On the outside, it looked like all the others. But its circumstances were different.
Normally, when Chinese take-out is on the menu, I’m the one who ladles the food out of the cartons and onto the plates, getting them to the table. Once we’ve finished, Dave’s the one who gathers it all up and clears it away. Then he places the two fortune cookies that always come with the meal into his palm, extending his hand to me so I can choose the one I want.
Not that they don’t look exactly alike. But it’s a sweet little ritual, and rarely does it vary.
Except last week, on Thursday, May 6th.
On that particular day I got up immediately, carrying my plate to the sink when I finished. I’d been immersed in a project right before the food arrived, and I was eager to jump back in. So when Dave came around with the fortune cookies, I had to wave him away. Both my brain and hands were occupied; no time for desert.
An hour or so later, I collapsed in a comfy chair, and noticed the little fortune cookie on the table next to me. Dave had placed it there for me to find.
So just as I’ve done at least a hundred times before, I cracked it open and read the verdict:
Remember three months from this date. Good things are in store for you.
Now that’s a fortune, I thought. Definitely not the run-of-the-mill predictions I’d seen lately. You know…
You’ll attract much good fortune in the coming year.
Your personality is a magnet for many lovers.
You will live to be healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Nope. This one was different. It was mysterious. Asking me to look three months into my future. Telling me that August 6th was going to be a special day.
In short, it captured my imagination.
No wonder I got a little rush when I read it. Anything that invokes our imagination takes us into an alternate world. And that’s a good thing, especially when we want to make changes in our lives.
In fact, it reminded me that we all have the power to look ahead to any of our days, anticipating that each one, as the fortune cookie said, has good things in store for us.
And this small bit of magic is accessible any time.
One way I like to explore this with clients is with the Magic Question. Alternately known as the Miracle Question.
Here’s how it works.
First, pick something that’s bothering you right now. Possible candidates include fear, worry, stress, anger, burnout, feeling blue.
Just for today, let’s say what’s bothering you is worry about an uncertain future.
Now, imagine that tonight, when you’re asleep, a magical being enters your room, casting a spell that releases you from the worry. You get to choose who comes in. Maybe a fairy godmother. Or a wizard. Perhaps a unicorn. Whatever you like best.
Again, just for today, let’s say it’s a wizard who releases you from the worry.
But here’s the catch: you don’t know the wizard made a visit, because you were asleep. When you wake up, though, you do sense something has changed. So what is it that you notice that tells you you’ve been released from the worry? What’s different?
Do you wake up smiling, looking forward to the day?
Do you stretch your body fully and enjoy the feeling in your limbs?
Do you bounce out of bed?
Do you look out the window and tell yourself you’ll concentrate on today only, rather than the future?
Do you do a little dance on your way to the bathroom?
Do you sing in the shower?
Can you imagine what would happen to that worry if every morning you woke up and looked for evidence of a visit from a magical being? In all likelihood, the worry would dissipate, grow weak and tired, perhaps even vanishing completely at some point.
So as much as I enjoyed my fortune cookie magic, I’m not holding my breath until August 6th for the good things that are in store for me. They’re here right now, just waiting for me to jump out of bed and grab them.
How about you?
What magical being would you like a visit from tonight?
And what will be different when you wake up tomorrow?
WHY NOT START NOW?
There are mornings when I know this feeling, though I never have considered that idea. They are the mornings when the source of discord isn’t the first thing on my mind when I wake or isn’t the focus of my thoughts in the shower – or those days when I find myself actually thinking about that source because I have not done it all day! Something in me changed over time and through the night allowing that source to melt away that much more. The mornings are lighter and happier. I have more patience and more bounce and lighter songs.
I have to say – this morning was one such morning… and I like the visual created in this post. I wonder if one could use the visual just before bed in a healing way?
Thanks Patty – and Happy Wednesday!
Yup, all those are good things to shoot for – lighter, happier, patience, bounce, lighter songs. It’s interesting how much control we have over that story, when we choose to believe that it is so (through the magic of a wizard!). Absolutely it could be used before bed. It’s a lovely way to drop off. Thanks for stopping by!
I mean… Happy Thursday… 😉
Happy Thursday to you too! (Although it just shifted over into Friday for me – got to get to bed).
I love this idea, Patty. The imagination has a magical way of opening doors and letting us ‘walk through walls’. Even just the intrigue of that time period for you must have the effect of altering your days 🙂
Hmmm, my magical being would be… a gnome.
Mmm, that’s juicy, Davina. There is definitely a bit of intrigue there when people start to go with this in a session, and it pulls them in even farther. And right now I’m envisioning envisioning your gnome – he’s very cute!
A couple elves. Who might also clean during their visit?!
For me, it might be worry about money. Husband and I are doing fine with money, but I’ve always been one to over-think things. Run through scenarios. Plan for worst cases. And now, with salary freezes, it seems a bit worse because there isn’t this hope/promise of a little bump in the coming year. But we’re fine, and I just need to let it go. To have a little faith that we can take things in stride, that money will be there is we need it, that we’ve done a good job building a savings.
Oh yes, Eva, those elves are so industrious, aren’t they? I’m sure they would lend a tiny hand with the cleaning. So if the elves did release you from that worry about money, what would be different when you woke up tomorrow?
Hahaha, august 6th is my birthday. Of course it will be a magical day. I will wake up feeling peaceful and full of trust that all is well AND that life is one wonderful adventure and the world one wonderful playground to be enjoyed to the full.
Yes, that is how I wake up and actually why not start now, why wait for my birthday, hey Patty? Hugs Wilma
OK, Wilma, now I get that fortune cookie – it was meant for you! So funny, because the first thing I thought when I read it was, “Do I know someone whose birthday is Aug 6th?” Mystery solved. And yes, absolutely, no need to wait until your birthday, or any of our birthdays. Hugs!
Hi Patty, this is is such a lyrical piece and you so beautifully simplify a big topic — that we need not put on hold our happiness or meaning in what we do. It can be here right now. This is a trap that I imagine we’re all familiar with. It can be seen in the moments when we choose to work another half hour (because of financial worires) instead of watch a few minutes of sunset. We relinquish so much good things in life because now it’s time to pay the bills or I really have to put the laundry away or I can’t let the dishes sit another minute longer. It’s almost like we purposefully avoid happiness for the little things we feel need our attention. We forget that we almost always have a choice in so many situations and worrying does not make them any better.
Well said, Belinda! Although, I must admit, sometimes I veer a little too far to the other side, purposely avoiding house cleaning and dishes and laundry. So evident this weekend as I try to catch up. Sheesh, why is this balance thing so darn hard???
I think your magic is in the person who put that little cookie there for you. That was my first thought when you wrote what he did…cleans up, offers you the first one, allows you to to continue working and then saves it for you in a special place. You don’t have to wait until August 6 … he’s there when ever you want him;) Tell him hello and I like him!
How wonderful to point that out, Tess. He is definitely a magic man!
There is *magic* available to delight me every single day…I just need to remain open and a bit aware to embrace it…As I embrace it, magic grows, so after a bit, many moments–most moments– are magical…And your fortune cookie is a physical reminder of that.
Each day, I wake up happy to greet the day–I love the potential of fresh and clean. And if worry comes to visit, I acknowledge it then fill my space with positive, so that worry soon leaves.
I think you should host a virtual blog party Aug 6th–a happy day indeed:)
Hi Joy – Welcome, and thank you for stopping by. You’re so right that the fortune cookie was a physical reminder of the magic that is all around us. And your idea for a virtual blog party sounds fun!
Patti, your story is an illustration of the power of intention. I love that the fortune cookie launched you 3 months ahead and asked you to imagine your future, inviting you to set an intention for whatever it is you want to happen on or around that date. It’s such a simple thing–setting an intention–and so powerful, yet easy to forget. As Louise Hay reminds us: We’re creating our future with every thought.
Hi Julie – Yes, intentions are indeed powerful. For me, they don’t work so much for a future day, but definitely for a daily practice. For the now of life. Thanks for stopping by!