Posts Tagged With: feeling too good

Day 652: Magical Thinking

Magical thinking

… is the attribution of causal relationships between actions and events which cannot be justified by reason and observation.


… is a fundamental dimension of a child’s thinking.

… involves several elements, including a belief in the interconnectedness of all things through forces and powers that transcend both physical and spiritual connections.

The Skeptic’s Dictionary

Here‘s what says about Magical Thinking:

Think you don’t believe in magic? Think again. Our brains are designed to pick up on patterns: Making connections helped our ancestors survive. You’re not crazy if you’re fond of jinxes, lucky charms, premonitions, wish fulfillment, or karma. You’re just human.

I’ve got some recent examples of magical thinking by

IMG_0870,  in The Years(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally:

  • I wrote, two days ago, that I was not afraid of Ebola. Poof! The same day, the media reported a possible case of Ebola in Boston (where I live and work), too close for comfort.
  • I bought a portable drive to  relieve storage problems (mostly for photos I’ve taken for this blog). Poof! Installing the drive took up too much space and screwed up several things on my laptop. The magical thinking here: Whenever I try to make things better, I actually make things worse. (By the way, that drive has gone Poof! back to the store.)
  • Because I wish to be Freshly Pressed here on WordPress, (Poof!) I won’t be.
  • Because I’ve been feeling “too good” and “too confident” lately about (1) work, (2) giving presentations, and (3) writing these posts, I’ve been wondering: WHAT AWFUL THING IS GOING TO HAPPEN?!?!
  • Because it’s getting darker and colder in these parts, I’ve been thinking: WHAT AWFUL THING IS GOING TO HAPPEN?!?!

Magical Thinking was a lively topic of discussion, over breakfast yesterday, for me and my friend Deb (who has made previous magical appearances in this blog, including here and here).

IMG_0831 IMG_0833

In that second photo, Deb is telling me how she magically created a wine bottle in one of her glass-blowing classes!

When there were several problems with the service and the food at that restaurant yesterday, I had this passing thought, which I shared with Deb:

The server hates us!

Now, that is  definitely a great example of the cognitive distortions of Mind Reading and Personalization, but I’m not sure if it qualifies as magical thinking.

What are your magical thoughts on all this?

As you’re making your own magical connections, here are more photos I took, yesterday, with “magical thinking” dancing in my head:

IMG_0841 IMG_0842  IMG_0848 IMG_0849  IMG_0851 IMG_0855 IMG_0858 IMG_0861 IMG_0862 IMG_0865IMG_0874


Do you have any magical thinking about what magical, musical number might appear — Poof! — in this post, right now ?



After several moments of magical thinking, I made up my mind to show you that YouTube video of The Lovin’ Spoonful performing “Do You Believe in Magic?” on Shindig! in 1965.

Did you have any wishes that a different song about magic might have appeared here, instead?

Before I — poof! — magically transport myself back to work, I wish to share a dream I had last night.

I dreamed that, in various ways, my health kept deteriorating, until I was bedridden. Thank goodness, I do NOT consider myself psychic.  When I have a dream, I don’t think, “That is now going to come true.”

I am thinking, though, why that dream might have magically appeared.  I’m reading this extremely compelling, well-written,  heart-rending, thoughtful, soulful, and otherwise admirable memoir by a fellow WordPress blogger, Charles Gulotta:


I think The Long Hall is magic, in this sense of that word:

special power, influence, or skill


Many thanks to Charles, to Deb, to winged fairies and black cats, to The Lovin’ Spoonful, and — of course! — to all you magical thinkers out there.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 3: The Fear of Feeling “Too Good”

Here’s a little bit of history behind my deciding to write this blog at this particular time:

Things have been going really well for me lately.

As a matter of fact, I’ve had this thought recently: this might be the BEST year of my life.  Ever.  And a big part of what’s made me see my story that way is that I’ve been feeling more confident, safer, more hopeful about the future, and more peace about the past. That is, I’ve noticed that I’m feeling better about myself and my life, better than I can even remember before.  And as Robert Frost said (about a particular road) “that has made all the difference.”

But, there’s been a wrinkle — a side effect, if you will — to my feeling this way.

And that would be : The Fear of Feeling TOO Good.

Does that ring a bell for you?  Can you identify with that fear at all?  I have to tell you, this is another fear that I’ve observed in a LOT of other people.  Along with the Fear of What Other People Think (a topic of my 2nd blog entry here), I’d call this another Psychological Epidemic.  It’s another source of pain that I see in so many people.  And it gets me mad sometimes, people!  (Things that hurt others can get me mad sometimes.)

If I had a quarter for each time I’ve heard expressions of this fear — from clients, friends, and in my own head — I’d probably be able to feed parking meters and use public laundromats forever. Here’s an example of one of those  change-revenue-producing statements:

When things are going too well, I have trouble enjoying that.  It seems like I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Oh, man.  Doesn’t that SUCK?  It’s the ultimate buzz-kill. The ultimate Joy Murderer.

Well, I’ve got Headline News about that statement. 

There is no other shoe.

But for many of us, that expectation — that we will be zapped by some disaster as retribution for feeling too good — is a cause-and-effect relationship as inevitable as Newton’s basic laws of physics,  like this:

For every action (involving feeling too good) there will be an opposite and equal reaction (major catastrophe).

So where did this belief come from, and why do so many of us share it?

If you can relate to this at all, think about your own reasons.  I’ll write about mine in my next blog entry.

Hey, my first cliff-hanger!

Thanks for joining me here, dear reader.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

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