make believe story when the grown up said “Stop being silly….you can’t keep pretending like that…you are a big girl now. “
They had said the same thing to her brother not so long ago. “You are a big boy now…stop crying” The Magical Child was shocked and her shock was accompanied by an unpleasant feeling inside of her tummy that took a long time to go away.
It was a shaming moment …a matter of fact moment that began to alter the course of the Magical Childs life forever. A shaming, conforming moment that would seep into the recesses of the subconscious mind and like a noxious weed, eventually choke the fertile Magic soil as surely as if a nuclear wasted land had been dropped in the new, clear landscape of the Childs mind…
And so it began ….the artist, the story teller, the dancer , the prophet , the mystic all living and breathing through the imagination…The I~magi~nation…. of the Magical Child was told to stop! Be quiet!…Don’t dance on there you’ll fall!…sit down…don’t be silly…stop asking so many questions!!….
On and on the toxic commands continued….all the way through school where the Magical Child was now only permitted to create only between 10 am and 11 am (art lesson)…to tell stories between 2 and 3 on Tuesdays..(English lesson)……creating whilst remaining as motionless as humanly impossible…..”Stop fidgeting”…”Stop day dreaming”…. “Pay attention”…
Facing the front board, bored inside of a square box , (called a room) where whirling, twirling, playfulness no longer came through the door…….and banned from ever mentioning invisible friends lest you invite the horrors of medication and mislabeling before you have even learnt how to tie your shoes up properly….the Magical Children sought to become what was
expected of them and learn about things beyond the Magical, creative realm.
The Magical Child quickly learnt not to show sadness, anger or confusion and to repress inappropriate eruptions of joy, fear or insecurity in the class room. Making sure instead to h~o~l~d~It~In!! Sit Still! Eyes to the front…STOP whispering, laughing, talking. Stop. Stop. Stop.
Of course eventually the Magical Child stopped completely. A kind of who-I-am-amnesia set in. Forgetting about the art, the magic, the songs, the dances and the stories and instead replaced those Magical currents with learning the things that the teacher insisted was important to their current learning, competing with the other lost Magical Children in the sports yard, in the academic arena and eventually in the work place…if they were able to still function that is. Magical Children are resilient and they are able to forget if it means freedom from the shaming, the naming, the labeling and the ire of the grown ups.
But some succumbed to their true self in spite of them self and sometimes became known as “disruptive”, “troubled learner”, “withdrawn” and other such names that reveal an inability to conform to the lost-Magic around them. So was born the latest generation to enter the ‘evil empire’. A system saturated with lost Magical Children, living unreal lives, not even realising ….real~eyesing…..that who they have become is not who they were meant to be.
Many of the Magical Children, now groan-ups themselves are still h-o-l-d-i-n-g—i-t—-i-n-
After all the word “Evil” is just “Live” backwardly….
It is not surprising many of the once-magical-minds of the inhabitants of the evil empire became choked with the weeds of mental illness, alcoholism, drug dependency, neurosis, psychosis, anger, depression, boredom and frustration, competition and back biting and preoccupation with celebrity lives and drama!
Magical Children are full of pure, free flowing creative energy and energy can not be destroyed….it simply transforms, turning toxic, creating tragic from the magic.
Millions of grown up’s are lost Magical Children in varying degrees of exile thought a few do escape and return to their natural state I hear…
This must be why a nation can be preoccupied reality television and obsessed with the lives of the ‘stars, the gods and goddesses of magic and creativity. A preoccupation with intrigue and adoration, seeing the world of possibility in the magic-mirror of television.
No longer creating and producing their own stories and art and dance, the need for fantasy and magic nevertheless remains ever strong. Indeed when Magical Children in exile see others leading a “magical life”…something within their own self may yearn to return to that place of Magic, creativity and infinite potential for love and connection.
Sadly though the lost story teller may now be churning out reams of tragic-magic, gossip, chaos and unhappy relationships, forever telling their wounded story teller tales to friends and family, occasionally plummeting into the deepest chasms of depression and despair, overwhelmed by the tragedy of an uninspired life. Alas the lost artist might now obsessively clean a clean house or weed a weed less garden seeking to create something of note in their world…processing those ever-flowing creative energies towards their small boxed in life…
Sometimes, at its most insidious, the Magical-Child will succumb to the hyper-high, outrageously creative manic energies …ill-fated to become an uninitiated mystic or master creator of chaos and mayhem.
If it is true that ‘in order to experience heaven one must become ‘like a little child’ then it might well be that the Magical Children no-longer-in-exile, those who have recovered from the amnesia and remembered who I Am will be the ones to show remind us all to begin the wonderful journey back to our true self and to reclaim what was always within….
After all the word reclaim is simply the word miracle in disguise….