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Superstition is Magical Thinking

By Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, PhD

Most of us grew up with superstitions. A few of my childhood favorites are seven years of bad luck for breaking a mirror, bad luck for walking under a ladder, opening an umbrella indoors and having a black cat cross my path will also produce bad luck. I have heard of athletes that have to wear a certain pair of socks or have a lucky coin in their pocket when they play "the big game." The truth is we all have superstitions.

As my sister and I move through the process of selling our childhood home, we were brainstorming ways to move the sale along. I remembered that a friend buried a statue of St. Joseph in her front yard to expedite the sale of her home. The house sold quickly. My sister thought I was nuts when I suggested this to her. But we found out that a lot of people share this superstition when we got on the Internet. There is even a St. Joseph house selling kit available for purchased. I have no idea if burying St. Joseph really works or if it works because people believe it works, and I have to wonder if it matters. Thoughts are things and what we think becomes what we believe and what we believe becomes reality.

Superstitions are not really silly and can actually be helpful if not just a little amusing. Superstitions are also rich in tradition and folklore. The concept of burying the St. Joseph statue comes from stories of nuns placing St. Joseph medals on property they wanted for the convent. The tradition evolved into the statue concept. Many traditions date way back, and some are personal ones we create. I have created many superstitions of my own. Since I only believe in good luck I believe it is lucky when a black cat or any animal crosses my path. I still recite the poem "See a penny pick it up. All day you'll have luck" anytime I see a penny lying on the ground. Superstitions can be fun and helpful as long as we believe they are.

According to the Internet, a superstition is "A set of behaviors that are related to magical thinking, whereby the practitioner believes that the future, or the outcome of certain events, can be influenced by certain specified behaviors." I love the idea of magical thinking. So to create superstitions is to think magically. To my way of thinking superstitions are a way to create magic. And who doesn't want a little magic in their life?

About The Author
Coach Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, PhD, is a Certified Master Coach specializing in working with business owners and professionals in being more profitable and productive while staying sane and balanced. Coach Lee is the publisher of the award winning e-zine, 365 Days of Coaching. Her first book, 365 Days of Coaching - Because Life Happens Every Day (Universal Publisher, 2004) was named a finalist for Best Book 2004> and has a five star rating on Visit Coach Lee at her websites True Direction, Inc. Copyright

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