Today’s your lucky day! (Tomorrow too.)

We could all use more luck in our lives, especially given the extreme events of the moment. So how do you persuade fortune to shine it’s toothy grin upon you going forward?

First off, it never hurts to carry a special charm, or talisman, to improve your luck. This object may not actually hold any special powers or magical conductivity, but the important thing is that you believe it gives you an edge. With that belief comes better juju. You know, juju, like in Silver Linings Playbook.

While Eagles fans favor green sweaters, white jerseys, and Carson Wentz prayer candles, we’re partial to evil eye keychains, a counterintuitive way to keep luck on your side. The evil eye is a curse believed to be cast by a jealous glare or other negative energy, which is usually directed towards a person who is unaware. By carrying an evil eye keychain, you’ll be protected from evil spirits and bad luck. Add an owl to signify wisdom, and you’ll gain an edge there too!

It can’t hurt to keep some Chinese Emperor coins in your car, kitchen, backpack and valise. Round with a square-shaped hole in the center, they are said to be a representation of earth surrounded by heaven. A handful ought to do the trick.
Of course, you could always wear your luck on your sleeve. Or better yet, on you feet. A pair of blackjack cowboy boots lets everyone know that you’ve got prosperity on your side.

But no matter whether you carry, sport, or swaddle yourself in lucky nostrums, the best way to improve your luck is simple:  be open to new experiences.

Richard Wiseman, a British psychology professor at the University of Hartfordshire, examined the difference between self-professed lucky and unlucky people. He found that lucky people are more willing to talk to new people, travel to new places, and try new things. Most importantly, lucky people are also SuperOptimistic. Even if things take a turn for the worse, they can spot the positive in a situation.

As for unlucky people? A negative experience pushes them into a spiral of negative thoughts, leading to further negative experiences. The key is to accept that shit happens — but so does the good stuff.  Not only will positive expectations help you become happier, but they’ll help you make the most of the crap that comes your way.

Now if all this isn’t enough for you, why not go full Wiccan and cast some good luck spells for prosperity, love, and health. Naturally, we advise reading up on this before you start your “abra cadabras.” *

And to augment the spells, don’t forget to sprinkle a little voodoo oil on yourself. Here’s a formula that bills itself as “a powerful blend that helps remove obstacles and clears a path for you to accomplish your goals.”

And with that, we wish you good luck and happy days, especially if your name is Shirley.

*Errant invocations can have unwanted side effects. You don’t want to turn anyone into a frog by mistake. Although if you do, please take it to a local nature preserve so it can live in peace.

There is no “Plan B.”

Elvis in "No Plan B"

Frequently, you’ll hear someone say: “And if that doesn’t work — we’ll proceed to Plan B.”

But isn’t this simply preparing for failure? Fear that Plan A won’t work. Fear that something may go wrong.  

When other people sense that you doubt your course, they, too, become afraid. Imagine you’re a passenger in an airplane and the captain comes on the intercom and says:  “We’ll be landing soon at O’Hare International Airport — unless I can’t get the wheels down — and if that’s the case we’ll go to Plan B.”  Nobody really wants to hear someone say that. 

The SuperOptimist is of the mind that all energy down to our very last molecule should be focused on achieving the primary goal — and that any time spent planning for failure, setbacks, or humbling defeat only activates fear. Our conclusion: any Plan “A” is superior to every Plan “B.”

We feel so strongly about this maxim, we’ve created a t-shirt in its honor.

NOTE: If you don’t have a “Plan A,” go get a darn good one.  With a solid plan, karmic forces will line up behind you and see that you have good luck on your side. We’re with you.

National Nurses Day extended for the rest of the year!

Nurses are there for you in times like these. They have big hearts, and don’t judge questionable behavior, but instead provide care and comfort, even if it’s the result of a mistake on your part.

It turns out that this celebration of caregivers begins each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th — Florence Nightingale’s birthday. That’s nice and all, but really, every day should be Nurses Day.

So we hereby extend National Nurses Day for the entire calendar year of 2020, and encourage you to recognize and appreciate the nurses in your life. Not just the hospital variety, who will be working overtime due to American distaste for following rules and guidelines, but the mother who fusses over every sniffle and scrape, the neighbor who rushes over with a bandage after you slip with the electric hedge trimmer, or the concerned friend who hasn’t heard from you in 24 hours and calls repeatedly to make sure you’re still ambulatory.

As for a gift? We recommend following the zen principle of doing absolutely nothing. Not getting in a skateboard mishap. Not overdoing it in your zoom yoga class. Not crowding into a barber shop and catching C19. What better way to say “thanks” than not showing up at the hospital?*

 *When the time is right, we also recommend getting a large tattoo of your favorite nurse on a forearm or neck to show your unwavering devotion. Remember: nurses work hard, and they have to stand all day in ugly shoes.  They deserve more than a day of thanks.  Let the year-long celebration begin!

Wear-a-Mask Wednesday: It’s Sensory Deprivation Time!

Not long ago in human history, it was easy to find peace and quiet just by wandering outside in the middle of the night and gazing up at the stars.  It was quiet. It was peaceful. And because there was no such thing as light pollution, you could see them clearly.

Now, whether it’s mass media, social media, the hum of traffic, the illumination of a digital billboard, or a postcard from a realtor promising you riches if you list your home with her today, modern homo sapiens live in a constant state of sensory overload. You name it, and it probably has the ability to distract you from your true state of consciousness.

But most of us now live in urban areas, not in the Atacama Desert in Chile, where astronomers do their best work unencumbered by digital billboards, .  For us to experience what they do, we must seek alternative ways to power down from the constant stimulation engendered by the material world.

So how do we really unplug from the artificial? Why not try taking away one of your senses for a few hours, and see how the experience modifies your way of thinking.*

A blindfold is a good start. Without the use of your eyes, what do you conjure? Researchers from the University of Rochester have found that even in absolute darkness, we still think we see. The question is, what images are visible to you when you’re in the dark? What do you smell? Is your hearing more acute? How about your sense of touch? Pick something up from your desk and roll it around in your hand. Interesting the difference between a roll of scotch tape and a pair of scissors, no?

When it comes to choice of blindfold, a piece of fabric will do, although we prefer a comfortable sleep mask to really block out the light. This way, you can continue to benefit from its quality construction at bedtime, or on long flights (in the distant future).

If you wanted to try this experiment without a mask, there are still a few places on Earth that you can go.  Places like the Dark Sky Reserve on Ireland’s Iveragh Peninsula and the NamibRand IDSR in Africa are among the best locations. And if you want your community to go darker, why not join the International Dark Sky Association, which keeps track of light pollution and monitors how much darkness you really get in places across the globe.**

*Future related activity: Sensory Overload Day (coming soon).

**April 19-26 was International Dark Sky Week, in case you want to keep the celebration going.

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