This is how I cheat when I write a column. No, not illegal, go to jail cheating, but on the sly allowing for help from all avenues — seen and unseen.

A few weeks ago I wrote three paragraphs at the beginning of a new column. My next thought was to search the Internet to find a couple of quotes to back up my statements. Instead I decided to turn on an afternoon pundit show I actually like.

A man I’d never seen nor heard was being interviewed. Seconds later, I grabbed a pen. He finished talking; I turned off the TV, went to my computer and added my freshly penned quotes in paragraph four. Perfect. Better than that — so easy.

I visited his website. He was my soulmate in terms of teaching people to become grounded, focused, efficient and purposeful. He preaches to a different choir — corporations, CEOs — but the same message. Next I checked out Twitter.

He appeared in my search and I clicked on his page. For those of you who don’t tweet, what appeared was a list of his most recent tweets — short, 140-character messages sent by him to the people who follow him in Twitterland.

His most recent tweet, at the top of the list, read: “Thank you, Susan. You know we all need to work together.” Of course, that message was directed to someone else, but I’ll take validation wherever I can get it.

I emailed my soulmate and shared the story with him. I thanked him for reminding me that when I take the next indicated step, all my needs are met beautifully. He replied thanking me for the reminder.

I love the workings of the universe. She’s always got my back and is abundantly playful. Amazingly, however, I nearly missed the “magic,” until a friend of mine said something that triggered it.

It makes me wonder how many magical moments we have in each day that fly by unnoticed? My guess is too many. Probably most of them when we’re complaining or whining about not receiving help.

Another magical story just popped into my head. A close friend of mine told me she had met a woman who was quite sick. My friend felt she should stay connected with her. Not having any paper, she wrote the woman’s phone number on a $20 bill. Two days later she felt the urge to call her. She opened her wallet and realized she had spent the $20.

A few days later, at the post office, she asked for cash back. You guessed it. There was the $20 bill with her new friend’s phone number. She said to me, “Isn’t that sweet?” I exclaimed, “It’s more than sweet! Do you realize what the odds are that you would get that $20 bill back?”

Maybe, however, those odds aren’t so high after all. Perhaps the woman who was ill needed to speak to my friend, and the universe understood this and swooped in to “magically” allow it to happen.

The universe works on my behalf all the time. I’m trying to be more present so that even the subtle workings don’t slide by me unnoticed. And when I need help I ask for guidance, signs, validation and the awareness to acknowledge and receive it.

Who knew that “magic” could be so practical? I believe ordinary, everyday magic is working overtime in our lives to help us along, guide us and remind us that we’re not doing this alone.

Do you believe in magic?

Susan Ann Darley is a creativity coach, writer and author. Through coaching and writing, she specializes in motivating people to use their talents and market their creative projects. She offers a free 30-minute coaching session. For more information, click here, e-mail her at or call 805.845.3036.