The Enchanted Self
by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

A few years ago Disney celebrated its 25th anniversary year. Many of us who grew up with or have children who grew up with Mickey, Donald, Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs probably remember the magic of watching these characters come to life in story books and movies.

To our readers, we would like to say, "remember the magic" -- the magic that exists within you. We call this your "personal magic." Discovering your personal magic is as wondrous as watching the magic performed by magicians. The magician appears before us and eloquently recites a magic spell. With a flick of the wrist, people, animals, and objects disappear, and then reappear. Actually, we are all magicians. We can all conjure up magical moments from our past; and reinvent them in new and different ways that will have a positive and meaningful effect on our lives. It is not as easy as when Mary Poppins reaches into her magic carpet bag and pulls out a spoonful of sugar. Yet it is not hard. It just takes some learning, effort, and time.

For example, you may have positive memories relating to the summer season. Perhaps you stayed with grandparents at the shore, collected shells and caught fireflies. Or maybe you were the child who loved to fish or filled your days playing Monopoly on the porch with friends.

Reinventing these magical moments may mean buying or planting flowers, taking a horticultural class, learning to play bridge, going camping or sailing, or even spraying scented fragrances in your home that remind you of your grandparents garden.

For some of us, finding our own personal magic is a more difficult pursuit. It is similar to the magician who attempts to escape or separate from his or her locks and chains while trapped inside the confines of a small box. Many of us have experienced dysfunction or pain in our lives that may impede or prevent us from achieving states of well-being. For instance, Cinderella came from a dysfunctional household. Within all the turmoil and abuse her stepmother and stepsisters imposed upon her, she still managed to hold onto her hopes and dreams. She could separate from her misery with the help of her animal friends, focusing on things that gave her pleasure and joy. Meeting Prince Charming may not be high on your list of hopes and dreams, but having a fulfilling relationship with a spouse or friend may be.

Why not call that special friend or arrange an evening out with your spouse? Why not get dressed up, go out to dinner or spend some quality time with a friend? Autumn is a lovely season to simply be outside with those we care about. Why not go for a walk with someone special? These are all ways of recapturing the magic inside you.

Like the genie in Aladdins Lamp, we too possess magic. When we grant ourselves permission to remember the magic that exists within us, we are well on the road to discovering our ENCHANTED SELF.

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, a positive psychologist, teaches people how to enhance their lives--and consequently live lives of meaning and joy--by reclaiming what is positive about themselves. This is different from the traditional psychotherapeutic model because it is a paradigm shift designed to help us focus on our strengths rather than our disabilities and our weaknesses. The treatment model teaches both the clinician and the client how to look for purpose and a sense of well-being in daily living. She calls this process The Enchanted Self, A State of Well Being, Joy, and Happiness. Visit her website at To join The Enchanted Self E-group, click here. To subscribe to The Enchanted Self Monthly E-newsletter, click here.

THE ENCHANTED SELF® is a registered trademark of Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein.

Copyright (c) 2002 Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein