“The only choice we have is in how we respond in each precious moment we are given.” ~ Dr. James R. Doty
Every once in a while we hear a story that give us solace, respite and more importantly, hope.
I found all three in one book and in this instance, I had the opportunity to speak with the author. In his book, Into the Magic Shop, Dr. James R. Doty recounts his humble beginnings: raised in poverty with an alcoholic father and a mother who had suffered a stroke, was chronically depressed and attempted suicide several times. A chance encounter with a woman named Ruth in a magic shop when he was 12 changed the trajectory of his entire life.
This woman shared the greatest, most powerful magic trick of all: how to understand and ease his own suffering and bring to life all his desires. I’d like to think she also gave him hope and instilled faith in him that he had as much right to be here as anyone else.
It was a slow day at work when I first heard Dr. Doty speak during a Facebook interview on Huffington Post. I wasn’t able to finish the interview, but I made a note to buy the book and contact Dr. Doty to see if he would speak with me.
We’ve all been through something that changes the way we look at a situation. Sometimes a chance conversation with someone or the right advice finds its way to us and helps us navigate through life much differently than we normally would.
For me, Into the Magic Shop is an open-hearted account of how unimaginable things can happen to us, if we choose to harness the power of both the heart and the brain—no matter what kind of circumstances we find ourselves in or are born into.
I’d like to think meeting Dr. Doty was a matter of happenstance, but then again, I believe there are no coincidences and serendipity works in mysterious ways—just like it did for him at age 12. This book is one I will open time and time again as a reminder for when dark days seem infinite.
My hope is that others will enjoy our chat and soak in his wisdom. Believe that we all have the power to change our narrative, our response to circumstances and in effect, how we posture ourselves in the world—hopefully, one act of kindness at a time.
Author: Neelam Tewar
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Image: The Awkward Yeti