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Magical Mood Mastery (Or Why Happy Doesn't Equal Good)

Have you ever been in the midst of an almost frenetic happiness, only to have lonely, uneasy feelings creep up on you as if out of nowhere? I have: plenty of times. Just a few nights ago it happened, actually. And while in decades past I would have reacted with resistance, worry, or even panic, it struck me that these days, I react totally differently, and it makes all the difference. Let me explain.

First of all, can we just face it? Our culture is weird about mood. In countless ways, we clearly receive the message that happy=good, sad=bad. Not only does this oversimplify the nuances of our emotions and moods, it also makes it all too easy to think, "Oh no, I'm having "negative" feelings, what's wrong with me?" Of course, it doesn't help that television ads reinforce the belief that something is indeed wrong with you if you're not completely happy all the time. And have you heard of "New Age guilt"? It's when you feel guilty for feeling bad: you must not be saying enough affirmations or something...I mean, seriously, can't we cut ourselves a break?

That's why these days, when a less-than-gleeful mood rears its unfairly maligned head, I go with it. "This makes sense," I think. "I've been feeling pretty expansive for the past few weeks, so of course I've got to check in with my loneliness for a bit, and my heartache, and my pain." Then I breathe into it. Maybe I'll even lie around in bed and cry, or put on Lana Del Rey or Leonard Cohen, or the saddest movie I can find. Counterintuitive? Maybe. But when I welcome the sadness instead of fighting it, it actually doesn't feel bad, per se. Yes, it hurts, but it hurts far less than fighting against the pain, and it's also beautiful. It reminds me of how precious life is: of how much I love the people I love, and of how amazing and mysterious life is, and how delightfully strange.

Laugh Until You Cry/Cry Until You Laugh

As magical folk, we know that saltwater cleanses, and when it flows out of our eyes, it's a most profound cleansing of the soul. Laughing and crying deeply, from our gut, also relaxes us and purges us of tension on the deepest level. I remember once after a family member and I had a huge, dramatic, tear-filled blowout, I found that I could laugh more deeply than I had for months. And another time I remember laughing so hard before a funeral that tears were flowing down my face. Both times, I surrendered to my own emotional flow, released energetic congestion, and was reminded fully of the beauty of life.

Don't Put on a Happy Face

The simplistic concept of "put on a happy face" is kind of hilarious, actually. While it's of course important to have an empowered mindset, and to know that you have the power to shift negatives into positives, it's also important to honor the full spectrum of emotion. While in some ways we are eternal, the appearance of this current life experience is indeed characterized by time and duality, meaning we will certainly transition out of this form, as will all of the people and animals that we love. Choosing to willfully ignore this fact doesn't just cause you to avoid being "Debbie Downer," it also causes you to avoid the fullness of your joy. I am most overwhelmed by my love for my partner, for example, when I remember that he or I could both "die" at any moment, and in an instant, no longer get to experience each other in our current, precious, fleeting form.

Nothing Really Matters, and Then Again Everything Does

Our culture would have us believe that politics are serious, and our dress size is serious, and our religion is serious. To me, none of these are particularly serious. But you know what is? A bee buzzing around a flower. The way my cat wags his tail when he's curious. The sound of my partner laughing. The taste of chocolate. The scent of incense in sunshine. The breath I'm breathing right now. These "little" things that make up the entirety of our life experience are not serious in the frowning, worried way, but serious in the sparkling-gem-through-which-we-gaze-at-infinity way.

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Tess Whitehurst is the award-winning author of a number of books, including The Magic of Flowers and Holistic Energy Magic. She's also a feng shui consultant and a worldwide intuitive counselor. She lives in Boulder, CO. Visit her and sign up for her free monthly newsletter at


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