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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Virchaux

A lesson in magic & slowing down as I decided to follow my heart. A day in NYC with no agenda.

Most of life or at least ever since I can remember, I’ve always been ON THE GO. Focusing on the mindset of “ok, what’s next?”

I finished college and already thinking about grad school. Graduated with an MBA and mid-way through the program at UM and was already thinking of getting a PhD. Who knows in what but that was next. Haven't gotten it yet...but still on my goals list!

I'm the one who's eating breakfast and thinking of dinner. Or when I'm waking up on a Thursday and already thinking about Sunday plans. Or I'm in the middle of reading a book and thinking which book is next. O.M.G. it can be so exhausting! Constant, NEXT, NEXT & what’s NEXT.

I never really challenged the mindset since 1. It's always felt 'natural' to me and also most of our society values ambition and drive so I just went with it while getting praise from those around me "how do you manage to do so much all of the time?" which stroked my ego of course.

Also, I’ve always been fascinated with goals, checklists and challenges. I don’t have 3 to 5 goals a month but legit I have 15 – 20. When did this whole never-ending more on my to-do list and not enough things that I did became accomplishments because I was too busy on the future and what's next became my norm?

This year, not only I decided to resign from a 12+ year corporate career to start my biz (hell yes!) but also plan a wedding and become an indoor cycling instructor – all in one year. Why not? (mmm....see what I mean? Too much at the same time)

Last month it dawned on me…I NEED TO SLOW DOWN. It's all becoming a blur and never-stopping.

I am craving a slower pace. I want to be more present.

I made a conscious decision to slow down, to do less and appreciate more. To be fully present in the moment. Whether is washing my hair, creating new content, watching TV, cooking and so on. I decided to focus on every single thing that I am doing right now instead of thinking what I didn’t do and what I have to do.

Let me tell you it’s been a challenge but nonetheless, I’ve been consistently working at it. Daily. My habitual (but not necessarily healthy) ways want to steer me back to the 1000 things/projects to-do, people to see and places to visit. But my heart constantly reminds me “breath, slow down, take it easy” and when my heart speaks, I follow.

Today an opportunity presented itself for me to slow down, to appreciate the magic the city I live in has to offer & I WENT FOR IT. ALL IN.

I was called in to Jury Duty and when I got there, I told the clerk (nicest clerk ever BTW) that I am getting married in a few weeks and he smiled, congratulated me and told me to postpone it until next year! Ok, that works for me. I thought I can go back home and continue working.

But as soon as I stepped out of the courtroom, I looked up in the sky and right then & there I decided that today was to going to be all about appreciation, magic, slowing down, being present. I said a soft prayer “God, show me where to go, what to do, what to say and to whom” and I wished upon magic.

I also told myself “Today there are no judgments, no name calling (as in lazy, you’re wasting time, you need to go back home to work) and I promised to myself that today I was going to be lead from my heart and a place of love.

I had the most magical, wonderful, sweet and grateful day.

As soon as I left the courthouse, I found myself walking by the sweetest and coziest French coffee shop in SoHo where I wondered in and sat down. I ordered a hot cup of coffee, fig tartines with lavender seeds (DELICIOUS!) and I had a brand new book in hand that my best friend sent me because “I simply had to read it” and that’s how my day started. By the way, the book is Big Magic and let me tell you...if you haven't read it, grab a copy today. Like right now.

I got comfy, leaned into my heart and ended up staying there for almost 2 hours. I read too many chapters to count and clung to every single word. Elizabeth Gilbert's words moved me to tears over 2 cups of hot coffee and sweet melodies playing in the background. The nice server approached me at some point as my tears were unstoppable and I was slowly biting into a juicy fig and asked if I was okay….I smiled and said “oh yes, more than okay…these are tears of joy and gratefulness for my life, for this day.” He smiled and brought me more coffee.

After I left the coffee shop, I spent the entire day wondering, smiling at people, talking to strangers about the most interesting things & sitting in random benches reading and devouring more chapters of this glorious book.

Then, I walked into this beautiful clothing boutique and found a bad-ass, elegant and gorgeous off-white jumpsuit to wear for my wedding rehearsal dinner!

The magic came in what this all meant for me.

This outfit is more than just an outfit...let me explain. This type of outfit I normally wouldn’t wear…As soon as I put it on, I felt confident which tends to make me a little uncomfortable (talk about all of the self-discoveries I had today!) but I decided to OWN my confidence today. To embrace it and to trust my feel-good feelings instead of feeling un-worthy of it. Yes, I am working through and most importantly BREAKING THROUGH limiting beliefs that do not serve me.

It's time to clean house people. No joke, all in.

I am stepping out boldly and not holding back. Because if I want to change, I want miracles and more magic, I am also responsible for doing something different. I am responsible for taking action and getting uncomfortable. This outfit for me means that I am getting uncomfortable but in all the magical ways.

So here I am, eight hours later, feeling inspired to share all of this with you in the hopes to inspire you to take a look at your current behaviors and patterns. To question them, to challenge them even if it’s something that you've been doing for most of your lives. It doesn't mean that it works for you anymore, you know? Even it’s something that is praised by society but in your gut doesn’t feel right anymore. Take a step, lean into courage.

Once you challenge those behaviors, make a pact with yourself to observe yourself when they come up and then to start taking action to change them. Even if you start with baby steps but start today.

Yes, it will make you uncomfortable at the beginning, like anything new but once you open that lid, once you open that window and allow for new behaviors to form as you shed the old ones, you will feel a sense of freedom. You will feel a sense of self-trust and courage which leads to growth and transformation and let’s not forget MAGIC & MIRACLES!

Your life is magical, your purpose is divine. The world is waiting. Step out of your comfort zone. Take a step, take a leap, do what it takes and GO FOR IT. Light your soul on fire, trust your heart and follow those little whispers…

Otherwise, what’s the alternative? A life complaining that nothing magical happens to you or ‘waiting’ for the magic to come in. I’ll let you know on a secret, the magic is there but it’s up to YOU to find it, to make space for it, to create it, to attract it to you.

Magic attracts magic.

The more you raise your energy, you question your habits and change them, the more you create space for it. You have to be the one to take action, to take the first step. To show the Universe that through courage, you are ready for those miracles and be ready to experience the beautiful things that the world has to offer and the interesting people all around us.

Here’s to you! Here’s to me! Here’s to our collective energy of courage!

Don't rewards the brave.



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