Last week I was a guest at a rather fancy dinner in a fancy club with fancy guests in Washington, DC. The other guests were diplomats and financiers, power brokers and members of the well-heeled establishment. I was there because I am a distant family member of the host; unfortunately I cannot lay claim to any of the other categories—yet!

I sat down to dinner at a table of ten, none of whom I knew. On my right was a man who, at first glance, I thought looked similar to me. Same complexion, salt-and-pepper beard, about the same age. He saw my name tag and asked me what type of doctor I was. I told him I’m a cosmetic plastic surgeon. “And what do you do?” I asked. “I’m a mentalist.” (!!!)

Gerard Senehi, I later found out, is a minor celebrity who entertains corporate and other powerful figures with his feats of mind. He’s been on “Ellen,” “The Today Show,” etc.

He made a piece of endive on the salad turn over…

I asked him what a mentalist really did and he made the endive flip!

That was the beginning. He made forks rotate on glasses, spoons bend, flowers droop, cigarettes float and he read minds. First he did these things for our table, and then he got up and performed similar feats for the whole body of guests.

Dinner was being served, yet the large number of open mouths did not have food in them.

As we get older, we lose the ability to be amazed the way a child is. Our life experiences make us wise to the usual tricks and sleights of hand magicians and street performers employ. We’ve seen those tricks before, been fooled before and may have even seen the “behind the scenes TV show” that explained it all to millions.

So, to be in a room of 60 people, mostly in their mid-70s, who in some way or other direct our lives, and to see their open mouths reminded me of the look on the children’s faces when Mr.Turley, the magician, performed at my daughter’s 5th birthday.

The ability to perform telekinesis (the movement of objects using thought) and telepathy (reading minds) is one that we all apparently have. Gerard told me that it’s akin to the ability to play music. We can all learn how to play an instrument, and practice will make us better. Some of us, though, are gifted with that ability, and it comes easier to them. They are just innately better at it than others, and if they practice, they become much better. In the same way, mental abilities can be trained with practice, but some of us will just be better at it than others.

A few years ago, I bought a toy for a friend’s birthday after seeing a physical effect on my own mental powers. At the Swedish embassy in Washington, DC, there was an exhibit of all things technologically Swedish. One apparatus involved two contestants sitting on either end of a table with a metal ball in a trough. Each contestant put on a hat with electrodes attached to it and to the table, and with the power of thought (amplified brain theta waves), the contestants were able to move the ball back and forth in a contest of brain power. The more you concentrated, the more the ball moved.

The toy is based on a similar idea. Your brain controls a fan, which whirls faster and floats a ping pong ball higher and higher the more you concentrate. It is a great training tool, but the novelty wears off quickly. You can buy it on Amazon:

The relevance of all of this to cosmetic plastic surgery is rather remote. However, it did start me thinking about how if our brains can move objects outside our bodies, surley thay can move tissues within them? Not that I want to wish away my livelihood, but what if by mere thought—say ten minutes a day—we could lift our faces up or get rid of our tummy fat? It has already been scientifically established that thinking happy thoughts makes your facial muscles form into a smile and that unhappy thoughts will stimulate frowning; would this not be the next logical step?

As an exercise, I think I will start to think about smiling more. So should you all.

Try it. You, too, can make things move. You, too, are a mentalist!