top of page

Abracadabra: 2 Life Hacks to Keep Your Vibe Aligned

This blog is a reminder that our path to being happy meets at the of the intersection of personal alignment and personal fulfillment and when we make a U-turn of any kind, no matter what it is, we just feel out of sync. It’s about lining up with ourselves, even at the risk of being different.

Not long ago, I was working on a project with my students. It was the simple task of designing a Dr. Seuss door display. I am a leader in the school-wide reading initiative associated with this feat, so of course, my standards for myself were high. I looked on Pinterest, the web, queried others, and painstakingly conceptualized my vision for the final product. Yet, after three failed attempts at creating our masterpiece, I admittedly felt discouraged and utterly unsatisfied.

The next group of 6-year-olds were coming in for literacy coaching, and as they entered, they quizzically discussed amongst each other that I took the display down once more and, basically, what was this lady thinking. Overhearing them, I stumbled over to the desktop computer, earnestly wanting to explain the conversation away and communicate that I just didn’t feel it was a reflection of “us”. I pulled up the photos of what I was trying to do to show them, as they viewed the images on our smartboard.

I could hear my students muttering sounds like “ohhhh” and “hmmmm”, when out of nowhere, one of my little guys implored, “Well (pausing with his index finger at his lower lip)…, Mrs. Staley, maybe you don’t like them for us because they were someone else’s idea. They don’t fit us because they didn’t come from our minds.”

that really just happened…

Can I construe, loud and proud, the WOW that erupted inside my exploding cerebellum?! We are talking about three feet tall, at-risk children, and when I tell you they are simply genius, the statement is no hyperbole! My interior monologue was howling,

are you smarter than a first grader?

Consequently, I present you with these two grand epiphanies below, reminiscently brought to life by the pint-size people who demystify the quandaries in my days:

  1. Go with the flow of who you are and allow the magic to happen!

To begin, I should have known better, since never, ever does anything work out for me when I think in isolation, rather than inclusively.

Next, the fact that a child called me out on my own, unlike me, unacknowledged, less than rigorous strategies was more than what I call awesome. I mean, can I ask for a more direct example of reciprocal standards for both the teacher and students, in addition to how well these kids know me!?

Finally, I am definitely not a conformist, so regardless of how diligently I tried for the one size fits all approach, it wasn’t happening!

Of course, from there, a door display like no other was born; not because it was unique in its physical nature, but because it was exclusive in our collective beliefs, driven by 24, wiser than their years, prodigies who brought it to life.

I chose to share this anecdotal experience

because, I believe, it is about far more than door decorating.

It is about living and doing what fits you and when you don’t, you are in every way possible trying to make whatever you are attempting, fit.

Trust me, it won’t!

( I happen to have


in this particular

area- just sayin'.)

2. Being a Magician Has Its Perks!

Furthermore, if I am not doing what fits my gut, then shall I say epic failure? (Lots of clichés here, but I assure you, they are appropriate.)

I think we all conform at one time or another, and when we do, some of our true spirit and essence becomes damaged, at least for a time.

When we don’t and we make choices that fulfill the heartbeat that flows through our actions,

beautiful things happen, for ourselves, sure, but more than ever, for others.

I call this magic. I call that happiness.

Henry David Thoreau once compared happiness to that of a butterfly.

Perhaps, we could extend this into a metaphor along the lines of YOU being a butterfly, spreading your wings, and then, abracadabra!

Sometimes, allowing the magic to flow means that we have to accept that we view things from a different lens.

Many times, this causes a shift in our guidance system, like realizing the struggle between what we know is right and what we’ll settle on doing.

Trust me, you don’t want a 6-year-old to call you on this, either.

Moreover, the reality is you’ll be out of your vibe and if you wait too long, it will be even more difficult to reign yourself back in!

Here’s the thing:

I don’t know everything and I surely have and will always balk

at the inevitable hiccups that interfere in my experiences.

Yet, I know for sure this to be true:

when you make decisions,

be them in work or otherwise that reflect you,

you will always come out with the golden ticket.

I share this so that you keep doing what you’re doing,

I learn more of this good stuff from you along the way,

and the beautiful, magical ideas that drive and unite each of us,

continue to expand our horizons and those of others!

Here’s to your


today and every day !

Theresa Staley


"We are all here to make a difference, so let's do just that."

This blog is created to share my ideas and inspiration with fellow educators and our world.

bottom of page