Every single human on earth experiences personal conflicts and challenges. Many of us on the magical path believe that we incarnated into this realm because our soul is learning about its true divine nature, and conflicts and challenges are catalysts for this process. (Not to mention, let’s be honest: life would be boring without them.) But whether or not you see things in this way, as a magical practitioner – whether your problem is old or new, immediate or systemic – you have the opportunity to transmute your challenges into lessons and conflicts into blessings.

Choosing to live in this way is the way of the magical warrior. Indeed, an alive, energized, activated tension occurs when every challenge and conflict becomes grist for the mill of learning, growing, and expanding. It’s a brave way to live, and the only way to truly own your personal power and not feel hopelessly buffeted about by the annoyances and heartbreaks that characterize every single life experience.

This philosophy in and of itself is the true secret to living (and practicing magic) successfully. But, when challenges and conflicts arise, here are some examples and perspectives that can support this warrior dynamic in your magic and life.

1. Grab Your Broom

My family used to joke that you could tell when my Italian grandmother was upset or worried because she would be vacuuming and scrubbing the floors. And now I realize what a genius she was! As magical folk, we know that everything is connected: inner and outer, spirit and form. And so when something is seemingly out of our control, there is always something that is in our control: like the state of our floors. It sounds simple, but when a conflict or challenge arises, grab your broom and sweep, grab your vacuum, clean out your fridge, pull weeds, or wash your car. The earthy action will soothe you on all levels while helping inner and outer conditions of all varieties come into greater harmony and balance.

2. Fly Above It All, and Then Dive Back In

When things start to seem overwhelming or stressful, imagine soaring up into the sky and looking down from high above. Also look at the vast, sandy beach that is you: consider how long your soul has been here and how long it will continue, in all directions of time, when you look beyond this one tiny little grain of sand we call your current life. This can help loosen your grip on the seriousness of any given situation just enough so that when you dive back in, you can do it with a more balanced perspective. I grew up in a funeral chapel family, and we had plenty of opportunity to practice this: when you’re reminded every single day of the beauty, tragedy, and uncertainty of life, all you can really do is loosen your grip, lighten up, and laugh. From this place, true courage arises. Everything seems easier, pathways seem to open up as if by magic, and you’re able to surrender more fully to this present life experience.

3. Cultivate Impeccable Integrity and Bulletproof Boundaries

Naturally, most of us ground, center, and cast a circle around ourselves before we work magic. But for the purpose of cultivating a mindset that allows us to traverse conflict and challenge gracefully as a matter of course, I find that it’s important to do this every single day. As a magical warrior, impeccable integrity and bulletproof boundaries are equivalent to our sword and shield. That’s why, at least once per day, I recommend engaging in a magical hygiene practice. This would include connecting with the energy of earth and sky, clearing your personal energy, shielding in a sphere of light, and consciously choosing what does and does not belong in your consciousness and personal energy field. Depending on what feels powerful for you, this may involve calling the elements, speaking intentions and affirmations, and/or connecting with deities or other helpers.

4. Take Responsibility, Not Blame

When it comes to owning and wielding our personal power, blame is a word of disempowerment, plain and simple. This is true regardless of the situation, and regardless of whether we place the blame on ourselves or another. While we can certainly acknowledge mistakes for the purpose of gleaning valuable lessons that will benefit us in the future, what has happened has already happened. Its effects are already present in your life experience, and our own life experience is the only thing we truly have jurisdiction over. At this point and for our magical purposes, whose fault it was is immaterial, and distracts from the real business of moving through, finding the blessing, and moving on. So the magical warrior takes responsibility for what is, and distances him or herself from the entire concept of blame. This fixes energy leaks and allows us full command of our considerable power to create positive change.

5. Feel Your Feelings, Then Move On

Then again, we may be angry. We may even be really, really, blindingly furious with ourselves or another. And this is part of what is. So to deny it would be to be in denial of the truth, which is also an energy leak. So the trick is to feel our anger (or sadness, or grief, or whatever it is) without getting sucked into any sort of drama or story that disempowers us or drains our energy, such as “this shouldn’t have happened,” or “I will forever be a victim.” So feel the feeling fully: acknowledge it, welcome it, and move through it. Then let it go.

6. Choose What Feels Right to You, Then Manifest It

Finally, as magical warriors we have the ability to choose what we want to experience, and then to manifest it. So – particularly when we follow empowering guidelines like the ones above – we can actually transmute challenges into blessings and wisdom so that we can be stronger and more powerful than we otherwise could have been. We must ask ourselves: what feels right to me? What am I experiencing now, and what would I like to experience instead? Then choose it, envision it, believe in it, and create it. Work your magic, and bring your intentions into form. It may take more than one step, but by believing in the beauty of the process and honoring the journey, and by putting one foot in front of the other, we shall certainly arrive.