I took my daughter Jenna to her Karate class the other day, and after the instructor welcomed all of the children to the class he asked them to “paint your magic circle around you.” I sat there and watched a group of children take their hands and paint an imaginary circle around their bodies and sit down. This exercise was, of course, the instructors attempt to keep 12 five year-olds from running around the room doing things that weren’t meaningful, so that they could stay focused. This got me to thinking about how women “paint magic circles” around their lives as well.
Thankfully, women have a lot of choices in our society today. This can be both good and bad news. Why? Because we can do it all and we do it all very well. Sometimes I think we paint too many “magic circles.” We have the opportunity to fulfill many roles —wife, partner, mom, career, entrepreneur, daughter, volunteer, caregiver, friend—did I leave anything out? With so many responsibilities demanding our time and attention, we need to paint a magic circle called “magic circle for me.”
Given all that we do, we rarely take the time necessary for ourselves. It’s crucial that you paint a “magic circle” that is just for you, because you need a place where you can sit and reflect. A magic circle where you can sit and think about where you are right now and where you might want to go next. Sometimes we have “magic circles” where the paint is old, chipped and faded. It’s time to let go of that magic circle and create a new one. Remember, it’s magic, it’s imaginary—you can change it if you want to. Here’s the problem with this sometimes.
You become so comfortable in all of your “magic circles” that you don’t want to leave them or change them in any way. You become unable to think about picking a new color of paint or where you might want to paint the new circle. All sorts of uncomfortable things start to happen and what do you do? You stay in the old, chipped, faded magic circle. Why? It’s comfortable and you are used to it. Doing something new and different can be uncomfortable. However, it is the only way that real growth happens in our lives.
This is a big part of my work with women. I encourage women to create “the magic circle for me” so that they can have the space to reflect on what makes the most sense moving forward. Being a support to them while they decide what color their next “magic circle” will be is helpful. You need someone to be there to help you work through the uncomfortable part of leaving your old “magic circle” and painting a new one. It can be a challenge to truly decide which circles make sense for you moving forward in your life. Having a supportive, non-judgmental person is essential.
How about you? Are you running in too many directions right now? Are you having a hard time navigating your way? Is your circle old and in need of a new coat of paint? Or, maybe you want to discard that color all-together and paint something completely new in your life. I invite you to take some time and think about your circle. Summer is a great time to reflect, touch up or repaint.
The nice part about your magic circle is you can change it, leave it or create a new one any time you choose to.
Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.