The Magic of Gratitude and Happiness

Greetings Magical Friends,

Abigail here, writing from the House of Mystery, while Jeff is performing and teaching in Florida for a few days….

Abbi Shadow Sword

“I cannot tell you anything that, in a few minutes, will tell you how to be rich. But I can tell you how to feel rich, which is far better, let me tell you firsthand, than being rich. Be grateful… It’s the only totally reliable get-rich-quick scheme.”

 —Ben Stein, actor, comedian, economist

Once again, we are approaching my favorite time of year, a time when just for one day, we turn our focus to gratitude and giving thanks. My awareness around gratitude has been deepening lately, and I am noticing the effects this has on my life. One of the practices I learned many years ago was to make a list, from A-Z of things I am grateful for, everything from Air that I breathe to the fact that Zebras exist at all… and now, this practice is growing, as I ask myself, “Why am I grateful for this?”  (Water, because it hydrates, cleanses and makes things sparkle!)  Deepening into the “why” seems to bring me into more and more awareness. When I am grateful, I feel happier, more in tune with just how blessed and fortunate I am. I’m not the only who has noticed this correlation. In his fine work, Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, Dr. Robert Emmons has a lot to say about it, and I highly recommend it.

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”

 —Denis Waitley

I want to encourage all of us to bring up the frequency of gratitude in our lives, not just once a year for one day, but consistently, consciously, constantly. I really do believe that when we are tuned into how good life is, we are more inclined to be kind, helpful and present with all those we encounter, and there is so much to be thankful for.


Brother David is one of my favorite teachers about gratitude, and this is one my favorite works:

Today, my gratitude goes out for my beloved, darling husband, who I appreciate, respect and admire; for our students and faculty who make the Magic & Mystery School; for my health, my home, the happiness that is mine on a daily basis, for the willingness to celebrate even the smallest victories, and the ability to breathe, dance and live in this amazing world.

Abbi and Dancers

I am especially grateful that my parents decided to have me start piano lessons when I was four, as that decision has led me to be the musician and singer that I am. If you’d like to hear some of my music, you can find it here:

Wishing you the gift of knowing how fortunate you are, at Thanksgiving time and always…


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