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# 7 / 40 – March 2008


(a word I invented combining the words “magic” and “attitude”)

I experienced magic recently.

Real magic.

It wasn’t a card trick.

It wasn’t a coincidence.

It wasn’t something non-magical that only seemed magical.

It was true magic – something impossible becoming possible, actual, real.

Let me tell you what happened.

My friend John mentioned that he often puts the things that he is not grateful for on his gratitude lists.

I’ve mentioned the importance of gratitude and listing out things for which we are grateful in past articles.

I thought John’s idea was a funny: Put the things you aren’t grateful for on the list of things you are grateful for? Why would anyone in their right mind do that?

Nonetheless, I like John, he seems sane, and it seemed like an interesting idea worth trying.

So I tried it.

I was particularly grumpy that day that Emmett woke up at 5:45am and so I started with that.

“My petty grievance list today starts,” I told John, “with the fact that my son woke up at 5:45 in the morning.” I took a moment and continued, “And so, I’ll turn that around and say that I am grateful for…” and then I stopped, involuntarily. I hemmed and hawed. I couldn’t get the words “I’m grateful that my son woke up at 5:45 in the morning” to flow out of my mouth. It was as though I was going to say, “My name is Joaquin,” or something else that I knew wasn’t true.

Maybe I had gotten so comfortable in my grievances about Emmett waking up before the dawn, that I didn’t want to part with it? I don’t know why, but I had a quick pep talk with myself: Just say the words – even if you don’t believe them.

So I did.

“I am grateful that my son woke up at 5:45 in the morning.”

And that’s when the magic happened.

Saying the words released me.

Nothing had changed, yet it was different.


Attitudinal magic just by saying words I didn’t think I believed: magitude.

I urge you to give it a try.

Take one thing off your petty grievance list and say out loud that you are thankful for it.

What – besides something that aggravates you – do you have to lose?

With love,

Rabbi Brian
A web version of this article is available here.
This article was also posted at Street Prophets where it received a few comments.


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The 77% Weekly: The Religion-Outside-The-Box Newsletter
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