Sometimes it really helps to wear a mask.

Because I was frightened to death standing in front of those cameras for the first time. It was 5:00 a.m. on a supercold, almost drizzly day in Calgary, Alberta. Something I wasn’t expecting in the middle of July. It was still dark, feeling more like winter than the middle of summer. A reverse Chinook, I guess.

I was standing next to the Breakfast TV morning news anchor counting down to broadcast to about a million people on live TV. The two cameras in front and an Enzo Ferrari behind blocked me in. No turning back or running away now.

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Dressed like a freaky-looking blue genie, my mind went blank for a moment as the gravity of the situation hit me. I realized during the countdown to going live that I had no idea what I was going to say. Added to this, we didn’t even know who we were going to surprise with the dream day we planned. Just to make it more interesting (or frightening, depending on how you look at it), we’d decided to pull a random person on the street for this first wish grant. I certainly had no idea where this genie thing was going. There was zero business plan. Or any plan, for that matter.

I remember thinking that maybe I was one of those people who had gone insane but just didn’t know it yet. The even crazier thing was, I loved it! is was living as far as I was concerned. It had only been two months since I proclaimed I would dress up as a genie and grant wishes, and here I was. Doing it. Experiencing it. Feeling alive for the rst time since I could remember. I didn’t want to let this feeling go.

The interview started out a little shakily, mostly because I could barely open my mouth with the new silicone mask clamping it shut pretty tightly. A new door in life’s journey had opened. One that allowed me to express and experience my true self.

I began to understand Joseph Campbell’s words, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” It was exciting. Although I never could have envisaged that I would be granting wishes as a dude dressed as a blue genie. While none of it was making much sense to me or the people around me, it didn’t matter. For the first time in my adult memory, I wasn’t thinking so much. Instead, my heart was in the driver’s seat. And things that couldn’t be rationally explained began to happen. We were invited on CTV the next day, then back on Breakfast TV, and incredibly, we found the perfect person to surprise right there in the studio. After a fast-paced forty-eight hours of connecting with an amazing family, racing cars, scuba diving, and unadulterated luxury, I knew I had found my calling. This stranger-than-fiction story had begun.

With love,

Josh

PS. If you’re interested in living your stranger than fiction story please take a moment and check out the www.iamgenie.org/tinybookofmagic – It’s full of stories and tips to lead you there. To be released this week on November 16th!

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