Noelle Oxenhandler had never heard that saying and was greatly shocked by it. Kind of explains why my Mom never got to many wishes granted though.
I like The Wishing Year as it was not quite what I was expecting. This is not a self help book which has a lot of tests to take and a lot of decisions to make. It’s an inspirational story of someone who wants three things-a house, a man, and a soul-and how she goes about getting them by wishing for them.
Along the way she finds that any number of other desires she has seem to be coming true as well. She meets master wishers and follows their advice. Through a series of seeming coincidences and casual happenings she gets her wishes. There are a few ways the wishes are explained and a number of self help books are quoted. I was a bit surprised that Wishcraft didn’t make the cut, as this was a big book on my Get Anything You Ever Wanted reading list.
Noelle Oxenhandler does notice one interesting thing about almost all self help books-they don’t work and don’t seem to have too much contact with reality as we know it. She finds a number of passages of famous self help gurus talking about the endless abundance of life and how we can all have anything and everything that we want. The obvious problem with this bit of thinking is that there are a few billion people who don’t seem to have anything and everything they want.
Richard Bach-my favorite sort of a self help author-addressed this issue in Illusions. One of the best books on wishing ever written-and also missed by Noelle Oxenhandler in The Wishing Year. Richard Bach says that life on earth isn’t real-it is like a movie. The soul/higher self/great whatever comes and lives here for a while and then returns to whence it came. So some of these souls are like the people who want to watch horror movies and some are like the people who want to watch romantic comedies. In other words, people suffer in a world of endless abundance because they want to suffer.
The Wishing Year follows any and all paths to wishing that happens to cross the author’s path. She makes no distinction between a prayer sent to Jesus and one sent to Hercules, for example. She also spends a bit of time making personal shrines of one sort or another. She isn’t too impressed with most New Agers, but she has no problem following the many small guidelines to wishing she runs across.
Her favorite method involves focusing on what you want, looking at something living, folding your hands across your chest-right hand on top, and making your wish in eight words. There is a bit more to it, but that is gist of Paul Pearsall’s Wishing Well.
In Illusions, the making of a wish was a fairly straightforward bit of business as I recall. You thought about what you wanted and waited for it to show up. The hero wishes for a white feather, which shows up on the side of truck not long after the wish is made. Illusions also introduced me to the odd and fun practice of making clouds disappear.
But back to The Wishing Year. I was a fun read and the many stories of lives that interweave with her own to bring about her wishes is an interesting one. Can I really get a trip to Hawaii if I just wish for it and wait for someone to ask me to go? Hey, it worked for Noelle Oxenhandler.
The time line seemed a bit confusing to me, as she kept jumping around from here to there and now and then. But the main point, that you can get whatever you want by thinking about it and wishing for it-well, what’s not to like?