In a few days my daughter and I will be getting ‘coordinated’ Harry Potter tattoos. This is really special for me— I mean, how lucky am I to have Vivian want to show her connection with me on her bod for life? We chose the Harry Potter theme because we both love it; I read the first book to her at age 4 and we were both hooked–and as it went on with both the books and movies for years, it was literally her childhood. For those of you who have taken a ride on that Hogwarts Express either with your children or on your own, you know that this story is not just for kids. Author J.K. Rowling is so amazing, there is so much to learn from everything these witches and wizards go through…I mean, it’s just chock-full of magical real-life lessons!!
The older and wiser–I hope!—I get, the more I realize that there is real-life magic in this Muggle world. Whether you are a spiritual person or consider yourself more scientific, magic is everywhere. I mean seriously, have you heard of the Fibonacci number?? That is some serious Badass mathematical voodoo, my friends!! The way all the parts of our bodies work together like a crazy machine, the way we can feel something amazing called love…magic. So I thought it would be fun to look at some of the magic spells Ms. Rowling has come up with and figure out how we ourselves could do some serious casting in our own lives.
The Riddikulus Spell
I love the scene when the class learns the Riddikulus spell—especially when Neville pictures scary Professor Snape in his grandmother’s clothes. The idea behind this spell is to take something you are afraid of and turn it into something amusing. Now I’ll be honest—taking a big old giant spider and sticking some roller skates on it does not make it less terrifying to me, but of course the point of this is that you have to pick something that works for you regardless of what other people think.
So how can we apply Riddikulus to our own scary stuff? Humor is definitely a very powerful potion. With the lighter stuff, like getting up in front of people to speak, break the ice by telling a joke. It doesn’t matter if it’s bad—in fact, the cornier the better, I’d say. That definitely will break the tension. Getting ready to tell someone something they don’t want to hear, or make a stand for yourself? This may not be super humorous but even just bringing the situation down to earth by being honest and telling someone that this is very awkward and difficult for you can definitely deflate the situation. It makes you vulnerable, and in that way more easy to relate to. It’s harder for people to be all judgy about you when they actually feel connected and on your side.
What about the REALLY hard stuff, like dealing with illness or losing someone we love? There is nothing funny about that. But never underestimate the power of a funny movie, book or YouTube video to let off some steam. It’s ok. Don’t feel guilty about allowing yourself to have some fun. Think about the person you are caring about; wouldn’t they WANT you to have fun and feel better? I think they would.
Next time something scary comes up for you, think about how you can cast your own Riddikulus spell at it! Maybe just spontaneously burst into a song and dance?? That would lighten anyone’s mood.
Stay tuned for more spell casting…and an unveiling of our tattoos! 🙂