I was raised to believe that there are some things we shouldn’t say out loud – maybe shouldn’t even think. I call this the Law of Kenahara (also spelled kenahora). It warns that if we show too much pride in looks or material things, we will attract the evil eye.

So rather than saying “Isn’t my baby the most beautiful baby you’ve ever seen?” you might instead say “Eh. She’s ok.” or “At least she doesn’t have her grandma’s cross-eyes.” This way she can go on and grow up to be beautiful without any curses befalling her. (I believe Snow White’s parents could have benefited from this thinking.)

But if you do want to say something nice about this amazing baby, you must add the word “kenahara” to keep her safe. “She has a pretty face, kenahara.” Now it’s ok.

But the Law of Kenahara applies to the way we think about our own lives, too. So, almost in direct contradiction to the Law of Attraction (I just wrote about this), we are taught not to think too many positive thoughts. More “if it happens it would be nice” rather than “I will be / am a success.”

Now I’m not about to undertake a study to see how many successful doctors or lawyers or corporate leaders were raised with the Law of Attraction versus the Law of Kenahara, but I’m sure there’s a little of both in the mix. Pu pu pu. (Pu pu pu also chases away the evil spirits – or so I’ve been told. As if I had any right to be so sure of anything!)

One friend of mine is the living embodiment of the Law of Kenahara. He’s a talented illustrator who has always had good things – including work – fall into his lap even though he will tell you he’s not that talented, and over the years again and again has assumed there would never EVER be another job for him – or anything good. He sees all the bad things that may befall him and worries a lot. But, applying the Law of Kenahara, somehow another job arrives and another wonderful gift from the heavens lands at his feet. And in fact, because of the people he attracts, he is living a life filled with rich experiences and lovely friends. (Pu pu pu.)

So it looks like his way is working for him after all, kenahara. Not that I’m recommending nor personally following this way of thinking. Just wanted you to know there are many ways to bring good things into one’s life, not all of them requiring that we be positive every single moment. In fact, sometimes a little whining feels pretty darn good, doesn’t it?

One last note: While we’re thinking about the Law of Kenahara, and the good things that may or may not come as a result, maybe I should also mention that despite all his worry and downplaying of personal abilities, my friend is extremely talented, works hard when he has a job to do, and is a good and caring friend to all of us. But I think that might call for another law all-together.