The Art & Science of Making Wishes

An Exercise in Reality Therapy

So let's say a good fairy comes along and offers you three wishes - what would you wish for? And the rule is that it's just three wishes; you can't make any wishes for more wishes. It's no use trying to cheat the fairies. If you do, it irritates them, and they just get even trickier.
This is not a question with simple answers, even though it might seem so at first. We all know the fairy tales of incautious wishes that rebound on the wisher in some dire way. You have to get your wishes just right, with no loopholes.
One of the things that helps us to get to where we want to be is to know where that is, to have a goal. If I have a sense of who I want to be when I'm 90, I will be able to look at my present choices and at least have some idea if they are likely to help me to or hinder me from reaching that goal. (There is stuff on working with this in Sun Over Mountain - if you are interested, please see the An Lios book lists.) It gives me a standard or a scale to help me evaluate choices. It won't necessarily make all my decisions clear and obvious, but it will help to clarify many of them.
In a similar way, if I have a sense of where I want to be (in fairly general terms) in five years, there is a certain magic that happens to help me to get there. For example, one of the 'places' I would like to be in five years is to have at least another two books published by really good and appropriate-for-me publishers, and a third book complete or nearly so. Now, in order for this to happen, obviously I have to do a lot of writing. But there is more to it than that.
I did say really good publishers - organized, good businessmen, ethical, efficient, reasonably clear about their own motivations and actions - all that good stuff - so that we both make a lot of money in ways we can feel pleased about. And it would be lovely if he (or she) is more than just good at his job - he could even be someone who has sufficient personal understanding of the 'magical life' to appreciate my work and to deal with me appropriately.
Unfortunately, I cannot easily evaluate a prospective publisher for their effectiveness and ethicality (that probably isn't a real word, but you know what I mean) and general suitability. All I can do is to put the intention out there, trusting that the universe will accept my intention/energy and respond appropriately. The amazing thing is that it so often does. And the more clear my intention, the more it seems that the response is faster and more specific. The trick is in clarifying without over-clarifying the intention.
I need to state the result I really want, without telling the universe how to go about getting it for me. In this example, I need to say what kind results I want from a publisher, rather than deciding that a particular publisher is the 'right' one and asking the universe to help me to get him to accept my books. I need to be clear about end results, and if I am, the path to that result will gradually unfold itself. Sometimes this happens in such clear and direct ways that it is quite astonishing - just like when you pick up the phone to dial someone and there they are, already on the line, having called you but you picked up the phone before it rang.
The trouble with being too specific is that we often get what we ask for and then find that it doesn't give us the result that we actually wanted. An example: the man who wanted a secure, steady job, but insisted on asking for a specific job with a particular company, saying that he knew that it would provide him with the security he wanted. He got the job and the firm went bankrupt six months later. He actually learned something from this, which is more than a lot of us do.
Even though I know this stuff works, I'm still surprised when it works as well as it sometimes does.

The Exercise

Make your three wishes - no more, no less. (You can change or alter them at any time you wish. You can even revoke them if it isn't already too late because they have come true.)
Write them down and pin the list up in a place where you will see it often.
Every time you notice the list, say thank you to the niverse for working on making the wishes true - even if you cannot yet see any results.
Once a week reread the list and ask yourself if you have been actually watching for opportunities to help the wishes along, especially from unexpected directions. Have you turned any down because you thought they wouldn't get you where you wanted to go or because they seemed too risky? The universe does its best, but we don't always cooperate.
Think about it - and keep saying thank you. That is called 'expectant gratitude' and it is an interesting kind of reality therapy all on its own.

Copyright © 1995 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.
This originally appeared in Otherworld Arts, 1995

Your comments will be read with interest.

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