I have been thinking a lot about magic lately— noticing the signs of it in my own life, noticing the people in my life who seem to make it for themselves. What I’ve realized is that magic lives in the routines of our lives.

Consistency is alchemy. It is magic. And it applies to our work, our passions, and our healing journeys.

When you think of magic you may think of glamour and ceremony — low lighting, candles, puffs of incense smoke… crystals and talismans and cards and questions to the oracle. The idea that healing ourselves with a wave of a wand, or finding prosperity through an incantation, is quite appealing. But this isn’t real magic. I’m not saying we can’t enjoy our ceremonies, or that we have to stop looking for answers in this way. What I’m saying is that magic looks like drinking 2-3 liters of water everyday. Magic looks like eating whole foods. Magic looks like adding a dropper of plant medicine to your tonic every single day because that is what it takes to see the effects and to truly heal. Magic is a long game, not a shortcut. I’m here to remind you that there are no shortcuts on the road to healing, the same way that art and work take time.

Here are some things that have helped me create and maintain consistency in my healing, art, and work practices.

  1. Set Yourself Up

Starting each day from scratch isn’t sustainable when it comes to consistency. In terms of your healing practices, create a weekly schedule and prepare what you need in advance — if that means cooking a big batch of beans on a Sunday so that you can eat a fiber-rich diet throughout the week, do it! If that means keeping a glass of water in every room of your house (and a water bottle in your bag) so that you remember to drink water, do it!

When it comes to consistency with work, I find that taking an hour or two at the beginning of the week to write all of my tasks and to-do items down in a planner really helps me stay proactive.

Consistency in art-making, for me, happens when I carve out a daily window of time dedicated to ONLY art. Art looks like reading and writing right now, for my MFA program, and I give myself a window from 7am to 12pm every day to do that — (I’m a freelancer and am fortunate enough to be able to design my schedule in this way)

  1. Course Correct

Never ever play the shame game. If you take a step backwards, breathe and try to take a step forward tomorrow. Zoom out and remember the big picture: consistency is about /general/ forward motion — don’t get hung up on days when you are less healthful, less productive, or less creative. Showing up each day counts for a lot. There is magic in showing up for yourself.

  1. Break It Down

By the same token, don’t try to do too much at once. If you’re looking to transition to a fully plant-based diet, for instance, you don’t have to give up all animal products at once. Baby steps. Use that planner and schedule out your strategy over the course of the next month, maybe. Set a realistic goal of finishing the underpainting of a new artwork this week — not the whole painting. If you have a big work project, make sure you break it into digestible benchmarks you can hit day after day. Breaking things down to a smaller scale allows for us all to feel accomplished with our days. This keeps us on track (and with less of a need for course correcting) and ensures CONSISTENCY.

Here is an exercise: 

Make a flowchart by listing five goals at the top of your page.

Now draw arrows below each of your goals to break them down into manageable steps. Keep doing this until you get to the smallest steps that you can start implementing into your day right now. Allow these tiny additions to become part of your daily practice. Watch how consistency in these smaller actions lead you to your goals. Witness the magic before you.