April 5, 2016

A Study in Wow.

Flickr/Katia Romanova

I have been trained as a magician.

I am an expert in the magic of healing, the magic of prayer, the magic of focused thought, the magic of alchemy.

I define a magical word as a word that inexplicably changes something when it is said. So when I talk about magic words, I am talking about words that can change our mind, our feelings, our emotions, and our experience.

I am constantly amazed how some words just flow automatically off of our tongues and instantly change the way we look at the world. In my experience one of the most powerful of these words is “Wow”.

The first time I experienced the effect of saying “Wow” was when I was beaten for something I didn’t do. I was 8 years old and my brother blamed something on me that wasn’t true. My father must have been having a bad morning because he blew up and started beating me with a belt, telling me to shut up when I protested. I don’t know how it happened, I just remember that after it was through I said “Wow!” and a lot of the emotional pain went away. My ass still hurt but somehow I disconnected from the anger and fear and I didn’t care anymore.

Whenever we get caught up in a stressful situation or a traumatic memory, we have to separate ourselves from the pain and suffering if we are going to transcend the emotion and put it in perspective. I find that “Wow” has the ability to put space between the feeling and the emotion that we may be feeling. For me, the word signifies surprise and a disconnection from our thinking pattern that we may be experiencing at the moment. Many times events will trigger a habitual thinking pattern and we have to stop it before it drags us down into more negative emotions.

I teach people to say “Wow!” whenever they need to detach from an emotion or a situation. Imagine that you are looking at all of your bills and you have no plan on how to pay them all. If you say “Wow!” it changes the emotion and feeling of the moment. If you go farther, and say “Wow I need to change my spending habits”, it allows you to disconnect from feelings of guilt and shame and start looking for solutions.

I recently was informed that a huge investment I had made at the advice of someone I trusted had gone bankrupt. I lost all of my savings, and all I could do to cope with the situation was to keep saying “Wow!” I said it intentionally to disconnect with the overwhelming feeling of victim-hood, fear and shame that arose when I discovered that my safe and comfortable life was about to change dramatically. While I still am processing where to go from here, whenever I say “WOW!” I feel less overwhelmed and a bit more rational.
If you are overwhelmed, one of the best ways to get grounded and looking for solutions is simply to say “Wow!”

If you say “Wow, I need to change,” you will change. Suppose you are really angry at someone, if you say “Wow, I am really angry at that person,” the anger will go away.

If you are feeling guilty about something you have done, if you say “WOW, I am feeling really guilty about this!” the guilt will go away.

If someone attacks you or criticizes you unfairly, just say “Wow” and it will stop you from taking it personally.

What the word does is give you space to detach momentarily from your initial reaction and reconnect with your higher self, your divine self. If you are afraid, that fear blocks you from connecting from your divine self. You can’t do it if you are trapped in the fear. If you say “Wow!” you can detach from the feelings of fear and find a solution, or at least detach from the fear long enough to get grounded.

A famous story of Steve Jobs, the founder and genius behind Apple computers was his last words were “oh wow, oh wow, oh wow!” Although he was looking at his family when he said it, I suspect that he was connecting with some higher wisdom to ease his transition into the next adventure. I’m certain that Spirit/Universe/God has uttered “WOW!” and that its is a regular part of the Divine Vernacular when referring to us.

Therefore, given the fact that saying the word “Wow” always changes my perspective, my attitude, and get me back on a positive life track, I believe “Wow” is one of the most powerful words in the world.

Try it the next time you are feeling afraid, guilty or overwhelmed. I would love to hear if “Wow” creates the same magic in your life that it does in mine!


Author: James Robinson

Editor: Erin Lawson

Images: Flickr/Jeffrey   /// Flickr/Katia Romanova

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