Life is a scary situation, you see. Happiness and good fortune are so rare in this miserable world that if luck should strike, one should firstly take it as an exception to the rule that nothing good ever happens and secondly, if good does happen, be quiet about it.
Two months later, I celebrated my fortieth birthday in a way I never could have imagined. After years of hard work, sacrifice and a level of organizational commitment that in retrospect was possibly unwarranted, I was an out-of-work single mother of four children.
Their concern is that in a broad cross section of people, whether religious or not, there seems to be a strong natural tendency to see intentions, purposes, and goals at work in life, far beyond the explicit actions of people or other conscious animals.
As a woman who embraces her career as a nurse, Claire bases her beliefs on scientific fact. When she lands in the 18th century Scottish Highlands, she finds a culture who's beliefs are firmly rooted in an odd marriage of Catholicism and superstition.
I drank Rolling Rock beer and ate chicken wings, and I yelled at the TV to make sure the Huskies players knew what they were supposed to do. Without my advice and directions, those kids would have been completely lost out there.
We know the beliefs and ideas we hold go a long way toward shaping our reality. Though they are merely thoughts, our behavior springs from them creating tangible results. If we think ourselves lucky, we will take on behaviors that create luck.
Creativity is also about breaking constraints. Even if your idea doesn't cross the borders of the possible, it's at least crossing the borders of the typical. And so you might wonder whether a mental visit to a magical place would free your mind to think more creatively.
Beginning in medieval times, modern Jews have understood the Torah to be monotheistic, testifying that only one God exists. But it might be more accurate to say that the Torah is monolatrous -- that multiple Gods exist, but we choose to worship only one of them.
How can we stop worrying when part of us seems convinced that if we only do enough of it we'll stay healthy, safe, and successful for the rest of our lives? By recognizing that worry is a poor substitute for knowledge, intuition and inspiration.
Was theirs an arranged marriage? It certainly was. Were they different in every imaginable way? You bet. Yet they managed to build a relationship based on love and trust. I wonder whether that was possible only because divorce was not an option at the time.